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View Full Version : Transporting in a car, trunk can be accessed from back seat?


chickenfried
01-27-2010, 10:31 PM
My trunk can be accessed from the backseat. The middle armrest folds down and there's a little door to grab items from the trunk. I'm guessing this trunk doesn't meet the definition of a locked container?

Surf&Skeet
01-27-2010, 10:38 PM
That sounds like a grey area, as trunks are considered locked containers generally, but if you can access it without unlocking it, I think a DA could easily argue it is not a locked container. You could argue that legislators were perfectly aware of trunks that are accessible from inside the car and did not expressly mention that they do not count. But good luck with that argument. So, when in doubt, don't do it.

Turo
01-27-2010, 10:38 PM
nope. not a locked container. My car is the same way, seats fold down and there's a hole into the trunk. Luckily, I had a subwoofer box installed and it blocks access from the cab. I don't know what to tell you, other than installing a sub box could help alleviate your problem, and enhance your driving experience :D.

tombinghamthegreat
01-27-2010, 10:45 PM
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Transporting#CONCEALED_handgun_transport

If in doubt take a cheap backpack or cheap container and add a cheap lock.

diablopilot
01-27-2010, 11:08 PM
I have a hatchback (trunk accessible from the passenger compartment), so my handguns go unloaded in locked containers, my long guns are just unloaded and in soft cases. I keep a blanket in the car to cover any cargo, and that also serves to prevent them being seen by LEO in the event of a stop, thus not giving them any PC to a check of the firearms loaded/unloaded status.

Just my response to my interpretation of the current laws.

DedEye
01-27-2010, 11:13 PM
I hate you. Loathe, even. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#How_do_I_legally_transport_a_handgun.3F)

spegull03
01-27-2010, 11:24 PM
So I could mount a holster to the trunk side of the pass through, and as long as its locked (and unloaded), I would be ok? nice...

loather
01-27-2010, 11:24 PM
I hate you. Loathe, even. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#How_do_I_legally_transport_a_handgun.3F)

Loathing is my job. :)

DedEye
01-27-2010, 11:37 PM
Loathing is my job. :)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3472/3367265715_96427509c4.jpg

ChrisO
01-28-2010, 12:02 AM
Lets say you are living out of your car at the time? I have a 4 runner and I have never locked any of my guns besides my pistol up and I can access from the back seat. My dad had a run in with a gamewarden a long time ago while in his 4 runner "while hunting" and the game warden told my dad if he is living in his truck he does not need a locked container. Care to shed some light?

Alaric
01-28-2010, 12:14 AM
Random interpretations of the law from misinformed LEO's should be regarded the same way a solution found by dividing by zero is... with incredulity, skepticism, and scorn.

a/0=b/s

Kharn
01-28-2010, 2:59 AM
Use a 50' length of paracord and drag your gun case from your muffler. :rolleyes:

GrizzlyGuy
01-28-2010, 7:37 AM
I hate you. Loathe, even. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#How_do_I_legally_transport_a_handgun.3F)

Loathing is my job. :)

LOL!

Lets say you are living out of your car at the time? I have a 4 runner and I have never locked any of my guns besides my pistol up and I can access from the back seat. My dad had a run in with a gamewarden a long time ago while in his 4 runner "while hunting" and the game warden told my dad if he is living in his truck he does not need a locked container. Care to shed some light?

If the 4-runner were up on blocks with no wheels, or otherwise permanently or semi-permanently disabled, that would be true. The relevant exemption for concealed carry is in 12026 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12026.html):

...who carries, either openly or concealed, anywhere within the citizen's or legal resident's place of residence, place of business...


And the similar exemption for loaded is in 12031 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12031.html):

(l) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person from having a
loaded weapon, if it is otherwise lawful, at his or her place of
residence, including any temporary residence or campsite.

The use of the phrase "place of" implies a fixed place, not a mobile place. So if your dad were living in a 4-runner that is capable of motion and not disabled as described above, the law would likely view it as a vehicle rather than a home. The concealed and loaded provisions related to vehicles would then apply. Note that there may be case law that changes or clarifies my interpretation. I'm not aware of any, but if anyone knows of some, I'd like to see it.

bwiese
01-28-2010, 9:50 AM
My trunk can be accessed from the backseat. The middle armrest folds down and there's a little door to grab items from the trunk. I'm guessing this trunk doesn't meet the definition of a locked container?

Correct. A "locked container" is not really defined by any standards, but if it has a big gaping hole (thru which you can get something even if another surface is locked) probably doesn't qualify.

Also, I have my doubts about trunks that have pushbutton openers inside the cabin. That could possibly construed as a latch, not a lock.

Turo
01-28-2010, 9:56 AM
Also, I have my doubts about trunks that have pushbutton openers inside the cabin. That could possibly construed as a latch, not a lock.

Now that's an interesting topic to discuss. Ever car I have seen (minus ones made 20-30 years ago) have buttons or levers in the cab that unlock or open the trunk. Heck mine even has one. Would this be overlooked in the instance of car doors being locked? so you have to unlock the doors to open the trunk?

ChrisO
01-28-2010, 10:12 AM
Guess I need to go get more rifle cases and locks.

DedEye
01-28-2010, 10:16 AM
How would living out of your vehicle reconcile with the laws regarding firearms possession in temporary campgrounds? Would any leeway in the subject be limited solely to car camping, or would they also work for temporary vehicle living?

timdps
01-28-2010, 10:24 AM
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Transporting#CONCEALED_handgun_transport


Do I need to transport a long gun in my trunk or other locked container?

No, except:

When traveling through Gun Free School Zones Federal law requires long guns to be in a locked container or a locked gun rack.

I was under the impression that the legal requirements for transporting long guns did NOT change in a GFSZ.

Tim

GrizzlyGuy
01-28-2010, 10:38 AM
How would living out of your vehicle reconcile with the laws regarding firearms possession in temporary campgrounds? Would any leeway in the subject be limited solely to car camping, or would they also work for temporary vehicle living?

If you put up a tent at a temporary campground (or just tossed your sleeping bag on the ground) your "place of residence" is relatively fixed. You'd have to pack up your gear and move it somewhere else to establish a new "place of residence".

If you were in that same campground sleeping/living in a vehicle, your "place of residence" would be less fixed. You could start the engine and move the whole thing in a jiffy. Your "place" would be continually changing as you drove. But if your vehicle were up on blocks without wheels, the place would be relatively fixed like in the tent case.

This is just my interpretation, I'd like to find some court cases to see if courts have taken a similar view.

DedEye
01-28-2010, 10:40 AM
I was under the impression that the legal requirements for transporting long guns did NOT change in a GFSZ.

Tim

Your impression was incorrect, though it would be very helpful if a citation could be added to this (and all the other) answers. (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#Do_I_need_to_transport_a_long_gun_in_my_trunk_ or_other_locked_container.3F)

GrizzlyGuy
01-28-2010, 10:45 AM
If you put up a tent at a temporary campground (or just tossed your sleeping bag on the ground) your "place of residence" is relatively fixed. You'd have to pack up your gear and move it somewhere else to establish a new "place of residence".

If you were in that same campground sleeping/living in a vehicle, your "place of residence" would be less fixed. You could start the engine and move the whole thing in a jiffy. Your "place" would be continually changing as you drove. But if your vehicle were up on blocks without wheels, the place would be relatively fixed like in the tent case.

This is just my interpretation, I'd like to find some court cases to see if courts have taken a similar view.

I did some Googling and found this NRA/ILA document from 2003 (http://www.cjrpc.com/interstate_1.htm) (per copyright notice at bottom) that seems to confirm my understanding:

Note:Generally, when a mobile home is readily mobile, i.e., when one can simply start its engine or the engine of its towing vehicle and drive away---even if it is capable of being used as a home--- a mobile home is considered a vehicle. If a mobile home is not mobile, i.e., it does not have an engine, or is not attached to a towing vehicle, and is on blocks, permanently connected to utilities, it is considered a house, not a vehicle.

timdps
01-28-2010, 11:45 AM
Your impression was incorrect, though it would be very helpful if a citation could be added to this (and all the other) answers.

OK, after looking at both Fed and CA laws, it looks like I was only aware of the CA law (below) which allows unlocked long guns. The Fed law does not have an exemption for long guns. Is a car trunk/locked camper shell considered a locked container for the purposes of the fed law?

Tim


(c) Subdivision (b) does not apply to the possession of a
firearm under any of the following circumstances:

(2) When the firearm is an unloaded pistol, revolver, or other
firearm capable of being concealed on the person and is in a
locked container or within the locked trunk of a motor vehicle.

This section does not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful
transportation of any other firearm, other than a pistol,
revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed on the
person, in accordance with state law.

GrizzlyGuy
01-28-2010, 3:53 PM
OK, after looking at both Fed and CA laws, it looks like I was only aware of the CA law (below) which allows unlocked long guns. The Fed law does not have an exemption for long guns. Is a car trunk/locked camper shell considered a locked container for the purposes of the fed law?


The federal law does have an exemption for long guns (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Gun_Free_School_Zones#Law) (their one for firearms is generally applicable):

(iii) that is—
(I) not loaded; and
(II) in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is
on a motor vehicle;


Car trunk - YES
Locked camper shell - I seriously doubt it

See here, click link in answer to go to the actual federal law text: Do I need to transport a long gun in my trunk or other locked container? (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/FAQ#Do_I_need_to_transport_a_long_gun_in_my_trunk_ or_other_locked_container.3F)

a1c
01-28-2010, 3:59 PM
Both our cars have this problem. One is a Jeep GC, the other one a hatchback. So the guns, when placed in the trunk, could be accessed from the passenger area.

The way I deal with this is simply by always keeping handguns in a locked box in the trunk (mine is a 50 cal ammo can with a padlock, with enough room for ammo, safety glasses and earmuffs). Rifles are not a problem, except for AWs, which are anyway always in a locked case as well.

timdps
01-28-2010, 5:56 PM
[QUOTE=GrizzlyGuy;3716233]The federal law does have an exemption for long guns (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Gun_Free_School_Zones#Law) (their one for firearms is generally applicable):

The California law has an exemption that does not require long guns to be in locked cases in GFSZs. I see no exemption for locked case long guns in GFSZs in the Fed law.

From the Wiki:
"When traveling through Gun Free School Zones Federal law requires long guns to be in a locked container or a locked gun rack."

Tim

nobody_special
01-28-2010, 6:36 PM
The federal law has been ruled unconstitutional. After that ruling, Congress passed the same law again adding that the firearm must have traveled in interstate commerce; however, it is my understanding that the new language would also be ruled unconstitutional using the same logic.

bsim
01-28-2010, 6:56 PM
It's funny (funny peculiar, not funny "ha-ha") that this site is one of the only ones I've seen really concerned about the federal GFSZ laws.

The other sites I've visited note that no one has been prosecuted under them, and if their state's otherwise don't have a school zone law, they don't seem to care about the feds.

dantodd
01-28-2010, 7:11 PM
It's funny (funny peculiar, not funny "ha-ha") that this site is one of the only ones I've seen really concerned about the federal GFSZ laws.

The other sites I've visited note that no one has been prosecuted under them, and if their state's otherwise don't have a school zone law, they don't seem to care about the feds.

I guess we just like to follow ALL the laws, and we demand the same from our governments. In fact, a few of us (not me) have filed lawsuits against said governments for NOT following the law. It would be rather hypocritical to then flaunt those same laws don't you think?