Lawmaker proposes 'open carry' ban

April 14, 2010 6:33:52 PM PDT
If a San Diego assemblywoman has her way, it will become illegal in California to carry an unloaded gun in public. Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, a San Diego Democrat, has introduced a bill (AB1934) that would make "open carry" a misdemeanor in most public places.

"A study found that a person has a 500 percent greater chance of being shot if they themselves are carrying a gun," she said.

Saldana's effort comes after several high profile events in the Bay Area, including gatherings at local coffee shops, like Starbucks, and at Walnut Creek's Buckhorn Grill, a restaurant that has since banned gun-toting customers.

Fremont's open carry advocate Adnan Shahab believes his gun actually makes those around him safer.

"We're just going about our daily business, going into coffee shops and going into restaurants and if God forbid, something should happen and somebody were to attack, at least we have a device available to us to defend ourselves with," he said.

Open carry opponents say an unloaded weapon can create a dangerous situation, given how quickly it can be loaded.

And in January during an ABC7 interview, two Livermore police officers approached and frisked an open carrier just to make sure his weapon wasn't loaded.

Shahab realizes recent efforts to publicize the open carry movement may actually backfire on those trying to exercise their constitutional right in California.

"My whole idea behind all this was exercise our current rights and push for more rights," he said.

AB1934 would not make it illegal to carry an unloaded weapon inside a business, if that establishment permits it. The bill will get its first reading on April 20 in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. San Francisco Democrat and committee chairman Tom Ammiano has already voiced his support for the measure.


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