California Governor Brown Signs Handgun Open Carry Ban

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A controversial bill has been signed into law by California's Governor Brown, banning the open carry of unloaded handguns in public. A person cannot carry them or have them in their vehicle without facing punishment of up to a year in prison and $1,000 fine. When the ban takes effect January 1st, 2012. California will be the 5th state with a ban on open carry, joining; Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas.

There are 33 states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Louisiana and Colorado, that do no prohibit open carry. Twelve states, including South Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota and Massachusetts require permits for open carry. There are currently three other states, Alaska, Arizona and Vermont, which allow the carrying of concealed weapons without requiring a permit.

Exempt from the ban and allowed concealed carry will be law enforcement officers, people who have permits issued by sheriff's offices, and vendors selling unloaded guns at gun shows.

C.D. Michel, a civil rights attorney for the National Rifle Association, said the group has a lawsuit challenging the concealed carry licensing system in San Diego. He said the federal judge in the case ruled the system wasn't a violation of the Second Amendment because residents still had the option of unloaded open carry. With this ban going into effect it should make the NRA's case that much stronger. From and


Retired2hunt's picture



Here is the issue with this law -

"David Maggard Jr., president of the California Police Chiefs Association, said the group viewed the open carry of unloaded handguns as a safety threat to communities and their officers. He said the bill will help assure that felons and gang members cannot openly carry an unloaded gun with impunity."

The issue is California is putting a blanket law into affect that they say is focused on felons and gang members but it is not.  It clearly also takes away the liberty of law abiding citizens.  So the 2nd amendment is not being recognized but rather destroyed.

Create a law that does what the intention is - to focus on felons and gang members.  Or is this law purposely/covertly also nipping away at our civil liberties?  Criminals will continue to get guns and the law abiding citizens will be defenseless.

I hope those in their right mind within the California legislature eventually see this for what it is and it is overturned.



COMeatHunter's picture

What's next...

I agree, I don't see how this is constitutional.  I'm not a lawyer, so I suppose a 30 page brief would clearly explain it to me.  Just another reason to stay clear of California politics and do our best to remain active in our local and state settings to help prevent such laws and bans from spreading.  

I suppose the venerable pocket knife is next on the weapons list for California!  Don't want people walking around with those things either.

SGM's picture

Does not surprise me at all.

Well after looking at all the stupid thing Brown has done in the past it does not surprise me at all. Just do not understand how this law can be constitutional. You know that whole Bill of Rights and the Second Ammendment deal about the right to own and bear arms shall not be infringded upon.  Glad I have nothing to do with the state or is it a Republic? It is sad as California is a great place but you can keep their politics and the Hollywood liberals.

numbnutz's picture

Sounds like California is up

Sounds like California is up to it's same old tricks. I'm so glad I live north of that place. However I'm sure it won't be long before Oregon will adopt the same law. We get a lot of people from California moving up here and try to change Oregon to resemble California. That makes me mad because they screw up their own state then try to screw up mine too. The city of Portland just adopted a law that all plastic bags are banned from being used at retail stores. I sure hope that gun law get over turned but I dought it will. I'm just glad I don't live there.

hunter25's picture

All I can say is that I'm

All I can say is that I'm glad that california is a state that I have not needed to call home. I know life puts some people there that would rather live someplace else but fortunately that should never be the case for me. At this time I am very content here in Colorado. Getting a concealed permit here is quite easy and takes very little time and effort to get. I know of a few people who open carry but they are very polite about it and in no way try to cause a scene as it can turn into one quickly. That's not the way it should be but the general public just doesn't accept it anymore. And some of the local police have openly stated they will stop and and try to dissuade you from doing it when they see you. Again it shouldn't be that way but carrying concealed is a much better way of doing things.

swisheroutdoors's picture

Permits hard to come bye

I bet permits are hard to come by as well.  Someone already said, "How do you transport a weapon if you purchase one?"  Do you have to get a transportation permit or something?  I knew of police chief that every time a request for a concealed weapon permit came in it was denied.  The assumption was that they just didn't want anyone local carrying a concealed weapon.  Yet we could have a gun rack of guns in our rear windows with magazine sitting on the dash.  Georgia has got to be one of the easiest states to get a concealed weapons permit.  But Its my understanding some states do not recognize other state permits. 

cantgetdrawn's picture

Am I reading this right?

This law prohibits a person from having an unload handgun in there vehicle?  How can you transport firearms after you buy one or from one household to another?


Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, I am all for our 2nd

Well, I am all for our 2nd ammendment rights, but the open-carry activists were just asking for this out here.  You can search all over youtube and find videos that these guys post, where they walk down the street with a gun strapped to their hip, hoping for an encounter with the police.  Upon such an encounter, they always start spouting off about their rights, and in my opinion, try to instigate a confrontation with police.  Fortunately, most police are pretty aware of what they are doing, so they just check to make sure it's unloaded, ask if it's registered to the person, and then usually wish them a good day and move on. 

It's actually funny because when you get a real calm, cool cop, who handles it professionally, you can almost hear the disappointment in these guys' voices.  I actually never got why anyone would want to carry openly here in California, under the existing rule.  The law states that it needs to be unloaded, and if you were in a life threatening situation, you have a split second to draw and fire, let alone take that extra second to slap in the magazine, rack in a round, and then engage your target.

Great example of California being California.  I don't lioke this new law and hope it gets overturned, but at the same time, it was expected.  It would be more acceptable if they allowed concealed carry, because I think that's more effective, but since they don't then I have a problem with it.