(A pro-gun Internet community of over 25,000 registered members)
For Immediate Release – May 27, 2010
California Legislature should
reject ban on open carry, an old right, not new threat
misleads public - AB 1934 tramples property rights
California is one of 43 states which allow the open carry of handguns. Repeatedly over the past few years the California legislature has wisely rejected bills to ban open carry, and OpenCarry.org urges the legislature to reject Assemblywoman Lori Saldana's effort, AB 1934, as well.
Last night at the Commonwealth Club debate in San Francisco, UC Berkley Law Professor Franklin Zimring, despite being a Second Amendment skeptic, said
"AB 1934 really has nothing to do with public safety. . . . the proponents of the bill are not introducing it because openly carrying has led to any violent incidents or crimes - it hasn't. The bill's sponsors also just want to show that they're right on the issue of gun control."[/b] See http://www.ktvu.com/news/23691070/detail.html
OpenCarry.org co-founder and spokesman John Pierce agrees, adding that "open carry is an old right, not a new threat."[/b]
But even more disturbing than Saldana's histrionic approach to marketing her 9,996 word bill creating or amending 8 sections of California's complicated gun laws is that fact that she has misled legislators, the media, and the public at large into believing that AB 1934 would not impact private property rights. For example, Ms. Saldana flatly warranted on San Diego 6 News that "The bill would ban open carry in public places - on private property, you're still allowed to carry a gun."[/b] See http://www.sandiego6.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?articleID=778999
But as Mr. Pierce explained in his recent Op-Ed, all private property in California is considered under the law to be a "public place" unless securely guarded or fenced - "remarkably, AB 1934 actually strips private property owners of their current right to allow open carry on their own land. Privately owned land is presumptively a “public place” under California law. As Justice Richard Aldrich of the California Appeals Court recently ruled in People v. Strider[/i],
“[p]laces of business and parking lots on private property, open to the general public, have consistently been held to be public places . . . [as is] the area outside a home in which a stranger is able to walk without challenge. . . . The term public place generally means a location readily accessible to all those who wish to go there . . . . The key consideration is whether a member of the public can access the place without challenge.”[/b]
So anyone who owns a business, a home with a yard, or any other land, even a farm or ranch, should be concerned about AB 1934 because absent physical barriers or guards, the business or land is considered a “public place” under Saldana’s bill." See "Saldana to Citizens: Eat Cake," at http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-26553-LA-History-Examiner~y2010m5d21-OpenCarryorg-Op-Ed-by-John-Pierce-on-Open-Carry-Ban-AB1934 ; People v. Strider[/i] at http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3393446215002445785&hl=en&am p;as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr .
Finally, it's time to debunk one of Saldana's favorite red herring arguments for her bill - that open carry rights are a drain on public resources because "police **must** check to ensure that an openly carried firearm is unloaded." See http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14922224?nclick_check=1 .
There is no "must" about it - California is the only one of the 43 open carry states to require openly carried guns in cities to be unloaded, and the only state to give police the OPTION to inspect firearm load conditions without even reasonable suspicion of crime being afoot. It should go without saying that an OPTION is not a MANDATE, just as keeping gun ownership in the closet is not part of the Second Amendment.