The last legal wrangling over Californians’ right to carry unloaded firearms in public (AB144) will fight with other legislative bills for Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.
Currently the state of California imposes one of the nation’s toughest firearm restrictions leaving law-abiding gun owners with more rules and regulations to jump through than an old-fashion medicine man selling snake oil.
Gun slingers in California have recently flaunted their ability to openly carry unloaded firearms at public locations, including Starbucks and beach cities. Insiders claim it was this behavior that sent over-zealous lawmakers in California to pass legislation preventing law-abiding residents from taking their guns along when they run errands.
“This is not the wild west,” said State Senator Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles who also penned the ‘flat or fitted sheet’ for hotel maid’s bill). “How discomforting can it be if you walk into a restaurant, a Starbucks, a Mickey D’s and all of a sudden you see someone with a handgun?”
Conservative Republican lawmakers contend this is just another regulation on a long list to restrict honest residents from protecting themselves. California law currently allows residents to carry ammunition on their person, but not in the weapon itself.
“Don’t turn law-abiding citizens into criminals,” State Senator Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) said. “The more we chip away at our ability to protect ourselves, it’s undermining our freedoms.”
The bill was written on behalf of some Police Chief’s and Sheriff’s Departments by Assemblyman Antony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge).
“They are tied up dealing with calls from the public about gun-toting men and women in the coffee shop,” Portantino claimed. However, the number of “open carry” complaints were never disclosed.
Marc Halcon, President of California Association of Firearms Retailers recently responded to new firearm laws; “One of the most fundamental rights we have as citizens of this country is the right to feel safe and secure, not only in our homes but within our community. Although I question the logic of carrying an ‘unloaded’ firearm, I understand the concern of some of our lawmakers. This entire situation would be solved in a matter of minutes if the State of California would follow the vast majority of the other states and allow for the ‘shall issue’ provision for law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon. A secondary benefit would be an increase in State revenue generated by the fees and tax’s associated with allowing a ‘shall issue’ licensing process for law-abiding citizens.”
This hasn’t been the first effort to ban “open carry” weapons, last year Democrat State Assemblywoman Lori Saldana’s bill AD-76 failed to pass during a lame-duck session.
The bill will now head back to the assembly to record a few amendments, which is expected to pass the Democratic chamber, and then head to Governor Brown’s desk.
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