California Penal Code Section 171.5
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California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 171.5
171.5. (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Airport" means an airport, with a secured area, that
regularly serves an air carrier holding a certificate issued by the
United States Secretary of Transportation.
(2) "Passenger vessel terminal" means only that portion of a
harbor or port facility, as described in Section 105.105(a)(2) of
Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, with a secured area that
regularly serves scheduled commuter or passenger operations.
(3) "Sterile area" means a portion of an airport defined in the
airport security program to which access generally is controlled
through the screening of persons and property, as specified in
Section 1540.5 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or a
portion of any passenger vessel terminal to which, pursuant to the
requirements set forth in Sections 105.255(a)(1), 105.255(c)(1), and
105.260(a) of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, access is
generally controlled in a manner consistent with the passenger vessel
terminal's security plan and the MARSEC level in effect at the time.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, within any
sterile area of an airport or a passenger vessel terminal, any of
the items listed in subdivision (c).
(c) The following items are unlawful to possess as provided in
(1) Any firearm.
(2) Any knife with a blade length in excess of four inches, the
blade of which is fixed, or is capable of being fixed, in an
unguarded position by the use of one or two hands.
(3) Any box cutter or straight razor.
(4) Any metal military practice hand grenade.
(5) Any metal replica hand grenade.
(6) Any plastic replica hand grenade.
(7) Any imitation firearm as defined in Section 417.4.
(8) Any frame, receiver, barrel, or magazine of a firearm.
(9) Any unauthorized tear gas weapon.
(10) Any taser or stun gun, as defined in Section 244.5.
(11) Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a
BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or
spring action, or any spot marker gun or paint gun.
(12) Any ammunition as defined in Section 16150.
(d) Subdivision (b) shall not apply to, or affect, any of the
(1) A duly appointed peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5
(commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, a retired peace
officer with authorization to carry concealed weapons as described in
Article 2 (commencing with Section 25450) of Chapter 2 of Division 5
of Title 4 of Part 6, a full-time paid peace officer of another
state or the federal government who is carrying out official duties
while in California, or any person summoned by any of these officers
to assist in making arrests or preserving the peace while he or she
is actually engaged in assisting the officer.
(2) A person who has authorization to possess a weapon specified
in subdivision (c), granted in writing by an airport security
coordinator who is designated as specified in Section 1542.3 of Title
49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and who is responsible for
the security of the airport.
(3) A person, including an employee of a licensed contract guard
service, who has authorization to possess a weapon specified in
subdivision (c) granted in writing by a person discharging the duties
of Facility Security Officer or Company Security Officer pursuant to
an approved United States Coast Guard facility security plan, and
who is responsible for the security of the passenger vessel terminal.
(e) A violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail for a period not exceeding six months, or by a fine not
exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and
(f) The provisions of this section are cumulative, and shall not
be construed as restricting the application of any other law.
However, an act or omission that is punishable in different ways by
this and any other provision of law shall not be punished under more
than one provision.
(g) Nothing in this section is intended to affect existing state
or federal law regarding the transportation of firearms on airplanes
in checked luggage, or the possession of the items listed in
subdivision (c) in areas that are not "sterile areas."
Last modified: February 22, 2013