Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Your Vehicle or On Your Person
California Penal Code Section 12025 PC criminalizes the carrying of a concealed weapon. If you carry a concealed weapon on your person or keep one in your vehicle, you can be charged and convicted of this crime. Other related offenses include California Penal Code Section 12031 PC, this state’s law which prohibits carrying a loaded firearm and California Penal Code Section 417 PC, which proscribes the brandishing of weapons.
Robert Ernenwein, an expert and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, has over 30 years of experience defending persons charged with violating California gun laws. Mr. Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys and is Certified as a Criminal Law Specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named as a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News. The experience and capabilities Robert Ernenwein will bring to your Criminal Defense are unmatched.
What does the prosecutor have to show in order to prove that I am guilty of “Carrying a Concealed Weapon?”
In order to prove your guilt of violating California Penal Code Section 12025, the prosecutor must prove as follows:
- that you carried a concealed firearm (that is, a pistol, revolver or other firearm amenable to concealment) within any vehicle which was under your control, or;
- that you concealed, upon your person, any firearm capable of being concealed, or;
- that you caused to be carried a concealed firearm within any vehicle in which you were an occupant.
Also, you must have known about the presence of the concealed weapon. Therefore, if you are accused of having a concealed weapon in your car but you had no knowledge of it being there (because someone else placed it there, for example), you cannot be convicted under 12025 PC.
What does “concealed” mean?
Carrying a weapon in plain view is not a violation of this law (although it may be a violation of an unrelated California firearm prohibition). What Penal Code Section 12025 PC criminalizes is carrying the weapon in a concealed fashion. Obversely, then, if the weapon is not concealed, you cannot be convicted of this crime.
What if the firearm is only partially concealed? What if Pete is walking down the street with the butt of .357 revolver sticking out of his “Member’s Only” jacket? Can he be liable? The answer is “yes.” But if Pete is walking down the street with his .357 secured in his belt holster and displayed openly, he is not carrying a concealed weapon and he would, therefore, not be liable under 12025 PC.
What kind of firearms are prohibited by 12025 PC, that is, cannot be concealed?
The phrase “pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person” denotes any contraption or mechanism made to serve as a weapon. That is, such weapon is capable of ejecting a projectile via force of an explosion or other combustible impetus. The barrel must be under 16 inches in length.
Basically, a “firearm” under California’s firearm laws is defined as “any device, [that is] designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by…force of…explosion or other form of combustion.”
Examples of firearms, for purposes of 12025 PC, include pistols, revolvers, handguns, rifles and shotguns (including those that are short-barreled) and tasers. (However, BB guns and pellet guns do not quality as “firearms.”)
What if the firearm doesn’t even work? Can I still be liable?
Yes, you can still be liable.
Unfortunately, if you are charged with 12025 PC, it doesn’t matter that the firearm was non-functioning or inoperable. Why? Because the public policy behind 12025 PC is to prevent people from suffering the adverse psychological reaction that the presence of a firearm might evince upon seeing it. Such a person might sustain feelings of terror at the sight of a firearm, especially when the alleged perpetrator has easy access thereto and may potentially use it, at a moment’s notice, to effectuate a crime of violence. As such, the non-functionality of the firearm is irrelevant to a determination of the defendant’s guilt and thus, is utterly ineffective as a legal defense.
Don’t put yourself in harm’s way by hiring mediocre criminal defense. Our law firm is absolutely top-notch in successfully representing our clients.