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View Full Version : Carrying on public transportation questions...


honestcomrade
02-18-2012, 9:51 AM
I was referred here by the welcome forum...

I'm not a gun owner and my experience is rather limited. My dad took us out when we were younger (about age 12) to a local outdoor range and I remember having a blast with his .357 snub, 10/22, and .35 lever action. This was about 15 years ago now and his politics have changed a lot, since growing older he is not interested in furthering my knowledge of firearms.

So last summer I had a chance to get out to Oregon and hit an outdoor quarry near Washington, with a very good friend who moved there to live in a more 'gun friendly' community.
Had a lot of fun with his glock17 9mm, marlin .30-30, m1 carbine, and mossberg 500. Many rounds were fired, he instructed me in safety and cleaning, and I was fairly set on purchasing a CA legal firearm once I got back home to the bay area.

My situation is a bit complicated as I have centered my life around a bicycle. I ride 10 miles to work and back 5 days a week, and rely on the train for longer distance trips on days off. I have read a few discussions on other forums about the legality of carrying a firearm on a bicycle, and my understanding that if I were to carry an unloaded, chamber locked, legal, registered pistol in my saddle bag, with the mags and ammo in my other saddle bag, I would likely be following CAs concealment laws.

Any advice on that assumption? Should I call local (O)PD?

I don't plan on carrying the firearm with me often, only when travelling to or from the gun shop or the range. One complication is that to get to any of the shops or ranges in the local area, I have to take BART for a few miles. Any local bay area resident has told me that would be illegal and stupid. I'm not so sure that it would be the best plan, but how about legality? Should I just ask a Bart cop?

paul0660
02-18-2012, 9:57 AM
Unloaded, in a locked case. It would be very good if the case did not look like a gun case. Ammo can be in the case.

chamber locked,
Don't know exactly what this means, but if you mean a cable lock, it has no legal value. Ride on!

Bart has no authority over firearms.

Ask a cop about stuff if you want an uninformed answer.

honestcomrade
02-19-2012, 8:57 AM
Thanks paul0660...

just to clarify...I've got saddlebags on the bike. So, handgun, unloaded, in a locked case inside the saddlebag would be OK? Does the locked case need to be affixed to my bicycle for any reason?

Librarian
02-19-2012, 9:14 AM
Thanks paul0660...

just to clarify...I've got saddlebags on the bike. So, handgun, unloaded, in a locked case inside the saddlebag would be OK? Does the locked case need to be affixed to my bicycle for any reason?

Nope. Locked case in the saddlebag is fine.

SilverTauron
02-19-2012, 9:17 AM
Would it be possible to apply for a permit to carry using legal transport as your basis?

Don't laugh. Bear with me for a minute.Most bureaucrats are narrow minded individuals, unless the subject at hand is in regard to following rules.Perhaps the local sheriff would be open to granting you a concealed weapons permit with the goal for the OP to be able to legally transport a weapon on public transit.Yes , I realize the laws are in place which more or less do not exclude carrying an unloaded weapon in a case , but if an argument is presented to the approval authorities that the OP needs a LTC so as to ensure legal & secure transport of a gun to and from the target range absent a car ,that may be an argument which may have merit to the authorities.

I would not mention the concept of self defense at all in such a request, as the idea of personal defense is an alien custom to police in California.

rp55
02-19-2012, 9:51 AM
Should I just ask a Bart cop?

Can't advise you on the gun transport but here's a serious clue about obtaining information on California gun laws. To the newcomer is seems counter-intuitive but you should never seek information on California gun laws or the legality of a specific firearm from:
1.) Gun shops
2.) Police
3.) California Department of Justice

berg
02-19-2012, 10:05 AM
Have you considered joining Zip Car (http://www.zipcar.com/) for the days you want to hit the range?

Also you should read some of the FAQs here: http://oag.ca.gov/firearms

Librarian
02-19-2012, 10:15 AM
Would it be possible to apply for a permit to carry using legal transport as your basis?


Based on his first post, I guess he lives in Alameda County.

So far, 'good cause' in Alameda doesn't include much. Transport is highly unlikely to be acceptable.

Curtis
02-19-2012, 12:49 PM
It should be noted that transport by any method should be unloaded in a locked case (a locked trunk is a locked case). The ammo or a loaded magazine can be in the same case, you just can't have the magazine in the gun.

Welcome to Calguns!

SJgunguy24
02-19-2012, 1:12 PM
I ride a bike everywhere and take public transit just about everyday. Locked case, unloaded and your GTG. If your in a "sterile" area (like an airport security check point) then that can be considered a controlled area and firearms can be restricted.
I transport rifles in a locked case with me all the time on public transportation in the bay area. Only one time was I ever questioned as to the contents of my case, and that was at a 7-11 at 1am.
From his reaction he didn't care at all.

Squid
02-19-2012, 1:40 PM
Those cheap black plastic "hard" rifle cases from Big-5 could be locked and 'opened' by sitting on them edgewise.

But in court who knows.

I wouldn't want to use a plastic case so flimsy that it could be pryed open and returned to more or less original shape without obvious signs of damage, like I suspect the cheap Plano cases could be.


I remember reading in NRA magazine about game ranger fining a guy who had his soft case unlocked in the wrong area.

Do 'soft cases' with lockable zippers count...if they could be opened in 2 seconds by anyone with a knife (or strong hands)?

I'd like to see someone make a much more conforming handgun case in "L" shape of a few sizes to cut the 'case to gun' volume ratio down.

Maybe even a 'size to fit' kit where you slide some overlapping panels to fit and then apply some plastic-welding glue. Figure the hinge would be the 'factory' side of the case, probably along the top of the gun.

SJgunguy24
02-19-2012, 1:54 PM
Those cheap black plastic "hard" rifle cases from Big-5 could be locked and 'opened' by sitting on them edgewise.

But in court who knows.

I wouldn't want to use a plastic case so flimsy that it could be pryed open and returned to more or less original shape without obvious signs of damage, like I suspect the cheap Plano cases could be.


I remember reading in NRA magazine about game ranger fining a guy who had his soft case unlocked in the wrong area.

Do 'soft cases' with lockable zippers count...if they could be opened in 2 seconds by anyone with a knife (or strong hands)?

I'd like to see someone make a much more conforming handgun case in "L" shape of a few sizes to cut the 'case to gun' volume ratio down.

Maybe even a 'size to fit' kit where you slide some overlapping panels to fit and then apply some plastic-welding glue. Figure the hinge would be the 'factory' side of the case, probably along the top of the gun.

I had a cop whip out his knife when I showed him my gun bag. So by using that knife you've defeated the lock correct?
Yep.
So how is that different then me breaking the window of your patrol car and stealing the shotgun?

He thought about it, it isn't.
There is no defintition of a locked container. Everything I use is secured with small pad locks, that meets the requirements. If someone wants to destroy the case to get to the gun then it's gonna happen no matter what the case is made from.

honestcomrade
02-19-2012, 8:28 PM
Wow you guys are amazing. Thanks for all the feedback/advice.

* CCW permit could be an option down the road, but I don't see myself being comfortable enough to want to (even apply to) carry until I've actually owned and handled a specific firearm for a while. (I currently own ZERO guns).

* ZipCar did come to mind, there's tons in my area that I could walk to in about 10 minutes. But...that brings up another question...Could I throw said unloaded-firearm-in-a-locked-case into my backpack? Also, I'll have to pore over ZipCar's policy on what can and can not be transported in their vehicles. Closest range from the closest ZipCar would only be a 30 minute drive. 2+ hours shooting, 30 min back = $30 average for a ZipCar. not too bad.

doug-y-doug
02-19-2012, 10:38 PM
I've brought guns on BART to get to the airport. I called the BART watch commander beforehand and he told me the same rules apply (unloaded, locked container).

DeanW66
02-20-2012, 11:52 AM
Could I throw said unloaded-firearm-in-a-locked-case into my backpack?

No different from the saddle bag on your bike, in CA. ETA: Do some searching here on via google for LUCC (Locked Unloaded Concealed Carry).

gonzo1510
02-20-2012, 3:10 PM
I was assigned to the oakland area as an armored car gaurd in 2000. There were times that I had to take the BART back to my hotel and I never got hassled. I also rode the metrolink and mta buses and have never had issues.

unusedusername
02-20-2012, 3:20 PM
I am not a lawyer. I don't even play one on TV. I am probably wrong.

That being said, the laws for bicycles are slightly different then those for motorcycles. Some of the responses here seem to be answering the question of "am I good to go on a motorcycle" not that of "am I good to go on a bicycle"

The general "go anywhere for a legal purpose" clause does not apply as a bicycle is not a "motor vehicle", so you have to be careful of destinations.

You are however good to go on your bicycle from anywhere to a public transit "motor vehicle" (train or bus) and then from that "motor vehicle" to anywhere for a legal purpose with a locked-containered, unloaded pistol.

You can also go on your bicycle from a "motor vehicle" (say your car in your driveway) to anywhere, then back...

Backpack vs saddle bags is irrelevant to the law. You could even find a snazzy locked container that fits in a pocket if you look hard enough.

robcoe
02-20-2012, 3:31 PM
I was referred here by the welcome forum...

I'm not a gun owner and my experience is rather limited. My dad took us out when we were younger (about age 12) to a local outdoor range and I remember having a blast with his .357 snub, 10/22, and .35 lever action. This was about 15 years ago now and his politics have changed a lot, since growing older he is not interested in furthering my knowledge of firearms.

So last summer I had a chance to get out to Oregon and hit an outdoor quarry near Washington, with a very good friend who moved there to live in a more 'gun friendly' community.
Had a lot of fun with his glock17 9mm, marlin .30-30, m1 carbine, and mossberg 500. Many rounds were fired, he instructed me in safety and cleaning, and I was fairly set on purchasing a CA legal firearm once I got back home to the bay area.

My situation is a bit complicated as I have centered my life around a bicycle. I ride 10 miles to work and back 5 days a week, and rely on the train for longer distance trips on days off. I have read a few discussions on other forums about the legality of carrying a firearm on a bicycle, and my understanding that if I were to carry an unloaded, chamber locked, legal, registered pistol in my saddle bag, with the mags and ammo in my other saddle bag, I would likely be following CAs concealment laws.

Any advice on that assumption? Should I call local (O)PD?

I don't plan on carrying the firearm with me often, only when travelling to or from the gun shop or the range. One complication is that to get to any of the shops or ranges in the local area, I have to take BART for a few miles. Any local bay area resident has told me that would be illegal and stupid. I'm not so sure that it would be the best plan, but how about legality? Should I just ask a Bart cop?

1st, don't bother asking a Bart cop, the only source worse than random police officers for legal advice when it comes to guns is gun store employees.

after that, all I can tell you about is how I transport my gun on my motorcycle.

I keep it in a small lockbox(gunvault NV200, costs about $20), then I put the lockbox in a briefcase(it locks also, but that's just cause it came that way)

This way I legally transport(Unloaded, locked up) and I dont get any weird looks driving down the road

Mulay El Raisuli
02-21-2012, 7:20 AM
Wow you guys are amazing. Thanks for all the feedback/advice.

* CCW permit could be an option down the road, but I don't see myself being comfortable enough to want to (even apply to) carry until I've actually owned and handled a specific firearm for a while. (I currently own ZERO guns).

* ZipCar did come to mind, there's tons in my area that I could walk to in about 10 minutes. But...that brings up another question...Could I throw said unloaded-firearm-in-a-locked-case into my backpack? Also, I'll have to pore over ZipCar's policy on what can and can not be transported in their vehicles. Closest range from the closest ZipCar would only be a 30 minute drive. 2+ hours shooting, 30 min back = $30 average for a ZipCar. not too bad.


Why would you ask them at all? 1: What they don't know won't hurt them. 2: They're renting you a car. They're not your mother. 3: Guns are completely legal. A prohibition of drugs I could see.

As for type of case, discretion is the better way to go. I favor a strong guitar case with a good lock. In your neck o' the woods, you'll blend right in.


The Raisuli

Decoligny
02-21-2012, 7:42 AM
Why would you ask them at all? 1: What they don't know won't hurt them. 2: They're renting you a car. They're not your mother. 3: Guns are completely legal. A prohibition of drugs I could see.

As for type of case, discretion is the better way to go. I favor a strong guitar case with a good lock. In your neck o' the woods, you'll blend right in.


The Raisuli

He didn't say he was going to "ask" them.

He said that he would "have to pore over ZipCar's policy on what can and can not be transported in their vehicles."

The main issue is the fact that they are a private company and can set their own rental policies.

If they have a policy in effect that states something like "If you break any of our published rules, then our insurance policy doesn't cover you", and one of their printed policy rules is "no firearms in vehicle at any time", it could possibly be an issue.

This would only come to light in the off chance he were to get in a in a wreck.

He could end up having to pay for all the damage to the vehicle out of pocket, and pay for all his own medical. He could possibly have to pay for the same for the operator/passengers of any other vehicles involved.

This is not like carrying concealed in a posted mall with an LTC, where the worst that will happen is you get asked to leave. This has the possibility of coming back and biting him.

Mulay El Raisuli
02-22-2012, 4:36 AM
He didn't say he was going to "ask" them.

He said that he would "have to pore over ZipCar's policy on what can and can not be transported in their vehicles."

The main issue is the fact that they are a private company and can set their own rental policies.

If they have a policy in effect that states something like "If you break any of our published rules, then our insurance policy doesn't cover you", and one of their printed policy rules is "no firearms in vehicle at any time", it could possibly be an issue.

This would only come to light in the off chance he were to get in a in a wreck.

He could end up having to pay for all the damage to the vehicle out of pocket, and pay for all his own medical. He could possibly have to pay for the same for the operator/passengers of any other vehicles involved.

This is not like carrying concealed in a posted mall with an LTC, where the worst that will happen is you get asked to leave. This has the possibility of coming back and biting him.


I stand corrected. "Poring over" isn't the same as "asking."

Important because you always should know how secretive you should be. :)


The Raisuli

DeanW66
02-22-2012, 4:13 PM
I am not a lawyer. I don't even play one on TV. I am probably wrong.

That being said, the laws for bicycles are slightly different then those for motorcycles. Some of the responses here seem to be answering the question of "am I good to go on a motorcycle" not that of "am I good to go on a bicycle"


Good point and thanks for the clarification.

San FranPsycho
02-23-2012, 10:00 AM
I'd say, just a personal recommendation, use a gun case that DOESN'T look like a gun case. Just another case or briefcase on BART as opposed to a tacticooled out scary evil black looking case to draw people's attention

Squid
02-28-2012, 10:24 AM
and exposed on public transit "Only to and from Work" and if some Bart official tells us to cover it up to inform him THAT would be illegal(and a felony IIRC).

I supposed you could also carry loaded and exposed if you work was escorting someone or something on public transit.


But we certainly could plan to carry unloaded and locked in a box. Of course at that point you might not want to wear a holster because that would flag that you have a nice hand-gun in the box, and it is unloaded....so if someone gets 'the drop on you', well, he 'have the drop on you'.

Not wearing a holster is a hassle because to thread the holster through the duty belt and get all the keepers hooked up and riding all nice and correct is a real project. I don't think paddle style holsters are a good idea as they can be yanked out too easy.

creekside
02-28-2012, 11:50 AM
and exposed on public transit "Only to and from Work" and if some Bart official tells us to cover it up to inform him THAT would be illegal(and a felony IIRC).

I supposed you could also carry loaded and exposed if you work was escorting someone or something on public transit.

But we certainly could plan to carry unloaded and locked in a box. Of course at that point you might not want to wear a holster because that would flag that you have a nice hand-gun in the box, and it is unloaded....so if someone gets 'the drop on you', well, he 'have the drop on you'.

Not wearing a holster is a hassle because to thread the holster through the duty belt and get all the keepers hooked up and riding all nice and correct is a real project. I don't think paddle style holsters are a good idea as they can be yanked out too easy.

I know several guards who commute to and from work on public transit while loaded and exposed. This can be touchy because one may end up doing free work for the transit system (i.e. flagged down by passenger, trouble comes to you, etc.) I have heard of one armed guard who was trespassed from aboard a light rail train by a fare inspector, but he decided not to push it and says he has not had problems again on that system.

While I think it would make an interesting Constitutional rights case (to be trespassed from a mass transit system because one is commuting to work with a firearm), most guards have neither the time nor the money to pursue such a issue. Another reason to give to CRPA and Calguns.

First offense concealed with a firearm registered in your name is a misdemeanor if I recall correctly.

It is a very, very bad idea from a safety perspective to wear an empty holster and/or gun belt. Anything that advertises that you have a gun can make you a target for robbery. You will find with practice that you can put on a gun belt and all four keepers in less than a minute.

It is common courtesy and a good idea to do a courtesy call to a local law enforcement agency when you are doing something out of the ordinary in their jurisdiction. If I were loaded and exposed to escort someone in a mass transit system, I'd be certain to make such a call -- not because the law requires it, but as simple courtesy. Occasionally the failure to do so can make the news or result in a "man with a gun" call, which no one likes to be on the wrong side of.

flyte74
02-29-2012, 11:07 AM
Unloaded, in a locked case. It would be very good if the case did not look like a gun case. Ammo can be in the case.


Don't know exactly what this means, but if you mean a cable lock, it has no legal value. Ride on!

Bart has no authority over firearms.

Ask a cop about stuff if you want an uninformed answer.

I've been following this thread because it sort of pertains to me also. I ride the commuter Coaster from San Diego to Oceanside, CA. I leave one car in SD and another in Oceanside. I was thinking of catching the train in SD this very weekend and going to a range located in O'side. But I jumped on the North County Transit District website and found this:

"Weapons: Firearms or other potentially deadly weapons, including knives with a blade in excess of three inches, are prohibited on railroad property."


So does this mean it is out of the question for me to transport firearms, unloaded and locked, on the Coaster if I'm on the way to the range because North County Transit District says so?

paul0660
02-29-2012, 11:15 AM
I've been following this thread because it sort of pertains to me also. I ride the commuter Coaster from San Diego to Oceanside, CA. I leave one car in SD and another in Oceanside. I was thinking of catching the train in SD this very weekend and going to a range located in O'side. But I jumped on the North County Transit District website and found this:

"Weapons: Firearms or other potentially deadly weapons, including knives with a blade in excess of three inches, are prohibited on railroad property."


So does this mean it is out of the question for me to transport firearms, unloaded and locked, on the Coaster if I'm on the way to the range because North County Transit District says so?

Amtrak specifically only allows firearms if they are checked, and you call them 24 hours ahead of time to notify them. Also, you can only check said firearms at stations that have freight handling facilities, which not all have, I suppose.

I don't know if NCTD is part of Amtrak. If it is not, I would have a very Cowboy reaction to their prohibition. Metal detectors and wands would change that reaction.