PC 626.10 – Bringing Weapons on a California School Ground

PC 171(b) - Unauthorized Possession of Weapons at a Public Building or Meeting

Bringing Weapons on a California School Ground – Table of Contents

PC 626.10 – Overview

What is the definition of bringing weapons on a California School Ground as defined under California Penal Code 626.10?

Any person, except a peace officer, who brings in a dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife with a blade longer than 2 ½ inches, a folding knife that can lock into place, a straight razor, a taser, stun gun, or any instrument that expels a metallic projectile without or without a CO2 cartridge or spring action, on to any public or private school.

PC 626.10 – Prosecuting

What is a peace officer as defined under California Penal Code 4573?

Yes, a peace officer. 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;
  18. Department of Cannabis Control;
  19. Deputized persons;
  20. A Member of the Armed Forces;
  21. A Federal Officer or Peace Officer; or
  22. Someone who is summoned by all the mentioned to assist in an arrest.

What weapons are not allowed in a school area as defined under California Penal Code 626.10?

A weapon is an object that, by its ordinary use and design, is meant to hurt others and, when used in any manner, is capable in its design of producing 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 of its design, is 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 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 or 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 is equipped with a fuse, detonator, and a charge.

Imitation Firearm: Any BB (Ball Bearing) device toy gun, 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 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 is 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.

What are the exceptions to weapons that do not qualify for a violation under California Penal Code 626.10?

Yes. Low-Capacity Electrical Stinging Devices are not defined as Stun and Taser Guns because they do not have the capacity to immobilize, but their sole purpose is to deter. Officers, once they confiscate such a device that might look like a Stun Gun, must inspect it to see if it goes within the voltage ranges of at least 25,000 volts. In the context of California Penal Code 626.10, to qualify as a stun gun, the device must have the capacity to immobilize with the infliction of an electrical charge. Therefore kids at school do have a right to protect themselves.

Is there an exception to being charged as described under Penal Code 626.10?

Yes- If the weapon confiscated was used for a lawful purpose within the scope of the person’s employment; or for lawful use in or around a residence or residential facility located upon those grounds or for lawful use in food preparation or consumption; or if the person has the written permission of the school principal or his or her designee.

PC 626.10 – Sentencing

What are the penalties for a violation of California Penal Code 626.10?

A violation of Penal Code 626.10 (a) can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony; if the weapon is on school premises of kindergarten or grades 1 to 12 instruction, and the weapon is either a: spot marking gun for design, a BB gun, a gun, dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife, folding knife, open razer, stun or taser gun. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty of confinement upon a conviction is no more than 1 year in jail with fines not exceeding $1,000; as a felony, the penalty of confinement upon a conviction is no more than 16 months, 2, or 3 years in State Prison with fines not exceeding $10,000.

The same violation of Penal Code 626.10 when the weapon brought on the premises of instruction of kindergarten or grades 1 to 12 instruction, is a box cutter is charged as a misdemeanor, with penalty confinement upon a conviction exceeding no more than 1 year in jail with fines not exceeding $1,000.

The same violation of Penal Code 626.16 when the weapon is brought on the premises of instruction in any California State College System or California State Community College or California private school, and the weapon is either a: dirk, dagger, ice pick, knife, folding knife, open razer, stun or taser gun. The violation can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If charged as a misdemeanor, the penalty of confinement upon a conviction is no more than 1 year in jail with fines not exceeding $1,000; as a felony, the penalty of confinement upon a conviction is no more than 16 months, 2, or 3 years in State Prison with fines not exceeding $10,000.

What are examples of a violation of California Penal Code 626.10?

  1. Jessica accused Billy of Stealing her backpack. He got angry and ran towards her. She pulled out a stun gun from her pocket, used it, and he fell to the floor. A teacher confiscated the weapon and called the police. The police inspected the gun, saw the voltage on the weapon, and arrested Jessica.
  2. Darryl, Matt, and Greg were in the hallway listening to rap music. Matt placed a razor in his mouth as a tribute to his favorite rapper and started rapping his favorite tune. A nearby student saw what Matt did and called the principal. The principal took Matt to the principal’s office and called the police. Matt was arrested.
  3. Dave and Charles got into a fight on campus. During the skirmish, a Swiss Army Knife fell out of Dave’s pocket. Another student placed his foot on the weapon and called the police. Both Dave and Charles were arrested. But Dave was also charged with the relevant statute.

PC 626.10 – Defending

What are some of the defenses to a violation of California Penal Code 626.10?

  1. Necessity for defense from the gang violence that is documented.
  2. Mistake, in fact, as the confiscated item is not a weapon defined under the statute.
  3. The accused was permitted in written and course of dealings to present and bring the weapon for a purpose related to a campus-related vocation, study, or function.

PC 626.10 – Hire a Lawyer

If you or your loved one is charged with a violation of Penal Code 626.10 PC call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
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Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

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