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Carrying a Loaded Firearm Penal Code 25859 PC

May 7, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Is it Illegal to Carry a Loaded Firearm in California?

Penal Code 25859 PC, makes it a crime to carry a loaded firearm in either a public place, on a public street, or in a vehicle in California.

What is the Penalty for Carrying a Loaded Firearm?

Penal Code section 25859 PC is considered a misdemeanor. Penalties for carrying a loaded firearm conviction include:

  • up to one year in county jail; and/or
  • pay fines of up to $1,000.

Can Penal Code 25859 be Charged as a Felony?

Yes, carrying a loaded firearm may be charged as a felony, should any of the following occur:

  • The firearm was stolen;
  • The individual was prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm;
  • The individual belongs to a criminal street gang; or
  • The individual had another prior felony or firearm conviction

What is the Penalty for a Carrying a Loaded Firearm Felony Charge

Penalities for a carrying a loaded firearm felony charges include:

  • up to three years; and
  • a possible fine of up to $10,000.

What is a Firearm Under California Law?

A firearm is defined as, “any device designed to be used as a weapon and from which a bullet is discharged through a barrel by an explosion”. Common examples of firearms include:

  • pistols
  • revolvers
  • shotguns
  • rifles

What is Considered a Loaded Firearm?

The law in California deems a loaded firearm if the firearm:

  • has an unused cartridge;
  • a shell in the firing chamber;
  • there is an unused cartridge;
  • a shell in either the magazine; or
  • clip attached to the firearm

Can You Still Possess a Firearm if You Have Been Convicted?

An defendant that has been convicted of felony possession of a loaded firearm is prohibited from acquiring or possessing a gun in California. In other words, an individual will lose their rights to own and possess a firearm.

Are there Exemptions to Penal Code 25859 PC?

Yes, in some instances, there are exemptions that make it legal to carry a loaded firearm. These exemptions include:

  • A California police officer carrying a loaded firearm;
  • A member of the United States military carrying a loaded firearm;
  • A federal law enforcement agent carrying a loaded firearm;
  • A person who has a concealed carrying permit.

Related Firearm Offenses

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with carrying a loaded firearm, contact our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at 310-933-5171 for a free consultation. Our attorneys will evaluate the details of your case and let you know what to expect and how you can proceed.