A bill introduced by Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, would ban rifles, shotguns and other long guns from being openly displayed in public, even while unloaded.
Portantino wrote in a press release that the bill is inspired by guns right protest groups that openly carry long guns in public. He noted that , the bill he introduced last year barring the open carry of handguns, the groups began to show up instead with automatic rifles and shotguns at rallies.
“Last year, the state made it clear that this type of behavior had no place on Main Street, California,” Portantino wrote. “Unfortunately, the Open Carry community has decided to once again force our hand by escalating their unnecessary activities and entering our communities with AR-15s and other long guns. I had hoped cooler heads would have prevailed and this law wouldn’t be necessary, obviously that hasn’t been the case and I must once again take action to ensure the safety of our communities.”
California Right to Carry, a , was swift to condemn Portantino and his new legislation.
"Portantino is an idiot," wrote Charles Nichols, the president of California Right to Carry. "By banning long guns in public, Portantino makes it impossible for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to conclude that long guns carried in public are an alternative to openly carried handguns. The Federal Courts take a dim view on complete bans of anything and both the US Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court have already held that such bans are unconstitutional."
Portantino noted that his legislation provides "exemptions to enable safe transportation, lawful hunting, and use by law enforcement officials."
He expects the bill to begin hearings in March or April.