Gov. Brown expands open carry ban to include long guns

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Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada-Flintridge), right, authored a bill that bans the open carrying of long guns. The bill expands a previous ban that applied only to handguns.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that makes it a misdemeanor to openly carry an unloaded rifle or shotgun in California cities.

it’s a follow up to a bill passed last year that bans the open carry of handguns. Anyone caught carrying either kind of weapon in public faces misdemeanor charges punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada-Flintridge), who authored the original handgun ban and its update, said after the handgun bill passed, people “started showing up in coffee shops, restaurants and public beaches with unloaded [long] guns strapped to their hips.”

The new rule exempts law enforcement personnel, hunters and others who have a special license to carry unloaded weapons. It won’t apply in most rural areas.

Gun owners say the restrictions violate their constitutional right to bear arms.

The ban, which takes effect on January 1, has been a top priority of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and Sherriff Lee Baca.

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