Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill late last month making it illegal to visibly carry loaded or unloaded shotguns or rifles.
In San Francisco the open carry ban has spurred debates and some protests by open carry advocates. But across the Bay in Richmond, the response has been more muted, and some citizens said the ban won’t have a substantial impact on their city.
Kevin Muccular, a change agent with the Office of Neighborhood Safety, said that his organization hadn’t really encountered any problems involving open carry or its ban.
As one of its goals ONS seeks to reduce gun violence within the Richmond community, and he said the ban won’t really affect the individuals they work with.
“They’re not going to register their assault rifles or AK-47s,” Muccular said.
The law was an extension of a ban passed last year that restricted the open carry of handguns. The consequence of breaking the law would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fines, or both. There were exceptions to the law that included: military personnel included in a parade, licensed hunters traveling to and from a hunting expedition, and members of gun clubs at target ranges. It was introduced earlier this year, by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, and takes effect January 1.
RPD Detective Nicole Abetkov said she agreed with Brown’s decision to sign the law.
“We’ve never had any negative experiences with open carry here,” she said. But she said she agreed with any tactic to increase the safety of RPD officers and the Richmond community in regards to gun violence.
Abetkov also said that the only time she’s had substantial contact with open carry was last year when a group approached the RPD to plan an open-carry demonstration in Richmond, but never did.
Gary Buffon, a member of the Richmond Rod and Gun Club, said that there is almost always a faulty premise used to create more gun-restriction laws: that the new laws will decrease crime rates.
“It is simple to see that crime reduction never occurs,” Buffon said in an email, “just more meaningless ways to make it more difficult for gun owners.”