Pursuant to California Penal Code section 25400, it is illegal to carry a hidden firearm in a car, on yourself, or to cause a concealed firearm to be carried in a car that you are occupying. Facing charges under California's carrying a concealed weapon law also means that you may be charged with other crimes, including carrying a loaded firearm. A charge under section 25400 is separate from charges for carrying a loaded firearm, or openly carrying an unloaded firearm in public.
If you are facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon, the prosecuting attorney is required to prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. These include that you carried a firearm that could be concealed on your person, that you knew you were carrying a firearm, and that the firearm was largely concealed on your person. The prosecution bears the burden of setting forth evidence that demonstrates all of these elements.
Individuals convicted of carrying a concealed firearm face either misdemeanor or felony charges. First time offenders will likely be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. However, as a wobbler, under certain circumstances, the offense of carrying a concealed weapon may be charged as a felony. If you have a previous felony conviction, or have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon before, you may be charged with a felony. Carrying a stolen firearm or being an active member of a street gang can also lead to felony charges. If convicted of a felony for carrying a concealed weapon, individuals may be punished by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to time in jail or a prison sentence, there are other serious penalties for a conviction of carrying a concealed weapon. An individual can lose their professional or occupational license, and non-U.S. citizens can face immigration consequences.