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Thread: Calif. OC on belt but jacket or coat may cover

  1. #1
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    I'm a long time owner of various firearms and have recentlybeen thinking about participating in NorCal open carry events to show my support.

    If you're sitting in a chair (starbucks, etc.) with your firearm holstered on your belt it could easily be possible for your jacket to cover your firearm. Likewise, if you were driving and had your OC firearm on your belt, your jacket could cover it. What is the ruling in this instance?

    If you're pulled over for speeding (or tail light, etc.) and an officer is talking to you through your passenger window and sees a partially covered holster/firearm, what could be the outcome?

    thnx

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    There is wording in the MI law that says if your jacket covers the firearm it would be concealed and therefore illegal; They go so far as to use the phrase if during inclement weather.

    Perhaps a shoulder rig or drop leg would work. Or not wearing a jacket. Which is very hard to do most places in winter.

    Most states laws are easily accessible through google.

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    Thanks much for your observation and your tip. There's a lot of OC momentum in NorCal, which is also stirring opponents to OC (and the media who need to sell advertising!) so we need to be as cautious as possible and cover all the bases.

    More comments from OC proponents would be appreciated.

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    I just make sure I am aware of my weapon and my clothing covering it. I carry at the front, so it's not hard to look down. A shorter jacket that easily tucks behind your weapon and stays put is the easiest way to go. In the car, I take my weapon out because that's the standard practice in my parts, could be very different in CA.

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    If you're in your vehicle- it is to be considered an extension of your home: in that it's a non-offense if, say, your car seat hugged your ribcage- there for your pistol is concealed, although on your hip and plainly visible otherwise. Same for your seat belt connection setup- most seat belts actually buckle right there where your pistol is on your hip... Say your buckle is obstructing the view of your openly carried pistol.. You can't be arrested for that. So it's okay I mean really it's not something to get completely paranoid about when you're riding along in your car. Any officer would understand, anyway, that by default your weapon is not viewable to him- because most people don't carry on their left hip.

    I did a thread a while back about what to do if your pistol becomes concealed.. For example- you have your t-shirt on and you reach for a high shelf item at the grocery. Well on the way down- your shirt ends up covering the butt of your pistol.. What to do what to do? Well specially if other people are around.. specially if you know you are on camera.. Suddenly you may freak out knowing you are concealing when concealing is illegal. Here in colorado- no permit is required to open carry- so if an open carrier suddenly finds himself concealing by mistake, without a CHP, he could get a surge of adrenaline and panic a bit.

    It's really not a big deal is what it is. If this happens- just fix it. Just uncover. It's a mistake and although tragic, it's not life-threatening and definitely is understandable.

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    cscitney87 wrote:
    If you're in your vehicle- it is to be considered an extension of your home:
    I do not believe that this applies to all states. I think Washington state is a good example as it is not illegal for you to have a loaded firearm in your home, but without a CPL you can't have a loaded pistol in the car (nevermind rifles and shotguns since a CPL doesn't apply to them).

    Tech_exec, if you find that a tactical leg drop rig is too "tacticool" for your tastes, you can always try a level II duty serpa holster. I recently picked one up for when I am backpacking as my previous holster would render my waist strap useless. The benefit is that this holster moves the pistol below the beltline and pushes it away from your hip by a couple of inches. It is VERY difficult to have a jacket or shirt fall over the pistol. I've got a couple of pictures floating around in my photobucket somewhere that I can show you if you wish.

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    For 28 years police have had Supreme Court authorized permission to rifle through the belongings in your car if they had arrested you. Under two different cases, New York v. Belton, 453 U. S. 454 and Chimel v. California, 395 U. S. 752, it mattered not why they arrested you, any search incident to a custodial arrest was authorized and the police could search the entire car, it’s contents and all closed containers, on the spot, without your permission and without a warrant issued by a judge.


    A search warrant is normally needed because your vehicle is an extension of your home. This has been decided in a SCOTUS case regarding the search and seizure of property inside the vehicle.

    Look all I'm saying, anyway, is that it's okay to have the Openly Carried pistol obstructed by an object meant to restrain the drivers in the event of a crash: the seat belt buckle.

    Also, it's okay to have the seat "hug" the driver's hips, ribcage, etc: as most aftermarket seats do this and many sports cars have seats like this. In my 03 Mustang, the seat comes up and wraps around the thigh and makes the pistol almost non-visible, although it's openly carried hip side.

    Also, most people carry on the right hip- so an officer will not see your pistol anyway- if he approaches you from your driver side window. This is accepted and this is why some states require you to notify the officer that you are carrying.

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    Honestly, I don't see what the first two paragraphs you posted has to do with your argument. To me, it reads that it was ok for the Police to search you when you're under arrest, and this means to me they'd need a warrant to search whether you're walking down the street, driving, or are being arrested in your home (with a warrant for the arrest of course).

    I get what you were saying, my point was that while Colorado may have statutes allowing you to get away with having a loaded pistol in a car being open carried without a permit (due to extension of the home), Washington state does not have such provisions and as such, it is 100% illegal for someone who does not carry a CPL to carry a loaded pistol in their vehicle, open carried or otherwise.

    See: RCW 9.41.050

    "(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol..."

    This leads me to believe that extension of your dwelling with regards to firearm carry does not apply nationwide.

    Edited for typos

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    onlurker wrote:
    Honestly, I don't see what the first two paragraphs you posted has to do with your argument. To me, it reads that it was ok for the Police to search you when you're under arrest, and this means to me they'd need a warrant to search whether you're walking down the street, driving, or are being arrested in your home (with a warrant for the arrest of course).

    I get what you were saying, my point was that while Colorado may have statutes allowing you to get away with having a loaded pistol in a car being open carried without a permit (due to extension of the home), Washington state does not have such provisions and as such, it is 100% illegal for someone who does not carry a CPL to carry a loaded pistol in their vehicle, open carried or otherwise.

    See: RCW 9.41.050

    "(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol..."

    This leads me to believe that extension of your dwelling with regards to firearm carry does not apply nationwide.

    Edited for typos
    The extension is recognized nation wide but you sure are correct about having the loaded firearm in your vehicle.

    I'm saying.. if you are legally in possession of the pistol in the first place.

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    Would you happen to have some more info on this then? I'm curious to see if as you describe, if this is a federal limitation (specifically with regards to firearms) making WA state's statute possibly illegal? Until then though, we may have to agree to disagree on this.

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    tech_exec wrote:
    I'm a long time owner of various firearms and have recently¬*been thinking about participating in NorCal open carry events to show my support.¬*

    If you're sitting in a chair (starbucks, etc.) with your firearm holstered on your belt it could easily be possible for your jacket to cover your firearm.¬* Likewise, if you were driving and had your OC firearm on your belt, your jacket could cover it.¬* What is the ruling in this instance?¬*

    If you're pulled over for speeding (or tail light, etc.) and an officer is talking to you through your passenger window and sees a partially covered holster/firearm, what could be the outcome?

    thnx
    Repost this in the CA section and you'll get much better specifics, but even partial concealment from jacket or shirt cover will get you nailed.

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    Thanks all for the comments, even though some are tangential (I'm talking OC and not loaded here, but the info is interesting).

    And thanks inbox485for the tip of posting in the Calif.-specific forum. Your comment "but even partial concealment from jacket or shirt cover will get you nailed" has me concerned so I'd like more input on this topic!

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    Please post state specific threads in state forums. moved to Cal forum.

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    Thanks Mike.

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    On cold or rainy days I wear a jacket with a drawstring at the waist. Tuck in behind the holster and mag carrier and tighten the draw string.

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    Make sure it is in Plain View at all times. Partial concealment can be a violation. Do your reasurch: californiaopencarry.org .

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    In California it is actually a good idea to look at the Cal Crim jury instructions that would be read to a jury. I have a copy and will look, but it is my understanding the instructions say "substantially concealed".

    I had an officer try and suggest that when I was sitting and my shirt merely laid on the back-strap of the handle of my pistol that it was concealed. Although "substantially concealed" is not defined.

    To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

    1. The defendant carried on (his/her) person a firearm capable of being concealed on the person;

    2. The defendant knew that (he/she) was carrying a firearm;
    AND

    3. It was substantially concealed on the defendant’s person.

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    I'm personally more partial to short waisted jackets. It just so happens to eliminate this difficulty on cold days.

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    The gun has to be 100% visible from three angles to not be considered concealed. If you want to wear a jacket I suggest you get a super sexy sheep-skin jean jacket like I have . The bottom of the jacket sits right at my hips, directly above my firearm so there's no way it could accidentally become concealed.

    Driving with the seat belt partially covering is fine, again, because it is an extension of your home. You are not legally required to tell an officer that you are OCing a firearm, but I would just to give them a heads up and to avoid him seeing it himself and putting a gun in your face.

    And as stated by other posters, these things only apply to unloaded firearms no school zones, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    - Mafera

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    RMafera wrote:
    The gun has to be 100% visible from three angles to not be considered concealed. If you want to wear a jacket I suggest you get a super sexy sheep-skin jean jacket like I have . The bottom of the jacket sits right at my hips, directly above my firearm so there's no way it could accidentally become concealed.

    Driving with the seat belt partially covering is fine, again, because it is an extension of your home. You are not legally required to tell an officer that you are OCing a firearm, but I would just to give them a heads up and to avoid him seeing it himself and putting a gun in your face.

    And as stated by other posters, these things only apply to unloaded firearms no school zones, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    - Mafera
    I am sorry, but cite?

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    Theseus wrote:
    I am sorry, but cite?
    Agreed. He is mixing up California law with law from other states. The stuff he is quoting about the gun being visible from three sides and your car being an extension of your home are simply not the law in California. Your car is certainly not an extension of your home here. If that were the case it would be legal to have a loaded, concealed handgun in your car, which it is not.

    As far as visibility goes, you need to use common sense. "Visible from three sides" is not the written law nor is it case law. To my knowledge there is no binding case law in California which defines what is and what is not concealed. Open carry has not been done enough in this state post-Mulford for there to be a significant amount of case law. PC 12025(f) says "Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section." but that is not to be construed as the only acceptable method of carry, merely an example of what is legal. Carrying in a car with the seatbelt (and perhaps the center console) partially obscuring the holster, has not been tested. My unqualified advice would be that as long as it is clearly visible and identifiable as a firearm to the casual observer, it is not concealed. I am not a lawyer.
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    wewd wrote:
    Theseus wrote:
    I am sorry, but cite?
    Agreed. He is mixing up California law with law from other states. The stuff he is quoting about the gun being visible from three sides and your car being an extension of your home are simply not the law in California. Your car is certainly not an extension of your home here. If that were the case it would be legal to have a loaded, concealed handgun in your car, which it is not.

    As far as visibility goes, you need to use common sense. "Visible from three sides" is not the written law nor is it case law. To my knowledge there is no binding case law in California which defines what is and what is not concealed. Open carry has not been done enough in this state post-Mulford for there to be a significant amount of case law. PC 12025(f) says "Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed within the meaning of this section." but that is not to be construed as the only acceptable method of carry, merely an example of what is legal. Carrying in a car with the seatbelt (and perhaps the center console) partially obscuring the holster, has not been tested. My unqualified advice would be that as long as it is clearly visible and identifiable as a firearm to the casual observer, it is not concealed. I am not a lawyer.
    I'm sorry about this, I definitely did not properly articulate what I wanted to say.

    Concerning the firearm being visible from three angles is not being in legislation. Wewd is correct, this is one of those things that needs to be tested. I stated this as a general rule of thumb; a way to make sure you wouldn't get falsely charged with carrying a concealed weapon. In other words, don't wear anything that could possibly cover your firearm from any angle.

    Concerning your vehicle as an extension of your home: this is true with exceptions (concealed carry as an example). What I meant (but did not bring about properly) was that you have very similar rights with your vehicle as your home in respects to the 4th amendment of search and seizure. I was stating this concerning how you are not required to tell law enforcement you have a firearm with you, just as you wouldn't have to if they came to your home (granted you are a law abiding citizen and you are not lying to them). Again though, I, personally, would tell them to avoid a barrel against my head.

    Sorry again for not being clear in my post. I promise I'll post more carefully in the future.

    Best!

    Mafera

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    This thread highlights one of the serious flaws in the existing gun laws, their ambiguity. CPC 12025 mentions nothing regarding what constitutes "concealed on his or her person". As such, I would have to say that it would depend on existing legal precedent. However, that doesn't mean that a desperate DA or judge wouldn't try to set a new precedent. My advice: If you are going to wear a jacket that might obscure a belt holstered gun then invest in a drop-leg holster.

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    Diesel-n-Lead wrote:
    This thread highlights one of the serious flaws in the existing gun laws, their ambiguity. CPC 12025 mentions nothing regarding what constitutes "concealed on his or her person". As such, I would have to say that it would depend on existing legal precedent. However, that doesn't mean that a desperate DA or judge wouldn't try to set a new precedent. My advice: If you are going to wear a jacket that might obscure a belt holstered gun then invest in a drop-leg holster.
    One of the advantages to not having precedent is the ability to use the notice argument. For example, when 626.9 exempts private property without defining private property and then says private property isn't private property by expanding a previously inconceivable definition of private property you can argue that you were not given constructive notice that would have allowed you to reasonably prevent breaking the law. . . IANAL, but this is my basic understanding.

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    Theseus wrote:
    Diesel-n-Lead wrote:
    This thread highlights one of the serious flaws in the existing gun laws, their ambiguity. CPC 12025 mentions nothing regarding what constitutes "concealed on his or her person". As such, I would have to say that it would depend on existing legal precedent. However, that doesn't mean that a desperate DA or judge wouldn't try to set a new precedent. My advice: If you are going to wear a jacket that might obscure a belt holstered gun then invest in a drop-leg holster.
    One of the advantages to not having precedent is the ability to use the notice argument. For example, when 626.9 exempts private property without defining private property and then says private property isn't private property by expanding a previously inconceivable definition of private property you can argue that you were not given constructive notice that would have allowed you to reasonably prevent breaking the law. . . IANAL, but this is my basic understanding.
    In an ideal world that would be true. However, when it comes to protecting yourself and your property, Kalifornia is not very ideal and you probably wouldn't get far with that defense

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