Definition and Aspects of Carrying a Concealed Firearm:
The United States’ Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms; however, many restrictions apply. Under California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400), it is against the law to carry a concealed firearm in one’s vehicle or in person. This is a misdemeanor or potentially a felony-level offense that can result in expensive fines, prison time, and even the loss of the right to possess firearms.
To be convicted of being Carrying a Concealed Firearm (PC 25400), the Prosecution must prove the following:
- The Defendant concealed a firearm on their person or vehicle
- The Defendant was aware of the possession of the firearm
- The firearm was substantially concealed
Under this statute, a firearm is defined as any object used or designated to be used as a weapon. This includes revolvers, pistols, rifles, tasers, and shotguns.
A concealed weapon is anything partially or fully hidden from view. If someone carries an object that is easily visible and identifiable, they would not be charged with California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400).
Lastly, this statute refers to a firearm or weapon on one’s person or in his/her vehicle. This includes pockets, purses, briefcases, and any other satchel-like objects that are capable of concealing a weapon.
For someone to be charged with California Penal Code 25400 (PC 25400), carrying a concealed weapon, the weapon does not need to be operable or in a working condition.
Criminal Offenses Related to Carrying a Concealed Firearm:
Similar or related offenses to California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400), carrying a concealed weapon:
- California Penal Code Section 25850 (PC 25850) – Carrying a Loaded Firearm
- California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2) (PC 245(a)(2)) – Assault with a Firearm
- California Penal Code Section 16590 (PC 16590) – Manufacturing, Selling, or Possessing Dangerous Weapons
- California Penal Code Section 26350 (PC 26350) – Openly Carrying a Firearm
Examples of Carrying a Concealed Firearm:
A woman has to walk home after work and to feel safer, she decides to carry her legally purchased firearm . In order to avoid further attention, she places her gun in her purse. While she has a license to carry and her weapon is legally obtained, because she is concealing her gun, she is in violation of California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400) and could be charged with the offense.
Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Firearm:
If the Defendant is a peace officer (either active or honorably retired), a member of the United States military, a licensed firearm dealer, a bank guard, a member of a target shooting organization, or a licensed hunter transporting a firearm for hunting or fishing, the Defendant is exempt from California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400). In order to meet these requirements, the firearm also has to be unloaded and carried for any of the purposes listed above.
If the Defendant is legally entitled to possession of a firearm and the weapon was not concealed, it is not a violation of the statute. If the Defendant carries the weapon in a locked container inside his/her car that is not the glovebox, he/she cannot be charged with carrying a concealed firearm (PC 25400).
Another defense that could dismiss the case questions the legality of the search. If the search and seize were carried out without a legitimate warrant, justification, or proper authorization, the evidence becomes inadmissible in court. A good defense attorney would use this as a basis for dismissal of the case against the Defendant.
There is a special permit called California Concealed Weapon (“CCW”) permit. If the Defendant has possession of said grant, he/she is not in violation of California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400).
Lastly, California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400) does not apply to private property. If, at the time of the offense, the Defendant was in his/her private house or business, the case could be dismissed.
Consequences and Penalty for Carrying a Concealed Firearm:
Violation of California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400) is a misdemeanor, punishable with up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail or summary probation.
If there were any aggravating factors, carrying a concealed firearm becomes a felony, and the penalty increases to up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Such factors include:
- The Defendant was prohibited by law from owning or possessing a firearm
- The Defendant has previously been convicted of a felony or a firearm offense
- The firearm used was stolen, and the Defendant was aware
- The firearm was illegally obtained
- The Defendant belongs to a gang
Lastly, if at the time of the incident the firearm was loaded, or the Defendant has had a misdemeanor conviction in the past for a crime against a person or property, or for the drug-related violation, then carrying a concealed firearm is a ‘wobbler’ offense. A ‘wobbler’ offense could either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the details of the crime.
In addition to all the above penalties, if the Defendant is convicted of a felony with Carrying a Concealed Firearm (PC 25400), he/she loses the right to possess a firearm.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm (PC 25400), under California Penal Code Section 25400, is a misdemeanor or potential felony-level offense that can result in jail time, fines, and additional long-term consequences. It is imperative that if you are charged with Carrying a Concealed Firearm, you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
If you are being accused of California Penal Code Section 25400 (PC 25400): Carrying a Concealed Firearm, call the experienced attorney’s from Action Defense Lawyers for a FREE consultation. Attorney Action Lavitch is available 24/7 at (747) DEFEND U or (747) 333-3638. With a proven track record and speaking both English and Spanish, Action Lavitch and the team from Action Defense Lawyers provide skilled legal representation and professional advice. Having an above 90% success rate for clients, Action Defense Lawyers is the go-to for those charged with California Penal Section 25400 (PC 25400), Carrying a Concealed Firearm. Book a free consultation today.