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Carrying a Loaded Firearm Law & Defense

California Penal Code Section 25850

There are many laws in California that forbid persons from carrying loaded firearms or ammunition. The laws that forbid carrying loaded firearms is found at California Penal Code sections 25850(a) through 25850(c).

To prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime of carrying a loaded firearm the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that

  • The defendant carried a loaded firearm capable of being concealed on his or her person
  • The defendant knew that the firearm was loaded
  • The firearm was substantially concealed, and
  • At the time that the defendant carried the loaded firearm he or she was in a public place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm.

PC 25850 defines a firearm as: just about any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is expelled or discharged through a barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion, including a rocket or a flare gun.

According to PC 25850, a firearm is loaded if there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber or in either a magazine or clip attached to the firearm. An unexpended cartridge or shell consists of a case that holds a charge of powder and a bullet or shot. 

Also, a defendant may be properly charged with carrying a loaded firearm even if the firearm itself is not in working order so long as it appears to be in working order and the weapon was actually designed to be a working firearm.

Sentence & Penalty for PC 25850(a):

The crime of carrying a loaded firearm may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony in California. When carrying a loaded firearm is charged as a felony the defendant may face up to three years in prison. When carrying a loaded firearm is charged as a misdemeanor the defendant may face up to a year in the county jail.

Whether or not the district attorney charges felony or misdemeanor criminal charges depends on many factors, including the defendant's criminal background and the facts surrounding the PC 25850(a) charge.

In some cases of carrying a loaded firearm it may be possible to lower the criminal charge, or lower the sentence, or both. Probation, without jail or prison might also be possible. 

PC 25850(a) is not considered a serious or violent felony as those terms are defined under California's Three Strike's Law & Sentencing. 

In addition to any possible jail or prison sentence, if found guilty of carrying a loaded firearm, the defendant may face professional licensing restrictions, restricted firearm possession or use, monetary fines, probation and/or parole terms, immigration status impairment, enhanced penalties for future offenses, and more. 

Defenses to PC 25850 Crimes:

Every carrying a loaded firearm criminal charge is different; therefore, every defense is different; however, typical defenses to PC 25850 charges include, but are not limted to, insufficient evidence, statute of limitations, mistake of fact, self defense, defense of others, coerced confessions, intoxication, insanity, and more.

To learn more about the crime of carrying a loaded firearm and California Penal Code sections 25850(a) through 25850(c), contact our criminal defense attorneys today. Initial consultations are provided at no cost to the accused. Your future depends on selecting the right team for the work ahead. Our criminal defense law firm is experienced and successful and our trial record is second to none.

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Related Crimes to PC 25850: Carrying a Loaded Firearm

  • Carrying a loaded stolen firearm PC 25850(a)
  • Carrying a loaded firearm by gang member PC 25850(a)
  • Carrying a loaded firearm by prohibited person PC 25850(a)
  • Carrying a loaded firearm by an unregistered person PC 25850(a)
  • Carrying loaded firearm with prior PC 25850(c)(1)
  • Carrying a loaded stolen firearm PC 25850(c)(2)
  • Carrying loaded firearm by non registered owner PC 25850(c)(6)
  • Misdemeanor carrying loaded firearm PC 25850(c)(7)

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Carrying a Loaded Firearm: PC 25850(a)

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California Carrying a Loaded Firearm Law & Defense PC 25850(a) - 25850(c)(7)

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