Difference between revisions of "Transporting"

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[[Category:Handgun Transportation]]
[[Category:Handgun Transportation]]
[[Category: Transportation Laws]]

Revision as of 23:40, 11 November 2009

Transporting a handgun

One may transport a handgun either openly or concealed.

One may transport a handgun either in/on a vehicle or on foot.

Without CCW, the handgun must be unloaded.

OPEN handgun transport

Open merely means 'not concealed'. In a holster on one's belt, carefully kept away from outer garments or shirts which may cover the handgun, is 'open carry'. On the passenger seat next to a driver in a car, clearly visible, is 'open transport'.

While legal, open transport is uncommon. Because this is uncommon, when transporting openly any interaction with law enforcement personnel could be uncomfortable.

CONCEALED handgun transport

Penal Code 12025 creates the crime of carrying a concealed firearm. Penal Code 12026.1 and 12026.2 provide an exception for transporting a concealed weapon, if the correct procedure is followed

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.
  (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.
12026.2(b) In order for a firearm to be exempted under subdivision
(a), while being transported to or from a place, the firearm shall
be unloaded, kept in a locked container, as defined in subdivision
(d), and the course of travel shall include only those deviations
between authorized locations as are reasonably necessary under the
  (d) As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure
container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, keylock,
combination lock, or similar locking device. The term "locked
container" does not include the utility or glove compartment of a
motor vehicle.

Locked container

The code specifies either a separate locked container or the trunk of a motor vehicle while transporting a handgun in a vehicle.

The separate locked container may be located any place in the vehicle; it is not restricted to the trunk.

Vehicles without trunks

Since the trunk is not required, transport of a handgun, unloaded in a secure locked container, is allowed on bicycles and motorcycles, and in pickup trucks, vans and station wagons

Secure container

Secure is not defined in the Penal Code. The implication of the lock language suggests access to the handgun should be difficult without properly opening the lock. While this page cannot recommend brands or models, both hard-sided and soft-sided gun cases and other 'substantial' enclosures which can be locked would seem to fulfill the requirements of the law.

Fully enclosed

Fully enclosed is not defined in the Penal Code. This language does disallow the use of only a trigger lock or cable lock; locks without the fully-enclosing containers are not locked containers.

Ammunition in the locked container is legal

So long as the handgun is itself unloaded, ammunition in the same container does not make the handgun loaded.

Some gun owners may be more comfortable transporting ammunition in a separate container, or a separate compartment of the locked container, but this is not required by current law.

Transporting Firearms Interstate

Above applies principally to California.

The NRA has published a Guide to the Interstate Transportation of Firearms which covers the Federal law and the local requirements of several states and cities, and a brief treatment of the laws in Canada and Mexico.

See Also