The legalities of carrying a firearm in the state of California can be confusing especially when it comes to the differences between a Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCW) and open carry.
In California carrying a concealed firearm with a valid CCW is legal while open carry of loaded firearms is generally prohibited.
Unloaded long guns can also be carried without a license in certain circumstances.
In this blog post we will take a closer look at the laws and regulations of carrying a firearm in California so you can understand the details and stay informed.
Yes It is legal to carry a concealed firearm in California with a valid Concealed Carry Weapons License (CCW) however open carry of loaded firearms is generally prohibited.
Unloaded long guns can be carried without a license in certain circumstances.
Is it Legal to Carry a Concealed Firearm with a Valid CCW?
Yes it is legal for people with a valid CCW to carry a concealed firearm in the state of California.
The CCW must be issued by the county sheriff who has the authority to issue them based on the requirements in the California Penal Code.
In order to be eligible for a CCW an individual must pass a background check and meet all the other criteria outlined in the Penal Code.
Once the CCW is issued it will be valid for up to two years and can be renewed as needed.
What is the Difference Between Open Carry and Concealed Carry?
Open carry also known as brandishing is the practice of carrying a firearm in a way that is visible to other people.
This type of carry is generally prohibited in California with certain exceptions for unloaded long guns in certain circumstances.
Concealed carry on the other hand is the practice of carrying a firearm in a way that is not visible to other people.
This type of carry is typically legal in California as long as the individual has a valid CCW.
What is the Law Regarding Unloaded Long Guns?
Under California law individuals are generally prohibited from openly carrying a loaded firearm but there are exceptions for unloaded long guns in certain circumstances.
Unloaded long guns can be carried without a license in certain locations such as while on the way to a hunting or target shooting area while on the property of a target shooting area or while on the property of a business that deals with firearms.
Additionally unloaded long guns can be transported in a vehicle without a license as long as they are not loaded and the ammunition is stored separately.
What Are the Penalties for Illegally Carrying a Firearm in California?
The penalties for illegally carrying a firearm in California can be serious and can include fines probation and even jail time.
For example a person who is caught unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm with a valid CCW can face a fine of up to $1000 and/or up to one year in county jail.
Additionally individuals who are not legally allowed to own a firearm may be charged with a felony and face up to three years in a state prison.
Are There Any Exceptions for Law Enforcement Officers or Military Personnel?
Yes there are certain exceptions for law enforcement officers or military personnel.
For example law enforcement officers and military personnel are generally exempt from the CCW licensing requirement and can carry a concealed firearm without a license.
However they must still comply with all other applicable laws and regulations.
Are There Any Other Gun Laws or Regulations in California?
Yes there are a number of other gun laws and regulations in California.
For example the state has long had a ban on assault weapons as well as other restrictions on the sale and ownership of firearms.
Additionally individuals must generally be at least 21 years of age to purchase a firearm and purchasing a firearm from an unlicensed dealer is illegal.
It is important to be aware of these laws and regulations so you can ensure that you are in compliance with them.
What Are the Safety Considerations for Carrying a Firearm?
It is important to take safety seriously when carrying a firearm.
This means following the four basic rules of gun safety: treat all firearms as if they are loaded always keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot and be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Additionally it is important to make sure that your firearm is securely stored and not accessible to unauthorized people such as children.
Carrying a firearm in California can be a complex matter with different laws and regulations for different types of firearms and situations.
It is important to understand the laws and regulations regarding carrying a firearm in the state and to take safety seriously in order to ensure that you are in compliance with the law and that you are keeping yourself and those around you safe.