California’s gun laws are strict. Carrying a concealed firearm is illegal in almost any situation—even if you own the gun legally. Unfortunately, even an otherwise law-abiding gun owner can serve up to 6 months in jail for this offense. And if you have a criminal record or didn’t own the gun legally, it can easily become a felony. Don’t face a concealed firearm charge on your own. You need to talk to a Los Angeles concealed weapon lawyer.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you. We have the experience, legal knowledge, and track record to defend concealed firearm cases successfully. Most importantly, we always take the side of the accused. We will listen to your story, build you a strong defense, and fight until we get you the best possible outcome—which could include getting the charges dropped or even winning your case. Let us give you a free consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
How does the law against concealed firearms work in Los Angeles?
It’s a state law known as PC 25400. This law makes it illegal to carry a concealed firearm in your vehicle or on your body—unless you have a permit or license for concealed carry. The law uses very specific language, and the prosecutor must prove three facts to convict you:
You had a firearm in your vehicle or on your person,
You knew the firearm was there, and
The firearm was substantially concealed.
This doesn’t apply to a firearm that is kept in a locked container. (In vehicles, the locked trunk of your car counts as a “locked container” but a locked glovebox does not.)
There are other exceptions but, unless you have a permit, they are rare. These exceptions include:
Licensed hunters carrying guns for hunting
Members of a gun club on club premises
Security guards and bank guards
Federal agents and military personnel
You were carrying the gun as a necessity because specific threats were made against you by someone you have a restraining order against
Even in the above cases there are many restrictions. Obviously, a bank guard has no legal right to carry a concealed gun when not on duty at the bank.
What counts as having a gun “on your person”?
Having it in your backpack, briefcase, or otherwise with you does count as having it on your person. And, having it in your clothing, waistband or a hidden holster clearly counts as well. So does carrying it in your hand, which can be concealed under clothing.
What counts as “concealed”?
For the purposes of this law, “concealed” means anything that is not in open, plain sight. This includes only partial concealment. For example, if the handle of a gun is sticking out of your waist band, but the rest of the gun is out of view, that’s concealed.
Other types of concealment include:
The outline of a gun that’s visible through clothing
A gun carried behind some object to obscure it
The gun is under a car seat
If someone couldn’t automatically see the gun the moment they looked at you (or into the vehicle), the prosecutor will make a case that it was concealed.
What counts as a firearm?
“Firearm” includes what you’d expect—revolvers, rifles, shotguns, etc.—but it also includes any other type of weapon that uses an explosive or incendiary material. This includes:
However, it does not include BB guns, air guns or pellet guns.
Be aware that it is still illegal to carry a concealed firearm even if it’s not loaded. It is the act of having it concealed that is illegal, not its readiness to fire.
What if the gun wasn’t really concealed?
In theory that would be legal. However, it often makes a poor defense to a concealed firearm charge, because California also has laws against:
Openly carrying an unloaded firearm in public, and
Carrying a loaded firearm
Many defendants who are initially accused of a concealed firearm charge try to explain what happened and run afoul of these other laws. The best thing you can do is stop answering any questions from police and contact a lawyer immediately.
When is carrying a concealed weapon a felony?
Usually concealed firearm charges are treated as misdemeanors. But they can become felonies under several circumstances:
You are already a convicted felon
You didn’t have a license or permit for the gun itself
You have a conviction for a previous firearm offense
The gun was stolen, and you knew it was stolen (or should have known)
You are prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a previous violent offense
What are the penalties for carrying a concealed weapon in Los Angeles?
The penalties include:
Misdemeanor: Up to 6 months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and probation
Felony: A fine of up to $10,000 and either:
16 months, 2 years or 3 years in county jail, or
1 year in jail plus probation
What defenses can I use against a concealed firearm charge?
The best defense will depend on what exactly happened in your case. However, several of the most effective defenses we have seen include:
Illegal search and seizure. Most concealed firearms are found by a police search. But there are rules for how and when police can do this, and they do not always follow them exactly. If we have grounds to assert that the search was illegal, you could win your case.
Didn’t know it was there. If someone else put the gun in your car, or gave you luggage containing a gun, you should not be convicted of a concealed firearm.
It was actually properly locked. Police don’t always make fine distinctions when arresting people. If you had the gun in a locked container you are very likely to win your case.
These are not the only ways to fight the charge. You need to talk to a lawyer.
Talk to a Los Angeles Concealed Weapon Lawyer for Free
People are arrested for a “concealed weapon” for many reasons. You may have felt you were in danger, thought what you were doing was legal, or needed the firearm. Don’t let this arrest ruin your life. Let the Simmrin Law Group will give you a FREE consultation—and the defense you deserve. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.