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Thread: California Open Carry "Exemptions"

  1. #1
    Regular Member California Right To Carry's Avatar
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    Thumbs up California Open Carry "Exemptions"

    There is a lot of misinformation and disinformation being propagated about the exemptions to California's Open Carry bans.

    First of all, an exemption does not keep one from being arrested, prosecuted fined and imprisoned. This applies not only to California's Open Carry bans but to all laws. For all intents and purposes, judges and prosecutors are immune from civil and criminal prosecution. The trial court judge decides what defenses and facts will be put before a jury to decide. Trial court judges have taken upon themselves the sole power to decide questions of law.

    And then there is the axiom taught to every first year law student about laws not meaning what they say, rather they mean what a judge says they mean.

    Case in point, the "place of residence" exemption, including temporary residences and campsites for possession of a loaded firearm. The statute doesn't say anything about your residence having to be fully enclosed by a tall, sturdy, non-cosmetic fence or other barrier to entry for the exemption to apply. And yet the California courts have concluded that private residential property without a significant barrier to entry, including driveways and sidewalks on one's personal property are "public places" where the exemption does not apply.

    The California courts have also held that a loaded handgun, inside of a chest of drawers, inside of a trailer which had a bed, shower, and stove and was attached to a motor vehicle is a "public place" even though the trailer was being used as a residence at the time.

    The are only two ways to ensure one isn't arrested, prosecuted fined and imprisoned for violating California's Open Carry bans (or any law) and they are (1) the Legislature repeals the laws and (2) a judge issues an injunction against enforcement of the law (and is willing to enforce the injunction).

    The California Legislature is not going to repeal the Open Carry bans. The so called gun-rights groups (NRA/CRPA/SAF/CalGuns) aren't going to file lawsuits to overturn the Open Carry bans, they currently have concealed carry lawsuits pending before the 9th CCA where they argued to uphold California's Open Carry bans.

    There is only one lawsuit seeking to overturn California's bans on openly carrying loaded and unloaded firearms in public, in the curtilage of one's home (regardless of whether or not it has a tall, sturdy fence or other barrier), in and on one's motor vehicle and inside any attached camper or trailer - Nichols v. Brown.

    I have been waging this Federal lawsuit for two years despite the opposition from a hostile court, overt judicial opposition by the NRA/CRPA and personal attacks from the concealed carry proponents.

    Despite the district court coddling Attorney General Harris and bending over backwards to indulge her every whim, AG Harris has pretty much delayed a final decision in my case as long as she can. Our separate motions to end this case without a trial have been filed and taken under submission for a decision. Unlike the D.C., carry case which has no time limit to reach a decision, the Central District Court of California requires its judges to issue a decision within 120 days. If they don't, the attorneys for both sides are required to notify the Chief judge for the district in writing at which point the district court judge has 30 days to issue a decision or risk having the case reassigned.

    I post periodic updates to my Open Carry lawsuit at my California Right To Carry website.

    Charles Nichols - President of California Right To Carry.

  2. #2
    Regular Member teddyearp's Avatar
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    Man, this info is soo sad. Back in the late '80's/early '90's it was supposed that one could carry open or concealed on one's own property or when camping. However I did see even the latter over ruled by LEO's. A good friend of mine lost his and got an "f" bomb on his record and his firearms confiscated while car camping.

    And that is all I will say on this.

  3. #3
    Regular Member California Right To Carry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teddyearp View Post
    Man, this info is soo sad. Back in the late '80's/early '90's it was supposed that one could carry open or concealed on one's own property or when camping. However I did see even the latter over ruled by LEO's. A good friend of mine lost his and got an "f" bomb on his record and his firearms confiscated while car camping.

    And that is all I will say on this.
    It was the courts that undid the exemptions. The text of the exemptions hasn't changed but the judicial interpretation has. As in the case of the man who was convicted of having a loaded firearm in a "public place" (a chest of drawers, inside of a trailer attached to a motor vehicle) the courts said it didn't matter whether or not it was the permanent residence of the person who was living out of his trailer and who was convicted.

    Then Heller came along and the California Courts decided that his trailer wasn't his residence after all, not because he wasn't living out of his trailer but because his trailer has wheels and because he had stopped his trailer to walk his dog.

    The same is true for RVs and Campers. It doesn't matter if the RV or Camper is your legal residence. As far as the California Courts are concerned, the inside of your motor vehicle, trailer, RV, or camper is a "public" place and that includes being with 1,000 feet of a K-12 public or private school.

    The courts have also held that for the "temporary campsite" exemption to apply, the campsite must be a place where camping is legal.

    And then there is the problem that the exemptions apply only when traveling directly to or from places where it is legal to possess a firearm. Take a detour to avoid going through a gun free school zone and your exemption no longer applies. Stop to pick up food or other supplies and your exemption no longer applies. Stop to pick up a friend and your exemption no longer supplies.

    It is better to seek to overturn these nutty laws in court, which is what I am now doing, rather than to bring Federal lawsuits arguing to uphold these same nutty laws, which is what the NRA/CRPA/SAF/CalGuns did.

    Charles Nichols - President of California Right To Carry

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