California Penal Code 25400 PC - Carrying a Concealed Weapon. As far as gun rights go, as more and more shootings and crimes are being committed with guns, the legislature, the police, the prosecutors, and the courts continue to get tougher and tougher on the rules related to carrying firearms around on your person, in your car and any other situation. Carrying a concealed weapon is covered under California Penal Code 25400 PC.
If you have a gun in your car and move it, the rules are obvious. The gun and the bullets must be kept separately in different locked areas. I've handled all kinds of cases related to carrying concealed weapons, and many times, people are sloppy and lazy because they're coming from a shooting range or they've got some other reason why they've got their gun lying in the car. Then they get pulled over by the police, and the police don't mess around.
As soon as they smell or see a gun, that's it. They're going to get the person out and arrest them. Another thing that people attempt to get is a permit to carry a gun around.
Unfortunately, in Los Angeles County, this is extremely difficult to get. For example, in other counties, like Ventura County, it may be a little bit easier. But again, as the noose tightens more and more about gun control, it is much more challenging to get a carry permit anywhere in California.
Gun in Airport – Concealed Weapon
I see more and more that people are attempting to carry guns through airports onto airplanes and are being detained and arrested. In most of the cases that I see filed about this, the people simply forget they had a gun with them and then try and go through the metal detector at the airport, and they're promptly arrested and sent to court.
If it's at the LAX Airport, then the airport court will be the one that handles the case. And depending on the gun's circumstances, the prosecutors will treat the patient accordingly.
As long as they don't think anything as sinister is going on with a gun, I can get a misdemeanor and maybe even a diversionary program, depending on the person's record, character, etc. The bottom line is you can't carry a gun through an airport, and you should take all precautions as it relates to this because they must take these types of cases seriously.
Gang Member with a Gun
If a gang member is caught with a gun and the police and prosecutors believe that they are up to no good, they will try and send that gang member to prison. Gang members are probably the most egregious individuals related to guns because they're using them to shoot other gang members, shoot members of the public, and commit drug and other violent crimes.
Therefore, the prosecutors and police and even legislature and judges have their marching orders as far as how they will deal with gang members and guns. Most of the time, they're attempting to seek lengthy prison sentences when they find a gang member with a gun.
Special Prosecutors for Concealed Weapon Cases
In Los Angeles, San Fernando, and Van Nuys, Ca, both the City Attorney's Office and the District Attorney's Office have special prosecutors who prosecute gun cases because of the gun issues and the crimes committed with guns.
Whenever I have a misdemeanor gun case, I always see a specially assigned City Attorney on it with specific marching orders by the head City Attorney to deal with these types of cases harshly.
They are typically seeking jail sentences and prohibitions against whoever was illegally caught with a concealed firearm where the person cannot have a gun for the entire probationary period. The Van Nuys District Attorney typically prosecutes felonies, which means if they've got a gun case, it's usually a severe case. They're looking at a prison sentence, and they want the person to serve 85% of that sentence based on the use of a gun.
The reason that they're so harsh when it comes to gun cases is because of all the political pressure that's being put on law enforcement and prosecutors based on the many shootings that are occurring across the country and because of how dangerous things are when a gun is involved in the commission of a crime.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor?
To charge somebody with a felony, the person will have to either be a convicted felon, in which case they are not allowed to possess a gun or ammunition, or the person would have to be a gang member or have a prior conviction for an illegal weapon.
Once again, the prosecutors and judges are very harsh with this, and if they can think of a way to charge somebody with a felony legally, they will do it as it relates to a gun because of all the political pressure placed on them.
Most times, if you're carrying a concealed weapon and don't have some illegal purpose behind it, they're going to charge it as a misdemeanor. But still, even with a misdemeanor, the person is looking at jail time because they don't want people concealing weapons and carrying them around because they can't tell what their purpose is, and because it gives them an advantage over law enforcement who doesn't know who has a gun and who doesn't have a gun.
Best Strategy to Fight the Charges
What I like to do in these cases is have you come in and sit down with me. We'll meet face-to-face and go over the facts of your case. What I'm going to be looking at is what type of person are you? Do you have a job? Do you have a family? Do you have a prior criminal record? Can you get me character letters?
These are the things that will make a difference in the prosecutor and judge when deciding how to deal with you. Again, if they believe that you're up to no good about the possession of a gun, they will try to throw the book at you, take your gun rights away, and put you in custody.
If, on the other hand, we can show that you're not up to no good, that you lawfully have the gun, and that you don't have some illicit or criminal purpose, then a lot of times, we can save your career, we can keep you out of custody, we can preserve your reputation, and we can maintain your criminal record.
You have to come in, sit down face-to-face with me at the Hedding Law Firm, give me an honest rendition of what happened, and then we will design the plan to get you out of the criminal justice system as quick as possible, preserve your rights the best we can and, of course, keep your freedom.