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Posted: 5/8/2018 12:04:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/8/2018 12:07:37 AM EDT by kells81]
We are coming your way in a few weeks and I plan on having a Shotgun/Handgun in the vehicle. I already bought a nice handgun safe to put in my toolbox but I was wondering about long guns. Is it acceptable by CA law to have a long gun locked up in my truck under the back seat? I am assuming loaded is a nogo but what about loaded? Side track on that would it be legal to store my handgun in the same underseat safe?

This is what I am looking at.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 12:31:37 AM EDT
Long guns don't even need to be locked up, just unloaded and concealed.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 11:08:04 AM EDT
The handguns could be carried in the same locked container. Neither could have ammunition in or on the firearm, as in loaded or attached to the firearm. but the ammunition could also be in the same container. There are some advantages to having the firearms conveniently cased (locked for the handguns) to avoid "open carry" issues moving the firearms to/from the vehicle. One would also likely want to be discrete about the appearance or concealment of any containers in the vehicle or in moving them around for the usual reasons of security, etc.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 1:36:50 PM EDT
The courts ruled that having ammo attached to the firearm, like in a sidesaddle, for example, does not make the firearm loaded and thus does not violate the law. It has to be in a position to be chambered/fired. Only "concealable weapons " (handguns, SBRs, SBSs, etc.) have to be locked up.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 7:02:30 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By bigstick61:
The courts ruled that having ammo attached to the firearm, like in a sidesaddle, for example, does not make the firearm loaded and thus does not violate the law. It has to be in a position to be chambered/fired. Only "concealable weapons " (handguns, SBRs, SBSs, etc.) have to be locked up.
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Got a cite? Because this:



(a) As used in Section 25800, a firearm shall be deemed to be “loaded” whenever both the firearm and the unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from the firearm are in the immediate possession of the same person.

(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.

("including but not limited to" can result in problems because it yields a moving target in trying to get compliance. Section 25800 deals with carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony, outside the typical scope of discussions here.)
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 7:27:44 PM EDT
Should be on Calguns somewhere. They tried to use this to go after someone, for ammo on a sidesaddle, IIRC, on a firearm with no rounds in the magazine or chamber, and the courts ruled in the guy's favour saying that such did not constitute "loaded". Case is well over a decade old now. Seemed pretty settled as a matter unless something new has come up.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 8:01:18 PM EDT
Found it.

People v. Clark (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 1147 , 53 Cal.Rptr.2d 99

The term "loaded" has a commonly understood meaning: "to put a load or charge in (a device or piece of equipment) a gun" or "to put a load on or in a carrier, device, or container; esp: to insert the charge or cartridge into the chamber of a firearm." (Webster's New Collegiate Dict. (1976) p. 674.) Under the commonly understood meaning of the term "loaded," a firearm is "loaded" when a shell or cartridge has been placed into a position from which it can be fired; the shotgun is not "loaded" if the shell or cartridge is stored elsewhere and not yet placed in a firing position. The shells here were placed in a separate storage compartment of the shotgun and were not yet "loaded" as the term is commonly understood.

There is nothing in Health and Safety Code section 11370.1 which indicates the Legislature did not intend to use the term "loaded" in its commonly understood meaning.

We note Penal Code section 12031 states it is defining the term "loaded" "for the purposes of this section" (Pen. Code, § 12031, subd. (g)); it does not state it is applicable to a Health and Safety Code offense nor does Health and Safety Code section 11370.1 refer to the Penal Code definition.

Second, even if we were to accept the Attorney General's assertion that the definition of "loaded" contained in Penal Code section 12031, subdivision (g) applies to Health and Safety Code section 11370.1, subdivision (a), we would still conclude the shotgun here was not loaded.

[2] A statute "must be given a reasonable and commonsense interpretation consistent with the apparent purpose and intention of the Legislature, practical rather than technical in nature, and which, when applied, will result in wise policy rather than mischief or absurdity. [Citations.]" (Beaty v. Imperial Irrigation Dist. (1986) 186 Cal.App.3d 897, 902 [231 Cal.Rptr. 128].) "The words must be construed in context in light of the nature and obvious purpose of the statute where they appear. [Citation.]" (Decker v. City of Imperial Beach (1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 349, 354 [257 Cal.Rptr. 356]; Lakin v. Watkins Associated Industries (1993) 6 Cal.4th 644, 659 [25 Cal.Rptr.2d 109, 863 P.2d 179].)

Given the examples are all consistent with an intent to use the common meaning of "loaded," it follows the Legislature's use of the phrase "attached in any manner" to the firearm was intended to encompass a situation where a shell or cartridge might be attached to a firearm or "loaded" for firing by some unconventional method. The phrase does not demonstrate a clear Legislative intent to deem a firearm loaded no matter how a shell is attached to a firearm; in particular, it does not indicate a clear intent to deem a gun "loaded" when the ammunition, as here, is in a storage compartment which is not equivalent to either a magazine or clip and from which the ammunition cannot be fired. Our conclusion that the Legislature intended "loaded" as used in Penal Code section 12031 to reflect the common definition is supported by the court in People v. Heffner (1977) 70 Cal.App.3d 643, 650 [139 Cal.Rptr. 45], which reached the same conclusion …
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There are some special cases dealing with classifications of crimes, sentence enhancements (such as when one is convicted of unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm), fish and game situations, and a couple of other exceptional situations which differ from the above, but for most intents and purposes, to include the one in the OP, the above applies.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 8:27:19 PM EDT
All that said, subsequent to that case, they have seemingly created or repeated in law a definition. That it repeats (?) the older definition and conflicts with the case decision is a little troubling. Is there, or isn't there more to this than just renumbering, which should mean the decision applies and they were sloppy. Or did the legislature intend to codify the definition to clarify an "error" or "loophole?" They clearly have continued to use that definition in the law and official publications since then. The likelihood of it being a problem is slim. One would need to have a serious situation develop before the use of a sidesaddle, etc., became apparent to anyone.

But getting back to the OP. The underseat locking container is certainly suitable for transporting the firearms in the vehicle. But it might be a bit awkward for fast retrieval if the seat's in use. Or if one wants to retrieve the firearms and not leave them in the vehicle parked, etc. Although cased in the box would be fairly easy to move the firearms discretely. I don't think one would want to pull something out and then move it to another container in a parking area too often.
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