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Gov. Jerry Brown makes it illegal to openly carry a handgun in public

October 10, 2011 | 12:17 am

Gov. Jerry Brown has outlawed the open carrying of handguns in public in California, targeting a practice that top law enforcement officials had denounced as dangerous.

 L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca were among those who supported the prohibition on grounds that open toting of guns wastes officers’ time responding to calls about armed "suspects" and can lead accidentally to violent confrontation.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge), author of the gun ban, and his supporters said California is no longer the wild west, where citizens need to carry six-shooters on their hips for protection.

"I’m pleased that it has become law," Portantino said Sunday night. "The bottom line is the streets will be safer for law enforcement and families."

The law takes effect Jan. 1. Violations will be a misdemeanor, with offenders facing up to one year in jail and a potential fine of $1,000.

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--Patrick McGreevy

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