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Thread: Another 12031 Discussion

  1. #1
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    I was reading PC12031 again because of the man that is being charged in another firearms related thread on this board.

    I am not sure of the situation, but that is not the topic of this thread.

    12031. (a) (1) 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.

    (h) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person engaged in any lawful business, including a nonprofit organization, or any officer, employee, or agent authorized by that person for lawful purposes connected with that business, from having a loaded firearm within the person's place of business, or any person in lawful possession of private property from having a loaded firearm on that property.

    (l) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person from having a loaded weapon, if it is otherwise lawful, at his or her place of residence, including any temporary residence or campsite.
    This got me to wondering. I have heard of case law that determines a grocery store parking lot as being public place, but that does not mean that it is still not private property and therefore exempt.

    The only way I can see is if the argument in the case law suggests that since the private property is ALSO a public place the loaded PC can be enforced. Does anyone know the case the dictates a public place and its relation to PC 12031?

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    ChickenFarmer wrote:
    I was reading PC12031 again because of the man that is being charged in another firearms related thread on this board.

    I am not sure of the situation, but that is not the topic of this thread.

    12031. (a) (1) 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.

    (h) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person engaged in any lawful business, including a nonprofit organization, or any officer, employee, or agent authorized by that person for lawful purposes connected with that business, from having a loaded firearm within the person's place of business, or any person in lawful possession of private property from having a loaded firearm on that property.

    (l) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person from having a loaded weapon, if it is otherwise lawful, at his or her place of residence, including any temporary residence or campsite.
    This got me to wondering. I have heard of case law that determines a grocery store parking lot as being public place, but that does not mean that it is still not private property and therefore exempt.

    The only way I can see is if the argument in the case law suggests that since the private property is ALSO a public place the loaded PC can be enforced. Does anyone know the case the dictates a public place and its relation to PC 12031?
    Not sure of the case law, but I have heard the argument before. As I heard it, if the place is readily accessible to the general public, then it is a public place. If a parking lot at a grocery store is blocked off for a private event, then I think it would fall under the private property rules,if it is open to anyone and everyone who wants to walk/drive/ride into it, as it is during normal business hours, then I see it as a publicplace.

    I have heard this arument pushed to the point of reasoning that if your front yard isn't fenced in, then it is also apublic place, as anyone can just walk right across your lawn.

    Not sure what the real answer is, but will be interested to see if anyone can find the applicable case law.

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    I would also like to point out and ask. . . Is a vehicle private property or not? Because it would also seem that (and it has also likely been discussed) if it were property then you can argue that 12031 also does not apply to a person carrying inside their vehicle.

    Since they seem to be exemptions that is the overall question interpretation.

    Do exemptions mean that the language of the exemption would overrule the language of the actual offense language. That is to say, since the offense language states that one is guilty of 12031 if they are for example in a public place or street, but that this law does not apply to private property, could it be interpreted to mean that the private property exemption is more powerful regardless if the property is also a public place or that the exemption is subservient to the offense language?

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    The case I'm familiar with is People v. Overturf, 64 Cal.App.3d Supp. 1 (1976).

    Mr. Overturf was an on-site property manager for a small apartment complex - private property with public access. After evicting a tenant, the tenant came back with a couple friends and threatened Overturf. Overturf phoned the sherriff, then came out of his home to make sure they weren't vandalizing his car. Fearing for his safety, he brought along a .22 pistol. Outside, he fired the pistol into a pile of dirt in his front yard. The court was kind enough to note that appellant is 49 years old and suffers arthritus. The "victims" were three young, athletic men aged 18-21.

    The court decides that 12031 prohibits carrying and the exemption found in (h) and (l) only exempt possession. If it's open to the public, loaded carry is illegal. Loaded possession is exempted. Read the decision, it's rather disgusting.
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    SO with that ruling then, being a public place over rules the private property exemption at least in the terms of carrying vs possessing.

    I just read it, and unfortunately I think they may be right in their interpretation.

    It was the law that was flawed, and the lay persons understanding of the wording that confused.

    But here is my argument. . . At either your place of business or even a campsite for example, in a place where you are more likely to have a fast moving and acting advance against your person, if you don't have a firearm carried on your person you are at a severe disadvantage.

    So the basic argument is that although the law may work to reduce accidental discharges and mistakes in public, it does nothing to prevent an intended discharge and can be construed to be a prohibition of a speedy and effective self defense in the places most in need of a speedy and effective defense.

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    I think Overturf would have had a better defense if he had raised the exemption for being in reasonable fear for his safety. I don't think that issue was even raised in the case. (I don't know the legislative history - perhaps that exemption was added after his case was decided...)
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    I think Overturf would have had a better defense if he had raised the exemption for being in reasonable fear for his safety. I don't think that issue was even raised in the case. (I don't know the legislative history - perhaps that exemption was added after his case was decided...)
    Actually the jury did receive instructions on the "self defense and property" exemption and were told that he did not meet those requirements of that exemption.

    That is why they appealed I believe...trying to argue the fall back argument.

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    ChickenFarmer wrote:
    Actually the jury did receive instructions on the "self defense and property" exemption and were told that he did not meet those requirements of that exemption.

    That is why they appealed I believe...trying to argue the fall back argument.
    What's your source? That's very intersting if the jury was TOLD that he didn't meet the requirement... after all, the purpose of a jury is to determine if he met the requirement...
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    ChickenFarmer wrote:
    Actually the jury did receive instructions on the "self defense and property" exemption and were told that he did not meet those requirements of that exemption.

    That is why they appealed I believe...trying to argue the fall back argument.
    What's your source? That's very intersting if the jury was TOLD that he didn't meet the requirement... after all, the purpose of a jury is to determine if he met the requirement...
    I might have read it wrong...but I will find it. I got that bit from reading the appellate decision.I know that they did receive instructions...I am just not sure if they were told that he did not meet it or if they came to the decision themselves.

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