Portantino Bill Conquers Hurdle

 Assemblymember Anthony Portantino’s public safety measure to expand on last year’s ban on openly carried handguns has passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on a vote of 4 to 2.

 AB 1527 would outlaw the “open carry” of unloaded long guns – such as rifles or shotguns – on Main Street, California

Portantino introduced the legislation at the urging of law enforcement as a follow up to last year’s successful AB 144, which banned openly carrying an unloaded handgun in public places.

“Last year, we tried to craft a narrow bill to close a loophole in the hopes that gun enthusiasts would support ending this dangerous practice,” explained Portantino. “Unfortunately, the “open carry” folks reacted by carrying rifles and other long guns, alarming the public and creating a potentially dangerous situation. As law enforcement officials tell us, it not only creates a tense situation, but wastes time and money when police have to roll out and respond to these unnecessary calls.”

AB 1527 builds on the law authored by Portantino last year and contains a similar list of exemptions to enable safe transportation, lawful hunting, and use by law enforcement officials. The measure would authorize similar penalties – a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1000 – for individuals who openly carry unloaded long guns in public.

AB 1527 has the support of California Police Chiefs Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), California Chapters of the Brady Campaign and Legal Community Against Violence.