SACRAMENTO (October 10, 2011) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) issued the following statement today following Governor Brown decision to sign into law Assembly Bills (AB) 144 and AB 809 yesterday. AB 144 makes it a misdemeanor to carry an exposed and unloaded gun in a public place "open carry" and AB 809 requires the state to keep records of rifle sales starting in January 2014.
"At a time in California when, under the governor's realignment plan, we're releasing criminals into our communities and making it more difficult to put reoffenders back in, these laws interfere with the peoples' most fundamental Second Amendment rights to bear arms," said Nielsen. "The government's responsibility to provide for public safety is faltering and now we're impeding honest, law-abiding citizens from being able to exercise their constitutional rights to protect themselves and their families?"
Under AB 144 a violation would be punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If the person is not the legal owner of the firearm, the violation occurs on a public street in an incorporated city and has unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from the firearm in his or her "immediate possession," the penalty would be imprisonment in county jail for up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
"These misguided laws turn honest citizens into criminals at the same time we get softer on criminals by letting them out," said Nielsen. "Public safety will be hurt, not helped, because of the governor's signature on these new laws."