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Calguns Foundation FAQ:

Transportation Questions

How do I legally transport a HANDGUN?

The easiest (but not the only) method to legally transport a handgun is

  • unloaded
  • in a secure locked case

Can I have ammunition in the same case and compartment as the gun?


Can my magazines for semiautomatic handguns have ammunition in them?


Can my speed loaders for revolvers have ammunition in them?


Does my gun need to be transported in my trunk?

No law requires the locked case to be in a trunk of a vehicle; the locked case may be in any part of your vehicle that you like.

Can I keep a gun in my glove box?

No, you may not use the glove box or center console to transport your unloaded handgun unless the handgun is also in a separate locked case.

Can I transport the locked case in a backpack or a cargo container on a motorcycle?


Is a "secure locked container" defined anywhere?

No, there is no legal definition of ‘secure locked case’. There many varieties offered commercially; if you don’t personally think one is ‘secure’, buy one you think is secure.

If I use a cable or trigger lock, do I still need a locked container?

Yes. A ‘cable lock’ or ‘trigger lock’ can NOT replace the locked container.

Can I put the gun in my trunk without a locked container?

Yes, your locked trunk can be used as the only locked container, but only if there the pass-through from the back seat is also locked. Separate locked containers are usually more convenient.

How do I legally transport a LONG GUN?

Unloaded, cased or not, visible or not.

It is convenient to have a case; that is not required.

It is less obvious to transport a long gun in a vehicle trunk; that is not required.

When traveling through Gun Free School Zones Federal law requires long guns to be in a locked container or a locked gun rack.

How do I legally transport AMMUNITION?


Transporting ammunition by ground inside California:

  • Ammunition may be transported in magazines or speed loaders, not inserted in any gun.
  • Ammunition may be transported in the same case and the same compartment of a case as a gun.
  • Ammunition need not be locked up for transport.

How do I legally transport a REGISTERED “ASSAULT WEAPON”?


Registered 'assault weapons' must be transported:

  • unloaded
  • in a locked case
  • only between authorized locations
  • only by the person to whom the weapon is registered


Defining loaded in California

See also

Transporting a Firearm


NRA's Guide to the Interstate Transportation of Firearms