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Thread: Traveling in CA by car

  1. #1
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    Traveling in CA by car

    I will be traveling by car from Colorado to New Orleans, spending a few days there, then driving from New Orleans to Riverside CA, spending a few days there, then returning here.

    I don't want to assume this travel is simply covered by the federal laws regarding traveling through a state that is anti-gun going from one free state to another (e.g., like crossing Illinoise going from Colorado to Ohio), because I will be spending several days in CA, not just driving through as quickly as possible. So I want to know what the California State laws are here.

    I do want as much protection as is legal on other parts of the trip (my CCW should be valid almost everywhere on the route except CA and NV, just for instance). I know there is just no fricking way I will be able to *carry* the gun in CA, but I do want to travel with it in CA somehow since there's no way to check it at the state line!

    Am I not allowed to bring certain handguns with me into the state? (It looks like I can, so long as I don't attempt to transfer it while there but please correct me if I am wrong.) My preferred carry is a CZ-75 9mm which happens to have 16 round magazines; I can fall back on a smaller 9mm with 6 round mags if I start hearing that the CZ-75 would be illegal to possess in CA. If it (or my smaller gun) would be legal, then how must it be kept in the car? In the hotel room? I know the gun must be "unloaded" while in the car, but does that mean the magazines can be loaded but not inserted into the gun, or does the ammo have to be removed from the mags as well?

    I have one of those lock boxes with a cable to secure it; I am thinking I will probably keep the gun locked in that in the hotel room for the duration of my stay.
    Last edited by SteveInCO; 05-03-2013 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveInCO View Post
    I want to know what the California State laws are here..
    Here is the Kalifornia State Penal Code http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/ca...ebody=&hits=20

    Here is the AG's firearms site http://oag.ca.gov/firearms

    Here is their gun law summary http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/ag...s/Cfl2007.pdf?

  3. #3
    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    Do Not come to CA with any 'assault pistols' - That's essentially any pistol with a detachable magazine and a threaded barrel. All non-'assault pistols' are legal for import.

    Do Not bring into CA any 'large capacity ammunition feeding device' - That's no magazine which hold greater then 10 rounds. The only common exception to this is if you possessed them within CA prior to 1/1/2000. It is legal to import magazine parts. So, if you disassemble them prior to entering CA you are legal.

    Generally speaking the guaranteed method for legally transporting a handgun in a vehicle in CA is to transport the handgun 'unloaded in a secure locked container' it is legal to have magazines within the same container, but 'loaded magazines' must NOT be within the firearm.

    "secure" is not defined, however it is common use in CA to use both soft and hard cases. For example a 'gun rug' with the zipper/s locked. Glove Boxes and Utility Compartments of a car do not qualify as an appropriate container. A locked trunk is acceptable as an appropriate container - however, it is highly recommend that if you use the trunk, its still best to use an additional locked container (you don't want to open the trunk in a hotel parking lot and get popped for an illegally concealed handgun in a vehicle)

    In CA it is legal to have a concealed (or open), loaded (or unloaded), firearm at hand for self defense within your residence. This includes temporary residences suchas your hotel room or campsite. Note that this is explicitly your room or campsite; not the rest of the hotel, not on the walk to the group bathroom at your campsite.

    CA Penal Code (searchable) is available here: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...Selected.xhtml
    In Particular I would recommend searching key words from above within PART 6. CONTROL OF DEADLY WEAPONS [16000 - 34370]

    Have safe trip!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Here is the Kalifornia State Penal Code http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/ca...ebody=&hits=20

    Here is the AG's firearms site http://oag.ca.gov/firearms

    Here is their gun law summary http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/ag...s/Cfl2007.pdf?
    Unfortunately the gun law summary doesn't actually open on this machine (it says iit's downloading but then nothing whatsoever happens).

    I can find legal documents as well as anyone else but understanding what they mean in practice is the issue here. That's why I am asking the question. The Californians here understand what these laws mean on a personal basis.

    Let me try to phrase my queries a bit more succinctly:

    1) Will I be arrested if a cop discovers I have a CZ-75 9mm (which has 16 round magazines) in my car and/or hotel room? If that is cause to get arrested (because of the magazine capacity?), would having a 9mm with either a 15 or 6 round magazine be better?

    2) What is California's (not the Federal) requirement for transporting such a firearm in one's car (assuming it's legal)?

  5. #5
    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveInCO View Post

    1) Will I be arrested if a cop discovers I have a CZ-75 9mm (which has 16 round magazines) in my car and/or hotel room? If that is cause to get arrested (because of the magazine capacity?), would having a 9mm with either a 15 or 6 round magazine be better?

    2) What is California's (not the Federal) requirement for transporting such a firearm in one's car (assuming it's legal)?
    Already covered in post #3. It doesn't get any more succinct then what I wrote.

    1) Yes, you could be arrested for the CZ if it has a threaded barrel. Yes, you could be arrested for importation of a magazine greater then 10 rounds. Car and/or hotel room is irrelevant, its the act of importation that you will get nailed for.

    2) unloaded in a secure, locked container

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjones View Post
    Already covered in post #3. It doesn't get any more succinct then what I wrote.
    Yes, sorry about that, it looks like your post posted while I was writing my second one, or something. I know I didn't see yours until just now for whatever reason. It was indeed quite succinct and quite unpleasant to read but that latter is not YOUR doing, it's the gun grabbers'.

    I guess I had better either leave the CZ at home or disassemble its magazines just before entering CA. Hmm; I COULD bring an S&W 1006 or the other CZ-75 in .40. (That micro 9mm I alluded to earlier leaves me feeling semi-naked.)

    Thanks, everyone!
    Last edited by SteveInCO; 05-03-2013 at 05:30 PM.

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    [QUOTE=SteveInCO;1933503]Any cop can arrest you for his painful hangnail. "You may beat the rap [charge], but you will not beat the ride [the arrest]." Rule (15) prevents an open discussion of "what these laws mean on a personal basis." You pay your money and take your chances.

  8. #8
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    Decided not to bother.

    In the end I decided to take this trip unarmed. I concluded from the discussion that I'd be OK with an unloaded handgun, and 10 round or less magazines, so long as I cased it and the mags and the ammo properly while driving with it, and could load it in the hotel room. Or I could probably have brought my shotgun (maybe not; it has a bayonet lug).

    What I couldn't do was convince myself that the gun would not be stolen (or reported to some cop who'd concoct an excuse to arrest me) by the hotel maids. I could not take it with me from the hotel while driving to/from the business I was there in CA to conduct, because that business was on a military base; firearms *strictly* forbidden.

    Fortunately nothing happened to me that would require the gun. But still, it illustrates how just one place that bans guns (OC, CC, Long, Short, what-have-you) on an itinerary can really louse things up. And most of my travel in the foreseeable future will be to either CA or Chicago. Yikes!

    Thanks again to all who responded.

  9. #9
    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    I will NOT even consider crossing the California State-line. Any family members that live in CA will have to visit us in Texas. I will not surrender my right to defense against predators in order to go somewhere I need not go.

    Texas is experiencing a significant influx of refugees from California's sick economy, exorbitant housing costs, and despotic rule. I strongly advise any thinking about moving to Texas for greater liberty and opportunity to PLEASE leave their California regulatory - "pass a law" - mindset behind. We're experiencing a lot of folks recently coming from CA with this
    "Texas should pass a ___________ law like California's ". Needless to say that attitude isn't being received well.
    Last edited by rushcreek2; 05-20-2013 at 10:15 AM.

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