Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) has introduced AB 1527, a measure that will prohibit individuals from openly displaying unloaded rifles and shotguns in public. 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.
In reaction to the enactment of AB 144, Open Carry Organizations across the State began hosting open carry events brandishing rifles and shotguns in place of the now illegal handguns. In at least once instance, they showed up at a police fundraiser wielding unloaded rifles.
“Last year, the state made it clear that this type of behavior had no place on Main Street, California,” said Assemblymember Portantino. “Unfortunately, the Open Carry community has decided to once again force our hand by escalating their unnecessary activities and entering our communities with AR-15s and other long guns. I had hoped cooler heads would have prevailed and this law wouldn’t be necessary, obviously that hasn’t been the case and I must once again take action to ensure the safety of our communities.”
AB 1527 builds on the newly enacted law authored by Portantino last year and provides a similar list of exemptions to enable safe transportation, lawful hunting, and use by law enforcement officials.
“The Brady Campaign supports AB 1527,” said Dr. Dallas Stout, President of the California Brady Campaign Chapters. “These public displays of shot guns, rifles, and live ammunition intimidate and scare people. This is not the kind of society Californians want to live in, and we support ending this dangerous practice.”
AB 1527 currently awaits referral from the Assembly Rules committee and will likely be set for hearing in the Assembly Public Safety committee sometime in late March or early April.