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Open-carry GUN CONTROL bill in Gov. Brown’s hands – latimes.com

September 16, 2011

Gun control bill in Gov. Brown’s hands

A measure to bar Californians from openly carrying weapons is supported by Sheriff Baca and LAPD Chief Beck, but opposed by 2nd Amendment activists who pack heat in coffee shops and restaurants.

Tammy Cude of San Pedro wears a banana in her gun holster as she passes a Redondo Beach police officer while participating in a South Bay Open Carry event at Redondo Beach Pier. The group was prohibited from carrying firearms, even unloaded, on the pier. (Christina House / For the Los Angeles Times / August 7, 2010)

Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times

September 17, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento— On Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk is a bid to bar Californians from openly carrying firearms, legislation that could open a new front in the state’s decades-old gun control debate.

The measure, aimed at an increasingly popular tactic used by 2nd Amendment activists, would make California the first state since 1987 to outlaw the controversial practice of publicly displaying a weapon.

The governor — a gun owner — has not taken an official position on the bill, passed by the Legislature last week. He has argued both sides of gun control issues in the past.

State law allows the open carrying of unloaded firearms. The measure before Brown would thwart activists who stage “open carry” demonstrations and want, ultimately, the right to legally display loaded guns. Such aficionados drew national attention last year when they walked into Starbucks outlets in the Bay Area and elsewhere, pistols holstered on their hips.

Participants in the open-carry movement, contending it is a way to show that normal people pack heat, take advantage of most states’ relative silence about the practice. Only seven states, including Illinois and Texas, prohibit the open toting of guns, and most of their laws were adopted in the 1980s or decades earlier, according to the Legal Community Against Violence and other groups involved in the debate.

Gun control advocates hope that California will now pave the way for the rest of the country to outlaw the practice.

“Openly carrying a gun with [an ammunition] magazine in your back pocket into Starbucks and other establishments creates a culture of fear and intimidation,” said Brian Malte, director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “It is irresponsible and dangerous.”

“People in other states look to see what California does,” he said. If Brown signs the bill, “other states will follow suit.”

Open-carry proponents say that the practice is harmless and that California lawmakers are pursuing an agenda to disarm the public.

“There is no reason to do this other than a general dislike of gun rights,” said John Pierce, a spokesman for OpenCarry.org, an online clearinghouse for the movement.

He said no crimes have been committed in the name of open-carry advocacy in recent years as the movement has gained national attention. And he noted that activists have enshrined the right to openly carry firearms in Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming.

via Open-carry gun control bill in Gov. Brown’s hands – latimes.com.

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One Comment
  1. September 16, 2011 7:22 PM

    What is the purpose of carrying a gun except to threaten people. The message is “don’t mess with me or I will shoot you.” This is not the old west. What other reason is there? I know the answer is you have aright to protect yourself and your family. The last time I was in a market or a mall there was no one being threatened.

    Gun activists need to find other kinds of hobbies.

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