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Thread: Seeking Clarification on OC in CA

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    I've been reading these forums for a month or so and have learned quite a bit about exercising my rights here in CA. I am seeking clarification on a few key facts. It is my understanding that the following are true, in the state of Califnoria.

    * I may carry OPEN and UNLOADED anywhere but post offices, state & national parks, government buildings, or 1000 ft from a K-12 school. When on private property, (a private business) permission is required. (In compliance with PC 12025(a))

    * I may carry OPEN and UNLOADED in my vehicle while traveling to work/market/etc (in compliance with PC 626.9 - K-12 schools).

    * I may carry OPEN and LOADED in unicorporated areas provided I'm am not on any public street (PC 12031(a))

    * I may carry CONCEALED/OPEN/LOADED on my own legal residence, place of business, or my own private property. (Enumerated by PC 12026)

    Do I understand these rights correctly?

    I am aware that the City or County of San Diego may have their own restrictions with regards to weapons, but the above facts cannot be preempted, correct?

    Thanks for all the great information. Many of you pursue these rights in ways most folks are too "afraid" to do. I know it may seem that many of these things have already been covered ad nauseam, but before I choose to exercise these rights I wanted to make sure my understanding of the law was correct.

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    Fedge wrote:
    * I may carry CONCEALED/OPEN/LOADED on my own legal residence, place of business, or my own private property. (Enumerated by PC 12026)
    People v Overturf (64 Cal.App.3d) is a great example of how out of hand CA law is in this area. Overturf was an arthritic older man who had an encounter on his property with a younger ex-employee and a couple of his friends. Overturf was convicted under 12031 for having a loaded weapon in his front yard. It is important to note that Overturf should have been exempted under 12031(h), as he was facing down 3 younger thugs who had already threatened him. This was voiced in the dissenting opinion. It's really hard to read this case without getting angry... such injustice.

    I can't think of the cases, but it is well established that private property is open to the public. The logical example I can think of is that people can enter your property to walk up to your front door (such as for solicitation). So, if you live in an incorporated area and carry loaded in your front yard, you are subject to 12031.

    Here's where the case gets interesting:

    Subdivision (g) states: "Nothing in this section shall prevent any person from carrying a loaded firearm ... while engaged in hunting" (with limitations not relevant here).

    Subdivision (h) reads: "(h) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the carrying of any loaded firearm, under circumstances where it would otherwise be lawful, by a person who reasonably believes that the person or property of himself or another is in immediate danger and that the carrying of such weapon is necessary for the preservation of such person or property."

    And, finally, subdivision (i) states: "(i) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the carrying of a loaded firearm by any person while engaged in the act of making or attempting to make a lawful arrest."

    It can thus be seen that none of the subdivisions (f) through (j) expressly create any exemptions from the liability established for violation of subdivision (a).
    [1] "Carrying" and "having" are not synonymous. "Having" relates to an "act or state of possessing," Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, page 1145, while "carrying" refers to the "act or instance of carrying" and the verb "carry" in relevant definition connotes "to convey, or transport ...;" and "to transfer from one place ... to another." (Id. at p. 412.)
    So, by these judges' logic, even within your home it is a violation of 12031 to keep your weapon loaded (if you live in an incorporated area).



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    Fedge wrote:
    * I may carry OPEN and UNLOADED anywhere but post offices, state & national parks, government buildings, or 1000 ft from a K-12 school. When on private property, (a private business) permission is required. (In compliance with PC 12025(a))
    Correct. Though Im not certain how the concealed weapons law reference applies to open carry on private property. I'm also not familiar with the required permission. In all of my open carry experiences, permission was presumed as no one asked me to disarm or to leave.

    * I may carry OPEN and UNLOADED in my vehicle while traveling to work/market/etc (in compliance with PC 626.9 - K-12 schools).
    Yes, assuming compliance with PC626.9 means your weapon is unloaded and locked in a secure case while in a "school zone". This also assumes that yourhandgun is openly carried in a belt holster-- (ie; not concealed under a shirt, jacket or in a shoulder holster, or fannypack.)



    * I may carry OPEN and LOADED in unicorporated areas provided I'm am not on any public street (PC 12031(a))
    Correct. Though the law creates pitfalls with local ordinances prohibiting discharge- be sure to know where these prohibitions exist. Check with the city and county clerks office. They may actually have them posted on their website.



    * I may carry CONCEALED/OPEN/LOADED on my own legal residence, place of business, or my own private property. (Enumerated by PC 12026)

    Yes. I disagree with CALibertarians' opinion on PC12031- I do not believe that 'loaded' weapons are prohibited on private property where public access is not expected.Open or concealed carry/possession is also lawfulat your place of business- gun shop owners and employees frequently carry in the store armed, there's no reason why a conveniencestore owner, jewelry store owner or anyone handlingvaluables orcash as a part of their business shouldnt carry. 'Temporary campsite' also falls into your 'residence' exemption as well, but there, you would have to carry the weapon exposed, or you would violate the concealed weaponscode.



    I am not an attorney and these conclusions are the result of reading and interpretation based on my laymen's understanding of the penal code. If you are uncertain about the accuracy of the information you have found here and elsewhere, I would recommend consulting an attorney for clarification.

    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    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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    Yeah, I goofed. Here's a copy from my reply on the other thread this morning (geez I gotta stop posting at 4 AM).

    OK, I feel dumb now. You are correct on the part about carrying in your home. Inside your home would practically NEVER be considered public (unless you're maybe having an 'open house' to show it for sale).

    I'm not as certain about outdoor private property though. I don't have any citations handy, but it's pretty well established (I think) that your front yard is considered public access (such as when a solicitor comes to your front door). The guy from the electric company can go into your back yard to read the meter without asking permission. Also, sometimes people will walk around to the back yard (to see if you're there) when you don't answer your front door. I could easily see CA courts considering your entire property open to the public.

    I also think a footnote may still be in order for purposes of carrying loaded if your place of business is open to the public. Ironically, if your business is not open to the public you are much less likely to need to defend yourself... gotta love bass-ackwards CA
    As confusing as this all is... do we really have due process under the law? So, so difficult to know with certainty what the law means, not to mention what the court might change it to when you're tried.
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    Thank you both (CA_Libertarian & ConditionThree) for your replies.

    I do, however, have one last question. I work in an office that I believe is leased by our company. When applying PC 12026 (ie carrying loaded in my place of business), does that apply to my OWN personal place of business? I'm not a business owner--I don't own a convenience store--I just sit at a desk, in an office, leased by my company, shared by other companies/offices. Does PC 12026 still apply to me?

    Armed (no pun intended!) with this information, I plan to exercise these rights as often as I can. I live in North County San Diego but frequently visit downtown. I'll be headed there tonight, and I think I may just OC for the evening while I'm downtown. I'll certainly post my experiences as I do so.

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    Fedge wrote:
    Thank you both (CA_Libertarian & ConditionThree) for your replies.

    I do, however, have one last question. I work in an office that I believe is leased by our company. When applying PC 12026 (ie carrying loaded in my place of business), does that apply to my OWN personal place of business? I'm not a business owner--I don't own a convenience store--I just sit at a desk, in an office, leased by my company, shared by other companies/offices. Does PC 12026 still apply to me?
    If you dont own the company, it would actually be your employer's place of business and subject to their permission. If the company you work for is supportive of 2A rights it may be worthwhile to ask about their policy, but most employers are fearful of both firearms and litigation. If the same office space is shared by a number of different lessee's, the permission may lay with the property owner. Each party involved is just another opportunity for someone to say 'no'.

    If you're determined to excersize open carry, I'd recommend also carrying a digital recorder with a live lapelmic while you are in public. Models vary, but most retail for about $60.00 and have 18-30 hours of audio storage. This may be important if you have contact with the police. Certainly consider taking a friend or family with you as well.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    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:
    If you dont own the company, it would actually be your employer's place of business and subject to their permission. If the company you work for is supportive of 2A rights it may be worthwhile to ask about their policy, but most employers are fearful of both firearms and litigation. If the same office space is shared by a number of different lessee's, the permission may lay with the property owner. Each party involved is just another opportunity for someone to say 'no'.

    If you're determined to excersize open carry, I'd recommend also carrying a digital recorder with a live lapel¬*mic while you are in public. Models vary, but most retail for about $60.00 and have 18-30 hours of audio storage. This may be important if you have contact with the police. Certainly consider taking a friend or family with you as well.
    Well, assuming that I don't get permission to carry in the office, is there perhaps another option? Could I carry the pistol, locked in a gun glove or some kind of container, in a bag around my shoulder? Think of it as a tactical man-purse-holster. Getting into the bag, unlocking it, and loading the weapon seems awfully convoluted, but certainly better than nothing.

    If I follow the letter of the law regarding a locked in a container, unloaded, could I carry in a shoulder/laptop style bag?

    And I definitely understand the audio recorder. It would make things much clearer when there's a transcription of any interaction. Am I required to notify and officers that I'm recording?

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    Fedge wrote:
    Well, assuming that I don't get permission to carry in the office, is there perhaps another option? Could I carry the pistol, locked in a gun glove or some kind of container, in a bag around my shoulder? Think of it as a tactical man-purse-holster. Getting into the bag, unlocking it, and loading the weapon seems awfully convoluted, but certainly better than nothing.

    If I follow the letter of the law regarding a locked in a container, unloaded, could I carry in a shoulder/laptop style bag?

    And I definitely understand the audio recorder. It would make things much clearer when there's a transcription of any interaction. Am I required to notify and officers that I'm recording?
    If I were in your position, if I did not get permission from my employer, I would not carry. Considering how most employers are, they will probably prohibit any form of possession at the work place... which would include any attempt to carry a unloaded and 'cased' firearm.

    I have entertained the permise of having a holster capable of being a 'locked case' but this in my view, ceases to be either accessable self-defense or a visable crime deterent. It also loses the element of 'activism', that we all seem to find so appealing.

    You do not have to notify police that you are recording. (They are public servants, serving the public interests- having no expectation of privacy.)More than likely, they are recording as well, for similar reasons.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    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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    Fedge wrote:
    * I may carry OPEN and LOADED in unicorporated areas provided I'm am not on any public street (PC 12031(a))
    Nope, you can lawfully OC loaded in unincorporated areas (unless in a prohibited area of an unincorporated territory) because‚Äúsection 12031 does not prohibit the carrying of a rifle or shotgun with unexpended shells or cartridges in the magazine on a public road in an unincorporated area where there are no local ordinances or other laws or regulations prohibiting the discharge of firearms.‚ÄĚ 51 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 197 (1968).

    Recently the California appeals courtexplicitly cited and affirmed this AG opinion. People v. Knight, 18 Cal. Rptr. 3d 384, 385-389 (Cal. Ct. App. 2004) ("Section 12031, subdivision (a)(1), consists of separate provisions related to incorporated and unincorporated areas of a county: 'A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when he or she carries a loaded firearm on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.' (Italics added.)Section 12031, subdivision (f) provides that '[a]s used in this section, ‚Äėprohibited area‚Äô means any place where it is unlawful to discharge a weapon.' . . .the trial court erroneously adopted the prosecutor's position that section 12031 prohibits carrying a loaded weapon in any public place. Section 12031, subdivision (a)(1), however, does not criminalize the possession of a loaded firearm unless defendant carries it on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or unless defendant carries it on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory. . . . Section 12031, subdivision (a)(1) . . . does not criminalize the possession of a loaded firearm unless defendant carries it on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or unless defendant carries it on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory . . . section 12031, subdivision (a)(1), prohibits carrying a loaded firearm on one's person or in a vehicle: (1) while in any public place in an incorporated city; (2) while on any public street in an incorporated city; (3) while in any public place in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory; or (4) while on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory) (citing 51 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 197 (1968)), available at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/...es/c045858.pdf.

    See also David Watson, C.A.: Firearm Ban Applies Only Where Shooting Is Illegal, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, available at
    http://www.metnews.com/articles/2004/knig090304.htm.

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    The case you cite is encouraging. However, I can see our CA court system easily construe all public roads to be 'prohibited areas' as it is illegal to shoot from or upon them (CA PC 374c). Technically, this would make loaded carry illegal on public roads.

    While I'm not sure that was the legislature's intent, I wouldn't rely on CA courts to get it right. Obviously, our legislature's lack of clarity in writing is a huge part of the problem... and the 'justice' system bends that to its advantage.
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    The case you cite is encouraging. However, I can see our CA court system easily construe all public roads to be 'prohibited areas' as it is illegal to shoot from or upon them (CA PC 374c). Technically, this would make loaded carry illegal on public roads.

    While I'm not sure that was the legislature's intent, I wouldn't rely on CA courts to get it right. Obviously, our legislature's lack of clarity in writing is a huge part of the problem... and the 'justice' system bends that to its advantage.
    Well look, the Calif. AG and the appeals court specifically considered the alternate sweeping reading of the statutes and rejected it - frankly, from the perspective of statutory construction, these authorities are right on the money - statutes' text must be read together to meaningfully carry out textual commands.

    It would be a very strained interpretation of the Ca. Code to say that despite the clear langauge setting up two worlds of inquiry, incorp. v. non-incorp., a subsequent clause renders the primary command nugatiry. That's not the way statutory construction works, as duiscussed ad nauseum in the full appeals ct. decision, which may be read in any law library.

    Let's stop looking a gift horse in the mouth - tell the people of Calif. they are substantially free to OC in most of Calif. b/c most of Calif. is unincorporated.

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    Mike wrote:
    Let's stop looking a gift horse in the mouth - tell the people of Calif. they are substantially free to OC in most of Calif. b/c most of Calif. is unincorporated.
    Ah, Mike... I'm getting all goosepimply.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    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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    I missed the part about the CA AG opinion. That makes a huge difference, as I think the AG's opinion is more influential in the LE community than what the law actually says.

    Thanks for the info Mike!
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    I missed the part about the CA AG opinion. That makes a huge difference, as I think the AG's opinion is more influential in the LE community than what the law actually says.

    Thanks for the info Mike!
    Here is the the Knight opinion: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/...es/c045858.pdf

    Maybe somebody can dig up that AG Opinion.

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    ConditionThree wrote:
    I have entertained the permise of having a holster capable of being a 'locked case' but this in my view, ceases to be either accessable self-defense or a visable crime deterent. It also loses the element of 'activism', that we all seem to find so appealing.
    Clearly from an activism standpoint, and a crime-deterrent standpoint, it's not effective in the least. It is, however, better than nothing. It situations where open carry would be problematic (perhaps for those less willing to deal with the inevitable encounter with police officers), it seems to be the only remaining option. It may take 3-5 seconds to arm yourself, but it situations like mall or office shootings, perhaps that's quick enough.

    Anyhow, my destination last night was ironically across the street from a private middle school, so no dice downtown. I did OC on the way to pick up a pizza at a local pizza shop. The owner noticed, said nothing, and talked with me just like always. No other customers noticed. That was the first time I OCed in public here in CA.

    Mike, your information is quite interesting, although I rarely find myself outside incorporated limits when I'm not already camping/backpacking. I'll be interested in what AG's opinion actually is.

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    I have entertained the permise of having a holster capable of being a 'locked case' but this in my view, ceases to be either accessable self-defense or a visable crime deterent. It also loses the element of 'activism', that we all seem to find so appealing.
    I'll be interested in what AG's opinion actually is.[/quote]

    The relevant part of the AG Opinion is quoted by the Appeals Court in Knight.

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    ConditionThree wrote:
    Fedge wrote:
    * I may carry OPEN and UNLOADED anywhere but post offices, state & national parks, government buildings, or 1000 ft from a K-12 school. When on private property, (a private business) permission is required. (In compliance with PC 12025(a))
    Correct. Though Im not certain how the concealed weapons law reference applies to open carry on private property. I'm also not familiar with the required permission. In all of my open carry experiences, permission was presumed as no one asked me to disarm or to leave.

    * I may carry OPEN and UNLOADED in my vehicle while traveling to work/market/etc (in compliance with PC 626.9 - K-12 schools).
    Yes, assuming compliance with PC626.9 means your weapon is unloaded and locked in a secure case while in a "school zone". This also assumes that yourhandgun is openly carried in a belt holster-- (ie; not concealed under a shirt, jacket or in a shoulder holster, or fannypack.)



    * I may carry OPEN and LOADED in unicorporated areas provided I'm am not on any public street (PC 12031(a))
    Correct. Though the law creates pitfalls with local ordinances prohibiting discharge- be sure to know where these prohibitions exist. Check with the city and county clerks office. They may actually have them posted on their website.



    * I may carry CONCEALED/OPEN/LOADED on my own legal residence, place of business, or my own private property. (Enumerated by PC 12026)

    Yes. I disagree with CALibertarians' opinion on PC12031- I do not believe that 'loaded' weapons are prohibited on private property where public access is not expected.Open or concealed carry/possession is also lawfulat your place of business- gun shop owners and employees frequently carry in the store armed, there's no reason why a conveniencestore owner, jewelry store owner or anyone handlingvaluables orcash as a part of their business shouldnt carry. 'Temporary campsite' also falls into your 'residence' exemption as well, but there, you would have to carry the weapon exposed, or you would violate the concealed weaponscode.



    I am not an attorney and these conclusions are the result of reading and interpretation based on my laymen's understanding of the penal code. If you are uncertain about the accuracy of the information you have found here and elsewhere, I would recommend consulting an attorney for clarification.
    Um, i believe you are mistaken on the last part regarding temporary campsites.
    12026.2(a) Section 12025 does not apply to, or affect, any of the following:
    11- The transportation of a firearm by a person when going directly to, or coming directly from , a lawful camping activity for the purpose of having that firearm available for lawful personal protection while at the lawful campsite. ....discalmier for authority of Dep of parks and recreaton /local gov

    So while going to your campsite there is no such thing as "illegal concealed carry" so if your backpacking, or even as soon as you step outside of your house to hit the road, that law doesn't apply, once you are in "unicorperated territory" I see no problem carrying loaded and concealed so long as you are still going "directly to a lawful camping activity

    also see 12031(h) nothing in this section shal prevent any person engaged in any lawful business, including a nonprofit organization, or any officer, EMPLOYEE, or angent authorized by that person for lawful purposes connected with that business, from having a loaded firearm within the person's place of business........


    12031 (l) allows loaded weapons at your residence, including temporary residence or campsite

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    hawk84 wrote:
    Um, i believe you are mistaken on the last part regarding temporary campsites.
    12026.2(a) Section 12025 does not apply to, or affect, any of the following:
    11- The transportation of a firearm by a person when going directly to, or coming directly from , a lawful camping activity for the purpose of having that firearm available for lawful personal protection while at the lawful campsite. ....discalmier for authority of Dep of parks and recreaton /local gov

    So while going to your campsite there is no such thing as "illegal concealed carry" so if your backpacking, or even as soon as you step outside of your house to hit the road, that law doesn't apply, once you are in "unicorperated territory" I see no problem carrying loaded and concealed so long as you are still going "directly to a lawful camping activity

    also see 12031(h) nothing in this section shal prevent any person engaged in any lawful business, including a nonprofit organization, or any officer, EMPLOYEE, or angent authorized by that person for lawful purposes connected with that business, from having a loaded firearm within the person's place of business........


    12031 (l) allows loaded weapons at your residence, including temporary residence or campsite
    I'd be happyto admit when I'm wrong. But Im not sure that I am.

    The citation you gave was specifically about transporting a firearm to or from a camping activity. My question would be- What about once you arrived at your destination?

    I believe once you have arrived at your campsite, you would be bound by 12025, having completed your transportation of the firearmto the campsite location.


    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    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


    Support the 2A in California - Shop Amazon for any item and up to 15% of all purchases go back to the Calguns Foundation. Enter through either of the following links
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    let me fish around later today and see what I can find, you might be right, wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong

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    i can't find anything other then


    12026. (a) Section 12025 shall not apply to or affect any citizen of the United States or legal resident over the age of 18 years who resides or is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, who carries, either openly or concealed, anywhere within the citizen's or legal resident's place of residence, place of business, or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by the citizen or legal resident any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.


    does this apply to a temporary residence or campsite? its unclear, I see no reason why it shouldn't, especially since they use the phrase "temporaily within this state" which implies a temporary residence such as a campsite

  21. #21
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    Post imported post

    Man! hope can y'all deal with the maze of oc-related statutes you have out there in CA!

    Perhaps I can offer a quick story to lighten the tone:
    In the summer of '06 I stopped by a In n' Out Burger in Palo Alto. I had a GOA shirt on: http://www.gunowners.org/merchrosiet.htm , for which some old timer in line behind me made a comment of approval. I thanked him and asked him how he can live in a place with such restrictive gun laws. His reply: "Some people in the hills don't necessarily abide by those laws." Nice.

    And if there are any .50 fans here that do abide by the law (and thus don't own one), perhaps this would be a good second-choice (and some people would say a good first-choice over the .50): http://www.cheytac.com/HubPage.html

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