A federal appeals court voted to overturn California’s concealed weapons laws, saying they violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The ruling, hailed by gun rights activists, overturns California’s laws that deny law-abiding citizens the ability to carry weapons in public places unless they show they need the weapons for specific reasons.
A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to strike down California’s requirement of applicants for a concealed weapons permit to cite reasons why they need to carry a concealed weapon.
Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, who voted with the majority, wrote, “The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense.
Permit requirements for carrying a concealed weapon are decided on a county basis in California. The court’s decision affects the state’s most populated regions, including Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, where the requirements for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public are more restrictive than in other areas.
Many experts believe California’s gun laws prior to the ruling will remain in effect for the foreseeable future while the case is appealed before a larger court. A definitive decision on the right to carry a concealed weapon will eventually be made by the United States Supreme Court. However, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has already put new policies in effect in accordance with the court ruling.
Requirements for a Permit to Carry a Concealed Weapon
Under California Penal Code Section 26150 and Penal Code Section 26155, you may be able to carry a “pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person” if:
- You are of good moral character;
- Good cause exists for issuance of the license;
- You meet your city or county’s residency requirements; and
- You have completed an acceptable course of firearms training.
The recent court ruling overturns the “good cause” requirement for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Though permit applicants passed background checks and were trained in gun use, gun owners were being denied permits because the reasons they cited for the need to carry a concealed weapon were not accepted by county officials. The court ruling essentially states “the lawful purpose of self-defense” is good cause for issuance of the licenses.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon without a Permit (PC 12025)
Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is a very serious offense. Under California Penal Code Section 12025, carrying a firearm small enough to be concealed is a crime. The firearm can be hidden within a person’s clothing, vehicle, or where a person is an occupant or has unrestricted access.
What is the Punishment for Carrying a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit?
Under California Penal Code Section 12025, carrying a concealed weapon is a misdemeanor for first time offenders. A conviction is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
Carrying a concealed weapon can be charged as a felony if:
- You have a prior felony conviction;
- Have previously been charged with carrying a concealed weapon;
- The firearm was stolen; or
- You were an active participant in a street gang.
A felony conviction for carrying a concealed weapon is punishable by three years in state prison. Therefore, it is important to retain an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney as soon as possible to potentially avoid these harsher penalties.
Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is facing a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, it is critical that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully handling concealed weapons charges for our clients. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.