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Old April 26, 2009, 11:25 AM   #1
jdscholer
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Firearms/Vehicles in California

We just attended the CCW class for Mrs. jds permit yesterday, and of course got home with a few questions that we should have asked in class.

We are Oregonians who live near the CA border. The instructor said that in California, firearms in vehicles must be carried in a locked container, unloaded, with any ammunition in a different location, not necessarily locked.

Does this apply to long guns also, or just handguns? Do all you Kallys actually have lock boxes in your rigs? How about window gun racks?

This is a major PIA as we often embark on a journey that might require driving in CA for a distance.

We would appreciate hearing from anyone with REAL knowledge on this. jd
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Old April 26, 2009, 12:30 PM   #2
maestro pistolero
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Long guns do not need to be locked, but must be unloaded.
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Old April 26, 2009, 02:59 PM   #3
FDE007
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IIRC, CA Law: "locked container does not mean the glove box"

With that in mind;
I treat my trunk as a locked container. Ammo I store in a range bag in the CAB section of the car.
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Old April 26, 2009, 08:06 PM   #4
jdscholer
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Our instructor said that even the locked trunk didn't qualify as a locked container, which I find hard to believe.

Any California LEOs out there care to chime in? jd
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Old April 26, 2009, 08:15 PM   #5
sholling
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Check over at Calguns.net.
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Old April 26, 2009, 08:19 PM   #6
maestro pistolero
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Quote:
Our instructor said that even the locked trunk didn't qualify as a locked container, which I find hard to believe.
Incorrect.
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Old April 26, 2009, 09:58 PM   #7
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Interesting conversation. Last time I went to Ca and went pig hunting, their game and fish dept could not tell me what was legal. I finally found a book on the counter at a Sportsmans' Warehouse which said that it had to be in a locked, hard sided guncase, w/ the ammo somewhere else in the vehicle. Just as was suggested. This was for a long gun obviously. Not to be argumental but I would be interested in any more info on this also as I plan to hunt again..soon.
Maestro, I appreciate your firm answers, however could you enlighten us as to your knowledge base on this?
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Old April 26, 2009, 10:03 PM   #8
roy reali
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Better Safe

In California it is always better to error on the side of over doing it. They no tolerance and very little sense of humor for gun violations.
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Old April 27, 2009, 02:11 AM   #9
maestro pistolero
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Here you go.

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.

Note that California law only mandates locked transportation of firearms capable of being concealed upon the person. All firearms being transported must be unloaded

Source:
http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/Cfl2006.pdf
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Old April 27, 2009, 02:29 AM   #10
maestro pistolero
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And just for good measure, from the office of the California Attorney General:

Nonconcealable firearms (rifles and shotguns) are not generally covered within the provisions of California Penal Code section 12025 and therefore are not required to be transported in a locked container. However, as with any firearm, nonconcealable firearms must be unloaded while they are being transported. A rifle or shotgun that is defined as an assault weapon pursuant to Penal Code 12276 or 12276.1 must be transported in accordance with Penal Code section 12026.1.

http://www.ag.ca.gov/firearms/travel.php
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Old April 27, 2009, 08:21 AM   #11
elkman06
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Exactly what I had hoped for. I would imagine for the OP as well. Thanks Maestro.
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Old April 30, 2009, 10:50 PM   #12
HondaMasterTech
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One thing I would like to add is that the trunk can be considered a locked container if you cannot access it from the passenger compartment without unlocking something first ie, a locking fold-down rear seat in a sedan, if I recall correctly.
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Old April 30, 2009, 11:13 PM   #13
Ricky B
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Maestro Pistolero, you overlooked something. Read the section again. There are two requirements (1) it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container and (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.

Therefore, if you don't keep the handgun in a locked container in the trunk, how did you get it in the trunk? In theory, one might carry the firearm "contained within a locked container" to the motor vehicle and then unload it into the trunk, but as a practical matter, why would anyone do that? The practical reality is that, given the requirement to carry the firearm "contained within a locked container" to the motor vehicle, a person is just going to put the locked container in the trunk.

If you put the handgun into the trunk without its having been carried to the motor vehicle while contained within a locked container, you have not complied fully with the exception.

Therefore the statement that a trunk does not qualify as a locked container is "close enough for government work."
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Old May 1, 2009, 04:18 AM   #14
Stiofan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky B
(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.
Maestro is correct regardless. You need to look up not only 12026.1, but also 12061.2 and 12026 as well as there are exceptions to the above rule contained in them.


12026 allows you to carry open or concealed anywhere on your private property, such as your driveway. In that case you need no locked container.

12026.2 lists places you can transport guns to for their legal use such as a shooting range, or a campground in the national or state forest where the gun can legally be used openly for lawful protection.

Some feel there is no open carry allowed in California. That's not necessarily true. It's just restricted to unincorporated areas and unless camping or hunting, the gun must be unloaded.

From 12026

Quote:
(a) Section 12025 shall not apply to or affect any citizen of the United States or legal resident 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, who carries, either openly or concealed, anywhere within the citizen's or legal resident's place of residence, place of business, or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the citizen or legal resident any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
From 12026.2

Quote:
(11) The transportation of a firearm by a person when going directly to, or coming directly from, a lawful camping activity for the purpose of having that firearm available for lawful personal protection while at the lawful campsite. This paragraph shall not be construed to override the statutory authority granted to the Department of Parks and Recreation or any other state or local governmental agencies to promulgate rules and regulations governing the administration of parks and campgrounds.
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Old May 1, 2009, 09:54 AM   #15
Ricky B
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Sorry, Stiofan, but you can't mix and match. If you want the benefit of the exemption granted by 12026.1, you have to comply with all of its conditions. You can't comply with just one condition and then use another exemption to cover the condition you didn't comply with.
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Old May 1, 2009, 05:52 PM   #16
Doggieman
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IIRC you can open carry everywhere in CA (other than courts, schools, etc) as long as the gun is not loaded.

And also, there's no requirement that the ammo be carried outside the locked container that the gun is in while in the car. I carry my ammo in mags right next to my gun in a locked briefcase.

It is strange because it seems to say that if you're carrying your gun to the car it has to be locked up WHILE you're carrying it to the car. But if you're not going to the car but rather to Roberto's Taco Shop, then I don't see any law specifying it can't be open-carried.
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Old May 1, 2009, 05:56 PM   #17
Doggieman
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TFTL: http://www.californiaopencarry.org/faq.html

These guys know what they're talking about. LOADED open carry in unincorporated parts of a county is perfectly ok. In fact when I car-camp out in the boonies of Imperial County I usually have my gun loaded next to me on the passenger seat.
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Old May 1, 2009, 06:52 PM   #18
maestro pistolero
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Quote:
Maestro Pistolero, you overlooked something. Read the section again. There are two requirements (1) it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container and (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.

Therefore, if you don't keep the handgun in a locked container in the trunk, how did you get it in the trunk? In theory, one might carry the firearm "contained within a locked container" to the motor vehicle and then unload it into the trunk, but as a practical matter, why would anyone do that? The practical reality is that, given the requirement to carry the firearm "contained within a locked container" to the motor vehicle, a person is just going to put the locked container in the trunk.

If you put the handgun into the trunk without its having been carried to the motor vehicle while contained within a locked container, you have not complied fully with the exception.

Therefore the statement that a trunk does not qualify as a locked container is "close enough for government work."
I believe it is you who has overlooked something. As someone already pointed out, you may carry the loaded gun openly on your own property. If, while on your own property, you remove the mag, and the chambered round, and lock the gun in your trunk, you are in compliance.

If you should need to retrieve AND LOAD the gun for any lawful purpose such as self defense, or on the property of a gun range for the purposes of target practice, you are covered under the law.

Quote:
If you put the handgun into the trunk without its having been carried to the motor vehicle while contained within a locked container, you have not complied fully with the exception
Therefore the statement that a trunk does not qualify as a locked container is "close enough for government work." .
Incorrect. Be glad there was no quiz.

You are overlooking the fact that the locked container provision is only for transport in the vehicle. As long as it is unloaded, (long guns and handguns) you are free to openly carry in any place where is is not otherwise prohibited. For handguns, one example would be a school zone.

FYI: 12026.1 contains exceptions to 12025... it doesn't create a crime in and of itself. 12025 only deals with concealed carry, not open carry.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; May 1, 2009 at 07:56 PM.
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Old May 1, 2009, 08:37 PM   #19
Ricky B
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Quote:
As someone already pointed out, you may carry the loaded gun openly on your own property. If, while on your own property, you remove the mag, and the chambered round, and lock the gun in your trunk, you are in compliance.

If you should need to retrieve AND LOAD the gun for any lawful purpose such as self defense, or on the property of a gun range for the purposes of target practice, you are covered under the law.
And as I have already pointed out, you can't mix and match.

But I am not looking to persuade you that you are wrong. I am offering my reading of the statute, and you can do what you like. As for me, when I go to the range, I lock my Pachmayr gun box before putting it into the trunk, and I don't unlock it until it goes on the bench at the range. If anyone wants to fool around with carrying an unloaded handgun in the trunk but not in a locked container and thinking that he can rely on 12026.1, be my guest.

Quote:
the locked container provision is only for transport in the vehicle. As long as it is unloaded, (long guns and handguns) you are free to openly carry in any place where is is not otherwise prohibited. For handguns, one example would be a school zone.
We agree on that (except to the extent you want to ignore the carrying to and fro in a locked container condition of 12026.1 and then want to rely on 12026.1). For example, you are perfectly free to carry an unloaded handgun on your dashboard or on top of the passenger seat as long as you're not in a prohibited area. You can probably also carry it in a belt holster openly suspended from the waist while in a car.

Once a handgun goes into the trunk, it runs the risk of being deemed concealed, and then an exception to 12025 is needed to avoid violating the law.

Last edited by Ricky B; May 1, 2009 at 08:38 PM. Reason: correct typo
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Old May 1, 2009, 08:40 PM   #20
Ricky B
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Quote:
It is strange because it seems to say that if you're carrying your gun to the car it has to be locked up WHILE you're carrying it to the car.
I am in no way suggesting that the law make sense!
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:04 PM   #21
maestro pistolero
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Think of it this way, you must have it locked because it's not being carried openly and unloaded.
I hope this helps.
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Think of it this way, you must have it locked because it's not being carried openly and unloaded.
I hope this helps.
This is correct.

16026, 16026.1 & 2 are exceptions to 16025. You can walk your loaded and concealed, or loaded and open carry weapon to your car as long as you are on your own property always. 16026 makes the exception to carry in any fashion on your own property, even if you are just putting the gun in your car. If you move the car off your property, it better meet the requirements of unloaded and locked away though.
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Old May 1, 2009, 10:59 PM   #23
roy reali
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One Line Says It All

Quote:
If you are unwilling to accept this risk of false arrest, or are unable to bear the significant financial burden for your legal defense, then don't Open Carry in California.
This statement should tell anyone about all they need to know about California.
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Old May 1, 2009, 11:49 PM   #24
Doggieman
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There's so much confusion on this topic that I'm writing a treatise on the subject and publish it on my blog.

12026.1(a)(1) says you can have the gun unlocked in a car's trunk so long as the trunk itself is locked.

Also 12025 applies to concealed firearms, so if you carry your unloaded gun openly from your house to your car and then put it in the trunk you're ok.

If your car is parked on the street you can still do this, as long as you're not within 1000' of a school, in which case you pretty much need to have it locked in a case every time you take it off your property.
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Old May 2, 2009, 12:15 AM   #25
mdvaden
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Interesting topic.

I was curious about the same thing when I did my conceal carry address change this week, to our new address in this north Oregon county. They were not certain up here of what the law was down there.

Hey ...

Tangent first - can you believe this ...

Thursday morning, I filled the application and did the fingerprint photo routine at Washington Country Sheriff's office (Oregon). They said "within" 5 days I should get the new handgun license sent. Finished about 11am.

Friday morning - next day - about 10am, I open an envelope and there it is less than 24 hours later - my brand spankin new handgun license. Now that's service.

jdscholor ...

Do you live near Cave Junction, and your trips are through California on the way to Brookings or something of the like?

Pretty nice drive down along the Smith River.
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