Editor's Note*: This article was updated Monday at 2:36 p.m. with comments from the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday announced that he has signed two bills affecting the use of firearms in California: Assembly Bill 144 prohibits people from openly carrying unloaded handguns in public, and Assembly Bill 809 requires the state to keep records of rifle sales.
The measure making it illegal to carry an unloaded gun in public targets —in which gun advocates in the area have been displaying firearms in protest of gun control laws.
The group last year toured Hermosa Beach, picking up trash in the community and passing out pamphlets to inform residents about their right to bear arms.
Before the event, the indicating the areas in the city where firearms were restricted, such as near schools and in public parks.
Now openly carrying handguns is prohibited in any public place or street statewide. The new measure exempts law enforcement personnel, security guards, hunters and others licensed to carry unloaded weapons.
The released a statement Monday applauding Brown's decision to sign the "open carry" bill.*
"The Governor has shown common sense and real courage by standing with law enforcement and victims of gun violence to make our communities safer," said Dr. Dallas Stout, President of the California Brady Campaign Chapters, in the statement. "By prohibiting the open carry of guns, we can now take our families to the park or out to eat without the worry of getting shot by some untrained, unscreened, self-appointed vigilante."
Meanwhile, told Patch in an e-mail Monday morning that he has moved out of California "for a state that respects individuals’ fundamental right to self defense." He now lives in Virginia.
Yih-Chau Chang, press secretary for Responsible Citizens of California, a right-to-carry advocacy group, said about 5,000 advocates across the state opposed the legislation sign by Brown.
"We’re disappointed," Chang said. "That’s something we anticipated happening, and we have our game plan in place to challenge the law."
He added that before the new law takes effect Jan. 1 2012, he expects gun advocates to continue carrying unconcealed and unloaded handguns.
Then after the law takes effect, Chang said he expects advocates to carry rifles and shotguns in public, which would remain legal to carry so long as they are not concealed and they are unloaded, he said.
But "'open carry' wastes law enforcement time and resources when they could be out catching criminals or solving crimes," said Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who authored the open carry bill, in a statement, according to sister site .
"Instead, when officers are called to investigate the display of a weapon on an 'open carry' proponent, it takes their attention away from where it’s needed and puts folks at unnecessary risk," Portantino said.
After signing the firearm laws, Brown released a statement Sunday explaining the importance of Assembly Bill 809.
"Anytime someone purchases a firearm in California, whether a long gun or handgun, their personal information is sent to the Department of Justice for a criminal background check," he said in the statement. "Since the state already retains handgun purchaser information, I see no reason why the state should not also retain information pertaining to the sales of long guns."
What do you think of both gun laws that have passed in California? Do you support them?