Excerpted from pages 28/29 of California Firearm Laws 2007
NOTE: A firearm carried openly in a belt holster is not considered "concealed" as it
applies to the above prohibition. (Penal Code § 12025(f).)
Section 12025 does not apply to or affect any of the following:
• Any citizen of the United States or legal resident over the age of 18 years who resides or is
temporarily within this state, and who is not prohibited from owning or possessing firearms
pursuant to Penal Code sections 12021 or 12021.1 or section 8100 or 8101 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code (folks with criminal records, restraining orders, etc), may carry, either openly or concealed, anywhere within his or her place of
business, or on private property owned or lawfully possessed by him or her any pistol, revolver,
or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. A permit or license to purchase,
own, possess, keep, or carry is not required under these circumstances. (Penal Code § 12026.)
• The transportation or carrying of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being
concealed upon the person by any citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years
who resides or is temporarily within this state, and is not within the excepted classes
prescribed by Penal Code Sections 12021 or 12021.1 or Welfare and Institutions Code sections
8100 or 8103, provided that the following applies:
- the firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the vehicle's trunk or in a locked container
in the vehicle other than the utility or glove compartment, and;
- when the firearm is carried by the person to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose, the
firearm must be contained in a locked container while being physically carried.
Excerpted from attached Wikipedia - Guns Laws by State
California Open Carry Laws
Personal possession (i.e. carry) of a loaded firearm is prohibited in incorporated areas (such as inside city limits) or prohibited areas of unincorporated territory without a license to carry or other exemption provided for by law (California Penal Code § 12031 ). A license to carry "loaded and exposed" may be issued by a Police Chief or County Sheriff in a county with population of less than 200,000 persons at the last census (California Penal Code § 12050 ). No license or permit is required to openly carry a loaded firearm in unincorporated areas where discharge is not prohibited by local ordinance.
In spite of these restrictions, there is no section of the California penal code that specifically prohibits open carry of an unloaded handgun (though possession may be restricted or prohibited in certain areas such as a State Park (CCR Title 14, Div.3, chap. 1, s 4313 (a), in a school zone (PC626.9) or federal properties like a Post Office or National Parks(36 C.F.R. 2.4(a)).
Carrying a loaded magazine separate from the handgun is also not prohibited under the penal code (Subdivision (G) of California Penal Code 12031 defines what constitutes a loaded weapon).