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Old 06-28-2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Does ammo in a magazine =loaded gun?

I am starting a new thread off another for clarification.

I am trying to find if it is lawful to do the following:

Goal: leave your pistol in your vehicle locked.

1. Gun is in locked trunk of car, also in locked box
2. Magazine is in locked trunk, not in the above locked box.
3. Ammo is in the magazine


My position from my recent El Dorado CCW renewal class stated the gun is considered loaded (and illegal if left unattended) if left in the vehicle if ammo is left in the magazine. This is even if the magazine is not inserted into the firearm.

The DOJ says:

Loaded Firearms in a Public Place
It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.(Penal Code §
12031(a)(1).)
A firearm is deemed loaded when there is a live cartridge or shell in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm. A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a
powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. (Penal Code § 12031(g).)
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:40 PM
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The gun is not loaded if the magazine is not in the gun, even if there is ammo in the magazine.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3boyzmom View Post
The gun is not loaded if the magazine is not in the gun, even if there is ammo in the magazine.
BUT!!!!!!

The Ammo MUST be separate from the gun, ie, a lock between the two. If you have a pistol bag with Mag loops inside = bad. Mag pouches outside = safe
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmASensFan View Post
BUT!!!!!!

The Ammo MUST be separate from the gun, ie, a lock between the two. If you have a pistol bag with Mag loops inside = bad. Mag pouches outside = safe
I answered according to the scenario he presented. I should've clarified. If you're talking about in the car that's true. We don't discuss OC, so the rest of the Code (and therefore the rest of the argument) doesn't apply to the conversation....
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:35 PM
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I read an article somewhere and of course my recollection is quite fuzzy as to all the details. But there was a case where a man had a Shotgun with one of those shell holders on the stock. I also believe he was in a motor home so that did play a part in the ruling.

IIRC the lawyers proved that the Shottie was not loaded even though the Ammo was hanging on the butt of the shotgun.

I believe I read this article in the CRPA newletter. Someone like CCWI may know more about this.

I for one would take every precaution not to push the envelope just to avoid any unnecessary hassles and expenses.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingdude View Post
The DOJ says:

Loaded Firearms in a Public Place
It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.(Penal Code §
12031(a)(1).)
A firearm is deemed loaded when there is a live cartridge or shell in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm. A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a
powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. (Penal Code § 12031(g).)
Please explain how locking said firearm in your car is "carrying".
This has been debated before.
Others will surely chime in soon.
Look out! Let the fun begin.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:00 PM
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I'm new to your forum, but this has been debated on the CalGuns board.

Defining loaded in California - Calguns Wiki
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:12 PM
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California law defines a loaded mag and in possession of a gun as a loaded gun if you are a known gang member, otherwise, no. Putting a lock between the mag and gun is safest.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingdude View Post
I am starting a new thread off another for clarification.

I am trying to find if it is lawful to do the following:

Goal: leave your pistol in your vehicle locked.

1. Gun is in locked trunk of car, also in locked box
2. Magazine is in locked trunk, not in the above locked box.
3. Ammo is in the magazine

You are fine you are fine you are fine.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:02 AM
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CHP FAQ:

CHP-Frequently Asked Questions of the Highway Patrol

Quote:
If you wish to transport a handgun during your California visit, it should be carried unloaded in a locked container. In the absence of a suitable container, you may secure the unloaded handgun in the locked trunk of a passenger car. Ammunition may be kept in the same container or trunk, but the handgun must remain unloaded with no rounds in the cylinder and no loaded magazines in the magazine well.
Please tell your CCW renewal instructor that he is a fountain of misinformation.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmASensFan View Post
BUT!!!!!!

The Ammo MUST be separate from the gun, ie, a lock between the two. If you have a pistol bag with Mag loops inside = bad. Mag pouches outside = safe
Reference, please. I don't know why this keeps surfacing, as I have yet to see law cited for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingdude View Post
The DOJ says:

Loaded Firearms in a Public Place
It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.(Penal Code §
12031(a)(1).)
A firearm is deemed loaded when there is a live cartridge or shell in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm. A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a
powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. (Penal Code § 12031(g).)
If the loaded magazine is not "attached" to the pistol, it is not loaded. Merely being in the same case, compartment, vehicle, street, city or county as the pistol does not constitute an "attachment" unless it is actually, physically "attached" to the pistol itself.

Your CCW instructor needs to go back to CCW class
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"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Anyone wanting to add conditions for the excercise of this fundamental right is NOT a supporter of the Second Amendment or a friend of this Republic. Any man debarred the use of arms is NOT a free man!

Last edited by derringer : 06-29-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derringer View Post
Reference, please. I don't know why this keeps surfacing, as I have yet to see law cited for it.

If the loaded magazine is not "attached" to the pistol, it is not loaded. Merely being in the same case, compartment, vehicle, street, city or county as the pistol does not constitute an "attachment" unless it is actually, physically "attached" to the pistol itself.

Your CCW instructor needs to go back to CCW class
This comes up all the time, and it annoys the hell out of me. So let's be clear about it:

There is what the law technically requires, and there is what will pass the 'sniff' test when a cop examines your weapon to see if it's loaded. No law in California requires you to keep the magazine locked away from the firearm, just not 'in a position ready to be fired'. So a loaded mag, out of the mag well, and right next to the gun meets the letter of the law. Yes, there is a court case that clarifies this.

HOWEVER

Putting a lock between the gun and the magazine guarantees that even the most anti-gun DA, or cop who is just itching to find a reason to haul you in, CANNOT call it a loaded firearm. This is the 'will keep you out of trouble 100%' policy.

If you think trying to explain penal code and case law to a cop while he's handcuffing you is going to keep you out of jail, you're in for a big surprise. Cops aren't lawyers and most of them don't want to be. They'll let the DA figure out the details later. Yes, that means you're likely to get released without charges. It also means you're likely to spend the night (or the weekend) in jail.

I look at it like this: Keeping the gun unloaded for transport (CCW weapons aside for the moment) is like wearing your seatbelt: It's the law, and it will keep you safe most of the time. Locking the weapon away from the magazine is like having airbags - it's a big upgrade in safety in exchange for very little hassle, even though the law doesn't require it.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:10 PM
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Just as my sig says. One would hope that in a ten or a hundred years, repetition of the actual law separate from what is "prudent" will make miniscule the number of misinformed cops, instructors, and forum members.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul0660 View Post
Just as my sig says. One would hope that in a ten or a hundred years, repetition of the actual law separate from what is "prudent" will make miniscule the number of misinformed cops, instructors, and forum members.
Exactly. If we all stop posting FUD for officers to read and believe to be true, and we all carry according to the letter of the law, MAYBE, eventually, the officers will become conditioned to what the law actually says. I guess it's up to us.
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"A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Anyone wanting to add conditions for the excercise of this fundamental right is NOT a supporter of the Second Amendment or a friend of this Republic. Any man debarred the use of arms is NOT a free man!
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3boyzmom View Post
I answered according to the scenario he presented. I should've clarified. If you're talking about in the car that's true. We don't discuss OC, so the rest of the Code (and therefore the rest of the argument) doesn't apply to the conversation....
I just wanted to reiterate that they had to be locked separate. Your answer based on the OP is correct...

Others:

I keep a lockbox in my car where I place my unloaded firearm separate from the mags when its not on my person. Over the years i have probably understood this "Above Reproach" method to be the law, when it is not.

However, I'll still continue to do this...It is true we need to be accurate so that some young LEO or DA doesn't try to fry us when we are actually within the confines of the law, but as Liberterian mentioned, I'll not be used as the litmus test on the side of the highway.

Thanks for the clarification, though.
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Last edited by IAmASensFan : 06-29-2010 at 05:15 PM.
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