Articles Posted in Weapon Possession

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On Monday, police received an anonymous tip that a student at Jordan Intermediate School in Garden Grove had a weapon. They responded and discovered an eighth grade student at that school had a .38 caliber semiautomatic handgun in his possession along with a loaded clip in his pocket. Nobody was injured.

The child was arrested and sent to Orange County Juvenile Hall on weapons charges. Police discovered that the handgun was registered to a member of his family. They quickly obtained a warrant and searched his home, where they found a .22 caliber firearm that was not registered. The owner of that gun was cited and released.

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Only one day after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, Marcos Gurrola allegedly took out a .40-caliber Glock handgun in a crowded Orange County mall parking lot and fired 54 rounds toward the Macy’s building. He stopped shooting and surrendered when two Newport Beach police officers on bicycles arrived. Gurrola was in possession of six magazines for his handgun, with even more in his car.

He was charged with 54 felony counts of firing a weapon at an inhabited dwelling, 2 counts of assault, plus two firearm enhancements. The reasons for Gurrola’s actions are inconclusive. He reportedly claimed that when he fired his gun, it made him feel better. Police said in 2012 that Gurrola told a detective he fired his gun because he was angry, but was not aiming at anybody.

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In a recent story from the Orange County Register, the wife of Oceanside police chief Frank McCoy suffered a fit of depression in 2010 that stemmed from a domestic argument between her and her 17-year old son. Outraged that Mr. McCoy took the side of the son during the dispute, wife Brinda McCoy, 49, took the law into her own hands. She grabbed a gun and initiated a fierce standoff with police officers outside their Cypress home in Orange County, at one point firing several shots in the direction of officers before coming out her front door saying, “f——– shoot me,” disobeying officer’s orders for her to show her hands. She was quickly subdued by the SWAT team and arrested.

During the criminal trial, prosecutors contend that McCoy ignored the law by waving and pointing her husband’s service semiautomatic handgun at them and firing twice. McCoy denied seeing officers, or shooting at them. On June 18, 2012, Brinda McCoy was convicted of five counts of assault on police officers. Although she walked out of the courthouse on bail and in tears, she is lucky to be alive. Pointing or firing a handgun at police officers will result in police firing back with intent to kill. Similarly, disobeying police orders to show her hands increases tension in officers already on edge, knowing she was in possession of a weapon that she had already fired twice.

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The rapper Lil’ Wayne started a one year jail sentence for possession of a deadly weapon yesterday. More precisely, he was convicted in New York for having a loaded gun on his tour bus. (As a side note, his sentencing was delayed twice. Once so that he could have his diamond-studded braces removed [probably a good thing before going into custody] and yet again because of a flood at the Manhattan courthouse.) This plea-bargain was not rash. He presumably had good attorneys and the case was fought for several years. Lil’ Wayne was originally arrested on this charge back in 2007. What is surprising is the severity of the sentence. As an Orange County criminal law attorney or criminal defense lawyer, I have represented numerous defendants charged with possession of a deadly weapon and many of those weapons have been loaded guns. Never have I had a client sentenced to such a lengthy jail term, however.

While it is possible that authorities are intent on making an example of him, it may also be the case that something warranted such a large sentense: Lil’ Wayne’s background or RAP sheet. Prior convictions will ALWAYS increase the penalties for future trangressions. I don’t know if Lil’ Wayne had ever been convicted before, but the fact that he still faces felony weapon and drug charges in Arizona suggests that he is not new to run-ins with the law.

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