One of the things about trying to figure out penal code is that it can often be an effort in futility, as a lot of the language involved is complicated, if not downright confusing. This is because the language used wasn’t necessarily designed for the average person, but rather for lawyers who have years of experience decoding this sort of thing. One of the things that can really help when you’re trying to understand the law is to break that language down into its component parts and really start to make sense of what you find there instead of getting bogged down in legalese that can be very technical. With all of that said, in this post we’re going to take a look at the crime of carrying a loaded firearm. We’re going to explore some definitions as well as some defenses you have at your disposal. Let’s get started by taking a look at the definition of this crime.
When it comes to this charge, you’re guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when you carry a loaded firearm either on your person or in a vehicle that’s in a public place or on a public street in an incorporated city or in a prohibited section of an unincorporated city. When it comes to the definition of what exactly a loaded firearm is, a loaded firearm is one that has an unexpended cartridge or shell, has a case that holds a charge of powder, or is attached to the firearm in some way. That covers firearms such as pistols. A muzzle-loaded firearm is considered loaded when it’s either primed or capped, or has some kind of powder charge or ball or shot that’s loaded. One important thing to note is that you can be charged with this crime even if the firearm in question is actually inoperable. If you do carry a gun in public, an officer does have the right to inspect that gun to see if it’s loaded or not.
There are some things that you can do to get your charges dropped or perhaps reduced if certain circumstances apply. For one, you can assert that you weren’t aware that you were in fact carrying a firearm. This is because the law actually requires that you know you’re carrying a firearm in public, not just that you’re carrying it in the first place. You could also insist that the firearm wasn’t loaded. That’s because this charge doesn’t apply to all firearms across the board, but just especially to those firearms that are loaded in some way, as we talked about before. Even if you have the ammunition on you but it isn’t physically loaded into the gun, you’re not guilty of this charge since the gun itself wasn’t in fact loaded. It’s important to note that it’s not good enough that you claim that you didn’t know the gun was loaded, you’ll have to prove in some way without a doubt that you had reason to believe that the gun wasn’t loaded.
As you can see, the letter of the law isn’t that tricky a thing to figure out once you break it down into simpler chunks that explore the actual intent of the law instead of the letter of it, which can often be complicated, as well as overly confusing. And if you are facing this charge and some of these defenses apply to you, it’s important that you get in touch with the right counsel to sort out your case and get your charges reduced, if not dropped altogether.