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Justintoxicated
10-22-2009, 5:22 PM
Couple scenarios I wanted to get some clarification on.

First of all, I have 2 vehicles (geo Metro Hatchback beater car) and a Pickup Truck. Neither have a trunk.

1) I get my new handgun out of jail. It comes in a plastic box with a cable/trigger lock. So technically I have no legal way of bringing it home concealed? Even if I lock the gun using what is provided, and put it into the case this is an illegal transport? The only way to legally transport it would be to set it on the seat next to me (Can't set it on the dash in either vehicle because it is not flat).

2) I live next to a school. When I go shooting there is no way to NOT to get too close to the school. The second I leave my driveway I am within 200 yards. I want to transport my 22lr GSG5 to the range, I keep it in a soft non-lockable rifle case with a cable lock securing the gun. I am again violating the law because the container the gun is in is not locked even though the gun itself is locked?

3) It is legal to keep ammo stored in magazines that are not attached to the gun. Yet the law is somewhat interpretive so I prefer to simply not do this. However when it comes to my AR-15 with a BB how could I possibly be transporting ammo in a position ready to fire if a tool is required just to remove the fixed magazine?

GrizzlyGuy
10-22-2009, 5:32 PM
1) I get my new handgun out of jail. It comes in a plastic box with a cable/trigger lock. So technically I have no legal way of bringing it home concealed? Even if I lock the gun using what is provided, and put it into the case this is an illegal transport? The only way to legally transport it would be to set it on the seat next to me (Can't set it on the dash in either vehicle because it is not flat).

Correct. But since you need to drive through a school zone to get home, you need to have it in a locked container to comply with the school zone law (PC 626.9 + equivalent Federal law). From PC 12026.1: "Locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device."

2) I live next to a school. When I go shooting there is no way to NOT get too close to the school. The second I leave my driveway I am within 200 yards. I want to transport my 22lr GSG5 to the range, I keep it in a soft non-lockable rifle case with a cable lock secured. I am again violating the law because the container the gun is in is not locked even though the gun itself is locked?

Correct. See above. You need to have it in a locked container to comply with the law. Rifles need to be in locked containers per federal law, and handguns need to be in locked containers per both state and federal law. FYI, school zones extend for 1000 feet from any part of their grounds, so your house may actually be inside the zone.

3) It is legal to keep ammo stored in magazines that are not attached to the gun. Yet the law is somewhat interpretive so I prefer to simply not do this. However when it comes to my AR-15 with a BB how could I possibly be transporting ammo in a position ready to fire if a tool is required just to remove the fixed magazine?

You can store ammo in magazines that aren't attached to the firearm. In fact, in some circumstances thanks to People v. Clark, they can actually be attached. See here:

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Defining_loaded_in_California

And here for more info on the school zone laws:

http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Gun_Free_School_Zones

tombinghamthegreat
10-22-2009, 5:36 PM
well just to answer your question for handguns you can either put it into a locked container(anything counts, even a backpack with a lock) or you can open carry a unloaded firearm(as long as you are not knowingly in a school zone). You can have ammo right next to the gun, can have ammo in the mags, even touching the gun, as long as it is not put into a position to be fired from(people vs clark, PC12031). Now for a long guns as long as its unloaded its fine, you can conceal/ UOC, just be aware of school zones.

CaliforniaLiberal
10-22-2009, 5:50 PM
To start this discussion it helps to realize that California gun law is ambiguous, confusing, ridiculous and too often misunderstood by "highly trained" Law Enforcement and even local District Attorneys. You can search for hours trying to make sense of seemingly contradictory sections of the code, and then you might have to deal with someone else's different interpretation.

CalGuns is a good source of accurate information, just don't take the first opinion you read as gospel, you got to look around and get a feel for who knows what they're talking about. The GunWiki is a most useful resource. http://thegunwiki.com/

If your handgun is locked in a secure container and not readily accessible from the drivers seat you are legal and you should be fine with even the most twitchy cop.

Driving by the school with your handgun or rifle locked securely and in the back of the car there are no issues with the "safe" school zone, particularly if you only drive directly between the gun shop and home or home and the shooting range.

I believe that the letter of the law only requires that your gun be unloaded and the magazines don't matter, but I think at least once in years past a district attorney tried to make the case that loaded magazines by themselves are the equivalent of a loaded gun. So to be on the safe side I transport my magazines unloaded and the ammo in a separate container from the firearm. Just trying to soothe the twitchy cops that are looking for someone to bust for imagined gun law violations.

Now don't take my word for it, do some research and see if you can confirm what I've written here.

Good Luck!

CL


http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/

http://www.calgunlaws.com/

http://www.calgunlaws.com/index.php/faq/65-transportation-of-firearms/266-how-can-i-legally-transport-rifles-shotguns-and-ammunition-in-a-motor-vehicle.html

Cokebottle
10-22-2009, 5:51 PM
Just stop by Home Depot and pick up a small padlock on the way to jail.
Every hard plastic case I've seen a gun delivered in has loops for installing a padlock... or with a larger padlock, you could just hook it through the handle (a little harder to guess what size lock you'd need).

a1c
10-22-2009, 6:00 PM
Just stop by Home Depot and pick up a small padlock on the way to jail.
Every hard plastic case I've seen a gun delivered in has loops for installing a padlock... or with a larger padlock, you could just hook it through the handle (a little harder to guess what size lock you'd need).

Not always. We just took delivery of a PM9 for the wife, and to my surprise, it came in a hard plastic case with no loop or handle for the padlock I had brought. We put the case in the trunk of the Yaris' hatchback for the drive back home, knowing we were technically breaking the law.

Good thing I have a few .50 cal ammo boxes with a hook bolted in laying around, that's how we will transport it from now on until we get our CCW licenses.

Justintoxicated
10-22-2009, 6:07 PM
Is there a list of "approved" locks to secure a gun in a locked container?

It makes no sense that a cable lock is not good enough, if I can put a crappy luggage lock through the ends of some zippers in some bag.

tombinghamthegreat
10-22-2009, 6:21 PM
Is there a list of "approved" locks to secure a gun in a locked container?

It makes no sense that a cable lock is not good enough, if I can put a crappy luggage lock through the ends of some zippers in some bag.

the term locked container for transport is not defined, just as long as its not a glove box it is fine. A soft case, backpack, ect. as long as it secures it. the type of lock does not matter, as long as it works.

Cokebottle
10-22-2009, 7:11 PM
the term locked container for transport is not defined, just as long as its not a glove box it is fine. A soft case, backpack, ect. as long as it secures it. the type of lock does not matter, as long as it works.
+1

While the DOJ has some "approved" containers listed, these are considered "gun safes", even though some are small enough for transport.

The letter of the law is "locked container", so anything more substantial than a cardboard box with a $1.50 padlock on it meets that definition.

The laws regarding home storage where children may have access are more definitive, including the number of possible combinations, but a trigger/cable lock trumps the safe in any case.

I'm glad my kids are gone and none have access to my home.

Personally, I wish someone would challenge more of these laws, or author a bill to repeal them. UOC is a convenience for transportation, but the way the laws are written, a UOC weapon or an unloaded and secured weapon in the home is a useless weapon for personal defense. The bad guys aren't going to wait for you to open your safe and/or remove your trigger lock, then insert the mag.

hawk84
10-22-2009, 7:58 PM
would a locked car be a locked container

just lock your doors?

Cokebottle
10-22-2009, 8:08 PM
would a locked car be a locked container

just lock your doors?
The "letter of the law" is "locked container"

The "spirit of the law" is "weapon and ammo combination inaccessible to the vehicle occupants".


But I would love it if someone were to challenge the law and use your reasoning as a legal argument. It comes down to, is the intention of the law to protect the children from a drive-by, or to protect the weapon from being stolen?

In the case of the former, it's another nanny law that punishes the LAC who has no intention of committing a crime, and does nothing to stop the criminal who intends to violate the law before he enters the school zone... one more law isn't going to stop him. People screamed for more gun laws after Columbine... but those kids and those who supplied their weapons were already in violation of, what, 22 BATF statutes? One (or one hundred) more law(s) would have stopped them?

In the case of the latter, it's an extension of the trigger lock laws intended to keep children in the home from playing with guns and hurting themselves, which makes no sense if a vehicle is simply being driven through a school zone, and only makes slightly more sense if the vehicle will be parked unattended on school property.

a1c
10-22-2009, 8:25 PM
In the case of the latter, it's an extension of the trigger lock laws intended to keep children in the home from playing with guns and hurting themselves, which makes no sense if a vehicle is simply being driven through a school zone, and only makes slightly more sense if the vehicle will be parked unattended on school property.

I believe part of the reasoning behind that law was to make it easier for LE to bust potential drive-by shooters (school kids, affiliated or not, were and still are a common target in some gang-ridden urban areas).

Justintoxicated
10-22-2009, 8:35 PM
I believe part of the reasoning behind that law was to make it easier for LE to bust potential drive-by shooters (school kids, affiliated or not, were and still are a common target in some gang-ridden urban areas).

I agree, but, wouldn't a cable lock do the same or better than a "locked container". I struggle with the cable lock a lot more than I do with pulling a gun out of a locked case. I guess maybe its for the LEO's sake when pulling someone over, that it would be more noticeable for them to see someone removing something from a container, but then again, my 22 is in a container and it's locked, the container just isn't locked, and that wasn't the original intent of the law or was it?.

Furthermore, FFL's often force you to buy a cable lock with your purchase, but they don't force you to use a locked container to transport your new purchase home. It just makes it even more confusing.

Cokebottle
10-22-2009, 8:46 PM
but then again, my 22 is in a container and it's locked, the container just isn't locked, and that wasn't the original intent of the law or was it?.
The trigger/cable lock laws are fairly recent. The "locked container" laws predate them by... ohh... 50 or 60 years?
Furthermore, FFL's often force you to buy a cable lock with your purchase, but they don't force you to use a locked container to transport your new purchase home. It just makes it even more confusing.
Because the law requires that a trigger lock be available for every gun that we own (whether or not we opt to use one at home).
The FFL will not require the purchase of the lock if you can show a new lock with a receipt <30 days old (because we can only buy one gun every 30 days, the assumption is that any guns you had 31 days ago already have a lock paired with them).

They don't require the purchase of a locked container because multiple guns can legally be stored in the same locked container.


It would be interesting to survey shop employees to find how many people transfer newly purchased guns into locked cases or put a lock on their new case before leaving the store. My guess is not many.


Personally? Cable locks make great motorcycle helmet locks ;)

a1c
10-22-2009, 9:06 PM
I agree, but, wouldn't a cable lock do the same or better than a "locked container". I struggle with the cable lock a lot more than I do with pulling a gun out of a locked case. I guess maybe its for the LEO's sake when pulling someone over, that it would be more noticeable for them to see someone removing something from a container, but then again, my 22 is in a container and it's locked, the container just isn't locked, and that wasn't the original intent of the law or was it?.

As someone pointed, the point of the law is to make the firearm unaccessible from the driver or its passengers while in the vehicle. Most LEOs won't give you a hard time if you have your rifle in a non-locked case in the trunk of your car - in fact, I believe a car trunk is considered a locked container - someone in here can probably confirm or invalidate this.

Furthermore, FFL's often force you to buy a cable lock with your purchase, but they don't force you to use a locked container to transport your new purchase home. It just makes it even more confusing.

I never had a FFL force me to buy a cable lock. But they never forced me to put my purchase in a locked container either.

Cokebottle
10-22-2009, 9:17 PM
I believe a car trunk is considered a locked container - someone in here can probably confirm or invalidate this.
That is true, provided the car does not have a folding rear seat that can be folded without the use of a key.

This is also the basis for automatic issuance of a CCW in some states... ownership of a pickup or SUV dictates no trunk, thus, no way to truly secure the weapon and ammo so that is it not accessible to an occupant.
I never had a FFL force me to buy a cable lock. But they never forced me to put my purchase in a locked container either.
AFAIK, all new handguns include a cable lock (or a trigger lock for revolvers), but I may be wrong on that one.

Librarian
10-22-2009, 11:53 PM
See also the Calguns Foundation Wiki http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/How_do_I_legally_transport_a_HANDGUN%3F

The locked container bit, parts of 12026.1 and .2, date from 1986 and 1987, respectively.

tombinghamthegreat
10-22-2009, 11:59 PM
in fact, I believe a car trunk is considered a locked container - someone in here can probably confirm or invalidate this.


yes a trunk is considered a locked case.


The "spirit of the law" is "weapon and ammo combination inaccessible to the vehicle occupants".

what the laws says and the court rulings is what matters, not what was intended the law to be. there is nothing in the penal code that says the firearm has to be inaccessible to the driver. You could legally have a AK style rifle in your lap with loaded mags in between your legs(with exceptions mentioned earlier such as school zones).

Greg-Dawg
10-23-2009, 12:09 PM
Lock the case with a padlock or cable lock, not the unloaded gun when transporting; and separate mags and ammo. Place them, away from you. Drive by the school, no problem.

dantodd
10-23-2009, 1:41 PM
If your handgun is locked in a secure container and not readily accessible from the drivers seat you are legal and you should be fine with even the most twitchy cop.

There is no requirement that the gun not be readily accessible as long as it is in a locked container.