Gun advocates take their weapons to mall

December 14, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
In two weeks, open carry will be illegal in California when a new state law takes effect, so local gun activists went to Sunvalley Mall in Concord Wednesday night, with their unloaded weapons, in what may be one of their final demonstrations.

About a dozen gun advocates came to BJ's Restaurant to show their support for California's open carry law. On a corporate level, BJ's does not allow guns inside its restaurants, but the Concord location decided to abide by California law, which for now, states that it's OK to carry those guns out in the open.

"This is a Walther P99 .40 caliber," said Jeff Dunhill.

Dunhill says he would carry his weapon every day if he could, just like he did with his fellow open carry supporters on Wednesday night.

"I am carrying a Sig Sauer P226 .40 Smith & Wesson, so that's just a regular sidearm," said another gun activist.

Their gun-toting ways, however, will come to an end when displays like this are banned Jan. 1, 2012. So they've come to Sunvalley Mall to educate the public about what they believe is their Second Amendment right.

"Recently we had an issue with two of our open carriers who came to this mall and they were illegally searched and seized and they're weapons ran, their registration run," said Dunhill.

That, Dunhill says, goes beyond what the law allows.

"Law enforcement has the ability to stop and ask me to look at my firearm and ensure that it's unloaded," said Dunhill.

Concord police didn't monitor the open carry gathering Wednesday night. BJ's says police did call them to let them know they'd be getting some patrons with pistols and one family ABC7 spoke to didn't seem to mind.

"I'm cool with it, it's open carry law, and we're for it. We're pro-guns and protecting yourself. I mean, I don't know that he needs to have a rifle on his shoulder, but it's not against what we believe in," said Kirsten Monteith, a mother.

Of course there are others who say this ban does need to take effect on Jan. 1. The group points out that even when the ban goes into effect, it doesn't include guns like rifles or shotguns, so you may still see some of those on people in the public.

As for the incident that happened with Concord police, ABC7 tried contacting the Concord Police Department, but they did not return our calls in time for this report.

Concealed guns:
A petition to ease restrictions on concealed firearms in California has been given the green light by the Secretary of State. The measure would eliminate the "good cause" and "good moral character" requirements for a license to carry concealed weapons.

Law enforcement officers would have to issue licenses to applicants with no history of mental illness, substance abuse or domestic violence.

The petition needs more than half a million signatures to qualify for the 2012 ballot.

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