California PC 25850 makes it illegal to publicly carry a loaded gun in California. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.
California Penal Code 25850 Carrying a Loaded Firearm
PC 25850 states the following: “A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory. “
In order for someone to be charged and convicted with PC 25850, a prosecutor must prove the following:
- The person being charged carried a gun on on themselves or in their car.
- The person being charged knew they were carrying a loaded gun.
- The person being charged was in a public place during the incident.
Examples of Carrying a Loaded Gun in Public
Examples of carrying a loaded firearm in public include:
- Walking on a public sidewalk with a loaded gun, whether it’s in a pocket, concealed in a holster, in a backpack, etc.
- Driving in a public street or highway with a loaded gun in your car whether it’s in a glove box, under the seat, or anywhere else within reach of a passenger.
What Are The Punishments for a Carrying a Loaded Firearm Charge in California?
The punishments for a PC 25850 carrying a loaded firearm charge can either be a charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances.
Misdemeanor Punishment for a PC 25850 Conviction
For someone with no prior criminal background, the most basic punishment is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. This would apply in case there are no additional aggravating factors involved.
It can become a wobbler offense if the person who was caught is not registered as the gun owner with the Department of Justice. It can also become a wobbler offense if the person who was caught has a prior misdemeanor conviction against another person, or if he/she has a prior narcotics conviction.
Felony Punishment for a PC 25850 Conviction
The felony punishment for publicly carrying a loaded firearm in California carries a minimum of 3 months in jail with up to 3 years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine. A person would be charged as a felony if either of the following applies::
- If the person previously has been convicted of any felony.
- If the firearm is stolen and the person knew or had reasonable cause to believe that it was stolen.
- If the person is an active participant in a criminal street gang.
- If the person is not legally allowed to own a firearm.
Legal Defenses for PC 25850
There are several legal defenses for Penal Code 25850 charge, which include:
- The person being charged did not know they were carrying a loaded firearm;
- The firearm was not loaded;
- Illegal search and seizure due to lack of probable cause; or
- Police did not read the Miranda Rights.
Criminal Defense Attorney in California
Are you in need of legal assistance for carrying a loaded firearm in public charge in California? Los Angeles criminal defense attorney RJ Manuelian has an excellent criminal trial record and national recognition. Our office offers a free consultation for clients facing criminal charges in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, Palmdale, Lancaster, El Monte, and San Bernardino County. If you have a loved one have been charged with carrying a loaded firearm in public or any related weapons charges, we invite you to contact our office at (213) 248-6784 for a free criminal defense consultation.