It's Ironic - You Don't Have to Personally Use a Firearm to be Convicted of Personally Using a Firearm in California
That’s right, you read that correctly. California law provides that you can be convicted of using a firearm even if you’re not the one who uses the gun. This is because Penal Code 12022 and PC 12022.5, California’s sentencing enhancements for “personally using a firearm” apply to any principal involved in the crime.
You are a “principal” to a crime regardless of whether you directly and actively participate in the commission of the crime or whether you simply aid and abet another person who does so.
This means that in addition and consecutive to the sentence you receive for the underlying offense, you will serve another one to five year state prison sentence if you or an accomplice uses a firearm.
These sentencing enhancements under Penal Code 12022 and PC 12022.5 apply to offenses when you or an accomplice either use a firearm or are even armed with a firearm. And to make matters worse, you can be convicted of these sentencing enhancements even if you don’t know that one of your accomplices is armed.