I keep seeing people writing annoying things like this (bold is mine)
I called the local chp office about [gun] transport laws
and the supervisor told me that basically I could either:
A: Put my unloaded gun in my trunk (locks not needed) and ammo in the cab.
B: Locked guns in the cab (no case) and ammo in the trunk. Yes, I can have the ammo stored in clips and mags.
“…and you’ll be ok“
First, what defines a “loaded” firearm?
A firearm is deemed loaded when there is a live cartridge or shell in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm. A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. (Penal Code § 12031(g).)
For the purposes of Penal Code section 12023 (commission or attempted commission of a felony while armed with a loaded firearm), a firearm is deemed loaded when both the firearm and the unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from the firearm are in the immediate possession of the same person.
Where may a firearm be stored in a vehicle?
Section 12025 (the part about it being an illegally concealed firearm) does not apply to or affect any of the following:
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,
To be even more specific, let me refer you to the actual text of the law
12026.1.(a) Section 12025 shall not be construed to prohibit any citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or is temporarily within this state, and who is not within the excepted classes prescribed by Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, from transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that the following applies to the firearm:
(1) 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.
(2) The firearm is carried by the person directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while carrying the firearm, the firearm is contained within a locked container.
(b) The provisions of this section do not prohibit or limit the otherwise lawful carrying or transportation of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in accordance with this chapter.
(c) As used in this section, “locked container” means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device.
(If the above link doesn’t work, go here and do a search checking the “Penal” check and searching for “12026.1″)
You will notice that there is no mention of storing the firearm in a different container from the ammunition. So feel free to put your unloaded (the standard definition… no ammo in the gun) firearm in the same locked container as your loaded magazines. These two things can be loose in your trunk, or in a locked box in the passenger compartment; the glove compartment isn’t considered a locked box but something like a GunVault is.
Also note that the firearm must be unloaded because statute 12031 says that having a loaded firearm in most places is illegal. There’s a list of exceptions like your place of business and your legal residence but they are illegal on public streets, public places and many other places.