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'Open Carry' Gun Bill Signed into Law

Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, it will be illegal in California to openly carry unloaded firearms in public, thanks to Assemblyman Anthony Portantino's bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Monday.

Raising the ire of gun enthusiasts statewide, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law late Sunday the measure that will make it illegal to openly carry unloaded firearms in public.

Introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), and backed by California Police Chiefs and rank-and-file officers, AB 144 outlaws the practice of visibily displaying unloaded handguns.

“‘Open carry’ wastes law enforcement time and resources when they could be out catching criminals or solving crimes,'' Portantino wrote in a prepared statement. "Instead, when officers are called to investigate the display of a weapon on an ‘open carry’ proponent, it takes their attention away from where it’s needed and puts folks at unnecessary risk.”

On the other side of the controversial legislation are gun owners and gun enthusiasts who believe Brown's passage of the bill is a violation of their second ammendment rights.

"For almost 90 percent of residents in the state of California--San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, the greater Bay Area--the possibility of getting a concealed weapon permit is impossible,'' said Sam Paredes, the chief lobbyist for the Gun Owners of California (GOC).

Paredes, listed as a member of the Board of Directors of Gun Owners of America on the GOA website, as well as someone who's worked with Gun Owners of California (GOC) for more than 30 years, told Patch Monday that "the whole universe of pro-gun orgnaizations'' will get together and file a legal challenge to the open carry law.

They Want to Overturn the Law

"We want this overturned and to make California a shall-issue state, forcing chiefs of police and sheriffs to give to law abiding citizens with clean records the right to publicly carry handguns. The right to bear arms is not intended for only in your home,'' Paredes said.

Adding that this is "the beginning of the fight,'' Paredes said he was not sure how quickly he and others would file the challenge.

makes it a crime to openly carry an unloaded handgun in any public place or street. Violations are a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Law enforcement personnel are exempt, as are hunters and others carrying unloaded weapons under specified licensed circumstances.

California is one of many states that allow so-called “open carry” of firearms. Carrying loaded firearms in public is already against the law in California.

The dispute came to a head last year when gun enthusiasts began showing up in coffee shops, restaurants and public beaches with unloaded guns strapped to their hips, according to Portantino's office.

This was Portantino's first attempt at open-carry legislation. Last year another Assembly member-–Lori Saldaña--authored similar legislation, but, at the last minute, the bill got held up on the floor of the assembly and never made it to the governor's desk. According to Portantino's spokeswoman, Wendy Gordon, police chiefs and officers asked the legislator in December to carry the bill this year.

The ''open carry'' ban will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

timmy February 24, 2012 at 07:28 AM
I just want to know what women are trying to show off if they are for open carry. riddle me that bat man. am i not allowed to carry some puny .380 mouse gun when im at the car wash after picking up the kids from school? Do you think i feel safe in todays society with the economy driving criminals to rob and kill in broad daylight... im just curious. and sorry to start up a dead horse as someone called it but i resent being called a show off and im pretty sure this issue is far from over
Manuel Baca October 05, 2012 at 06:48 AM
We are afforded the right to bear arms. I can't believe I'm moving to a State where Criminals have more rights than those they attack. While we're at it why don't we just force women to throw themselves on the ground and rip their pants off and spread their legs and let some psycho just rape them get up wipe off and go on with their business since fighting and protecting themselves from a rapist has stronger consequences than the act of rape itself. Or just shoot ourselves in the head when an armed burglar enters our home so we don't have to spend life in prison for protecting ourselves!! For those of you whining about defending such stupid laws I hope that you someday become victims and some rapist or armed burglar has their way with you and beats and rapes the hell out of you and you can lie there like a little wuss and take it. Then if you're lucky you can call the police and they can come and identify your body because you die before help arrives.
Manuel Baca October 05, 2012 at 07:09 AM
The law will be overturned by the Feds because it will be found unconstitutional. Use common sense criminals will conceal their weapons and they will use them on people who appear vulnerable. Law abiding citizens carrying openly aren't out to play old west and just have a shoot me up party. We're about protecting ourselves and others which in most state is the main part of all deadly force self defense laws. If you prevent law abiding citizens the right to carry then you are openly allowing and inviting the criminals to commit their crimes whether it be robbery, birder, massacre or forcible rape. While here in New Mexico I've had to draw my weapon twice both times in self defense the perpetrator in both cases got scared dropped the gun and ran. I carefully preserved the weapon that was dropped and police were able to arrest them and them with felon in possession of a firearm which created a stricter penalty and kept them off the streets and the stolen guns were returned to their legal owners.
Manuel Baca October 05, 2012 at 07:18 AM
First off Long Division. I do not watch anything related to the extreme right wing agenda and up until a few months ago was a Democrat until I switched to independent. Secondly as someone who will be moving to California soon I wanted to research gun and self defense laws in California but from what I've seen is I have to be a hardened criminal in order to carry a gun because law abiding citizens are not allowed. Sure we don't need a return to the old west but what kind of jackass criminal is going to be stupid enough to draw on someone who is packing? Finally I leave you with these analogies. A gun is like a condom you may not need to use it but if you do you'll be glad you had one. The other is "When seconds count the police are only minutes away". I'm very glad you have never had a fun pulled on you but I'd love to be there if it ever happens to watch you pies your pants and beg the big bad criminal not to hurt you. Or maybe you can remind him armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon are illegal and he'll suddenly come to his senses and drop the gun and sit down and wait for the police to come and arrest him. Or maybe Harry Potter will ride in on a flying unicorn and rescue you.
The MOG October 05, 2012 at 07:40 AM
Dear Sir, with all due respect, for NavyRetired you sound awfully naive. I am recently from Phoenix,& there are plenty of reasons for a citizen to carry a pistol. The least of which, is it's just plain fun. The least of which it is not, is that it is our God Given Right To Self-defense, we excercise when we freely choose to carry. As long as it's holstered & in the open (slung if a ,rifle). It's simply the kind of equalizer that assures the chances for violence will be minimal. Of the 4 Bills re: Firearms on Gov. Browns desk, only this one escaped the Veto Pen. That is a testament to the kind of grass roots support that groups like the NRA have, when it comes to the governments never ending quest to disarm the American People. I'm proud to stand up for freedom, & frankly I don't understand your views, however sincere they must be. Thank you.

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