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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Concealment of a Weapon While Legally Hunting  (Read 288 times)

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Hojoman

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February 15, 2018

Question: If I am otherwise legally hunting (hunting license, lead-free ammo, legal magazine capacity, unincorporated public land, proper distance from roads, bodies of water, etc.) in California with a handgun or pistol, do I need to ensure that I don’t conceal it while loaded if I do not have a CCW permit? Is the answer different depending on the land management agency? I don’t want to commit a felony or otherwise run afoul of the state gun laws. (Travis)

Answer: Your question relates to California Penal Code (PC), sections 25400 and 25850. Although section 25400 generally prohibits carrying a concealed firearm, there is an exemption that applies to hunters. Section 25640 provides that section 25400 “does not apply to, or affect, licensed hunters or fishermen carrying pistols, revolvers or other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person while engaged in hunting or fishing, or transporting those firearms unloaded when going to or returning from the hunting or fishing expedition.”

Similarly, section 25850 generally prohibits carrying a loaded firearm “on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.” However, section 26040 includes a hunting exemption. This section provides, “Nothing in section 25850 shall prevent any person from carrying a loaded firearm in an area within an incorporated city while engaged in hunting, provided that the hunting at that place and time is not prohibited by the city council.”

These exemptions do not apply to individuals who are otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms. Be sure to comply with any restrictions relating to your location, including any rules or ordinances of a land management agency or local government pertaining to firearms. Additionally, it is not lawful to carry a firearm when hunting under an archery-only tag or during some archery-only seasons.


Spring45

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