California gun laws are extremely complex and can be difficult to understand. You have the right to own firearms, but that doesn’t give you the right to take a gun wherever you please.
A new California gun law answers one question regarding your gun rights: Do you have to lock your gun in the trunk if you leave it in your car?
California Passes Secure Gun Law (PC 25140)
Senate Bill 869 passed last year and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. The bill adds California Penal Code Section 25140 to California law. Under this new law, you must secure a handgun inside a vehicle before you leave the vehicle unattended.
The handgun must be locked in the trunk of the vehicle, locked in a container with the container placed out of view, or locked in a container that is permanently attached to the vehicle and not in plain view, such as a glove box. This means any person authorized to carry a concealed weapon permit must secure and conceal their firearm in their vehicle, including law enforcement officers.
Violating this law could result in an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
Why Did SB 869 Pass?
The passage of this new law is a result of several high-profile incidents where a gun was stolen from the vehicle of a law enforcement officer and then used to kill another person. Last year, a gun stolen from the car of a Federal Bureau of Land Management ranger was used to kill a 32-year-old woman. Two months later, a 27-year-old man was killed by someone using a gun that was stolen from the car of a Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer.
Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Leandro) introduced SB 869 so both law enforcement and civilians would have to follow the same requirements for safe gun storage. The bill was supported by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen and many gun control groups. Properly securing guns in vehicles could eliminate incidents in which a stolen gun, especially the gun of a law enforcement officer, is used to commit a crime.
The law stipulates that an exception is made when a person lawfully carrying or transporting a gun in his or her vehicle is within close enough proximity to the vehicle to prevent unauthorized access to the gun. The law also makes an exception for law enforcement officers who find themselves in a situation that requires immediate aid or action during the course of their official duties.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for unlawful possession of a firearm or for failing to obey California gun laws, it is important to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal defense attorneys have over 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients’ rights to own and carry firearms. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us now at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.