Though California does have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, many people are allowed to own and carry guns. But what happens when a person has a gun in their car and they are pulled over by the police? First and foremost, tell the officer that you have a gun and where it is. Next, keep your hands away from the gun and do whatever the officer tells you. If you are legally carrying the gun and you follow those instructions, there should not be a problem.
That said, there are always exceptions. Keep reading to find out more about what could happen. If you have been charged with any type of firearm charge, you need to talk to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You can reach Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 today for a free legal consultation.
A Lot Depends on How You Are Transporting the Gun
It is important that you and every other gun owner knows how to legally carry a gun in their car. According to Penal Code 25400, you cannot legally carry a concealed firearm whether it is on you personally or in your vehicle. Note that not having it concealed does not mean that you have it have it out in the open – in fact that could bring its own legal troubles.
Why? Because a gun carried in a car must be in a locked trunk or within a locked container in your vehicle. The ammunition must be kept separately in another container. Note that any and all weapons must be unloaded when they are in a vehicle – even if they are in a locked container. If the gun is too large to be put into a locked container (such as a hunting rifle) then there must be a lock on the gun and it must remain unloaded.
It is Illegal to Not Follow These Laws
Improperly carrying a gun is against the law. If you are pulled over and are illegally carrying a gun, then the punishment can vary based on a number of factors. This is what’s known as a wobbler offense, which means that the prosecution can decide to charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony.
If the accused does not have any previous convictions for firearm crimes, and there are not contributing factors (such as being involved in an additional crime at the time) then it is likely the charge will be a misdemeanor that comes with up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. If it is charged as a felony, it could come with up to three years in county jail and fines of as much as $10,000.
Have you been charged with this or another weapons related charge? Contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now for your free legal consultation. We are ready to help you find the best defense option to get the best possible outcome.