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California Chiefs Back Open-Carry Ban

October 10, 2011  | 

Photo: formatted_dad.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed new laws that make it a misdemeanor to openly carry an unloaded handgun, and require additional monitoring of rifle purchases.

Brown signed Assembly Bill 144 by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino that makes it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded gun in public or in vehicles. Violators face up to a year in prison or a potential fine of $1,000 when the law takes effect Jan 1.

"Main Street California is not the Old West, and you don't need a gun to buy a cheeseburger," Portantino told the Associated Press.

The measure exempts peace officers, military gatherings, gun shows and hunting. The California Police Chiefs Association applauded the open-carry ban.

"We view the open carrying of unloaded handguns as a threat to the safety of the communities we police and the safety of our officers," said David Maggard, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, in a statement. "The governor's leadership in signing this legislation will help assure that felons and gang members cannot openly carry an unloaded gun with impunity, all the while carrying the ammunition for the weapon on their person, because with open carry, officers were prohibited from conducting any further investigation to determine if the individual is legally in possession of the weapon."

Gov. Brown also signed Assembly Bill 809 that requires the state to keep records of rifle sales starting in January 2014.

Editor's Note: Please let us know if you support open carry of firearms by law-abiding citizens by commenting below. If you are a California officer, please let us know.

Source: ABC News/Associated Press

Related: Calif. Lawmakers Seek Open Carry Ban

Comments (63)

Displaying 1 - 63 of 63

Mike @ 10/10/2011 4:51 PM

Legally armed civilians are not problem whether they're carrying openly or concealed. Would that legislator or those Police Chiefs tell Police Officers that they don't need to carry when they go out to eat? This sort of "We know better" than you about your personal safety makes me want to scream.

Rick @ 10/10/2011 4:53 PM

Criminals in Cali are being let out by court order to alleviate overcrowding. LEO's are being cut back and Cali doesn't have liberal CCW laws. LEO's know that criminals don't go around with their weapons visible; this will do nothing to stop crime. IF the legislature passes CCW for everyone and not just for those fortunate enough to know someone, crime will go down.

Fred @ 10/10/2011 4:57 PM

Just another unnecessary gun control law, and another step toward a handgun ban in California. Banning guns to prevent violence is like banning cars to prevent drunk driving. As a retired cop and now working for a DA's office in investigations, I don't think this is the answer, it's just another feel good law to make the liberals happy.

Jake @ 10/10/2011 4:57 PM

Who the heck carries an unloaded firearm?! What's the point? I suppose if the state allows it, people would. I revise my question. What state is so moronic as to write their laws so that it allows carry of unloaded handguns?! Oh, California? That explains it!

TimFromLA @ 10/10/2011 4:59 PM

Fine with me, the 10 Amendment allows the state to create laws like this. Now for the Constitutionalists who are Second Amendment nutcases should remember there are other nine Amendments.


WarVet1 @ 10/10/2011 5:11 PM

Agreed.. this bill will do nothing to stop crime. Most Police Officers I know support the 2nd Amendment, and it doesn't matter if they didn't support it, it's supposed to be a right. Not in the Peoples Republik of California it would seem. This just adds insult to injury. I would hope that the gun owners in California are gathering for a legal fight, this just adds to the egregious limits to magazine capacity and their so-called assualt weapons ban. Do the police chiefs really believe that this is going to stop any crimes? If they do, they need to look at hard statitstics that show that if they just enforce the gun laws already in place and loosen unconstitutional restrictions on law abiding citizens, violent crime actually goes down. Statistically, police officers commit more crimes than CCW holders. There is something wrong with a state that has shown that it cannot keep its citizens safe and yet still has large portions of it where those citizens cannot protect themselves without breaking the law.

Jackson @ 10/10/2011 5:17 PM

Yeah right you can see all the SH gangbangers walking around with exposed 9’s slinging so they blend in with the folks... you will Reap what you Sow Mr. Portantino, I’m sure your hood is safe!!! The Second Amendment can be bent but will never break in your lifetime moron.

Jim @ 10/10/2011 6:04 PM

I'm a retired Deputy Sheriff from California. Everyone knows when you push for gun control....the only ones left carring guns will be the criminals....and they will know the victims will be "UNARMED!!" To answer Jakes question of "What state is so moronic as to write their laws to allow the carring of UNLOADED guns?....NEVADA!! They have for many years. Virtually no-one follows it. An unloaded gun serves no purpose. It's time for the IDIOTS in government to wake up and smell the coffee. We need to BUILD MORE PRISONS FOR THE CRIMINALS not CONTROL GUNS!!!! Regardless of anything else....The 2nd ammendment IS our given right. At least that's what our forefathers wanted it to be. Always remember and NEVER forget....there is strength in numbers. We need to band together. Nuf said.

john @ 10/10/2011 6:12 PM

Of course the California Chiefs back the bill. They are spineless political hacks that cater to the whims of all the other politicians. This bill will have no effect on reducing crime. Correct me if I am wrong, but don't the urban areas in California have some of the highest crime rates in the country? A factor in that statistic might be that the criminal element knows that all their victims will be unarmed and unable to fight back. As long as it is more dangerous to be a victim than to be a criminal, crime will increase.

Dan @ 10/10/2011 6:21 PM

Tim you are right. However the Contitution of the State of California protects the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. With wording quite similar to the 2nd Amendment. It seems to me that when you are trying to change a contitutionally protected right that it should be something that goes to a public vote and not just left to the whim of the Legislators. Who have proven many times ignoring the will of the people!

Curt @ 10/10/2011 6:21 PM

So a bunch of political hacks back another step towards a police state/nanny state? This isn't even news!

Of course these bureaucrats don't want people to have guns. That would drive down the crime rate and they'd lose their job security!

Sorry Tim but states "rights" can't trump basic civil rights in a free or semi-free country! That's why so many people are leaving states like yours and mine - too much corruption and malfeseance in all levels of government.

DocHolliday @ 10/10/2011 6:24 PM

Tim from LA must not be that well read on issues. States don't have rights..... people have rights! While certain powers are regulated by states, they can't violate the Amendments.

Just let a state decide that it can prevent women from voting, or maybe they will want slave labor.... and who is to decide what ethnic group would become those slaves.

I don't want to see those things happen, but when you start letting ANY rights be violated........ then what's next? Maybe you will complain when your State violates a right that you value, but then it might be too late, if you let them get away with ANY violations.

Tim, only criminals and people seeking the ultimate Political Power over the common people, are in favor of gun control. I bet you even voted for Obama, since you support that position.

Dilt @ 10/10/2011 6:34 PM

Just another BS feel-good law from a group of idiots that don't have a clue about getting positive results. I challenge anyone to get through a 24 hour period without violating the law. We are a nation of unintentional criminals! When the hell are people going to wake up? We need fewer laws, and judges with discretion. If it were up to me, any clown wanting to push a new law upon us would have to choose 3 existing laws to remove from the books.

Don Ingram @ 10/10/2011 6:37 PM

California has a bunch of idiots running it, especially this Governor. This state is so anti-gun that it is pathetic. I only have six more years left in this state, once I retire, I will be leaving.

J Jones @ 10/10/2011 6:57 PM

As a current Asst Chief, I can tell you that this will do nothing to curb crime. If the Chiefs actually support this law, remember the liberal media, they are only after some type of political favor. I strongly support the right of all law abiding citizens to own and carry. It's time for the politicians to wake up and realize that they need to hold criminals accountable, not law abiding citizens. As a police officer we all took an oath to defend the constitution, including the 2nd Amendment, for the people. We are servants of the citizens first.

Tschako @ 10/10/2011 7:09 PM

As a retired California Parole Agent, and former Police Officer, I'm just about to give up on this state. We're releasing something like 34,000 felons on the people of this state, while assuring them that the citizens won't be armed. California won't stop until they've taken everyone's guns. The only thing right here is the weather.

Shawn @ 10/10/2011 7:31 PM

"The governor's leadership in signing this legislation will help assure that felons and gang members cannot openly carry an unloaded gun with impunity"

Are you kidding me? Felons can't openly carry unloaded guns because it is illegal for a felon to have one. You would think that the police chief's association would know that. How embarasing. As for gangstas openly carrying - last I check they do it with LOADED firearms and prefer to HIDE their guns on them. Besides, they don't care about LAWS anyways.

What a joke.... I think we should arm more law abiding citizens instead of unarming them and letting them be victims to the savages that roam this state.

Can't wait until I retire and leave this state.

Chief100 @ 10/10/2011 7:53 PM

California. Who would have guessed such a law would originate from there. I became a Chief based upon my common sense and hard work ethic. It is obviously apparent that many of my counterparts in California reached their positions by different means. You will continue to reap what you sow.

Bob Bullock @ 10/10/2011 8:19 PM

It just goes to show ya what a pack of socialist SOB bed wetter's in power. 30 plus years of pushing a black and white I never felt threatened by a guy strapped up. But let your jive ass jibe and home boy attitude show through, then you were looking at some quick show of force. The Brady bunch and all associated groups can go suck mud.
Further, I just went to Africa and if we don't get the current hemorrhoid out of the Whitehouse we will be in sorry shape. I truly hope that the folks that founded South Africa can muster action and retake their country. Bob

gp cobb @ 10/10/2011 8:29 PM

I concur will all but the fool who made negative remarks about second amendment nutcases; I guess we know who the liberal nutcase is by his remarks. Just another gun grab = long live the terrorists. I'm ashamed......

Mike @ 10/10/2011 8:53 PM

I have wanted to post that same sign you see at the Mexican border that reads "now leaving the United have no bill of rights here" at the border between CA and AZ. The liberal media needs help connecting the dots - there has been a 25% increase in people carrying guns, and a 10% drop in violent crime nationwide: more armed citizens = more crime deterrence!

Ron 04 @ 10/10/2011 9:11 PM

Story gets 4 stars for the reporting - certainly not the content.

I have no clue what's wrong with you people out there. You put JERRY BROWN back in office and not this sh&%! Are you all crazy? This stuff happens because yo ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. Stop it. Stop it now, before it tries to spread east........

Henry @ 10/10/2011 9:25 PM

Not only open carry but concealed carry too. I was a Calif cop for 30 years and never arrested a U.S. citizen who didn't have a criminal record for a weapons charge. I'm a life member of the NRA. Moved to Texas the day after I retired.

sfdaddy @ 10/10/2011 10:09 PM

Wow, hey why don't we just let government do everything for us. Give up your guns, turn them in, and become sheep walking around homing the shepherd will protect us from the big bad wolf. Guess this is why I never visit California. Stop wasting your money on those tourism adds. As long as your state continues stupid gun control such as this, I wont visit.

GLENN @ 10/10/2011 11:11 PM



Morning Eagle @ 10/10/2011 11:58 PM

Sorry for the length of my posts Mychal, once I start it is difficult to stop.

I feel for the law-abiding folks that live in CA. This is ANOTHER stupid, senseless California law written and passed by legislators and a governor that have zero grasp on, or sincere interest in, actually lowering crime rates involving firearms. For the CPCA to endorse and support it only verifies that their frontal lobotomies were successful.

Morning Eagle @ 10/11/2011 12:07 AM

I feel for the law-abiding folks that live in CA. This is ANOTHER stupid, senseless California law written and passed by legislators and a governor that have zero grasp on, or sincere interest in, actually lowering crime rates involving firearms. For the CPCA to endorse and support it only verifies that their frontal lobotomies were successful.

Greg @ 10/11/2011 2:44 AM

Just another reason I'm hoping that the big one will come and break that horrible excuse for a state off and let it become its own little communist country like the lunatics that run it want. My only other hope is that the decent people get a chance to leave before it breaks off.

Greg @ 10/11/2011 2:53 AM

Oh and the Commisars little comment about "not needing a gun to buy a cheeseburger" he better check his crime stats again I think he has been misinformed. More crime per capita than any state that has a shall issue concealed carry program so yes in the Peoples Republik of California you do need a gun to buy a cheeseburger if you expect to live to eat it.

Noel Houze @ 10/11/2011 3:13 AM

The Californian Chief's president's comment, "The governor's leadership in signing this legislation will help assure that felons and gang members cannot openly carry an unloaded gun with impunity,...." Since when is it legal for felons to carry any firearm, loaded or unloaded?

ETG @ 10/11/2011 4:31 AM

Gun control laws stop crime the same way the burglary statutes stop theft. Crimnals, by definition, really don't care much about the law. I think, as cops, we really have no need to fear a law abiding citizen with a gun - loaded or unloaded (although an unloaded gun is kind a silly thing to be carying). The chiefs back these moronic legislative efforts and the public thinks, therefore, that the cops support them. The overwhelming majority of us do not. In fact there are a large number of us let scratching our heads trying to figure out why a citizen needs a permit to exercise his rights.

Bob @ 10/11/2011 4:54 AM

So, you can grow, sell, and smoke pot in CA, but you cannot defend yourself from predatory criminals who by definition don't care what Jerry Brown signs. The state releases convicted felons because they have so many that the prisons won't hold them all, but the people that have been and will again become their prey can't defend themselves against the scum. The LEO community is like a finger in the dike with the cracks growing by the second. Right. I left that cesspool years ago and haven't looked back.

Fear the government that fears your guns.

Tom @ 10/11/2011 5:45 AM

Clearly an unConstitutional law. Every citizen has the right to bear arms. Any LEO that supports such a law is violating their oath of office..."Protect and Defend the US Constitution." An UNARMED and DEFENSELESS civilian population is not a good thing. However, since REAGAN, when has anything GOOD ever come out of California?

D. Elliott @ 10/11/2011 5:48 AM

Another asinine attempt by law makers to "make us safe." If these idiots in the CA state house had any real life experience, they would realize that criminals pay little attention to laws. That's why they're criminals. I could rant on, but I think it has already been said in previous posts. Let's see how this pans out in 1 - 2 years crime stats.

vbdep @ 10/11/2011 5:49 AM

Nazi Commifornia. What the he!!, criminals carry their weapon concealed anyway so you don't know when they're going to strike. All this is doing is stripping law abiding citizens of the 2nd Amend right. If you can't carry unloaded, then load the SOB. Maybe Der Fuhrer Brown will have his own set of Nuremburg Laws. I feel sorry for the good people of California, you don't deserve this BS.

Gary M @ 10/11/2011 6:53 AM

Chiefs are political animals and do not represent the majority of cops.

Hit paydirt with kdirt @ 10/11/2011 7:01 AM

For a State that Can't afford a cup of coffee, they really want to spend millions fighting this rediculous violation of our second ammendment rights all the way to the Suprime Court? Typical of liberal idiots!

ron @ 10/11/2011 7:05 AM

I agree with all of the above. This is just something to make the liberals feel all warm and fuzzy.Its not going to help curve crime 1%.

Mike @ 10/11/2011 7:54 AM

Tim, The 10th amendment reserves to the states and the people any powers not enumerated in the Constitution or its amendments. The Supreme Court plainly said in McDonald that the 2nd amendment applies to the states and local governments.

Col. R. @ 10/11/2011 7:55 AM

When will the politicians learn that more laws limiting the inherit rights of law abiding citizens is not the answer? 20k Federal laws and less than 1/2 of 1% of firearms crime is by citizens who carry. LEO's are not able to be everywhere and not able to act until a crime has been committed. Leaving the innocent populace to fend for their very safety alone.

Liberalism thinking of punishing the very people who are the bedrock of civil society for the greater "good"? And now we see just how far it takes us. More restrictions on the people who obey the law with only a faint promise that criminal conduct might be affected.

So more of the thinking that Big Government knows better how to run peoples lives. And a assured loss for both the people and the LE community as a whole. Just one more reason I make my home in Texas.

Harry White @ 10/11/2011 8:17 AM

For most of us, we already know that Jerry Brown is an idiot and does not like an armed populace. But for David Maggard to make such an insipid comment that this will keep felons and gang members from openly carrying an unloaded gun. Well felons cannot be in possession of one period and the gang members are not going to openly carry a gun, but no matter what guns laws are in effect, they will have one. Lord what a bunch of idiots.

JD @ 10/11/2011 8:18 AM

Your going to love my thoughts, my sheriff tells everyone we are their protection and they dont need guns,,who cares about that piece of paper signed over 200 years ago, I swore to protect and defend with both my department and the military. My solution is Chiefs and Sheriffs who support these type bills and also who dont issue CCW should be held liable for crimes committed on the citizens in their community, yes I know about case law and our exemption. Just two cents and cant wait to retire and leave california.

Scott @ 10/11/2011 8:45 AM

Limiting the rights of law abiding citizens will do nothing to prevent those with criminal agendas from carrying concealed loaded firearms. This law will do nothing to increase our safety; conversely, it will limit our citizen's ability to defend themselves from an out of control criminal population. I hope the citizens of our state realize that the wishes of the Governor and the Cal Chiefs is only the opinion of a bunch of politicians and not the common consensus among LEO's. I wish every law abiding citizen in the city I work in was armed, just as their forefathers would have been. Now that would be a serious crime prevention method.

HH @ 10/11/2011 9:02 AM

To Tim, the seminar blogger, second amendment "nutcases" and "other nine amendments"---boy, you must be a constitutional scolar!

Rick @ 10/11/2011 9:06 AM

Some in California would be ok with this law as it is not smart to be openly carrying a unloaded firearm as long as concealed carry law was reformed to make California a "shall issue" state. This would help with the many folks who just break out in a cold sweat at the sight of a firearm due to fear. Out of sight, out of mind. Until the concealed carry law is reformed, banning open carry is just stupid as it is for some the only way to carry a firearm for self defense.

DK @ 10/11/2011 9:45 AM

DEMOCRATES!!! As a former cop I have no problem with honest law abiding citizes that carry...... If we could just push California into the sea.....

erick becker @ 10/11/2011 10:11 AM

"You can all go to hell, I'm going to Texas!"
Davy Crockett

Matt @ 10/11/2011 10:15 AM

As I understand this bill: the law prohibits the open carrying of UNLOADED firearms in mention of open carry of loaded ones. If there is a problem with gang bangers carrying unloaded weapons on their side and a mag in a pocket in order to get around the law that did not previously prohibit that, I don't have a problem with a law that gives officers "ammunition" to stop and detain based on reasonable suspicion. It amazes me that a gang banger would think it's smart to carry an uloaded gun and have to take the time to load it in the event of a confrontation with rival gangs or police. My guess is that there are plenty of gang bangers who won't bother to unload their guns and the ones who do won't last too long! Survival of the fittest!

Justin @ 10/11/2011 10:18 AM

Tim, there are more than 10 amendments to the Constitution...another fine example of a MORON from California.

Jason Barnes @ 10/11/2011 11:03 AM

The organization mentioned is highly-politicized and often contemptuous of the public and even of their own street officers. I have no problem at all with law-abiding citizens carrying, open or concealed.

Incidentally, this is the same Governor Brown who just signed laws to give college scholarships to ILLEGALS, while denying them to in-state LEGAL student residents. Brown also has pushed for legislation allowing ILLEGALS to pay state resident rates for tuition, while gouging LEGAL residents who come here from out of state.

Tom Ret @ 10/11/2011 11:10 AM

Our nation needs to get back to traditional values which goes counter to what many liberals such as Brown believe in. To get laws that favor the law abiding citizen, idiots like Brown need to be defeated at the polls.

Ethan @ 10/11/2011 12:39 PM

This only hurts honest people. California does not issue concealed weapons permits. You can take all the required courses and the state will still deny you a permit. This law could have been better tailored. Most counties and cities already have restrictions on open carry in populated areas. This means that those who go back packing in wilderness areas cannot even carry a weapon for safety.

JR @ 10/11/2011 1:38 PM

"The governor's leadership in signing this legislation will help assure that felons and gang members cannot openly carry an unloaded gun with impunity..."

Are you freaking kidding me? This moron is the President of Police officer's associtation? Someone might want to inform this mouth-breathing retard that FELONS and Gang members ARE ALREADY BANNED from carrying or possessing a gun in ANY MANNER, be it concealed, openly carried or hidden in their vehicle/home!! My God what an IDIOT!

This law affects NO ONE but the law abiding citizen...because guess what you idiot? Felons and gang members have already proven, REPEATEDLY I might add, that they don't give two s#*ts about any laws...particularly gun laws. Last time I checked, it has always been illegal for criminals to shoot at cops....and yet it still happens. Weird. I am so tired of idiots.

bill @ 10/11/2011 2:43 PM

I am a retired Trooper from Pa. All cops and most of the public agree that more stringent gun laws do nothing to stop crime. As for the Chiefs of Police, they are all political hacks. What else would you expect them to say. You Cal people have to unelect the liberals

Martyb @ 10/11/2011 3:53 PM

This law and the other nonsensical gun laws Gov. Jerry "Moon Beam" Brown just signed proves the Great State of California is the "World's Largest Un-fenced Insane Asylum".

With CDCR's (California Department of Correction & Rehabilitation) newest federal mandate to reduce prison overcrowding by releasing "3-nons" early with "non-revokable parole" or sending them to the counties to finish their already abbreviated sentences and the counties releasing prisoners to make room for the state sluge returns. California has become a VERY dangerous place.

Thank goodness I live in a County where the Sheriff has used reason and common sense in issuing CCW premits and support his citizen's right to protect themselves and their families.

TimFromLA @ 10/11/2011 4:45 PM

What is wrong with gun control? What is wrong with limiting who can carry? Obviously I live in Los Angeles and I have a rifle. I like my rifle and I go shooting at ranges and have a swell time! I know that no one will take my rifle away, unless I commit a crime and I'm just fine with it. Funny thing though with the Second Amendment folks, remember Jared Lee Loughner? The guy who shot 19 people killing six? He's a nut case the Second Amendment folks yell back. Well guess what? Federal law prohibits mentally ill people to carry, own or possess firearms. And how did we know that he was mentally incapable of having a firearm?

Jared Loughner unable to enlist in Army because of drug use

The Army said he was mentally incapable. And with a two-minute background check through the FBI — National Crime Information Center, this would NOT have happened. Yes a few people fall through the cracks, but Loughner would not have. But lo and behold, AZ does not have that contingency.


The State of Arizona can be held liable for for the the shooting and deaths. Why? Because it was recorded by the U.S. Army that Loughner was mentally incapable of owning or possessing a firearm. Now officers, do you want this happen o where you work? Especially in an under-regulated state like Arizona?

TimFropmLA @ 10/11/2011 4:51 PM

I'm just saying officer. What is wrong with a quick background check? I'm not saying take away all guns. I am also a member of:

And I like my government to regulate firearms, as I would like to see my police officers and deputies protected from people like Jard Lee Loughner. Don't you?

R. G. Montgomery @ 10/11/2011 6:19 PM

Anti-Gun is Pro-Criminal.

This attitude on the part of elitists is one of the reasons I moved from the "People's Democratic Socialist Republic of California".

To those of you who are stuck there, my condolences. For those of you who were born there and love the place, I am sorry for your loss; California is pretty much dead.

kamm3256 @ 10/12/2011 1:18 AM

"The governor's leadership in signing this legislation will help assure that felons and gang members cannot openly carry an unloaded gun with impunity, all the while carrying the ammunition for the weapon on their person, because with open carry, officers were prohibited from conducting any further investigation to determine if the individual is legally in possession of the weapon."

I'm not from California. Just a question for those that are. Is this law actually intended to close some type of loop hole?

Victor @ 10/12/2011 11:06 AM

Bad guys will continue to illegally carry concealed. Open carry will at least help deter bad guys. Ideally, LOADED open carry, or even better, legally concealed carry by law abiding citizens would help assist LEO's as long as people are trained correctly to identify themselves to LEO's when stopped.

John Russell @ 10/13/2011 1:46 PM

FU## CALIF AND THE TRASH THAT ARE IN IT glad I willnever go back nothing but sworthy worms even the PORNO STARS freaks and losers...once a leadrestate now pathetic GOD drop it in the OCEAN and empty a SES POOLon this EARTH

Martin @ 10/21/2011 9:48 AM

Dan, Tim is not totally correct in the power of the states since the McDonald case where the Supreme Ct. said the 2nd is an enumerated right. Under Tim's theory, CA could regulate the 4th amendment to their heart's content claiming they had the right to do so under the 9th.

Ted @ 12/12/2013 10:20 AM

I have lived in ca. For over 50years but I guess its time to leave. I was wateing to see if our rites would be reinstated but Not getting any younger . The gun grabbers know how stuped there laws are. It's not about guns . Ifs about people control . Once the guns are gone. Good luck folks. It's to bad the people in the state of California can't see it coming .. I hate to leave my home but I guess its time.

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