Sec 12025 of the California Penal Code criminalizes a concealed weapon on your person or in a vehicle. This crime must be differentiated from the following similar crimes:

• Sec 12031 PC or carrying a loaded firearm;
• Sec 417 PC or brandishing a weapon;

The law provides that a person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when they do any of the following acts:

• Carrying concealed within any vehicle under their control or direction any pistol, revolver or other firearm capable of being kept and concealed;
• Carrying concealed within their person any pistol, revolver or other firearm capable of being kept and hidden away;
• Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which the individual is an occupant any firearm capable of being kept and hidden away;

The following are the elements of the crime:

• The individual concealed a firearm on your person or in a vehicle;
• The individual knew about the presence of the concealed weapon;

One of the defenses to this crime is the carrying of the weapon in plain view. Thus, so long as the gun or other weapon is partially concealed, then liability under this offense can apply. Also applicable under this law is the concealment of the firearm in a case.

There are exceptions to the law. These include:

• Peace officers, whether active or honorably retired;
• People who transport unloaded pistols, revolvers or other firearms capable of being concealed on the person as merchandise or are engaged in the business of manufacture, importation, wholesale, repair or sale of firearms so long as they are licensed to engage in that business lawfully;
• Members of the U.S. military;
• Guards or messengers of banks or financial institutions who ship, transport or deliver money or other thing of value in the performance of their duties;
• Members of target shooting clubs or organizations and licensed hunters/fishers who are using or transporting their weapons for these activities;
• Federal agents who have honorably retired formerly authorized to carry weapons while on duty;

When convicted for this crime, the imposable penalties are as follows:

• Summary Probation;
• Incarceration of up to twelve (12) months in a county penal facility;
• Payment of a fine of up to $1,000;

Depending upon the existence of aggravating factors, the crime becomes a felony depending on the factual circumstances and the criminal history of the accused. The following upgrades the degree of the crime:

• A previous conviction of a misdemeanor crime against a person or property or of a narcotics or dangerous crime or both;
• The firearm is loaded or the ammunition is readily accessible;
• The holder of the firearm is not the registered owner of the loaded handgun;

Do note that if the crime charged is a felony, then the imposable penalties include payment of the same amount of fines as the misdemeanor offense, incarceration of between sixteen (16) to thirty six (36) months in a state penal facility.

The crime of carrying a concealed weapon is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.