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What constitutes a concealed weapon in your vehicle?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2022 | Criminal Defense

California state law requires that you have a license if you want to carry a concealed weapon. You might think that these rules only apply to carrying a weapon physically on your person, but they also apply to what you do with a firearm in your vehicle. 

The wrong behavior with a weapon could mean that a run-of-the-mill traffic stop results in major weapons charges that will saddle you with a very problematic criminal record for the rest of your life. What might lead to police accusing you of having a concealed weapon in your vehicle?

When driving with a weapon readily accessible in your vehicle

Some people will put a firearm in the glove compartment or the center console between the bucket seats in the front of a vehicle. Leaving a firearm in either of these locations or under a seat might lead to a claim that you concealed a weapon on purpose. 

Any weapon that you can readily conceal on your person within the vehicle could constitute a concealed weapon in the eyes of law enforcement even if you didn’t hide it prior to the traffic stop. To safely transport a firearm in California, you would ideally keep the gun in a locked case with a trigger lock in place. 

The only alternative is to secure a license that allows you to conceal a handgun or similar firearm, although you will still need to disclose the presence of the firearm to a police officer during a traffic stop to avoid running afoul of the law and getting arrested. 

Understanding when seemingly innocent behaviors could lead to criminal charges can help you avoid unintentionally committing a firearm offense in California. If you are charged with a weapons offense, however, experienced legal guidance is essential.