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Thread: People v. Hale (1974) 43 Cal. App.3d 353,356

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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    I was reading through How To Own a Gun & Stay Out of Jail by John Machtinger- (a plain language translation of the penal code regarding owning a firearm in California) and ran across this little tidbit.

    Apparently in People v. Hale, the defendant had an unloaded firearm in the seat and a loaded magazine hidden under the console in his car. Since there is no statutory definition of 'concealed', the court took it upon themselves to include partial concealmentas 'any part of the gun' being hidden from observation. They concluded that this would include parts of a gun not attached to it.

    I havent been able to locate the text of the ruling, but its absurd to think a loaded magazine not attached to any mechanizm to set off a primer or direct the force of the bullet in a controlable trajectory, constitutes a 'concealed weapon'. I guess if we are to follow this case law, your magazines really cant go in your pockets. Speedloaders, however, arent part of the gun, and therefore arent covered by this ruling.
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    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


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    ConditionThree wrote:
    Speedloaders, however, arent part of the gun, and therefore arent covered by this ruling.
    This is why I chose to open carry an unloaded revolver with a speedloader.
    I'll see if I can get some information from Westlaw.

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    Where police officer partially relied on good-faith belief that defendant had been convicted of prior firearms violation in determining that defendant's automobile should be searched, fact that defendant had not been convicted of prior firearms violation was irrelevant to determination of reasonableness of search.

    Only partial concealment of firearm is required for conviction of carrying a concealed firearm.

    Firearm disassembled into two or more parts can nevertheless constitute operable weapon within meaning of Dangerous Weapons Control Law.

    Concealment of essential component of visible weapon, when done in such fashion as to make weapon readily available for use as a firearm presents threat to public order comparable to concealment of entire firearm and falls within ambit of statute prohibiting carrying of concealed firearm.

    Where, after stopping defendant for traffic violation, officer observed pistol lying on seat beside defendant, officer was informed that defendant had been previously arrested on weapons charge, officer observed several knives stored about driver's seat of automobile, and pistol contained no ammunition, search of area within immediate reach of driver to assure that ammunition was not readily available was not unreasonable.

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    To borrow a phrase from Tess, that's nucking futs.

    The whole point being, concealed offers the opportunity to take someone by surprise.

    If anyone can see part of the firearm, they're on notice the person is armed.




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    I am not a lawyer but I spoke with my friend who might as well be one, and he said that caselaw is binding, but unambiguous statutes take precedence. In this matter we have California statute 12025(f) which states that a firearm carried openly in a belt holster is not considered concealed. My first guess is that this would protect us from prosecution under 12025 citing Parker v. Hale.

    Now under this construct of mine, I think the possibility of the Parker v. Hale ruling being applied is still present if your magazine well is empty. It could be argued that the complete firearm isn't being openly carried in a belt holster, only part of the firearm is being openly carried with the remainder (magazine) being concealed. I imagine the likelyhood is multiplied further if your handgun has a magazine disconnect, which would make the firearm inoperable without the magazine inserted.

    To this end, carrying an empty magazine in your openly carried handgun might be a good idea.

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