Friday, August 12, 2011

California's statist legislature is close to checkmating state gun owners

California has what are most likely the most stringent gun laws of any state in the nation. If you wish to defend yourself and your family by carrying a concealed handgun in California, you must endure a byzantine application process where your request is at the mercy of the Sheriff of your county of residence. You must show cause for your desire to carry a concealed handgun, and as far as I know, defense of yourself and your family is not considered a good cause. From what I understand, being a crony or good friend of the Sheriff and lining his pockets with a substantial financial contribution to his or her election campaign is a cause that is much more likely to get one's concealed-carry permit approved.

As the state law is currently written, if someone is not approved for a concealed-carry permit (and most applicants are not) one can still open-carry in California. What this means is that according to California Penal Code section 12031, you can carry a handgun on your person as long as it is visible and unloaded. Most open carriers have their unloaded pistol in a holster on one hip, and their loaded magazines in a magazine holster on the other hip, as the law states that your ammunition must be visible as well. Oh, and you cannot open-carry within 1,000 feet of a school. Oh, and a police officer can stop you and check to ensure your weapon is unloaded. So even though there are all kinds of nit-picky rules for open-carry as well, at least you do not need any kind of permit to do this. For now.

State Assembly member Anthony Portantino (Democrat, naturally) is currently guiding Assembly Bill (AB) 144 through the state legislature. Last I checked, it had cleared the Assembly, and is now being considered in the State Senate, which is dominated by Democrats. If it passes through the Senate (which it will in all likelihood), it will then go before our Democrat Governor, who is not a fan of the Second Amendment. Once AB 144 passes, then that is it. Checkmate. You cannot carry concealed; you cannot carry openly. You are totally disarmed.

For a good summation of all this, I urge you to view this 8-minute video put out by the Reason Foundation. They interview an Open-Carry advocate from San Diego who eloquently explains his position, and then they interview none other than Portantino himself, where he proceeds to display his absolute imbecility with the arguments he makes in support of his AB 144:

What is particularly frustrating is that there have been federal lawsuits in the past where citizens of California have tried to vacate or ease back California's concealed-carry laws, but federal judges have refused to do so, because after all, if you can't get obtain a concealed-carry permit, you can always open-carry. In a recent case out of Yolo County - Richards v. County of Yolo - in which plaintiff Adam Richards attempted to obtain a concealed-carry permit after being denied one by the Yolo County Sheriff, the judge found against Richards because after all...
Under the statutory scheme, even if Plaintiffs are denied a concealed weapon license for self-defense purposes from Yolo County, they are still more than free to keep an unloaded weapon nearby their person, load it, and use it for self-defense in circumstances that may occur in a public setting.
Hmmm, so if Portantino's unconstitutional travesty of a bill becomes law, then what? What do the law-abiding citizens of California do? Must we walk down the sidewalk carrying a rifle or shotgun? Or will Portantino then call for that to be outlawed as well? If AB 144 becomes law, I think people should break out their long guns and take a friendly stroll down the street (staying at least a thousand feet away from schools of course) and it goes without saying that the law would also need to be challenged in court. California's concealed-carry restrictions are bad enough, but to also outlaw open-carry and leave California's law-abiding citizens even more defenseless than they already are sickens me.

In case you are interested in letting Portantino hear your respectful thoughts on what you think of his attempts to kill all efforts of law-abiding Californians to defend themselves, here is his telephone number and a link to his Assembly website. Right now, he has a big feature on his homepage where he is bragging about his beloved AB 144:

(916) 319-2044

Should you also like to contact your State Senator and urge their "No" vote, since AB 144 currently resides on the Senate calendar, you can find the contact information to your State Senator here.

Oh, and one last thought on which to chew: In Vermont, you don't even need a permit to carry concealed, let alone open. Have you heard about any crime problems in Vermont lately?

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson


Anonymous said...

I immediately wrote to my state senator, but he is from the Northstate, and it was preaching to the choir.

Darren said...

How can I carry at all, as close as I live to a school?

W.R. Chandler said...

That is one of the back-door ways that the legislature tries to force you not to carry. In fact, there is a state senate bill in the hopper that is attempting to lengthen the no-gun perimeter from 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet.

Anonymous said...

State Assembly member Anthony Portantino seems to know his way around a cheeseburger!

Anonymous said...

The rep. revealed his true intention towards the end - let's keep people safe, NOT let's protect the rights of citizens. He plainly stated that no injuries or deaths have resulted from this open carry policy. So the rep will take credit for passing a bill which protects citizens who have not ever been harmed in Ca. by open carry?

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