Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Anthony Portantino's public safety measure that would make it a crime to openly display unloaded rifles and shotguns on Main Street, California moved a step closer to reality today when it was approved in the state Senate by a vote of 23 to 15.
"I had hoped that the earlier measure banning open carry of handguns would solve this problem but when long gun advocates attended a police fundraiser, it became clear that there was more work to do," explained Assemblymember Portantino.
AB 1527 makes it a misdemeanor to carry an unloaded long gun in public, vehicle or street in incorporated communities in California and in unincorporated communities that meet certain criteria. The bill contains specific exemptions for law enforcement personnel as well as licensed hunters. It is a follow-up to Portantino's bill last year banning the open carry of handguns (AB 144).
"This bill just makes sense. Sooner or later, somebody's going to get hurt. If you see somebody walking around a mall or sitting in a coffee shop with a shotgun, it's pretty intimidating. It's unnecessary and it is just going to lead to trouble. I believe reasonable Californians acknowledge that there's a proper place for firearms. But, families should be able to dine in peace or walk down the street without worrying about being caught in the crossfire."
AB 1527 now goes back to the Assembly for approval of technical amendments. If it becomes law, violations are punishable by six months in county jail and a fine up to $1,000. The measure is backed by the California Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, PORAC- Peace Officers Research Association of California and the California Police Chiefs Association which refers to AB 1527 as "one of our most important bills in this session".