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Assembly Bans Open Carrying Of Unloaded Guns

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — The California Assembly has approved a bill to prohibit openly carrying unloaded handguns in public after a debate that pitted gun rights proponents against chiefs of police.

The bill, AB144, makes it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded gun in a public place, street or vehicle except in some unincorporated areas. It was approved 45-29 Monday largely along party lines and moves to the Senate.

The bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino of La Canada Flintridge, says his bill will improve public safety. It is supported by the California Police Chiefs Association.

Gun rights activists say it infringes on their constitutional right to bear arms. Some have been carrying unloaded weapons in public as a political statement to protest the legislation.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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