Carrying a Concealed Weapon PC 25400

Facing a charge for carrying a concealed weapon in California? You’re not alone, and you have rights.

Under California Penal Code 25400, carrying a concealed weapon is a serious offense. This could mean a handgun tucked in your waistband or even a rifle hidden in your car.

The laws are complex. The penalties? They can be severe. You could be looking at jail time, hefty fines, or both. And let’s not forget — a criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life.

Understanding the law is your first step to building a strong defense. This article breaks down what PC 25400 means, what the prosecutor must prove, and what defenses are available to you.

Keep reading. Knowledge is your best weapon right now.

Tucked in a belt pistol being concealed

What Is California’s Legal Definition of Carrying a Concealed Firearm?

In California, carrying a concealed firearm is defined under Penal Code 25400. According to this law, you are guilty of carrying a concealed firearm if you do any of the following:

  • Carry a concealed firearm on your person.
  • Have a concealed firearm within a vehicle you are in.
  • Cause a firearm to be concealed within a vehicle you’re in.

The word “concealed” is key. It means the weapon is not visible to an ordinary observer. This law applies to both handguns and other types of firearms.

It’s not as simple as it sounds. There are exceptions, nuances, and defenses that can apply. That’s why understanding the legal definition is crucial for your defense.

How Can I Fight a Carrying a Concealed Weapon PC 25400 Charge?

Facing a charge for carrying a concealed weapon in California is serious. But you’re not out of options. There are defenses that can help you fight this charge.

Below, we’ll dive into the various legal defenses that could apply to your situation. Understanding these defenses could be the key to your freedom. Keep reading to arm yourself with valuable information, and reach out to an attorney to build a defense that’s uniquely tailored to your case.


You Did Not Know You Were Carrying the Firearm

Sometimes, you may have simply not been aware of the gun. You may have been borrowing a car from a friend for example. If that friend was the registered owner and did not notify you of the firearm’s presence, that can lead to reasonable doubt that you intended to break the law.

Intent is one of the most critical elements of the crime you are charged with, so proving you did not intend to break the law may help your case.

The Gun Was in the Trunk or a Locked Container in Your Vehicle

Part of gun safety is ensuring that firearms are safely locked away from anyone who should not have them. Because of this, you may have had the gun safely tucked away in the trunk or a locked container.

However, you may still have been arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon. An attorney may be able to demonstrate that you had properly stowed the weapon in a way that wasn’t in violation of PC 25400.

You Have a License to Carry a Concealed Weapon

In some cases, proving that you are licensed to carry a concealed weapon is enough to beat your charge. If you had legal grounds to concealed carry your firearm, reach out to an attorney to discuss how to present this evidence and show that you were not breaking the law.

The Police Obtained the Weapon Through an Illegal Search and Seizure

Your firearm may have been found or taken through police misconduct. You have rights under the Fourth Amendment protecting you from illegal search and seizure. That means a police officer needs probable cause to search you or your vehicle, or reason to believe that a crime is occurring.

For example, if you are pulled over for a routine traffic stop, that does not necessarily give them a right to search your vehicle. The police will need a search warrant or probable cause to seek out hidden weapons on your person or property.

You Carried the Weapon in Self-Defense

You may have carried the weapon because you were harassed, stalked, or threatened.

In this case, your lawyer may argue that you chose to carry a concealed weapon to prevent a violent, life-threatening incident against you or others.

What Are the Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm in California?

Because the offense of carrying a concealed firearm in California can be so broad and complex, your penalties may vary depending on the specifics of your case. Here are the penalties you could face under California law.

Misdemeanor Carrying a Concealed Firearm

Carrying concealed firearm offenses may be only a misdemeanor in some cases.

You may face up to one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, and probation. You may also lose your right to own a firearm if you are convicted of a weapons charge.

‘Straight’ Felonies Under Penal Code 25400 PC

While carrying a concealed firearm may be a misdemeanor in some cases, aggravating factors can turn it into a felony. Because of this, the prosecution can also charge you with a straight felony.

That means some aggravating factors, including affiliation with a criminal street gang, prior felony convictions, or a lack of a license to carry, were present.

What Charges Are Related to Carrying a Concealed Weapon PC 25400?


Carrying a concealed weapon is a serious charge and may not be the only charge you face. It is not uncommon to face multiple weapons charges stemming from a single incident.

Below are a few related charges you may face if you are already charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Possession of a Silencer – PC 33410

Certain firearm accessories, such as silencers, are outlawed, and you may face felony charges if you have them.

California’s Prohibited Weapons Laws – PC 16590

California has strict, specific gun laws and outlaws certain other dangerous weapons. These include short-barrel shotguns, cane guns, certain martial arts weapons, and blunt weapons such as brass knuckles.

Aiding a Felony with a Firearm Law – PC 12022.4

You may already be facing other felony charges, but what if you had a gun when accused of committing a separate felony? In these cases, your charges may be much more severe, depending on the type of weapon and how it was used.

Possessing Ammunition Designed to Penetrate Metal or Armor Laws – PC 12022.2

Penal Code 12022.2 makes it an additional crime to possess armor-piercing ammunition during the commission of a felony. The law is specific about “metal-penetrating” or “armor-piercing” ammo, which is designed to go through metal or armor.

If you’re caught with this type of ammunition while committing a felony, you could face extra penalties. This is on top of any other charges you might be facing for the primary felony offense.

Personal Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony Laws PC 12022.5

Using a firearm while committing a felony carries additional penalties. This is not just for possessing, but for actually using the gun during the crime. If you’re convicted of the underlying felony and found to have used a firearm, you face additional time in prison.

Open Carry Laws – PC 26350

California is not an open-carry state. That means that if you are in a public space with a gun openly on your person, you may be charged with a crime. This is true whether the gun is loaded or unloaded.

Possession of a Destructive or Explosive Devices Laws in California – PC 18710

California state law says it is a crime to possess destructive weapons, including grenades, bombs, and missiles. Talk to your lawyer to build a defense for these cases.


Seek Out a Lawyer for Concealed Weapon Charges

Are you facing severe penalties for carrying a concealed weapon? You don’t have to go through it alone. An Elite Criminal Defense attorney can help. We’re ready to help you build your case and guide you through the legal process.

Want to talk about your situation? Contact us now to schedule a consultation. Call 619-642-2310 or complete our online form. We’re here to assist you.

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