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‘Open carry’ ban bill’s author says it’s not dead

By Josh Richman
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 12:18 pm in Anthony Portantino, Assembly, California State Senate, gun control, Public safety.

The state Senate moved a bill to outlaw the “open carry” of unloaded firearms in public places to its inactive file yesterday, but the bill’s author insists it’s definitely not dead.

AB 144 is not dead; it’s a procedural move, it will be taken up soon,” Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, said today.

AB 144 would make 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.

The Assembly passed the bill in May on a 46-29 vote, and opponents have been hard at work this summer trying to bring pressure to bear on individual Senators. The StopAB144 Twitter group tweeted Tuesday that “at least five Senate Democrats have issues” with the bill, and “all five were Senators that we have been urging to vote no.”

Gun-rights activists have seized upon open-carry laws in states across the nation as a means of expressing their political beliefs, acting individually, or gathering to carry their weapons both as an exercise of constitutional rights and for self-protection. They say they’re both protecting their rights under current law as well as advocating for changes so that more people can get permits to carry concealed weapons, something that’s sharply limited under current law; some have promised to sue if the bill passes.

Supporters of this bill say open-carry practices should be banned for the sake of public safety, and to protect the safety and conserve the resources of police officers checking to ensure the guns aren’t loaded, in accordance with state law.

This Friday is the last day to amend bills on the floor; next Friday, Sept. 9, is the last day for each house to pass bills.

A similar bill, AB 1934 by Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, D-San Diego, died in September 2010 without a final vote after two days of tense maneuvering; Saldaña was then term-limited out of office. The state Senate approved her bill on a 21-16 vote after state senators Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, and Gloria Negrete-McLeod, D-Chino, lent last-minute support despite a phone and fax blitz by gun-rights activists. But the bill had to win a concurrence vote in the Assembly, where Republicans threatened to run out the clock on the bill by debating it until after the midnight deadline — thus also threatening other bills awaiting votes. Majority Leader Chuck Calderon, D-Whittier, eventually won a motion to delay AB 1934′s consideration, and there it died.

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  • David Brayton

    Portantino by happenstance is the biggest spender there is. Funny how irresponsible people/government hacks such as this guy have the MOST laws in mind that rip away our true constitutional rights. It is as if they need to keep pointing the finger at someone else to keep everyone off guard on what they are doing under the table. Portantino HAS to go people. If you cannot see the means to pull your rights away slowly and surely, we will be the ones culpable when they use “public safety” as a hammer to take away other rights we are so used to. DO NOT THINK IT CANNOT HAPPEN HERE IN THE US!

  • JR

    The only people AB 144 will protect will be criminals and Portantino, the traitor waging war against all law-abiding citizens on behalf of criminal safety, knows it.

    Police and sheriffs should honor their oaths to the U.S. Constitution (supreme law of the land, all lesser laws be damned) and refuse to acknowledge all pro-criminal, victim disarmament laws as they stand, the law if revised by AB 144, and arrest Portantino and his fellow conspirators for civil rights violations resulting in countless murders, rapes, and maimings of the victims they made defenseless.

  • David Brayton

    By the way……the Santa Clarita/Valencia version of the LA County Sheriffs department has proven beyond doubt that they are willing to BLOW UP any constitutional unloaded open carry people. They have chosen to stand on the side of corruption and ignorance.

  • http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/8608/?single_page=true David LaTour

    UCLA Law Professor, Adam Winkler, wrote a very in-depth piece called “The Secret History of Guns” for the September 2011 issue of The Atlantic magazine. Anyone interested in this topic should take a look at it.

    From the summary: “The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement.”

    See here: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/8608/?single_page=true

  • JR

    The only people AB 144 will protect will be criminals and Portantino, the traitor waging war against all law-abiding citizens on behalf of criminal safety, knows it.

    Police and sheriffs should honor their oaths to the U.S. Constitution (supreme law of the land, all lesser laws be damned) and refuse to acknowledge all pro-criminal, victim disarmament laws as they stand, the law if revised by AB 144, and arrest Portantino and his fellow conspirators for civil rights violations resulting in countless murders, rapes, and maimings of the victims they made defenseless.

  • John W

    The Atlantic piece is very interesting. I read and printed it. Fascinating stuff about the transformation of the NRA.

  • http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/the-secret-history-of-guns/8608/?single_page=true David LaTour

    @John W, The history is fascinating. Especially, the relation of the issue with racism.

  • Elwood

    RIP AB 144

    I hope Portantino doesn’t run out of TP in his new office.

  • Elwood

    “Supporters of this bill say open-carry practices should be banned for the sake of public safety, and to protect the safety and conserve the resources of police officers checking to ensure the guns aren’t loaded, in accordance with state law.”

    That is simply asinine. Details on request. I cannot imagine what goes on in the minds, assuming they have any, of twits who make statements like this.

  • JR

    Sorry for the double post. At first post #2 (mine) showed up as #1, then disappeared, then came back as #2, after I reposted #5 to a blank page as #1.

  • Andrew

    Go back to first principles.

    Q. Why did the California state legislature and Governor Ronald Reagan choose to ban openly carried, loaded guns in public in 1967?

    A1. Because the Black Panthers took a wrong turn in the California capitol building. (Popular answer.)

    A2. Because the police felt threatened by Black Panther Police Patrols and wanted a monopoly on loaded firearms in public. (Correct answer.)

    http://www.pbs.org/hueypnewton/actions/actions_capitolmarch.html

    “Easy Bay legislator Don Mulford introduced a bill to repeal the law that permitted citizens to carry loaded weapons in public places so long as the weapons were openly displayed [see link to California Penal Code, Sections 12031 and 171.c]. What the Mulford law sought to achieve was the elimination of the Black Panther Police Patrols, and it had been tagged ‘the Panther Bill’ by the media.”

    The racist roots of gun control strike again . . . and now UNLOADED firearms are too much of a threat for police to tolerate.

  • http://CaliforniaRightToCarry.org Charles Nichols / CNReporter

    “Likewise, in State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann. 489, 490 (1850), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that citizens had a right to carry arms openly: “This is the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, and which is calculated to incite men to a manly and noble defence of themselves, if necessary, and of their country, without any tendency to secret advantages and unmanly assassinations.”” – United States Supreme Court Heller decision (2008)

  • Vince Warde

    UCLA Law Professor, Adam Winkler, also wrote in the LA Times that AB144 – the open carry ban – would be a huge mistake because in his expert legal opinion it will result in the mandatory issuance of concealed carry permits to all qualified applicants.

    The reason is simple: Two different Federal courts have stated that but for the availability of Unloaded Open Carry – the very thing AB144 would ban – they would have been compelled the defending County Sheriffs to issue permits without any “good cause” to any otherwise qualified person.

    This probable outcome has caused some gun rights advocates to wonder if they really should oppose AB144, since it may actually had them a win in Federal court.

    Professor Winkler put it this way: You can put up with a few gun owners carrying unloaded guns openly, or you can ban that practice and end up with many, many more people legally carrying loaded guns concealed. You may be able to ban one, but you almost certainly cannot ban both.

    Gun control advocates should take him seriously.

  • Christopher Hoffman

    Where is the public safety issue here? There has not been a single incident of misuse of firearms by these open carriers. Not ONE!

    No criminal is going to openly carry a firearm in a holster. We know who this law will affect and it isn’t the criminal.

    Nope, this is about asserting anti-gun ideology through legislative means. That fine, unless, like in this case, you are suppressing what the supreme court has now said is a fundamental, incorporated, enumerated right.

    If you want to see mandatory issue of concealed weapon permits sooner rather than later, pass this law. Very soon, perhaps a year or two from now, any non-prohibited person who wishes to carry a firearm in public for self defense will have a path available to them. That path will not be able to be overly burdensome and any restrictions on the exercise of the right will be narrowly tailored

    Seriously, the CA legislature has the luxury of resources to waste their valuable time on worrying about people lawfully, openly carrying UNLOADED guns? Portantino has lost his mind.

  • http://www.petitiononline.com/CalOCPet/petition.html Mike

    Ha Ha – the photo shows **long gun** carry – somthing Portantino’s AB 144 only bans handgun open carry (in urbanized areas) – if Portantino’s scheme passes, get ready for lot’s of long gun carry in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego – this means shotguns, deer rifles, AK-47 mock-ups, AR-15s, etc. Learn more at OpenCarry.org and sign the petition for California open carry rights at http://www.petitiononline.com/CalOCPet/petition.html

  • John W

    Re: #13

    If that happens, it could be tricky holding both the shotgun or AK and the Starbucks cup.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUIxrfKPZX4 Walter

    No John, with a long gun you can use a sling. It’s the equivalent of a hands-free device. Bottoms-up!

    Check out Portantino here: http://bit.ly/r9T9jz

  • Sean
  • John W

    Somehow, the picture of a guy scrunching his shoulder to keep a sling attached to a shotgun from sliding off his shoulder while he’s stirring his Starbucks brew, along with that bulky ammo, doesn’t seem quite the same fashion statement as a Glock on the hip. Don’t forget the Davy Crockett hat.

  • http://www.responsiblecitizensofcalifornia.org Yih-Chau Chang

    AB 144 is nothing more than a paradigm of California’s disgraced political culture of corruption and hypocrisy. All common, law-abiding Californians should make their voices heard in strong opposition to this bill.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-oakland/ab-144-californi-a-paradigm-of-political-corruption

  • Elwood

    @ #19

    Apparently, you’ve never carried a slung weapon.

    No problemo. Soldiers eat, drink and for all I know fornicate with slung weapons all the time.

  • Elwood

    Last Action:
    08/30/11: Ordered to inactive file at the request of Senator De León.

    And there it lies.

    Resting comfortably I hope.

    “It’s not dead, it’s just resting” says Anthony Portantino. Kind of like the Norwegian Blue Parrot. H/T Monty Python

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  • John W

    #21

    “Apparently, you’ve never carried a slung weapon.”

    Wrong! I did, pursuant to my friendly local draft board and “greetings” from Richard Nixon. Not a shotgun though. No Starbucks either.