California Bans Open Carry of Guns

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

California Gov. Jerry Brown cleared his desk of bills over the weekend, slipping a big one through -- banning the open carrying of guns in public.

"I listened to the California police chiefs," Brown said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Those police chiefs pressed Brown and the legislature to pass the ban, saying officers waste valuable time responding to calls of "suspects" carrying guns.

"The bottom line is the streets will be safer for law enforcement and families," said Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who authored the bill.

California's previous law allowed people to carry guns openly, but the guns had to be unloaded.

"This finally puts an end to the dangerous and intimidating practice of carrying openly displayed guns in public," said Brian Malte, local director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "California families will now be able to take their families to the park or out to eat without the worry of getting shot by some untrained, unscreened, self-appointed vigilante."

However, opponents say the bill is just a way to undermine the 2nd Amendment.

"California already has the most convoluted and confusing gun laws in the country," said Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder of He said the ban "will result in mass confusion by police and the public as to what the law is, and prosecution of well-meaning people."

Gun owners can still apply to their local police department for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Violating the new ban will be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.