The rules on transporting a firearm differ a bit depending on whether the gun is:
- a handgun that can be concealed,
- a firearm that cannot be concealed, or
- an assault rifle.
Handguns that can be concealed
To lawfully transport a handgun in a vehicle, California residents must ensure that it is:
- locked in the trunk of the vehicle or in a locked container inside the vehicle, and
- apparent, or not concealed inside the vehicle.
It is always a crime to transport a loaded firearm.
Gun ammo can be either stored in:
- the locked container, or
- some other carrying device.
Owners of guns must adhere to these rules no matter if they are:
- the driver of the vehicle, or
- a passenger inside the car.
Firearms that cannot be concealed
State law says that firearms that cannot be concealed must be unloaded when a person transports them.
Typically, local laws say that non-concealable firearms do not have to be in a locked container. United States federal law, though, says that some types of firearms do have to be in a locked container or in a gun rack when in a school zone. These are zones located within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a K-12 school.
Note that firearms that cannot be concealed include:
- long guns,
- carbines, and
- a centerfire rifle.
When transporting an assault weapon, Californians must ensure that it is:
- unloaded, and
- stored in a locked container.
Further, note that assault weapons can only be transported to and from certain places. For example, a person may only transport these guns to:
- a licensed firearms dealer for servicing or repair,
- the gun owner’s private property,
- someone else’s property, provided that the property owner has given the person permission to bring the gun, and
- a firing range.
Semi-automatic rifles are examples of assault rifles.
M., D. (2022, March 27). California gun laws 2022 – your top 12 questions answered. Shouse Law Group. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/defense/gun-laws/