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PC 30300 – 30320 Ammunition Crimes: Law, Punishment & Defense

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

There are a variety of laws in California that make certain actions involving firearm ammunition a crime. The following information is a summary of common California criminal laws related to firearm ammunition.


Ammunition Defined: Ammunition means one or more loaded cartridges consisting of a primer case, propellant, and with one or more projectiles. This includes, but is not limited to, any bullet, cartridge, magazine, clip, speed loader, autoloader, or projectile capable of being fired from a firearm with a deadly consequence. Ammunition does not include blanks (SB 1235 Abbrev.).


Notice that the definition of ammunition includes products that house ammunition, such as magazines, clips, speed loaders, and more. However, ammunition does not include the various parts of a firearm that do not house ammunition.


Note: The jail or prison sentence listed below for each ammunition crime is not the only penalties associated with that crime. Other penalties for violations of these ammo crimes can include, but are not limited to, the following: fines, court fees, loss of the right to own or possess firearms and ammo, deportation or denial of reentry into the United States (for non-US citizens), loss of a professional license, denial of entry or discharge from the military, restitution, criminal protective orders, civil lawsuits, and more. For more information see Professional Licensure and Criminal Convictions, Immigration Consequences and Criminal Convictions, & Military Enlistment and Criminal Convictions.


Three Strikes Law: Ammunition crimes are not considered strike offenses, serious felonies, or violent felonies under California's Three Strikes Law. As such, jail and prison sentences related to ammo crime are may be reduced by up to fifty percent (50%) for good conduct behavior. This is also known as day-for-day credit. This fifty percent (50%) reduction also applies to work release sentences that might be ordered as an alternative to a jail sentence. Finally, ammo crimes are considered non-violent for purposes of Prop 57 (early release from incarceration for non-violent offenders serving time for multiple convictions).


PC 30300(a)(1): Sale of ammo to a minor under the age of eighteen (18)

  • Classification: Misdemeanor

  • Jail Sentence: Maximum jail sentence for PC 30300(a)(1) is 180 days

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are available in PC 30300(a)(1) cases. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30300(a)(1) can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest.

  • Note: PC 30300(a)(1) violations carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession

PC 30300(a)(2): Sale of handgun ammunition to a minor (under 21)

  • Classification: Misdemeanor

  • Jail Sentence: Maximum jail sentence for PC 30300(a)(2) is 180 days

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are available in Pc 30300(a)(2) cases. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30300(a)(2) can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest.

  • Note: PC 30300(a)(2) violations carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession

PC 30300(a)(3): Knowingly give ammo to a person prohibited

  • Classification: Misdemeanor

  • Jail Sentence: Maximum jail sentence for PC 30300(a)(3) is 180 days

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are available in PC 30300(a)(3) cases. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30300(a)(3) can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest.

  • Note: PC 30300(a)(3) violations carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession

PC 30305(a)(1): Possession of ammo by a person prohibited

  • Classification: Wobbler (PC 30305(a)(1)) may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony)

  • Felony Jail Sentence: Jail sentence range for felony PC 30305(a)(1) is 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years depending on the presence of any mitigating or aggravating factors in the case, the defendant’s criminal history, and/or the terms of any plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney (among other factors).

  • Misdemeanor Jail Sentence: Jail sentence maximum for misdemeanor PC 30305(a)(1) is 1 year in the county jail.

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are available in PC 30305(a)(1) cases. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30305(a)(1) can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest. Also, Probation sentences for felony PC 30305(a)(1) are monitored by a probation officer; probation sentences for misdemeanor PC 30305(a)(1) are monitored by the Clerk of the court.

  • PC 1170(h) Sentencing: No, PC 1170(h) sentencing is not available in PC 30305(a)(1) cases. This means that if the defendant is convicted of PC 30305(a)(1), and the defendant is not granted a probation sentence, then the defendant must serve her incarceration in a California state prison, as opposed to a local county jail. In addition, the defendant’s prison sentence may not be split (served partially out of prison on work release), or suspended (not served subject to conditions of the court). For more information see, PC 1170(h) Sentencing.

  • Note: Felony violations of PC 30305(a)(1) carry a lifetime ban on firearm possession; misdemeanor violations of PC 30305(a)(1) carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession.

PC 30306(a): Unlawful transfer of firearm ammunition

  • Classification: Misdemeanor

  • Jail Sentence: The maximum jail sentence for PC 30306(a) violation is 1 year in jail.

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are allowed in PC 30306(a) cases. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30306(a) can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest.

  • Note: PC 30306(a) violation carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession.

PC 30310: Carrying firearm ammunition onto school grounds

  • Classification: Misdemeanor

  • Jail Sentence: The maximum jail sentence for PC 30310 is 180 days

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentence are allowed in PC 30310 cases. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30310 can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest. Probation sentence in PC 30310 cases are monitored by the Clerk of the court, as opposed to a probation officer.

  • Note: PC 30310 violation carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession

PC 30312: Illegal transfer of handgun ammunition

  • Classification: Misdemeanor

  • Jail Sentence: The maximum jail sentence for convictions of PC 30312 is 180 days

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, a probation sentence instead of a jail sentence is allowed in PC 30312 cases, but a probation sentence is not guaranteed. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted in a PC 30312 case depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30312 can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest. Probation sentences for PC 30312 are monitored by the Clerk of the court, as opposed to a felony probation officer.

  • Note: PC 30312 violations carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm ownership or possession

PC 30315: Possession of armor-piercing ammunition

  • Classification: Wobbler (PC 30315 may be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor)

  • Felony Jail Sentence: A felony conviction of PC 30315 carries up to a 16 month, 2 year, or 3 year jail sentence depending on the presence of any mitigating or aggravating factors in the case, the defendant’s criminal history, and/or the terms of any plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney.

  • Misdemeanor Jail Sentence: A misdemeanor conviction of PC 30315 carries up to a 1 year jail sentence.

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are allowed in PC 30315 cases depending on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30315 can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest. Also, Probation sentences for felony PC 30315 are monitored by a probation officer; probation sentences for misdemeanor PC 30315 are monitored by the Clerk of the court.

  • PC 1170(h) Sentencing: Yes, PC 30315 is subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that if the defendant is not granted a probation sentence after a conviction for PC 30315 the defendant may serve her incarceration in a local county jail, as opposed to a California state prison. In addition, the defendant’s jail sentence might be split (served partially in jail and partially out of jail on work release), or suspended (not served unless the defendant violates a term of her out-of-jail release). For more information see, PC 1170(h) Sentencing.

  • Note: Felony PC 30315 convictions carry a lifetime ban on firearm possession or ownership; misdemeanor PC 30315 convictions carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession of ownership.

PC 30320: Transportation of Armor-piercing Ammo

  • Classification: Wobbler (PC 30320 may be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor)

  • Felony Jail Sentence: A felony conviction of PC 30320 carries up to a 16 month, 2 year, or 3 year jail sentence depending on the presence of any mitigating or aggravating factors in the case, the defendant’s criminal history, and/or the terms of any plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney.

  • Misdemeanor Jail Sentence: A misdemeanor conviction of PC 30320 carries up to a 1 year jail sentence.

  • Probation Sentence: Yes, probation sentences are allowed in PC 30320 cases depending on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: the sophistication of the crime, the harm caused to victims, if any, the defendant’s criminal history, if any, and the terms of a plea agreement between the defendant and the district attorney, if any. Sometimes, a probation sentence for PC 30320 can include an actual jail sentence as a term of probation; however, jail sentences that are ordered as a term of probation are usually much shorter than any incarceration that could have been ordered if the defendant was not granted probation and that incarceration may usually be served alternatively on work release or house arrest. Also, Probation sentences for felony PC 30320 are monitored by a probation officer; probation sentences for misdemeanor PC 30320 are monitored by the Clerk of the court.

  • PC 1170(h) Sentencing: No, PC 1170(h) sentencing is not available in PC 30320 cases. This means that if the defendant is convicted of PC 30320 and the defendant is not granted a probation sentence, then the defendant must serve her incarceration in a California state prison, as opposed to a local county jail. In addition, the defendant’s prison sentence may not be split (served partially out of prison on work release), or suspended. For more information see, PC 1170(h) Sentencing.

  • Note: Felony violations of PC 30320 carry a lifetime ban on firearm possession; misdemeanor violations of PC 30320 carry a ten (10) year ban on firearm possession.

Ammo Crimes Defenses: The facts of each ammo crime is different; therefore, the relevant defense that applies to each ammo crime is different. For more information on any particular ammo crime defense see California Defenses to Crimes or contact a California criminal defense lawyer.


Post-Conviction Relief: After a conviction for any ammo related crime, the defendant has several post-conviction relief options, depending on her goals. These options include: Appeal the criminal conviction, withdraw her guilty plea, petition for an expungement of criminal records, petition for a certificate of rehabilitation, or petition to restore her firearm rights. If the defendant was cited for an ammo related crime, but she was never criminally prosecuted, or any criminal prosecution ended in an acquittal of the criminal charges, then the defendant may petition the court to have her criminal arrest sealed and destroyed.


For more information on California ammunition crimes contact our criminal defense lawyers today. Our criminal defense lawyers have handled hundreds of firearm and ammunition criminal offenses. We offer free consultations every day of the week. Our offices are conveniently located in San Bernardino County, including the cities of Redlands, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, and Rialto. Call today!


909-913-3138


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