Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation criminalizing openly carrying an unloaded handgun in public and requiring the state to keep records of rifle sales, as it currently does for handguns, Brown announced this morning.
The open-carry ban, Assembly Bill 144, by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La CaÃ±ada-Flintridge, pitted law enforcement groups against gun rights advocates. The legislation targeted the "open carry" movement, in which people displayed firearms in public places to protest gun-control laws.
The measure exempts peace officers, military gatherings, gun shows and hunting.
Assembly Bill 809, by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-Los Angeles, requires the state to keep records of rifle sales starting in January 2014.
"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," Brown, a Democrat, said in a signing statement.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence praised Brown's signings, notably the open carry bill. "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," said Dallas Stout, president of the group's California chapter.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated with comments from the Brady campaign. Updated 9:34 a.m., Oct. 10, 2011.