I moved from CA to AZ about 12 years ago. I am visiting some family in CA and would like to know the current gun laws in CA. Mainly as they apply to what you can and can't have in your car. I plan on bringing a couple pistols and maybe a mosin nagant m44. I would like to bring an AR, but figure that is out of the question. I know that they must be unloaded. What else? I remember that the ammo must not be in the same area as the gun, is that right? I have a SUV, so no trunk. How does that affect the way I transport my guns. Thanks for any info you can give me. I know the chances of it being an issue are slim to none, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
Leave the AR at home. The handguns must be kept in a locked container unloaded and separate from your ammo. Be advised that a glove compartment does not constitute a locked container although your trunk does. Many will debate, but I recommend that you keep your magazines unloaded as well. As for the nagant, keep it unloaded and separate from ammo and you'll be okay, no need for it to be in a locked container.
Enjoy your trip, and have a good time visiting the family.
I could be wrong, but I thought it was ok for somebody visiting the state to bring in their legally acquired "AW" as long as they are using it in some sort of competition here and take it with them when they leave? Not sure what kind of documentation, if any, you need with this though.
So the handguns have to be in a locked container. Is a suitcase with a lock ok? Or the trunk. I have an SUV that doesnt have a trunk, is the the cargo area considered a trunk? Also how much seperation is needed from the ammo. If I keep the pistols in a locked suitcase in the cargo area, the rifle in the same area, can the ammo be in an ammo can in the cargo area too? sorry for all the questions, but I just want to cover my ass.
12025. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when
he or she does any of the following:
1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her
control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(3) Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which he
or she is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person.
12026.1. (a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any
citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or
is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted
classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or
Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from
transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the
following applies to the firearm:
(1) The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the
vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle other than
the utility or glove compartment.
(2) The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any
motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm,
the firearm is contained within a locked container.
(b) The provisions of this section do not prohibit or limit the
otherwise lawful carrying or transportation of any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in
accordance with this chapter.
(c) As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure
container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock,
combination lock, or similar locking device.
12031. (a) (1) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when
he or she carries a loaded firearm on his or her 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.
(g) A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of
this section 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; except that 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.
Does not specify how much separation must exist between the ammo and the firearm but may not be attached to the firearm. Loaded magazines must be attached to the firearm (even if chamber is unloaded for this section) to be considered loaded. I think this is where many get this section wrong because in some states a firearm is considered loaded if a magazine is loaded. I've heard of cases in those states where it is possible to be charged with possession of a loaded firearm even if the actual firearm is not present, only loaded magazines. Here is one area where California has not made that stupid distinction.
I hope that this helps as it can be very confusing. Bottom line---make sure you are the lawful owner of the pistols, not convicted of any felony or previous conviction of carrying a concealed or loaded weapon, in a locked container (pistols and registered assault rifles so don't bring your AR unless for a bonofide competition because it is not registered in the state) which would include a locked suitcase, be carrying for a lawful purpose(we have enough freeway shooters of our own so don't add to them), don't get into any trouble with your guns, and enjoy your visit here to our state. Despite all the negative that you hear about California, there are a lot of positives about the state.
Tatsu pretty much answered all of your questions. A suitcase with a lock would be just fine. The cargo area of your SUV does not constitute a trunk, it's still considered the cab of your vehicle.
As Tatsu already pointed out, the law doesn't stipulate how much space must exist between the ammo and the firearm(s).
If you keep the pistols in a locked suitcase, the rifle in the same area, and the ammo in an ammo can, you'll stay well within the law.