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Thread: unloaded pistol w/ detached loaded magazine legal?

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    Hey folks- I’m sure my question has been addressed in a previous thread but I want to be absolutely sure.

    I live in neighborhood near LAX with a rather high crime rate. I like to go walking at night with my girlfriend and I’d like to be able to protect her (and myself) if I need to.

    I shoot my USP 45 at a local shooting range (LAX Shooting Range) and one time I brought my unloaded and locked pistol accompanied with two loaded magazines that were detached from my pistol (the pistol and the magazines were in the same range bag) and the guy working there freaked out on me and said that I could get arrested for having a concealed and loaded gun. Because of this incident I became convinced that according to California law a loaded magazine, even if completely detached from the pistol, is still considered a loaded weapon. After doing some research I’ve found that this might not be true, and now I find myself thoroughly confused.

    So my question is:

    Is it legal for me to carry my unloaded pistol on a belt holster with a loaded magazine detached from the pistol but on the same holster (in public)?

    If the answer to my question is “yes”, I have a follow up question:

    If a cop happens to drive by is it highly likely that I can get arrested anyway?

    Thanks a lot!

    -Derek

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    Ex_Machina wrote:
    Hey folks- I’m sure my question has been addressed in a previous thread but I want to be absolutely sure.

    I live in neighborhood near LAX with a rather high crime rate. I like to go walking at night with my girlfriend and I’d like to be able to protect her (and myself) if I need to.

    I shoot my USP 45 at a local shooting range (LAX Shooting Range) and one time I brought my unloaded and locked pistol accompanied with two loaded magazines that were detached from my pistol (the pistol and the magazines were in the same range bag) and the guy working there freaked out on me and said that I could get arrested for having a concealed and loaded gun. Because of this incident I became convinced that according to California law a loaded magazine, even if completely detached from the pistol, is still considered a loaded weapon. After doing some research I’ve found that this might not be true, and now I find myself thoroughly confused.

    So my question is:

    Is it legal for me to carry my unloaded pistol on a belt holster with a loaded magazine detached from the pistol but on the same holster (in public)?

    If the answer to my question is “yes”, I have a follow up question:

    If a cop happens to drive by is it highly likely that I can get arrested anyway?

    Thanks a lot!

    -Derek
    From my following of CA law when I live there in 2001-2002, and following the discussions by CA folks on gthis board, you were not breaking any law when you traveled to the range, now wold you be when opne carrying an unloaded handgun in an incorporated area like Los Angeles. Generally, you may open carry LOADED handguns in the unincorporated areas of CA, unless prohibited by county ordinance - hence, I am pretty sure that open carry in National forests of CA is lawful.

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    Founder's Club Member MudCamper's Avatar
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    Ex_Machina wrote:
    So my question is:

    Is it legal for me to carry my unloaded pistol on a belt holster with a loaded magazine detached from the pistol but on the same holster (in public)?

    If the answer to my question is “yes”, I have a follow up question:

    If a cop happens to drive by is it highly likely that I can get arrested anyway?
    Yes it is legal, provided you are not in a school zone.

    The cop will likely detain you temporarily. If he does not know or understand the law, and you can't explain it to him, he may falsely arrest you.

    Read: http://www.californiaopencarry.org/faq.html

    And: http://www.californiaopencarry.org/C...aOpenCarry.pdf



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    You didn't tell us if your bag was locked. If your bag was not locked, then you were violating 12025. However, if your firearm is in a secure container with a lock, then it's exempted from 12025. There's no statute saying you have to store your mags empty or in a separate bag.

    Further, it is important to note that if you open carry, the courts have decided that concealing a magazine is a violation of 12025, as they define it as an integral part of the firearm... blah blah blah.

    Bottom line; open carry all parts of your gun or conceal them all in a locked container that meets the exemptions.
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    I have no answer to the OP's quetion about the legality of carrying an unloaded gun with the magazine separate but will make the following comment. I have read many times on this board that if you carry a gun without one in the chamber you might as well leave it at home. Extending this opinion to the OP he might as well leave his gun at home if he isn't going to keep it loaded. Please note that this is not necessarily my opinion but rather seemingly the majority opinion of this board. You are wasting your time carrying an unloaded weapon.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Thanks, PT111, for coming into the California forum and discouraging members from OCing they only way they legally can (for the time being). I'm sure we all appreciate the support very much.

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    marshaul wrote:
    Thanks, PT111, for coming into the California forum and discouraging members from OCing they only way they legally can (for the time being). I'm sure we all appreciate the support very much.
    I think you missed that it was tongue-in-cheek. However, I agree that it was not contributing in a positive way.

    I bet I can load my pistol about as fast as you can access your concealed weapon. I say 'if you're gonna conceal it you may as well leave it at home.'
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    No, I got the slightly facetious tone. I just don't think the post was a positive contribution in any way. No big deal though, I just have a habit of calling 'em as I see 'em.

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    Does anyone know what the actual Penal Code, or Criminal charge is for open carrying an unloaded handgun inthe incorporated areaof Los Angeles?

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    sdman92101 wrote:
    Does anyone know what the actual Penal Code, or Criminal charge is for open carrying an unloaded handgun inthe incorporated areaof Los Angeles?
    There is NO section of Penal Code or Criminal Charges for unloaded open carry in incorporated areas in Los Angeles. You can LEGALLY walk down the street with an unloaded handgun in a holster on your hip, and carry full magazines for that handgun right next to the gun if you so choose.

    PC 12031 is the Penal Code that deals with defining a loaded firearm and defining where LOADED carry is prohibited.



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    You can carry an unloaded hangun on your hip, fully exposed. BUT, if someone calls the Police, the Police have the right to question you and make sure your weapon is empty. But they will let you go. Make sure you have no prior, however.

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    sdman92101 wrote:
    You can carry an unloaded hangun on your hip, fully exposed. BUT, if someone calls the Police, the Police have the right to question you and make sure your weapon is empty. But they will let you go. Make sure you have no prior, however.
    And you have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions as the Police would not be investigating a crime. You do not have to identify yourself, as no crime has been committed, and any demand for you to do so is illegal.

    The ONLY thing that you are legally required to comply with is the 12031(e) check to determine if your gun is loaded. Once they determine that it is not, they have to return your gun and let you go about your business.



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    Decoligny wrote:
    And you have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions as the Police would not be investigating a crime. You do not have to identify yourself, as no crime has been committed, and any demand for you to do so is illegal.

    The ONLY thing that you are legally required to comply with is the 12031(e) check to determine if your gun is loaded. Once they determine that it is not, they have to return your gun and let you go about your business.

    Well,couldn't theydemand I.D. to veryify if the person is of legal age to possess a firearm or not?

    So even if you look old enough but the cop needs reasonable suspision to run your name which you aren't freely giving... They could use that.

    And I believe it is illegal NOT to carry I.D. so therefore you could be detained until you could prove who you are... Right?



    In theory of course.

    Most police officers wouldn't waste their time here...

    Maybe in Cali they would though.

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Dashes wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    And you have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions as the Police would not be investigating a crime. You do not have to identify yourself, as no crime has been committed, and any demand for you to do so is illegal.

    The ONLY thing that you are legally required to comply with is the 12031(e) check to determine if your gun is loaded. Once they determine that it is not, they have to return your gun and let you go about your business.

    Well,couldn't theydemand I.D. to veryify if the person is of legal age to possess a firearm or not?

    So even if you look old enough but the cop needs reasonable suspision to run your name which you aren't freely giving... They could use that.

    And I believe it is illegal NOT to carry I.D. so therefore you could be detained until you could prove who you are... Right?



    In theory of course.

    Most police officers wouldn't waste their time here...

    Maybe in Cali they would though.
    Here is where the forum rules come in handy. You state that you believe it to be illegal to NOT carry I.D., here is you chance to prove your stand.

    Please cite ANY law, either California, of Federal, which makes it illegal to be without I.D.

    I know that if you are driving an automobile, you are required to carry your driver's license on you, but I know of no law requiring any to carry an I.D. while walking down the sidewalk.

    It hasn't yet reached the level of "Papers, show me your papers!", not yet at least.

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    I believe there is (or was) a statute on the books that requires you to provide ID and to explain where you were going, but it got struck down on appeal a long time ago (in the 1950s IIRC).
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    Dashes wrote:
    And I believe it is illegal NOT to carry I.D. so therefore you could be detained until you could prove who you are... Right?
    Whoah whoah whoah whoah! Where did you get this idea from? I find it terrifying to imagine Americans think they need to carry ID!

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    Dashes wrote
    And I believe it is illegal NOT to carry I.D. so therefore you could be detained until you could prove who you are... Right?
    The correct answer is: "Nope".

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    flintlock tom wrote:
    Dashes wrote
    And I believe it is illegal NOT to carry I.D. so therefore you could be detained until you could prove who you are... Right?
    The correct answer is: "Nope".
    Hi. I live in TX. The saying goes, What happens first in CA, happens next in TX, so I am reading your board. My experience in TX is that legal or not, cops can just take your gun, loaded or not, from your person or your auto, and you can tell it to the judge, unless you want to fulfill the NRA motto. And they won't give it back, even if you are aquitted. It will be"lost in evidence", "in another county","in the court's evidence locker", or more likely in somecops boot or in his brothers closet.

    I am really interested to hear the result of this debate, over whether you are required to carry State ID when a pedestrian, esp a pedestrian carrying the firearm.

    Many Americans are under the impression that its not illegal to be without id, but that you can be hauled in for questioning with no recourse for 72 hours of detainment as a person of interest or suspect, until charges must be filed and you must be arraigned, or you must be set free.



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    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiibel#Majority_opinion

    -----
    Stop-and-identify laws have their roots in early English vagrancy laws that required suspected vagrants to face arrest unless they gave a "good account" of themselves; this practice, in turn, derived from the common-law power of any person to arrest suspicious persons and detain them until they gave "a good account" of themselves. Modern stop-and-identify laws combine aspects of the old vagrancy laws with a guide for police officers conducting investigatory stops, such as those authorized under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).
    However, the Court has identified a constitutional difficulty with many modern vagrancy laws. In Papachristou v. Jacksonville, 405 U.S. 156 (1972), the Court held that a traditional vagrancy law was void for vagueness because its "broad scope and imprecise terms denied proper notice to potential offenders and permitted police officers to exercise unfettered discretion in the enforcement of the law." In Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979), the Court struck down Texas's stop-and-identify law as violating the Fourth Amendment because it allowed police officers to stop individuals without "specific, objective facts establishing reasonable suspicion to believe the suspect was involved in criminal activity." And in Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983), the Court struck down a California stop-and-identify law that required a suspect to provide "credible and reliable identification" upon request.[4][/sup] The words "credible and reliable" were vague because they "provided no standard for determining what a suspect must do to comply with [the law], resulting in virtually unrestrained power to arrest and charge persons with a violation."
    ------

    So do you have to show ID? No. Do you have to identify yourself? Only if the police officer has reasonable suspicion on you, which means he can detain you AND only if your state has a stop and identify law.


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    What if the officer wants to be a d!@k and says that the firearm is considered loaded because i have a loaded magazine in my back pocket within my reach?

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    charliegcamp wrote:
    What if the officer wants to be a d!@k and says that the firearm is considered loaded because i have a loaded magazine in my back pocket within my reach?
    That depends on your state, but in California you should not have magazines in your back pocket. They need to be in a magazine pouch also located on your belt.

    If you do have magazines in your pocket you still can't be charged with "loaded" you could only be charged with "concealed" as the magazines don't make the weapon loaded.

    12031 is clear in the definition of what loaded is and under no definition in 12031 is possession of a loaded magazine loaded. There are however other sections of law that use a different definition of loaded, but unless you are in specific buildings as defined by PC 171 or the PC that changes the definition of loaded for gang members. (I don't know the relevant PC since I am not a gang member and don't consider it important.)

    But that is also why you should have a voice recorder!!! He still isn't allowed to search your pockets unless he has PC!

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    Decoligny wrote:
    sdman92101 wrote:
    Does anyone know what the actual Penal Code, or Criminal charge is for open carrying an unloaded handgun inthe incorporated areaof Los Angeles?
    There is NO section of Penal Code or Criminal Charges for unloaded open carry in incorporated areas in Los Angeles. You can LEGALLY walk down the street with an unloaded handgun in a holster on your hip, and carry full magazines for that handgun right next to the gun if you so choose.

    PC 12031 is the Penal Code that deals with defining a loaded firearm and defining where LOADED carry is prohibited.

    I think the "incorporated areas in Los Angeles" statement needs to be a bit more precise. As in ". . . incorporated areas in the County of Los Angeles."

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Nick the Sniper wrote:
    Decoligny wrote:
    sdman92101 wrote:
    Does anyone know what the actual Penal Code, or Criminal charge is for open carrying an unloaded handgun inthe incorporated areaof Los Angeles?
    There is NO section of Penal Code or Criminal Charges for unloaded open carry in incorporated areas in Los Angeles. You can LEGALLY walk down the street with an unloaded handgun in a holster on your hip, and carry full magazines for that handgun right next to the gun if you so choose.

    PC 12031 is the Penal Code that deals with defining a loaded firearm and defining where LOADED carry is prohibited.

    I think the "incorporated areas in Los Angeles" statement needs to be a bit more precise. As in ". . . incorporated areas in the County of Los Angeles."
    Either way, 12031 covers it, whether in LA proper (incorporated city) or LA county (unincorporated areas)

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    Hi All, just looked in for a minute to see what it is like in the PRK, it depressed me to hear what they are doing to you there....and here is another reason I live in Arizona....

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