Lawsuit Filed Against California's Ban on Openly Carried Loaded
Firearms in Public
Federal Civil Rights lawsuit naming California Governor Edmund G.
Brown Jr., California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the City of
Redondo Beach, its police department and police chief has been filed
in the Federal Central District Court for California.
have until December 14th to waive service of summons.
Those who do not will be served the following day which coincides
with the 220th Anniversary of the Second Amendment
and the Bill of Rights.
1967, the California Legislature made it a crime to openly carry a
loaded firearm in most public places in California. This was a
knee-jerk reaction to the activities of the Black Panther Party which
included a band of its members marching into the California State
Capitol building openly carrying loaded firearms.
of the Penal Code sections enacted as a result of this impromptu
publicity stunt was California Penal Code section 12031 which makes
it a crime to openly carry a loaded firearm in incorporated cities
and areas of a County where the discharge of firearms is prohibited.
opinion of then Attorney General Thomas C. Lynch was that “...it
remains clear that the Legislature did not direct the provisions of
section 12031 against all uses of firearms but only at uses of
firearms which are inimical to the peace and safety of the people of
Governor Ronald Reagan was adamant that the legislation not apply to
openly carrying loaded firearms through town for peaceful purposes
such as hunting.
lawsuit was intended to disarm the members of the Black Panther
Party. Since then, it has been applied to persons which the statute
itself exempts such as hunters and persons with loaded firearms
inside of mobile residences.
year, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill AB 144 into law which makes
it a crime to openly carry an unloaded handgun as well. That law goes
into effect on January 1st. As a result, California has
banned a complete class of weapons commonly used for the purpose of
self-defense from being openly carried in public. Only unloaded
rifles and shotguns may be openly carried after the new year.
case number is CV-11-9916 SJO (SS). The case has been
assigned to Federal Judge S. James Otero.
for the lawsuit are being raised by Open Carry advocates across the
are not tax deductible.