The second amendment of the United States Constitution stated that "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This is commonly translated as the right to own and carry weapons. The most common type of armaments among the plethora of forms of weapons are guns. A large portion of the American population has access to a firearm or two. As a matter of fact, as of 2020, there are 5 million Americans who became first-time gun owners. They feel safer knowing that they have the means to defend themselves when times get rough. A significant number of these gun-owners (legal and illegal) carry their guns to places other than their homes' safe confines. This is seen as a major issue; that is why strict gun laws are implemented to exercise gun regulation, registration, licensing, and ownership. There are many statutes under the California Gun Laws, and among these legislations is California Penal Code 25610; The code that covers the privilege of legally transporting or carrying a firearm.
The statute stated that American citizens over the age of 18 who are not sanctioned by any state or federal laws from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm shall not be prohibited from transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver or both, as long as the gun in question abides the following standards:
- The firearm is within a vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle.
- The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from the vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm, the firearm is contained within a locked container.
Other Related Laws
- PC 25400 – Carrying a concealed firearm
- PC 25850 – Carrying a loaded weapon
- PC 30605 – Illegal possession of armaments
Punishments for Illegally Transporting Firearms
Under the jurisdiction of the state of California's justice system, determining whether the charges that the violators will be a misdemeanor or a felony is depending on the severity of the scenarios that come after as a result of the violation. A misdemeanor is a crime that usually comes with a sentence that lasts 365 days or less in county jail; it is more severe than an infraction but less severe than a felony. The punishment includes:
- Jail time of 6 (six) months up to a year, and/or,
- A fine of up to $1,000 (one thousand dollars) or more.
However, the level of severity increases from misdemeanor if the accused is involved in more severe situations. If that ever becomes the case, the penalty can become a felony instead of a misdemeanor. A felony is a crime that usually comes with a sentence of more than 365 days in state prison. The punishment includes:
- Jail time of 16 (sixteen) months up to 3 (three) years, and/or,
- A fine of up to $10,000 (ten thousand dollars) or more.
Charges against violating California's gun laws can be reflected in the accused's permanent record. A tarnished record can result in having a hard time applying for social, civil, or employment opportunities. They can also affect one's credibility when trying to get/renew gun licenses. To avoid those difficulties, it would be on the accused's best interest to hire a competent defense lawyer's assistance. A good lawyer might include some of these conditions to support the case of the defendant:
- The defendant acted out of necessity – The accused only committed the crime under the pretense of a good reason to do so. These cases are often pointed as “guilty with justification/explanation”.
- The defendant was coerced to admit – The accused was forced to admit to having committed the violation without undergoing the proper standard operating procedure.
- The defendant was falsely accused – This usually happens when the firearm was planted to be in the accused's possession when it was not.
- The defendant was a victim of an illegal search and seizure.
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