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