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View Full Version : Trunk Gun + Ammo in car: Legal? Ethical?


steadyrock
08-31-2007, 8:13 AM
Hi Calgunners,

As I drove home from work the other day, rehearsing in my head my plans for earthquake preparedness, it dawned on me that since I do not yet have a CCW (working on that...), I am unarmed most of the day in the event of an emergency. I work in a relatively high-crime area near East LA, and I live 50 miles to the south in a very safe neighborhood of Orange County. That is a lot of potentially disrupted ground to cover to get back to my family, in the case of a massive earthquake or another set of riots. The idea of having a small "trunk gun" in the back of my car quickly became appealing as this thought matured.

My question is this: As a non-CCW holder, is it legal for me to have a small arm (say, .22 caliber rifle or 9mm pistol) together with ammo in the trunk of my car? Following that, is it ethical for me to leave that combo unattended in my trunk while I'm in my office? What if the car gets stolen? Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

steadyrock
Orange County, CA
Send lawyers, guns, and money

Glock22Fan
08-31-2007, 8:20 AM
Use "search," there's lots of posts on these topics.

Buy a copy of Machtinger's "Buy a Gun and Stay Out Of Jail."

Also read the laws (http://www.californiaconcealedcarry.com/legal.html for starters)

Basically, the standards for long guns are lower than for handguns. I'll leave you to find out the detail.

DedEye
08-31-2007, 8:30 AM
Hell this topic was discussed fairly recently (last week I think) in this forum. Damned if I can find the thread though (not that I looked ;).

As far as ethical; I'd say if you had a lock between the ammo and firearm, it'd be more ethical I suppose.

stingray4540
08-31-2007, 8:34 AM
I believe that your handgun has to be in a locked container without any ammo. The ammo can not be in the locked container. My wife bought me a gun bag last christmas and it works perfect. I put the gun in the side compartment, and lock the zippers together, and I keep the ammo in the middle compartment.

Bizcuits
08-31-2007, 8:36 AM
What concerns me, "yes to lazy to use the search button, but not to lazy to type saying Im lazy" is as an SUV owner and driver, how I could safely store a 12ga pump in my vehicle without legal or moral backlash. I've often considered placing shells in my locked center console, then having the pump in the back seat with a lock.

Morally I've always said no not until I get a car or truck, because I don't want someone breaking the glass and taking the weapon "paranoia".

I always like following these threads to see other peoples opinions etc,

tango-52
08-31-2007, 8:44 AM
I believe that your gun has to be in a locked container without any ammo. The ammo can not be in the locked container. My wife bought me a gun bag last christmas and it works perfect. I put the gun in the side compartment, and lock the zippers together, and I keep the ammo in the middle compartment.
Long guns do not have to be locked during transport, only handguns. The weapon may not be loaded (as in round in the chamber). Read this thread:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=66404&highlight=transporting

Glock22Fan
08-31-2007, 8:46 AM
What concerns me, "yes to lazy to use the search button, but not to lazy to type saying Im lazy" is as an SUV owner and driver, how I could safely store a 12ga pump in my vehicle without legal or moral backlash. I've often considered placing shells in my locked center console, then having the pump in the back seat with a lock.

Morally I've always said no not until I get a car or truck, because I don't want someone breaking the glass and taking the weapon "paranoia".

I always like following these threads to see other peoples opinions etc,

You will never deter a determined thief, but (IANAL) what you suggest is, I believe, legal. Techincally, the shotgun/rifle doesn't even need to be concealed. Practically, it should be, to avoid unwanted attention from both sides of the law.

steadyrock
08-31-2007, 9:05 AM
Wow, lots of responses so quickly. This is why I like this board. :) The legality of the situation has been discussed in other threads I've seen while searching calguns (and, frankly, is pretty cut and dried if you can follow the penal code). What I'm more concerned with is the ethics of leaving the gun + ammo unattended in my car, which could easily get stolen by some crackpot wannabe thug type. If I choose to carry, don't I have an ethical obligation to attend to all the guns while they're out of the safe?

steadyrock
Orange County, CA
Send lawyers, guns, and money

WokMaster1
08-31-2007, 9:06 AM
When an officer asks you why you have a shotgun in your car, you tell him it's because it's illegal to have a handgun in the glove compartment.
quote by Bill Wiese

This subject has been covered many times. Do an advanced search under Trunk gun.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=62207&highlight=shotgun

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=62207&highlight=shotgun

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=52550&highlight=shotgun

stingray4540
08-31-2007, 9:12 AM
Long guns do not have to be locked during transport, only handguns. The weapon may not be loaded (as in round in the chamber). Read this thread:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=66404&highlight=transporting

Thanks for pointing that out, I will edit my first post.

I was thinking we were talking about handguns, and so that is how I posted, but now that I reread the OP, I see that he did mention a .22 rifle. My mistake.

Glock22Fan
08-31-2007, 9:21 AM
I work on the premise that even though the law does not require the long gun to be either out of sight or locked, both of them are wise precautions, especially if you are leaving your car unattended. You always have the option of unlocking the long gun if you feel at risk while you are in the car.

TTT
08-31-2007, 9:37 AM
Just remember:
Trunk gun=good
Trunk monkey=good
Trunk gun+ trunk monkey=bad

LAK Supply
08-31-2007, 9:41 AM
You always have the option of unlocking the long gun if you feel at risk while you are in the car.

When I was a POW in CA I usually had a Mini on the back seat or floorboard of my truck with a loaded mag close by..... most incidences would occur with minimal time for reaction. I would hate to have to unlock a long gun case while maneuvering around seats and grabbing for a magazine while some BG is trying to harm me or my family.

I would roll unlocked and concealed with your long gun..... those extra several seconds could mean a lot in that situation.

1911_sfca
08-31-2007, 9:51 AM
Thanks for pointing that out, I will edit my first post.

I was thinking we were talking about handguns, and so that is how I posted, but now that I reread the OP, I see that he did mention a .22 rifle. My mistake.

That was not the only error in your post. Please don't post legal advice regarding storage requirements until you know what they are. There are plenty of threads on the board already that spell out legal requirements.

-aK-
08-31-2007, 1:54 PM
What concerns me, "yes to lazy to use the search button, but not to lazy to type saying Im lazy" is as an SUV owner and driver, how I could safely store a 12ga pump in my vehicle without legal or moral backlash. I've often considered placing shells in my locked center console, then having the pump in the back seat with a lock.

Morally I've always said no not until I get a car or truck, because I don't want someone breaking the glass and taking the weapon "paranoia".

I always like following these threads to see other peoples opinions etc,

Disclaimer, I'm no lawyer and have been proven wrong before.

(removed because I was incorrect)

And don't have the shells loaded into the gun.

beyond that you should be okay with an unloaded shotgun and ammo in your SUV. Back seat, front seat, in a case, not in a case, locked, or not locked shouldn't matter. Only you can't brandish it or load it.

Don't take it onto school grounds though there is both state and federal law restricting this.

Read PC sections 12031 for the law about loaded weapons.

Don't take my word for it read up on it here PC 12020 thru 12040 Unlawful Carrying and Possession (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dwcl/12020.php?PHPSESSID=df31051e4b897c2b00c4abfc47a8e3 f0)

Python2
08-31-2007, 2:48 PM
Wow, lots of responses so quickly. This is why I like this board. :) The legality of the situation has been discussed in other threads I've seen while searching calguns (and, frankly, is pretty cut and dried if you can follow the penal code). What I'm more concerned with is the ethics of leaving the gun + ammo unattended in my car, which could easily get stolen by some crackpot wannabe thug type. If I choose to carry, don't I have an ethical obligation to attend to all the guns while they're out of the safe?

steadyrock
Orange County, CA
Send lawyers, guns, and money

Absolutely, the least you can do is conceal it.

Glock22Fan
08-31-2007, 3:45 PM
"But do NOT put ammo in a center console. This is specifically restricted."

Just out of curiosity, where? Utility and glove compartments are specifically banned for concealable firearms (p.c. 12026.1), but ammo? Don't remember ever seeing that one.

-aK-
08-31-2007, 4:06 PM
"But do NOT put ammo in a center console. This is specifically restricted."

Just out of curiosity, where? Utility and glove compartments are specifically banned for concealable firearms (p.c. 12026.1), but ammo? Don't remember ever seeing that one.

Good question. I'm not sure.

I think I may be mistaken and was thinking of handguns/AW's.

Like I said, I've been proven wrong before :)

I just checked and it does not restrict ammo from being in the console just handguns or AW's. There I go spreading rumors...

carsonwales
08-31-2007, 4:16 PM
Not sure if this is right or wrong but I heard that a shotgun with rounds in the saddle is considered not loaded...but rounds in the tube is a NO NO.

If thats the case you can roll with an unlocked shotgun, and a side saddle full of rounds, bolt back.

Correct me if I am wrong...please

http://www.gunaccessories.com/TacticalShotgun/Sidesaddle/sidesdle.jpg

Glock22Fan
08-31-2007, 4:41 PM
Not sure if this is right or wrong but I heard that a shotgun with rounds in the saddle is considered not loaded...but rounds in the tube is a NO NO.

If thats the case you can roll with an unlocked shotgun, and a side saddle full of rounds, bolt back.

Correct me if I am wrong...please


Do a search on this site (or elsewhere) for People v. Clark. It's been posted recently (By HoffmanG?) and explains the situation admirably.

CalNRA
08-31-2007, 6:18 PM
legal to keep a long gun like a shotgun with ammo near by? yes.

ethical? is it ethical for most CLEOs to decide self-defense is not a valid reason for issuing CCWs? do you think that's ethical?

M. Sage
08-31-2007, 6:41 PM
What concerns me, "yes to lazy to use the search button, but not to lazy to type saying Im lazy" is as an SUV owner and driver, how I could safely store a 12ga pump in my vehicle without legal or moral backlash.

I have to ask, since it's in the thread title and all:

What is this "moral" part about? How can keeping your legal personal property with you be immoral or unethical?

Keeping a trunk gun is legal (as long as it's not loaded,) and I don't see how it could be considered immoral or unethical in any way.

Ethically speaking, you're not responsible for someone else's unethical act, such as if someone manages to steal your trunk gun. You can't hold yourself responsible for the evil of others.

steadyrock
08-31-2007, 10:07 PM
Thanks Sage, as I mentioned before the legal part of the situation is pretty easy to discover but I figured I would ask anyway (and, as expected, I have received some very good advice).

What really concerns me, however, is the ethical concern. My first instinct would say that if I've got a gun "out in public" (whether holstered on my hip or in my car), it becomes my responsibility to make sure that the gun is not unattended at any point while it is out of the safe. Obviously, this becomes a non-issue for concealed carry (since the gun is always on my hip, or ankle, or shoulder) but for a trunk gun auto theft and break-ins become a concern. I am very interested to hear the seasoned opinions of the forum regarding this ethical concern. What are your thoughts? Is it ethically OK to leave a rifle or handgun unattended in the trunk of a car, as long as it is unloaded and the ammo is elsewhere (such as in a concealed container in the cabin)?

steadyrock
Orange County, CA
Send lawyers, guns, and money

FreedomIsNotFree
08-31-2007, 10:37 PM
Here is the cite for People v Clark for those that want to read it...

People v. Clark (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 1147 , 53 Cal.Rptr.2d 99

Additionally, here is the FindLaw link to the decision....you may need to log in to read it.
http://login.findlaw.com/scripts/callaw?dest=ca/caapp4th/45/1147.html

hoffmang
08-31-2007, 11:05 PM
And here is a PDF of the FindLaw version for those who don't want to log in:
http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/People-v-Clark-(1996).pdf

-Gene

MedSpec65
09-01-2007, 12:13 AM
CA firearms and ammo transport laws are easy to get, so I won't play lawyer. I WOULD advise you to get your non-res Utah permit before you apply in Orange County. Orange County is one of the most rational of CA counties and it does issue a fair amount of permits, but Murphy's law always applies in this occupied State. Get a permit good in 26 states before you risk getting a refusal in CA and wind up with no chance to carry a concealed firearm in ANY state. Permanently.

M. Sage
09-01-2007, 10:09 AM
Thanks Sage, as I mentioned before the legal part of the situation is pretty easy to discover but I figured I would ask anyway (and, as expected, I have received some very good advice).

What really concerns me, however, is the ethical concern. My first instinct would say that if I've got a gun "out in public" (whether holstered on my hip or in my car), it becomes my responsibility to make sure that the gun is not unattended at any point while it is out of the safe. Obviously, this becomes a non-issue for concealed carry (since the gun is always on my hip, or ankle, or shoulder) but for a trunk gun auto theft and break-ins become a concern. I am very interested to hear the seasoned opinions of the forum regarding this ethical concern. What are your thoughts? Is it ethically OK to leave a rifle or handgun unattended in the trunk of a car, as long as it is unloaded and the ammo is elsewhere (such as in a concealed container in the cabin)?

steadyrock
Orange County, CA
Send lawyers, guns, and money

I do agree that you should take measures to keep the gun from being stolen or winding up in the wrong hands. But, IMO our obligation ends at a reasonable level. Keeping it out of sight, and keeping an eye on your car as much as possible is about as far as I would feel the need to go. I don't have a trunk gun... yet. Nor do I have a safe, for that matter.

It's a good thing to try keeping guns out of criminal hands, but at the end of the day, it's not for you to take responsibility for someone else's evil acts.

Do what you can, but don't limit your access to a gun when you'll need it. That was actually pretty much what I told a friend of my wife's:

"So, you keep your guns in a safe...?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"What good is a gun in a safe to me when I need it?"

FreedomIsNotFree
09-01-2007, 11:40 PM
And here is a PDF of the FindLaw version for those who don't want to log in:
http://www.hoffmang.com/firearms/People-v-Clark-(1996).pdf

-Gene

Gene,

Did you change the location of the .pdf? I was trying to access it via a link you provided some time ago and it failed. Thanks again for the .pdf.

hoffmang
09-02-2007, 12:37 AM
Free,

I just tried it and it seems to be fine. You have to make sure you're getting the whole link and not copy/pasting it from the shortened version that the BB software creates.

-Gene

Matt640h
09-02-2007, 8:08 AM
Get a permit good in 26 states before you risk getting a refusal in CA and wind up with no chance to carry a concealed firearm in ANY state. Permanently.

please explain further

Blue
09-02-2007, 9:04 AM
please explain further

+1 :confused:

MedSpec65
09-02-2007, 8:39 PM
please explain furtherOne of the first questions asked on all State applications is whether or not you have every been DENIED or REFUSED a permit to carry a concealed weapon in any State. If you reply YES to this question, your application will be summarily dismissed and you will lose the fees you posted. Some California counties may eventually issue you a permit after you go through a long, convoluted appeals process, but you will still have a DENIAL on your record and must answer that question truthfully on applications in other states. Unless you live in a SHALL ISSUE California County, get your Utah permit first. It's easy.