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California handgun ban lauded by Brady Campaign

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SACRAMENTO - Last night, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the top legislative priorities of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign. The Governor signed AB 144 by Assembly Member Anthony Portantino (D-La Caada-Flintridge) to ban the open carry of handguns in California and he also signed AB 809 by Assembly Member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) to close a loophole in state law that required the destruction of long gun sales and transfer records.
 
"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.
 
AB 809 will require the preservation of records for long guns sold or transferred in California after January 1, 2014.  Currently, only handgun purchases and transfer records are retained by the California Department of Justice.  "The retention of long gun records will enable the tracing of long guns used in crime and help law enforcement expose traffickers and sources of illegal guns," continued Stout.  Data from the California Department of Justice shows that over half the guns recovered from armed and prohibited persons are long guns.
 
AB 144 will prohibit carrying in public openly displayed handguns.  Last January, the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign announced their Demand Gun-free Dining - California project in response to a political movement of gun enthusiasts testing an old law -- which allows the open carry of semi-automatic weapons with live ammunition magazines readily available -- by holding gun gatherings in local restaurants and on public property.
 
"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," Stout continued.
 
AB 144 was supported by the California Police Chiefs Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California.  AB 809 was sponsored by the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Legal Community Against Violence, and was supported by numerous police chiefs statewide.