AR15.Com Archives
 Transporting an AR15 through California
BostonTeaParty  [Member]
11/15/2001 8:25:35 AM EST
I am doing some planning for my honeymoon. My fiancée and I are talking about driving through some of the Western states (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California). We are talking about doing some hiking and camping, among other things. I was thinking it might be nice to have my AR-15 along for protection, especially if we are camping off by ourselves somewhere. But I also wondered whether it will be legal for me to bring my AR-15 into California. The only major city we plan to visit in California is San Diego, although we very well may drive through some of the others on the way. We also want to see some of the major parks: Mono Lake, Death Valley, possibly Yosemite. I am a Texas resident. If I understand federal law correctly, since it is legal for me to possess my firearm in Texas, it should be legal for me to transport it through California. Does a multiple-day honeymoon visit fall under this kind of interstate transportation? Is there anything from California law that could supersede this? [quote]Sec. 926A. Interstate transportation of firearms -STATUTE- Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, That in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. [/quote]
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Phoenix5  [Member]
11/15/2001 8:59:37 AM EST
It is legal to transport the rifle provided it is unloaded and in a locked container. If you take up residence in Ca, you have to register the rifle with Ca DOJ. However, as of April of 2001 they will not accept registrations. (They want to know who has them so they can come for them like they did with the Chinese SKS). You shouldn't have any problems. You might bring along a photocopy of your sales reciept just in case some overzelous JBT gives you a problem. Hope this helps.[:D] BTW: Congrats to you and your soon to be wife!!
marvl  [Member]
11/15/2001 9:00:37 AM EST
Boston, couple of notes: (1) You might check the NRA web site, they have details on every state's firearms law. (2) I definitely would not depend upon the opinions of the arm chair lawyers you might find here. Check with a real lawyer. (3) Why visit California when you could go to Colorado and Wyoming and avoid the hassle all together? The scenery is just as nice and the people are even nicer.
Phoenix5  [Member]
11/15/2001 9:04:30 AM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By marvl: Boston, couple of notes: (2) I definitely would not depend upon the opinions of the arm chair lawyers you might find here. Check with a real lawyer. quote] Are you implying that the lawyers who visit this board are not "real" lawyers?
BostonTeaParty  [Member]
11/15/2001 9:28:37 AM EST
Phoenix5, thanks. I appreciate the responses, guys. If I have to contact a lawyer in California in order to know if I can protect myself while I travel there, it's probably easier just to not carry the firearm along at all. The law seems to be pretty clear that I can transport the firearm through California. As far as that goes, the laws of California don't matter at all. The law defines the manner of transportation, i.e., unloaded and inaccessible from the passenger compartment, but what I don't know is exactly what [i]transport[/i] means. Does that mean that the whole time I'm in California, for example, I have to keep the firearm locked in the trunk of my car? If I take it out and put it in the tent for the night, am I still "transporting" it and thus immune from California firearms restrictions, or am I now subject to them because it's not in my car? That part is not clear to me from federal law. As far as why we want to go to California, it's partly because it's warmer. We'll be going in January/February. While we're going to do some stuff in the cold or snow, we both like the outdoors and we didn't want to spend the whole time bundled up and freezing. I've also seen a lot of Colorado already, but neither of us have been to southern California since we were little kids.
marvl  [Member]
11/15/2001 9:36:28 AM EST
Not at all, but how does one determine if a post is from a practicing lawyer? I can't recall anyone putting J.D. or LL.D. after their name. Opinions are one thing, but messing with "The Man" I consider to be serious business. If the information is of the form "I heard from a friend that his wife's uncle's dog's vet's lawyer told him..." then it pobably got messed up in transmission. Marv
Phoenix5  [Member]
11/15/2001 9:39:48 AM EST
Unloaded an locked when transporting. You may have a firearm in your home or place of buissness. If you camp, the tent would be considered your home, albeit temporary. To cover your bases, if you camp om state owned or BLM controlled land you may want to check thier regulations. I have been all over CA and haven't had any problems.
eje  [Member]
11/15/2001 10:01:05 AM EST
BostonTeaParty: Here is a link to some general information about transporting firearms in California: http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/travel.htm As far as assault weapons go, the way I read state law is that nonresidents such as yourself can bring assault weapons into the state only if you are going directly to or from an organized, sponsored competition where you are going to use the assault weapon; the competition is conducted at a licensed target range; and you transport the assault weapon unloaded in a locked container. Here are the specific sections from the Cal. Penal Code: 12280. (a) (1) 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, except as provided by this chapter, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for four, six, or eight years. ... (b) Except as provided in Section 12288, and in subdivisions (c)and (d), any person who, within this state, possesses any assault weapon, except as provided in this chapter, is guilty of a public offense and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail, not exceeding one year.... ... (p) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to the possession and importation of an assault weapon into this state by a nonresident if all of the following conditions are met: (1) The person is attending or going directly to or coming directly from an organized competitive match or league competition that involves the use of an assault weapon. (2) The competition or match is conducted on the premises of one of the following: (i) A target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range. (ii) A target range of a public or private club or organization that is organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets. (3) The match or competition is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by, a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms. (4) The assault weapon is transported in accordance with Section 12026.1 or 12026.2. (5) The person is 18 years of age or over and is not in a class of persons prohibited from possessing firearms by virtue of Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. .... As far as I can tell, these are the only conditions under which a nonresident can bring an AR-15 into California under state law. Whether the federal law you cited trumps state law, I have no idea, but if it were me, I wouldn't want to be the test case. I would bring a shotgun or a lever action rifle instead! Hope this helps, Ed, Esq. [:D]
BostonTeaParty  [Member]
11/15/2001 10:28:34 AM EST
Thanks, Ed.
Troy  [Site Staff]
11/15/2001 10:32:29 AM EST
The McClure-Volkmer (sp?) act only protects you while driving through the state to a destination state that the gun is legal. Stopping to see the sights in the PRK would probably disqualify you. Also, in the PRK, you can only legally carry guns in your car if you are going directly to and from a range, gun store, or somewhere else that you have specific legal permission to have/use a gun. This is to prevent people from keeping a gun in their car at all times. Also, guns are not allowed in Yosemite, nor are they generally allowed in any state park or national park in the PRK, even for hunting purposes (though there may be a few exceptions for hunting). Should you have to use the gun to defend yourself (unlikely, but, hey), you would be in a world of hurt. If possible, I would suggest bringing a more "PC" gun, such as a shotgun, bolt or lever-action rifle, or even a handgun. There's too much chance of losing (at least) your AR15. BTW, if you plan to be near the Bay Area, one of the most beautiful places on earth is Big Basin Redwoods State Park just north of Santa Cruz. There's nothing like a redwood forest! -Troy
Chaingun  [Team Member]
11/15/2001 12:20:37 PM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By BostonTeaParty: We also want to see some of the major parks: Mono Lake, Death Valley, possibly Yosemite. [/quote] A very brave man you are. Yosemite is a National park, so you will need to find storage for any firearm before entering. National Forests should be O.K., except for maybe an "AW" in Kalifornia. Although, over a year ago, someone brought into Yosemite a 9mm, and started shooting at a bear and her cub, at night. While in the tent, he heard some bear noises, and just startted randomly shooting. The rangers found the bear and cub up a tree. Only heard they took his gun.
marvl  [Member]
11/15/2001 1:29:45 PM EST
Everytime I read one of these California threads I end up shaking my head and wondering what the world (or that state) is coming to. How long before a boxcutter taped to a flashlight is classified as an assault weapon? Sheesh.
stator  [Member]
11/15/2001 2:58:48 PM EST
BostonTeaParty: Here is one section of the CA code for AWs: [quote](p) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to the possession and importation of an assault weapon into this state by a nonresident if all of the following conditions are met: (1) The person is attending or going directly to or coming directly from an organized competitive match or league competition that involves the use of an assault weapon. (2) The competition or match is conducted on the premises of one of the following: (i) A target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range. (ii) A target range of a public or private club or organization that is organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets. (3) The match or competition is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by, a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms. (4) The assault weapon is transported in accordance with Section 12026.1 or 12026.2. (5) The person is 18 years of age or over and is not in a class of persons prohibited from possessing firearms by virtue of Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.[/quote] There are probably many other sections that apply to you but who knows where to look? That is the problem with CA firearm laws... very few people can understand these. The short answer seems to be NO, you can't.
BKVic  [Member]
11/15/2001 3:00:55 PM EST
You are legally allowed to transport any firearm through any state as long as you are legally allowed to own the firearm in the state you are coming from and are legally allowed to own the firearm in the state you are traveling to. It is a federal law that was discused a couple of years ago in the Gun and Ammo Annual edition. Im looking for it right now and will post again when I find it. BKVic
Troy  [Site Staff]
11/15/2001 4:26:56 PM EST
That's the Act I mentioned in my first post. But it basically applies to "pass-through" travel only. For example, let's say I owned a gun banned in Oregon, but legal in the PRK and in Washington state. I could legally transport the gun through Oregon on my way to Washington. I couldn't legally take it into Oregon if Oregon was my destination. I.e., it doesn't apply to vacationing in a banned state. -Troy
Pthfndr  [Team Member]
11/15/2001 6:50:54 PM EST
BTP Troy has it exactly right. Vacationing is not considered "passing through". So technically you would be at risk. And all the national parks I've been to here in Cali have signs posted saying no hunting within the park. If one speaks with the rangers you will find that if the gun is kept locked up and inoperable you can transport it through the park. BTW, for any Cali bashers, N'tl parks are FEDERAL property and CA has no say so in how or if they permit firearms. Now, an alternative for you to let you bring your AR safely through Cali. Get yourself a copy of Shooting Sports USA from the NRA (available by subscription). In the back it has a listing of just about every High Power match in the country, by state. If there are matches in CA during your vacation then just make a copy of the listings, print out maps from your computer on how to get to those ranges (I know of two not far from Yosemite that have HP mathces) and take them with you. If by some [i]HIGHLY REMOTE[/i] chance you get stopped and searched you just whip out your maps and listings and tell them you are enroute to the matches. Perfectly legal transportation for a CA "Assault Weapon".
BostonTeaParty  [Member]
11/16/2001 6:17:55 AM EST
I appreciate all your replies. It sounds like I am probably best off to leave it at home. If it was clearly legal, I was going to take it along, but I don't want to have to rely on technicalities or pretenses or hopes that I won't get stopped. It would really suck to have a honeymoon interrupted by a night in jail. I'll just have to make sure we pick safe places to camp and we don't drive through the bad parts of town.
az-gunner  [Member]
11/22/2001 8:37:17 PM EST
[quote]I'll just have to make sure we pick safe places to camp and we don't drive through the bad parts of town.[/quote] By the time you figure out that it's not a good part of town, it may be too late. I would recommend taking a "PC-capacity" handgun. If you don't already have one, now you have justification to make the purchase. I won't get into what brand or model. In traveling "home" to CA for the holiday, I packed a few Glocks and several 10 rnd mags. Best wishes, be safe
RatsWithKnives  [Member]
11/24/2001 5:15:38 AM EST
I just read that California is trying to pass a bill that restricts the sale of Carrots except LE because they enhance nightvision. RWK
Troy  [Site Staff]
11/24/2001 7:49:51 PM EST
[quote]Originally Posted By RatsWithKnives: I just read that California is trying to pass a bill that restricts the sale of Carrots except LE because they enhance nightvision.[/quote] Except for the rare and exotic strains (which are much to expensive for "normal" folks to afford). Those will remain legal. Nothing but the best for the "connected" folks. -Troy
nilsm  [Member]
11/24/2001 8:13:54 PM EST
>>>>>>>>> appreciate all your replies. It sounds like I am probably best off to leave it at home. If it was clearly legal, I was going to take it along, but I don't want to have to rely on technicalities or pretenses or hopes that I won't get stopped. It would really suck to have a honeymoon interrupted by a night in jail. I'll just have to make sure we pick safe places to camp and we don't drive through the bad parts of town. >>>>>>>>> CA just accomplished what they set out to do, keep guns ( yours ) out of their state. You have no other intelligent choice than to keep your AR at home. ( I would ) You're more likely to be killed in a car accident before any bear or human in CA. ( Just to keep you calm since you won't have your AR along ) but nonetheless, very true. Keep your seatbelt on.
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