CALCRIM No. 2520. Carrying Concealed Firearm on Person (Pen. Code, § 25400(a)(2))
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)Download PDF
C. CARRYING A FIREARM
2520.Carrying Concealed Firearm on Person (Pen. Code,
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with unlawfully carrying a
concealed firearm on (his/her) person [in violation of Penal Code section
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant carried on (his/her) person a firearm capable of
being concealed on the person;
2. The defendant knew that (he/she) was carrying a firearm;
3. It was substantially concealed on the defendant’s person.
[A firearm capable of being concealed on the person is any device
designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is expelled or
discharged through a barrel by the force of an explosion or other form
of combustion and that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. [A
firearm capable of being concealed on the person also includes any device
that has a barrel 16 inches or more in length that is designed to be
interchanged with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.] [A firearm also
includes any rocket, rocket-propelled projectile launcher, or similar
device containing any explosive or incendiary material, whether or not
the device is designed for emergency or distress signaling purposes.]]
[The term firearm capable of being concealed on the person is defined in
[A firearm does not need to be in working order if it was designed to
shoot and appears capable of shooting.]
[Firearms carried openly in belt holsters are not concealed.]
<Defense: Statutory Exemption>
[The defendant did not unlawfully carry a concealed firearm if
<insert defense from Pen. Code, § 25450, 25510, 25525,
25600, or 25605>. The People have the burden of proving beyond a
reasonable doubt that the defendant unlawfully carried a concealed
firearm. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the
defendant not guilty of this crime.]
New January 2006; Revised February 2012
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
crime. If the defendant is charged with any of the sentencing factors in Penal Code
section 25400(c), the court must also give the appropriate instruction from
CALCRIM Nos. 2540-2546. (People v. Hall (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 128, 135 [79
The court should give the bracketed definition of “firearm capable of being
concealed on the person” unless the court has already given the definition in other
instructions. In such cases, the court may give the bracketed sentence stating that
the term is defined elsewhere.
Penal Code section 25400(a) prohibits carrying a concealed “pistol, revolver, or
other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.” Penal Code section
16530 provides a single definition for this class of weapons. Thus, the committee
has chosen to use solely the all-inclusive phrase “firearm capable of being concealed
on the person.”
Defenses - Instructional Duty
Exemptions and a justification for carrying a concealed firearm are stated in Penal
Code sections 25600, 25605, 25525, 25510, and 25450. If sufficient evidence has
been presented to raise a reasonable doubt about the existence of a legal basis for
the defendant’s actions, the court has a sua sponte duty to give the bracketed
instruction on the defense. (See People v. Mower (2002) 28 Cal.4th 457, 478-481
[122 Cal.Rptr.2d 326, 49 P.3d 1067] [discussing affirmative defenses generally and
the burden of proof].) Insert the appropriate language in the bracketed paragraph
that begins, “The defendant did not unlawfully . . . .”
CALCRIM No. 2540, Carrying Firearm: Specified Convictions.
CALCRIM No. 2541, Carrying Firearm: Stolen Firearm.
CALCRIM No. 2542, Carrying Firearm: Active Participant in Criminal Street
CALCRIM No. 2543, Carrying Firearm: Not in Lawful Possession.
CALCRIM No. 2544, Carrying Firearm: Possession of Firearm Prohibited Due to
Conviction, Court Order, or Mental Illness.
CALCRIM No. 2545, Carrying Firearm: Not Registered Owner.
CALCRIM No. 2546, Carrying Concealed Firearm: Not Registered Owner and
CALCRIM No. 2520 WEAPONS
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 25400(a)(2).
• Firearm Defined. Pen. Code, § 16520.
• Knowledge Required. People v. Jurado (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 1027, 1030-1031
[102 Cal.Rptr. 498]; People v. Rubalcava (2000) 23 Cal.4th 322, 331-332 [96
Cal.Rptr.2d 735, 1 P.3d 52].
• Concealment Required. People v. Nelson (1960) 185 Cal.App.2d 578, 580-581
[8 Cal.Rptr. 288].
• Factors in Pen. Code, § 25400(c) Sentencing Factors, Not Elements. People v.
Hall (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 128, 135 [79 Cal.Rptr.2d 690].
• Justifications and Exemptions. Pen. Code, §§ 25600, 25605, 25525, 25510,
• Need Not Be Operable. People v. Marroquin (1989) 210 Cal.App.3d 77, 82
[258 Cal.Rptr. 290].
• Substantial Concealment. People v. Wharton (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 72, 75 [6
Cal.Rptr.2d 673] [interpreting now-repealed Pen. Code, § 12020(a)(4)]; People v.
Fuentes (1976) 64 Cal.App.3d 953, 955 [134 Cal.Rptr. 885] [same].
• Statute Is Not Unconstitutionally Vague. People v. Hodges (1999) 70
Cal.App.4th 1348, 1355 [83 Cal.Rptr.2d 619].
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
If the defendant is charged with one of the sentencing factors that makes this
offense a felony, then the misdemeanor offense is a lesser included offense. The
statute defines as a misdemeanor all violations of the statute not covered by the
specified sentencing factors. (Pen. Code, § 25400(c)(7).) The court must provide the
jury with a verdict form on which the jury will indicate if the sentencing factor has
been proved. If the jury finds that the sentencing factor has not been proved, then
the offense should be set at a misdemeanor.
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, §§ 203, 204-209.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144, Crimes
Against Order, § 144.01[d] (Matthew Bender).
WEAPONS CALCRIM No. 2520