A bill introduced by La Cañada Flintridge representative in the state Assembly that would make it a crime to openly carry an unloaded rifle or shotgun in any public place or street has passed the state Senate Public Safety Committee on a vote of 4 to 2.
The measure, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, will next head to the Senate floor. If ultimately passed, AB 1527 will expand Portantino’s previous bill, AB 144, which bans unloaded handguns from being openly displayed in public.
“After the successful adoption of AB 144, “open carry” advocates shifted from carrying and displaying handguns in public to the use of rifles and shotguns, even showing up at police events,” said Portantino, in an emailed statement.
"It wastes law enforcement time and resources when they could be out catching bad guys. Instead, they are tied up dealing with frantic calls from the public about gun-toting men and women. As law enforcement officials tell me, it’s not safe and someone is going to get hurt.”
Violations of the law, if passed, would include a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, according to a statement from Portantino's office.
However, hunters, law enforcement personnel and others carrying unloaded weapons under specified licensed circumstances would be exempt from the proposed law.