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Lawmaker Wants Law to Ban Carrying Unloaded Guns Openly in Public

Audio

Aired 3/15/10

A local assemblywoman is looking for support for legislation to stop people from wearing unloaded guns openly in California. The proposed bill will get its first hearing later this month.

— A local assemblywoman is looking for support for legislation to stop people from wearing unloaded guns openly in California. The proposed bill will get its first hearing later this month.

The way the law is written now, a person cannot carry a loaded firearm, concealed or unconcealed. But he can openly carry an unloaded firearm. That gap in the law has spawned a movement called open carry. Open carry advocates have been seen on beaches, streets and at malls in San Diego wearing holsters packed with guns. And Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña says that's frightened families and triggered concern among police that resources are being tied up to determine whether the guns are loaded.

"I would characterize it as a gray area in the law that is creating uncertainty and concerns about private property," Saldaña said.

She is backing legislation that would prohibit people from openly carrying weapons in public places. John Pierce, co-founder of OpenCarry.Org says people would not wear the unloaded guns if California allowed citizens to carry loaded firearms. Pierce says Saldaña is trying to score political points.

"Knowing full well that there is not support for it in the legislature," Pierce said. "The legislature could not even get enough votes to override Governor Schwarzenegger's veto of loaded open carry in unincorporated areas."

Pierce said if a person is open carrying, chances are he's a good guy. The bad guys, he put it, don't carry their weapons on holsters.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Coolusername2007'

Coolusername2007 | March 15, 2010 at 9:58 p.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

When did the 2nd Amendment become a grey area of the law? Open carry is the 2nd Amendment. Open carry is definitely not new, just recently reinvigorated after a very long drought. Loaded open carry was legal in CA up until 1968.

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Avatar for user 'leftcoastconservative'

leftcoastconservative | March 16, 2010 at 5:10 a.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

Coolusername,

In California there is no legally recognized right to keep and bear arms. The state constitution contains no such provision, and the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution does not apply to state law.

Yet.

If the SCOTUS decides favorably in the McDonald case argued just a couple of week ago, then the 2nd Amendment would limit state actions, and possibly change many things in California, but unless and until then, the legislature can pass any law they want, including an outright ban and confiscation of firearms.

Hey, KPBS! When you write an article about legislation, why not include the bill number so that interested citizens can read it for themselves. This is a common failing in news articles that I would like to see corrected.

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Avatar for user 'JohnBoulderCreek'

JohnBoulderCreek | March 16, 2010 at 8:36 a.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

Here's why I feel this "Law Maker" is a traitor and should be tried as such. She is violating her oath of office by attempting to subvert the Constitution. These times are disconcerting. America is no longer viable as we no longer manufacture, we now consume. We consume and buy then consume and buy more from viable countries like China, sending what's left of our wealth outside our leaky borders leading to our own looming economic collapse. Economies around the world are collapsing yet Americans seem to feel we are insulated by our birthright and America's might! Career Politicians "Lead" and "Make Laws" instead of represent. The 2 party's dominate our legislature as corporations and corrupt groups like the sierra club and the brady campaign lie to us and pull their strings. The "Oath of Office" means nothing to those who symbolically take it and they have no intention to "Preserve and defend our Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic". We as Americans have become complacent and apathetic, doing nothing to serve our civic responsibility and expect a free ride. Our Constitution is the only thing which will save this country yet so many seem to view it as a relic languishing in some museum in Washington. The fact is, guns are what freed us over 200 years ago and are what keep us free today. The ability to protect our states from the federal government and foreign invaders and ourselves from violence as well as providing the ability to feed ourselves is why the second amendment was adopted. We have forgotten that we rule ourselves not the government! We are not safe and never have been. Liberty and freedom are not safe nor easy and to forget these facts will only hasten our demise as a nation. Our culture should harken back and embrace our history but “No Child Left Behind” forces our children to parrot the “Progressive” curriculum crafted by those who should represent us! There are going to be some very hard times ahead and to willingly give up our ability to defend ourselves, our state and our country is folly! The Supreme court has ruled that the individual (That means you!) has no right to protection by the police or the government. “Public Safety” is a very subjective term, easily twisted to mean controlling the public. We cannot rule if we are controlled kids so learn what critical thinking means and vote accordingly while we still can. We should not fear guns, we should keep and bear them. So educate yourself and excercise your right because if we loose that one the rest shall fall as has every civilation before us. We cannot consume forever!

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Avatar for user 'mark'

mark | March 16, 2010 at 3:38 p.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

A person can carry concealed in California, check the law, get your facts straight

I carry concealed, legally

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | March 17, 2010 at 10:48 a.m. ― 4 years, 9 months ago

@ JohnBoulderCreek - No Child Left Behind if not initiated by, was certainly maintained by the Bush Administration. Not a bad idea in theory, but it was never given the funding and proper support to allow it to be effective. And I don't remember anything about Bush being progressive by the way, unless of course you mean progressively getting us into war and debt while spying without warrant on America's citizens. So I guess those No Child Left Behind kids are safe from "progressive thought." The Obama administration is likely to dismantle this program - so you better watch out, those kids might stop believing in needless wars and intelligent design, that could be disasterous!

Sadly I don't think guns will prevent our freedoms from being taken away - I think a lack of education and critical thinking will do that. People will give up their freedoms through fear mongering and narrow minded beliefs. They will cling to the things that really don't matter and sabatoge the things that do.

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Avatar for user 'gu4u2'

gu4u2 | April 8, 2010 at 8:47 p.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

Ms. Sharma says: "The way the law is written now, a person cannot carry a loaded firearm, concealed or unconcealed. But he can openly carry an unloaded firearm. That gap in the law has spawned a movement called open carry". The "GAP" in the law she refers to is only our constitutionally-protected RIGHT. There is no gap Ms. Sharma, its called your right.

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