New January 2006; Revised February 2012
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction deﬁning the elements of
The court should give the bracketed deﬁnition of “ﬁrearm” 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.
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 25800.
• Firearm Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 16520.
• Loaded Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 16840.
• Knowledge of Presence of Weapon Required. See People v. Rubalcava (2000)
23 Cal.4th 322, 331–332 [96 Cal.Rptr.2d 735, 1 P.3d 52].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 194.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144,
Crimes Against Order, § 144.01[d] (Matthew Bender).
There are no published cases on this statute. Thus, it is unclear whether the ﬁrearm
must be operable or whether the defendant must know the ﬁrearm is “loaded.” It is
also unclear whether the statute requires that the defendant carry the ﬁrearm on his
or her person or whether it is sufficient if the defendant “has the ﬁrearm available.”
(See People v. Wandick (1991) 227 Cal.App.3d 918, 928 [278 Cal.Rptr. 274]
[discussing meaning of “armed” in Pen. Code, § 12022(a)].) The instruction has
been drafted to provide the court options on these issues. If these issues are present
in the case, the court must decide whether to give bracketed element 5 and which
of the bracketed paragraphs are appropriate.
CALCRIM No. 2590 WEAPONS