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Violent crimes: New California gun laws in 2020

Laws are rarely -- if ever -- perfect. California state lawmakers must review proposed changes as well as bills for new laws, some of which are implemented. Those changes and new laws do not always take effect immediately. There are many new laws regarding gun use and violent crimes that were passed in 2019 but do not take effect until 2020.

For example, on Sept. 21, 2020, employers, employees, co-workers and teachers will be able to legally secure gun-violence restraining orders. Police will then be allowed to remove any firearms from the individuals making the threats. This can have both legal and personal repercussions for those who are named in those restraining orders. This is especially true for the people who will not be able to attend work because the restraining order was taken out by a co-worker or employer.

Gun owners should be vigilant about locking away their guns. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, if a prohibited person or a child removes a gun from a home because it was not locked up, the owner will be banned from owning guns for 10 years. Continuing to keep guns during that ban can result in serious criminal charges.

Charges for violent crimes generally carry fairly severe consequences, especially when those charges involve firearms. Defendants may lose much more than just the right to own guns and could face lengthy jail sentences and steep fines. California criminal courts do not accept ignorance of new laws as defenses, either. When dealing with serious charges for new or confusing laws, defendants are well advised to speak with an experienced attorney.

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