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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. Roys moms mailman says:

    Does that mean I can open carry
    a loaded gun?

    1. Ron says:

      My first thought was the same.

      Props to the California Assembly, they finally have done something worthwhile.

      1. JOE CITIZEN says:

        Are you serious? Hope YOU get robbed one day and when you call 911 and it takes forever to get there, you can thank YOUR ASSEMBLY !

  2. Mark M. says:

    The first obvious question for me is, what does a law abiding guy do to transport his weapon? I can’t carry it in the open unloaded, and I can’t conceal the weapon. So how does the magicaly get to and from where I want to take it?

    1. Leroy J. says:

      If you’re law-abiding, you can get a concealed carry permit, can’t you?

      1. Smokey says:

        Nope…You need to be politically connected to get a concealed carry permit. Very few chiefs or sheriff’s, especially in southern California will issue them. You can be themost upright good citizen but they will not issue them unless you are connected. Check the statistics…very few are issued.

  3. rich says:

    im assumeing the old rule that to carry a gun to or from someplace such as a shooting range still stands GUN IN TRUNK AMMO IN GLOVE BOX

    1. Mark M. says:

      There are times when you cannot go directly from your private property directly to private property range. How about when you go to the gun store located within a shopping center, or if you don’t have a garage and live in a condo complex, or park near the range and walk into the private property from a public parking area. There will not always be an opportunity to stay on exclusively private land in order to transport a weapon. There will be times when the gun must either be concealed or openly carried unloaded on land you don’t control. Either that or you have banned the transport of weapons..

  4. Charles E. Nichols says:

    On the same day, a Federal District judge ruled against a CCW case affirming the right to openly carry a loaded handgun in public, in California.

    That is the second time a District Court judge came to that conclusion in a 9th Circuit District Court. On May 2nd, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also affirmed Open Carry in public.

    The US Supreme Court affirmed Open Carry in both the Heller and McDonald decisions.

    Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-43) stated quite plainly that AB 144 is unconstitutional, and then voted for it.

    Today, the US Supreme Court asked the Maryland Supreme Court why the 2nd Amendment applies only to the home in the Williams v Maryland case in response to a Cert petition from Williams who was sentenced to three years in prison for carrying a loaded gun in public.

    The Maryland Supreme Court held that the 2nd Amendment applies only to the home and criticized US Supreme Court Justice Scalia for a poorly worded decision.

    Any bets on whether or not the five justices who voted for Heller and McDonald are going to agree their decision was poorly worded?

  5. Kevin says:

    cant find the time or votes to get a decent budget or to take care of the unemployment in this state but have enough time to ban law abiding citizens from carrying or transporting an unloaded gun. REMARKABLE.

  6. Cruiser says:

    Isn’t this amazing, they voted not to allow us to carry, but a couple of months back they were trying to get a bill pass to allow themselves to carry. Can’t carry an unloaded gun, what happened to our bill or rights? What’s next, religion? Can’t carry a Bible in public?

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