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Can I Carry a Gun if I am Scared for My Safety?

Posted by Mark A. Velez | Jun 28, 2023

This is a topic that the country is buzzing about, especially with the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. California has strict gun laws, and carrying a firearm in your car or on your person for protection is subject to various regulations and restrictions. Please note that laws can change, so it's essential to consult with a legal professional or check the most up-to-date information from the California Department of Justice or a local attorney for the current laws in 2023.

Here are some key points to consider based on the laws in California as of my last update:

  1. Open Carry: California generally does not allow the open carry of firearms in public places. Carrying a firearm openly in your car is generally prohibited.

  2. Concealed Carry: To carry a concealed firearm in California, you typically need to obtain a concealed carry permit (CCW) issued by your local sheriff's department or police department. Historically, these permits were typically challenging to obtain unless there was a "need" as determined by the issuing agency. However, as a result of another U.S. Supreme Court decision, the requirement to show "need" has been deemed unconstitutional, but other requirements, that have been considered constitutional are in place. Keep an eye out for more changes and updates of regarding obtaining a CCW.

  3. Transportation of Firearms: California law allows for the transportation of firearms in a vehicle under specific conditions. Firearms must be unloaded and stored in a locked container, such as a trunk or a locked gun case, separate from the ammunition. Ammunition must be stored in a separate locked container or a location that is not easily accessible to the driver or passengers.

  4. Assault Weapons: California has strict regulations regarding assault weapons, including a ban on many semi-automatic firearms with certain features. Transporting or possessing prohibited assault weapons can result in serious legal consequences. Keep in mind, if you order a gun part/modification online, it may be illegal to purchase/possess. If you purchase a prohibited part, you will likely get a visit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and you could face felony charges.

  5. Magazine Capacity: There are restrictions on magazine capacity in California. Generally, magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds are prohibited, with some exceptions.

  6. Non-Resident Laws: If you are not a California resident, you must comply with federal law when transporting firearms through California. Firearms must be unloaded, in a locked container, and not easily accessible to the driver or passengers.

  7. Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground: California does not have a "stand your ground" law, and the state's self-defense laws are complex. Deadly force may only be used in situations where there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm.

  8. School Zones: Federal law prohibits carrying firearms within 1,000 feet of a school zone unless you have a valid state-issued concealed carry permit.

Please keep in mind that gun laws can change, and local ordinances may also apply. It's crucial to stay informed about the current regulations and seek legal advice from a qualified attorney if you have specific questions about carrying a gun in your car for protection in California. Laws and regulations can vary, so it's essential to comply with them to avoid legal issues.

About the Author

Mark A. Velez

Mark A. Velez My name is Mark Velez and thank you for visiting my site. I would like to take a moment to tell you about who I am and why I opened my own law practice. I was born and raised in Southern California. After completing high school, I applied at the Palos Verdes Estates Police Departme...

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