Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
September 28, 2012

Gun-toting demonstrators will not be able to openly display their unloaded rifles in California cities under legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor vetoed a separate gun-related measure, however, that would have barred peace officers from selling to the public potentially unsafe handguns that are not available at stores.

Two Assembly Democrats, Anthony Portantino of La Canada Flintridge and Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, carried the ban on open display of unloaded rifles, Assembly Bill 1527.

The measure is a companion to legislation signed into law last year banning open display of handguns.

Both measures target a movement in which some gun-owning Californians have openly carried unloaded firearms as evidence of their constitutional right to bear arms and as a protest against government gun-control laws.

Proponents of a crackdown say that openly carrying a firearm creates alarm among bystanders and sparks emergency calls to police officers, who arrive at the scene not knowing if the weapon is loaded. Responses can be dangerous to the gun owner and to passers-by, supporters say.

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