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Old 12-13-2010, 10:33 AM
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Default A look at the structure of California Codes

There are numerous places one can find California Codes on-line. The 'official' place is http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html.

That one is hard to search; other easily found places are http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/ and
http://law.onecle.com/california/

Looking there, one sees that there are many separate bodies of law, grouped primarily by general topic, called 'codes'.

Gun laws are mostly in Penal Code, but other laws affecting guns and gun owners are in Health and Safety Code, Government Code, Fish and Game Code.

Using the Penal Code as an example, it has some miscellaneous sections and then 'parts' (Note that this is from Findlaw, which does not yet have the renumbered PC that goes into effect in 2012):
Quote:
Part 1 OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS [25. - 680.]
Part 2 OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS [681. - 1620.]
Part 3 OF IMPRISONMENT AND THE DEATH PENALTY [2000. - 10007.]
Part 4 PREVENTION OF CRIMES AND APPREHENSION OF CRIMINALS [11006. - 14315.]
Part 5 PEACE OFFICERS' MEMORIAL [15001. - 15003.]
Inside 'parts' are 'titles':
Quote:
Title 1 INVESTIGATION AND CONTROL OF CRIMES AND CRIMINALS [11006. - 11460.]
Title 1.5 STATEWIDE PROGRAMS OF EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND RESEARCH FOR LOCAL PUBLIC PROSECUTORS AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS [11500. - 11504.]
Title 2 CONTROL OF DEADLY WEAPONS [12000. - 12809.]
Title 3 CRIMINAL STATISTICS [13000. - 13326.]
Title 4 STANDARDS AND TRAINING OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS [13500. - 13553.]
Title 4.5 CORRECTIONS STANDARDS AUTHORITY [13600. - 13603.]
Title 5 LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE [13700. - 13732.]
Title 5.7 REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT [13775. - 13779.]
Title 6 CALIFORNIA COUNCIL ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE [13800. - 13897.3.]
Title 6.5 LOCAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE PLANNING [13900. - 13980.]
Title 6.7: CALIFORNIA ALLIANCE TO COMBAT TRAFFICKING AND SLAVERY (CALIFORNIA ACTS) TASK FORCE [ - ]
Title 7.5 THE HERTZBERG-LESLIE WITNESS PROTECTION ACT [14020. - 14033.]
Title 8 BUILDING SECURITY [14051. - 14051.]
Title 10 COMMUNITY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION [14110. - 14121.]
Title 10.5 VIOLENT CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN [14140. - 14143.]
Title 10.6 COMMUNITY CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROGRAMS [14150. - 14156.]
Title 11 RECORDS AND REPORTS OF MONETARY INSTRUMENT TRANSACTIONS [14160. - 14167.]
Title 11.5 CENTRAL VALLEY RURAL CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAM [14170. - 14175.]
Title 11.7 CENTRAL COAST RURAL CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAM [14180. - 14183.]
Title 12 VIOLENT CRIME INFORMATION CENTER [14200. - 14213.]
Title 12.5 DNA [14250. - 14251.]
Title 13 LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT AND TRAINING PROGRAMS [14300. - 14315.]
Inside 'titles' are 'Chapters':
Quote:
Chapter 1 Firearms [12000. - 12101.]
Chapter 1.3 Unsafe Handguns [12125. - 12133.]
Chapter 2 Machine Guns [12200. - 12251.]
Chapter 2.3 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 [12275. - 12290.]
Chapter 2.5 Destructive Devices [12301. - 12316.]
Chapter 2.6 Ammunition [12320. - 12325.]
Chapter 3.2 Boobytraps [12355. - 12355.]
Chapter 3.5 Body Armour Certification [12360. - 12370.]
Chapter 4 Tear Gas Weapons [12401. - 12426.]
Chapter 5 Firearm Devices [12500. - 12520.]
Chapter 6 Miscellaneous [12550. - 12809.]
Inside 'chapters' are 'articles':
Quote:
Article 1 General Provisions [12000. - 12003.]
Article 1.5 Prohibited Armed Persons File [12010. - 12012.]
Article 2 Unlawful Carrying and Possession of Weapons [12020. - 12040.]
Article 3 Licenses to Carry Pistols and Revolvers [12050. - 12054.]
Article 4 Licenses to Sell Firearms [12070. - 12086.]
Article 4.5 Firearms Safety Devices [12087. - 12088.9.]
Article 5 Obliteration of Identification Marks [12090. - 12094.]
Article 6 Permits [12095. - 12099.]
Article 7 Juveniles [12101. - 12101.]
Inside 'articles' are 'sections':
Quote:
Section 12020
Section 12020.1
Section 12020.3
Section 12020.5
Section 12021
... etc
and these have 'sub-sections', marked by lower-case letters, such as '(a)'

No one uses it this way (except for a few bills) but PC 12020(a) is fully specified as
Penal Code, Part 4, Title 2, Chapter 1, Article 2, Section 12020, subsection (a).
That full specification is not usually needed because the codes do not re-use section numbers within a single code.
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Last edited by Librarian; 09-29-2011 at 1:15 PM..