Calif. advances bill to ban carrying unloaded guns

SACRAMENTO — The California Assembly has passed a bill that would make it illegal to openly carry a gun in public, even if it is unloaded.

The bill, AB 1934, would make it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed handgun on any public street or in a public place. The bill passed Tuesday on a 41-25 vote and now moves to the Senate.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldana of San Diego said guns carried in public, even when not loaded, cause a public safety concern in part because gun owners can carry ammunition.

Supporters said police officers called to a scene where a gun was displayed have to treat the situation as a threat.

But opponents said the measure would chip away at the public's right to bear arms and protest peacefully.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.