Governor Brown Signs New Gun Law
Governor Jerry Brown signed two important gun bills into law Tuesday, making it a crime to visibly display loaded or unloaded handguns in public and closing a loophole that required the destruction of certain gun records.
The two bills – Assemblyman Anthony Portantino’s AB 144 and Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s AB 809 – received widespread support from gun violence prevention groups nationwide, but are now being touted by gun owners and recreational shooters as a violation of their Second Amendment rights.
“For almost 90 percent of residents in the state of California – San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, the greater Bay Area – the possibility of getting a concealed weapon permit is impossible,” said Sam Paredes, chief lobbyist for the Gun Owners of California.
“The right to bear arms is not intended for only in your home.”
However, Dallas Stout, California Brady Campaign Chapters president, applauded the Governor’s “common sense” and “real courage” in a press release.
“By prohibiting the open carry of guns, we can now take our families to the park or out to eat without the worry of getting shot by some untrained, unscreened, self-appointed vigilante.”
And parks and restaurants were popular sites for openly displaying handguns before AB 144 was finally signed into law yesterday, according to Portantino’s office. At the height of the “open carry” dispute and coinciding with the Brady Campaign’s “Demand Gun-free Dining – California” initiative, gun rights supporters tested the limits of state law by holding “gun gatherings” in local restaurants, coffee shops, and on beaches. At the time, taking a stroll in public with an unloaded firearm strapped on violated no laws.
In addition, Feuer’s AB 809 will require the preservation of records for long guns sold or transferred in California. Previously, only handgun archives were retained by the California Department of Justice, while a loophole required that long gun sales and transfer records be destroyed. This provision will apply to all in-state sales and transfers after January 1, 2014.