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Grace v. DC Making it Happen for Second Amendment Civil Rights?

A Win for the Second Amendment

Gun Free Zone Sign

Many free thinking injury attorneys know that peaceable, law abiding citizens can avoid serious injury or death by use of defensive arms. Gun rights activists won a major day in court in September 2017. A three judge panel on the US Court of Appeals struck down a DC provision limiting pistol ownership. The District is now a “shall issue” territory.

The case centered around a DC requirement forcing applicants to bring forth a “good” or “proper” reason to receive a concealed carry permit. Effectively, this made it very difficult for the average person to own and carry such a firearm.

It appears the issue is done and over with. WTOP reported that the District of Columbia would not challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court. For the time being, the decision is a firm notch in the win column. The District is now a “shall issue” area, instead of being more restrictive. Perhaps New York or California is next.

The National Rifle Association was thrilled with the result. They stated, “At the same time, it’s important to celebrate that law-abiding Americans are now closer than they have been in nearly half a century to being able to exercise their firearms freedom in our nation’s capital. That is real progress.” Such an amazing feat took several years and legal expertise to win. It also shows the ability of an army of Davids to win against the big government Goliath.

Where do things go from here? Additionally, does that mean DC will pass other anti-gun laws? Of course, all of these are on the table. Furthermore, many pro-gun activists are fighting for the right to bear arms in all 50 states and DC. Their rugged determination protected a basic human right from extinction. We hope that it will be a precedent for other locations and states to follow.

For more info on the Second Amendment and recent court cases, keep it dialed here. Our team is on top of the situation. Let us know if you have any thoughts.

Is Jury Nullification Kosher in a Personal Injury Case?

Michael Ehline. USSC.
U.S. Supreme Court and Michael Ehline.

First of all, at the outset. This is not legal advice. I am not trying to teach people how to get out of jury duty or stay on a jury. I am merely pointing out my opinions and conclusions. I for one believe that it’s kosher for a jury to ultimately determine the law and the facts. I think a court is vital in providing guidance to the arbiters of justice (the jury.)

But my opinions should in no way guide you in your decision to understand the law and mean to keep it well.

So What is Jury Nullification?

This is a great question and great place to start. Why? Because this terminology can mean many things to many people it must be more thoroughly understood. In fact, it encompasses many things as will be explained.

In a nutshell, jury nullification is defined as a juror’s right and duty to ignore, or not enforce what it considers to be an unjust law. But it also deals with a juror’s role in finding a court’s misapplication of a just law. Some have called this a juror’s “pardoning power.”

It is typically used in criminal matters. For example, jury nullification happens when a jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the guilt of a defendant in a criminal case, yet votes to acquit him or her of the charges anyways. (Recent examples may include the O.J. Simpson criminal case.)

But then again, under this procedure, the jury could try and vote to convict a person even though it’s not sure of guilt or innocence. But at least in that last example, if the evidence fails to support a conviction, judges may still direct verdict of acquittal

But if a jury returns an acquittal, then generally, it’s game over. The court nor the prosecutor is allowed to appeal a criminal acquittal. But what about personal injury matters? Can a jury nullify a civil case also? It appears that jury nullification may also occur in questions of personal injury law.

For example, when the verdict is “generally a finding of liability or lack of accountability (rather than a finding of guilty or not guilty).” (See Lars Noah, “Civil Jury Nullification”, Iowa Law Review 86 (2001): 1601.). Many examples exist of jury nullification in both civil and criminal matters.

Furthermore, the Seventh Amendment protects and recognizes the pre-existing Natural Right of the Jury.

“…the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, then according to the rules of the common law.”

It appears well settled that jury nullification is a right, and even a duty. After all, a juror must be the “conscience of the community.” (Source.)

Why Nullify in a Personal Injury Case?

First of all, it is easy to foresee why a juror would want to nullify a bad law in a civil or a criminal case. A personal injury case is unique in that a jury could hate the defendant and the plaintiff. A nullifying jury could use all manner of strategies to derail an economic recovery, and simultaneously not like the defendant either.

What are Some Major Reasons Why Nullification Can Become a Duty in a Civil or Criminal Matter?

After the passage of the German Race laws, Jews were targeted for jail and wealth confiscation. Look at the ways the German Jews had their private property confiscated in pre-World War II Germany.

Antisemitism and the persecution of Jews represented a central tenet of Nazi ideology. In their 25-point Party Program, published in 1920, Nazi party members publicly declared their intention to segregate Jews from “Aryan” society and to abrogate Jews’ political, legal, and civil rights. (Source.)

Had I been a juror I certainly would not have convicted a Jew who had failed to yield their property or civil rights over to the state. Would you have done so?

What if a criminal law was passed called the “White Privilege Law” that whites had to give up their property to pay reparations to the descendants of African slaves? Would you convict a white person for refusing to turn over their property?

Laws are often passed that discriminate against or help people, for example. Politically driven excuses are used to suppose how people gained their fortunes. Then a law is passed to tax them higher, or lower depending on party affiliation. The masses easily may erode the rights of the gifted individual. Personal injury lawyers have received favor in the tax code, for example. Hollywood has received exemptions in California’s gun law rich state. The film studios can even use and own fully automatic weapons. But common citizens may not.

And it makes sense. After all, trial lawyers are huge DC lobbyists. The studios also control the news and what is seen and heard thereon. But so is the insurance lobby and so on and so forth. So all sides seem to benefit based upon who donates to who’s re-election bid.

Is there a Fundamental Unfairness to Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Cases?

In personal injury cases, some argue that insurance companies get a pass from the courts and legislature. The jury instructions make clear that no one can mention insurance or how much coverage is at issue. So we all know that California law requires us to carry mandatory minimum liability insurance. But we are not allowed to consider whether or not there is insurance coverage in a motor vehicle accident case.

So if a defendant appears to be poor, a jury could be swayed into finding against the plaintiff or awarding the aggrieved party peanuts. How is this fair? It’s great for the insurance company and shareholders.

But it can kill the plaintiff’s case. So for example, if I was on a jury I would demand to know how much insurance coverage is at issue. Sure you don’t want to place the defendant in the poor house, but you also want to award the plaintiff for pain, suffering, particular and general damages. You want to do justice.

I for one would want to do my independent investigation if the court refused to disclose the existence or nonexistence of the insurance policy in question. So what does this have to do with nullification? Well, it doesn’t. Jury nullification does not give the juror a right to violate his oath under penalty of perjury. What does this mean to you?

First of all, you have to level with the court before being sworn in. You cannot agree to a thing that goes against your conscience, can you?

Jury Nullification May Not Be Used if a Juror Has Sworn an Oath Not to Use it?

Can I be Punished for Nullifying a Verdict?

The only example I could find that allowed a judge or prosecutor to take vengeance on a juror potentially is the Laura Kriho matter. In that case, Kriho was the sole juror refusing to convict based upon the interests of justice. It was a drug-related case called People v. Brannon. The situs was in Colorado. Juror Kriho was eventually charged with three counts of contempt of court.

A whistle-blowing fellow juror on the panel sent a secret communication to the Gilpin County District Court Trial Judge, Kenneth Barnhill. Said communication alleged that Kriho complained about the unfair potential jail time of the accused while deliberating. So the sell out juror asked the court to bring in an alternate juror. Since the court had previously dismissed the alternates, the court called for a mistrial instead.

But the trial court was not done with Kriho. Not even close. A message apparently had to be sent to the jury pool.

What Were The Contempt Charges in Kriho?

Kriho was eventually prosecuted for:

  1. Not volunteering information never sought during voir dire (eg that Kriho silently reserved her right to nullify an unjust law),
  2. Telling fellow jurors that her knowledge that potential punishment meant a conviction was likely unjust, and
  3. Attempting to convince other jurors to nullify a charge that carried an unconscionable sentence as against the defendant.

Many courts apparently use this case as a tool to convince jurors they may only decide matters of fact. But an educated jurist who knows the case, would know that the second and third charges were ultimately withdrawn. In other words, the discussion about nullification was never decided by any court! There was no punishment either.

The Sole Remaining Charge Was Reversed on Appeal in Kriho.

Amazingly, Kriho was convicted for failing to volunteer info EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS NEVER ASKED to do so. (Clearly that jury followed the law as stated by the court.). In any event, that sole conviction on that sole remaining count against Kriho was reversed in 1999 on appeal! The appeals court rightly thought it absurd that a jury would have to read minds and volunteer info.

Accordingly, FIJA reported:

“You have to go back to [the trial of William Penn in] 1670 to find a case in which the judge tried to punish jurors for returning a verdict he didn’t like.”

Since the Kriho case, I can find just one case in which a juror faced a serious possibility of being punished for her verdict—the 2005 prosecution of juror Carol Asher.

In Asher, unlike Kriho there was a split jury. Hence, there was a mistrial as in Kriho. So the jury foreman ratted to the judge about Asher’s comments during deliberations. Also, unlike Kriho, three other jurors believed the defendant was not guilty. But only Asher alone was punished for felony perjury.

In that case, Asher was at risk for a 14 year prison term for “lying.” But Asher never made it to trial. Instead, an evidentiary hearing was held in 2006, and the entire case went away. Obviously, Asher learned the same lesson as Kriho. Standing up for your rights means legal expenses and being placed in jeopardy of prison. This is the clear message these two jurors received.

Next we have the Kleinman case. Here, the defendant was a criminally accused. Now in Kleinman, a trial court told a jury it would violate the law if it ignored the trial court’s interpretation of the law. But the left leaning 9th Circuit even agreed this went too far, stating:

“The court’s statement that the jury ‘would violate [its] oath and the law if [it] willfully brought a verdict contrary to the law given to [it] in this case,’ may imply punishment for nullification, because ‘violate your oath and the law,’ coming from the court in a criminal trial, could be understood as warning of a possible violation with associated sanctions. Additionally, the statement that ‘[t]here is no such thing as valid jury nullification’ could reasonably be understood as telling jurors that they do not have the power to nullify, and so it would be a useless exercise. While jurors undoubtedly should be told to follow the law, the statement that there is no valid jury nullification misstates the role of nullification because an acquittal is valid, even if it resulted from nullification.” [Emphasis.]

But this was irrelevant, harmless error to misadvise a jury as to their rights. As expected, the 9th rejected Kleinman’s argument that the erroneous jury instruction required reversal of his conviction.

See the BELOW ERRONEOUS Jury INSTRUCTION.

“It is not fundamentally unfair for a defendant to be tried by a jury that is not fully informed of the power to nullify,” the court said, “or even that is stripped of the power to nullify, because there is no right to nullification. Although a jury should not be led to believe that jury nullification will result in punishment or an invalid acquittal, the court’s misstatement by implication does not rise to the level of denial of Kleinman’s due process rights.”

Wow. Did you just see that? The courts are basically saying, yes we have a right to nullify. But a trial court can issue a false statement of law to a jury that nullification is illegal, and this will not require a reversal of a conviction. In other words, everyone is presumed to know the law. (Read more.).

What If I Want to Remain on a Jury and Exercise Right of Jury Nullification?

If you are a member of the ACLU, Libertarian Party, any number of marijuana rights organizations, etc., you may be automatically excluded. In fact, an NRA member may get tossed from a gun rights case, whether civil or criminal. And here would be an example of a wrongful death personal injury case. An anti gun jury may decide even though it was self defense, that defendant must still pay for merely owning a gun.

In any event, if you wanted to get on a jury it seems that membership in organizations that go against the grain of the state are frowned upon.

Must I Volunteer I Support Jury Nullification?

It depends. If you are an officer of the court who has written many treatises and articles in support of this right, it would make sense that you not withhold this fact from the court. You don’t want to be accused of failing to volunteer information. In the same way, a citizen who has touched on these issues online or on social sites, may also not want to withhold this information. Often, jurors are subject to investigation by all sides, and the court.

Yes, respond to the questions in a yes, no, I don’t know type of way. Less is more. The court has many people to interview. Move along.

So long as you have no religious views or philosophy that prevents you from doing justice, you should be ok to serve. So long as you agree that everyone deserves a fair trial regardless of the law, you should be ok to serve.

Also, are you capable of convicting even if you disagree with a bad law. Yes you can be capable of that. This is because each case must be judged on its own merits.

 

After this, it makes sense to stay quiet about your opinions on nullification.

But What About Promises Under Oath?

Making a promise under oath means you must keep it. What if a juror is forced to swear an oath to judge ONLY the facts and let the court decipher the law. if a juror says he “can” uphold a law he disagrees with he is not lying. But if he promises to only judge the facts, when he intends to be the judge of both, he could be a perjurer.

Did I Swear Not To Exercise My Right Not To Decide Issues of Law?

If you got on a Los Angeles jury, you may or may not have surrendered your right to be the conscience of the community when you swore to allow the court to be the soul decider of law. And in fact, this is how people using their right of nullifying unconscionable laws could be potentially prosecuted.

It is not because they exercised their rights per se. In fact, it is because they swore an oath to not exercise their right. Is that crazy or what?

As touched upon above, failing to exercise jury nullification was the International Court’s basis for convicting accused Nazis of war crimes after WWII. The reasoning of the Court was that civilians and soldiers alike have a duty to ignore, interpret, and in fact, fight against an unjust law. Hence, low and high-level soldiers, despite swearing an oath, could not argue they were just “following orders” when they killed innocent civilians and prisoners of war, etc. (Learn more.)

What are Some Other Examples of Why You Would Use Nullification in a Personal Injury Case?

  • Medical Malpractice (Read more.) .
  • Comparative Negligence Issues (Jurors may or may not apportion fault if the plaintiff is left with less money, for example. Or they may apportion greater fault if they think it unjust a plaintiff gets too much money.).
  • Reserved. In fact, there are so many times nullification could be appropriate, I invite you to comment below.

What are Some Other Examples of Just Use of Jury Nullification?

  • Statutory Rape Laws (An underaged female sexually assaults an adult male and he faces rape charges = unjust to apply the law (See eg State v. Morse 281 Minn. 378, 161 N.W. 2d 699 (1968).).
  • Gun Laws (A man in California is arrested for having a cartridge magazine in his pistol with more than 10 rounds = unjust as a magazine is a primary component of a firearm and number of rounds in a magazine directly affect a citizen’s ability to safely defend home and hearth.).
  • Race Laws (Fredrick Douglas and other white abolitionists were fierce supporters of jury nullification and an armed citizenry.).
  • Euthanasia Laws (Where a terminally ill patient wanted a mercy killing, and prosecutors have no choice but to bring charges against the doctor.)
  • Marijuana Laws.
  • Prohibition Laws.

What are Some More Famous Examples and Explanations?

In “flagrant” cases, according to the court, “the jury has always exercised the pardoning power, notwithstanding the law, which is their actual prerogative.” (Local 36 of Int’l Fishermen & Allied Workers of America v. United States, 177 F.2d 320 (9th Cir. 1949).) Lysander Spooner, author of Trial by Jury 1852 pointed out that “governments cannot decide the law or exercise authority over jurors (the People) for such would be absolute government, absolute despotism.”

But in conclusion, it is the duty of the jury to know the law and mean to keep it well. Rights not claimed are considered waived.

Falling into the trap of swearing to not exercise a right places a juror at risk not for exercising the right. Instead, the juror is at risk for perjury. Solutions are to avoid poisoning the other jurors. It appears that it is unwise to tip off fellow jurors as to their rights.

So the smart move is to request a sidebar, approach when directed, and instruct the court that you plan to exercise the right to decide the law and the facts as justice dictates. But what if a judge asks: “You’ll follow the law as I instruct it right?” What if you feel intimidated?

You very well will be intimidated. And that is sad. After all, you are merely informing the court that you cannot take an oath that would entail surrendering a right as you know it. A smart judge may present a hypothetical and ask you if you would follow the law under that example. I for one would say that it presents an incomplete hypothetical, and would preserve my right to decide the law and the facts as I see fit.

The bottom line, is that it remains the right of all free man and women to decide the law and the facts in both personal injury and criminal matters. Our public servants are no smarter than any of us. In fact, many of them are too smart for their own good. You, the citizen are the last line in the defense of freedom.

USMC MCRDSD USMC MCRDSD USMC MCRDSD USMC MCRDSD

What’s the Deal With the Recent Spate of Terrible Tragedies and U.S. Vets?

Active ShooterEach and every day, between 18 and 22 veterans commit suicide. These suicides happen for a number of reasons. However, many trace back to issues during time in the service or afterward. Certainly, poor treatment and long waiting times are not helpful. Altogether, these issues add up to a major crisis for the country. What other group faces 7,000 unnecessary deaths a year?

Recently, one of the larger trends involves suicide in VA parking lots. Military.com reported on the disturbing incidents.

These deaths happen here for many reasons. Part is due to vets not wanting family members finding them. In other cases, poor care may be a factor. One Navy vet, 76 year old Peter Kaisen, shot himself outside the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New York. He was allegedly denied access to an emergency room doctor for a mental health check. An Army and Afghanistan vet, John Toombs, hanged himself outside a TN center. He stated in a video it was due to being unable to visit the care he needed.

Of particular concern is the risk of opioid use and abuse surrounding the VA. In particular, opioids are overused to treat physical pain. This opens the real risk of addiction and worse. On top of this, since 2001 the rate of suicide among veterans increased 32%. The risk of suicide is 21% among veterans than the average adult.

What are Some Options for Families of U.S. Military Veterans?

This is a pain we know all too well. Our lead attorney, Michael Ehline, is a disabled former Marine. We feel the pain of our armed forces and their family. It is often a thankless job, but only the finest answer the call.

Families have several options. One includes an formal inquiry of the VA’s care of their beloved. Another includes negligence litigation against anyone that wasn’t doing their job. Furthermore, Ehline Law’s resources are especially open for veterans and their families. If you’re facing hard times and don’t know who to call, we are always available, 24/7.

California Senate Bill 411 Signed into Law—Legal to Film Police Officers

Many California citizens have heard the demand from the police: “Sir, please turn off the camera,” or “turn off the camera, or we’ll arrest you,” or words to that effect. What most of us know who have had contacts with law enforcement, is that most cops hate filming. From the academy training onward they reject this idea of being filmed. Police have the training to protect the city from potential lawsuits and to “take charge.” In fact, this remains contrary to what most people think. But the job of the police is not to protect citizens or their property.

Supreme Court Rules:

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm. Even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent…  (See also NY Times.)

The primary job of the municipal police is to protect gov. property, personnel and “policy.” (eg police.)

  • Officer safety, and many other reasons are given as reasons for police not being caught on tape.

According to attorney Michael Ehline:

When a citizen does not comply, many times he or she finds a ride to the local jail. The accused will face thousands in attorney’s fees for fighting off a frivolous Penal Code Section 148 charge.  But courts have already made clear that citizens can film police. Of course, this is with certain exceptions. For example, safety demands that filmers be well clear of the potential danger zone.

In the Golden State, each jurisdiction and department want to handle these primarily “false arrest” cases differently. Sadly, the many state prosecutorial agencies needed to see it in writing from the governor. So till that happened, they failed to force their officers to start honoring the law on filming police. But Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Bill 411. So now California is in accord with the Supreme Court on filming police while on duty.

This means when police officers detain a suspect or make an arrest, witnesses can use cell phones to record the incidents. Even the person that is detained may record the event. In the past, many of the recorded videos have later posted to social media websites or YouTube. Many have gone viral. According to Sacramento County Sgt. Jason Ramos, it is the way the world has become. Cops hate it!

  • Yawn

Sgt. Ramos did say that in many cases the officer’s jobs are more due to recording activity. So there is a potential for officers to become preoccupied with the people making the videos. The law officer went on to say there is a “fine line between being a diligent citizen with a camera and interfering.” I call nonsense. A diligent person would just remain outside the zone of interference. Then they would exercise good judgment. The film of the altercation can at least show evidence of reasonableness, or not.

Senate Bill 411

State Senator Ricardo Lara was the author of Senate Bill 411. And he says he believes it is important for it to be clear in a statute. Now an average person can lawfully record a police officer without concern of arrest or intimidated.  Of course, knowing cops as I know them, this will not stop cameras from being stomped. Also, other methods will likely get employed to “get control.”

Lara said that having the code in the state’s law helps cell phone evidence keep people safe. The new law comes after an early August incident. In that case, a Rohnert Park officer pointed a gun at a man who recorded the event on his cell phone. The officer is now facing a lawsuit. One of the cell phone videos recorded made national headlines. This was the Eric Garner choking video.

Lara said everyone has cell phones today. And now they  may find use to “deter violence.” The Garner video is one of the examples. And mobile videos can provide evidence in police wrong doing investigations. The Senator did make it clear that the bill does not in any way give citizens the legal right to interfere with police. But this is already what the law was before the bill passing.

Bill 411 Support

Sen. Lara had support from the ACLU for the bill. Lara said in a written statement the bill would help to ensure every citizen can exercise their Constitutional right. Making audio or video recordings or taking photos is a protected right. The letter goes on to say it is a “clear constitutional right to photograph and record the police in the performance of their duties.”

The letter ends by stating the bill ensures the public’s right to gather information about their officials. Also, it shows abuses. And it may have an effect on the functioning of government in a more general sense. We applaud the ACLU’s efforts at getting the state to notify its agencies. But we question the need to spend so much time and effort on this bill. Passing a law to mandate what already is the law, is not an efficient administration of justice. Also, it sheds light on why jury nullification is making more and more sense.

More Reading:

http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/recording-police-officers-and-public-officials   Recording Police Officers and Public Officials | Digital Media Law Project

https://www.aclunc.org/our-work/know-your-rights/your-rights-and-police   ACLU of Northern California  Title: Know Your Rights: Police Interactions

Firearms Open Carry Laws in California

Attorney Michael Ehline openly carrying and shooting USMC Colt M45
Attorney Michael Ehline openly carrying and shooting USMC Colt M45

By Attorney Michael P. Ehline, Esq. In the past, California permitted individuals to carry unloaded firearms in public, with the condition that the weapon remained empty, was displayed in plain sight, and only if the individual was not in a prohibited area. The designated prohibited areas, by these laws, included government buildings, school zones (under the California Gun Free School Zone Act), and post offices. So you could not open carry there.

Here is an example a police officer enforcing the Constitution in a positive manner.

 

The Recent Anti Second Amendment Laws

The California “open carry” gun rights law would see drastic changes on January, 1, 2012, when the California Assembly Bill 144 went into effect. This law made it illegal to openly carry unloaded handguns.

California Penal Code Section 26350 outlines this in detail, which describes openly carrying an unloaded handgun in specific public places, is now a misdemeanor offense. (Source.)

The new legislation is complicated for the individuals, who are exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, by lawfully carrying their firearms. The Second Amendment provides gun owners protection from being wrongfully harassed, arrested or prosecuted, for carrying a legal firearm, but the California legislature is controlled by radical leftists, who have little use for the Constitution.

If the time comes that you find you are in trouble for legally carrying your gun, we can help you in this situation. We defend the rights of individuals, who have been accused of allegedly violating the California gun laws and specialize in this area of the law. We have a complete understanding of the California “open carry” laws and how alleged criminal conduct in this area occurs.


 

Understanding the California “Open Carry” Laws

What “open carry” means is that an individual is carrying a legal firearm in plain sight. California law has never expressly authorized the ability to carry a weapon openly. The legality of this practice was premised on the fact that it was not prohibited by any existing California state laws. But this has changed, with the endorsement of California Penal Code 26350.

One important factor is a new law only applies to handguns and not to rifles or shotguns. This leaves several avenues for gun activists to continue to have the ability to practice their support, even with the limitations the enactment of the law. Law abiding gun owners should have the capacity to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms openly.

Openly Carrying Serves Two Purposes, the First is Believed by These Individuals:

  • This is an effective way to prevent becoming a victim of a violent crime.
  • It is a belief that when an individual who possesses a firearm visually, will not be forced into a position that they would need to use their weapon.

Open carry laws in California do not apply to assault weapons .[liberals in the legislature think any weapon that looks scary is an assault weapon]. And these are prohibited from being openly carried under Penal Code Section 12280. And this is California’s law against possessing assault weapons or other types of destructive devices. These are prohibited under Penal Code 12303. This section prohibits the possession of destructive devices.


 

Politics and Open Carry

In 2004 the Unloaded Open Carry (UOC), movement began, and has gained momentum over the years. There are currently 38 states that have variations of this law and every state has UOC activists.

Anti Freedom AG
Human trash.

Eric Holder, Anti Second Amendment Activist

In the state of California, these activists often gather in public places for “meet-ups,” which include restaurants and Starbucks in particular. When these gatherings occur, some people who openly carry will wear tape recorders, and possibly video recorders. In some cases, they may have a lawyer present at this gathering of enthusiasts. What they are attempting, is to passively invite an altercation with law enforcement, to challenge their legal rights in court.

These group meetings are a way to protest the California legislation that relates to concealed weapons permits, by the activists. Individuals who are for open carrying of firearms argue that the state only issues the concealed weapons permit to people who are “well connected” and deny the applications of ordinary citizens.


 

Permission to Open Carry

Individuals who are not prohibited from possessing firearms that fall in the “excluded” category include, but are not limited to:

Anyone under the age of 18, who are minors.

Individuals who are a potential threat to themselves or other people, and individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder. People who have been convicted of a felony, and are prohibited from possessing, owning, purchasing or receiving firearms, under California’s Penal Code Section 12021 are covered under the “felon with firearm” law.

Handguns, shotguns, and rifles can be openly carried, as long as the individual has not been legally barred from owning, or possessing firearms. Ammunition or magazines must be carried:

Openly, such as in a holster

Carrying of an unloaded magazine in the gun

So this will help in avoiding the legal issue of having a concealed or partially concealed magazine, which would be considered an illegally concealed weapon. The open carry laws in California apply both to weapons you carry on your person and the Firearms that are openly possessed in a vehicle or motorcycle. When passing through a school zone, you are required to place your weapon in a locked case, which complies with Penal Code 12026.1 PC.

Understanding Other Illegal Acts

Violation of the California Penal Code 12025 PC, “carrying a concealed weapon” law, you will have no protection by the open carry laws. Open carry is the right to carry a firearm openly in public. In specific circumstances, numerous other California gun laws will prohibit the carrying of a firearm legally. It is important to ensure you are not violating any of these other statutes when carrying a gun.
The California gun laws include, but are not limited to:

Carrying Concealed and Loaded Weapons

What about when you are going to and from the gun range, or gunsmith, for example? California Penal Code 12012 PC is the state’s code for the carrying of a concealed weapon law, and if you violate this code, then you will not be protected by the open carry laws. This is because of open carry is the carrying of a firearm plainly and openly in public.

Firearms are considered unloaded when the ammunition for the weapon is in a separate storage compartment. Then you are permitted to carry the unloaded gun and ammunition unless it is used in a felony. Then it is legally considered a loaded weapon, even when the ammunition is carried separately.

The law permits residents to carry a loaded weapon, under specific situations, including the following, but not limited to:

In your home

  • On private property

Certain businesses, in which you have at least a “possessory” interest in, and have the right to exclude others from it, or control the activities within it. So if a police officer stops you, and even if it is in a location that is not prohibited from opening carry a firearm, you are obligated to allow them to inspect your weapon, so they can make sure it is not loaded. Failing to do this, will give the police officers probably cause to arrest you.
What cannot Be Done

California Penal Code 417 PC states that even when you are compliant with the open carry laws in the state, your weapon is unloaded, as well as visible, in a location where it is legal; you may not use the weapon to intimidate or threaten any person. It is likely if you pull your firearm in a threatening, angry or rude manner that prosecutors will charge you with a crime.

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