In various threads recently and in the past there have been questions raised about the legality of locked container carry (LCC) of a handgun or "poor man's CCW." I want to open a discussion (which may be a rehash as Librarian and Bweise may have gotten to the right answer already but I admit I'm too lazy to search around for it.) I don't want to assume I'm correct but I would hope that at the end of this thread we're able to pull something that reflects the collective analysis of the community together and post it on the CGF wiki for posterity.
First - for this entire thread, we are assuming a pistol or revolver, unloaded
, next to a full magazine or a full speedloader locked in a messenger briefcase that has a 3 dial combo lock - something that might look like this
The confusion seems to be around where one can take LCC. The controlling Penal Code is 12025:
12025. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when
he or she does any of the following:
(1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her
control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(3) Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which he
or she is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person.
The exception that LCC relies upon is in PC 12026.1
12026.1. (a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any
citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or
is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted
classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or
Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from
transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the
following applies to the firearm:
(1) The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the
vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle other than
the utility or glove compartment.
(2) The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any
motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm,
the firearm is contained within a locked container.
(b) The provisions of this section do not prohibit or limit the
otherwise lawful carrying or transportation of any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in
accordance with this chapter.
(c) As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure
container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock,
combination lock, or similar locking device.
Reading this, here is what I know I can do. I can have an LCC firearm in my home or place of business (PC 12026.) PC 12026.1 (a)(2) allows me to carry the firearm directly to my car from home or work. I can also have the LCC firearm in my car per 12026.1(a)(1). Notice that there is no requirement that my car has to go anywhere in particular.
Now if I go to a friend's house, I can again likely rely on 12026 as the private property is "private property owned or lawfully possessed" since I have permission.
Going into the mall with an LCC is a bit of a gray area. If I don't have permission I may run into the issues in People v. Yarbrough
- a completely wrong case that is binding until we can get Nordyke
final. At the mall, you would be on private property that is publicly accessible and thus carrying dangerous weapons in publicly sensitive places per the Yarbrough
court. (Horribly wrong on the law, but this is what happens when criminals try to use the 2A.) However note that nothing bars you from leaving the LCC in your car when you go into "public" private property.
It is my contention that but for getting out of the car to go to non truly private places you have permission to be at, LCC does not require that you be going to or coming from anywhere in particular.
That thought comes from people thinking that 12026.2 somehow limits 12026.1. It doesn't. It appears to me that 12026.2 adds more exceptions and restates the LCC exemption for certain cases.
Among the places/destinations PC 12026.2 additionally allows for LCC:
(a)(4) Going to or from any place you can in 12026 (home/work/private property) - note that this exception is broader than just vehicles and probably includes walking.
It looks to me like LCC is legal as long as you are in your car or at a place of private property where you have permission to be with a firearm.