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Thread: Are "weaponized" flashlights legal to carry concealed in CA?

  1. #1
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    Are "weaponized" flashlights legal to carry concealed in CA?

    Things like the Surefire E2DL. I know California has pretty strict rules about what constitutes an illegal weapon and what can be carried concealed, and that California's cops interpret these rules in an expansive and ruthlessly strict way. Since California will not honor my out of state concealed carry license, nor will it issue a non-resident concealed carry license, I'd like to carry something for self defense when I visit the Golden State.
    Last edited by randian; 03-18-2011 at 04:13 AM.

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randian View Post
    Things like the Surefire E2DL. I know California has pretty strict rules about what constitutes an illegal weapon and what can be carried concealed, and that California's cops interpret these rules in an expansive and ruthlessly strict way. Since California will not honor my out of state concealed carry license, nor will it issue a non-resident concealed carry license, I'd like to carry something for self defense when I visit the Golden State.
    The bezel on the E2DL is not a weapon, it is a battery saving device. It allows you to know that the flashlight is actually off when you set it down on a table. You can see the light through the notches in the bezel.

    There is nothing in the California Penal Code that illegalizes carrying any flashlight, either openly or concealed. The Penal Code that is most often used/misused when dealing with flashlights is PC 12020, specifically the portion dealing with "Billys". What bites a flashlight carrier is when they tell the cop that they are carrying the flashlight for self-defense. That right there indicates that the flashlight is being carried primarily as a weapon, and would then probably be identified as a billy club.

    Never admit to any police officer that anything you have on your person that could be used to hit someone is being carried for any defensive purposes whatsoever. Exercise your 5th Amendment right to not self-incriminate.

    My flashlight is carried in case I need to see something and it is dark, not for the purpose of being used as a Kubaton.
    My cane is carried in case my knee flares up and I need extra support to walk, not for the purpose of being used as an Escrima stick, or for the purpose of being used to practice "Cane-Fu"!
    Last edited by Decoligny; 03-18-2011 at 01:00 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I got the non-strike bezel for my 6PL for use in CA.

    The standard bezel already has the battery-saving ridges, they're just about 1/20 the height of the strike crenelations. So there goes that argument for the strike bezel.

    Not to disagree with Decoligny, but it seems our legislature really doesn't like the idea of blunt weapons for self-defense.

    So, I don't carry any.
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-18-2011 at 01:43 PM.

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    Regular Member ccrews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Not to disagree with Decoligny, but it seems our legislature really doesn't like the idea of blunt weapons for self-defense.

    So, I don't carry any.
    The legislature doesn't like open carry either...
    I won't bow to the likes or dislikes of another when it comes to my rights.

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccrews View Post
    The legislature doesn't like open carry either...
    I won't bow to the likes or dislikes of another when it comes to my rights.
    So you loaded open carry in incorporated areas, then?




    The OP didn't ask us to pound our chests and expound upon the concept of rights (I ignore plenty of laws myself).

    He asked for specific legal advice about a flashlight. Being that I carry a flashlight on my belt every day, and the crenelated bezel is explicitly sold as a "strike bezel" (thus making it, by intent, a striking weapon), and being that the standard bezel also has the battery-saver "feature", and being that a cop doubtless knows both of the above, and being that the penal code in question has on occasion been interpreted to include similar striking instruments, I choose not to take the risk. While I agree it's possibly legal, I don't want to have to prove that in court one day. That's my compromise. I was giving it as advice to the OP, not telling him he doesn't have any rights.

    With that said, I'm very proud of you, ccrews.
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-18-2011 at 03:46 PM.

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    What you're saying about aggressive LEOs with an "arrest on the slightest pretense" attitude, and the risk of TSA inspectors taking undue initiative in rejecting stuff in your carryon luggage, is making me look to items whose intent is more easily disguised and denied, like the Surefire LX2 and E1B.

    Would it be safe to open carry such a light, or are you going to get hassled by LEOs all the time thinking it might be a firearm, asp, or kubaton?

    Of course, if you did have to defend yourself and used the light as a weapon during the confrontation, you might still get arrested, on the theory that if you used it as a baton/club, it is a baton/club, and batons/clubs are illegal.
    Last edited by randian; 03-18-2011 at 04:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I "open carry" my Surefire 6PL all the time, every day.

    I've had a couple cops look at it but never a word said.

    That's without the strike bezel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    That's without the strike bezel.
    LX2s and E1Bs have a bit of crenelation, but no real strike bezel or sharp edges on the bezel.

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randian View Post
    LX2s and E1Bs have a bit of crenelation, but no real strike bezel or sharp edges on the bezel.
    Yeah, I see just what you mean.

    While I can't make any guarantees about aggressive cops, my main concern is models which are explicitly sold as having "strike bezels".

    Both of those two have crenelations which could serve as a "battery saver", aren't especially pronounced, and are not explicitly sold as being striking weapons.

    I'd go for it. IANAL. YMMV.
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-18-2011 at 06:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    A flashlight other than a large mag, or maybe this http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/The_Torch-74-41.html is a piss poor excuse for a weapon.

    Pepper spray, tasers, folding knives, a sack full of quarters (for laundry),screw drivers, a nose spray bottle filled with ammonia cleaner (my favorite), a duffle bag with a hammer, pry bar, and token chalk line and tape measure, these are the sorts of things you can mostly get away with carrying until you use them defensively, at which point it doesn't really matter.

    The point of a weapon is to NEUTRALIZE an opponent. You would be better suited to plan to do a 4 fingered eye gouge, a throat chop, a knee kick or a groin grab if needed than to kid yourself that you could neutralize someone with a damn surefire.

    In my opinion the surefire is among the worst possible strategies because in a fight when poorly armed and if you don't have years of sparring experience or past street fighting experience, and maybe even if you do, you may not even notice more effective things you could do like kick and gouge eyes and exclusively keep trying to hammer fist the attacker, whereas the attacker would be focused on your arm with the stupid light and not getting hit by it. It really seems to have bad idea written all over it.
    Last edited by Michigander; 03-18-2011 at 06:24 PM.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    A flashlight other than a large mag, or maybe this http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/The_Torch-74-41.html is a piss poor excuse for a weapon.
    Even if true, lights are excellent at disorienting an attacker at night. Carrying a light doesn't prevent carry of a knife like a Kershaw Speed Safe, for example.

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    Regular Member vindicated's Avatar
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    I think we just solved all of our problems! We can all ditch the guns and start carrying knives and flashlights! Open and unloaded of course.

    From what I have been reading, a flashlight is not considered a concealed weapon as long as it is exposed and the batteries are carried separately on your person, but not attached to or afixed in any way to the flashlight itself.
    Last edited by vindicated; 03-18-2011 at 07:53 PM.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Regular Member Lawful Aim's Avatar
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    Add a little lock to that and one is (statutorily) good to go!
    The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it. -Albert Einstein
    Liberty that was diminished in increments has never been restored by the same. -Lawful Aim
    One who compromises in steps toward freedom will always be compromising. -Lawful Aim
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    Quote Originally Posted by vindicated View Post
    I think we just solved all of our problems! We can all ditch the guns and start carrying knives and flashlights!
    Such weapons suck, it is true, but unless you're one of the privileged few, in California you don't (legally) have a gun to ditch. So yeah, carrying knives, flashlights, or anything else that has a plausible use as something other than a weapon is an important self-defense strategy.

  16. #16
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Incidentally, I had the TSA refuse my Surefire 6PDL as a carryon with the strike bezel attached.

    Absolutely ridiculous. But, that's another story...

    So, yeah, I just bought the standard bezel, and I left the strike bezel in Virginia. I use it there, but traveling and here I use the standard. I also open carry in Virginia, so it seems less silly to have the strike bezel (I can see needing to hit someone while wielding gun + flashlight much more than I can see trying to draw the flashlight by itself for hand-to-hand combat).

    To be honest, I've been carrying a flashlight in a belt holster for years; I use it constantly for illumination in random circumstances, and frankly the standard bezel is more practical.
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-18-2011 at 09:40 PM.

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    I seriously want to know where you guys come up with this ****.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pullnshoot25 View Post
    I seriously want to know where you guys come up with this ****.
    What are you referring to specifically?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Like wise my 5' thick walled bamboo staff is a walking/hiking stick and has nothing to do with any Escrima or Kali training I may have had or may not have had - it is simply tired, worn out legs.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  20. #20
    Regular Member vindicated's Avatar
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    We need a opcorn: smiley.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vindicated View Post
    We need a opcorn: smiley.

    As you wish ........
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  22. #22
    Regular Member vindicated's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    As you wish ........
    Sneaky.

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vindicated View Post
    Sneaky.
    Best I can do for "sneaky" is shifty eyed....

    Back on thread sort of - how to use your iPhone as a flashlight:
    http://appshopper.com/utilities/flashlight-free-version
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randian View Post
    Even if true, lights are excellent at disorienting an attacker at night. Carrying a light doesn't prevent carry of a knife like a Kershaw Speed Safe, for example.
    As a way to ward off a casually rude drunk, fine. And even then a backup plan would be awfully nice.

    Otherwise, if your ass is on the line, you're out of your mind if you think that a super bright white light is anything other than a great big sign that says SHOOT ME!!!!!!

    If you want to take out an attackers eyes temporariy, for the love of God, hit him with some Fox Labs or something. Then maybe stick your Kershaw in his throat.

    If you don't want to realistically plan to take out people who may at some point endanger your life, that's your business. But I'd like to think your life is worth protecting.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

    The complete and utter truth can be challenged from every direction and it will always hold up. Accordingly there are few greater displays of illegitimacy than to attempt to impede free thought and communication.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Otherwise, if your ass is on the line, you're out of your mind if you think that a super bright white light is anything other than a great big sign that says SHOOT ME!!!!!!
    I'd much rather shoot the bad guy, but that's illegal in California. If I'm already being shot at, I'm not going to use the light, I'm taking cover. If the attacker is in my face, I could buy a few seconds using the light. May not seem like much, but a couple of seconds could give me enough time to get to my knife and slash the SOB, or I could just break his jaw or clavicle with the light, or I could run.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    If you don't want to realistically plan to take out people who may at some point endanger your life, that's your business. But I'd like to think your life is worth protecting.
    So do I. What weapons do you suggest? Most of the good ones are illegal for insufficiently privileged persons in California to carry.

    If you're suggesting "avoid conflict", well duh!

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