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Thread: Is a locked car a locked container?

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    PC 12026.1(c) defines a locked container as
    "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device
    PC 626.9 states that
    "Locked container" has the same meaning as that term is given in subdivision (c) of Section 12026.1.
    Now the question I pose to the forum is, is the locked passenger area of a car a locked container? It is fully enclosed area (a strange "container," but certainly secure) locked by a key lock. So is a locked passenger area a locked container providing that the windows are up and the only valid ways of entry are either illegal or with the car key? I can't see why it isn't.

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    Two words; Glass windows.

    I think that the fragility of glass windows negate the security of anything placed inside the passenger compartment. And 12025 comes into play if the firearm is hidden from view and not otherwise locked up. So the passenger compartment while lockable is neither secure nor exempted from a concealed weapons charge.
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    No. It is a vehicle with its own set of state and federal codes and laws pertaining to its uses. Being a security device is not one of them.

    If a longarm, locked in the trunk is fine. If a handgun, and you wish to secure/conceal it, then it must be in a seperate locking container.

    Leaving them in visual range in the cab while you are away, is foolish at best.

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    I believe locking a handgun in a trunk satisfies the locked container requirement, correct?

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Army wrote:
    No. It is a vehicle with its own set of state and federal codes and laws pertaining to its uses. Being a security device is not one of them.

    If a longarm, locked in the trunk is fine. If a handgun, and you wish to secure/conceal it, then it must be in a seperate locking container.

    Leaving them in visual range in the cab while you are away, is foolish at best.
    I certainly wasn't suggesting that leaving a handgun in plain view was a good idea. I was thinking that by locking your car you could drive through school zones without violating 626.9.

    Addressing the fragileness of the windows, I know the definition says secure, but it doesn't specifically say how secure is defined. Surely a locked moving vehicle with an armed occupant would be secure enough for me to not want to mess around with it.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    wayneco wrote:
    I believe locking a handgun in a trunk satisfies the locked container requirement, correct?
    This is correct.

    I'm curious if ConditionThree would think that a trunk with a window would meet the requirements of 12026.1. The trunk requirement doesn't have the word "secure" anywhere on it, so one may conclude that the trunk is under less scrutiny than a locked container.

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    bigtoe416 wrote:
    Addressing the fragileness of the windows, I know the definition says secure, but it doesn't specifically say how secure is defined. Surely a locked moving vehicle with an armed occupant would be secure enough for me to not want to mess around with it.
    The question is: would you risk your liberty on it? "Secure" will be determined by a judge or a jury. There is some constitutional issue with poorly defined/unclear law, but in CA I wouldn't bet on the courts to recognize that.
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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    bigtoe416 wrote:
    Addressing the fragileness of the windows, I know the definition says secure, but it doesn't specifically say how secure is defined. Surely a locked moving vehicle with an armed occupant would be secure enough for me to not want to mess around with it.
    The question is: would you risk your liberty on it? "Secure" will be determined by a judge or a jury. There is some constitutional issue with poorly defined/unclear law, but in CA I wouldn't bet on the courts to recognize that.
    Agreed. The definition or the degree of security would be scrutinized by our judicial system and I doubt that any of us really want to become a test case in the debate over whether or not a glass window is secure against theft or misuse of a firearm. Jurors would base their conclusions about security on what a 'reasonable people' would deduce. I am making an assumption that most would conclude that glass is not the optimal material to secure valuables. (So, no- a trunk with a 'window' probably wouldn't pass muster either- but I am no attorney.)

    The underlying reasoning for these restrictions though, aren't really about how secure a transported firearm is, but how accessible the firearm is toan occupant of the vehicle. Note that the a locking glove compartment (only accessible through a locked door to the cab of the vehicle)is excluded from being the acceptable secure container, whereas a trunk (which can be accessed from outside the vehicle) is included as a secure lockable location.
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    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


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    ConditionThree wrote
    Agreed. The definition or the degree of security would be scrutinized by our judicial system and I doubt that any of us really want to become a test case in the debate over whether or not a glass window is secure against theft or misuse of a firearm. Jurors would base their conclusions about security on what a 'reasonable people' would deduce. I am making an assumption that most would conclude that glass is not the optimal material to secure valuables. (So, no- a trunk with a 'window' probably wouldn't pass muster either- but I am no attorney.)

    The underlying reasoning for these restrictions though, aren't really about how secure a transported firearm is, but how accessible the firearm is toan occupant of the vehicle. Note that the a locking glove compartment (only accessible through a locked door to the cab of the vehicle)is excluded from being the acceptable secure container, whereas a trunk (which can be accessed from outside the vehicle) is included as a secure lockable location.
    I wonder though, you mention here that a reasonable person might not consider it secure, yet they commonly leave their valuables in such places other than the trunk.

    It could be argued that if other items of such value are commonly stored and "secured" in the same manner that perhaps this is not an unreasonable assumption of secure.

    As mentioned the level of secure is arguable, but it doesn't mean that if it can be broken it isn't secure. If that is the case any one can simply use a knife to cut open the soft gun cases or a bolt cutter and claim our cases not secure.

    They will argue in court legislative intent. I won't get much into the 626.9 for reasons that are obvious to many here.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Theseus wrote:
    I wonder though, you mention here that a reasonable person might not consider it secure, yet they commonly leave their valuables in such places other than the trunk.

    It could be argued that if other items of such value are commonly stored and "secured" in the same manner that perhaps this is not an unreasonable assumption of secure.

    As mentioned the level of secure is arguable, but it doesn't mean that if it can be broken it isn't secure. If that is the case any one can simply use a knife to cut open the soft gun cases or a bolt cutter and claim our cases not secure.
    This follows my train of thought. I keep my tire chains in the passenger portion of my car and I fully expect them to be there when I return. Same for lots of people's stereos or sunglasses or whatever.

    I'm only suggesting here that this might be a possible defense if one of us was arrested for violating 626.9. I was also curious on what other people thought about the validity of the argument.

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    Of course this would all be mute if the car was considered private property.

    That being the case then as long as the firearm was IN or ON your private property and it was NOT a public place then you could conceal and load all you want with no care for 626.9.

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    Heres another senario, on carrying in vehicles.

    If you get a truck with a camper shell, and its got a glass back window.

    Should you have your Guns exposed or should they be in another container with a lock on it ?

    The back of the camper is already locked.

    If you conceal the gun in the back even if the camper is locked up, would that be in violation of the law ? How could one carry it legally ?

    Robin47

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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    Robin47 wrote:
    Heres another senario, on carrying in vehicles.

    If you get a truck with a camper shell, and its got a glass back window.

    Should you have your Guns exposed or should they be in another container with a lock on it ?

    The back of the camper is already locked.

    If you conceal the gun in the back even if the camper is locked up, would that be in violation of the law ? How could one carry it legally ?

    Robin47
    Long guns or handguns?

    Campershell with a sliding pass through window or fixed window?

    Let me digest a couple of scenarios;

    1) Your truck has a locking camper shell with a fixed window and no access to the cab of the vehicle. You transport both your unloadedlong guns and handguns in the back in plain sight orunder a tarpwith no additional locking container. The shell is locked. Are the weapons secured? I dont believe so, but since the occupants cannot access the firearms, I dont believe they would get you in trouble unless there is some other evidence of a crime.

    2) Your truck has a locking camper shell with a sliding pass through window, where conceivably an occupant can access the contents of the truck bed. You transport both your unloaded long guns and handguns in the back with no additional locking container. The shell is locked. This is no different than having them in the back seat of the car and unless the handguns are in plain sight, you are violating 12025.


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    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


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    No sliding windew to the cab.

    One locking door from the back of the truck.

    A pistol. Rifles are O.K.I Believe. Pistols I don't know? Robin47

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    Robin47 wrote:
    No sliding windew to the cab.

    One locking door¬* from the back of the truck.

    A pistol.¬* Rifles are O.K.I Believe.¬* Pistols I don't know?¬*¬* Robin47
    Huh? :?

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    Robin47 wrote:
    No sliding windew to the cab.

    One locking door from the back of the truck.

    A pistol. Rifles are O.K.I Believe. Pistols I don't know? Robin47
    Yes, 12025 only applies to "concealable" firearms.

    In your scenario, I'd say you have a fully enclosed, secure, locking container.

    However, that doesn't mean the judge/jury will agree. They will determine what a "reasonable" person would consider secure. Not a position I would put myself in... I don't trust the justice system to be "reasonable" at all.
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    Thanks CA_Lib,



    Yeah I don't trust the system either ! Robin47

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    I would think that to meet the definition of alocked container at least for gun purposes would mean something that did not have people inside of it. You do bring up an interesting point as would it be legal for your gun to be in your trunk along with someone firing out of the trunk such as the DC Sniper deal? Would a jail be a locked container or the trailer of a semi being used as a shooting range while rolling down the interstate?

    You make a good case but I don't think it will pass muster so how about trying it and let us know what the court decides.

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    Well PT111,

    The Idea is how to carry an unloared gun in your truck with a campershell that has a window on the rear locking door.

    Where one could look in and see your gun. ( Pistol)

    Or would it be Illegal to conceal it in another box that is locked up and out of sight with the Ammo still in the clip, but not in the gun.

    Other then OCing which is legal other then a school zone, and around the govenors mansion ETC.

    I always figured "Out of sight, out of mind", yet still locked in the back of the truck.

    So the main question is " If your unloaded gun is concealed in the back of your truck, with a loaded clip but not in the gun, AND the camper shell is locked, would that be considered Illegal" ?

    A consealed loaded clip might be consided a loaded gun ? Correct ???

    Even though its in a locked campershell. So the loaded clip must be visible thrugh the window.

    So if the gun unloaded and the clip loaded is both visible through the window would that be legal carry ? Even if the campershell is locked !

    Robin47







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    Robin47 wrote:
    A consealed loaded clip might be consided a loaded gun ? Correct ???

    Even though its in a locked campershell. So the loaded clip must be visible thrugh the window.
    The case law that makes a "loaded" concealed magazine/clip a violation of 12025 requires that you are doing so in a way that would allow you to easily load the firearm.

    In the specific instance in the case, the guy had a handgun sitting unconcealed in his passenger compartment, but had a "loaded" magazine concealed within easy access. The court ruled that concealing an integral part in a way that allows easy completion of the firearm is the same as concealing the complete firearm. (Twisted logic, but for now it's standing case law.)

    So, you can conceal mags all you want, so long as the handgun isn't immediately accessible to you.

    Further, since the court ruled a concealed magazine to be a violation of 12025, simply locking up the mag would exempt you from any concealed violation, even if you had the handgun immediately accessible (e.g. UOC with mags locked in a gun case on the seat next to you).


    And, just ignore PT111. He's obviously got no idea what this thread is about... DC Sniper and Rolling shooting range? WTF?
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    Got it !

    How about driving while OCing ?

    If the loaded mag, on one side and the empty gun on the other side of your hip.

    While driving, other then through a School zone and govenors area in Sac.

    Thats legal right ?

    I believe it is. Robin47



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    Robin47 wrote:
    Got it !

    How about driving while OCing ?

    If the loaded mag, on one side and the empty gun on the other side of your hip.

    While driving, other then through a School zone and govenors area in Sac.

    Thats legal right ?

    I believe it is. Robin47


    Penal Code 626.9 is pretty clear. Firearms, brought within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school (inclusive), must be locked in the trunk or in a lockable container.

    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/626.9.html

    You are correct. UOC while driving is ok, just not near schools or other "sterile" areas.


    Many folks keep a lock box on the passenger seat adn if they know they are approaching a school zone (within 1,000 feet) they just toss their gun and magazine into the box and close and lock it. Once clear of the area, you can unlock the box and re-holster your gear.


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    I thought the OP question was the following.
    Now the question I pose to the forum is, is the locked passenger area of a car a locked container? It is fully enclosed area (a strange "container," but certainly secure) locked by a key lock. So is a locked passenger area a locked container providing that the windows are up and the only valid ways of entry are either illegal or with the car key? I can't see why it isn't.
    Thread drift went off into camper shells and covered magazines but the original question was as state above. Just excuse me for trying to answer the original question which was exactly what the DC sniper was doing. He wasn't shooting out of a camper shell with or without an opening back window of a pickup or trying to hide his magazines under a towel so someone could't see them from outside. he was shooting from inside a car that could be locked.

    As for the looking through the windows to see you gun what if you had it in a glass case that was locked. According to some of you that would make a difference.

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    nukechaser wrote:
    Robin47 wrote:
    Got it !

    How about driving while OCing ?

    If the loaded mag, on one side and the empty gun on the other side of your hip.

    While driving, other then through a School zone and govenors area in Sac.

    Thats legal right ?

    I believe it is. Robin47


    Penal Code 626.9 is pretty clear. Firearms, brought within 1,000 feet of a K-12 school (inclusive), must be locked in the trunk or in a lockable container.

    http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/626.9.html

    You are correct. UOC while driving is ok, just not near schools or other "sterile" areas.


    Many folks keep a lock box on the passenger seat adn if they know they are approaching a school zone (within 1,000 feet) they just toss their gun and magazine into the box and close and lock it. Once clear of the area, you can unlock the box and re-holster your gear.

    Looking for a little clarification as I am researching OC'ing, but am surrounded by public and private schools (they are everywhere!). While driving through the school zone, would you have to lock away your loaded magazine? Or is it enough to lockonly thegun away and continue toopen carry (holstered) the loaded magazine?


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    coolusername2007 wrote:
    Looking for a little clarification as I am researching OC'ing, but am surrounded by public and private schools (they are everywhere!). While driving through the school zone, would you have to lock away your loaded magazine? Or is it enough to lockonly thegun away and continue toopen carry (holstered) the loaded magazine?

    First, in the legal sense a magazine cannot be "loaded" - only a firearm can. I prefer to refer to a magazine as "full" or "charged" to prevent confusion with the legal term "loaded". I don't mean to nit pick, but I think it's important to be clear when we're discussing the law.

    626.9 does not prohibit magazines or clips in school zones. It only prohibits pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person (anything not a long gun). We do have some bad case law that says concealing a magazine can be a violation of 12025 (in some cases), but I don't believe that would apply here.

    If you're worried about it just lock up the mags too.
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