In the US, each state can have different laws regarding the carrying and use of firearms within the state. As such, it is imperative to know your rights as a responsible gun owner. While some states allow people to carry a concealed weapon, California does not. According to California Penal Code 25400 PC, the carrying of a concealed weapon on you or in your motor vehicle is an offense.
What happens if you are in someone else’s car, get pulled over, and the police discover a weapon? Simply being in the immediate vicinity of a weapon is not enough evidence to charge someone with this crime. There are three specific burdens the prosecution has to prove; first, you must have concealed the weapon either on you or in your vehicle; second, you must have known that you had the concealed weapon (in your bag, pocket, etc.); third, the weapon must have been substantially concealed. The reason for the third burden is that this specific penal code is for concealed weapons, as other parts of the code deal with openly carried weapons in public.
The weapons discussed in the penal code include pistols, revolvers, or other firearms capable of being concealed. For those who do wish to have a concealed weapon, they must have the specific gun permit that allows them to do so. Otherwise, if the prosecution meets all of the aforementioned elements, the accused can be convicted with either misdemeanor or felony penalties. In the case of a misdemeanor offense, the defendant faces up to one year in jail, probation, or must also pay a fine. For those charged with a felony, due to various contexts or reasons, they can spend up to a possible three years in jail and/or pay a fine.