Monday, October 10, 2011

Long Gun Open Carry - Comming to A Starbucks Near You!

Well, Governor Brown did it.  Starting January 1, 2012, it will be illegal to carry an unloaded handgun in public in California.  But as noted here, and many other places, this bill says nothing about log guns.  I think we will see more protest activities in the future, but this time people will be carrying their long guns, especially so-called assault weapons.

This may not be a wise policy.

When confronted with firearms in public, our legislature reacts by outlawing the practice of carrying guns, even unloaded guns, where the easily frightened sheeple of California can see them.  Given that most people in California think that AK-47 and AR-15 rifles are illegal to possess because of the assault weapon ban, the sight of bullet button-equipped rifle might be just a little alarming, I would expect the legislature to act to prohibit public carry of unloaded rifles as well.

They may also re-visit the CA assault weapon law in order to outlaw Off-List Lowers and the use of bullet buttons.  It would be interesting to see if such efforts would survive the inevitable court challenges.

Update 10/11/2011:

Here is one reaction from an UOC advocate, Yih-Chau Chang, press secretary of Responsible Citizens of California:
Chang added that many such advocates, including himself, carry exposed, unloaded handguns on a daily basis and will likely choose to openly carry unloaded long guns in lieu of handguns once the law takes effect in January.
I wonder what the reaction of the Legislature will be once people start carrying rifles in public.


Bergman said...

Most likely they'll do as expected and pass a law to ban it. But the Law of Unintended Consequences will eat them alive.

There will be a fairly brief period where all carry will be banned in California, then the SCOTUS will step in and note that keeping and bearing arms is an unalienable right, and strike down all the bans as unconstitutional.

End result will be better than it is now. And the legislature in California is so short sighted, they'll never see it coming.

LeftCoastConservative said...

I agree that the California legislature is short-sighted. They demonstrate this with several bills every session.

I think that the legislature is not really the driver in the carry issue, but the follower of the law enforcement agencies. Urban chiefs of police and sheriffs were the driving force behind AB144, and they will be the driving force behind the long gun carry ban that I believe will result, because most agencies do not want ANY guns in public. So it is they who must be brought into line with law suits. After all, it is the sheriffs that issue licenses.

Note that if and when a long gun carry ban is introduced, all carry WILL NOT be banned. those with valid California LTC will still be able to carry. I hope that a long gun open carry ban will make it easier to make the case that the application of the California LTC laws is unconstitutional, but we don't yet know if this is the case. I think that it is very possible that the period in which all open carry is banned will be longer than you think.

Now it is possible that the legislature will act if a law is unconstitutional, but I don't think that will happen. Litigation could result in "good cause" == "self defense", and "good moral character" == "not prohibited to possess". If that is indeed what happens, I don't think that the legislature will bother to act. They anti-gun member could then truthfully claim that they never voted to approve a shall-issue system in California.

I think that will only happen as a result of unequivocal decision by the SCOTUS that all non-felons have a constitutional right to carry, which would make the resultant lawsuits against sheriffs administration of LTC issuance policies irresistible.