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California to snuff out “open carry” of firearms

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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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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HR 45 takes aim at the Second Amendment

With the country busy talking about cap-and-trade, illegal immigration and health care, Congressmen Bobby Rush of Illinois slithered into committee legislation to curb American’s Second Amendment rights.

The Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record Sale Act of 2009 or HR 45 is set to amend the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Pursuant to the legislation, a person would have to be issued a firearm license and states such a license would have to renewed on a yearly basis.

Uncle Sam wants money from gun owners on a yearly basis and would most likely collect those fees through the 1040 tax form.

The new law would prohibit transferring a firearm to any family members unless they provide a valid firearm license. The license must be checked by a dealer by using an special authorization number.

The proposed legislation directs the Attorney General to establish and implement a federal record of the sale system. This would create another bureaucratic level for gun owners to jump through on a yearly basis.

HR 45 also seeks to charge gun owners with a crime if they do not comply with the instant criminal background check, fail to report a loss or theft of the gun within 72 hours, fail to notify the Attorney General’s office with a change in address within 60 days and keeping a firearm loaded.

Lawful gun owners have written the government regarding HR 45 stating the following; “Currently there are more than 20,000 existing gun laws on the books and most do nothing to curtail criminals…Where ever lawful ownership flourishes, crime rates, by what ever measure are reduced.”

There would also be a yearly fee attached for gun owners in order to pay for a new bureaucratic office the government would need to set up.

Gun rights’ activists are extremely hawkish when it comes to new legislation and this bill is no different. “If this bill passes, Democrats would likely lose control of their chamber in upcoming mid-term elections in 2010,” said Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

According to Keane, more than 80 million U.S. citizens currently own firearms.

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Women partake in Open Carry gun event in Encinitas

The quiet streets of this San Diego seaside community were awakened to the Second Amendment rights as 12 Californians walked the sidewalks with their firearms. Six of the 12 open carriers were women and six additional non-carriers handed out informational fliers to anyone who was interested.

Most of residents were curious about what was going on, some thought the open carriers were a part of law enforcement and a few were offended, but the morning event ended with educating the public about their right to carry a gun in the state of California.

Of coarse there are a few rules to be followed when taking your gun outside your home. First you need to be a registered gun owner, the weapon must be in a holster in plain site and it cannot be loaded. Ammunition is normally carried, but separate from the gun.

Once the group met, they notified the local law enforcement, as a courtesy, that they would be walking the downtown district of Encinitas.

“It’s awesome, we as Americans have the right to carry our guns and it can’t be taken away from us,” said Rochelle Howes, fellow open carrier participant. “This is my second open carry and it amazes me that some law enforcement officers don’t know we have this right.”

Fellow gun advocate, Mari Hayden, says this is her first open carry event. “This is great. I just talked to an off-duty officer who said they were creeped out by this right, but I told her I was creeped out that she was a cop.”

Another fellow carrier was Rosa Garcia, a Mexican immigrant who came here legally with a sponsor; “I do this to share quality time with my sons.” The Garcia’s are belong to the San Diego Minutemen group and since they’ve lost their business due to illegal immigration, they depend on the kindness of the Minutemen for help to get by in the tough recession.

When it comes to the importance of being able to carry their firearms, many open carriers had different reasons for the educational walk through Encinitas.

“I will save a liberals’ life even if they won’t save mine,” says Pendry Boteler. “I don’t mine though because I’ve been around guns my whole life.”

The goal of this group is to exercise this right in every North San Diego County city in order to educate as many Americans as possible, says Jeff Schwilk founder of the San Diego Minutemen.

Not everyone was convinced this was a good idea. A few residents left their table outside a café and said, “You people are nuts and paranoid. You shouldn’t want guns in your Christian nation.”

However across the plaza the group ran into current City Council member and former Encinitas Mayor Dan Dalager. “I’m not used to seeing people walk down the street openly carrying guns. I’m not endorsing it, but I’m not freaked out by it either.”

He continued to say that growing up he used guns and referred to them as tools that they used on the property to get the fox out of the chicken coop.

Finally one of the carriers drove down from Orange County to learn about the organization in hopes of bringing a chapter to the Orange County area in a few months.

Vincent Burke is a lifetime National Rifle Association member and assists the U.S. Border Patrol on the U.S./Mexico border in counter-narco terrorism activity. “It’s tough work, but someone’s got to do it.”

Once the streets were safe and the group hungry, they all ended their day at Giovanni’s Italian restaurant on Hwy 101 for lunch, guns and all.

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