Laws are very strict concerning transportation of firearms, however California permits firearms to be transported in motor vehicles under certain requirements and restrictions.
Penal Code 25850 PC makes it punishable to carry a loaded firearm in either a public place or vehicle, which is different from carrying a concealed weapon. Under California Penal Code section 25610, if you are a U.S. citizen, over 18, living permanently or temporarily in California, and lawfully permitted to own a firearm, you are legally allowed to transport a revolver, pistol, or other concealable firearm as long as it is unloaded and in a locked container.
A “locked container” is defined as any secure container that is fully enclosed and able to be locked using a padlock, key, combination lock, or any similar locking device. This definition covers a motor vehicle trunk, but not the vehicle’s utility or glove compartment.
Firearms such as rifles and shotguns are not considered concealable firearms but they are generally also covered under California Penal Code section 25400. While they are not required to be in a locked container, they still have to be unloaded during transportation.
Shotguns, such as registered assault weapons, are a special class covered by California Penal Code section 30945. This code permits the transportation of registered assault weapons only between specified locations. During transportation they must also be unloaded and in a locked container.
Any person violating these laws and found to be carrying a loaded firearm can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, and can face imprisonment in county jail of up to one year, fines up to $1,000, or both.
If you have been charged with an alleged firearms transportation violation or other weapons charge, you need to consult a criminal defense lawyer knowledgeable in gun laws in California such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.