35+ Years Criminal Defense Experience in California


Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Public Place or Vehicle (PC 25850)

Under California Penal Code 25850(a), it is a crime for you to carry a loaded firearm on your person or in a vehicle in any public place or on a public street.

Accused of violating PC 25850 in California
If you are accused of violating PC 25850, it is crucial that you call an experienced team of lawyers as soon as possible.

A public place, for purposes of PC 25850, is anywhere that is readily accessible to the public. This includes parks, sidewalks, public streets, or any area in which it is unlawful to possess a loaded firearm.

In addition to PC 25850(a), there are several of other crimes the prosecution may charge you with, depending on the facts of your case. These include:

  • Carrying a Stolen Firearm
  • Carrying a Firearm While Actively Participating in a Gang
  • Unlawful Possession Due to a Conviction, Court Order, or Mental Illness
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm While You Are the Not Registered Owner
  • Carrying a Loaded Concealed Firearm When You Are Not the Registered Owner
  • Carrying a Firearm in Violation of the Gun Free School Zone Act

Prosecution of PC 25850(a)

In order to be convicted of this crime under California Penal Code 25850(a), the prosecution must prove that:

(1) You were carrying a loaded firearm on your person or in a vehicle;
(2) You knew that you were carrying a firearm;
(3) While carrying, you were in a public place or on a public street; AND
(4) The public place or street was an area within:
a. an incorporated city; or
b. an unincorporated area where it was unlawful to discharge a firearm.

Firearm – Defined

A firearm is broadly defined under PC 25850. Anything that can be used as a weapon capable of discharging a projectile through a barrel by combustion is a firearm under this law.

Statutory Exemptions to PC 25850

The law provides for certain exemptions to PC 25850. Thus, you cannot be convicted of unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm in public if you are a:

  • Peace officer (such as police, federal agent, corrections or probation offer);
  • Honorably retired peace officer;
  • Active military personnel;
  • Authorized security guard or money transporter;
  • Lawfully carrying a firearm for hunting or firing range and the firearm is kept in a locked container; or
  • Concealed weapon permit holder.

Sentence and Punishment

Generally, carrying a loaded firearm in a public place is a misdemeanor in California. However, depending on certain factors, you can also be charged with a felony. If convicted of a misdemeanor PC 25850 violation, you face up to 364 days in county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

If you are convicted of a felony, you face a sentence of 16 months, two or three years in state prison. Under PC 25850, you can be charged with a felony if:

  • You’ve been previously convicted of a felony;
  • You were not the registered owner of the firearm;
  • You knew you were carrying a stolen firearm; or
  • You were carrying while actively participating in a gang.

Possible Defenses to PC 25850

With over 30 years of experience, we are very well-versed on all of the valid defenses to a PC 25850 charge.

There are several defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf. Some of these defenses might include:

  • You were not carrying a firearm as defined under the law;
  • The firearm was not loaded;
  • You were not in a public place as defined under the law;
  • You were carrying a firearm for self-defense because you reasonably believed you were in immediate and grave danger (PC 26045 makes it lawful to possess a loaded firearm if you believe you are in immediate, grave danger)
  • One of the above statutory exemptions applies (PC 25850);
  • The police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop you; or
  • The police did not have probable cause to arrest you.

Frequently Asked Questions on PC 25850

At Wallin & Klarich, we commonly receive questions from clients who are accused of possessing a firearm in public. Some of these include:

1. Can I be arrested for PC 25850(a) for carrying a BB gun?

Most BB guns are powered by CO2 and are not fired by combustion. Therefore, BB guns are not considered firearms for purposes of PC 25850.

2. Why was I arrested for PC 25850(a) if the gun was broken?

It does not matter whether the firearm is in working order so long as it is capable of firing and was designed for that purpose.

3. What if I did not know the gun was loaded?

You need to have knowledge that the gun is loaded in order to be convicted of PC 25850(a). If the prosecution cannot prove that you knew it was loaded, then you should not be convicted.

Have You Been Arrested for Carrying a Loaded Firearm? Call the Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich

Wallin & Klarich loaded firearms lawyers
Wallin & Klarich is ready to fight on your behalf.

If you or a loved one has been charged with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place in California, you need to contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately.

At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing gun charges for over 30 years. We will meet with you to review the facts of your case, and plan a defense strategy that will help you get the best outcome possible in your case.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

Was This Article Helpful? Please Share it.

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.

Related Testimonials


    I would like to sincerely thank you for helping me with obtaining my Certificate of Rehabilitation. I now realize the importance of obtaining a law firm that has years of experience in criminal law. The way the package was organized and presented to the presiding judge was very impressive to me. The person that tried … Continue reading “Certificate of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon Testimonials”

    View All

    My brother was convicted of second degree murder in Los Angeles County. He was sentenced to 16 years to life in state prison. I hired Stephen Klarich from the law firm of Wallin and Klarich to work on his appeal. Our family was very worried and fearful he would spend the rest of his life … Continue reading “PC 1237 | Appeals Testimonials”

    View All

    ARSON: “My husband and I received a shock recently when our son was arrested for starting a fire at a state park. But our shock turned into horror when he was charged with felony arson. We immediately hired the Law Firm of Wallin & Klarich. After a review of the evidence, Wallin & Klarich had … Continue reading “Client Testimonials: Arson”

    View All

Contact Us Now

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.
Get In Touch
Contact Info
17592 Irvine Blvd. Tustin, CA 92780 (714) 730-5300

Los Angeles County

Los Angeles | Long Beach | Glendale | Santa Clarita | Lancaster | Palmdale | Pomona | Torrance | Pasadena | West Covina | Carson | Santa Monica | Whittier | Lakewood | Redondo Beach | Arcadia | Diamond Bar | Glendora | Cerritos | La Mirada | Rancho Palos Verdes | Culver City | Manhattan Beach | Claremont | Beverly Hills | San Dimas | Walnut | Calabasas | Hermosa Beach | El Segundo | Palos Verdes Estates | Malibu

Orange County

Santa Ana | Anaheim | Irvine | Huntington Beach | Garden Grove | Orange | Fullerton | Costa Mesa | Mission Viejo | Westminster | Newport Beach | Buena Park | Lake Forest | Tustin | Yorba Linda | San Clemente | Laguna Niguel | La Habra | Fountain Valley | Anaheim Hills | Placentia | Rancho Santa Margarita | Aliso Viejo | Cypress | Brea | Stanton | San Juan Capistrano | Dana Point | Laguna Hills | North Tustin | Seal Beach | Ladera Ranch | Laguna Beach | Laguna Woods | La Palma | Coto de Caza | Los Alamitos | Rossmoor | Midway City | Las Flores | Villa Park

Riverside County

Riverside | Moreno Valley | Corona | Temecula | Murrieta | Jurupa Valley | Indio | Hemet | Menifee | Perris | Eastvale | Cathedral City | Palm Desert | Lake Elsinore | Palm Springs | La Quinta | Coachella | San Jacinto | Beaumont | Wildomar | Banning | Norco | Desert Hot Springs | Blythe | Rancho Mirage | Canyon Lake | Calimesa | Indian Wells

San Bernardino County

San Bernardino | Fontana | Rancho Cucamonga | Ontario | Victorville | Rialto | Hesperia | Chino | Chino Hills | Upland | Apple Valley | Redlands | Highland | Colton | Yucaipa | Montclair | Adelanto | Twentynine Palms | Loma Linda | Barstow | Yucca Valley | Grand Terrace | Big Bear Lake | Needles

San Diego

San Diego | Oceanside | Escondido | Carlsbad | Vista | San Marcos | Encinitas | Solana Beach | El Cajon | Santee | Poway | La Mesa | Del Mar


Oxnard | Thousand Oaks | Simi Valley | Ventura | Camarillo | Moorpark | Santa Paula | Port Hueneme | Fillmore | Ojai

Copyright © 2021 Wallin & Klarich - All rights reserved
California Criminal Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. Any case results presented on the site are based upon the facts of a particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. The contents of this website may contain legal advertising. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a free telephonic consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California.