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In a flurry of last-minute signings and vetoes, Governor Jerry Brown on Monday announced the signing into law of Assembly Bill 144, which bans “open carrying” of handguns. Such practice, where residents are allowed to openly and conspicuously possess an unloaded weapon in most public spaces, has been permitted since the state’s inception.

Brown, himself the owner of three guns, said in a statement he was following the request of law enforcement across the state who have complained of having to respond to panicked calls from citizens alarmed by groups gathering in public to legally display weapons, which distracts from more pressing matters. They also say that a chief concern is the tension and possible confrontational situation created when a person sees another carrying a gun and doesn’t know whether or not it’s loaded. “I listened to the California police chiefs,” wrote Brown.

Gun advocates have mixed reactions to the new law. Some, such as Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, believe that a flurry of lawsuits could actually force courts to issue more concealed carry permits by those demanding to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

“The probable outcome is you will have far more people carrying concealed loaded guns as opposed to openly carrying unloaded guns,” Paredes told the Los Angeles Times.

Other groups, such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation, took a bleaker view.

“Gov. Brown has now proven that he no more respects freedom and the individual right protected by the Second Amendment than his predecessor,” says a statement by the foundation.

The ban on open carrying of handguns takes effect January 1.

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Comments

Gekko4321 Oct. 12, 2011 @ 9:49 a.m.

Glad to hear this! I am a gun owner but most of the guys I see taking advantage of open carry are a bunch of wannabe tough guys, wannabe law enforcement, and attention seeking cowboys! They ruined it for the others in my opinion. It doesn't just make local police uneasy but the mass citizenry as well. Nothing like standing next to someone with an openly displayed weapon, not knowing whether it is loaded or not, as they struggle to coherently put together a coffee order.

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Stevow123 June 12, 2013 @ 8:50 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Stevow123 June 12, 2013 @ 8:54 a.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Oct. 12, 2011 @ 10:36 a.m.

Maybe gun toters should start calling open carrying a form of speech. Because while the First Amendment enjoys legal protection to the point of absurdity, the courts and lawmakers seem to have no respect for the 2nd amendment.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 12, 2011 @ 12:21 p.m.

I disagree with the law only because the other firearm laws are so restrictive.

It is a known fact, more guns = less crime.

I am 100% pro firearm, even though I do not and will not ever own one myself, I think the choice is one every individual should have the right to make w/o gov's lonr arm doing it for them.

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Stevow123 June 12, 2013 @ 8:52 a.m.

True statement! It's well known that violent crime has went down 49% while gun ownership has gone straight up. Why would the government want the people to not be able to defend themselves...

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