The Right to Bear Arms is located in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, but there are a number of Federal and California laws regulating firearms. Obtaining a handgun license in California can be difficult, but whether or not you have a License to Carry (LTC), you should be familiar with the laws and regulations on carrying and transporting a firearm.
If you do not have a LTC, you are limited on when and where you can carry a firearm. If you have a LTC, you have more responsibility when it comes to carrying a firearm and, if not done properly, you could be arrested for unlawfully carrying. Make sure you are knowledgeable about when you can and cannot legally carry your firearm to avoid legal repercussions.
- Ignoring a posted warning sign: If you carry a concealed weapon or carry a handgun in a shoulder or belt holster on property with a posted sign warning you not to do so, you are committing a Class C misdemeanor with up to a $200 fine. If you fail to depart upon request, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor with a jail sentence of up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine. A property owner may exclude an open or concealed weapon carrier with a properly worded sign or oral notice.
- Improper display of handgun: It is illegal for a person licensed to carry a handgun to intentionally display the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place unless the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster. However, if you are on a public or private college campus, you are not allowed to intentionally display the handgun in plain view of another person in a public place even if the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster
- Illegal possession of a firearm: It is illegal to carry a handgun (even if the handgun is in a shoulder or belt holster) in the following places/circumstances:
- Portions of public or private college premises where concealed carry is prohibited by the college
- Alcoholic Beverage Code licensed premises
- High school, college or professional sporting events (It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon at a college sporting event only if a Sec.30.06 notice is provided by sign or other means.)
- Correctional facility
- Hospital or nursing facility (when prohibited by posted notice)
- Amusement park (when prohibited by posted notice)
- Place of worship (when prohibited by posted notice)
- Meeting of governmental entity subject to Open Meetings Act (when prohibited by posted notice)
- While intoxicated
While licensed open carry is prohibited on all college campuses, concealed carry is permitted on public campuses if the president of the college has established and published rules that allow for it. On private college campuses, concealed carry is only legal if it has been authorized by the college. Consult a firearms attorney–or someone else familiar with carry laws–before you make any assumptions or bring a gun to location you are unsure about.
It is illegal to possess or enter with a firearm, illegal knife, club or prohibited weapon at the following locations:
- School or educational institution: It is illegal to carry on the physical premises of a private or public school, educational institution, location where a school sponsored activity is being conducted or school transportation vehicle (unless pursuant to written regulations or special authorization or the defendant has a handgun license and carries a concealed handgun and no other weapon on the premises of a college/university).
- Polling place: It is illegal to carry on the day of an election or while early voting is in progress.
- Government court: It is illegal to carry on the premises of a government court or court office unless pursuant to written regulations or written authorization.
- Airport: It is illegal to carry into the secured premises of an airport. However, a peace officer may not arrest a person with a handgun license in concealed possession of a handgun at an airport screening checkpoint unless the defendant is given the option to leave the checkpoint area immediately upon completion of screening and fails to depart.
- Place of execution: It is illegal to carry within 1000 feet of a place of execution
- Unlicensed open carry and unlicensed concealed carry are prohibited on all college campuses.
If you have been arrested for violation of one of these gun laws, seek legal help from an experienced firearms attorney. A conviction could have serious consequences such as fines, jail/prison sentences and an impact on your ability to have a license to carry in the future.
If you need to speak with an expert in Firearms Law, call BILL ELLIOTT LAW to schedule a free consultation: 714-547-0986.