On April 12, two extremely important firearms bills moved out of the California Assembly Public Safety Committee.

AB 809 (Feuer), co-sponsored by the Law Center, would delete a provision of state law that currently requires sales records for long guns (rifles and shotguns) to be destroyed after five days. Similar to last year’s AB 1810, the bill would direct the Department of Justice to retain these records indefinitely, as it currently does for handgun records. Retention of long gun records would help law enforcement agencies quickly identify the owners of crime guns, and help them get firearms out of the hands of dangerous felons, domestic abusers, and the mentally ill. It would also help law enforcement be forewarned about the presence of long guns at private residences when responding to emergency calls.

AB 144 (Portantino), which would prohibit the open carrying of unloaded handguns in public places, also passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Current law does not prohibit the open carrying of unloaded firearms, even if an individual is also carrying ammunition. Open carrying intimidates the public, wastes law enforcement resources, and creates opportunities for injury and death due to the accidental or intentional use of firearms.

Both bills now proceed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. For more information about all of the firearms bills under consideration in California this year, please visit our Summary of 2011 California Firearms Legislation.