Prior to legally purchasing a firearm in California, you must first abide by a series of rules and regulations. These guidelines were created to ensure that you act responsibly as a gun owner. Possessing a firearm may provide owners with a sense of security and well-being, but, as we know far too well, if a firearm is put into the wrong hands the outcome can be tragic.
A Los Angeles woman is learning this lesson the hard way as she becomes the first parent to be prosecuted for unsafely storing a firearm after her teenage son brought the gun to school. 1
LA Mother Faces Jail Time After Son Brings Gun to School
Last May, the son of 41-year-old Leah D. Wilcken allegedly brought a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun with seven rounds of ammunition to Will Rogers High School in Van Nuys. 2 Once at school, Wilcken’s son showed the gun to a friend, who notified a school administrator who then informed the police.
Upon searching the student’s home the next day, police recovered a shotgun and four additional handguns. The guns, all unlocked and unsecured, were discovered in a dresser drawer, a kitchen cabinet and behind a dresser.
According to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, an individual who improperly stores firearms can now face criminal charges if a child, a mentally ill person or a convicted felon obtains the gun and commits or plans to commit a harmful act against others. 3 Despite the fact that the firearms were all legally owned by Wilcken, as a result of her negligence she was charged with four criminal counts under California Penal Code Section 25200. 4 The charges, which include allowing a child to carry a firearm off the premises, allowing a child to take the firearm to school, endangering a child, and contributing to a child’s delinquency, each carry a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
Wilcken’s son has also been charged as a juvenile for his actions.
What this Means for Gun Owners in California
Now more than ever, California prosecutors are cracking down on individuals who violate gun safety laws. This means that it is crucial for all gun owners in California to be up to date on the state’s latest rules and regulations – which can be found here. If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to keep the firearm in a secure area where children (or anyone else that may not legally posses a gun) can not access the gun and cause harm to others or to themselves. If your guns are not properly secured, you run the risk of spending time behind bars and being forced to pay a series of hefty fines.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are accused of violating Penal Code 25200 or any gun law, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal defense law firm to vigorously fight for you. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys will work around the clock to ensure that you have the best possible chance of winning your case. If you or a loved one is facing firearm charges, let us help.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [Los Angeles Daily Journal – “Gun Storage Case Filed” – October 16, 2014 ]↩