PC 26400: Carrying an Unloaded Firearm that is not a Handgun
(a) A person is guilty of carrying an unloaded firearm that is not a handgun when that person carries upon his or her person an unloaded firearm that is not a handgun outside a vehicle while in any of the following areas:
(1) An incorporated city or city and county.
(2) A public place or a public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county.
What does this mean?
This does not apply to all persons. The exceptions can be found here. A firearm is any device, that is designed to be a weapon, where a projectile is expelled through a barrel by the force of an explosion or some form of combustion. Typical examples of firearms are pistols, revolvers, shotguns, handguns, rifles, rocket launchers, among others. A pellet gun, BB gun, and antique (unloaded) firearms do not count as firearms under this section.
A firearm that is not a handgun would be for example a shotgun, or any long gun or explosive device. This obviously would not apply to a firearm kept in your home, or a firearm that is stored, since that would not be on your person. So in other words, California can penalize you for having a firearm, even unloaded, if outside of a vehicle.
A violation under PC 26400 is a misdemeanor offense. If you are convicted of this charge you could be sentenced to up to six months in County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody.
This is generally not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you could face Deportation in Immigration Court since this crime is a crime of moral turpitude.
If the firearm you had on your person was not a firearm, you cannot be found guilty of this section. If, for example, you had a paintball gun in your car, and police arrested you for a violation of this charge, you would have a defense. Showing that you did not have an unloaded firearm on you, by showing the item was not a firearm, your attorney would be able to argue there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of this charge.
Because this is a misdemeanor charge, if the DA were to fail to file charges against you within one year from the date you were cited/arrested for this crime, your attorney could argue in a Demurrer motion that the Statute of Limitations has passed, and they can no longer charge you with this crime. This can happen often in criminal cases, where something falls through the cracks, and the DA does not timely charge you with this crime. If it happens, speak to your attorney about filing a Demurrer motion to possibly get your case dismissed.
A criminal conviction, especially under PC 26400, can significantly alter the course of your life, impacting your education, employment, and long-term aspirations. If you’re facing charges under this section, it’s essential to understand the gravity of the situation, as it can result in the loss of professional licenses or even lead to deportation, given that it’s categorized as a crime of moral turpitude.
At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, our PC 26400 Ontario attorney has a strong record of successfully defending numerous gun case charges. With a deep understanding of the complexities of firearm laws and a commitment to protecting your rights, we are equipped to offer you the robust defense you need in these critical situations.
You or your loved one cannot afford to take risks when it comes to such serious charges. We understand the stakes and are here to provide expert legal guidance and representation. We offer a free initial consultation and are available around the clock to answer your questions and address your concerns.
Don’t let a criminal charge under PC 26400 derail your future. Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense for expert legal assistance. Call us today at 909-281-0391 for a free consultation and take the first step towards safeguarding your rights and future. Our office is conveniently located in Ontario, CA, and we are ready to assist you.
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