A new state law, in effect as of January 1, 2012, bans open carry of handguns in California. This law expands upon one that was signed into law in 1968 by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, which prohibited the open carry of loaded handguns, extending that prohibition to handguns that are not loaded. California is the fifth state in the U.S. to ban the open carry of handguns in public.
AB144, authored by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2011, makes open-carry of an unloaded handgun a misdemeanor. This law will apply to anyone found in possession of an exposed and unloaded handgun in public or in a vehicle. Violators are subject to a fine of $1000 and could face up to six months in jail. This new law makes no changes to the state’s policies on concealed carry permits.
The passage of this new gun control regulation was heavily opposed by gun rights activists, with some vowing to carry rifles or shotguns instead, and some Republican lawmakers expressed public opposition to the bill. However, the passage of this legislation was supported by prominent law enforcement groups, including the California Police Chief’s Association and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Law enforcement officials stated that they felt that open carry was dangerous, since it is difficult for officers to know whether an openly displayed handgun is loaded or not and whether the person with the gun is a threat.
If you are charged with possessing an unloaded firearm in public, or facing any other criminal charges, contacting a qualified and compassionate lawyer immediately is crucial! Of course, no matter what type of crime you or a loved one is being accused of, it is always imperative that you do not talk to the police! A misdemeanor conviction results in a criminal record, and possible jail time which can have devastating effects on a person’s job and family.
On the other hand, with a good lawyer at your side, misdemeanor charges may be dismissed altogether or reduced to an infraction, sparing you any criminal conviction. If you or someone you love is facing misdemeanor charges, Pasadena criminal defense lawyer Ann Gottesman can help. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, who knows the prosecutors and judges in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel courts, Ann Gottesman will work aggressively to ensure that you get the best possible results in your criminal case.