When we think about the practice of open carry of a firearm, we think about the old wild west days of gunslingers carrying and shooting at anyone and at any time with little to no consequences. Then, there were towns across the state and across the west that required everyone to check their weapons with the sheriff to reduce the number of incidents. Today, the laws have changed drastically, and even more so in the State of California.
California Penal Code PC 26350 provides detailed information about California’s Open Carry Laws. In general, California prohibits people from openly carrying loaded firearms (handguns and long guns) in public, with very few exceptions.
It is; however, illegal to do so in public view of any of these structures, so checking with your local law enforcement office is suggested. Openly carrying a weapon to a potentially life-threatening situation such as in self-defense may be permitted.
Licenses to carry a loaded and exposed firearm may be permitted, but generally only in counties of less than 200,000 residents. This permit may be issued as a concealed or open carry based upon the need and the application.
You may openly carry an antique firearm so long as it is unloaded in accordance with PC 16520 (d) (5). You are not; however, permitted to possess any ammunition while carrying or in possession of an antique firearm and the State of California does discourage the carrying of an antique firearm, if possible.
A firearm shall be deemed loaded whenever the firearm or the unexpended ammunition that is capable of being discharged from the firearm are in the immediate possession of the person. A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.
In order to determine whether or not a firearm is loaded for the purpose of enforcing this section, peace officers are authorized to examine any firearm carried by anyone on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or prohibited area of an unincorporated territory. Refusal to allow a peace officer to inspect a firearm pursuant to this section constitutes probable cause for arrest for violation of this section.
Open Carry (loaded or unloaded handguns)
You are openly carrying in your business or as an employee with your business owner's permission.
Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.