Failed New York Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad was charged with, among other things, attempting to use a “weapon of mass destruction”. The alleged weapon was a “destructive device” more commonly referred to as a bomb. Shahzad faces federal charges for his alleged crimes.
California has its own set of law relating to weapons of mass destruction. They are reflected in Penal Code 12303 PC California’s law against possessing destructive devices or explosives. Penal Code 12303 PC and its related sections punish possessing destructive devices or explosives. It’s the act of possessing these weapons that establishes criminal liability.
However, evidence that you intended to use these devices…or evidence that you actually did use these devices substantially increases your liability and your sentence. Simple “possession” subjects you to possible county jail or a maximum three year state prison sentence. “Use” raises your sentence by one year.
If you intend to cause death, or actually do cause death or great bodily injury, (as Shahzad allegedly did), you face life in prison and/or possible murder charges.