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View Full Version : Transporting a handgun - NOT THE USUAL QUESTION


yiha
05-01-2006, 4:35 PM
OK,
Today i got into a bit of an argument about how to legally transport a handgun.

I talked to somebody who claimed it was legal to have an unloaded handgun unlocked in the car as long as it was in sight.
I said i thought you had to have the gun locked up in a case or a compartment such as the trunk or some glovebox with a lock on it with unloaded mags +++.

is this true??

Nismo
05-01-2006, 4:53 PM
......................

Nismo
05-01-2006, 4:56 PM
http://www.gunlaw.com/transp.htm

Hunter
05-01-2006, 5:00 PM
OK,
Today i got into a bit of an argument about how to legally transport a handgun.

I talked to somebody who claimed it was legal to have an unloaded handgun unlocked in the car as long as it was in sight.
I said i thought you had to have the gun locked up in a case or a compartment such as the trunk or some glovebox with a lock on it with unloaded mags +++.

is this true??

Yes it is legal. The whole point of the law you are familiar with (gun unloaded and in locked case or trunk) is to allow for the concealed carry by a non concealed-carry licensed person. Any other transportation in a concealed fashion is highly illegal unless one is licensed. On the other hand, openly displaying a handgun could get you a lot of headache and explaining by the nearest LE officer asking why you are doing it. Plus there could be local ordinances that you could be violating and not know it.


In the link posted above, the * footnote states:

*While legal in California, carrying an unloaded handgun in plain sight in the passenger compartment is not advised. If carried in plain sight, it might be noticed when you stop for gas or use a drive-through lane at a fast food restaurant; a passerby or clerk might overreact and call police resulting in an unnecessary as well as potentially dangerous encounter.

Hunter
05-01-2006, 5:02 PM
http://www.gunlaw.com/transp.htm


Nismo,
Please read the link you provided. It is legal to transport openly it states:

"Handguns may not be transported concealed within a motor vehicle. They must either be kept in plain sight*, locked in the vehicle's trunk, or in a locked container in the vehicle other than the utility or glove compartment. "

Matt C
05-01-2006, 5:04 PM
Plus there could be local ordinances that you could be violating and not know it.
Not really, unless you live is a city like S.F. that ignores state law.

Nismo
05-01-2006, 5:04 PM
Yes, sorry, I was reading it and decided to delete my previous post but I guess you saw just before I deleated it.

yiha
05-01-2006, 5:06 PM
ok thanks guys.

bwiese
05-01-2006, 5:10 PM
Yes, it's true, but expect deeper examination of specific destination requirements.

Even locked/unloaded you can't drive around all day with handguns.

petey
05-01-2006, 5:14 PM
A good source for all CA laws:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

search under 12025 and 12026 of the Penal Code.

Yes, a handgun can be carried in a car, but to avoid being "concealed" it would have to be in such a manner that it is very conspicuous. That means that soccer-mom in her SUV or big red in his Kenworth are going to see it. When the police pull you over, you will be looking down the barrels of loaded guns.

12031 prohibits carrying a loaded firearm, and gives the police the power to inspect a firearm.

After the police pull you over, and have you exit the car at gunpoint, they will examine the firearm to see if it is loaded. They will also search the interior of the car for other weapons or ammunition. At some point, they will release you and you will be allowed to drive away. 5 minutes later, they will pull you over again, just to make sure that the firearm isn't loaded. This can make for a very long commute.

Hunter
05-01-2006, 5:22 PM
Yes, it's true, but expect deeper examination of specific destination requirements.

Even locked/unloaded you can't drive around all day with handguns.


Do you have any reference #s for the "destination requirements" portion of the law? All of the destination requirements I know of (i.e hunting, fishing, going to/from gun range, ect...) are all for exceptions to the laws for carry/tranportation. But your posts makes it sound like one must have a destination for all cases when one wants to transport a firearm.
Thanks

bwiese
05-01-2006, 6:22 PM
Rather than re-dig this up yet again I'll quote user Librarian as he just posted this over on THR forum....


I read the section this way:

12025 says you can't carry a concealed weapon (without CCW)

12026 says 12025 does not apply to your home or your business.

12026.1 says it's possible to move the concealable firearm under conditions of 'packaging', as specified.

12026.2 is a list of places you can move those weapons to and from; section (c)

(c) This section does not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful carrying or transportation of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in accordance with this chapter.

is the 'escape clause' indicating the list is not prescriptive, but is a list that the legislature wanted made clear were exceptions.



So, briefly, basically you have exemptions from concealed gun laws to go to specific lawful locations as long as you're locked/unloaded. That is, you're banned from doing lots of things but layers of the onion are peeled back to allow you to do a few specific things.

I have no idea if this has been prosecuted or not. The same concept is more tightly restated/specified in CA assault weapons law for registered assault weapons.

xLusi0n
05-01-2006, 6:53 PM
here's an idea, everyone with a gun carry it open, unloaded (legally) all the time...cops can harass you, but not arrest you...maybe this will push sherrifs to issue more CCWs :) OOOORRR this backfires and they ban guns or ban open carry....

bwiese
05-02-2006, 12:52 AM
Dude,

here's an idea, everyone with a gun carry it open, unloaded (legally) all the time...cops can harass you, but not arrest you...maybe this will push sherrifs to issue more CCWs :) OOOORRR this backfires and they ban guns or ban open carry....

No, that's not an idea. Didn't you read my previous post(s)?

You can't transport handguns all the time, just for limited specific periods/destinations. Locked up/unloaded irrelevant.

If you wanna cruise around with a gun all the time, it's gotta be a long gun that's not an assault weapon.

metalhead357
05-02-2006, 1:02 AM
If you wanna cruise around with a gun all the time, it's gotta be a long gun that's not an assault weapon.

Or go get a CCW and be done with the worries..................

Python2
05-02-2006, 7:11 AM
Oh boy! I believe and I have to read the firearms law again. By the way I have done these many times in my years. For long guns I have exposed gun rack behind front seat of my Land Cruiser and never had any problem with it. Nobody even check if its loaded or not. Of course its always unloaded. Handguns you are correct except the globe box you mentioned. Either its in the back of your car trunk or if you have no car trunk it must be in a locked cased, period. The issue of a loaded magazine even separated from your automatic is a contested issue. To be safe it is suggested that the magazine be also unloaded.

slo5oh
05-02-2006, 10:19 AM
A good source for all CA laws:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

search under 12025 and 12026 of the Penal Code.

Yes, a handgun can be carried in a car, but to avoid being "concealed" it would have to be in such a manner that it is very conspicuous. That means that soccer-mom in her SUV or big red in his Kenworth are going to see it. When the police pull you over, you will be looking down the barrels of loaded guns.

12031 prohibits carrying a loaded firearm, and gives the police the power to inspect a firearm.

After the police pull you over, and have you exit the car at gunpoint, they will examine the firearm to see if it is loaded. They will also search the interior of the car for other weapons or ammunition. At some point, they will release you and you will be allowed to drive away. 5 minutes later, they will pull you over again, just to make sure that the firearm isn't loaded. This can make for a very long commute.

You better hope they don't find anything you might have forgotten about or you'll be in cuffs calling for bail. I found a 4 or 5 year old sample of vicoden the dentist gave me when I cracked a tooth. It was in my car and had wedged sorta under the carpet. I thought about how much of a headache that could have caused me if I had been pulled over on a trip to the range with 4 rifles, 2 pistols and about 1000 rounds of ammo. It's way beyond "common sense", you need to look at everything and think "what's the worst case...". I agree that one of us needs to be the sacrificial lamb, but I don't want to be him. ;)

FreedomIsNotFree
05-02-2006, 10:20 AM
There is nothing in the law that says the magazine must be unloaded as long as it is seperated from the handgun and the handgun is locked in a container/case....obviously a locked case can NOT be the glove compartment or console.

petey
05-02-2006, 10:54 AM
There is nothing in the law that says the magazine must be unloaded as long as it is seperated from the handgun and the handgun is locked in a container/case....obviously a locked case can NOT be the glove compartment or console.

You are forgetting the difference between statutory law and case law.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-02-2006, 11:08 AM
You are forgetting the difference between statutory law and case law.

Can you cite a case where a person was charged with posession of a concealed weapon given the circumstances I noted? I have seen NONE.

Python2
05-02-2006, 2:30 PM
The contested issue about loaded magazine is "is the magazine part of a gun or not" If it is considered part of a gun and the magazine has ammo then its loaded whether or not its removed from the gun.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-02-2006, 4:47 PM
The contested issue about loaded magazine is "is the magazine part of a gun or not" If it is considered part of a gun and the magazine has ammo then its loaded whether or not its removed from the gun.

Well....here it is....All you have to do is read 12031. As long as the gun is registered to you...

(g) A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of
this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell,
consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or
shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but
not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof
attached to the firearm; except that a muzzle-loader firearm shall be
deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder
charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder.


According to the law....I can legally transport my handgun sitting on my passenger seat as long as it is in a locked container and the loaded magazine is NOT attached in any manner to the pistol. I can simply keep the loaded mag in a seperate pocket of the backpack I have the locked container in. I cant see any law that would be broken under these circumstances.

Python2
05-03-2006, 5:05 PM
Well....here it is....All you have to do is read 12031. As long as the gun is registered to you...

(g) A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of
this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell,
consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or
shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but
not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof
attached to the firearm; except that a muzzle-loader firearm shall be
deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder
charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder.


According to the law....I can legally transport my handgun sitting on my passenger seat as long as it is in a locked container and the loaded magazine is NOT attached in any manner to the pistol. I can simply keep the loaded mag in a seperate pocket of the backpack I have the locked container in. I cant see any law that would be broken under these circumstances.

Very good point and you straigthen me out:) I read it and its quite clear. However, the above paragraph is not in the Cal Penal Code 12031 you mentioned but rather in Cal Firearms Laws 2005. I have both copies and I missed it when I read this contested issue in some thread. Thanks

FreedomIsNotFree
05-03-2006, 11:39 PM
Very good point and you straigthen me out:) I read it and its quite clear. However, the above paragraph is not in the Cal Penal Code 12031 you mentioned but rather in Cal Firearms Laws 2005. I have both copies and I missed it when I read this contested issue in some thread. Thanks

I must admit I was also somewhat confused on the legal limits of transporting a handgun. I had to read through all of it myself to get to the truth.

And the paragraph I quoted is, in fact, in 12031. Here is a link. Section 6 (g).
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=72496516443+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve