Confused about "locked container" in California

I have a CCW here in California. If I decide to put my CCW “away” because I am entering a restaurant for dinner and drinks, can I put it in my factory locking console or glove box?

As I understand the law, my CCW is not in effect if I have consumed alcohol. And I assume that so long as I don’t use my weapon, keeping it concealed, I can continue to carry and have dinner & drinks?

Next, is the Console Vault a “locked container” under California law?


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I myself would not take any chances with it in the vehicle at all if I was to go out and have a drink or two. Even if the weapon was unloaded, secured separately from ammo, I the in California they would try to make up something just to prevent you from ever carrying legal again. Some times it best to be safe than sorry. Just my opinion.


California is an awful place. Be very careful.

The term “locked container” means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code Section 25610.

Furthermore (From the California Dept of Justice Standard Application for License to Carry a Concealed Weapon (CCW)):

While exercising the privileges granted to the licensee under the terms of this license, the licensee shall not, when carrying a concealed weapon:
• Consume any alcoholic beverage.
• Be in a place having a primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.

Read and study the statutes carefully and hopefully you live in a county where the LEO’s lean more in favor of being pro-2A.

Good luck


P.S. I may be wrong, but I don’t think you can have ammunition or a loaded magazine in the locked container either.


It is my understanding there is no law in CA against having a loaded magazine in the locked container with the gun as long as it is not loaded in the gun and there is no round in the chamber. Having said that I have heard some CA police say it is illegal to do this and I have heard that people have been arrested for doing this but have not heard of anyone ever being sent to jail for doing this. When it comes to all the ridiculous gun laws in CA it is safe to say that few, if any, completely understand them. Especially many of the people who are enforcing them.

My additional unprofessional interpretation of CA laws is that locking in the glove box or center console would NOT be allowed. But locking in a zippered soft sided case that would be easy for a thief to open and take off with is okie dokie as far as CA is concerned.


This would be a very bad idea. Not just in California, but I’ll bet in most states.

From the USCCA State Laws compendium:


Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in California? There is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry with a California CCWL in a bar/restaurant, unless posted and provided you are not consuming alcohol. However, the CA CCWL application (not in any statute) indicates that even with a license, concealed carry in bars or any place having the primary purpose of dispensing alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption is not allowed. [emphasis added]


Just do yourself a favor and DON’T ask a cop. Nothing against cops, but far too often they operate on a “feels like” basis. If it “feels like it should be illegal” then I’m going to go with that.

Ask an Attorney who specializes in firearm/carry laws for your State/area.


Here’s what our Reciprocity Map has about that in California:
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I second @Spence’s comment about talking to an attorney who specializes in firearms/carry laws in your area.

The glove box is not considered a locked box neither is a locked console. Your trunk is OK. If your going to drink your best bet is to leave your EDC at home in a safe. If you get pulled over for DWI you may just loose your right to carry too.
To be honest if your drunk you might not be able to hit what your shooting at anyway. Or even worse shoot something you shouldn’t of.

I dug into this a while back and you must have the handgun and the ammunition in separate containers. The ammunition does not need to be locked up.
If the handgun is in a locked case, the case and ammo can be in the same container such as a range bag.

Would be interested in seeing the actual law stating that requirement. Here is an image from the CHP website implying otherwise. But as I stated above, following the law in CA may not keep you from being arrested in CA if you are a lawful gun owner. CA officials seem far more interested in getting law abiding gun owners off the streets than putting real criminals behind bars.