California lawmakers reject open-carry gun ban

California lawmakers have rejected a bill that would have made it illegal to carry unloaded guns in public.

The Senate narrowly approved the measure Tuesday, the last day of the regular legislative session, on a 21-16 vote. But it failed in the Assembly.

The bill would have made it a misdemeanor to openly carry a handgun in a public place. Current California law permits carrying a rifle or a handgun in a holster if it is not loaded.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldana of San Diego sought the bill after gun-rights groups held a series of demonstrations openly carrying unloaded weapons.

Lawmakers did not act on a second bill that would have required owners of rifles and shotguns to register their weapons. The bill fell short during an initial vote Monday.

© 2010 The Associated Press.