the constitution California has among the strictest gun laws in the country, and couple of local politicians are seizing the opportunity created by the Arizona shooting to make them even stricter.

While most states operate under a “shall-issue” concealed carry weapons (CCW) permitting regime, meaning that anyone who passes a basic background check can get a CCW, California uses the “may-issue” rule, which means the decision is left to the sole discretion of the county sheriff. The result? Approximately 0.1% of California citizens have CCWs, which is almost 20 times lower than in the average shall-issue state.

This restrictive climate has led to the emergence of a burgeoning “Open Carry” movement, wherein citizens carry holstered, unloaded weapons in plain sight. California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino calls the open carry exemption in the law a “loophole,” which he intends to close with Assembly Bill 144 (AB 144).

Portantino’s fellow Assembly member Lori Saldana tried to ban open carry in 2010, but the bill failed in the assembly. But this time, AB 144 has gained helpful momentum from an unexpected source: Jared Loughner.

“Since the events in Arizona, gun issues have taken on a greater national debate and a greater significance,” says Portantino. Earlier this year, AB 144 passed the Assembly and now will head to the state Senate in late August 2011 and then on to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

Open Carry advocate Sam Wolanyk, who once successfully sued San Diego county when police arrested him for open carrying, says that the focus on lawful gun owners is misguided.

“It doesn’t matter if you stacked up 50,000 felonies,” says Wolanyk of the Loughner situation. “You can’t stop a crazy person from doing crazy things.”

UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh, creator of the popular law blog the Volokh Conspiracy, also says that crafting legislation in the face of rare tragedies is miguided.

“It doesn’t make much sense to come up with comprehensive law focusing on those very rare incidents,” says Volokh.

Despite the fact that crime rates are down nation wide and that there has never been a reported incident of an Open Carrier hurting someone, Portantino stands firm that the practice is a public danger and a drain on police resources. He also says he has no plans on introducing legislation to loosen up concealed carry laws.

“Just because one person is comfortable with their weapon,” says Portantino, “doesn’t mean that gives that person the right to infringe on the rights of other people who aren’t comfortable.”

Approximately 8:30.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Hawk Jensen.

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Duration : 0:8:4

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24 Responses to “Guns, Laws, and Panics: How Fear, Not Fact, Informs the Gun Rights Debate”

  1. 4g63attack says:

    What a cheeseburger …
    What a cheeseburger, this world is full of danger lurking in every corner. When seconds count a phone call is minutes away.

  2. 4g63attack says:

    Then to arms my …
    Then to arms my fellow Americans “we are many they are few”

  3. sheniyah111 says:

    @fgxmgdf thats …
    @fgxmgdf thats right me and my wife got a federal firearms license last week btw its really easy to get one but no one knows how much longer, i had a good look around here is where i got mine >>>

  4. inklebonker2 says:

    sadly yes it is …
    sadly yes it is now illegal to open carry a handgun in california

  5. TEAMreconTX says:

    The 2nd amendment …
    The 2nd amendment wasn’t originally intended to be used for self defense. It was designed to be used against an out of control & tyrannical government. They will always neglect to tell you that & say its safer to just not have a gun…. THE GOVERNMENT IS LINING UP ITS TOOLS!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! STEP UP & TAKE AMERICA BACK PEACEFULLY (if possible) BEFORE WE REACH THE POINT OF NO RETURN!!!

  6. EasternSnap says:

    For the 13 …
    For the 13 that dislike this well put, honest video – YOU!! No reason to argue against gun laws, this is not an iPhone vs HTC debate.

  7. paul4019 says:

    did this law get …
    did this law get passed in cali

  8. mydemonsbdriven says:

    cops have no legal …
    cops have no legal or moral obligation to protect a citizen. it means they can sit there and watch you die instead of protecting you. you must have the ability to fend of an attacker without the need for someone to come rescue you that can choose not to save your life.

  9. xdunejunkiex says:

    that outdoor mall …
    that outdoor mall is 5 minutes away from my house

  10. ltdan459 says:

    P.S at the end they …
    P.S at the end they say thats why we have cops to protect us but lets say Fullerton pd is all over the place then who do you call? the cops on cops? Or your wife to get the shotgun??? Thats why wee need to have our guns. PEOPLE YOU ALL NEED TO VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVEN YOUNG ONES WHO JUST TURNED 18 VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. ltdan459 says:

    i just carry any …
    i just carry any way lol if the bad guys gets to carry then i can to the law I will always carry no mater what no gov will tell me if I or my family live or die but Thats why I vote. We need to have more gun supporters to move to ca just to have our guns back, I say people from gun states move to CA and get our rights back then go to state to state.

  12. thunderdan85008 says:

    California gun laws …
    California gun laws are a joke. The government SHOULD fear the people, not the other way around.

  13. MarineVetInNC says:

    Simply, why can’t …
    Simply, why can’t sane non felons carry a weapon everywhere liked the Constitution guarantees? You carry a gun because you can’t carry a cop.

  14. maxfirepower says:

    My guess would be a …
    My guess would be a bunch of even more ignorant dipshits. Even a moron looks like a genius to idiots.

  15. jonguyton1 says:

    If you have to get …
    If you have to get government permission to do something then it is not a right it is a privilege.

  16. stewartx5 says:

    Have a nice day.
    Have a nice day.

  17. 762xDevin says:

    what an ignorant …
    what an ignorant dipshit! Who elected this jackass?

  18. runninonempiy says:

    I know of 5 FIVE!.. …
    I know of 5 FIVE!..situations were people we saved from carrying a gun..WHY ARE THOSE CASES NOT ON THE NEWS..FACT=because the Media and government want to take ALL OF YOUR RIGHTS FROM YOU!!

  19. runninonempiy says:


  20. AdUtrumquePeratus76 says:

    I wonder If Anthony …
    I wonder If Anthony Portentino will have a problem with legislative over reach when Michele Obama’s Let’s move everyone WILL be healthy campaign gets implemented and he is put on a federally mandated diet? Don’t think it’s comming? Why don’t we discuss it over a smoke on a public street corner?

  21. AdUtrumquePeratus76 says:

    “You don’t need a …
    “You don’t need a handgun to order a cheese burger”. This is true I suppose, but is has never precluded myself, or my LEO friends from ordering and receiving our orders at the local burger establishment. Come to think of it, my order has never been screwed up while exercising my right to open carry. There is a study aching for federal funding if ever I heard of one. Anyone know if there is any of that Obama stimulus money laying around?

  22. maxfirepower says:

    YOU were the one …
    YOU were the one with the comment about “absolute property rights” for which you failed to provide this alleged historical support and I called you on it.

    I have little sympathy for thieves BUT no matter how convinced you are of your righteousness in this nor attached you may be to your junk you will never legally justify killing someone simply for theft. It would be too easy to bait someone by leaving something on the curb then using the excuse that they stole it. You are ridiculous.

  23. stewartx5 says:

    Of course, the …
    Of course, the right these wealthy, well-protected, assembly members removed is intended for the common people. Anthony Portantino, Lori Saldana, and the other assembly members, already have security, including armed security at their request, so clearly have no real need to carry a firearm.

  24. stewartx5 says:

    @maxfirepower ‘.. …
    @maxfirepower ‘.. immunity for almost any action or inaction ..’

    That (immunity} is also not what the courts ruled. In each case, the plaintiffs were seeking money because police somehow failed to protect. The courts simply ruled police have no obligation to give them money in such situations. It’s common sense. Doubt anyone (you, me, police, military, etc) could always protect someone or something. Should each pay money when they fail to do so?

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