An individual's right to bear arms is not without limitations. In California, you can transport firearms within the state so long as you are at least 18 years old and not prohibited from doing so under federal or state law. However, depending on the type of firearm, it must be transported in a particular manner and inside the proper container.
Under California law, a pistol, handgun or similar firearm that's small enough to be concealed has to be carried in a locked container while it's being transported from one place to another. The state defines "locked container" as a secure container that's fully enclosed and locked by means of a key lock, combination lock, padlock or a similar locking device. There are no specifications as to the size or shape of the case, as long as it's large enough to contain the weapon.
Registered assault weapons must be carried in a locked container, just like handguns and other concealable weapons. Similar to the state's handgun law, there's no legal requirement regarding the size or shape of the transport case, other than it must be secure, fully enclosed and lockable by means of a padlock, key lock, combination lock or similar type of locking device.
State law says the trunk of a car is considered an acceptable container to transport any type of firearm, including a handgun, rifle and assault weapon. The trunk, however, must have a working lock, and the weapon must be unloaded while being transported. However, a vehicle's glove compartment is not considered by the state to be an acceptable case for transporting a weapon.
Rifles and shotguns, which are considered non-concealable firearms under California law, are not covered in the section of the state's penal code regarding the acceptable transport cases for concealable firearms. Due to that exemption, shotguns and rifles aren't required to be transported in a locked case. However, the law requires the weapons remain unloaded during transport.
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