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jr916
01-12-2011, 1:52 AM
So, I've heard different answers from multiple sources on this one: the legality of open carry of an unloaded pistol in a belt holster while driving in a car. I thought that in the law that dictates the ridiculous transport/locking rules for handguns (PC 12025-12026.1), there was an exception (in sub-section "f" I believe) which states "Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section," meaning as long as the ammunition is not attached to the pistol (or not in a position from which it can be fired), and it remains OPENLY in plain sight (belt holster), then it's legal to carry as long as your loaded magazine is in a separate pouch. PLEASE, somebody point me to some legal information (not legal advice) or personal knowledge that can confirm or debunk the legality of UOCing in a car, I'm very curious as to what the consensus is.

caoboy
01-12-2011, 1:57 AM
You still have to deal with the 1000 ft rule of schools/Gov't buildings.

jr916
01-12-2011, 2:05 AM
Right, and you still have to deal with the "e" checks, but that's essentially the same hassle as when you throw some unloaded longarms in the back seat on the way to the range/hunt (i.e., in both situations the officer has the right to check your weapon to ensure it is unloaded, but that is all). Any other differences between this and regular UOC on foot?

Librarian
01-12-2011, 3:16 AM
Beyond confusing LEOs in potential contact - some are becoming accustomed to seeing UOC on foot - no, there is no difference between on foot and in a vehicle.

Decoligny
01-12-2011, 7:10 AM
You still have to deal with the 1000 ft rule of schools/Gov't buildings.

While there is a 1,000 ft rule in regards to schools, there is no 1,000 ft rule with regards to Government buildings.

If I misunderstood your reference and you were talking about not carrying "inside" a Government building, I remind you, the OP was talking about UOC in a vehicle, so I doubt he would be driving inside a Government building.

cmth
01-12-2011, 7:21 AM
The law only requires handguns to be locked up inside school zones, or, if you wish to conceal the handgun and do not have a permit, it must be unloaded and locked in a secure container. Otherwise it is not required to be locked up as long as it is in plain view, or worn openly in a belt holster. The relevant PC statutes are 626.9 and 12025. Exemptions to 12025 are found in 12026, 12026.1, and 12026.2.

MudCamper
01-12-2011, 7:24 AM
http://www.californiaopencarry.org/CaliforniaOpenCarry.pdf

http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/showthread.php?67322-Read-This-First-California-Open-Carry-Information

Crom
01-12-2011, 7:35 AM
It's called open transport, prior to the locked container exemption it was the only legal method to transport handguns.

jr916
01-12-2011, 6:53 PM
So if I have a mag pouch attached to the front of my belt holster, I can put an unloaded 9mm in the holster with NO mag in the mag well and put a loaded mag in the mag pouch in the front of the holster? Or could this be illegal because the loaded magazine was "connected to the firearm via the holster?"

Also, I'm guessing I'd need to be METICULOUS about not letting my shirt/jacket/seatbelt cover up part of the firearm, as a cop could say I was concealing illegally (which would be BAD b/c the loaded mag on my person then makes it a "loaded weapon" b/c it was illegally concealed).

Other than this, any concerns? If pulled over, I'll keep both hands on the wheel and inform the LEO immediately after he approaches, "I am UOCing, and you may perform an "e" check to confirm that my firearm is unloaded, but I assure you it is unloaded and in compliance with law."

What about other ammo not in the mag(s) on your belt? Say I UOC my 9mm to the range. Can I just put 3 boxes of PMC 9mm ammo on the seat next to me (to keep em "openly" carried), or do I need to put all the ammo that's not on my belt holster in the trunk or in a small locked gun safe I keep in the car? Or is concealing the ammo in the car's cabin (i.e., in a backpack/bag) OK even though I'm openly carrying a 9mm on my belt holster?

Also, if I'm not mistaken an officer ONLY has the right to determine whether the firearm is loaded, but cannot use this "e check" time to do other investigating like looking for you gun's serial number or other things. PLZ someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'm trying to grasp a more solid understanding of both PC and case law as it applies to UOC on foot and in cars.

One last question: does the belt holster have to be attached to my belt or my person? Or can I place the unloaded gun in the holster with a loaded mag in the mag pouch and just place the holster/gun/mag combo in plain view on the passenger seat? It seems this would be wiser, as it makes it much less likely that an article of your clothing will inadvertently turn your "open carry" into a concealed weapon.. <----or would that make it not eligible for the exemption (f) that says firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed in the meaning of this section? Does "firearms carried openly in belt holsters" imply only when the holster is attached to your belt/person, or does that mean just as long as it's unloaded in a holster, and in open view (i.e., front passenger seat), you're good to go?

Librarian
01-12-2011, 8:05 PM
The bit about being in a holster is to establish that an openly-carried handgun is not concealed BY THE HOLSTER. It's just a particular example to head off the really stupid arrests.

The holster itself is irrelevant; you can put a towel or something on your car passenger seat so the gun does not slide off and carry it openly there on the seat, on top of the towel.

The only ammunition issue is that in magazines (via the incredibly silly People v Hale (http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CCA%5CCA3%5C1974%5C19741120_0040106.CA.htm/qx%29)) must be also visible.

On an important related note, have you applied for CCW ? Even being rejected, it could be a useful fact in case some legal drama - which you are avidly trying to avoid - might ensue.

jr916
01-13-2011, 4:21 PM
The bit about being in a holster is to establish that an openly-carried handgun is not concealed BY THE HOLSTER. It's just a particular example to head off the really stupid arrests.

The holster itself is irrelevant; you can put a towel or something on your car passenger seat so the gun does not slide off and carry it openly there on the seat, on top of the towel.

The only ammunition issue is that in magazines (via the incredibly silly People v Hale (http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CCA%5CCA3%5C1974%5C19741120_0040106.CA.htm/qx%29)) must be also visible.

On an important related note, have you applied for CCW ? Even being rejected, it could be a useful fact in case some legal drama - which you are avidly trying to avoid - might ensue.

I figured I didn't need a holster to be able to open carry a pistol in a car, but I just wanted to double check since the law can be interpreted in different ways and someone might try to say "the (f) exemption is only for guns carried in belt holsters, therefore you aren't exempt from locking up your handgun in your car b/c it's not in a belt holster." You know how illogical some anti-gun people can be.

I'm living in Santa Barbara right now for school, but plan on applying for my CCW when I return home to my permanent address in Sacramento after this summer. I may even start the process before I return home to speed things up, but for now I'm holding off in SB.

As for the ammunition rule, does only part of the magazine need to be visible, or the entire thing?? Does the actual ammunition in the mag need to be visible (i.e., mag facing up in the pouch with a cartridge visible)? I don't know what kind of mag pouch would show the entire mag openly, so I'm assuming only part of the loaded magazine must be visible. My belt holster has a mag pouch toward the front, with a velcro strap that secures it in place. When it's strapped shut, about 1/2" or more of the bottom of the mag is visible, is that enough? Do the loaded mags just need to not be fully enclosed/concealed?

What about empty mags? That case makes it sound like even an unloaded mag in my pocket would constitute a concealed handgun because an essential part of the weapon (mag) was concealed. What about loose ammunition? Even if compatible with the gun you're openly carrying, there's no way they can construe a box of ammo or a loose cartridge as being "an essential part" of the firearm, right?? These ammo/mag rules are new to me....

jr916
01-13-2011, 5:20 PM
Plz disregard this post: my computer displayed an error message and ended up submitting the post above ^^^ twice.

Falstaff
01-13-2011, 6:34 PM
The only ammunition issue is that in magazines (via the incredibly silly People v Hale (http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CCA%5CCA3%5C1974%5C19741120_0040106.CA.htm/qx%29)) must be also visible.

.

OK I'm learning something new here; re: the people vs.Hale case. What specifically does that mean about loaded magazines in a belt holster? For example, many magazine pouches have a velcro flap that comes over the top of the mag to secure it, but it also pretty much totally conceals it. Would that type of mag pouch be a problem? Should we use the type that just stick out of a plastic retention pocket?

Librarian
01-13-2011, 6:38 PM
OK I'm learning something new here; re: the people vs.Hale case. What specifically does that mean about loaded magazines in a belt holster? For example, many magazine pouches have a velcro flap that comes over the top of the mag to secure it, but it also pretty much totally conceals it. Would that type of mag pouch be a problem? Should we use the type that just stick out of a plastic retention pocket?

Seems unlikely that 'flapped' mag carriers would be a problem, but I really don't know. IMO, if no clothing covers the mag carriers, not concealed.

Then again, IMO People vs Hale means the deputy had a good search, not that concealed magazines make an otherwise unconcealed handgun concealed.

Maybe that's why I'm not a lawyer. :chris:

ColdDeadHands1
01-13-2011, 7:20 PM
I personally wouldn't want to get pulled over for a routine stop, have an officer come up to the passenger window and see a pistol on my hip. Unloaded or not he is not going to wait around for me to explain. Right or wrong, I think you would end up tasting asphalt with a gun in your face in most of these situations.

Gryff
01-13-2011, 8:16 PM
What is the situation if you are driving along a street while UOCing in the car, and you pass by a school? Are you breaking the law?

CitaDeL
01-13-2011, 8:20 PM
What is the situation if you are driving along a street while UOCing in the car, and you pass by a school? Are you breaking the law?

Yes. If you are knowingly within 1000 feet of the school grounds.

Please see PC626.9

the_quark
01-13-2011, 8:24 PM
Yes. If you are knowingly within 1000 feet of the school grounds.

Please see PC626.9

Not just knowingly - "or reasonably should know". That's not a standard I'd prefer to bank on, myself.

socal033
01-13-2011, 8:34 PM
Question on another scenario I your loaded magazines are in your center console or in your pocket let's say and your handgun is in a locked case is this legal?

Gryff
01-13-2011, 8:43 PM
Yes. If you are knowingly within 1000 feet of the school grounds.

Please see PC626.9

But I wonder if you could successfully argue that you are protected by 626.9(c)(1):

(c) Subdivision (b) does not apply to the possession of a firearm
under any of the following circumstances:
(1) Within a place of residence or place of business or on private
property, if the place of residence, place of business, or private
property is not part of the school grounds and the possession of the
firearm is otherwise lawful.

Technically, you are "in" private property when you drive your car rather than "on," but I can't see how they can say that what is otherwise a legal action becomes illegal because you drive on a public roadway that happens to pass by a school.

Yeah, I know I'm smoking something when I think this, but it's nice to pretend that the courts in California are rational.

Librarian
01-13-2011, 9:24 PM
Question on another scenario I your loaded magazines are in your center console or in your pocket let's say and your handgun is in a locked case is this legal?

Yes.

See the wiki:
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Transporting
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Open_Carry_Unloaded
http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/index.php/Defining_loaded_in_California

jr916
01-14-2011, 1:44 PM
I'm mostly concerned about the "velcro-strapped" mag pouches that leave only a portion of the loaded magazine openly visible? Can you legally UOC with a loaded mag partially concealed by one of these velcro mag pouch straps? Even if this mag pouch is physically attached to the holster? (i.e., could they claim that since the mag pouch was connected to the holster, that the loaded mag was somehow "connected to the firearm," making it a loaded weapon?)

MudCamper
01-14-2011, 1:50 PM
I'm mostly concerned about the "velcro-strapped" mag pouches that leave only a portion of the loaded magazine openly visible? Can you legally UOC with a loaded mag partially concealed by one of these velcro mag pouch straps?

If you are that worried about it, just leave an empty mag in the gun. That invalidates any possible Hale argument.

Even if this mag pouch is physically attached to the holster? (i.e., could they claim that since the mag pouch was connected to the holster, that the loaded mag was somehow "connected to the firearm," making it a loaded weapon?)

No. People v Clark is very specific on this. The ammo "must be in a position from which it can be fired". And Clark's ammo was in the gun - in a buttstock shell carrier. Unless your loaded mag is in the mag well, you are fine.

MasterYong
01-14-2011, 3:41 PM
What about a motorcycle?

Since vehicles are being discussed, I've always wondered if I could UOC when I ride my motorcycle. Never cared enough to look it up though. I know about the GFSZ issues, but other than that- it's kosher, yes?

Librarian
01-14-2011, 3:57 PM
What about a motorcycle?

Since vehicles are being discussed, I've always wondered if I could UOC when I ride my motorcycle. Never cared enough to look it up though. I know about the GFSZ issues, but other than that- it's kosher, yes?

Yes.

jr916
01-14-2011, 5:21 PM
Librarian: First you said, "The bit about being in a holster is to establish that an openly-carried handgun is not concealed BY THE HOLSTER," then you mentioned that "the only ammunition issue is that in magazines (via the incredibly silly People v Hale (http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CCA%5CCA3%5C1974%5C19741120_0040106.CA.htm/qx%29)) must be also visible."

I take this to mean that even though the law requires a loaded magazine to be carried openly/visible, since my mag pouch (& its strap) is part of the belt holster, then its strap which partially covers the magazine does NOT make it "concealed." Since you said the meaning of that "f" sub-section is that the "handgun is not concealed BY THE HOLSTER," that means the velcro strap which covers most of my loaded magazine is NOT concealing it, because the strap is just an integral part of the holster (it's not removable). This logic seems reasonable to me, but can you confirm that it'd be legal to carry a loaded mag in a pouch which is [I]an integral part of the belt holster and secure that mag with the provided strap, leaving only part of the magazine visible? I realize you aren't a lawyer and can't give legal advice but I'd appreciate your opinion on whether I should carry a loaded mag in that mag pouch and use the strap. I'll try to post a pic of my holster in a minute for reference, and thanks for your advice so far.

jr916
01-14-2011, 5:26 PM
http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/2340/holster.jpg (http://img526.imageshack.us/i/holster.jpg/)

Librarian
01-14-2011, 5:58 PM
I don't think there is any case law that clarifies.

You've simply got to read Hale (http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CCA%5CCA3%5C1974%5C19741120_0040106.CA.htm/qx%29); it should drive you wild.

If I were to be so bold (or foolish) I would try to use common sense, but there is little legislative or case law support for that, either.

Honestly, I think you're over thinking this. If you can't get comfortable, you should consider not UOC at all.

Everything has some risk.

jpigeon
01-14-2011, 7:04 PM
Well dont be suprised if a LEO draws his weapon and prones u boy...

jr916
01-14-2011, 11:48 PM
Yeah, Librarian, I probably am over-thinking things, but when the law is as contradictory and convoluted as it sometimes is, I feel like I can't be too scrupulous when researching all the laws regarding firearms, especially ones involving transport and UOC/CCW/etc.

I did read the case, and it's disturbing on several levels... but mainly because one of the integral components of deputy Price's case for Probable Cause to search Mr. Hale's vehicle was that he falsely believed Mr. Hale had once previously been arrested for possession of a weapon. This false belief was not based on what dispatch told him through his radio, or on his own previous knowledge, or [if it occurred today] from a computer record, but was based on his insistence that he misheard his fellow Sheriff's deputy (Brown) when he was speaking to Mr. Hale during the stop. Deputy Price "hearing his fellow deputy wrong" plus the fact that Mr. Hale's pistol had no magazine in the mag well was sufficient "evidence" to establish PC to search his car b/c they suspected he was concealing a magazine/ammo. There are some other gross things about the case, like the description of Mr. Hale's "automatic" pistol, which most definitely was not an fully-automatic weapon. Reading the entire thing was difficult to say the least, I feel like I lost a few IQ points along the way.

I'm not really planning on UOCing everywhere I go or in urban areas, but am mostly interested in it for easier transport (to/from ranges and houses), and for safety during long road trips. I'm all for UOCers going out to public gatherings, but I'd rather not risk the hassle of dealing with an "e" check at best or 2 glocks pointed at my face at worst... the "risk" (which shouldn't exist) isn't worth the political message for me.

Well, jpigeon, I don't think I will have many (if any) bad encounters with LEOs,; I'm sorry I won't be living up to your image of an officer proning out a boy at gunpoint.