Penal Code section 25400, subdivision (a)(1), covers carrying a concealed or concealable weapon in a vehicle. Potential punishment for this violation is as stated in subdivision (c) -- if none of the special provisions of (c)(1) through (c)(6) apply, then (c)(7) makes this violation a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in the county jail.
The applicable code sections are:
25400. (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when the person does any of the following:
(1) Carries concealed within any vehicle that is under the person' s control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(c) Carrying a concealed firearm in violation of this section is punishable as follows:
(1) If the person previously has been convicted of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by a provision listed in Section 16580, as a felony.
(2) If the firearm is stolen and the person knew or had reasonable cause to believe that it was stolen, as a felony.
(3) If the person is an active participant in a criminal street gang, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 186.22, under the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 186.20) of Title 7 of Part 1), as a felony.
(4) If the person is not in lawful possession of the firearm or the person is within a class of persons prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this title, or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as a felony.
(5) If the person has been convicted of a crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or dangerous drug violation, by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(6) If both of the following conditions are met, by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment: (A) The pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person is loaded, or both it and the unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from it are in the immediate possession of the person or readily accessible to that person. (B) The person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 11106 as the registered owner of that pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(7) In all cases other than those specified in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
If the offense is a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations is one year (Penal Code section 802, subdivision (a)).
If any of the provisions which make the offense a felony apply (subdivisions (c)(1) through (c)(6)), then the statute of limitations is three years (Penal Code section 801).
The police will not return these guns until two things happen:
1) A filing decision is made by the DA's office. If the charges are filed, the guns will not be returned until the case is concluded, and maybe not even then depending on the result of the case. If charges are not filed, then:
2) A determination is made whether or not the guns were lawfully owned. If so, they would be returned. If not, they will not be returned and will likely be destroyed.
If you have any other questions about this situation, please let me know.