Carrying a Concealed Weapon Laws
(California Penal Code 25400 PC)

 

California Penal Code 25400 PC, California's carrying a concealed weapon law, makes it a crime to carry a concealed firearm on your person or in a vehicle.1

Penal Code 25400 PC reads: "A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when the person does any of the following: (1) Carries concealed within any vehicle that is under the person's control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (2) Carries concealed upon the 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 the person is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person."

A PC 25400 charge is separate and distinct from:

  • Penal Code 25850 PC, California's law against carrying a loaded firearm,2 and
  • Penal Code 26350 PC, openly carrying an unloaded firearm in public.3

In June 2016, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California's "concealed carry" laws against a constitutional challenge. The court's landmark ruling in Peruta vs. County of San Diego stated that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution doesn't protect a right to concealed firearms.

We are a law firm of former police and former prosecutors that focuses on defending clients charged with violating California gun laws such as Penal Code 25400 PC.

In this article, our California criminal defense lawyers4 will address the following:

Person-putting-gun-in-waistband-of-pants
Penal Code 25400 PC is California's "carrying a concealed weapon" law.

1. What is the Legal Definition of "Carrying a Concealed Firearm" in California?

You violate Penal Code 25400 PC, "carrying a concealed firearm," when you commit certain acts with:

  • a pistol,
  • a revolver, or
  • any other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

The prohibited acts are:

  1. Carrying the firearm concealed within any vehicle under your control or direction;
  2. Carrying the firearm concealed upon your person; OR
  3. Causing the firearm to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which you are an occupant.5

Effective January 1, 2012, California has no "open-carry" exception for unloaded firearms.  It is now illegal in California to carry an unloaded gun upon your person in a public place.6

1.1. Elements of the crime of carrying a concealed weapon

There are three requirements ("elements of the crime") under Penal Code 25400 PC:

  1. you concealed a firearm on your person or in a vehicle,
  2. you knew about the presence of the concealed gun, and
  3. the firearm was substantially concealed.7

Let's take a look at some of these terms to gain a better understanding of their legal definitions.

1.2. Meaning of "concealed"

Man-putting-gun-in-pocket
You are only guilty under PC 25400 if you conceal a firearm.

Penal Code 25400 PC punishes carrying a concealed firearm.  If you are carrying a weapon in plain view, you aren't guilty of violating this particular law.

You may, however, be violating California Penal Code 26350.   Penal Code 26350 makes it a crime to openly carry an exposed and unloaded handgun outside a vehicle in a public place.8

Person-pointing-gun-at-viewer
If you openly carry a gun in a public place, you will be charged under PC 26350, not PC 25400.

 

As long as the firearm is at least partially concealed, you could be liable for carrying a concealed firearm under Penal Code 25400 PC.9 This is so even if the gun is nevertheless identifiable.

Examples:  In one case, the court held that even though the officer could see a four or five inch long narrow bulge in the defendant's rear pants pocket...suspecting that the bulge was a gun...it was still deemed a concealed weapon.10
Outline-of-gun-in-man's-khaki-pocket
A partially concealed gun is considered a concealed gun for purposes of Penal Code 25400 PC.
Similarly, in another case, a cop noticed an outline of a handgun under the defendant's shirt.  Even though the officer could tell what the object was, it still qualified as a concealed weapon.11

Under Penal Code 25400(b), firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed weapons.12 Nevertheless, as of January 1, 2012, it is illegal to openly carry a loaded or unloaded gun in California.13

1.3. "Pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person"

Pistol
A pistol is one type of weapon covered by PC 25400.
Revolver
A revolver is one type of weapon covered by PC 25400.

A "pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person" is:

  1. any device,
  2. designed to be used as a weapon,
  3. from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any explosion, or other form of combustion, and
  4. that has a barrel either less than 16 inches in length, or 16 inches or more in length that is designed to be interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches.14

These terms also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon.15 The frame is the basic unit of a handgun which serves as a mounting for the barrel and operating parts of the gun.  The receiver holds the mechanical parts of a gun and includes the trigger housing and bolt carrier group.16

1.4. Definition of "firearm"

Penal Code 16520(a) defines "firearm" for purposes of PC 25400 (California's carrying a concealed firearm law) as:

  1. a device,
  2. designed to be used as a weapon,
  3. from which is expelled through a barrel,
  4. a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.17

It also includes any "rocket, rocket propelled projectile launcher, or similar device containing any explosive or incendiary material whether or not the device is designed for emergency or distress signaling purposes."18

Rocket-propelled-launcher
Rocket propelled launchers are included in California's carrying a concealed firearm law.

"Firearms" under PC 25400 include (but are not limited to):

  • pistols,
  • revolvers,
  • handguns,
  • rifles (including short-barreled rifles),
  • shotguns (including short-barreled shotguns), and
  • tasers.19
Taser
Tasers are included in PC 25400's definition of "firearms."

Pellet guns and BB guns, which rely on the force of air pressure and not combustion, do not qualify as firearms under the law.20

BB-gun-with-pellets-and-canisters
BB guns are not considered firearms under Penal Code 25400 PC.

The intent behind California gun laws such as Penal Code 25400 is to protect society from the potential harm that seeing a concealed weapon might elicit.  So prosecutors can charge you with carrying a concealed weapon even if the gun is inoperable.21

1.5. Meaning of "carried on the person"

This requirement of California's carrying a concealed weapon law simply means that you physically possess the concealed weapon.  It doesn't matter if the gun is actually on your person or in something that you are holding.

Thus you carry a concealed firearm on your person if a gun is in your pocket, or inside a purse, briefcase or anything else that you are holding.22

Person-hiding-gun-in-purse
Hiding a firearm inside a bag counts as carrying a concealed firearm under PC 25400.

1.6. Requirement that you "knew about the presence" of the gun

Most California gun laws, including PC 25400, require that you know about a gun's presence.  This is to prevent people from being wrongly convicted of offenses they didn't intentionally commit.

Example:  Let's take the example from above.  Assume that you accidentally grab one of your co-worker's briefcases, unaware of its contents.  When airport security officers find a gun in it, you are not guilty of carrying a concealed firearm since you didn't know about the gun's presence.

2. How Can I Fight Penal Code 25400 PC Charges?

There are a variety of legal defenses that you can use to fight a Penal Code 25400 PC charge.  A skilled California criminal defense lawyer can help you figure out which apply.  Below are examples of some of the most common ones.

2.1. You didn't know you were carrying the firearm

"Knowledge" about the concealed gun's presence is required to make you liable for PC 25400 carrying a concealed firearm.  Simply put, if you don't know or realize that you are carrying a gun, you aren't guilty.

It could certainly be the case that somebody else placed a firearm in your jacket, purse, briefcase or vehicle without you realizing it. In such situations, even if you are carrying a concealed weapon, you would not be liable under Penal Code 25400.

2.2. The gun was in the trunk or a locked container in your vehicle

Locked-containers-for-guns
You are not guilty under PC 25400 if you carried a concealed weapon in a locked container in your car.

You are not guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle under California Penal Code 25400 PC if:

    1. your pistol, revolver, or other firearm is in:

      • the trunk of the car, or
      • a locked container within the car (excluding the glove box);23

        AND
  1. you are otherwise legally entitled to own or possess a firearm.24

You are legally entitled to own or possess a firearm if you lawfully own it or you have the permission of the lawful owner.25

2.3 You have a license to carry a concealed weapon

California-license-to-carry-concealed-weapon
You are not guilty of PC 25400 carrying a concealed weapon if you had a license to carry a concealed weapon.

If you have a license or permit for carrying a concealed weapon under Penal Code 26150 PC, then carrying a gun generally does not violate Penal Code 25400 PC.  In order to prevail on this legal defense, you bear the burden of proving that you have a valid license.26

2.4. The concealed weapon was within your residence or place of business

As long as you are otherwise entitled to own or possess a gun, you are free to carry a concealed firearm in:

  • your own home, or
  • in a business that you own (as opposed to a place where you merely work).27

This rule doesn't generally extend to people who live and/or work in their cars.  However, it does allow taxi-cab drivers to keep concealed weapons within their vehicles without violating California's concealed carry law.28

2.5. The weapon was obtained as the result of an illegal search and seizure

Many weapons charges, including PC 25400 charges, arise after an officer stops a suspect for some type of investigation.  Perhaps you were speeding.  Perhaps your car was illegally parked.  Or maybe you matched the description of someone who was just accused of a crime.  As the officer is speaking with you or "patting you down," he discovers the concealed weapon.

Police-officer-frisking-man-outside-car
An unreasonable search and seizure could destroy the prosecution's evidence in a PC 25400 case.

Your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights protect you from unreasonable searches and seizures.29 If an officer searches you... or your car, your business, or your home... without a valid California search warrant or probable cause, that officer may violate your Fourth Amendment rights.

California-search-warrant
You can fight carrying a concealed firearm charges if the police did not have a valid search warrant.
Example:  A Los Angeles Police Department officer pulls you over for speeding on the 101 freeway.  You are cooperative, produce your license and registration in a timely fashion, and have no outstanding warrants.  The cop nonetheless chooses to search your car and finds an illegal weapon in the glove box.
Gun-in-open-glove-compartment
Lack of probable cause is a legal defense to PC 25400 charges.

Given these facts, the officer probably lacks authority to search your car.  This is because before the police can legally conduct such a search, they must have:

  • probable cause to search (that is, a reasonable belief that you are engaged in criminal activity or pose a threat to officer safety),30 OR
  • a valid California search warrant authorizing them to search your person/property (the scope of which must be strictly adhered to), OR
  • your consent to conduct a search of your person/property.31

A weapon discovered and confiscated during an illegal search and seizure is inadmissible in court.32

If you can convince the prosecutor and/or judge that your gun was discovered during an illegal search, it is likely that the court will dismiss the California Penal Code 25400 PC charges.

2.6 You carried the weapon in self-defense

You may be be able to fight charges of carrying a concealed firearm under California's self-defense laws.  These apply if you reasonably believe that:

  1. your life is in "grave danger,"
  2. because of other people's specific threats or conduct which justified the basis for a court-ordered restraining order.33

As Newport Beach criminal defense attorney John Murray explains34 , "If we can prove to the court that you believed your life was in danger...even after securing a restraining order...and that carrying a concealed weapon on your person or in your car was necessary for your safety, we may be able to get your charges dismissed."

2.7. Police misconduct

Officer-interrogating-man
There is evidence of police misconduct in many California carrying a concealed firearm cases.

If an officer does any of the following, he/she is guilty of police misconduct:

  • plants a concealed weapon on your person or in your car;
  • lies in his/her police report and says that the gun was concealed, when in fact it was carried openly;
  • testifies falsly about the facts of your case;
  • coerces your confession, or
  • violates your civil rights in any other way.

If we suspect police misconduct such as this, we likely will run a Pitchess motion.  This will allow you see whether other people have made similar complaints about the officer in the past.  If we can establish that you are the victim of, the prosecutor or judge may dismiss your PC 25400 charges, or a jury may find you not guilty at trial.

3. Who is Exempt from Prosecution under PC 25400?

Law-enforcement-officers-entering-home
Peace officers and members of the military are exempt from prosecution under PC 25400.

Some people are exempt from prosecution under California's carrying a concealed firearm law.  These include (but are not limited to):

  • peace officers (whether active or honorably retired),35
  • licensed firearms dealers,36
  • members of the U.S. military,37
  • bank guards or messengers,38
  • members of target shooting clubs or organizations,39 and
  • licensed hunters/fishers who are using or transporting their weapons for these activities.40

And even the above exceptions contain conditions... such as that the gun be unloaded, or be used only during certain activities.  This is why it is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney who understands the complex nature of California's gun laws, including California Penal Code 25400 PC.

4. What are the Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm in California?

Judge's-hand-lowering-gavel
In most cases, carrying a concealed weapon under Penal Code 25400 carries only misdemeanor penalties

4.1. Misdemeanor carrying a concealed firearm

Absent aggravating circumstances, carrying a concealed firearm in violation of California Penal Code 25400 PC is a misdemeanor.41 If convicted of misdemeanor carrying a concealed firearm, you face the following consequences:

  1. up to one (1) year in a county jail, and/or
  2. a maximum $1,000 fine.42

Alternatively, you could be granted misdemeanor (summary) probation.

If you are given misdemeanor probation, you will serve little or no jail time.

Factors that could weigh in favor of a fine and/or jail time include (but are not limited to):

  1. criminal history,
  2. a history of violence,
  3. a finding that you intended to use the concealed gun; and/or
  4. a failure to cooperate with the police during your arrest.

When there are aggravating factors, however, a violation of Penal Code 25400 PC becomes a either a "straight" , or a "wobbler" offense.

4.2. "Straight" felonies under Penal Code 25400 PC

Carrying a concealed weapon must be charged as a felony (a "straight" felony)43 if:

  • you have previously been convicted of a felony or any other California firearm offense,44
  • the firearm is stolen, and you knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, that it was stolen,45
  • you are an active participant in a criminal street gang,46
  • you are not in lawful possession of the firearm,47
  • you are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under Penal Code 29800 PC, California's felon with a firearm law,48 or
  • you are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under Penal Code 29900 PC, for committing... or attempting to commit... a violent offense such as (but by no means limited to):

    • Murder,
    • Rape,
    • Lewd acts on a child,
    • Robbery,
    • Kidnapping, or
    • Carjacking.49

If convicted of felony carrying a concealed firearm, you face the following consequences under PC 25400:

  1. Probation with up to one year of county jail, or
  2. 16 months, or two or three years in county jail;

and/or

a maximum $10,000 fine.50

Prison-fence-and-tower
PC 25400 can be a felony or a wobbler in certain circumstances.

4.3. "Wobbler" charges under Penal Code 25400 PC

Penal Code 25400 PC becomes a "wobbler" when...in addition to carrying a concealed firearm on your person or in a car...

  • you were previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or dangerous drug crime,51

OR

  • both of the following:

    1. your firearm is loaded (or you have the ammunition in a location that is readily accessible to you), AND
    2. you are not listed as the registered owner of the loaded handgun with the Department of Justice.52

You can be arrested under this last category as long as an officer has probable cause to believe that you are not listed with the Department of Justice as the registered owner of the gun.53

By definition, a "wobbler" in California is an offense that prosecutors can file as either a misdemeanor or a felony.54 The choice depends on:

  1. the circumstances of the offense, and
  2. your criminal history.

If your wobbler carrying a concealed firearm violation is charged as a misdemeanor you face the following penalties:

  1. up to one (1) year in a county jail, and/or
  2. a maximum $1,000 fine.55

If charged as a felony, you can be punished by:

  1. Probation with up to one year of county jail, or
  2. 16 months, or two (2) or three (3) years in county, and/or
  3. a maximum $10,000 fine.56

4.4 Prior firearm convictions

If you are convicted of any Penal Code 25400 PC violation...and you have previously been convicted of any felony or any other California firearm offense ...you must serve a minimum three month county jail sentence.57

Prison-hallway
If you have a prior conviction for a felony or firearms offense, then you must serve jail time for a PC 25400 conviction.

And if you are convicted of any concealed firearm violation...and you have previously been convicted of:

you must serve between three (3) and six (6) months in a county jail.58

The only exception to the foregoing sentencing requirements is the unusual case in which the interests of justice would be best served by granting probation and suspending the minimum jail time.59

In addition to all of the above penalties, the consequences of a conviction for unlawfully carrying a concealed handgun in violation of California Penal Code 25400 PC may include the loss of your weapon.60

5. What Are the Immigration Consequences of a PC 25400 Conviction?

Immigration-officers-leading-man-to-airplane
A conviction for carrying a concealed weapon in California can lead to deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen.

If you are a legal immigrant or legal alien, a Penal Code 25400 PC conviction could additionally result in deportation.61 For more information about how California's firearm laws affect aliens, please visit our articles on California crimes that lead to deportation.

6. Can I Expunge My California Penal Code 25400 PC Conviction?

Expungement-form
If you are granted probation for a PC 25400 conviction, you may be able to have the conviction expunged.

If you are granted probation for a violation of Penal Code 25400 (carrying a concealed weapon), you may expunge your California criminal record once you successfully complete the probationary period, or have it terminated early under Penal Code 1203.3 PC.62

Expungement "erases" a conviction for many purposes... including most employment disclosures.  It does not, however, permit a person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm or prevent his or her conviction under Section 29800.63

Furthermore, the judge can deny you an expungement if you suffer a probation violation or fail to adhere to all the terms and conditions of probation.64

7. Will I Lose My Right to Own/Possess Firearms after a Penal Code 25400 Conviction?

A misdemeanor conviction for carrying a concealed weapon won't by itself revoke your right to own or possess a firearm...

unless... you are adjudged a ward of the juvenile court based on a the misdemeanor conviction.  In that case, you will be prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm until you are 30 years old.65

A felony conviction for carrying a concealed firearm under Penal Code 25400 PC subjects you to a lifetime ban from owning or possessing a gun in California... unless your firearms rights are restored.66 The ban applies both to adults, and to minors who were convicted when tried as adults.67

If you are convicted of a felony as a wobbler, restoring your firearm rights is a two-step process:

  1. petition the court to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor,68 then
  2. file a petition to have the charges dismissed.69

If you are successful, your gun rights will be restored.  Otherwise, the only way to restore your California gun rights is to obtain a California Governor's pardon for your carrying a concealed weapon conviction through one of two methods:

  1. If you still reside in California, by obtaining a California certificate of rehabilitation ... which automatically becomes an application for a pardon; or
  2. If you no longer reside in California, by applying for a direct pardon from the Governor.70
Governor-Jerry-Brown-in-front-of-California-flag
After a carrying a concealed firearm conviction, you can restore your right to own a gun through a governor's pardon.

Note, however, that even a Governor's pardon does not restore firearm rights to someone who has been convicted of a felony that involves the use of a dangerous weapon.71

A "dangerous weapon" under California law is any weapon, instrument, or object that is capable of being used to inflict great bodily injury or death.72 California law defines "great bodily injury" as a substantial or significant injury.73 Pistols, revolvers, or other firearms therefore qualify as dangerous weapons.

8. Are California's "Carrying a Concealed Weapon" Laws Constitutional?

In June of 2016, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Peruta v. San Diego that Penal Code 25400 PC is constitutional.74

Prior to that, a smaller panel of judges from the same court had ruled that California's concealed carry laws violated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.75

In California, the only way you can carry a firearm outside your home is by obtaining a concealed weapon license or permit under Penal Code 26150 PC.To do so, you have to show "good cause."76 Opponents had argued that this requirement is unconstitutional.77

But the federal court ruling in Peruta clarified that the Second Amendment does not protect the right to concealed weapons to the same extent it protects other firearms rights. For now, PC 25400 is here to stay.

Call us for help...

criminal-defense-firm-call-center

If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed weapon and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.


Additionally, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys represent clients accused of the crime of carrying a concealed weapon in Nevada.  For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.

¿Habla español? Visite nuestro sitio Web en idioma español por llevar armas ocultas en California.

 

Legal References:

  1. California Penal Code 25400 (a) PC provides: A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when the person does any of the following: (1) Carries concealed within any vehicle that is under the person's control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (2) Carries concealed upon the 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 the
    person is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
  2. California Penal Code 25850(a) [distinct from Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed weapon].
  3. California Penal Code 26350 PC [distinct from Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed weapon].
  4. Our California criminal defense attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina, and Whittier.  We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.
  5. California Penal Code 24500(a) PC, endnote 1, above.
  6. California Penal Code 26350(a) [distinct from Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed weapon],
  7. There are a variety of jury instructions that are applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC, California's "carrying a concealed firearm" law.  These include CALJIC 2520 (Carrying Concealed Firearm on Person); 2521 (Carrying Concealed Firearm Within Vehicle); and 2522 (Carrying Concealed Firearm: Caused to Be Carried Within Vehicle). Each of these contains at least the following three elements: (1) that the defendant carried a concealed firearm, (2) that the defendant knew of the presence of the firearm, and (3) that the firearm was substantially concealed.
  8. California Penal Code 26350(a) [distinct from Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed weapon], endnote 6, above.
  9. People v. Hale (1974) 43 Cal.App.3d 353.  ([Under the WEST headnotes, number 2] "Only partial concealment of firearm is required for conviction of carrying a concealed firearm."   Continuing at 356, "The carrying of concealed firearms is prohibited as a means of preventing physical harm to persons other than the offender.' (People v. Jurado, 25 Cal.App.3d 1027, 1032, 102 Cal.Rptr. 498, 500.) In our opinion concealment of an essential component of a visible weapon, when done in such a fashion as to make the weapon readily available for use as a firearm, presents a threat to public order comparable to concealment of the entire firearm and falls within the prohibition of... [California's "carrying a concealed weapon on your person or in a vehicle" law].")
  10. Facts based on People v. May (1973) 33 Cal.App.3d 888.
  11. Facts based on People v. Tarkington (1969) 273 Cal.App.2d  466.
  12. California Penal Code 25400(b) PC -- A firearm carried openly in a belt holster is not concealed within the meaning of this section.
  13. California Penal Code 24850, endnote 2, and California Penal Code 26350(a), endnote 6 [distinct from Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed weapon].
  14. Penal Code 16530 PC(a) [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC]-- As used in this part, the terms "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person," "pistol," and "revolver" apply to and include any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled a projectile by the force of any explosion, or other form of combustion, and that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length.These terms also include any device that has a barrel 16 inches or more in length which is designed to be interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.
  15. Penal Code 16520(b)PC.
  16. See, e.g., Michael J. Simpson, About.com Guide -- Receiver.
  17. Penal Code 16520(a) [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC] -- As used in this part, "firearm" means a device, designedto be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.
  18. Penal Code 16520(c) [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC] -- ..."firearm" also includes a rocket, rocket propelled projectile launcher, or similar device containing an explosive or incendiary material, whether or not the device is designed for emergency or distress signaling purposes...
  19. People v. Norton (1978) 80 Cal.App.3d Supp. 14, 25 [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC, carrying a concealed firearm].  ("The word, ‘firearm,' includes a pistol, revolver or rifle, or any other device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile may be expelled by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.")

    See also People v. Heffner (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 643 [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC].  ("The hand-held Taser weapon (whose projectiles are barbed contactors that, fired through twin barrels less than 12 inches in length, remain connected by wire to batteries in the expendable cassettes with which the weapon is loaded, thereby incapacitating a human target by pulsed, low-amperage current) is a "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.")

  20. Penal Code 16250 PC [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC, carrying a concealed firearm].  As used in this part, "BB device" means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.
  21. People v. Marroquin (1989) 210 Cal.App.3d 77, 82.  ("...we conclude that a firearm, the generic term used to describe an object which may silence, maim, strike or destroy that which moves, breathes or exists, need not be operable to convict under ... California's "carrying a concealed weapon on your person or in a vehicle" law.")
  22. People v. Dunn (1976) 61 Cal.App.3d Supp. 12, 14.  ("We hold that the Legislature intended to proscribe the carrying of concealed weapons by both men and women and that a handgun concealed in a suitcase and carried by appellant is sufficiently ‘upon his person' to constitute a violation of ... [California's "carrying a concealed weapon on your person or in a vehicle" law]...").
  23. Penal Code 25610.  (a) Section 25400 [carrying a concealed weapon] 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 prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm, 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.   (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 the provisions listed in Section 16580.
  24. Penal Code 16750(a) -- As used in [Penal Code] Section 25400 [California's carrying a concealed weapon law], "lawful possession of the firearm" means that the person who has possession or custody of the firearm either lawfully owns the firearm or has the permission of the lawful owner or a person who otherwise has apparent authority to possess or have custody of the firearm. A person who takes a firearm without the permission of the lawful owner or without the permission of a person who has lawful custody of the firearm does not have lawful possession of the firearm.
  25. Same.
  26. People v. Superior Court (1969) 2 Cal.App.3d 197, 202.  ("...the burden of proof is upon the carrier of ... [a concealed weapon charged under PC 25400] to show his license to carry it. (People v. Williams, 184 Cal.App.2d 673, 675, 7 Cal.Rptr. 604.)
  27. California Penal Code 25605. (a) [Penal Code] Section 25400 [carrying a concealed weapon] and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 26350) of Division 5 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 Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this title, 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 handgun. (b) No permit or license to purchase, own, possess, keep, or carry, either openly or concealed, shall be required of 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 Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this title, or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to purchase, own, possess, keep, or carry, either openly or concealed, a handgun within the citizen's or legal resident's placeof residence, place of business, or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the citizen or legal resident.
  28. People v. Wooten (1985) 168 Cal.App.3d 168, 173.  ("The clear legislative purpose of [former Penal Code] section 12025 [now Penal Code 25400 PC] is to prohibit the carrying around of concealed weapons. Section 12026 provides an exception for possession in one's residence or place of business. The natural meaning of the term "place of business" is a fixed location, simply because almost all businesses are conducted in some office, store or other building. When a business is mobile, one generally says that the business is not conducted in any particular place, but in an area. Giving Penal Code section 12026 the broad meaning advocated by defendant would render it meaningless. Salesmen, truck drivers, delivery persons-in short, anyone whose business puts them in transit-could use section 12026 to justify an exemption from [Penal Code] section 12025 [California's "carrying a concealed weapon on your person or in a vehicle" law].")

    See also People v. Marotta 128 Cal.App.3d Supp. 1,4.

  29. The Fourth Amendment [protects defendants in carrying concealed weapons cases] provides: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
  30. See, e.g., Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1, 3 [protects defendants in PC 25400 cases] ("Where a reasonably prudent officer is warranted in the circumstances of a given case in believing that his safety or that of others is endangered, he may make a reasonable search for weapons of the person believed by him to be armed and dangerous regardless of whether he has probable cause to arrest that individual for crime or the absolute certainty that the individual is armed.").
  31. Schneckloth v. Bustamonte (1973) 412 U.S. 218, 93 S.Ct. 2041. 
  32. Mapp v. Ohio (1961) 367 U.S. 643 (holding that evidence obtained by searches and seizures in violation of the Federal Constitution is inadmissible in a criminal trial, including in trials for PC 25400 carrying a concealed weapon] in a state court.).
  33. California Penal Code 25600. (a) A violation of [Penal Code] Section 25400 is justifiable when a person who possesses a firearm reasonably believes that person is in grave danger because of circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining order issued by a court against another person who has been found to pose a threat to the life or safety of the person who possesses the firearm. This section may not apply when the circumstances involve a mutual restraining order issued pursuant to Division 10 (commencing with Section 6200) of the Family Code absent a factual finding of a specific threat to the person's life or safety. It is not the intent of the Legislature to limit, restrict,or narrow the application of current statutory or judicial authority to apply this or other justifications to a defendant charged with violating Section 25400 or committing another similar offense. (b) Upon trial for violating Section 25400 [PC], the trier of fact shall determine whether the defendant was acting out of a reasonable belief that the defendant was in grave danger.
  34. Orange County criminal defense attorney John Murray represents clients accused of violating California's gun laws, including carrying a concealed weapon, throughout Orange County, including Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and Westminster.
  35. California Penal Code 25450 PC.
  36. California Penal Code 25615 PC.
  37. California Penal Code 25620 PC.
  38. California Penal Code 25630 PC.
  39. California Penal Code 25635 PC.
  40. California Penal Code 25640 PC.
  41. California Penal Code 25400(c)(7) --  Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows: ...(7) In all cases other than those specified in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
  42. Same.
  43. California Penal Code 17 PC provides, in relevant part: A felony is a crime which is punishable with death or by imprisonment in the state prison. Every other crime or public offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions.
  44. California Penal Code 25400(c)(1) --  Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows: ... If the person previously has been convicted of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by a provision listed in Section 16580, as a felony.
  45. California Penal Code 25400(c)(2) -- Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows:...If the firearm is stolen and the person knew or had reasonable cause to believe that it was stolen, as a felony.
  46. California Penal Code 25400(c)(3) Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows:...If the person is an active participant in a criminal street gang, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 186.22, under the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 186.20) of Title 7 of Part 1), as a felony.
  47. California Penal Code 25400(c)(4) Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows: ...If the person is not in lawful possession of the firearm...
  48. California Penal Code 25400(c)(4) -- Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows: ...(4) If the person is not in lawful possession of the firearm or the person is within a class of persons prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this title, or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as a felony.
  49. See California Penal Code 29900(a)(1) -- Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 29800, any person who has been previously convicted of any of the offenses listed in Section 29905 and who owns or has in possession or under custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.

    See also California Penal Code 29905(a) -- As used in this chapter, a violent offense includes any of the following: [list of violent offenses that can affect penalties for carrying a concealed firearm].

  50. California Penal Code 18 PC -- Punishment for felony not otherwise prescribed; alternate sentence to county jail [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed firearm]. ("(a) Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a felony is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months, or two or three years in the state prison unless the offense is punishable pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) Every offense which is prescribed by any law of the state to be a felony punishable by imprisonment or by a fine, but without an alternate sentence to the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, may be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine, or by both.")

    See also California Penal Code 672 PC -- Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment [applicable to Penal Code 25400 PC carrying a concealed firearm]. ("Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.")

  51. California Penal Code 25400(c)(5) --  Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows: (c) Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows:   ...(5) If the person has been convicted of a crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or dangerous drug violation, by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
  52. California Penal Code 25400(c)(6) -- Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows: ...If both of the following conditions are met, by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment: (A) The pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is loaded, or both it and the unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from it are in the immediate possession of the person or readily accessible to that person. (B) The person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 11106 as the registered owner of that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
  53. California Penal Code 25400(f) A peace officer may arrest a person for a violation of paragraph (6) of subdivision (c) if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 11106 as the registered owner of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, and one or more of the conditions in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of subdivision(c) is met.
  54. California Penal Code 17(b).
  55. California Penal Code 25400 (c)(7) [concealed weapons law] In all cases other than those specified in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
  56. California Penal Code 18 PC, endnote 50.
  57. California Penal Code 25400(d)(2) [concealed weapons law]-- Every person convicted under this section who has previously been convicted of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by a provision listed in Section 16580, if probation is granted, or if the execution or imposition of sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the person be imprisoned in a county jail for not less than three months.
  58. California Penal Code 25400(d) (1) [concealed weapons law] -- Every person convicted under this section who previously has been convicted of a misdemeanor offense enumerated in Section 23515 shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for at least three months and not exceeding six months, or, if granted probation,or if the execution or imposition of sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the person be imprisoned in a county jail for at least three months.

    See also California Penal Code 23515.

  59. California Penal Code 25400(e)-- The court shall apply the three-month minimum sentence as specified in subdivision (d), except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served by granting probation or suspending the imposition or execution of sentence without the minimum imprisonment required in subdivision (d) or by granting probation or suspending the imposition or execution of sentence with conditions other than those set forth in subdivision (d), in which case, the court shall specify on the record and shall enter on the minutes the circumstances indicating that the interests of justice would best be served by that disposition.
  60. California Penal Code 25700.  (a) The unlawful carrying of any handgun in violation of Section 25400 is a nuisance and is subject to Sections 18000 and 18005. (b) This section does not apply to any of the following: (1) Any firearm in the possession of the Department of Fish and Game.  (2) Any firearm that was used in the violation of any provision of the Fish and Game Code or any regulation adopted pursuant thereto. (3) Any firearm that is forfeited pursuant to Section 5008.6 of the Public Resources Code.

    California Penal Code 18000.  (a) Any weapon described in Section 19190, 21390, 21590, or 25700 [applies to PC 25400], or, upon conviction of the defendant or upon a juvenile court finding that an offense that would be a misdemeanor or felony if committed by an adult was committed or attempted by the juvenile with the use of a firearm, any weapon described in Section 29300, shall be surrendered to one of the following:  (1) The sheriff of a county. (2) The chief of police or other head of a municipal police department of any city or city and county. (3) The chief of police of any campus of the University of California or the California State University. (4) The Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. (b) For purposes of this section, the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol shall receive only weapons that were confiscated by a member of the California Highway Patrol.  (c) A finding that the defendant was guilty of the offense but was insane at the time the offense was committed is a conviction for the purposes of this section.
  61. 8 U.S. Code Section 1227(a)(2)(C) -- Any alien who at any time after admission is convicted under any law of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing, or carrying, or of attempting or conspiring to purchase, sell, offer for sale, exchange, use, own, possess, or carry, any weapon, part, or accessory which is a firearm or destructive device (as defined in section 921 (a) of title 18) in violation of any law [including PC 25400 carrying a concealed weapon] is deportable.
  62. California Penal Code 1203.4 PC [felony] and California Penal Code 1203.4a PC [misdemeanor].  These sections outline the procedures by which a defendant can expunge a California Penal Code 25400 PC conviction from his criminal record.
  63. See our article on Consequences of a California Felony Conviction.
  64. California Penal Code 1203.4 PC and 1203.4a PC.
  65. California Penal Code 29820 PC – (a) This section applies to any person who satisfies both of the following requirements: (1) The person is alleged to have committed an offense listed in subdivision (b) of Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,an offense described in subdivision (b) of Section 1203.073, any offense enumerated in Section 29805, or any offense described in Section 25850, subdivision (a) of Section 25400, or subdivision (a)of Section 26100. (2) The person is subsequently adjudged a ward of the juvenile court within the meaning of Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code because the person committed an offense listed in subdivision (b) of Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,an offense described in subdivision (b) of Section 1203.073, any offense enumerated in Section 29805, or any offense described in Section 25850, subdivision (a) of Section 25400 [PC --California's carrying a concealed firearm law], or subdivision (a)of Section 26100.(b) Any person described in subdivision (a) shall not own, or have in possession or under custody or control, any firearm until the age of 30 years.
  66. California Penal Code 29800(a)(1) -- Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 23515, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in possession or under custody or control any firearm [including by carrying a concealed firearm] is guilty of a felony.
  67. Penal Code 29800(b) -- Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any person who has been convicted of a felony or of an offense enumerated in Section 23515, when that conviction results from certification by the juvenile court for prosecution as an adult in an adult court under Section 707 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and who owns or has in possession or under custody or control any firearm [including by carrying a concealed firearm] is guilty of a felony.
  68. California Penal Code 17(b) PC.
  69. Penal Code 1203.4 PC (for people done with probation and, if applicable, county jail time for a PC 25400 conviction), or Penal Code 1203.4a (for people never given any probation but sentenced to county jail.
  70. See State of California Office of the Governor,  How to Apply for a Pardon [after a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon].
  71. California Penal Code 4852.17 PC -- California governor's pardon [including after Penal Code 25400 PC conviction].

    See also California Penal Code 4854 PC.  

  72. CALJIC 12.42 Deadly Weapon—Defined – A deadly or dangerous weapon is any weapon, instrument or object that is cable of being used to inflict death or great bodily injury [use of a dangerous weapon will disqualify you from a governor's pardon for a carrying a concealed weapon PC 25400 conviction].

    See also People v. James (1978) 88 Cal.App.3d 150, 160.  ([Refering to CALJIC 17.16] "This definition accords with prior case law defining deadly or dangerous weapon (see People v. Graham (1969) 71 Cal.2d 303, 327-328, 78 Cal.Rptr. 217, 455 P.2d 153; People v. Liner (1959) 168 Cal.App.2d 411, 414, 335 P.2d 964), and we believe it appropriately defines the terms...")

  73. California Penal Code 12022.7 -- Terms of imprisonment for persons inflicting great bodily injury while committing or attempting felony [use of a weapon that can inflict GBI will disqualify you from a governor's pardon for a carrying a concealed weapon PC 25400 conviction].  
  74. Peruta v. Cty. of San Diego (June 9, 2016) No. 10-56971, slip op. at 11 [holding that PC 25400 IS constitutional]. ("We hold that the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect the right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.")
  75. Peruta v. Cty. of San Diego (Feb. 13 2014) No. 10-56971, slip op. at 55 [prior ruling holding that PC 25400 is unconstitutional]. ("[T]he Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.") 
  76. Penal Code 26150 PC -- Application for license to carry concealed weapon; county sheriff responsibilities. 
  77. Peruta v. Cty. of San Diego, endnote 74, above, slip op. at 69 [prior ruling holding that PC 25400 is unconstitutional]. (" . . . San Diego County's "good cause" permitting requirement impermissibly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.")

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