Here is the reply that I will be sending out this evening.
I found the information you provided to be quite interesting. You stated “Many jurisdictions in California are beginning to interpret the term "loaded firearm" to include a loaded magazine, or a person with ammunition on his or her person, in the same vehicle as an otherwise legally transported firearm for which that ammunition is designed.”
Is the California Penal Code so amorphous that its meaning can change from one jurisdiction to the next? I thought it was the job of the DOJ and the Attorney General’s Office to determine for the ENTIRE State what the proper interpretation of the law is.
From your own mission statement: “Bureau of Firearms staff will be leaders in providing firearms expertise and information to law enforcement, legislators, and the general public in a comprehensive program to promote legitimate and responsible firearms possession and use by California residents.”
Could you please enlighten me as to why DOJ Bureau of Firearms has not provided information to the various jurisdictions that the California Penal Code in fact has specific definitions of when a firearm is considered loaded?
Having a firearm and ammunition for that firearm in the possession of the same person only makes the firearm loaded in two specific circumstances.
Circumstance One: When a person is carrying a firearm that is loaded per the definition in PC 12001(j) and has the intent to commit a felony per PC 12023(a).
Circumstance Two: When the person is in any of the areas listed in PC 171c or PC 171d.
Could you explain to me why it is acceptable for "many jurisdictions" to treat law abiding citizens with the automatic assumtion that they are "intent on committing a felony" when they have no reason to believe that they are criminals other than the lawful posession of an unloaded firearm?
The definition of “loaded firearm” in relation to a law abiding citizen is to be found in California Penal Code 12031(g):
“A firearm shall be deemed to be loaded for the purposes of this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell, consisting of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or shot, in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, in the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm; except that a muzzle-loader firearm shall be deemed to be loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder.”
The definition of “concealed firearm” in relation to a law abiding citizen is to be found in California Penal Code 12025, and in subsection (f) it clearly states “Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section.
So, if a person were to be driving with a firearm in a belt holster (not concealed per PC12025(f)), and did not have ammunition attached to the firearm in any manner (not loaded per PC 120239(a)), and was not within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school or on the grounds of a University (PC 626.9) and was not driving within the State Capitol area (PC 171c), could you please tell me exactly how would they be violating ANY provision of the California Penal Code?