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  #1  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:21 AM
Robanada Robanada is offline
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Default Do you need a "reason" to transport a firearm in your car?

I hope this is the right section to post this...

So I was coming down the grapevine a little too fast and I got pulled over. This was the first time I'd been pulled over with my firearm in the car, so I wanted to be extra cautious (hands on the wheel the whole time, etc, etc). When the officer asked for my registration, it was in the glovebox, of course, which was also where my pistol was. So before I opened the [locked] glove compartment to retrieve my registration, I told the officer exactly:

"My registration is in the glove compartment, but before I open it I just want to let you know that I have an unloaded firearm in a locked case in there. Would you prefer to open the glove box yourself?"

But he seemed uninterested and dismissed it "oh yeah, go right ahead."

So I gave him the stuff he needed and he wrote my expensive ticket (and I guess he trusted me enough not to ask me to step out of the car and away from the gun while he wrote the ticket), and when he came back, he asked me what firearm I had. I thought maybe, being someone who carries every day, he's probably a gun enthusiast too and maybe being nice by small talking about some common ground. I told him I had a Makarov in there. Then he says:

"Well, what do you have a gun in there for? You just carry it with you or what?"

I was a little bit surprised, he seemed like he was prying a bit. I know you can legally transport firearms in your car in California, and I had it locked up properly, so I didn't know why it was any of his business WHY I had the firearm with me. I didn't know I needed to have a reason to carry my private property with me wherever I happen to be going (that doesn't prohibit said property). He COULD have been just curious, but the tone and phrasing made it sound accusatory, like I shouldn't have it in my car without a good reason.

I didn't want to be a pain or start any trouble, so I told him the truth- I was visiting my parents' house for the weekend. The implication that I failed to explicate being that I normally keep my pistol at my place instead of my parents' and was going to do some shooting this weekend.

Nothing came of it, he told me to slow down and went on his way. I just want to make sure that I'm not missing something about transportation laws. I thought that CHP would be gun-friendly in general, especially since I was very upfront about the gun's presence in the car and offered to let him handle it. I kind of thought that made it clear that I don't have any malicious intent.

How would you guys have handled that situation? Why do you have a gun in your car?
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:31 AM
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The way I would have handled the situation. I would keep my papers separate from where my guns was first of all. Second if your gun was in a separately locked container in the glove box then why did you feel the need to tell the officer about it? Was it a clear box or something? He doesn't know what's in the box and it's not something that you can easily access. Just hand him the necessary paperwork and do not mention the gun.
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Old 04-29-2013, 1:11 AM
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You can answer the question just about however you like... The officer was doing exactly what you wanted him to do, making small talk with you. Just like the population they are drawn from, some LEO's can be somewhat blunt when talking with others for all kinds of reasons from personality (or lack thereof) to it being hour number 15 of their shift. If he had actually been bothered or "prying" for information there would have been a slew of follow-up questions.
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Old 04-29-2013, 1:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safewaysecurity View Post
The way I would have handled the situation. I would keep my papers separate from where my guns was first of all. Second if your gun was in a separately locked container in the glove box then why did you feel the need to tell the officer about it? Was it a clear box or something? He doesn't know what's in the box and it's not something that you can easily access. Just hand him the necessary paperwork and do not mention the gun.
Good call on keeping them separate. The case fits nicely in the glovebox which is nice for when I step out of the car like at a gas station or something- it's out of sight, and I can put one more lock between a bad guy and the gun that way. (If the case was stolen, the lock could be pretty easily defeated, I think. Just break/cut off the plastic tabs that it locks, heh). So I've just been making a habit of transporting the gun in the glovebox because it's better than the trunk or backseat. I'll have to move my documents next time.

The reason I told him about it was because I'm not sure if I HAVE to inform the officer? I think there's certain times when you're legally required to, and so it was more of a CYA kind of thing. I just wanted to make sure I didn't surprise him- I don't think anyone likes to be surprised by a gun, heh.

I figured that, when I pull my case out of the glovebox to get the registration, the rinkydink lock is going to be very obvious, and I think any officer would be suspicious/curious about what's in a locked case. Obviously you don't have to tell them, but again, I'm not a lawyer, so I'd want to be on the safe side. I don't want to lie to an officer, especially about having a firearm, so if the officer was curious and asked about what was in the locked case I just pulled out in front of him, I'd definitely tell him that there is a firearm in there. I wouldn't want to end up in any trouble because I didn't say anything when I was supposed to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
You can answer the question just about however you like... The officer was doing exactly what you wanted him to do, making small talk with you. Just like the population they are drawn from, some LEO's can be somewhat blunt when talking with others for all kinds of reasons from personality (or lack thereof) to it being hour number 15 of their shift. If he had actually been bothered or "prying" for information there would have been a slew of follow-up questions.
Oh okay, that's good. Maybe I misinterpreted small talk as disapproval. Especially these days, I'm just worried that certain people (feinsteincuomobloomberg) would use any excuse to confiscate my firearms, so I guess I'm particularly defensive about them. Good point about the follow up questions- I should have been nice in return and offered to let him shoot a few rounds! Haha.
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Old 04-29-2013, 1:31 AM
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If you're not a lawyer and not sure what to say then you should reserve your right to remain silent. You do not have to inform an officer if you have a gun even if he asks in Cali. Just don't answer or ask how that's relevant to the stop.
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Old 04-29-2013, 2:10 AM
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just don't carry your papers and your firearms together...buy a registration card holder that you can affix to your visor above you...keep that and your insurance papers together in it...then, there is no reason at all to be fumbling around with your glove box during a stop

officers get edgy anyway, anytime you start going into your glove box for retrieval, and, if one happens to see the other case in there, whether they can tell what it is or not, they might get defensive

in addition, keep the chat limited to the traffic offense, which, can still be done respectfully...had you not mentioned the firearm, most likely, the stop would have stayed traffic related

as far as the law goes, there is no law on the books about when or why you can legally transport a firearm in your vehicle
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Last edited by TeddyBallgame; 04-29-2013 at 2:12 AM..
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2013, 6:46 AM
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There are certain firearms that require specific destinations when they are being transported.

Registered Assault Weapons [PC 30945] and Dangerous Weapons (DD, MG, SBR, SBS) can only be transported directly to and from authorized locations.

They can not be transported around without a specific "reason/destination".


A firearm that is not a Registered Assault Weapon and/or a Dangerous Weapon does not need a specific "reason/destination" in order to be transported.




Penal Code 30945
Unless a permit allowing additional uses is first obtained under Section 31000, a person who has registered an assault weapon or registered a .50 BMG rifle under this article may possess it only under any of the following conditions:
(a) At that person's residence, place of business, or other property owned by that person, or on property owned by another with the owner's express permission.
(b) While on the premises of a target range of a public or private club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets.
(c) While on a target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range.
(d) While on the premises of a shooting club that is licensed pursuant to the Fish and Game Code.
(e) While attending any exhibition, display, or educational project that is about firearms and that is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms.
(f) While on publicly owned land, if the possession and use of a firearm described in Section 30510, 30515, 30520, or 30530, is specifically permitted by the managing agency of the land.
(g) While transporting the assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle between any of the places mentioned in this section, or to any licensed gun dealer, for servicing or repair pursuant to Section 31050, if the assault weapon is transported as required by Sections 16850 and 25610.
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Last edited by Quiet; 04-29-2013 at 6:50 AM..
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2013, 6:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
There are certain firearms that require specific destinations when they are being transported.

Registered Assault Weapons [PC 30945] and Dangerous Weapons (DD, MG, SBR, SBS) can only be transported directly to and from authorized locations.

They can not be transported around without a specific "reason/destination".



Penal Code 30945
Unless a permit allowing additional uses is first obtained under Section 31000, a person who has registered an assault weapon or registered a .50 BMG rifle under this article may possess it only under any of the following conditions:
(a) At that person's residence, place of business, or other property owned by that person, or on property owned by another with the owner's express permission.
(b) While on the premises of a target range of a public or private club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets.
(c) While on a target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range.
(d) While on the premises of a shooting club that is licensed pursuant to the Fish and Game Code.
(e) While attending any exhibition, display, or educational project that is about firearms and that is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms.
(f) While on publicly owned land, if the possession and use of a firearm described in Section 30510, 30515, 30520, or 30530, is specifically permitted by the managing agency of the land.
(g) While transporting the assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle between any of the places mentioned in this section, or to any licensed gun dealer, for servicing or repair pursuant to Section 31050, if the assault weapon is transported as required by Sections 16850 and 25610.
Something to think about when you consider that the anti's want to make any semi-auto with a detachable magazine a registered assault weapon.
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Old 04-29-2013, 6:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by safewaysecurity View Post
If you're not a lawyer and not sure what to say then you should reserve your right to remain silent. You do not have to inform an officer if you have a gun even if he asks in Cali. Just don't answer or ask how that's relevant to the stop.
Just a slight exception to your statement. If you have an LTC and are carrying, some issuing agencies now require you to notify a LEO of that fact, during any encounter (traffic stop, etc.). Sac Co. is one, I know there are others.
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Old 04-29-2013, 7:47 AM
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Please if you have read this far go back and re-read the entire post by CitaDeL.
He has made an amazing point about the new bill that requires almost all (including 22's) semi automatic rifles to be registered as assault weapons.

which will mean you'll need a reason to have it in your vehicle, like you are going to or coming from the range or your gun smith.

I believe some other states this is the case and almost every traffic stop begins with the "are there any guns in the car?" question.

if you don't answer the right way your firearms gets confiscated. I don't think being silent, pleading the 5th, or even asking how this pertains to be a traffic stop helps you keep your firearms from being taken.

please think about this and try and do something legally to stop these bills from becoming the law.

I plan to scrounge up some money to give to a pro 2nd amendment California based organization.

Last edited by sealocan; 04-29-2013 at 7:54 AM..
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:13 AM
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Not so sure about that comment about other states starting off with "Are there guns in the car?"

I drive cross country often and occasionally encounter a safety/DUI/etc checkpoint and I have a rifle box and a pistol case on the back seat since I occasionally get a chance to shoot or hunt with friends or family. In my numerous stops in a large percentage of the states, I have never been asked about firearms even when the case is clearly visible, even in CA.

However, I do truly dislike the idea of being required to have a destination.... then again you can always say "I am planning to go to the range" the followup would be where and your response would be "The next one I find".

It is a grey area, but you have to play those games nowadays.
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:40 AM
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I keep my handgun in a tethered Gunvault in the center console. License/registration goes in the compartment above. I would never "offer" up that I have a firearm in the vehicle. Being on the right side of the law is one thing. I don't have the time/$$/inclination to jump through the hoops getting my firearm back from an unlawful seizure.

I also don't generally place the CHP in the "pro-gun/want to be your buddy" list of agencies. I am very respectful of all LEO, however my experience is that CHP is least likely to favor an armed public in California.
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Old 04-29-2013, 8:51 AM
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I keep my registration and proof of insurance in my door pocket. I sometimes take my carry gun off and put it in the glove or if I'm going somewhere that prohibits me carrying. (ie. Post Office or other Federal Buildings)

I've been pulled over twice over the last 12 years and have never been asked about firearms though. I've also never offered the information because it's just a normal moving violation. LEO's need probable cause to search your vehicle, so I don't give them cause.
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Old 04-29-2013, 9:30 AM
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Given where your gun was I would have done the same as you. Far better to keep in in a locked case in the trunk or hatchback in the future.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robanada View Post
When the officer asked for my registration, it was in the glovebox, of course, which was also where my pistol was. So before I opened the [locked] glove compartment to retrieve my registration, I told the officer exactly:

"My registration is in the glove compartment, but before I open it I just want to let you know that I have an unloaded firearm in a locked case in there. Would you prefer to open the glove box yourself?"
Wait, I thought the glove box was always a no-no for firearm storage even if it's in a separate locked container?
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
If you're not a lawyer and not sure what to say
Lawyers do not know what to say without preparation. Their attitude has some juice, however.

I wouldn't call CHP gun friendly. They are the State police, and would probably rather that the people were unarmed.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:09 AM
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Is it better to have a key lock or 3 number combo lock? If you need to access it in a hurry I guess a key would be quick since you don't have to remember numbers?
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman View Post
Wait, I thought the glove box was always a no-no for firearm storage even if it's in a separate locked container?
No - the glove box itself is not acceptable as the 'locked container' for unloaded transport of handguns. A distinct locking container may be carried anyplace in a vehicle, including in a glove box or a utility compartment (if you can figure out what that is).
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:13 PM
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As noted above, the Legislature is in the process of re-definining "Assault Weapons" to include pretty much everything, including .22s. Which will impact how and when you can transport them.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:27 PM
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Is the cable lock thru both holes on a gun case acceptable?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zman View Post
Wait, I thought the glove box was always a no-no for firearm storage even if it's in a separate locked container?
No, the law states that the glove box and the utility compartments are not locked containers. Having the unloaded gun in a seperate locked container meets the legal requirement for non-LTC transport, even if it is in the glove box.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:37 PM
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Is the cable lock thru both holes on a gun case acceptable?
As long as you cannot open the case when it is locked.

A 12" cable lock through two holes that are right next to each other would allow you to open the container and remove the firearm without unlocking anything. That would be a bad thing.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:43 PM
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It has one hole on each side of the handle so about 5" apart.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtrigger77 View Post
It has one hole on each side of the handle so about 5" apart.
Same answer, If you can open it up and get the firearm out of the box without unlocking it, it is not locked in a secure container.

If you cannot get the gun out of the box without unlocking it, you are good to go.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:50 PM
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Ok cool. Oh this is probably a dumb question but is a loaded mag in the locked case ok?
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:53 PM
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http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Transporting answers all of this FAQ
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:57 PM
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Thank you for the info.
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Old 04-29-2013, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
No - the glove box itself is not acceptable as the 'locked container' for unloaded transport of handguns. A distinct locking container may be carried anyplace in a vehicle, including in a glove box or a utility compartment (if you can figure out what that is).
Could that be a reference to the compartment where a small bottle jack is stored? My truck has one.
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Old 04-29-2013, 2:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
No - the glove box itself is not acceptable as the 'locked container' for unloaded transport of handguns. A distinct locking container may be carried anyplace in a vehicle, including in a glove box or a utility compartment (if you can figure out what that is).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decoligny View Post
No, the law states that the glove box and the utility compartments are not locked containers. Having the unloaded gun in a seperate locked container meets the legal requirement for non-LTC transport, even if it is in the glove box.
Thanks! That's what I thought, although I have avoided the glove box altogether when transporting.
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Old 04-29-2013, 3:16 PM
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Quote:
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Could that be a reference to the compartment where a small bottle jack is stored? My truck has one.
Maybe. Or, could be the place where one keeps a small bottle of Jack. But PC does not provide a definition for 'utility compartment' causing much [sarcasm]merriment[/sarcasm] here.
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Old 04-29-2013, 5:17 PM
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Maybe. Or, could be the place where one keeps a small bottle of Jack.
I read that the same way.

Which reminds me.......
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