California open carry

  • Author:
    n/a
  • Send To:
    California State Legislature & Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Sponsored By:
    Residents of California
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We urge you to oppose Assemblywoman Lori Saldana's AB 1934, a bill to ban the open carry of handguns in public places, for the following reasons:

1. The open carry of holstered handguns has always been legal in California - it is an old right, not a new threat. In fact, 43 states allow the increasingly common "open carry" of handguns in public, in most cases at age 18 without any permit - and only California forbids openly carried guns to be loaded in cities.

2. The US Supreme Court in DC v. Heller (2008) held that the right to "bear arms" means "the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation."

3. California greatly restricts concealed carry by granting Sheriffs complete discretion in issuing permits and requiring the applicant to show cause to exercise their right to discreetly bear arms; therefore open carry is most Californians' only viable option to exercise their right to bear arms.

4. AB 1934 attacks California property rights by banning open carry on private property - under California law, all private property is presumptively considered a "public place." As Justice Richard Aldrich of the California Appeals Court recently ruled in People v. Strider (2009), [p]laces of business and parking lots on private property, open to the general public, have consistently been held to be public places . . . [as is] the area outside a home in which a stranger is able to walk without challenge. . . . The term public place generally means a location readily accessible to all those who wish to go there . . . . The key consideration is whether a member of the public can access the place without challenge. So anyone who owns a business, a home with a yard, or any other land, even a farm or ranch, should be concerned about AB 1934 because absent physical barriers or guards, the business or land is considered a public place under Saldanas bill.

5. AB 1934 would bizarrely force citizens who currently open carry properly holstered handguns in public places to carry rifles or shotguns instead for their own personal protection. We agree with the US Supreme Court which said in DC v. Heller (2008) that bearing a handgun has a key advantage over bearing long guns, i.e., that it can be held "with one hand while the other hand dials the police."

For the foregoing reasons, we residents of the State of California affirm and assert our opposition to AB 1934 and urge the Legislature and Governor to reject it. We further call on the Legislature to reform and simplify California's gun laws to be more like those of the vast majority of states which uphold the right to bear arms by allowing both open and concealed carry, and issuing any permits which are needed to bear arms on a "shall issue" basis.