Law Blog

Carrying a Concealed Weapon in a Motor Vehicle

Why am I facing Carrying a Concealed Weapon charges?

Recently a client came to me with a serious question; why am I being charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon when I was sitting in my car and my gun was on my hip, in its holster?

It’s a completely reasonable question.  The client was sitting in her car when she was approached by an officer.  The officer asked her to exit the vehicle, which she did.  When she got out of the car, the officer saw the holster and gun on her hip and immediately asked if she had a CPL.  The client did not and she was subsequently arrested and charged with CCW (carrying a concealed weapon).  Was the gun legally owned?  Yes.  Was it registered to my client?  Yes.  So why was she charged? 

The answer is equal parts obvious and frustrating.  According to the law, a weapon is “concealed” if it is “not discernible by the ordinary observation of persons casually observing the person carrying it.”  That’s a fancy way of saying that if you can’t easily see where the weapon is, you’re going to get charged.  That means that if a gun is on your hip, in a holster, and you’re sitting in a car, a person talking to you from outside the vehicle probably cannot see the gun…especially if its on the hip that is next to the center console.   The fact that when she exited the vehicle and the weapon was then not concealed didn’t prevent her from being charged for how the weapon “concealed” before she got out of the car, thus she was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.   

When a client retains Nessel and Kessel Law we immediately begin to develop a comprehensive strategy for success.  Sometimes success means convincing the prosecutor to dismiss the charges completely, or have them greatly reduced.  Other times it means a motion to suppress evidence to have the case dismissed by a judge, or fully preparing for trial and securing a not guilty verdict.  Each case and set of facts are different.  Contact Nessel and Kessel Law today and see what success can mean for you.


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