California Bill Would Require Long Gun Carry in Public & Ban Open Carry of Handguns
Sacramento, California –-(Ammoland.com)- Like most states, California law allows law abiding adults to openly carry properly holstered handguns without any permit. California’s law is just stricter – it, alone among all other states, requires openly carried guns to be unloaded in incorporated areas.
California strictly bans the concealed carry of handguns, and concealed carry permits are rarely issued and when they are, it is on a “may issue” basis.
But now Assembly Member Anthony Portantino (D – Pasadena) wants to drive a stake through the heart of the Second Amendment in California by way of AB 144, a rambling, complicated, and convoluted 99 page, 8,601 word bill to, inter alia, ban the open carry of handguns generally in California.
Under Portantino’s scheme, citizens would essentially be required to open carry shotguns or rifles in public places like Ralph’s grocery stores, Starbucks, sidewalks, streets, and other public places. “I don’t know what Portantino is thinking,” says John Pierce, Co-founder of OpenCarry.org. “If Portantino wants guns out of sight, his bill is going to backfire,” adds Pierce.
“Places like Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade will look like a moving gun show when parents shoulder AR-15s and double-barreled shotguns while taking their kids out for ice cream.”
California gun rights groups like South Bay Open Carry and the Responsible Citizens of California (RCC) also oppose Portantino’s bill.3 RCC Spokesperson Yih-Chau Chang explains that
“We just think the Supreme Court made a lot of sense” when it held in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) that the Second Amendment protects handgun carry because handguns can be carried in a holster and aimed “with one hand while the other hand dials the police.”
Pierce points out that the Florida legislature is on the verge of legalizing open carry and that as the open carry movement has expanded in California, rank and file law enforcement leaders acknowledge that open carriers haven’t caused a public safety problem. For example, Palo Alto Police Lt. Sandra Brown told the Mercury News on March 5, 2010 that “we don’t suggest that people panic, because there hasn’t been a problem with open-carry . . . in other cities.” And as San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Phelps explained to the San Bernadino Sun, on September 6, 2010, “gang members aren’t known to open carry.”4
Since 2010, thousands of Californians have signed online petitions5 opposing bills to ban open carry, and such bills have all failed over the last few years. On Saturday April 9, 2011, OpenCarry.org launches a radio campaign to turn up the heat on Portantino and his anti-gun rights agenda.
“In just a few days we will reach about 1 million listeners,” says Pierce, “and many will not like the fact that politicians in Sacramento are attacking their right to carry.”
OpenCarry.org was founded in 2004 by Virginia gun-rights activists John Pierce and Mike Stollenwerk and has served to ignite the “Open Carry Movement” that is sweeping the country. In addition to being an invaluable legal resource for gun owners, the site has quickly grown to be a social networking portal for thousands of American gun owners. Visit: www.OpenCarry.org