California has so many gun laws on its books that it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between crimes. Carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a loaded firearm, unlawfully carrying a firearm, personally using a firearm…these are just a few of California’s gun laws that contribute to the confusion. And just when you think you understand the specifics of an offense, there are exceptions and technicalities that render the law even more confusing than ever.
Take, for instance, Penal Code 12031 PC, California’s law against carrying a loaded firearm in a public place. It appears as though this law is pretty self explanatory. Think again! Here are a couple examples to prove the point…
- If you intend to commit a felony and carry an unloaded gun…but also possess ammunition…the gun is technically loaded for purposes of Penal Code 12031 PC, California’s law against carrying a loaded firearm in public.
- If you have a loaded gun in your place of business, you are exempt from prosecution under this law. But if you carry a loaded gun in your place of business, it must be because you believe that you are in grave danger…otherwise, prosecutors could still charge you with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.
The bottom line is that if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being arrested for a California firearm offense, the best thing you can do is to consult with a criminal defense attorney who truly understands the ins and outs of these complex laws.