Gun Laws for 2002

SoCalTed

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I thought I would pass some tidbits on that I picked up while listening in on the kids' HSE class.

If you have a mini-van/SUV, your firearms must be in a LOCKed bag/case or have a trigger lock at all times.  If you have your firearms touching the vehicle, unsecured without a LOCK, and there is ammo anywhere in the vehicle, the firearm is considered loaded and it is now a FELONY!

If you place your loaded firearm (chamber, magazine or shell holder on the stock)  against your tire or on your tailgate as the DFG pays their visit, that is a FELONY!

If you place your unloaded / breach open shotgun against your tire/bumper as the DFG approaches and you have a box of shells (any caliber/gauge) inside the vehicle - FELONY!

If your are tired and sitting on the tailgate, or putting your foot on the bumber/tire while ejecting shells - FELONY!

A DFG officer was in the class and admitted that she has yelled at hunters/plinkers to pick up their rifles/shotguns, only to be ignored.  Since when does a law enforcement officer tell you to pick up your firearm?  Most ignore her, figuring putting down the shotgun is less threatening.  If it is loaded - confiscation (game, firearm, car and possible everyone's elses firearms in your party), court appearance or arrest for felony.  Not good!

Be aware.  I always eject any shells, hold the firearm with breach locked open /facing the warden - left hand over the barrel, and stock resting on top of my forearm.  It also doesn't hurt to have a vest (or hip bag) full of old shotshell trash that you pick up along the trail.  The DFG'rs are much nicer when they know you care about the environment, too.

This may be extreme, but there is a law out there.  Most of the DFGrs you run into on opener are not local.  they bring all units in to help write something like 60% of the hunting season violations on opening day.  Err on the side of good judgement!

I welcome any corrections to the above or other laws we need to be aware of.
 



T F Coyote

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GOOD NEWS!!!

None of these are felonies; they are misdemeanors at best.  Even then, the law would have to be misinterpreted or misused to claim that a person is in violation of having a loaded gun in a vehicle when the gun is simply touching the outside of the vehicle.  And a gun is considered loaded only when there is ammo in the gun or its attachements.  Also, none of these violations would fall under any siezure laws that would allow law enforcement to confiscate your car.

Get your hands on a Penal Code and look up section 12031. Other applicable sections are 12025 and 12026.1  Here is a link that lets you search all California codes: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html

I think the Warden was just trying to frighten everyone into strict compliance.


(Edited by T F Coyote at 10:10 am on Aug. 15, 2002)
 

SoCalTed

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What about "railroad right-of-ways"?

Now we all know that walking on the railroad tracks is trespassing (and can get us fined), but what about the areas (i guess they'd be called "easements" between the posted fields and the railroads.  Are these areas off limits, or are is it a gray area?  Unfortunately, birds follow the tracks and the power lines that run parallel between these two no-no's.

I have never had a DFGr say anything, and I know enough to not shoot across the tracks.  Any opinions or knowldege here?  :confused-yellow:



Check out this story:  Hunting Oregon tracks:   P.S. insulator hunting is not shooting birds from the power lines!  It's looking for old abandoned insulators on the ground.  Kind of like looking for old RR spikes laying around in the desert.
 

songdog

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Yeah...  you might want to check some of those out like TF says.  They're definitely misdemeanors not felonies.  I'm sure the HSE guys were probably try to be overly careful and maybe even scare a few kids (still not a good idea) but most of that isn't true.

The thing that people should take away from this though is that whatever form of enforcement is out on 9/1 will be stricter and more prevalent than the rest of the year.  If you have spent shells with you that you've picked up, use common sense, have your license/stamps, hunt in a public area or private with written permission... you shouldn't have any problem.
 

Bill W

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None of these are felonies and the only one that actually even sounds like a potential misdemeanor is is the one about not having you firearm in a locked container.  

It drives me nuts when I see people in a position of authority (teachers, game wardens)  lying or being so ignorant to the point that people are totally mis-informed.  Trying to scare soemone into strict compliance by lying doesn't work.


Bill


(Edited by Bill W at 11:02 am on Aug. 15, 2002)
 

Qbn Hunter

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I thought that you must have handguns only locked in a container not rifles or shotguns.

(Edited by Qbn Hunter at 10:38 am on Aug. 15, 2002)
 

Hogskin

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Bill W.

Last year or the year before (I can't recall exactly) there was a story in WON about a guy who was ticketed for having his gun leaning up against his tailgate.  FWIW.

Regards,
Paul
 

SoCalTed

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They were pretty firm (the instructors & the DFGr) about the warning to SUV/mini-van drivers that do not have a lockable trunk.
 

spectr17

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I've seen one warden write a guy up for a loaded gun leaning against a vehicle. It's also a safety hazard to lean a gun against a vehicle since the driver may move the vehicle without knowing there is a loaded gun against it.  Just someone moving around in the vehicle can cause the gun to fall to the ground. I remember the guy who got tagged in WON.

A DFG warden searched my Blazer last Sunday when he stopped while I was looking for elk near Lone Pine. All was cool until he found my .45 which I had forgotten to put back in my lockable hard case, it was in a soft case unloaded. He warned me to correct the situation before someone else made an example of me. Definately use a locked case because some law enforcement will cite you. This guy gave me a break. The other thing they look for soemtimes in a Blazer type vehicle that has no trunk is to have the ammo as far apart as possible from the weapon. To me this is kind of hard since my rifle case is about 2/3 the length of my cargo area. The key is not having quick and handy access to load the weapon. A locked case covers your butt.

Regarding the search, the warden was polite and after looking at my .22 and .45 he didn't even want the hard case opend up, he just asked me what was in it.
 

fpscabs

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When I went with my son for his HSE class, the issue is two fold.  F&G has their rules (FISH AND GAME CODE) and the Penal Code is the second issue. A loaded weapon in F&G (section 2006 I think) is different than the Penal code and a warden can enforce both codes.
 

SoCalTed

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yeah - i noticed in the penal code that it says no one is to hunt any mammal or bird with a firearm capable of holding more than 6 rounds.

DFG rules say 3, right?

(Edited by SoCalTed at 11:55 am on Aug. 15, 2002)
 

Cynic

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Ok, maybe someone with a bit more law-enforcement experience can explain to me why the law doesn't really say what it seems to say. Or maybe confirm that the law really is what it seems to be.

First, we have Penal Code section 12025.

12025.  (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when
he or she does any of the following:
  (1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her
control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person.
  (2) Carries concealed upon his or her person any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
  (3) Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which he
or she is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
of being concealed upon the person.


Section 12025 has a bit more, but it details punishment and other details, except for this little gem: (f) Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed
within the meaning of this section.


Ok, so carrying a concealed weapon on your person or in a car is a crime. Now, how to transport any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.:

12026.1.  (a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any
citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or
is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted
classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or
Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from
transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm
capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the
following applies to the firearm:
  (1) The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the
vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle other than
the utility or glove compartment.
  (2) The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any
motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm,
the firearm is contained within a locked container.
  (b) The provisions of this section do not prohibit or limit the
otherwise lawful carrying or transportation of any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in
accordance with this chapter.
  © As used in this section, "locked container" means a secure
container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock,
combination lock, or similar locking device.


Ok, so here's where the locked container or the trunk comes from, but remember, these sections ONLY concern any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed. So we have provisions for transporting our handguns around town. So far nothing about rifles or shotgun.

Now, here's the part that I could use a bit of clarification on. I removed the sections dealing with active and retired peace officers, military, bank guards, etc.

12027.  Section 12025 does not apply to, or affect, any of the
following:
  (f) Members of any club or organization organized for the purpose
of practicing shooting at targets upon established target ranges,
whether public or private, while the members are using pistols,
revolvers, or other firearms capable of being concealed upon the
person upon the target ranges, or transporting these firearms
unloaded when going to and from the ranges.
  (g) Licensed hunters or fishermen carrying pistols, revolvers, or
other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person while
engaged in hunting or fishing, or transporting those firearms
unloaded when going to or returning from the hunting or fishing
expedition.


This SEEMS to say that section 12025 (the concealed carry law) doesn't apply to hunters or fisherman while engaged in hunting or fishing, when going to or returning from the hunting or fishing expedition, or when I go to or from the shooting range. I don't have to worry about locking my handguns up when doing so. As long as they're unloaded I'm in compliance.

The way I read this is: You can carry a handgun, concealed, while fishing and hunting. If you're traveling to your hunting or fishing destination, or going to or from the target range where you are a member, you can carry the handgun in your vehicle, unloaded, without the locked container bullcrap.

Remember, none of this has anything to do with rifles or shotguns.

Right?
 

Marty

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RR property and easements (normally 25 feet from center of tracks) are governed by the Federal Railway Administration (division of DOT) and are considered Federal land.  RR engineers have and will report persons for trespass on RR RoW.  Last year (post 9-11), some engineers even tried to turn in upland game hunters under Baldy Mesa for shooting near the tracks on Forest land.  RR Special Agents have full authority to arrest and detain suspicious persons; for ALL jurisdictions.  
 

SoCalTed

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So 25' or more from the center of the tracks is OK? (California)   :leering:
 

jackrabbit

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Great analysis cynic.  But remember, "concealed" means the same in both penal code and F&G code when in the field (except F&G code doesn't clearly define that in the reg review booklet.  However, "loaded" means very different things in the two codes:  for DFG purposes, while hunting (don't know about while fishing) you can have shells in the magazines of shotguns, rifles, pistols -- but not in the chambers of a revolver or shotguns, rifle, pistols while in your vehicle, either parked or traveling within the hunt area.  And yes you can have a shotgun with shells in the magazine, but none in the chamber in or on your vehicle (but I don't recommend it at all, because people tend to leave a round in the chamber frequently if they do this).  Penal Code defines a loaded firearm as having any shells in the magazine or chamber -- and recently I guess, even immediately available.

Bottom line I have learned over the years about a having firearm with shells in the magazine while in a vehicle -- I only do it in an area in which the firing of such a weapon is freely permitted -- basically in the hunting area.  So once I am leaving the hunting area (deer zone, public land, etc.)  I unload and secure my weapons according to Federal guidelines for transportation.

I have been stopped while driving by wardens before who either were not up to speed on Penal Code or just didn't care.  They checked my deer rifle which was in a soft case with shells in the mag, but none in the chamber, and had no problem with it.  But after they gingerly removed my 10mm S&W from my hip-holster, they warned me that they could have confiscated it because it had a fully charged magazine inserted, but no shell in the chamber.  I told them I was complying with the F&G code, and they said the F&G code said nothing about handguns.  I responded that then I was legal, as there was no specific prohibition and I was withing the "unloaded" of F&G code, and also within the definition of the Penal Code, since I was hunting in an unincorporated area in a legal hunting situation.  They disagreed, but said they would give me a "break and take your handgun."  They were wrong, but so what, as long as they left me alone who cares?  Nowadays, if it is not legal for me to stop my vehicle, get out, chamber a round and shoot it (off the road and following all other rules), then I totally unload and legally store the weapons.  It's just not worth it to have to pay legal and court fees, let alone waste time, fighting a bogus, or grey area, citation or confiscation.
 

Mojave

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The exclusion for hunters and fishermen isn't new, and we've always relied on it (but never been forced to test it in court!). I believe the old wording was: "...licenced hunters or fishermen engaged in hunting or fishing, or on their way to or from a bonafide hunting or fishing trip". The law didn't even address the state of the weapon as loaded or unloaded, and seemed to specifically allow the weapon to be loaded. I typically hunt out of an old Willys Jeep, which has of course no trunk, and little room for gear. I lock pistols and ammo in the underseat toolbox, and lay shotguns (in soft cases) on the rear seat. I have only had one incident with the law. We were camping and hunting on a piece of property I own, and drove about 10 miles into a rural desert town to fuel up the Jeep. As I was pumping gas, I noticed a Sheriff at the next pump watching me. I nodded to him, and he asked if we were out hunting. I said "Yes", and glanced down at my clothing, to see how he could tell. I was still wearing a revolver in a holster on my belt. I guess I got used to the feel of it after a few days, and forgot to take it off! Luckily, neither the gun nor the holster had bullets - but the deputy never asked. I guess he judged the situation by the grubbiness of both me and my Jeep, and figured "It's a desert thing".
 

SoCalTed

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LOL Mojave.... it's just a different world out there isn't it?

Hey - are the pits across from the cement factory still there?  Or are there $1m homes going in yet?
 

wildbirdhunter

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Here is the only thing that I have come up with in the fish and game codes on this at this point.

2006.  It is unlawful to possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in any
vehicle or conveyance or its attachments which is standing on or
along or is being driven on or along any public highway or other way
open to the public.
  A rifle or shotgun shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes
of this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the
firing chamber but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the
magazine.
  The provisions of this section shall not apply to peace officers
or members of the armed forces of this State or the United States,
while on duty or going to or returning from duty.

WBH
 

Maverick

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<font face=arial size=1><blockquote><hr noshade size=1>Quote: from SoCalTed on 11:55 am on Aug. 15, 2002
yeah - i noticed in the penal code that it says no one is to hunt any mammal or bird with a firearm capable of holding more than 6 rounds.

DFG rules say 3, right?


<hr noshade size=1></blockquote></font>
3 rounds only applies to bird correct? I don't think that is said anything about mammals.

(Edited by coveybustinchris at 5:45 pm on Aug. 15, 2002)
 


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