I have to go to the Socialist Republic of Kalifornia later this week to rescue my sister and her husband (helping them move household goods) and in doing so must surrender my right to be able to defend myself due to their draconian gun laws. Living in Utah I know that my permit is recognized only as far as the Nevada border, but I can transport and possess my Model 1911 albeit in a separate locked container from the corresponding ammunition. I was wondering what advice or opinions you could offer as I leave on this little trek. Any input would be very much appreciated.
Respectfully, – Brad M.
JWR Replies: I can sympathize with you, since I still have a few relatives in California. Parenthetically, my Rawles ancestors came to California via covered wagon in the 1850s. I also have two relatives by marriage who were participants in the Bear Flag Revolt. (Henry Beeson of Boonville and William B. Elliott of Geyserville. The red stripe on the original Bear Flag was some red flannel that had been purchased to make new underwear for William Elliott and a new petticoat for his wife.) If these pioneers were to witness California’s current web of draconian laws, they wouldn’t just chafe–they’d start another revolt!
Getting back to the 21st Century: Under California’s absurd laws, by most common interpretations you can transport a gun into the state only if you have a target shooting session or hunting trip planned. You need to be able to document that planned event–whether or not it ever takes place. (A printout-out of an e-mail exchange between you and yours relatives discussing that shooting session should suffice.) But then, once you are in California you would only be able to have the gun loaded while you are target shooting or hunting, or perhaps while you are inside your sister’s house. (I’m not an attorney, so don’t quote me on that.) Furthermore, even though it must be unloaded and the ammunition in a separate locked compartment of your vehicle, you would not be able to carry your unloaded pistol on any “in and around” trips while you are in California. That would only be allowable when traveling to or from the shooting range, or of course on your final trip out of the state.
Oh, and FYI, though it is not applicable in your case, if you were to stay in California, the pistol would have to be registered by mail within 60 days.)
I urge all of my readers in California to vote with their feet and move out of that doomed Mickey Mouse state! (I say doomed because the political remedies and recourses have been exhausted. The leftist-statists are too deeply entrenched and they have a solid multigenerational voting bloc. It is time to bail!)