I had no idea that there was no law in California against openly carrying a firearm (the rather large downside being that it must be unloaded), but that's what I learned here.
Last month, about 40 people gathered at Mission Beach wearing unloaded guns on holsters. Panicked beach goers called police but no one was arrested because carrying unloaded firearms is legal in California.Although open carry doesn't particularly appeal to me, from a tactical standpoint, I'm more and more impressed by what the open carry movement is doing in terms of raising public awareness.
The San Diego PD lawyer provides the money quote, though.
Paul Cooper is an attorney for the police department. He says the practice is dangerous to the public, the people carrying the weapons and to officers.I can't argue with that. To fix it, though, the law would have to be changed so as not to require the firearm to be unloaded.
"We just don't think it's a prudent idea for anyone to walk around openly with an unloaded firearm," Cooper says.
One of my GRE colleagues is also quoted.
Police think the group is trying to provoke officers. But John Pierce, co-founder of opencarry.org says that's not the case.
"Is it taunting if a gay couple expresses affection in public? None of these things are taunting. They are educational," says Pierce.