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View Full Version : Registered Gun on Truck Seat Considered Concealed?


bigyakisoba
05-16-2005, 5:29 PM
I have 2 related questions regarding California Gun laws:
1. If a person is the lawful owner of a registered handgun, may that person lawfully transport that handgun, unloaded, on the seat of their truck in plain view? Does it matter if there's a trigger lock on the gun?

2. Section 12025(a) of the California Penal Code seems to indicate that such a weapon cannot be concealed. But if gun is sitting on the seat of the truck, is it considered to be concealed?

Any insights you could provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks

bwiese
05-16-2005, 5:35 PM
I believe this may be the case (though laws may have changed a bit recently) and triggerlock is irrelevant.

...this was one of the 'unusual' things mentioned in book "Police Officers Guidebook to California Dangerous Weapons Laws" back in 99-2000. (This is approximate title of book, 8.5"x11", paperbound.)

However don't do this. There could be alternate 'disturbing the peace' charges, etc.

If you need a gun inside your vehicle, stick with an unloaded shotgun or rifle.

Bill Wiese
San Jose

chevy3044
05-16-2005, 6:05 PM
From the CA DOJ website

HANDGUNS

California Penal Code section 12025 does not prevent a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who is not within any of the classes excepted from firearm possession and who resides or is temporarily in California from transporting by motor vehicle any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person if the firearm is unloaded and in a locked container.

The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section 12026.1.

delloro
05-17-2005, 1:03 PM
yes, but the penal code itself only prohibits the concealed carry. the locked container is an exceptioon to *concealed* carry, not transport. IOW, *if* you have a concealed weapon, it *must* be in a locked case.

so it is perfectly legal, though not smart at all, to have the gun on your front seat. But only inbetween places you are allowed to posess it. you can't drive around aimlessly with a pistol, openly or in a locked case. you have to be headed somewhere where you intend to take the pistol, and where you are allowed to have it.

Knowing all of that, I keep them in locked containers. why ask for unnecessary grief?

bwiese
05-17-2005, 1:45 PM
Delloro...

delloro wrote:
...you can't drive around aimlessly with a pistol, openly or in a locked case. you have to be headed somewhere where you intend to take the pistol, and where you are allowed to have it.

Could you point me to the 'specific destination' law(s) in PC 12xxx for handguns? (That is, unloaded & locked up appropriately.)
I know there's one for AWs, of course.

Wondering if this is one of those things we just keep hearing about as 'urban legend'...

Bill Wiese
San Jose

gobabygo
05-17-2005, 1:50 PM
From the 2004 Own a Gun & Stay Out of Jail book by John Machtinger (pg.40) it says: "Because the concealed gun law applies only to guns that are partially or totally hidden, you may carry your unloaded handgun in your car as long as all its parts are in plain view. This practice is NOT recommended."

So it appears that what you said is technically legal, but note that the handgun including any magazines must be unloaded and in plain view. The book goes into more detail on what is "concealed" and and is "loaded".

gobabygo
05-17-2005, 2:16 PM
Originally posted by bwiese:
Could you point me to the 'specific destination' law(s) in PC 12xxx for handguns? (That is, unloaded & locked up appropriately.)
I know there's one for AWs, of course.

Wondering if this is one of those things we just keep hearing about as 'urban legend'...

Bill Wiese
San Jose

Bill-
The specific destinations are in PC12026.2 and are in regards to exceptions to PC12025 the Concealed Gun Law. It actually says that a gun in any container (whether it's locked or not) is technically considered "concealed". So the destination exceptions are the only times we're allowed to have concealed (in a locked container) handgun in our car.

bwiese
05-17-2005, 2:46 PM
Originally posted by gobabygo:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by bwiese:
Could you point me to the 'specific destination' law(s) in PC 12xxx for handguns?
Wondering if this is one of those things we just keep hearing about as 'urban legend'...


Bill-
The specific destinations are in PC12026.2 and are in regards to exceptions to PC12025 the Concealed Gun Law. It actually says that a gun in any container (whether it's locked or not) is technically considered "concealed". So the destination exceptions are the only times we're allowed to have concealed (in a locked container) handgun in our car. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, I've got it now.

Which means one should always be ready to go to Reno http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Lack of specific authorized destination would be difficult for DA to prove and prob not great grounds as an independent charge - without some other gun charge(s) also filed.

Bill

imported_Telpierion
05-17-2005, 2:53 PM
It looks like PC12026.1 allows you to have it if it's in a vehicle and in a locked container without mention of destination. The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle other than the utility or glove compartment. PC12026.1 also states The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm, the firearm is contained within a locked container. PC12026.2 just appears to be defining what a lawful purpose is.

delloro
05-17-2005, 3:58 PM
Originally posted by bwiese:
Delloro...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">delloro wrote:
...you can't drive around aimlessly with a pistol, openly or in a locked case. you have to be headed somewhere where you intend to take the pistol, and where you are allowed to have it.

Could you point me to the 'specific destination' law(s) in PC 12xxx for handguns? (That is, unloaded & locked up appropriately.)
I know there's one for AWs, of course.

Wondering if this is one of those things we just keep hearing about as 'urban legend'...

Bill Wiese
San Jose </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Ha! I musta confused urban legend with the AW stuff. I guess you *can* drive about aimlessly with a HG on the seat or locked in a container. Or in a belt holster.

gobabygo
05-17-2005, 5:41 PM
Originally posted by Telpierion:
It looks like PC12026.1 allows you to have it if it's in a vehicle and in a locked container without mention of destination. The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle other than the utility or glove compartment. PC12026.1 also states The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm, the firearm is contained within a locked container. PC12026.2 just appears to be defining what a lawful purpose is.

Telpierio-

I thought the same thing when read it, but then I re-read it and I believe the "lawful purpose" that is referring to only applies when you are OUT of the car.

imported_Telpierion
05-17-2005, 9:55 PM
I believe the "lawful purpose" that is referring to only applies when you are OUT of the car.

That's what I was trying to say. I guess I should have mentioned the two parts I quoted are two distinct paragraphs.

Turbinator
05-18-2005, 7:26 AM
Originally posted by delloro:
so it is perfectly legal, though not smart at all, to have the gun on your front seat.

Hi guys! While I'm not going to go out and test this, I've read through everything posted here, and I'm still not sure which section of the CA penal code allows you to have an unloaded plain view firearm in the passenger cabin of a vehicle, while you are driving.

I looked at Chevyfan's quote:

California Penal Code section 12025 does not prevent a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who is not within any of the classes excepted from firearm possession and who resides or is temporarily in California from transporting by motor vehicle any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person if the firearm is unloaded and in a locked container.

The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section 12026.1.

...and it clearly says that a firearm that is CAPABLE of being concealed on your person needs to be transported in a locked container, unloaded. A locked container includes the trunk. Nowhere does it indicate that you can transport a firearm unloaded on the seat of your car, because then it wouldn't be in a locked container.

Am I missing something here? And no, again, I'm not going to go out and test this out. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Turby

05-18-2005, 7:40 AM
DON'T DO IT!

A friend thought he could do it and while technically it's legal, he found out the hard way why it's not a good idea.

When the cop walked up to his truck and saw the gun he told him to get out very slow and to keep his hands in plain view. Had him laid out on the ground and then cuffed him up. After laying on the ground face down for awhile the cop let him up. Gave him a ticket for speeding and told him if he wanted to gun back he could go to court and explain it to the judge! He paid the ticket by mail and let the gun go, his only saving grace was the fact that the gun was a POS.

The cop told him that he was an idiot for doing that and was just looking for trouble. Sorry but I tend to agree, why bring that much attention to yourself?

delloro
05-18-2005, 8:17 AM
Originally posted by Turbinator:
...I've read through everything posted here, and I'm still not sure which section of the CA penal code allows you to have an unloaded plain view firearm in the passenger cabin of a vehicle, while you are driving....Turby

No section of the PC says you can. More importantly, no section of the PC says you cannot. Thus, you may.

delloro
05-18-2005, 8:25 AM
Originally posted by 50_Shooter:
...When the cop walked up to his truck and saw the gun he told him to get out very slow and to keep his hands in plain view. Had him laid out on the ground and then cuffed him up. After laying on the ground face down for awhile the cop let him up. Gave him a ticket for speeding and told him if he wanted to gun back he could go to court and explain it to the judge! He paid the ticket by mail and let the gun go, his only saving grace was the fact that the gun was a POS.

The cop told him that he was an idiot for doing that and was just looking for trouble. Sorry but I tend to agree, why bring that much attention to yourself?

well, I don't think it's smart, and I strongly advise against it, BUT that being said, I would have GLADLY gone to court, reterived my gun, and sued the cop for anything I could, filed complaints, 1983 claims, made a Pitchess motion, etc. for his being an a-hole.

cuffed and tossed in the squad car 'till everything checks out along with a "you are an idiot" lecture is appropriate, but laying me out on the ground and seizing the gun is uncalled for and the cop would pay in court. HE would have to explain to the judge why he seized my lawfully possessed and carried gun, which he had no right to do.

bwiese
05-18-2005, 10:03 AM
Ted wrote:
Then if you contest in court, you'll have to pay a lawyer to do the background research that determines that there's no law. Maybe some legal precedent.

That could readily be dealt with in a pretrial motion to dismiss. Even the most antigun judge, when presented with the fact that conduct is legal, would not likely let charge continue thru trial.

As I said above, the legality of this is plainly discussed in the book (approx. title) "Police Officer's Guidebook to California's Dangerous Weapons Laws". It's POST certified, etc. and clearly says this form of weapons transit is legal.

Heck, your lawyer could probably photocopy these pages and send 'em to DAs office and they'd drop the case even before trial.

[This book presents weapons situations in a casebook story style, followed by multiple choice Q&As w/explanations. Mine is dated in late 90s. There are probably newer releases.]

However legal this conduct is, related charges could be filed - in government types' minds, it's perilously near brandishing and threatening conduct and disturbing the peace

Bill Wiese
San Jose

imported_Telpierion
05-18-2005, 12:57 PM
Another thing, what if it slides between the seats or under it? It would then be a concealed weapon and illegal. The second that happened Murphy's Law would strike and you would be seeing flashing lights in your rear view mirror.

delloro
05-18-2005, 3:01 PM
Originally posted by Technical Ted:
Reasonable cause. He saw a weapon and considered you a threat.

reasonable cause for what? if you mean a reasonable, articulable suspicion for a Terry stop, that's irrelevant, as I was already stopped for a traffic violation.. If you mean probable cause for arrest, that's debatable, but not in issue, as I already said I would understand being cuffed and placed in the back seat of the police car.

Then if you contest in court, you'll have to pay a lawyer to do the background research that determines that there's no law. Maybe some legal precedent.

No, I am a lawyer, and there is no law preventing me from driving with the unconcealed, unloaded handgun on my seat (not within 1000' of a school).

Probably some court fee, not to mention tying up a legal system that should be prosecuting real criminals.

the filing fees are not that much, definitely worth the fight, and the court system is also properly used in disciplining a-holes such as cops who try to make too much of a point to law-abiding citizens.

If you got the handgun back, you'll have invested more in it than it was worth.

when I get my handgun back it will be extra-special anyways as having been an instrument of freedom. to me, at least.

Next bill season, there'd be a state law prohibiting open carry in vehicles, that we'd call Delloro's Law (Which reminds me, there could be laws against transport as descried at the county or municipal level).

the legislature isn't waiting for me or anybody else. besides, nobody would get killed, so it would not be enough for a new law.

In the end the judge can say you win and withold the firearm as a public hazard.

If you mean a public *nuisance* I disagree. You can't just declare something a public nuisance. in fact, the Penal Code deals with firearms declared to be a public nuisance, circumstances which do not apply to the legal open carry.

I would get my gun back.

the cop and/or the judge who feel differently can take a long walk off a short pier; I have the law on my side, and I'm not afraid to use it.

AGAIN, for listeners just tuning in, I do not recommend carrying pistols in cars open on the front seat, even though it is legal.

05-19-2005, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by delloro:
AGAIN, for listeners just tuning in, I do not recommend carrying pistols in cars open on the front seat, even though it is legal.

It is by all rights legal to bash oneself in the head with a hammer, however this is not a prudent course of action IMO.

05-19-2005, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by delloro:

No, I am a lawyer, (snip).

Just curious...
In what field of law do you specialize?

delloro
05-20-2005, 8:11 AM
Originally posted by Basura Blanca:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by delloro:
AGAIN, for listeners just tuning in, I do not recommend carrying pistols in cars open on the front seat, even though it is legal.

It is by all rights legal to bash oneself in the head with a hammer, however this is not a prudent course of action IMO. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

ha ha go ahead - knock yourself out!!!!

civil law BTW.

bwiese
05-20-2005, 10:02 AM
Delloro...

If you mean a public *nuisance* I disagree. You can't just declare something a public nuisance. in fact, the Penal Code deals with firearms declared to be a public nuisance, circumstances which do not apply to the legal open carry.
I would get my gun back.

I am glad you would fight. Perhaps you could do your own case since you're a lawyer and/or they might not even file if they knew you as a lawyer knew the details.

But it seems similar cases have popped up in other states in regard to 'open carry'. Even where 'open carry' is legal, walking down the street holstered up apparently can result in disturbing the peace charges, etc. Any manipulation of an uncased gun - i.e., even moving it in/out of a car trunk - could be perhaps considered 'brandishing' if someone felt threatened. (These days, a 'reasonable person' is a sheeple and his antigun fears might hold sway.)



Bill Wiese
San Jose

05-21-2005, 8:03 PM
Originally posted by Technical Ted:

State law says we can open carry. <span class="ev_code_red">Don't see a lot of people excercising that right.</span>

I recall we had a discussion regarding open carry a while back. The general conclusion was to check local ordinances regarding open carry. General consensus was that it wasn't worth the potential hassles in a metropolitan area (Again there's better things to do than stand on the sidewalk or sit in the back of a cruiser wearing handcuffs).

You don't see 'em exercising that right because they've all been cuffed and stuffed into the back of police cruisers getting their a**es chewed out by the cops.

http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif