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The California Assembly has approved a bill that would ban the carrying of unloaded rifles or “long guns” in public. Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (PORE-tan-TEE-noh) says his measure is in response to recent events where gun owners displayed their weapons in public. Those displays came after Portantino’s legislation last year that banned the open carry of handguns. The legislator says police have to respond to these protests.
Cut: 0503JO_GUNBAN1A (:20) “And when the call goes out, it doesn’t say, ‘person with an unloaded gun’. It says ‘three people getting out of a van on the corner of Third and Main with weapons’. And law enforcement has to roll as if those are loaded because they have no idea until they get there whether they’re unloaded or loaded.”
The bill has several exemptions listed, including for law enforcement and for licensed hunters.
Republicans oppose the bill, saying it violates constitutional rights to free speech and to bear arms.
The measure now moves to the State Senate.
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HEADLINE: The State Assembly has approved a measure to ban the open carry of long guns in public.
INTRO: (:12) The California Assembly has approved a bill that would ban the carrying of unloaded rifles or shotguns in public. As Jenny O’Mara reports from Sacramento, the measure came in response to protests over earlier gun control legislation.
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino is also the author of legislation approved last year that banned the open carry of handguns. Portantino says that law prompted some to protest by carrying unloaded long guns out in public.
Cut: 0503JO_GUNBAN2A (:08) “Those situations are tense,unnecessary and it’s only a matter of time before they end tragically.”
Portantino’s current measure would make it a misdemeanor to carry an unloaded long gun in public. Republican lawmakers say it violates Constitutional rights. G-O-P Assemblyman Steve Knight says it would hurt law-abiding citizens.
Cut: 0503JO_GUNBAN2B (:07) “They know the great responsibility they have by carrying a firearm, and they do it. And they do it in accord with the law.”
The bill has several exemptions including for law enforcement and licensed hunters. It now moves to the state Senate.