California's Law Against Openly Carrying Unloaded Handguns
Penal Code 26350

Prior to 2012, anyone legally permitted to own a gun could carry an unloaded handgun in public.

This so-called "open carry" exception to California's gun laws applied as long as the gun was in plain sight and the individual was not in a prohibited area.1

However, California's "open carry" right was repealed effective January 1, 2012. This is the date on which California Assembly Bill 144 went into effect as Penal Code 26350.2

Thanks to Penal Code 26350, the open carrying of both loaded and unloaded handguns in public is now illegal.3

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Penalties for carrying an unloaded handgun
in public

Carrying an unloaded handgun in public is a misdemeanor .4 Most violations are punishable by:

  1. up to one year in county jail, or
  2. a fine of up to $1,000.5
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Carrying an unloaded handgun in public is a separate and distinct offense from:

Notwithstanding these laws, unless you are legally prohibited from owning a firearm in California, you may legally carry an unloaded firearm in public if:

  • you have a permit to carry a firearm under Penal Code 26150 or 26155 PC,8
  • you are carrying an unloaded handgun to, from, or within a car in a locked container (or in the trunk of the vehicle), for a lawful purpose,9 or
  • you are transporting an unloaded firearm not capable of being concealed on the person (i.e., a long rifle or long shotgun).10

Legal defenses to charges of openly carrying an unloaded firearm in California

California's gun laws may seem harsh and absolute.  But there are a number of legal defenses to charges of carrying an unloaded handgun in public a California criminal defense attorney can make on your behalf.  These include (but are not limited to):

  • You have a valid California firearm permit,
  • You were engaged in an activity specifically exempt from Penal Code 26350,
  • You didn't carry the gun in public,
  • The police engaged in misconduct, or
  • The gun was found during an illegal search and seizure.

The Peruta case and constitutional concerns

There is now some doubt about the constitutionality of California's ban on open carry. In February of 2014, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held--in a case called Peruta v. San Diego County--that there is a Second Amendment right to carry firearms outside of one's home.

This extremely important case is currently being appealed. But if it is upheld, then the laws surrounding both concealed carry and open carry of guns in California may change significantly--in ways that would give gun rights advocates a lot to celebrate!

Our lawyers at Shouse Law Group include former cops and prosecutors.  We know what is and isn't legal under California's gun laws.  More importantly, we know what legal defenses are available if you or someone you know is charged with a California gun offense.

Below, our California criminal defense attorneys address the following:

1. Legal definitions under Penal Code 26350, California's law against carrying an unloaded handgun in public

1.1. Openly carry

1.2. Handgun

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

1.4. Public place or public street

2. People exempted from Penal Code 26350

2.1. People with California firearm carry permits -- Penal Code 26150 or 26155

2.2. People / situations legally exempted from Penal Code 26350

3. Penalties for carrying an unloaded handgun
in public
4. Defenses to charges of openly carrying a handgun in violation of Penal Code 26350

4.1. You have a valid California firearm permit

4.2. You were engaged in an activity specifically exempt from Penal Code 26350

4.3. You weren't in a public place or on a public street

4.4. Your gun was not capable of being concealed on the person

4.5. Police misconduct

4.6. The gun was found during an illegal traffic stop

5. Related California gun laws

5.1. Penal Code 29800 PC -- California's "felon with a firearm" law

5.2. Penal Code 25400 PC -- California's "carrying a concealed firearm" law

5.3. Penal Code 25850 PC -- California's "carrying a loaded firearm in public" law

5.4. Penal Code 626.9 PC -- possession of a firearm on school grounds

5.5. Penal Code 16590 PC -- California's ban on "generally prohibited weapons"

5.6. Penal Code 30600 PC -- California's ban on assault weapons and rifles

6. Constitutional concerns and arguments in favor of "open carry" laws

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California Firearm Offenses; California's Gun Free School Zone Act; Penal Code 25400 PC, Carrying a Concealed Weapon; Penal Code 26150 and 26155 PC, Concealed Firearm Permits; Penal Code 417 PC, Brandishing a Weapon; Penal Code 29800 PC, Felon with a Firearm; Penal Code 30600 PC, Possession of Assault Weapons; Penal Code 16590 PC, Generally Prohibited Weapons; and Police Misconduct.

1. Legal definitions under Penal Code 26350, California's law against carrying an unloaded handgun in public

California Penal Code 26350 PC makes it illegal to:

  1. openly carry,
  2. an exposed and unloaded handgun,
  3. on your person or inside a vehicle,
  4. while in a public place or street.11

Let's take a closer look at some of these terms to see exactly what they mean.

1.1. Openly carry

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Like many terms under California's gun laws, the legal definition of "openly carry" is circular.  Legally, a handgun is deemed to be "carried openly" if it is not concealed.12

Courts have held that as long as a gun is at least partially concealed, you could be liable for carry a concealed firearm.13 This is so even if the gun is nevertheless identifiable.

For many people, it will not matter whether they are charged with carrying an unloaded firearm or carry a concealed firearm.  Both crimes are generally misdemeanors, with the same penalties.

But under certain circumstances, carrying a concealed firearm can be prosecuted as a felony.  Such circumstances include (but are not limited to):

  • you were previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or dangerous drug crime,14
  • you have previously been convicted of a felony or any other California firearm offense,15
  • the firearm is stolen, and you knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, that it was stolen,16
  • you are an active participant in a criminal street gang,17
  • you are not in lawful possession of the firearm,18
  • you are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under Penal Code 29800 PC, California's felon with a firearm law,19 or
  • you are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under Penal Code 29900 PC, for committing…or attempting to commit…a violent offense.20

1.2. Handgun

For purposes of Penal Code 26350, "handgun" means any:

  1. pistol,
  2. Img-pistol

  3. revolver,
  4. Img-revolver

    or


  5. other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.21

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

The terms "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person," "pistol," and "revolver" apply to and include:

  1. any device,
  2. designed to be used as a weapon,
  3. from which is expelled a projectile,
  4. by the force of any explosion, or other form of combustion, and
  5. which has a barrel:
  • less than 16 inches in length, or
  • 16 inches or more in length, but designed to be interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.22

Note that a gun which meets this definition may also meet the definition of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun.23 Such a gun could therefore, be both a handgun under Penal Code 26350 and a "generally prohibited weapon" under Penal Code 16590.

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Shotgun with 14" barrel.

1.4. Public place or public street

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This is another definition under California's gun laws that is less than straightforward.

For purposes of Penal Code 26350, "public place" and "public street" are defined as:

  1. A public place or public street in an incorporated city or city and county,
  2. A public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city and county, or
  3. A public place in a prohibited area of a county or city and county.24

Although the statute does not define "public place," courts have held that it is not the same as public property.  A "public place" is any place reasonably accessible to the public without a barrier.25

Prohibited areas include government offices, schools, airports, courthouses and post offices.

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2. People and situations exempted from
Penal Code 26350

2.1. People with California firearm carry permits -- Penal Code 26150 or 26155

People with valid permits to carry "a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person" are exempted from Penal Code 26350.

You may be issued a California "concealed carry permit" under Penal Code 26150 or 26155 PC if:

  1. You are of good moral character;
  2. Good cause exists for issuance of the license because you or a member of your family is in immediate danger;
  3. You meet certain residency requirements; and
  4. You have completed an acceptable course of firearms training.26

2.2. People / situations legally exempted from Penal Code 26350

Img-gun-show

Various other people and/or situations are also exempted from Penal Code 26350, subject to certain restrictions.  Such people and situations include (but are not limited to):

  • peace officers (both active and honorably retired),27
  • military personnel,28
  • licensed firearms manufacturers and dealers,29
  • people practicing at target ranges,30
  • hunters,31
  • employees of common carriers (e.g., airlines),32
  • gun shows,33
  • gun repair shops and pawnshops,34 and
  • rehearsal and production of movies and other forms of entertainment.35

These exemptions are themselves subject to numerous conditions and restrictions.  This is one of the reasons it is so important to consult with a California attorney if you think you qualify to carry an unloaded handgun in public.

3. Penalties for carrying an unloaded firearm
in public
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Carrying an unloaded handgun in public is a misdemeanor 36.  Most violations are punishable by:

  1. up to one year in county jail, or
  2. a fine of up to $1,000.37

However, you may be punished by both a jail sentence AND a fine if:

  1. you are also carrying unexpended, dischargeable ammunition, AND
  2. you are not the lawful owner of the gun.38

In addition, the above penalties are for each unloaded gun you carry.39 They are also in addition to the penalty for possession or use of the gun under any other California law.40

4. Defenses to charges of openly carrying an unloaded firearm in violation of Penal Code 26350

4.1. You have a valid California firearm permit

Img-shooting-range

People who possess California permits to carry "a firearm capable of being concealed on the person" are exempt from prosecution under Penal Code 26350.

You bear the burden, however, of proving that you have a valid handgun carry permit.

4.2. You were engaged in an activity specifically exempt from Penal Code 26350

If you fall within one of the exemptions listed in the California Penal Code…and you meet all the conditions and restrictions…you do not violate Penal Code 26350.

Example: You are shooting live ammunition at an outdoor public target range.  When you run out of ammo, you walk over and begin talking to the owner of the range, holding your gun in your hand.  Arguably, you are still "using the handgun upon the target range."41
But…if you leave the range and walk to your car that is parked on a public street…and you are still holding the gun in your hand…you violate the law.  If you are in public, your gun must be carried to and from your car in a locked container.42

4.3. You weren't in a public place or on a public street

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For you to be convicted under Penal Code 26350, a prosecutor must show you carried the gun:

  1. in a public place or street in an incorporated city,43
  2. on a public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city,44 or
  3. in a public place in a prohibited area of a county or city.45

If you weren't in one of the three enumerated places, you are not guilty of violating Penal Code 26350.

Example: You go over to a friend's house to show him your new gun, but you can't find a parking space on the street.  You pull into the driveway, which is not set off from the sidewalk by a gate or other barrier. When you take your unloaded gun out of the trunk, a police officer sees you and arrests you for violation of Penal Code 26350.
Even though you are technically parked on private property (your friend's driveway), you have exposed your gun in a public place. This is because the driveway is readily accessible to the public without a barrier.  Once you took the gun out of your trunk, it was no longer in a locked container within the vehicle.
But…let's say instead your friend has a wall around his house.  In order to park on the driveway, your friend had to buzz open a solid gate, which closed behind you.  Under this circumstance, when you took the gun out of the trunk you would not have been in a public place.  Therefore, you would not be guilty under Penal Code 26350.
Img-gated-community

Example: You are driving through an unincorporated area of a county.  Your unloaded pistol is on the passenger seat.  It is nighttime and the road you are on is dark.  You become lost and pull over to the side of the road to look at a map.

A sheriff's deputy stops to cite you for failing to use your turn signal when you pulled over.  When she comes to your window, she notices your pistol.  After determining that the gun isn't loaded, she arrests you for violating Penal Code 26350.

At your trial, the deputy says that you were on the grounds of a state-run park.  But she can't identify the exact spot where she arrested you, and the street crosses the border between the park and the surrounding unincorporated area.

Since the prosecution can't establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in a prohibited place, you should be acquitted.

4.4. Your gun was not capable of being concealed on the person

Img-shotgun-shoulder

Penal Code 26350 applies to guns "capable of being concealed on the person."  If your gun had a fixed barrel longer than 16", it is not covered by PC 26350.

But note that depending on the type of weapon and your purpose for carrying it, you may still be charged with violation of a different California firearm offense.

4.5. Police misconduct

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If you are a victim of police misconduct, the judge might dismiss the charges against you.  Or, if the case is allowed to proceed, a jury may well find you not guilty.

Examples of police misconduct include (but are not limited to):

  • false information in the police report;
  • fabricated testimony;
  • a coerced confession, or
  • any other civil rights violation.

4.6. The gun was found during an illegal traffic stop

Img-illegal-traffic-stop

In general, Fourth Amendment Rights will not be an issue with Penal Code 26350.46 This is because a search is generally not required for an officer to notice the open carrying of handguns.

However, if an officer sees a gun on your car seat during an illegal traffic stop, your Fourth Amendment rights may, nevertheless, be violated.

In order for the police to legally stop you, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you have violated the California Vehicle Code or some other law.47 Otherwise, the stop is illegal under California's search and seizure laws and the weapon should be inadmissible.

5. Related California gun laws

As Newport Beach criminal defense attorney John Murray explains:48

"There are a variety of California gun laws that prohibit you from carrying guns in certain circumstances. If you're going to carry a firearm legally, you need to make sure that you're not violating these other statutes."

5.1. Penal Code 29800 PC -- California's "felon with a firearm" law

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Penal Code 29800 PC, is California's felon with a firearm law.  PC 29800 prohibits three groups of people from owning or acquiring guns:

  1. convicted felons,
  2. anyone convicted of specific misdemeanors, and
  3. narcotic drug addicts.49

In addition, federal law prohibits gun ownership by additional categories of people.  These include (but are not limited to):

  • people under indictment anywhere for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one (1) year,
  • people dishonorably discharged from the military,
  • illegal aliens,
  • people under a court order for a stalking crime, and
  • fugitives from justice.50
Img-prison-tower

Violation of California Penal Code 29800 PC is a felony.  If convicted, you face:

  1. 16 months, or two (2) or three (3) years in the California State Prison , and/or
  2. a maximum $10,000 fine.51

You may also be required to forfeit your weapon.52

There are also collateral consequences of being a felon with a firearm.  These include revocation of your California gun rights53 and, if you are an illegal alien, possible deportation.54

5.2. Penal Code 25400 PC -- California's "carrying a concealed firearm" law

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California Penal Code 25400 PC makes it a crime to carry a concealed firearm on your person or in a vehicle.55

You are guilty of this crime if:

  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.56

As discussed above, absent aggravating factors, violation of Penal Code 25400 is a >misdemeanor.

5.3. Penal Code 25850 PC -- California's "carrying a loaded firearm in public" law

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Penal Code 25850 PC, California's "carrying a loaded firearm in public" law, prohibits just that…carrying a loaded firearm in public.57 This law also makes it a crime to carry a loaded firearm in a car or other motor vehicle, except in the trunk or a locked container (not the glove box) within the vehicle.

A firearm is considered loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell attached in any manner to the firearm.  This includes…but is not limited to…in the firing chamber or a magazine or clip attached to the firearm.58

Punishment for carrying a loaded firearm in violation of Penal Code 25850 is the same as for carrying a concealed firearm under Penal Code 25400.

5.4. Penal Code 626.9 PC -- possession of a firearm on school grounds

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Penal Code 626.9, is California's Gun-Free School Zone Act, makes it a crime to possess a firearm on or near school grounds.

Among other things, under Penal Code 626.9, it is a crime to possess a firearm in or on the grounds of…or within 1,000 feet from the grounds of…a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12.59

Possession of a gun on school grounds is a felony, punishable by two, three, or five years in California state prison.60

Absent aggravating circumstances, possession of a gun within 1,000 feet from the grounds of a school is a "wobbler" offense.  A wobbler is chargeable as either a misdemeanor or a felony, in the prosecutor's discretion.

If convicted of possessing a gun within 1,000 feet of a school as a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in county jail.61

If convicted as a felony, you face two, three, or five years in California state prison.62

And if there are aggravating circumstances (such as a prior felony conviction), violation of this section of Penal Code 626.9 PC is a "straight" felony .  In such a case, you face two, three, or five years in California state prison.63

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5.5. Penal Code 16590 PC -- California's ban on "generally prohibited weapons"

California bans possession of certain weapons deemed inherently dangerous.  These are defined in Penal Code 16590, "generally prohibited weapons." Firearms and accessories in this category include:

  • cane guns,64
  • firearms that are not immediately recognizable as firearms,65
  • large-capacity magazines,66
  • multiburst trigger activators,67
  • short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns,68
  • unconventional pistols,69
  • undetectable firearms,70
  • wallet guns, and 71
  • zip guns.72
Img-brass-knuckle-gun

Possession of a generally prohibited weapon is a "wobbler" .73 It is punishable by loss of the weapon and:

  1. As a misdemeanor , by a minimum three (3) month to a maximum one (1) year jail sentence, or
  2. As a felony, by 16 months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in California state prison .

5.6. Penal Code 30600 PC -- California's ban on assault weapons and rifles

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Penal Code 30600 PC is California's ban on assault weapons and rifles.74 It punishes possession of over 50 specific guns that count as assault weapons, as well as all .50 BMG rifles.75 The only exception is the rare case in which someone has a permit specifically to carry one of these weapons.

Otherwise, possession of an assault weapon is usually a wobbler .  If convicted of possessing an assault weapon you face:

  1. For a misdemeanor conviction, up to one (1) year in county jail, or
  2. For a felony conviction, 16 months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in California state prison.76

Possession of a .50 BMG rifle is generally a misdemeanor.  If convicted you face:

  1. up to one (1) year in a county jail, and/or
  2. a maximum $1,000 fine.77

5.7. Penal Code 417 PC – California's law against brandishing a weapon or firearm

Img-pointed-gun

Penal Code 417 is California's law against brandishing a weapon or firearm.   Among other things, section (a)(2)(A) of this law makes it a misdemeanor to do either of the following in a public place:

  1. draw or exhibit any firearm…whether loaded or unloaded…in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or
  2. unlawfully use a firearm in any fight or quarrel.78

If convicted of brandishing an unloaded firearm in a public place you face:

  1. between three months and one year in county jail, and/or
  2. a fine not to exceed $1,000.79
6. Constitutional concerns and arguments in favor of "open carry" laws
Img-second-amendment

In California, most adults may legally own firearms and ammunition without a license.80

People who may not legally possess firearms or ammunition,81 however, include (but are not limited to):

  1. felons (anyone convicted of any felony offense in any jurisdiction),82
  2. narcotics addicts,83
  3. anyone with two or more convictions for brandishing a weapon under Penal Code 417,84
  4. anyone convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses (such as stalking),85
  5. the mentally ill,86 and
  6. minors (anyone under 18).87

Unless you are legally prohibited from owning a firearm in California, you may keep a gun in your house or a place of business you own.   And, as noted above, you may legally carry a handgun from place to place in a locked container, or use it in certain permitted activities, such as practicing on a target range.88

But some people have long argue that both concealed and open-carry bans violate the Second Amendment.89 They believe that banning the possession of weapons…or requiring someone to pay a license fee for the right to carry a weapon…is a violation of their constitutional rights.90

The Unloaded Open Carry (UOC) movement began in 2004 and has since continued to gain momentum.  California does not lack for UOC enthusiasts.91

UCO enthusiasts argue that open carry laws serve two important purposes:

  1. it's the most effective way to prevent being the victim of a violent crime, which in turn
  2. prevents the individual who visibly possesses a firearm from being forced into the position of having to actually use his/her weapon (that is, it serves as a deterrent).

The United States Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the court held that a ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment.92 The court also held unlawful any prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.

In February of 2014, the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took on the issue of bans on carrying handguns outside the home. The court held, in Peruta v. San Diego County, that there is a Second Amendment right to carry firearms in public.93 That holding is currently being appealed--so at present we don't know about the ultimate effect it will have on California gun laws.94

The Peruta case was specifically about permits to carry concealed firearms under Penal Code 26150 PC--not about California's open carry laws.95 However, if Peruta is upheld, then the door will be open to constitutional challenges to the open carry laws as well.

However, for now, the open carrying of handguns in California remains a crime under Penal Code 26350.

Call us for help…
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If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 26350 openly carrying unloaded handguns 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 violating Nevada's firearm laws. For more information, we invite you to contact our local attorneys at one of our Nevada law offices, located in Reno and Las Vegas.

Legal References:

1 "Prohibited areas" included government buildings, post offices, and school zones under California's Gun Free School Zone Act.

2 Effective January 1, 2012, many California weapons laws underwent renumbering.  For a comprehensive comparison of old and new section numbers, see Calguns Foundation wiki, California Penal Code Renumbering.

3 California Penal Code Section 26350(a) --

(1) A person is guilty of openly carrying an unloaded handgun when that person carries upon his or her person an exposed
and unloaded handgun outside a vehicle while in or on any of the following:

(A) A public place or public street in an incorporated city or city and county.
(B) A public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city and county.
(C) A public place in a prohibited area of a county or city and county.

(2) A person is guilty of openly carrying an unloaded handgun when that person carries an exposed and unloaded handgun inside or on a vehicle, whether or not on his or her person, while in or on any of the following:

(A) A public place or public street in an incorporated city or city and county.
(B) A public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city and county.
(C) A public place in a prohibited area of a county or city and county.

4 California Penal Code Section 26350(b)(1) -- Except as specified in paragraph (2), a violation of this section is a misdemeanor.

5 California Penal Code Section 26350(b)(2) -- A violation of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, if both of the following conditions exist:

(A) The handgun and unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from that handgun are in the immediate possession of that person.
(B) The person is not in lawful possession of that handgun.

6 California Penal Code 25850(a) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.

7 California Penal Code 25400(a) -- 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.

8 California Penal Code 26390.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun in any of the following circumstances:

(a) The open carrying of an unloaded handgun that is regulated pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 18710) of Division 5 of Title 2 by a person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 18900) of that chapter, if the carrying of that handgun is conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit.
(b) The open carrying of an unloaded handgun that is regulated pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 30500) of Division 10 by a person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Section 31005, if the carrying of that handgun is conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit.
(c) The open carrying of an unloaded handgun that is regulated pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 32610) of Division 10 by a person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Section 32650, if the carrying is conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit.
(d) The open carrying of an unloaded handgun that is regulated pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 33300) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 by a person who holds a permit issued pursuant to Section 33300, if the carrying of that handgun is conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit.

See also California Penal Code 26150 PC –

(a) When a person applies for a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, the sheriff of a county may issue a license to that person upon proof of all of the following:

(1) The applicant is of good moral character.
(2) Good cause exists for issuance of the license.
(3) The applicant is a resident of the county or a city within the county, or the applicant's principal place of employment or business is in the county or a city within the county and the applicant spends a substantial period of time in that place of employment or business.
(4) The applicant has completed a course of training as described in Section 26165.
(b) The sheriff may issue a license under subdivision (a) in either of the following formats:
(1) A license to carry concealed a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Where the population of the county is less than 200,000 persons according to the most recent federal decennial census, a license to carry loaded and exposed in only that county a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

California Penal Code 26155 PC –

(a) When a person applies for a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, the chief or other head of a municipal police department of any city or city and county may issue a license to that person upon proof of all of the following:

(1) The applicant is of good moral character.
(2) Good cause exists for issuance of the license.
(3) The applicant is a resident of that city.
(4) The applicant has completed a course of training as described in Section 26165.
(b) The chief or other head of a municipal police department may issue a license under subdivision (a) in either of the following formats:
(1) A license to carry concealed a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Where the population of the county in which the city is located is less than 200,000 persons according to the most recent federal decennial census, a license to carry loaded and exposed in only that county a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(c) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the chief or other head of a municipal police department of any city from entering an agreement with the sheriff of the county in which the city is located for the sheriff to process all applications for licenses, renewals of licenses, and amendments to licenses, pursuant to this chapter.

9 California Penal Code 25610.

10 See State of California, Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Traveling With Firearms in California.

11 California Penal Code Section 26350(a), endnote 3, above.

12 California Penal Code 16950 PC. Handgun carried openly or exposed --  As used in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 26350) of Division 5 of Title 4, a handgun shall be deemed to be carried openly or exposed if the handgun is not carried concealed within the meaning of Section 25400.

13 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].")

14 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.

15 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.

16 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.

17 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.

18 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

19 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.

20 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.

21 California Penal Code 16640(a) -- As used in this part, "handgun" means any pistol, revolver, or firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

22 California Penal Code 16530(a) -- 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.

23 California Penal Code 16640(b) -- Nothing shall prevent a device defined as a "handgun" from also being found to be a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun.

See also California Penal Code 16530(b) -- Nothing shall prevent a device defined as a "firearm capable of being concealed upon the person," "pistol," or "revolver" from also being found to be a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun.

24 California Penal Code Section 26350(a), endnote 3, above.

25 See People v. Yarbrough (2008) 169 Cal.App.4th 303, 86 Cal.Rptr.3d 674 ("The area in front of a home, including a private driveway, is a public place if it is reasonably accessible to the public without a barrier.").

26 California Penal Code 26150 and 26155 PC, endnote 8, above.

27 California Penal Code 26361 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by any peace officer or any honorably retired peace officer if that officer may carry a concealed firearm pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 25450) of Chapter 2, or a loaded firearm pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 25900) of Chapter 3.

28 California Penal Code 26362 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by any person to the extent that person may openly carry a loaded handgun pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 26000) of Chapter 3.

29 California Penal Code 26363 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun as merchandise by a person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing, wholesaling, repairing, or dealing in firearms and who is licensed to engage in that business, or the authorized representative or authorized agent of that person, while engaged in the lawful course of the business.

30 California Penal Code 26365 PC.  Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by a member of any club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets upon established target ranges, whether public or private, while the members are using handguns upon the target ranges or incident to the use of a handgun at that target range.

See also California Penal Code 26377 PC.  Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun at any established target range, whether public or private, while the person is using the handgun upon the target range.

31 California Penal Code 26366 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by a licensed hunter while engaged in hunting or while transporting that handgun when going to or returning from that hunting expedition.

See also California Penal Code 26366.5 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by a licensed hunter while actually engaged in training a dog for the purpose of using the dog in hunting that is not prohibited by law, or while transporting the firearm while going to or returning from that training.

32 California Penal Code 26367 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun incident to transportation of a handgun by a person operating a licensed common carrier, or by an authorized agent or employee thereof, when transported in conformance with applicable federal law.

33 California Penal Code 26369 PC.  Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun within a gun show conducted pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 27200) and Article 2 (commencing with Section 27300) of Chapter 3 of Division 6.

34 California Penal Code 26374 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by a person engaged in firearms-related activities, while on the premises of a fixed place of business that is licensed to conduct and conducts, as a regular course of its business, activities related to the sale, making, repair, transfer, pawn, or the use of firearms, or related to firearms training.

35 California Penal Code 26375 PC.  Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by an authorized participant in, or an authorized employee or agent of a supplier of firearms for, a motion picture, television or video production, or entertainment event, when the participant lawfully uses the handgun as part of that production or event, as part of rehearsing or practicing for participation in that production or event, or while the participant or authorized employee or agent is at that production or event, or rehearsal or practice for that production or event.

36 California Penal Code Section 26350(b)(1) -- Except as specified in paragraph (2), a violation of this section is a misdemeanor.

37 California Penal Code Section 26350(b)(2) -- A violation of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, if both of the following conditions exist:

(A) The handgun and unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from that handgun are in the immediate possession of that person.
(B) The person is not in lawful possession of that handgun.

38 See same.

39 California Penal Code Section 26350 (d) -- Notwithstanding the fact that the term "an unloaded handgun" is used in this section, each handgun shall constitute a distinct and separate offense under this section.

40 California Penal Code Section 26350(c).

(1) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9, Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or any other law with a penalty greater than is set forth in this section.
(2) The provisions of this section are cumulative and shall not be construed as restricting the application of any other law. However, an act or omission punishable in different ways by different provisions of law shall not be punished under more than one provision.

41 California Penal Code 26377 PC.  Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 26350 does not apply to, or affect, the open carrying of an unloaded handgun at any established target range, whether public or private, while the person is using the handgun upon the target range.

42 See California Penal Code 25610 PC.

43 California Penal Code 26350(a)(1)(A), endnote 3, above.

44 California Penal Code 25850(a)(1)(B), endnote 6, above.

45 California Penal Code 25850(a)(1)(C), endnote 6, above.

46 The Fourth Amendment 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."

47 See, e.g., Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1, 3 ("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.").

48 Newport Beach criminal defense attorney John Murray represents clients accused of violating California's firearms offenses throughout Orange County, including Fullerton, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, Irvine and Westminster. In addition, our California criminal defense lawyers 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 San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

49 California Penal Code 29800 PC

50 18 USC 922(g) -- It shall be unlawful for any person—

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) who is a fugitive from justice;
(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
(5) who, being an alien—
(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)));
(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
(8) who is subject to a court order that—
(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(C)
(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,
to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

51 California Penal Code 29800 PC, endnote 49, above

See also California Penal Code 672 PC -- Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment.  ("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.").

52 California Penal Code 29800 PC, endnote 49, above.

See also 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.

See also California Penal Code 18000 PC

(a) Any weapon described in Section 19190, 21390, 21590, or 25700, 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.

53 Under California Penal Code 29805 PC, there are about 40 specific misdemeanor convictions that carry a California 10-year firearms ban. These include (but are not limited to):

  • battery;
  • sexual battery;
  • domestic violence;
  • stalking; and
  • criminal threats.

54 8 USC 1227 -- Deportable aliens.  (a) Classes of deportable aliens.  Any alien (including an alien crewman) in and admitted to the United States shall, upon the order of the Attorney General, be removed if the alien is within one or more of the following classes of deportable aliens…(2) Criminal offenses…(C) Certain firearm offenses

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 is deportable.

Because Penal Code 29800 PC involves possession of firearms, it is a California crime that can lead to deportation.

55 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.

56 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.

57 California Penal Code 25850(a) -- A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.

58 California Penal Code 16840(b) -- As used in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 4 of Title 4, in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (c) of Section 25400, and in Sections 25850 to 26055, inclusive,

(1) A firearm shall be deemed to be "loaded" when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell, consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a muzzle-loader firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder.

59 California Penal Code 626.9.

…(b) Any person who possesses a firearm in a place that the person knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), unless it is with the written permission of the school district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school authority, shall be punished as specified in subdivision (f).
…(e)(1) "School zone" means an area in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of the public or private school.

60 California Penal Code 626.9(f)(1) -- Any person who violates subdivision (b) by possessing a firearm in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or five years.

61 California Penal Code 626.9(f )(2) -- Any person who violates subdivision (b) by possessing a firearm within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, shall be punished as follows:

(A) By imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or five years, if any of the following circumstances apply:

(i) If the person previously has been convicted of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by any provision listed in Section 16580.
(ii) If 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 Title 4 of Part 6 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(iii) If the firearm is any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person and the offense is punished as a felony pursuant to Section 25400.

(B) By imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or five years, in all cases other than those specified in subparagraph (A).

62 See same.

63 See same.

64 California Penal Code 16590(g).

See also California Penal Code 16330.  As used in this part, "cane gun" means any firearm mounted or enclosed in a stick, staff, rod, crutch, or similar device, designed to be, or capable of being used as, an aid in walking, if the firearm may be fired while mounted or enclosed therein.

65 California Penal Code 16590(k).

66 California Penal Code 16590(l).

See also California Penal Code 16740.  As used in this part, "large-capacity magazine" means any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, but shall not be construed to include any of the following:

(a) A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than 10 rounds.
(b) A .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device.
(c) A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.

67 California Penal Code 16590(q).

See also California Penal Code 16930 PC.  As used in this part, a "multiburst trigger activator" means either of the following:

(a) A device designed or redesigned to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm, which allows the firearm to discharge two or more shots in a burst by activating the device.
(b) A manual or power-driven trigger activating device constructed and designed so that when attached to a semiautomatic firearm it increases the rate of fire of that firearm.

68 California Penal Code 16590(t).

69 California Penal Code 17270 PC.  As used in this part, an "unconventional pistol" means a firearm with both of the following characteristics:

(a) It does not have a rifled bore.
(b) It has a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length or has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

70 California Penal Code 16590(w).

See also California Penal Code 17280 PC.  As used in this part, "undetectable firearm" means any weapon that meets either of the following requirements:

(a) After removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, the weapon is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by a walk-through metal detector calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar.
(b) Any major component of the weapon, as defined in Section 922 of Title 18 of the United States Code, when subjected to inspection by the types of X-ray machines commonly used at airports, does not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the component. Barium sulfate or other compounds may be used in the fabrication of the component.

71 California Penal Code 16590 (x)

See also California Penal Code 17330 PC.  As used in this part, "wallet gun" means any firearm mounted or enclosed in a case, resembling a wallet, designed to be or capable of being carried in a pocket or purse, if the firearm may be fired while mounted or enclosed in the case.

72 California Penal Code 16590(z).

See also California Penal Code 17360 PC.  As used in this part, "zip gun" means any weapon or device that meets all of the following criteria:

(a) It was not imported as a firearm by an importer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(b) It was not originally designed to be a firearm by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(c) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(d) It is made or altered to expel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.

73 The relevant charging statutes are:

  • camouflaging firearm container: California Penal Code 24310 PC;
  • cane gun: California Penal Code 24410 PC;
  • firearm not immediately recognizable as a firearm: Penal Code 24510 PC;
  • large-capacity magazine: California Penal Code 32310 PC;
  • multiburst trigger activator: California Penal Code 32900 PC;
  • short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun: California Penal Code 33215 PC;
  • unconventional pistol:  California Penal Code 31500 PC;
  • undetectable firearm: California Penal Code 24610 PC
  • wallet gun: California Penal Code 24710 PC; and
  • zip gun: California Penal Code 33600.

74 California Penal Code 30600 PC.

(a) Any person who, within this state, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives or lends any assault weapon or any .50 BMG rifle, except as provided by this chapter, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for four, six, or eight years.
(b) In addition and consecutive to the punishment imposed under subdivision (a), any person who transfers, lends, sells, or gives any assault weapon or any .50 BMG rifle to a minor in violation of subdivision (a) shall receive an enhancement of imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of one year.
(c) Except in the case of a first violation involving not more than two firearms as provided in Sections 30605 and 30610, for purposes of this article, if more than one assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle is involved in any violation of this article, there shall be a distinct and separate offense for each.

75 California Penal Code 30530 PC.

(a) As used in this part, ".50 BMG rifle" means a center fire rifle that can fire a .50 BMG cartridge and is not already an assault weapon or a machinegun.
(b) A ".50 BMG rifle" does not include any antique firearm, nor any curio or relic as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

See also California Penal Code 30525 PC.  As used in this part, ".50 BMG cartridge" means a cartridge that is designed and intended to be fired from a center fire rifle and that meets all of the following criteria:

(a) It has an overall length of 5.54 inches from the base to the tip of the bullet.
(b) The bullet diameter for the cartridge is from .510 to, and including, .511 inch.
(c) The case base diameter for the cartridge is from .800 inch to, and including, .804 inch.
(d) The cartridge case length is 3.91 inches.

76 California Penal Code  30605(a) -- Any person who, within this state, possesses any assault weapon, except as provided in this chapter, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

77 California Penal Code  30610(a) -- Any person who, within this state, possesses any .50 BMG rifle, except as provided in this chapter, shall be punished by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

78 California Penal Code 417(a)(2) -- Every person who, except in self-defense, in the presence of any other person, draws or exhibits any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or who in any manner, unlawfully uses a firearm in any fight or quarrel is punishable as follows:

(A) If the violation occurs in a public place and the firearm is a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than three months and not more than one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.

79 See same.

80 California Penal Code 25605 PC.

(a) Section 25400 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 place of residence, place of business, or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the citizen or legal resident.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting theapplication of Sections 25850 to 26055, inclusive.

81 California Penal Code 30305(a)(1)

82 California Penal Code 29800(a)(1)

83 Same.

84 California Penal Code 29800 (a)(2) --  Any person who has two or more convictions for violating paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 417 [California's law against brandishing a weapon] and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in possession or under custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.

85 California Penal Code 29805 – Except as provided in Section 29855 or subdivision (a) of Section 29800, any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation of Section 71, 76, 136.1, 136.5, or 140, subdivision (d) of Section 148, Section 171b, paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 171c, 171d, 186.28, 240, 241, 242, 243, 243.4, 244.5, 245, 245.5, 246.3, 247, 273.5, 273.6, 417, 417.6, 422, 626.9, 646.9, or 830.95, subdivision (a) of former Section 12100, as that section read at any time from when it was enacted by Section 3 of Chapter 1386 of the Statutes of 1988 to when it was repealed by Section 18 of Chapter 23 of the Statutes of 1994, Section 17500, 17510, 25300, 25800, 30315, or 32625, subdivision (b) or (d) of Section 26100, or Section 27510, or Section 8100, 8101, or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any firearm-related offense pursuant to Sections 871.5 and 1001.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or of the conduct punished in subdivision (c) of Section 27590, and who, within 10 years of the conviction, owns, purchases, receives, or has in possession or under custody or control, any firearm is guilty of a public offense, which shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in the state prison, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. The court, on forms prescribed by the Department of Justice, shall notify the department of persons subject to this section. However, the prohibition in this section may be reduced, eliminated, or conditioned as provided in Section 29855 or 29860.

86 California Welfare and Institutions Code 8100.

87 California Penal Code 29610 PC -- A minor shall not possess a pistol, revolver, or other  firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

88 California Penal Code 25610.  (a) Section 25400 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.

See also exemptions to California's open carry ban, endnotes 27 to 35, above.

89 AMENDMENT II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

90 See, e.g., Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, Gun owners hope to win the right to carry concealed weapons, February 20, 2012.

91 See e.g., California Open Carry Movement.

92 District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) 478 F. 3d 370.

93 Peruta v. Cty. of San Diego (9th Cir. Feb. 13 2014) No. 10-56971, slip op. at 55. ("[T]he Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.")

94 See California Concealed Gun Ruling Put on Hold by Appeals Court, Business Week, Feb. 28, 2014.

95 Peruta v. Cty. of San Diego, endnote 93, above, slip op. at 6-7.

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