FIREARMS AND MOTOR HOMES
In the pre Heller world a motor home was considered a ‘MOTOR VEHICLE” when being operated on the highways and roads of the United States and a residence when stationary or parked at a campground.
In the post Heller world a motor home may now constitute a “HOME” regardless of whether or not is in motion.
Many states including the State of California prohibit the carrying of exposed readily accessible loaded firearms in a motor vehicle while same is being operated on a road or highway.
Those of us who own and live full time in our motor homes full time, may now have the right to keep and bear arms in our “HOME” regardless of whether it is in motion or stationary so that we may be ready to defend ourselves in any situation or confrontation or threatened harm.
The statement of Justice Scalia where he described holding a handgun in one hand and a phone in the other is not lost on those of use who reside in our motor homes full time.
It should not be necessary to describe the vast number of scenarios where individuals in motor homes may be faced with a threat to life and limb while operating our homes on the public right of ways in the United States.
The question that must be presented, addressed and answered is whether or not individuals who reside in their motor homes regardless of the amount of time, must store their weapons in locked containers in areas of the home which are not readily accessible during period that the home is not stationary.
California law allows an individual to bear a loaded firearm for a durational period of time which by law begins when contact is made with law enforcement and ends when law enforcement arrives.
In the case of individuals in motor homes, there are times when NO means of contact with law enforcement are available, creating the possibility that the threshold element to openly carry a loaded firearm never occurs.
Living in a motor home presents several unique aspects that justify carrying a loaded exposed or concealed firearm for self protection. The first and most important is the fact that most motor homes have a vehicle in two while being operated, and the hardware and connections between the motor home and towed vehicle must be checked regularly to prevent unsafe situations.
The requirement to check the connecting hardware between the motor home and the towed vehicle necessitates exiting the safety of the motor home and doing a walk around regardless of location, time of day or social environment.
One only has to travel in a motor home to realize that there are times with two way communications are impossible and you are left to your own devices to handle any public safety emergencies or confrontations.
It appears that the California Legislature recognized and addressed this type scenario, (pre Heller v. D.C.) when it enacted provisions under PC 12031 which sates in part:
(j) (1) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the carrying of any loaded firearm, under circumstances where it would otherwise be lawful[/b], by a person who reasonably believes that the person or property of himself or herself or of another is in immediate[/b], grave danger and that the carrying of the weapon is necessary for the preservation of that person or property. As used in this subdivision, "immediate[/b]" means the brief interval[/b] before and after the local law enforcement agency, when reasonably possible[/b], has been notified of the danger and before the arrival[/b] of its assistance.