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View Full Version : Rules on transporting rifles in CA


rogervzv
02-16-2012, 6:12 AM
I am pretty up on the rules for transporting handguns in California. Locked container, etc. What about rifles? I have been transporting mine unloaded in locked containers just as though they were pistols. What specifically are the minimum requirements? Can anyone explain this or just direct me to the statute?

GrizzlyGuy
02-16-2012, 7:03 AM
Keep transporting them the way you are now: unloaded in a locked container. That keeps you compliant with the Federal Gun Free School Zones law (http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Gun_Free_School_Zones#Federal). If you were sure you weren't going to travel through any school zones, then unloaded without the locked container is fine.

Eljay
02-16-2012, 7:26 AM
Keep in mind that this includes private schools. Also keep in mind that in CA homeschoolers often find it convenient to register as a private school. So just looking at a regular map doesn't really help you know where the school zones are. It's really easiest just to throw a lock on there as a matter of habit and not worry about it.

CortoPasta
02-16-2012, 7:59 AM
What constitutes a locked case? Can I just put a luggage lock on the zipper of the little $12 soft case I got with my shotgun, or do I need a hard case with a DOJ approved lock?

paul0660
02-16-2012, 8:11 AM
What constitutes a locked case? Can I just put a luggage lock on the zipper of the little $12 soft case I got with my shotgun, or do I need a hard case with a DOJ approved lock?

The simple solution is ok. DOJ doesn't have approved locks anyway. They do have approved safes/cabinets.

As to Eljay's point about home schools, true, but the law says you have to avoid school zones, with unlocked long guns, which you should reasonably know about. Without a sign, you don't.

Important to remember that ammo is prohibited on school grounds, even though properly cased firearms are not.

mdimeo
02-16-2012, 8:19 AM
What constitutes a locked case? Can I just put a luggage lock on the zipper of the little $12 soft case I got with my shotgun, or do I need a hard case with a DOJ approved lock?

There's no standard in the PC or federal GFSZA, except the case has to be "secure".
If your case has a plastic zipper, you can probably get into it with your bare hands, which I wouldn't call secure. Otherwise, use your best judgement.

There's no standard for "locked" at all in the federal law, so a cheapie luggage lock will be fine. I suspect the California PC is the same way, but haven't checked.

A locked trunk works as a container in CA, but careful how you get it to your car.

marinero
02-16-2012, 8:27 AM
So just looking at a regular map doesn't really help you know where the school zones are.

Quoted for truth. When I go to the range, I drive past an industrial park and an airport. Both contain schools, but there is no obvious indication of that.

CortoPasta
02-16-2012, 8:31 AM
Have a truck, so trunk isn't really an option. Wish there was a legal definition of what 'secure' meant. Don't like guessing when the reward for being wrong is a felony

paul0660
02-16-2012, 8:37 AM
but there is no obvious indication of that.

So, they don't count, unless you have been there and know the school exists.

a1c
02-16-2012, 8:48 AM
Have a truck, so trunk isn't really an option. Wish there was a legal definition of what 'secure' meant. Don't like guessing when the reward for being wrong is a felony

While there doesn't seem to be a legal definition nor test case law, what it comes down to is that the guns need to be locked - could be a small padlock attached to the zipper handles of a soft gun case. The idea is that without taking that lock, the guns cannot be removed.

I drive a Jeep when I go to the range, and only have a cargo cover (so the cargo area doesn't count as a container). So I lock all the guns that way just to be sure, because I have to go through one school zone on my way to the range.

When I go shoot on my buddy's land a few miles away however, I don't have to go through any school zone, so I don't lock the cases, except for the wife's RAW (which obviously I can only take when she's coming along).

caboom
02-16-2012, 9:55 AM
http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/travel.php

littlejake
02-16-2012, 4:06 PM
Both the federal and state GFSZ acts are so ambiguous that they should be overturned on that alone. Who is working to purge this abomination from the codes?

a1c
02-16-2012, 4:56 PM
Both the federal and state GFSZ acts are so ambiguous that they should be overturned on that alone. Who is working to purge this abomination from the codes?

I don't think unless some case exposes this ambiguousness, we're going to see those laws go away. The result of such case law might actually be a stricter statute (and the federal and/or state level) and more systematic enforcement. Think of the children.

Librarian
02-16-2012, 5:03 PM
Both the federal and state GFSZ acts are so ambiguous that they should be overturned on that alone. Who is working to purge this abomination from the codes?

What ambiguity do you see?

It's stupid, and doesn't do anything useful, but seems to be pretty clear to me.

See also the wiki -- http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Gun_Free_School_Zones

rogervzv
02-16-2012, 6:05 PM
Good info, fellows. Yes, easier to transport in a locked container. What I figured. Thank you.

Eljay
02-16-2012, 8:13 PM
(25) The term “school zone” means—
(A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private
school; or
(B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a
public, parochial or private school.
(26) The term “school” means a school which provides elementary
or secondary education, as determined under State law.

I don't see anything about signage... can you point me to that?

That's in the Federal section. In the state section the definition's different and does talk about reasonably knowing, but we're talking about the Federal law here.

(b) Any person who possesses a firearm in a place that the
person knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone,
as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), unless it is
with the written permission of the school district
superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school
authority, shall be punished as specified in subdivision (f).

cheapblaster
02-17-2012, 12:44 AM
What ambiguity do you see?

It's stupid, and doesn't do anything useful, but seems to be pretty clear to me.

See also the wiki -- http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Gun_Free_School_Zones

Thanks for posting that link to the wiki - it is late, I have a bad head cold and should be asleep but find myself on Calguns....so that cleared up two things that were running through my head, things that reading this thread actually started.

Thing one: I really can't get out of my neighborhood and get to the range without encountering several schools. I have no interest in scouting a route with a tape measure, so, unloaded and locked up in the trunk of my car I'm ok.

Thing two: the "licensed day care" facility at the property behind mine A) probably does not meet the definition of a "school" and B) even if it did I am ok on handling firearms on my own property. And yes, I have enough sense to be discreet in doing so - there is an 8' privacy fence between the properties and I'm not inclined to attract the kid's attention anyway....

Am in on track here?

LARRYPIRRONE1
02-17-2012, 5:09 AM
just to clear it up for me is a locking bed cover on a pickup truck such as the Snug Top on mine count as locked in the trunk or do i need to lock the case as well? I have to drive within 1000 feet of a school in order to get out of my development.

as a side note i wonder if this all applies to air rifles since they are not "firearms" per se.

caboom
02-17-2012, 8:08 AM
Don't know if this helps anyone, but school zone crosswalks are painted yellow, as opposed to the normal white. The crosswalk triangular signs will have a picture of two people instead of just one. May make it easier to spot some school zones. (May not!) :D

Librarian
02-17-2012, 1:58 PM
Don't know if this helps anyone, but school zone crosswalks are painted yellow, as opposed to the normal white. The crosswalk triangular signs will have a picture of two people instead of just one. May make it easier to spot some school zones. (May not!) :D

It does, sort of.

The rules for those markings have a range of distance - CVC: 21368. Whenever a marked pedestrian crosswalk has been established in a roadway contiguous to a school building or the grounds thereof, it shall be painted or marked in yellow as shall be all the marked pedestrian crosswalks at an intersection in case any one of the crosswalks is required to be marked in yellow.

Other established marked pedestrian crosswalks may be painted or marked in yellow if either

(a) the nearest point of the crosswalk is not more than 600 feet from a school building or the grounds thereof, or

(b) the nearest point of the crosswalk is not more than 2,800 feet from a school building or the grounds thereof, there are no intervening crosswalks other than those contiguous to the school grounds, and it appears that the facts and circumstances require special painting or marking of the crosswalks for the protection and safety of persons attending the school.

There shall be painted or marked in yellow on each side of the street in the lane or lanes leading to all yellow marked crosswalks the following words, "SLOW-SCHOOL XING," except that such words shall not be painted or marked in any lane leading to a crosswalk at an intersection controlled by stop signs, traffic signals or yield right-of-way signs. A crosswalk shall not be painted or marked yellow at any location other than as required or permitted in this section.
Since the GFSZ is 1,000 feet, 600 is not big enough, 2800 is nearly 3 times too big, and there's no indication of which distance those marked crosswalks might be from what.

That's one of the reasons I say the writers of both Federal and California GFSZ laws were more into symbolism than efficacy.

Lay aside for the moment the real (non-)effects on criminal behavior of enforcing this law.

If it were the case that this was 'real', money would have been appropriated for surveyors and map makers and signage on the ground. School districts would have been required to create, publish and maintain maps. Now that web sites are common, those maps would be on line and easy to find. AFAIK, only San Francisco (http://www.sf-planning.org/index.aspx?page=2337) actually has them done and on line; perhaps other places also have done that and I just have not been told.

Unfortunately, the consequences to violators can be quite real.

AyatollahGondola
02-17-2012, 4:54 PM
I don't recall the federal gun free school zone law as requiring a rifle to be in a container. Just locked. You can do it the way the cops do in their cars with a single lock, or a cheap one that locks the gun to your gun rack.
This school zone thing has gotten way out of hand. Here in Cali, you have the prohibition of open carry in school zones of course, but also now no mobile billboards that disturb the kids within 1,000 feet, and today, a state legislator has proposed a law that prohibits mobile food vendors 1500 feet from a school. If you cannot see by now that they are creating a zone around schools so as not to allow any outside influence that the state doesn't like. No bullying zones will be 1000 feet next, and I'm sure there will be others. They want free reign to deliver their propaganda to the next generation without outside influences.