Crime Related FAQ's
Are air-guns legal and where can I use them?
In a nutshell, air soft guns are not classified as “firearms” and therefore do not fall under any of the Penal Code sections regarding firearms. Applying the letter of the law to air soft guns, they are legal for minors to possess and use without adult supervision, however, it is illegal
to sell (PC 12551) or furnish them to a minor, under the age of sixteen, without their parent’s or legal guardian’s permission (PC 12552). On the other hand, I believe it would be prudent for any parent to supervise where, when, and how, these “toys” are used, due to the fact that they are liable for civil damages resulting from negligent use by their children. The negligent and/or intentional malicious use of these “toys” can be classified as an assault with a deadly weapon (PC 245).
As far as reported problems go, there have been numerous instances. Teenagers usually use these “toys” after sneaking into schools or playgrounds to have “wars” at night. These weapons are very, very, realistic. There have been other instances of people being shot at and items being vandalized by errant teenagers using these “toys”. These “toys” have also been used in crimes ranging from brandishing a weapon (PC 417) to robbery (PC 211).
In my opinion the best and only place for these “toys” to be utilized would be at a course specifically designed for their use, but there is no legal requirement to do so. I have incorporated the pertinent penal code sections applying to your questions.
PC§ 12001. Definitions
(a) (1) As used in this title, the terms "pistol," "revolver," and "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person" shall apply to and include any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. These terms also include any device that has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
(2) As used in this title, the term "handgun" means any "pistol," "revolver," or "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person."
(b) As used in this title, "firearm" means any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.
(c) As used in Sections 12021, 12021.1, 12070, 12071, 12072, 12073, 12078, 12101, and 12801 of this code, and Sections 8100, 8101, and 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the term "firearm" includes the frame or receiver of the weapon.
(d) For the purposes of Sections 12025 and 12031, the term "firearm" also shall include any rocket, rocket propelled projectile launcher, or similar device containing any explosive or incendiary material whether or not the device is designed for emergency or distress signaling purposes.
(e) For purposes of Sections 12070, 12071, and paragraph (8) of subdivision (a), and subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (f) of Section 12072, the term "firearm" does not include an unloaded firearm that is defined as an "antique firearm" in Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(f) Nothing shall prevent a device defined as a "handgun," "pistol," "revolver," or "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person" from also being found to be a short-barreled shotgun or a short-barreled rifle, as defined in Section 12020.
(g) For purposes of Sections 12551 and 12552, the term "BB device" means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.
(h) As used in this title, "wholesaler" means any person who is licensed as a dealer pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto who sells, transfers, or assigns firearms, or parts of firearms, to persons who are licensed as manufacturers, importers, or gunsmiths pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code, or persons licensed pursuant to Section 12071, and includes persons who receive finished parts of firearms and assemble them into completed or partially completed firearms in furtherance of that purpose.
"Wholesaler" shall not include a manufacturer, importer, or gunsmith who is licensed to engage in those activities pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code or a person licensed pursuant to Section 12071 and the regulations issued pursuant thereto. A wholesaler also does not include those persons dealing exclusively in grips, stocks, and other parts of firearms that are not frames or receivers thereof.
(i) As used in Section 12071, 12072, or 12084, "application to purchase" means any of the following:
(1) The initial completion of the register by the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the firearm as required by subdivision (b) of Section 12076.
(2) The initial completion of the LEFT by the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the firearm as required by subdivision (d) of Section 12084.
(3) The initial completion and transmission to the department of the record of electronic or telephonic transfer by the dealer on the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the firearm as required by subdivision (c) of Section 12076.
(j) For purposes of Section 12023, a firearm shall be deemed to be "loaded" whenever both the firearm and the unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from the firearm are in the immediate possession of the same person.
(k) For purposes of Sections 12021, 12021.1, 12025, 12070, 12072, 12073, 12078, 12101, and 12801 of this code, and Sections 8100, 8101, and 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, notwithstanding the fact that the term "any firearm" may be used in those sections, each firearm or the frame or receiver of the same shall constitute a distinct and separate offense under those sections.
(l) For purposes of Section 12020, a violation of that section as to each firearm, weapon, or device enumerated therein shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.
(m) Each application that requires any firearms eligibility determination involving the issuance of any license, permit, or certificate pursuant to this title shall include two copies of the applicant's fingerprints on forms prescribed by the Department of Justice. One copy of the fingerprints may be submitted to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(n) As used in this chapter, a "personal handgun importer" means an individual who meets all of the following criteria:
(1) He or she is not a person licensed pursuant to Section 12071.
(2) He or she is not a licensed manufacturer of firearms pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(3) He or she is not a licensed importer of firearms pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(4) He or she is the owner of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(5) He or she acquired that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person outside of California.
(6) He or she moves into this state on or after January 1, 1998, as a resident of this state.
(7) He or she intends to possess that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person within this state on or after January 1, 1998.
(8) The pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person was not delivered to him or her by a person licensed pursuant to Section 12071 who delivered that firearm following the procedures set forth in Section 12071 and subdivision (c) of Section 12072.
(9) He or she, while a resident of this state, had not previously reported his or her ownership of that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person to the Department of Justice in a manner prescribed by the department that included information concerning him or her and a description of the firearm.
(10) The pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is not a firearm that is prohibited by subdivision (a) of Section 12020.
(11) The pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is not an assault weapon, as defined in Section 12276 or 12276.1.
(12) The pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is not a machinegun, as defined in Section 12200.
(13) The person is 18 years of age or older.
(o) For purposes of paragraph (6) of subdivision (n):
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), residency shall be determined in the same manner as is the case for establishing residency pursuant to Section 12505 of the Vehicle Code.
(2) In the case of members of the Armed Forces of the United States, residency shall be deemed to be established when he or she was discharged from active service in this state.
(p) As used in this code, "basic firearms safety certificate" means a certificate issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 12800) of Chapter 6 of Title 2 of Part 4, prior to January 1, 2003.
(q) As used in this code, "handgun safety certificate" means a certificate issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 12800) of Chapter 6 of Title 2 of Part 4, as that article is operative on or after January 1, 2003.
(r) As used in this title, "gunsmith" means any person who is licensed as a dealer pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto, who is engaged primarily in the business of repairing firearms, or making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms, or the agent or employee of that person.
PC§ 12551. Selling BB Gun to Minor
Every person who sells to a minor any BB device is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 23, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 1995.)
PC§ 12552. Furnishing BB Gun to Minor
(a) Every person who furnishes any BB device to any minor, without the express or implied permission of the parent or legal guardian of the minor, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) As used in this section, "furnishes" means any of the following:
(1) A loan.
(2) A transfer that does not involve a sale.
Why is it a burglary and not a robbery?
When someone has their home broken into, they often say, "I've been robbed!". When you call our Communications Center may tell you, "No, you've been burglarized."
Per California Penal Code 459: Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, floating home, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, whether or not mounted on a vehicle, trailer coach, any house car, inhabited camper, vehicle when the doors are locked, aircraft or mine or any underground portion thereof, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.
Per California Penal Code 211: Robbery is the felonious taking of personal property in the
possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and
against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear.
In a nutshell, a robbery happens to a person. For example, a gun is pulled, pointed at you and money is demanded. Burglary happens to your house or car. Someone breaks a window, enters your home and takes your stereo, as an example.
Do you have crime prevention information?
Yes, we do. We have many topics to choose from, including information for kids, tips about your vehicle and how to secure your home and business. Please click here
for our main Crime Prevention page. If you would like more information, please contact our Crime Prevention Unit at (916) 875-5852.
How do I get a copy of a crime report?
Traffic collision reports are handled at our office at 2897 Kilgore Road. You may come to our office and request a copy of your report. All other reports are handled by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Records Bureau at 711 G Street. Please remember, you must have the "right" to receive a copy. For example: you are the victim. If you are named as a suspect, you must have a subpoena to receive a copy.
For more information, please contact our Traffic Division at (916) 876-7558 during regular business hours for Traffic Collision reports. Please contact the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Records Bureau at (916) 874-8383 during regular business hours for all other reports.
What is a hate crime?
The FBI defines a hate crime (bias crime) to be "a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin." Thus:
- If a thug beats up a randomly selected victim, the assault would not be considered a hate crime.
- If juveniles run through a neighborhood, randomly spray painting symbols or words, (no matter how vulgar they may seem) this is not a hate crime, it is vandalism.
- If a person assaults a friend or acquaintance out of anger, the assault would not be a hate crime.
- If a thug beats up a victim, and it is determined the victim was targeted because of their race, it would be a hate crime.
- If someone spray paints swastikas on a Jewish synagogue or 'KKK' on a known African-American church, this is a hate crime.
- If a person delivers a hate speech denigrating all Jews, or African-Americans, or gays, then this would not be considered a hate crime anywhere in the United States because no criminal act has occurred. Hate speech is protected under the First Amendment.
However, existing federal legislation does not recognize as hate crimes those criminal acts which specifically target women, the disabled and homosexuals.
The Rancho Cordova Police Department takes all crime seriously and will investigate them completely. If you feel you were the victim of a hate crime please contact us.
How do I find out if a Detective is working on my case?
You may call our Detective Bureau at (916) 875-9638. Our detective secretary can advise you of the status and put in touch with the detective. Please make sure you have the report number available. Be advised, we will only release information to the victim listed on the report.
I called to find out what was going on at a house on my street, and even asked an officer at the location, but they wouldn't give out any information. Why not?
It is a privacy issue. Let's assume for a moment that something bad was happening at your home. Would you want officers telling all your neighbors the details? If something tragic happened, would you want your family to hear about it from a neighbor or be contacted by law enforcement who could explain the whole story and answer their questions? Both victims and suspects have the right to privacy.
General information on a major incident may be released to the media to alert a larger segment of the community. Sometimes it is better to return to your home and click on the news.
My house was broken into. Why did it take so long to get an officer?
We apologize for any delay, but our officers must respond to calls based on a priority system. Calls in which the crime is "in progress" (happening now) are always responded to first. The first available officer will be sent, but since we cannot "plan" our day, we never know what the next phone call may bring.
We do not want you to feel afraid in your home. If you have a camera and your home is unsecured due to a broken window or door, take a photograph or two of the door or window. Then, do what you must to make your home safe and sound. It is far more important to protect yourself and your family than for us to get a fingerprint or a photograph.
While securing the access point is important, please do not clean up inside your home. Officers need to examine areas that the "bad guy" may have touched and assess them for evidence.
How do I get a restraining order?
Restraining orders are issued by a judge. Click here
to view the types of restraining orders and how to complete the process.
An emergency protective order is issued by a judge at the request of a law enforcement officer
where there is a danger of domestic violence, child abuse, abduction or elder abuse. Usually the law enforcement officer has been called out to a person's residence for a disturbance. If the officer feels an emergency protective order is necessary, then the officer will contact the court to speak to a judicial officer.
If you are issued an emergency protective order, this protective order is only temporary and you must
come to the William R. Ridgeway Family Relations Courthouse
at 3341 Power Inn Road, Room 100, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to file for an application for a permanent restraining order.
How do I get sex offender information?
Sex offender information is available by clicking here
. Through the State of California Megan's Law page you can access the most current records and query under several different criteria.