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View Full Version : Legality of a trunk gun in Cali?


CalGunsNoob
05-14-2006, 5:35 PM
Let's say you live in a county where you have that proverbial snowball's chance in hell of getting a CCW. And, as much as you respect police, you know they are not always available should the need for a good guy with a gun arise.

What are the legal issues of having a dedicated trunk gun?

Aside from going to and from the range can you roll with something in your trunk?

Any difference between handguns and long guns? (Personally I'd probably rig up a long gun...buf it both are possible you're all set..long gun for SHTF or Hollywood bankrobber stoppage and handgun for 'I broke down on ome deserted highway, cell isn't working, and I need to walk, etc.)

Thanks

Crazed_SS
05-14-2006, 5:42 PM
Thought about this. I think the best trunk gun would be a SKS for the simple fact that you could keep the rifle in the trunk with a bunch of stripper clips.

I would be concerned about leaving a rifle in the trunk because the car might get broken into. That would suck.

linuxgunner
05-14-2006, 5:42 PM
I'm sure others will chime in here with detailed legal info, but I think the long and short of it is that you can't keep a gun in your trunk (legally), but as with everything else in this area, they can't search your trunk without your consent or a good reason.

Anyway, you might be able to get issued. We are making progress on http://CaliforniaCCW.org. Many people who never thought they could / should apply are starting to apply. Not all will get their permits, but some will, some who never thought they would get one. So you do have a chance, in any county, and we encourage you to get active and apply.

house
05-14-2006, 5:45 PM
I'm sure others will chime in here with detailed legal info, but I think the long and short of it is that you can't keep a gun in your trunk (legally), but as with everything else in this area, they can't search your trunk without your consent or a good reason.


not to call myself an expert but the book they handed out in my ccw class at the sheriff department was titled something like "how to own a gun in california and stay out of jail" this is not correct as long as a gun is not a pistol or an assault weapon then you can keep it in you car as long as you do not have ammuntion physicallly contacting the gun.. at least that is my recollection of the passage....

blkA4alb
05-14-2006, 5:52 PM
Yes you can have a "trunk gun", as long as it is a long gun and not a handgun. You can only have a handgun in the car doing to specific locations, i.e. the range. You cannot just drive around and go to the store with a handgun in the car. However with a long gun you could have it unloaded in the passenger compartment if you so desired.

Do a search for trunk gun and you should come up with a thread, it was quite a few pages long if i remember.

pepsi2451
05-14-2006, 6:04 PM
Do a search for trunk gun and you should come up with a thread, it was quite a few pages long if i remember.

This might be it title truck gun not trunk gun. http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=19739

hoffmang
05-14-2006, 8:04 PM
Trunk guns are legal. Don't have it loaded.

I'm thinking about going the SU-16 route. Best case I can store two 10 round 5.56 clips loaded in the stock. Worst case, those clips are in a trunk well. If the bolts back and I have the right rack on the trunk roof, I'm a couple quick steps from a locked and loaded rifle.

Crazed_SS
05-14-2006, 8:23 PM
Meh.. I dont know about that.
Even though the mags arent inserted, the fact that they're loaded and attached to the guns might be a bit iffy.

I like the SKS idea because the stripper clips allow quick loading, but since they're not really mags or ammunition feeding devices, you couldnt be busted for having a loaded weapon.

A shotgun would be nice, but loading shells one by one would suck in an emergency situation.

hoffmang
05-14-2006, 9:01 PM
As I was saying, if there are no clips in the mag well or you choose the more conservative option, none in the stock. Loaded mags that are stored away from the SU-16 but in the trunk should be fine. Don't consent to a search and live a peaceable life but with an insurance policy.

-hanko
05-14-2006, 9:07 PM
You cannot just drive around and go to the store with a handgun in the car. :D ;)

Or if you do, realize you may end up in the can.

-hanko

Shane916
05-14-2006, 9:18 PM
http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/StateLaws.aspx?ST=CA

"It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle, shotgun, or handgun in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated area or an area where firing a firearm is prohibited. In California, a firearm is considered loaded if unexpended ammunition capable of being used in the firearm is attached in any manner to the firearm"

hoffmang
05-14-2006, 9:27 PM
Then not in the stock it is. Thanks for the clarification!

Shane916
05-14-2006, 9:43 PM
No problem :D

bdcc11
05-14-2006, 10:24 PM
I had an instructor many years ago tell me that a locked breaf case can have an unloaded gun in it. Even if a LEO looks through your car he can't open a locked breaf case without a warrant. Just don't keep any mags or ammo in the case with the gun. I think the law has changed and now you can't have loaded mags with you but back then you could.

A gun in the case and mags on me, if I see a cop I just move the combo locks on the case and it's locked. I don't do that now but there was a time when I felt I needed close access to protection.

Yes officer I am on my way home from the range. (I'm always on my way to or from the range;) )

Shane916
05-14-2006, 10:55 PM
Yes officer I am on my way home from the range. (I'm always on my way to or from the range;) )

You could always say your taking it to a gunsmith to have some work done on it :D

FreedomIsNotFree
05-14-2006, 11:05 PM
You can keep an UNLOADED handgun in a locked container on your passenger seat if you wish. Keep the loaded magazine in your center console or somewhere else with quick access. I do this and it takes me all of about 6 seconds to unlock my gun and load the mag.

And in terms of transporting it, I have seen NO laws that state you must take it directly to or from the range.

CalNRA
05-15-2006, 2:38 AM
And in terms of transporting it, I have seen NO laws that state you must take it directly to or from the range

DO NOT CARRY A LOADED MAG!!!!!!

while I like to follow the law and interpret to a minimum level of strictness as far as the writeen words are phrased, here is the hard, cold truth:

the cops can interpret the law as he sees it and arrest you for a loaded weapon and throw you in jail. Even if the DA is liberal enough to let you off you will end up with lots of legal bills.

best case senerio You end up a few days in the can talking to Manuel who just robbed a liquor store but can't be prosecuted because he is illegal.

worse case senerio you can get convicted by a spiteful Jury and an overzelous DA up for election and spend a year in Soledad with a guy that looks suspiciously like OJ who beat his GF half to death but only got a year because she refuses to testify against him so they could only get him for felony drunk driving.

DOn't carry a loaded gun, or a loaded magazine for that matter unless you are a convicted gang member working as a snitch for the FBI or DEA. It's funny because the quote from Packing.org is that a LEO in Alameda said you had to be a federal judge doing a mob case to get a permit in that county. So the law does permit people on both sides of the law to carry without consequences. Just not everyone else in the middle...

And in terms of transporting it, I have seen NO laws that state you must take it directly to or from the range

you know Icould have sworn that I have seen a law regarding "lawful destinations" with handguns, but I just can't find it...

FreedomIsNotFree
05-15-2006, 4:10 AM
The law is clear. I dont care what anyone says...I have never seen, nor heard, of ANYONE being charged, let alone convicted, of having a loaded weapon as long as the magazine is not ATTACHED to the gun.

12031.
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.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/pen/12020%2D12040.html


This is very clear. No dispute. It is legal to have a loaded magazine or clip as long as it is NOT attached to the gun in any manner.

CalNRA
05-15-2006, 4:45 AM
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=69145510187+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve


Can you fix the link? I can't seem to get any text from that page.

THanks for the info, I stand corrected.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-15-2006, 5:00 AM
Can you fix the link? I can't seem to get any text from that page.

THanks for the info, I stand corrected.

Should be ok now....sorry bout that.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-15-2006, 5:34 AM
It stopped working again...not sure why, but I just found another location and linked to that....it works now.

12031
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/pen/12020%2D12040.html

eviioiive
05-15-2006, 9:35 AM
howabout a garand...

Chaingun
05-15-2006, 9:45 AM
You could always say your taking it to a gunsmith to have some work done on it :D

Or how about "I was planning to shoot at a local range during my lunch break at work but was unable to.".

Or "I was planning to shoot at a local range on the way home, but the wife called and now a change of plans.".

Of course pistol unloaded in a locked container, ammo seperate.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-15-2006, 12:53 PM
Or how about "I was planning to shoot at a local range during my lunch break at work but was unable to.".

Or "I was planning to shoot at a local range on the way home, but the wife called and now a change of plans.".

Of course pistol unloaded in a locked container, ammo seperate.


Again....I have found NOTHING in the law requiring you to have a "reason"....there are explicit reasons that do allow for transportation, but it does not state that only under those transportation rules it is allowed.

Librarian
05-15-2006, 6:59 PM
Again....I have found NOTHING in the law requiring you to have a "reason"....there are explicit reasons that do allow for transportation, but it does not state that only under those transportation rules it is allowed.
Look back at the reasons.

I think you will see that

each reason/exception is a distinct occasion
each starts in a place where it is legal to possess a concealable handgun without CCW
each ends in a similar place (and the reverse trip is specified)
AND there is an 'escape clause' that says, in effect, the listed exceptions are not the entire possible list.

The legislature has NOT said "these exceptions and no others".

But I think that's close to what they MEAN, so I conclude that any transport outside that spirit is too risky. The mileage of other people may vary.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-15-2006, 7:21 PM
Look back at the reasons.

I think you will see that

each reason/exception is a distinct occasion
each starts in a place where it is legal to possess a concealable handgun without CCW
each ends in a similar place (and the reverse trip is specified)
AND there is an 'escape clause' that says, in effect, the listed exceptions are not the entire possible list.

The legislature has NOT said "these exceptions and no others".

But I think that's close to what they MEAN, so I conclude that any transport outside that spirit is too risky. The mileage of other people may vary.

So your thinking is there is language in the law that explicitly allows particular action, but the legislatures intent was something other? I dont follow.

If the law says something is legal what else matters?

hoffmang
05-15-2006, 8:08 PM
A point of clarification. Handguns and registered Assault Weapons have restrictions on having them in the car for transport to a valid place to use them. Rifles and shotguns do not suffer the same restrictions on transport. All rifles and shotguns have to be is unloaded.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-15-2006, 9:40 PM
A point of clarification. Handguns and registered Assault Weapons have restrictions on having them in the car for transport to a valid place to use them. Rifles and shotguns do not suffer the same restrictions on transport. All rifles and shotguns have to be is unloaded.

Please point us to the law that restricts handgun transportation.

There is NONE. AW's...yes....handguns....NO.

dmckean44
05-15-2006, 10:44 PM
Please point us to the law that restricts handgun transportation.

There is NONE. AW's...yes....handguns....NO.

Exactly.

long guns: unloaded but doesn't have to be in locked container

hand guns: unloaded in locked container including trunk

assult weapons: unloaded in locked container including trunk transported only between specified locations


From the DOJ website:

[url]http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/travel.htm[url]

Traveling with Firearms in California



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.



SHOTGUNS AND RIFLES

Nonconcealable firearms (rifles and shotguns) are not generally covered within the provisions of California Penal Code section 12025 and therefore are not required to be transported in a locked container. However, as with any firearm, nonconcealable firearms must be unloaded while they are being transported. A rifle or shotgun that is considered an assault weapon in California must be transported in accordance with Penal Code section 12026.1.



REGISTERED ASSAULT WEAPONS

California Penal Code section 12285(c)(7) requires that registered assault weapons may be transported only between specified locations and must be unloaded and in a locked container when transported.

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.

hoffmang
05-15-2006, 10:59 PM
I stand quite happily corrected, but I would like to point out that 12026.2 spends a lot of time talking about exceptions to the handgun transport rules. I see the reading that says that it states "nothing hereunder limits the legitimate carry of a firearm concealable upon the person" but I still think folks should be careful with a handgun as this may not be as completely open and shut as even the DOJ site is implying.

Read the three sections in order to get the flavor starting with 12025 and ending with 12026.2.

Either way, classic rifles are good to go.

artherd
05-15-2006, 11:10 PM
Please point us to the law that restricts handgun transportation.

There is NONE. AW's...yes....handguns....NO.
Unfortunately, there most assuredly is a general prohibition on handgun transport:

Source: http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/12020.htm

12025. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when he or she does any of the following:
(1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

Note no exemption for unloaded in 12025. Pistols outright banned. Ok, except for below....

Here we have the unloaded/locked case exception:

12026.1. (a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the following applies to the firearm:
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(b) The provisions of this section do 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.
(c) As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device.


And a series of sweeping exepmtions:

12026.2. (a) Section 12025 does not apply to, or affect, any of the following:
(1) The possession of a firearm by an authorized participant in a motion picture, television, or video production or entertainment event when the participant lawfully uses the firearm as part of that production or event or while going directly to, or coming directly from, that production or event.
(2) The possession of a firearm in a locked container by a member of any club or organization, organized for the purpose of lawfully collecting and lawfully displaying pistols, revolvers, or other firearms, while the member is at meetings of the clubs or organizations or while going directly to, and coming directly from, those meetings.
(3) The transportation of a firearm by a participant when going directly to, or coming directly from, a recognized safety or hunter safety class, or a recognized sporting event involving that firearm.
(4) The transportation of a firearm by a person listed in Section 12026 directly between any of the places mentioned in Section 12026.
(5) The transportation of a firearm by a person when going directly to, or coming directly from, a fixed place of business or private residential property for the purpose of the lawful repair or the lawful transfer, sale, or loan of that firearm.
(6) The transportation of a firearm by a person listed in Section 12026 when going directly from the place where that person lawfully received that firearm to that person's place of residence or place of business or to private property owned or lawfully possessed by that person.
(7) The transportation of a firearm by a person when going directly to, or coming directly from, a gun show, swap meet, or similar event to which the public is invited, for the purpose of displaying that firearm in a lawful manner.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-16-2006, 12:11 AM
Unfortunately, there most assuredly is a general prohibition on handgun transport:

Source: http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/12020.htm



Note no exemption for unloaded in 12025. Pistols outright banned. Ok, except for below....

Here we have the unloaded/locked case exception:



And a series of sweeping exepmtions:


artherd.....the prohibition on handgun transport is balanced by 12026.1. You even posted it yourself. So 12025 does NOT apply in these situations. Therefor, there is no law against transport as long as you follow the following....

12026.1. (a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any
citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or
is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted
classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or
Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from
transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the
following applies to the firearm:
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(b) The provisions of this section do 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.
(c) As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure
container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock,
combination lock, or similar locking device.

CalNRA
05-16-2006, 12:43 AM
Artherd:

the 12025 applies to concealed carrying a laded/unlocked handgun without a permit.

the very next section, i.e., 12025.1, said that 2025 does not apply to a locked and unloaded handgun.

12026 says that 12025 has not effect on transporting from lawful place of origin to lawful destinations.

the interesting part is that in12026.2, in its language it seems to say that if you are going from say your house to a place of lawful purpose such as to sell it, a gun show, or other conditions listed, or from a gunshop back to you house(12026a(6) that you highlighted), 12025 doesn't apply PERIOD. I know that when you purchase a handgun you can transport it from the store to your house without a locking container(at least that's what the local sheriff told me) as long as the ammo is ina locked containter.

Enzyme
05-16-2006, 1:44 AM
At the risk of inviting a visit from a bunch of heavily armed agents, I will say that I do have a trunk gun. I keep a Mauser 96/38 in a soft case with a few loaded stripper clips nearby. As far as I and the Culver City PD officers I spoke with know, this is perfectly legal. I considered a Garand at first, but loaded clips for a Garand are considered a loaded magazine as they remain inside the weapon and aren't just a "loading mechanism" like a stripper clip. Since, the trunk of my car is considered a locked container, it's all good.

Besides, a bolt action isn't as scary to people for some reason.

EDIT: Oooooh. Didn't realize this was my first post. I guess I can't lurk anymore.

FreedomIsNotFree
05-16-2006, 1:47 AM
Besides, a bolt action isn't as scary to people for some reason.

In the right hands it sure should be.....

Glad to hear you are taking the law to its limits....as am I.

hoffmang
05-16-2006, 12:27 PM
Trunk rifles with no ammunition in them or on them are legal.

pepsi2451
05-16-2006, 2:35 PM
12025. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when he or she does any of the following:
(1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

So if you have it sitting on your dash is it legal? If it is you could do that. Use a cheap gun incase a cop does decide to confinscate it. Maybe if you keep getting pulled over with it and harrassed by LE the sheriff would just give you a ccw.;)

gh429
05-16-2006, 2:42 PM
I stand quite happily corrected, but I would like to point out that 12026.2 spends a lot of time talking about exceptions to the handgun transport rules. I see the reading that says that it states "nothing hereunder limits the legitimate carry of a firearm concealable upon the person" but I still think folks should be careful with a handgun as this may not be as completely open and shut as even the DOJ site is implying.

Read the three sections in order to get the flavor starting with 12025 and ending with 12026.2.

Either way, classic rifles are good to go.

Those exceptions are there because people have been prosecuted for silly reasons. At one time it was ILLEGAL to conceal and carry in your residence or business until the legislators decided that was retarded. :) Be careful!

Librarian
05-16-2006, 5:33 PM
artherd.....the prohibition on handgun transport is balanced by 12026.1. You even posted it yourself. So 12025 does NOT apply in these situations. Therefor, there is no law against transport as long as you follow the following....

12026.1. (a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any
citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or
is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted
classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or
Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from
transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the
following applies to the firearm:
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(b) The provisions of this section do 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.
(c) As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure
container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock,
combination lock, or similar locking device.

OK. Then what is the effect of 12026.2? It's there - it has to mean something. I read it as a limitation on 12026.1, including the idea that not all legal transport 'occasions' are explicitly listed in the section.

What I was getting at, above, was that I think - for whatever value my thoughts may have, which is entirely questionable - that a reading of 12026.2 would establish a legislative intent to allow only limited exceptions to 12025 - CCW or those things listed, or things really similar to the list in 12026.2.

Having already established that I'm really risk-averse in this kind of thing, my free-and-worth-exactly-what-you-paid-for-it advice is "don't carry handguns around unless you have a specific and obviously legal event/occasion to justify it."

Pretty annoying to have to think that way, but we are in California.

And if you feel differently, as I am sure many do, I suggest we all observe traffic laws extremely carefully; the handgun-in-the-car issue will never come up if the driver never comes to the attention of LEOs, right?