PC 171(b) – Unauthorized Possession of Weapons at a Public Building or Meeting
Unauthorized Possession of Weapons at a Public Building or Meeting – Table of Contents
- PC 171(b) Overview
- PC 171(b) Prosecuting
- PC 171(b) Sentencing
- PC 171(b) Defending
- Weapons at a Public Building – Hire Us
PC 171(b) – Overview
What are Weapons in an Airport as defined under California Penal Code 171(b)?
Any person who possesses a weapon within the premises or inside a California State public building or a meeting.
What is considered a public building as defined under California Penal Code 171(b)?
A public meeting can be defined as (including in its contract a lease from a state or federal agency or receiving state or federal funds as a loan for a lease or mortgage):
- Any place where the public, boards, councils, and other public agencies of the State exist to aid in the conduct of State public business.
- Any building opened as a local agency, county agency, city agency, incorporated chartered area agency, town agency, municipal incorporation, district, political subdivision, board commission.
- Any place for a governing body or local agency created by state or federal statute which has a charter, decision-making or advisory board, or members of a legislative body; no matter the business entity structure.
- Any place used for the congregation of the majority of the members to deliberate including by teleconference concerning an issue regarding a legislative body of the State, whether or not: a quorum is desired result; or a collection decision rather than a quorum but a motion, proposal, resolution, order or ordinance is required; where membership is not invited but elected; where the general public as either members or participants can do the same.
- Any place where voluntary registration; or mandatory registration per consideration or compensation is required to discuss issues of the public forum concerning any state issue.
- Any place where the media can gain access by nature of the charter due to public concern and can make such a request by the application unless a motion for sequester, exclusion or abstinence is made.
- Any place where there is an administrative body that is enacted to determine license and administrative duties for professionals providing a service or private service to the public at large; whether or not an audit is required.
- Any place where there is a discussion of real and personal property rights concerning the general public of the state, county, local, incorporate, municipality, and general areas affected by those real and personal property rights; whether or not a sale, lease, or exchange is involved.
- Any place involving a real estate transaction for the view of the general public.
- Any place where public writings and public records can be viewed.
- Any place where general rights and remedies for which judicial intervention, mediation, and arbitration can be administered.
- What is considered a public meeting as defined under California Penal Code 171(b)?
- Any area required to be open and available to the general public for gathering under the Ralph M. Brown Act (The Brown Act).
- Any area required to be open and available for the general public for gathering under the Grunsky-Burton Open Meeting Act (Burton Open Meeting Act).
What is the Brown Act as defined under California Penal Code 171(b)?
The Brown Act guarantees the public the right to convene and attend public addresses of public concern inside a building or outside for demonstration within guidelines set by the State or municipality or local.
What is the Burton Open Meeting Act as defined under California Penal Code 171(b)?
The Burton Open Meeting Act guarantees that all public meetings inside a public area where a legislative body operates to dictate the proceedings are subject to protocols and procedures that enable civility and due process. This follows the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act which requires legislation, commissions, and other legislative bodies to allow open communication between themselves and the public in any form (including voting) prior to making a decision).
PC 171(b) – Prosecuting
What is the mental state required for a violation under California Penal Code 171(b)?
Knowingly is the mental state required for a violation of California Penal Code 171(b). It requires that the People (The Prosecution) prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused was consciously aware of the act intended, and from the accused’s conduct it can be ascertained from objective reasonableness that the accused understood the consequences which would procure from the acts alleged by the accused. The People may in proving this can enable a jury to consider evidence showing what the accused said; what the accused failed to do; how the accused acted; and all other evidence showing what was in the accused’s mind at that time.
What weapons are described to not be allowed at or beyond the sterile area and to be in violation or suspect to violation of California Penal Code 171.5?
A weapon is an object that by its ordinary use and design is meant to hurt others and when used in any manner capable in its design likely to produce injury or great bodily harm. A deadly weapon is an object that by its ordinary use and design is meant to be deadly to others and when used in any manner capable from its design likely to produce death.
Firearm: Any device that is designed to be used as a weapon that from its design a projectile can be expelled or discharged by a barrel by the force from a discharged explosion or combustion. The firearm must be capable of discharge.
Box Cutter: A box cutter is a type of knife designed to cut things and not people and is not regarded as a deadly weapon.
Straight Razor: Any unguarded blade.
Military Practice Hand Grenade (replica/ plastic replica): Any replicable hand grenade that is not by design capable of explosion or combustion but from aesthetics looks look a real military hand grenade capable without designations to warm if it equipped with a fuse, detonator, and a charge.
Imitation Firearm: Any BB (Ball Bearing) device toy gun, a replica of a firearm, or another device that is similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm that will lead a reasonable person to believe that the device is a firearm.
Firearm Components: Frames, Barrels, Receiver, Magazine, Grips, Firing Pins, Sights, and Clips.
Unauthorized tear gas: First to possess tear gas you cannot be convicted of any felony in the United States; Convicted of any assault crime in the United States; A minor; Addicted at the time of any narcotic substance or convicted of any narcotic crime in the United States. Unauthorized tear gas is any tear gas weapon that expels a projectile or expels tear gas other than through an aerosol spray; any container having the tear gas for which the container weighs more than 2.5 ounces; that does not have a warning label on the container stating- “use of the substance or device for any purpose other than self-defense is a crime under the law/ contents are dangerous to use with care”; that does not have a label disclosing the date of expiration; a time of purchase label; including the packaging in or on a carrying case explaining the legal ramifications of improper use of the tear gas product (it’s good to keep it in a container).
Stun Gun: First to possess a stun gun you cannot be: Convicted of any felony in the United States; Convicted of any assault crime in the United States; A minor under the age of 16; Addicted at the time of any narcotic substance or convicted of any narcotic crime in the United States. A stun gun is any weapon that can immobilize a person by the infliction of an electrical charge (All stun guns must have the manufacturer’s label and serial number affixed to the side).
Taser: First to possess a taser you cannot be: Convicted of any felony in the United States; Convicted of any assault crime in the United States; A minor under the age of 16; Addicted at the time of any narcotic substance or convicted of any narcotic crime in the United States. A taser is any weapon that can immobilize a person by the infliction of an electrical charge by expelling an electrical prong that projects through the barrel (All tasers must have the manufacturer’s label and serial number affixed to the side).
Other weapons: paint guns, or any instruments that use a CO2 cartridge or forced air or spring action to dispel an object.
Are there exceptions for those who can carry weapons and not be subject to a violation of California Penal Code 171(b)?
Yes. peace officers; retired peace officers; peace officers working for the Department of Justice coming from other States on official business in the State of California- or licensed gun carriers not yet entering the screening areas that were duly appointed, on-site, by Peace Officers on duty to help with an exigent circumstance; security guards; any person with a Concealed to Carry Weapon Permit (CCW); The owner of the building who has a licensed to carry a firearm and that building is not subject to federal or state funding but is regulated by law in the functions of this Penal Code; deputized persons.
What is a peace officer as defined under California Penal Code 171(b)?
A peace officer initially after certification and training by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training is any person employed by the: (1) Sherriff; (2) Police Department; (3) Municipality; (4) San Diego Port Harbor Police; (5) Inspectors and investigators employed by the District Attorney’s Office; (6) Attorney General’s Office; (7) Department of Justice; (8) Deputy employed by the Sheriff in all counties of the State of California; (9) California Highway Patrol; (10) University Police Department; (11) Office of Correctional Safety of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; (12) Department of Internal Affairs and Department of Corrections; (13) Department of Fish and Game; (14) Department of Parks and Recreation; (15) Department of Forestry and Fire Protection; (16) Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control; (17) Board of Directors of the Exposition and California State Fair; (118) Department of Cannabis Control.
PC 171(b) – Sentencing
What are the penalties for a violation of California Penal Code 171(b)?
A violation of Penal Code 171(b) is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. A violation of Penal Code 171(b) when charged as a misdemeanor ranges to confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail. A violation of Penal Code 171(b) when charged as a felony ranges to confinement of 16 months, 2, or 3 years in State Prison.
What are examples of a violation of California Penal Code 171(b)?
The Matadors were an angry bunch. They were the lobbyist for vegan potato ketchup products and were tired of their platform not being hired at downtown LA City Hall. As they wanted the city to give them a permit for a Ketchup Truck. Their ketchup contained THC-A and THC byproducts. Trent the President of the Matadors told everyone to meet him in the front of City Hall for their demonstration. Trent showed up with a replica 44 Magnum and said as loud as he could for all to hear that it was a replica. But he kept making popping sounds as City Hall staff entered and exited the area and was pointing the gun at them, himself and staff. Trent was quickly arrested.
Terry attended his son’s PTO meeting for his public school and was frustrated at his teacher for being so hard on his kid. He did not feel the teacher understood how his son functioned or grasped learning concepts. And it reflected in his grades. The PTO meeting was not held on school grounds but commenced at the State Legal Aid Office. The meeting’s purpose was to not only elect new teachers, as it was a KIP Program that received state funding; but it also addressed concerns for leadership. The KIP Program was a membership-only but chartered by the state as a special category public school requiring entrance examinations and other admittance qualifications. There were no metal detectors but security staff was onsite. Terry was an avid hunter and carried a buck blade with him at all times. The blade was 5 inches and was in a sheath. He used it for protection as he was a truck driver. When it was his turn to speak, he stood in a matter which erected a portion of the sheath, showing the knife. A parent panicked and notified the crowd that he was armed. Terry was apprehended and arrested.
PC 171(b) – Defending
What are defenses to a violation of California Penal Code 171(b)?
- The building was not a public building and does not receive state or federal funding.
- The meeting was by membership only and on private property but concerned a public issue requiring a permit.
- Diminished capacity.
- Mistake in fact as the object utilized was not an identifiable replica.
- Mistaken identity.
PC 171(b) – Hire a Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a violation of California Penal Code 171(b), call The Esfandi Law Group.
Seppi Esfandi, Principal Attorney of The Esfandi Law Group, his staff, and Attorneys are delighted to discuss your legal issues and seek retainment to provide solutions.
Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529
How to Win Your Case
We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:
- Don’t ever talk to the police
- Do not discuss your case with anyone
- Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
- Tell police you need to contact your attorney
- Never consent to any search by the police
- If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
- Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
- Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
- Information on your cell phone is evidence
- Early Intervention is the key