– Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s (D-La Cañada Flintridge) bill to ban the “open carry” of unloaded handguns was approved today in Senate Appropriations and now moves on to a hearing by the full Senate later this summer.
AB 144 makes it a crime to openly carry an unloaded handgun in any public place or street. Violations are a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. Law enforcement personnel are exempt as are security guards, hunters and others carrying unloaded weapons under specified licensed circumstances.
“I have been working with the California Police Chiefs Association and rank-and-file police officers (PORAC) for several months now on a public safety bill that will ban carrying unloaded guns in public places,” explained Assemblymember Portantino. “It has made me quite unpopular with the “Open Carry” movement, but law enforcement says it wastes time and resources when they could be out catching bad guys. Instead, they are tied up dealing with calls from the public about gun-toting men and women in the coffee shop. As law enforcement officials tell me, it’s not safe and someone is going to get hurt.”
AB 144 is supported by:
” California Police Chiefs Association
” Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC)
” Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles County
” City of Los Angeles
” City of West Hollywood
” City of Beverly Hills
” Calif. Chapters of the Brady Coalition Against Gun Violence
” Legal Community Against Gun Violence
” Friends Committee on Legislation
” Over 250 individual citizens