Posted by gofthej2013
Questions about new laws regarding open carry of firearms. It is often the case that I will be cleaning firearms outdoors. I have a patio in the back yard enclosed by a 5 1/2 foot tall fence. There is no fence enclosing the front yard. The garage opens to the front yard. Question 1: If I am cleaning a firearm on the patio in my back yard and my neighbors happens to peek over my fence and see me, can they call the police and have me arrested for a) brandishing or b) violating open carry or c) both. Question 2: If I am cleaning a firearm in my garage and I open the garage door to ventilate the fumes, and people from the street can see into my garage and see me handling/cleaning a firearm, can they call the police and have me arrested for a) brandishing or b) violating open carry or c) both. The new laws regarding “open carry” are particularly confusing.
You still have the right to own a weapon in your own home barring that you don’t have any provisions prohibiting you to have a gun (ex con/parolee, domestic violence convictions, diagnosed with certain mental conditions). If you are cleaning your weapon in your backyard, you are fine. Brandishing is drawing or exhibiting a firearm in a threatening, angry or rude manner. If you are merely cleaning your gun, it wouldn’t fit the elements of brandishing. Same goes for cleaning your gun in your garage. Merely handling your gun for the purpose of cleaning it isn’t the same as carrying it around in a public place for the purpose of “protection.” Go to www.oag.ca.gov/firearms. This website has everything you need to know about firearms in the state of California and also provides information bulletins, lists the new amended laws for the state, and talks about legislation. I hope this helps.