A significant change in the law within the state of California has been heralded by law enforcement groups as a step in the right direction. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that prohibited the carrying of handguns openly in public and visible within vehicles.

The new law has split opinion and those, such as Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, argue that it will prevent tragedy before it happens and he was the main driving force behind getting the bill passed. AB144 now makes carrying an unloaded gun openly in public a misdemeanour and you could face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1000.
The law however does not apply to hunting events or shooting organizations provided that they have a permit in advance of the event in question however this hasn’t stopped some criticising the new legal code arguing that it specifically targets law-abiding citizens who only carry a weapon for their own safety and display it as a deterrent. Tim Donnelly, a Republican Assemblyman within the state, went as far as to suggest that the Governor has no respect for the constitution or the fundamental rights of the state’s citizens. Indeed, many gun advocates have been arguing that it is a ban on the ‘right to bear arms’ and that it will make the ordinary gun carry citizen feel less safe as a result.
The National Rifle Association is already planning a legal challenge to the new law and the fallout from the new regulations look set to continue for a while yet.

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