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View Full Version : Is it legal to transport ammunition in stripper clips?


erblo
05-01-2007, 4:09 PM
Is it legal to transport ammunition in stipper clips?

Paul
05-01-2007, 4:16 PM
Yes, and as well in magazines.

Neither can be attached to the rifle.

slick_711
05-01-2007, 4:23 PM
You can transport any ammunition in any clips, magazines, belts, boxes, cans, paper bags, or jeans pockets you want. You simply cannot transport a loaded firearm. In the case of handguns, a pistol and ammunition in the same case (whether the firearm itself is technically "loaded" or not) would constitute a loaded weapon in the eyes of most peace officers.

Many people prefer not to transport loaded mags/stripper clips to be safe, but as long as you know the law and don't have any loaded firearms you are good to go. Personally I prefer to load the first few mags for my range time while I'm at home relaxing in front of the TV or whatever. ;)

Don't let yourself get scared or bullied by ambiguous legislation into traveling with a chain lock on your firearms, inside a locked briefcase, inside your trunk, and your ammunition in a locked case on the passenger seat floor. Unless of course you prefer to do that, in which case more power to you.

Personally I travel with all my guns loaded and on the dashboard, cocked & unlocked. How'd that old Offspring song go? "cut me off and I'll..."

Ok, last part was a joke, transport smart and safely, and if you were to get pulled over in a traffic stop think out your answers and explain your intended innocence to the officer and you'll be fine. I'm sure this was redundant information for you, but it's a question that comes up regularly so I figured I'd answer it fully and hope future visitors may see it or search before they ask. :cool:

tmuller
05-01-2007, 5:02 PM
I know I shouldn't put too much faith in what counter jockies at the gun shop tell me but.........I am new to CA from AZ went shooting last night. Carry guns in locked briefcase in the trunk and ammo/mags/eyes&ears/etc. in a range bag. I like slick like to load mags at home because I like to keep a loaded gun at the house and to save time at the range I just load mags while i'm watching TV b4 I go...however when I walked into the gun shop the guy checking me in at the range told me it was illegal to have loaded mags and then b4 I wen to my lane he made me unload them...then re-load them 5 seconds later when I got to my lane. Needless to say I was mildly annoyed at what I thought was another rediculous CA gun law and it's enforcement by a cocky know it all clerk. I wouldn't mind posting the name of the store because I've had some other issues with them since I have been in CA...2.5 weeks been shooting 3 times but I don't know if that's OK or not. Anyway if someone could post that law here that would be greatly appreciated...I'll rub it in his face next time I go in with all my mags loaded and some speed loaders too. Thanks for the info!!

Teletiger7
05-01-2007, 6:00 PM
Sounds like that guy was power tripping because he is behind the counter :(. I know it takes longer but just to be safe I usually transport with ammo separate from mags and those separate from firearm(different container). Maybe I'm being paranoid but I always think about the possibillity of getting carjacked and the criminals having quick and available access to firearms and ammo.

tmuller
05-02-2007, 11:16 AM
Maybe I'm being paranoid but I always think about the possibillity of getting carjacked and the criminals having quick and available access to firearms and ammo.

a problem that could be easily cured if you had the right to keep and bear arms...not just in your house or the range. I feel like my head is spinning!!

383green
05-02-2007, 11:23 AM
however when I walked into the gun shop the guy checking me in at the range told me it was illegal to have loaded mags and then b4 I wen to my lane he made me unload them...then re-load them 5 seconds later when I got to my lane.


That might have been a safety rule at that particular range, but I don't think it's a CA law. Different ranges will have more or less strict rules of conduct based on the temperament of the range officer(s) and the particular variety of clowns that they encounter.

deez
05-02-2007, 11:26 AM
...however when I walked into the gun shop the guy checking me in at the range told me it was illegal to have loaded mags and then b4 I wen to my lane he made me unload them...then re-load them 5 seconds later when I got to my lane. Needless to say I was mildly annoyed at what I thought was another rediculous CA gun law and it's enforcement by a cocky know it all clerk. I wouldn't mind posting the name of the store because I've had some other issues with them since I have been in CA...2.5 weeks been shooting 3 times but I don't know if that's OK or not. Anyway if someone could post that law here that would be greatly appreciated...I'll rub it in his face next time I go in with all my mags loaded and some speed loaders too. Thanks for the info!!


What place was this? One of my ex-coworkers (I used to work at a range), would ALWAYS tell anyone who came in with loaded mags that it was illegal (even though they were kept separate from the firearm) :rolleyes: . It drove me nuts everytime. Needless to say, the guy is a moron.

slick_711
05-02-2007, 11:54 AM
Some range employees are idiots? Some customers are also idiots though. I'm on my way out the door to class so I can't look up the code at the moment, but I assure you, it is PERFECTLY LEGAL to transport loaded magazines, so long as they are not attached to the firearm (rifles) or in the same locked case as the firearm (pistols). To be safe, you can put the mags in a separate range bag and the firearms in the trunk as you mentioned in your example; but have no fear that transporting loaded magazines is not illegal.

If your range officers are incompetent, you may want to avoid doing that just because they have every right to turn you away from the range, but again, it is not *illegal* just because they say so. I also work at a range, have reviewed the CA gun laws multiple times, and have been shooting in CA all my life, and I regularly transport loaded magazines. The only time I ever say a word to our range customers who do so is when their pistol mags are in the same case as their pistol. Even then, I don't make them leave or unload them, I simply give them my "We're not too concerned about it here as long as you practice safe firearms handling, but you should be aware that transporting your pistol and ammunition together like that is against state law" spiel.

Biff...
05-02-2007, 12:08 PM
I was at a local Burbank range and was told the same thing; it was illegal to transport loaded mags. I politely told the counter jockey that he was wrong and that their was no such law on the books.

Librarian
05-02-2007, 12:21 PM
I Anyway if someone could post that law here that would be greatly appreciated...I'll rub it in his face next time I go in with all my mags loaded and some speed loaders too. Thanks for the info!! Regrettably, this is California. Gun laws here are not so clear as 'thou shalt not' and 'this is permitted'. In an even-handed discussion, it would be appropriate to ask the clerk why he believes what he claims, but the relative disparity of 'power', such as it is, where the clerk gets to enforce business rules, makes that kind of interchange harder.

Search for threads that discuss "People vs Clark", a California case which many (including me) believe clarifies the general case of what is a 'loaded firearm' (which has a bearing on loaded magazines and stripper clips). Several people have posted that they are consulting legal advisors for a definitive opinion on the issue, but no result has yet been offered.

tmuller
05-02-2007, 1:50 PM
I will look in People v Clark and post anything that I find although according to Librarian
Several people have posted that they are consulting legal advisors for a definitive opinion on the issue, but no result has yet been offered.
and I'm certainly no legal mind. I'm finding this thread very informative for many reasons...thanks!!

-aK-
05-02-2007, 2:05 PM
Tmuller,

Here is the quote for Penal Code 12031(g) and a link to the text on the entirety of 12031 http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12031.html
(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.


I don't have my link to People v Clark as I'm at work but I think I have a printout in my truck. I may be able to find it...

grammaton76
05-02-2007, 2:36 PM
The basic deal is that, while loaded mags are not illegal, many LEOs erroneously believe that they are. A lot of counter jockeys either listen to LEOs or just tell people it's illegal because thing-which-annoys-cops may as well be the same thing as illegal to most folks.

Stripper clips are completely clear, even by the tortured definition cited by the LEOs who believe loaded mags are illegal. The logic used is that the magazine is part of the gun, and therefore, if the magazine is loaded, the weapon is loaded (even if you only have the mag, no gun, in the car).

As stated previously, I consider loaded mags completely legal - but I just don't do it due to the potential hassles. Besides, I load mags fast anyway.