California’s gun laws are strict. Carrying a concealed firearm is illegal in almost any situation, even if you own the weapon legally. Unfortunately, an otherwise law-abiding gun owner can serve up to six months in jail for this offense. If you have a criminal record or did not own the firearm legally, it can easily become a felony.
Do not face a concealed weapons charge on your own. You need to talk to a Los Angeles carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense attorney at Simmrin Law Group. We have the experience, legal knowledge, and track record to defend concealed firearm cases successfully. Most importantly, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers always take the side of the accused.
How Does the Law Against Concealed Firearms Work in Los Angeles?
In Los Angeles, carrying a concealed weapon or firearm is prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 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 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
- The firearm was substantially concealed
This law does not apply to a firearm kept in a secured container. In vehicles, the trunk of your car can count, but a locked glove box does not.
Some groups are exempt from this law. However, for most people, the only way to carry a concealed weapon is with a concealed carry permit. These exemptions include:
- Taxi drivers
- Licensed hunters carrying guns for hunting
- Members of a gun club on club premises
- Police/peace officers
- Security guards and bank guards
- Federal agents and military personnel
- Individuals carrying a gun as a necessity because specific threats were made against them by someone whom they 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. Our L.A. carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense attorneys can determine if your case qualifies under an exemption.
For a free legal consultation with a carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 896-2723
What Counts as Having a Gun “On Your Person?”
Having a firearm in your backpack, briefcase, or any other bag you are carrying counts as having it on your person. Of course, having the weapon in your clothing, waistband, or a hidden holster clearly qualifies as well. It also counts if you are carrying it in your hand, which can be concealed under clothing.
Los Angeles Carrying a Concealed Weapon or Firearm Defense Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
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 waistband, but the rest of the gun is hidden from view, it is still considered concealed. Other types of concealment include:
- The outline of a firearm that is visible through clothing
- A gun carried behind some object to obscure it
- A weapon that is under a car seat
If someone could not automatically see the weapon the moment they looked at you (or into your vehicle), the prosecutor will make a case that it was concealed.
What Counts as a Firearm?
Firearms include what you would expect—revolvers, rifles, shotguns, etc. However, they also cover any other type of weapon that uses explosive or incendiary material. These weapons include:
- Flare guns
- Antique firearms
Types of guns that do not count as firearms under California law include BB guns, air guns, pellet guns, and paintball guns.
Be aware that it is still illegal to carry a concealed firearm even if it is not loaded. It is the act of having it hidden that violates PC 25400, not its readiness to fire. A carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense attorney in Los Angeles can investigate the circumstances surrounding your charges.
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What Are the Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Los Angeles?
The penalties for carrying a concealed weapon or firearm in Los Angeles depend on how the charge is prosecuted. If you are facing a misdemeanor charge, you could be looking at:
- Up to six months in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Summary probation
When the concealed weapons charge is tried as a felony, the potential penalties increase sharply. A felony charge could result in:
- Up to three years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Formal probation
With help from a weapons charges lawyer in Los Angeles, you might be able to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Will a Concealed Weapon Conviction Affect Your Gun Rights?
When prosecuted as a misdemeanor, a conviction under Penal Code 25400 should not affect your rights to own or purchase a firearm. However, it is a different story when the charge is a felony.
Anyone convicted of a felony in the state of California is barred from purchasing or owning a firearm. In most cases, this ban will stay in place for the rest of the convicted felon’s life.
When Is Carrying a Concealed Weapon a Felony?
California laws are harsh for carrying without a permit. Usually, concealed firearm charges are treated as misdemeanors. However, they can become felonies under several circumstances. These include if:
- You are already a convicted felon
- You did not have a license or permit for the gun itself
- You have a conviction for a previous firearm offense
- The weapon 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 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 arguments our Los Angeles carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense lawyers have seen include:
- Illegal search and seizure
- No knowledge of the presence of the weapon
- The firearm was properly stored
- The weapon was carried in self-defense
Illegal Search and Seizure
Most concealed firearms are found by a police search. However, there are rules for how and when police can search your person or vehicle. When these rules are not followed exactly, the police have violated your Fourth Amendment rights. If we have grounds to assert that the search was illegal, your lawyer will likely petition the court to dismiss your case.
No Knowledge of the Presence of the Weapon
If someone else put a gun in your car or gave you luggage containing a firearm, you should not be convicted of a concealed weapon.
The Firearm Was Properly Stored
Police do not always make fine distinctions when arresting people. If you had the firearm in a locked container, you are very likely to win your case.
The Weapon Was Carried in Self-Defense
As mentioned, individuals who have a restraining order out against someone and have a reasonable suspicion that they are in danger are permitted to carry a concealed weapon in self-defense. However, your attorney will need to be able to prove that the threat to your person was real.
These are not the only ways to fight a concealed weapons charge. Talk to a carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense lawyer in Los Angeles to plan your defense.
What if the Gun Was Not Really Concealed?
In theory, that would be legal. However, it often makes a poor defense to a concealed firearm charge. California also has laws against openly carrying a loaded or unloaded firearm in public. So, if you attempted to use this as your defense, you would likely just be trading one charge for another.
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 the police and contact a lawyer immediately.
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 otherwise needed the firearm. Do not let this arrest ruin your life.
Contact the Simmrin Law Group’s carrying a concealed weapon or firearm defense lawyers in Los Angeles, and let us help you fight these charges. Simply fill out our online contact form or give us a call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. A member of our legal team will review your case and advise you of all your legal options.
We will listen to your story, build a strong defense, and fight until we get you the best possible outcome. This result could include getting the charges dropped or winning your case at trial. Let us help you fight this charge.