Storage and Children

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Storage and Children

California has established a crime 'criminal storage of a firearm' related to children, persons under 18, gaining unauthorized access to firearms.

The crime does not apply if access is gained through illegal entry, or if the firearms owner has no reasonable expectation that children will be present.

There is no other requirement to lock up a firearm. There is no requirement to store ammunition separately from firearms.

2014 brings an addition to PC 25100, adding 'criminal storage of a firearm in the third degree'. (AB 231)

Penal Code 25100

CHAPTER 2. Criminal Storage of Firearm [25100. - 25130.]
 ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 711, Sec. 6. )
 
25100.  
(a) Except as provided in Section 25105, a person commits the crime of 
“criminal storage of a firearm of the first degree” if all of the
following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The person keeps any loaded firearm within any premises that are
under the person’s custody or control.

(2) The person knows or reasonably should know that a child is likely to
gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent
or legal guardian.

(3) The child obtains access to the firearm and thereby causes death or
great bodily injury to the child or any other person.
 
(b) Except as provided in Section 25105, a person commits the crime of
 “criminal storage of a firearm of the second degree” if all of the
 following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The person keeps any loaded firearm within any premises that are
under the person’s custody or control.

(2) The person knows or reasonably should know that a child is likely to 
gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent
or legal guardian.

(3) The child obtains access to the firearm and thereby causes injury,
other than great bodily injury, to the child or any other person, or
carries the firearm either to a public place or in violation of Section
417.

(c) Except as provided in Section 25105, a person commits the crime of 
“criminal storage of a firearm in the third degree” if the person keeps
any loaded firearm within any premises that are under the person’s
custody or control and negligently stores or leaves a loaded firearm in a
location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child
is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the
child’s parent or legal guardian, unless reasonable action is taken by  
the person to secure the firearm against access by the child.

Penal Code 25105

Section 25100 does not apply whenever any of the following occurs:

(a) The child obtains the firearm as a result of an illegal entry to any
premises by any person.

(b) The firearm is kept in a locked container or in a location that a
reasonable person would believe to be secure.

(c) The firearm is carried on the person or within close enough
proximity thereto that the individual can readily retrieve and use the 
firearm as if carried on the person.

(d) The firearm is locked with a locking device, as defined in Section
16860, which has rendered the firearm inoperable.

(e) The person is a peace officer or a member of the Armed Forces or the
National Guard and the child obtains the firearm during, or incidental
to, the performance of the person’s duties.

(f) The child obtains, or obtains and discharges, the firearm in a
lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person.

(g) The person who keeps a loaded firearm on premises that are under the
person’s custody or control has no reasonable expectation, based on
objective facts and circumstances, that a child is likely to be present
on the premises.