California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
2521. Carrying Concealed Firearm Within Vehicle (Pen. Code, § 25400(a)(1))Download PDF
2521.Carrying Concealed Firearm Within Vehicle (Pen. Code,
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with unlawfully carrying a
concealed ﬁrearm within a vehicle [in violation of Penal Code section
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant carried within a vehicle a ﬁrearm capable of
being concealed on the person;
2. The defendant knew the ﬁrearm was in the vehicle;
3. The ﬁrearm was substantially concealed within the vehicle;
4. The vehicle was under the defendant’s control or direction.
[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 with in a
vehicle if <insert defense from Pen. Code, § 25600, 25605,
25525, 25510, or 25450>. The People have the burden of proving beyond
a reasonable doubt that the defendant unlawfully carried a concealed
ﬁrearm within a vehicle. 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.”
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
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 25400(a)(1)
•Firearm Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 16520.
• Knowledge Required. People v. Jurado (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 1027,
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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].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, §§ 154–159.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144,
Crimes Against Order, § 144.01[d] (Matthew Bender).
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.
Gun in Unlocked Carrying Case Is Concealed
“If a ﬁrearm is transported in a vehicle in such a manner as to be invisible unless
its carrying case is opened, it is concealed in the ordinary and usual meaning of the
term.” (People v. Hodges (1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 1348, 1355 [83 Cal.Rptr.2d 619].)
Thus, carrying a ﬁrearm in an unlocked case in a vehicle violates Penal Code
section 25400(a)(1). (Ibid.) However, Penal Code section 25525 makes it lawful to
transport a ﬁrearm in a vehicle if it is in a locked case.
Not Necessary for Defendant to Possess or Control the Firearm
“The statute does not require that the defendant have the exclusive possession and
control of the ﬁrearm.” (People v. Davis (1958) 157 Cal.App.2d 33, 36 [320 P.2d
88].) The court in People v. Davis, supra, upheld the conviction where the
CALCRIM No. 2521 WEAPONS
defendant owned and controlled the vehicle and knew of the presence of the
ﬁrearm below the seat, even though the weapon was placed there by someone else
and belonged to someone else. (Ibid.)
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