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Santa Cruz gun possession charges lawyerCalifornia’s laws on gun ownership and possession are already among the most restrictive in the nation, yet the state legislature continues to pass new laws in hopes of reducing gun-related deaths. California gun owners should be aware of five new restrictions that will take effect in the coming months.

1. Handgun Concealed Carry Will Require More Training

Current state law leaves it up to individual county sheriffs to determine the requirements for obtaining a handgun concealed carry permit (CCP). 

Effective January 1, 2019, new CCP applicants must complete a minimum eight-hour classroom training in firearm laws and safety. They must also pass a shooting proficiency test with each firearm that the applicant wishes to be licensed to carry. CCP renewals will require a minimum four-hour refresher training, plus a shooting proficiency test with each firearm (Assembly Bill 2103).

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In 2009, a Watsonville man entered a guilty plea to felony gun charges. The 37-year-old man is a Mexican immigrant married to a U.S. citizen. After entering the plea, the man learned that the conviction may lead to deportation. He attempted to withdraw his plea and was denied.

Last year the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in a separate case mandating that a criminal defense attorney has a duty to inform defendants of possible ramifications that a criminal conviction may have on the defendant's immigration status. On March 11, 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Watsonville man's guilty pleas based upon the U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

The 37-year-old man's case has been remanded to the U.S. District Court in San Jose. The man has served nearly the entire balance of a two year prison sentence related to the original plea agreement. He reportedly was scheduled to be released from the sentence on May 10. Now the matter returns to the District Court for determination of whether the case will be retried.

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