Gun ownership and handling is highly regulated and controlled in the US. While this is one of the most controversial political topics of our time, those who break gun laws face harsh consequences. Even though many find gun control laws to be unconstitutional, you can face criminal prosecution for carrying a concealed weapon on your person or having one in your car. Under California PC section 25400, it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm, to include handguns and any other firearm that can be concealed on your person or in your vehicle. It is important to note that carrying a weapon in an open holster is not considered a concealable weapon for the purposes of this law, however depending on where you are, you can still face criminal prosecution under a different law. The offense of carrying a concealed weapon without the proper permit is punishable by up to one year in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. While this may sound like a particularly harsh sentence for simply carrying a concealed weapon, even one that you legally own, having a concealed weapons permit will protect you to some extent. With a valid California concealed weapons permit, also called a Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) License, you are permitted to carry a concealed weapon on your person or in your car.
Even with a CCW license, you must keep your weapon safe at all times. This means you must take adequate preventative measures to ensure no minors have access to your firearm, you do not let others operate or carry your firearm who are not permitted to do so and to always transport your firearm in accordance with state law, which prohibits transportation of a loaded or unsecured firearm. You are also required to register your firearms with the California Department of Justice. Failing to follow these additional conditions of gun ownership in California can result in criminal prosecution. Applying for a CCW license will take time and money. Not everyone is granted one and California does not recognize out of state concealed weapons permits. Thus, it is not uncommon for people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. If you are facing charges of carrying a concealed weapon, you may have some defense options. Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. The consequences of carrying a concealed weapon without a CCW license will vary dependent upon several factors. You may face harsher consequences if you have previously been convicted of a crime, are not a person permitted to own firearms, if the gun was loaded, stolen or if you are a member of a gang. If you have previously been convicted of a crime, your punishment will vary based on the nature of the crime, whether the crime was charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, whether that crime involved violence, drugs, and gang activity.
California gun laws are hotly debated and thus are under pressure to change every day. Under the Second Amendment, you have the right to bear arms. This right has been up for interpretation by many anti-gun advocates, threatening the stability of this right. While this right still protects your ownership, it does not protect you from criminal prosecution by the state of California if you carry a concealed weapon or carry a weapon in a public place. Due to high rates of gun violence, California legislature has been processing new gun law initiatives with the intent to increase the safety of all Californians. Unfortunately, for some, the more gun ownership is controlled, the less safe they will feel. Contact a criminal defense attorney if you have questions about concealed weapons or other gun-related offenses. It is important you understand your rights and your options as a Californian to own and carry firearms. Even with a CCW license, you can face criminal charges if you do not abide by the terms and conditions of the license. It is also important to remember that a CCW license only protects your right to carry a concealed weapon on your person or in your car. There are many other laws that surround gun ownership and operation in California and the CCW license only protects you from one.
If you are facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon in Tulare, Kings or Fresno County, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can help. Experienced criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens can help ensure your rights are preserved. Mr. Martens will aggressively fight for your rights in court. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your options for defending your case.