January 4, 2024 By Paul Wallin

Are There Open Carry Laws In California?


Wondering if you can openly carry a firearm? Prior to 2012, it was legal for anyone to carry an unloaded and unconcealed firearm in public. However, after the enactment of California Penal Code 26350 PC, it became illegal for anyone to openly carry a firearm in public. 

Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free appeal consultation!

Penal Code 26350 PC

California Penal Code 26350 PC makes it a crime to openly carry an unloaded handgun in public areas and certain other locations in California. Violations of this code can result in misdemeanor charges, with potential penalties including up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. It’s worth noting that this statute doesn’t apply to law enforcement officers, members of the military while performing their duties, or to anyone who has obtained special permission to open carry from a local sheriff or police chief. The following are violations to this law: 

Possess an exposed and unloaded handgun outside a vehicle, whether on your person or not, while in or on any of the following:

  • A public place or public street within an incorporated city or city and county.
  • A public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city and county.
  • A public place in a prohibited area of a county or city and county.

Possess an exposed and unloaded handgun inside or on a vehicle, whether on your person or not, while in or on any of the following:

  • A public place or public street within an incorporated city or city and county.
  • A public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city and county.
  • A public place in a prohibited area of a county or city and county.

There are several things the prosecutor must prove in order to convict you:

  • If you had an exposed and unloaded handgun either on your person or in a vehicle,
  • If you were aware that you were carrying a handgun, AND
  • If you were in a public place, on a public street, or in a prohibited area.

If the prosecutor cannot prove all three of these, then you cannot be convicted. It is important to have a skilled defense attorney on your side. Your defense attorney will be able to explain all the nuances of these laws to you as well as find the best strategies for your case to help you get the best possible outcome. ur attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the experience you need for your case. Plus, we offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Penalties

Violating California Penal Code 26350 PC is considered a misdemeanor, and each firearm carried constitutes a distinct offense. If found guilty, you may be subjected to one or both of the following penalties for each count:

  • Up to 364 days in county jail.
  • A maximum fine of $1,000.

It’s important to note that your sentencing can be enhanced based on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. For instance, if you were carrying unspent ammunition that can be fired by the handgun, or if you were not the legal owner of the firearm, you may face additional consequences.

Defenses

There are several defenses you could raise when facing these charges:

  • You had a valid permit
  • You are exempt
  • You were transporting an unloaded firearm that was not capable of concealment
  • You were transporting a weapon locked in a container to or from a vehicle for lawful purposes

Because these defenses are subjective, it is important to have an experienced defense attorney on your side. Your attorney will be able to look at the specific facts of your case and determine which defense(s) are the best to raise in your case. If you are in need of a defense attorney, call our office today!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you have been accused of violating California’s open carry laws, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

Practice area

  • Contact Us Now

    If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, now is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Categories
SCHEDULE YOUR free consultation

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, this is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.