The California Assembly voted recently to ban the practice of open display of guns.
This means open display of a weapon by gun carriers in public places would be banned.
Assembly Bill 1934 would make it a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine and six months in jail, to carry an exposed handgun in a public place, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Currently, it is generally legal to openly carry a gun in public in California as long as it's not loaded. The law also allows officers to examine whether weapons are loaded, but not to demand identification or gun-registration documents from the owners.
The bill crafted by Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, a San Diego Democrat, is aimed at prohibiting gun-toting protesters en masse in public places.
The ban is also supported by the California Police Chiefs Association. Law enforcement often has to waste resources responding to a concerned caller saying there's a person with a gun outside Starbucks, or other public spaces.
As previously discussed, members of the pro-gun group OpenCarry.org have been wearing their guns inside Starbucks cafes across the country, from Northern California to Virginia.
This has forced many gun control advocates, including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, to respond. Campaign members say carrying a gun, even if it is unloaded, is an accident waiting to happen and sends the wrong message to children.
However, representatives from the Gun Owners of California say Assembly Bill 1934 is an attempt to stifle the constitutional right to bear arms.
Opponents argue that the bill is a solution in search of a problem.
- Assembly narrowly passes bill to limit open display of guns (Sacramento Bee)
- Calif. advances bill to ban carrying unloaded guns (San Jose Mercury News)
- Starbucks Chain Backs Off Gun Control Debate (FindLaw's Blotter)