Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Portantino is also the author of legislation approved last year that banned the open carry of handguns. Portantino says that law prompted some to protest by carrying unloaded long guns out in public.
"Those situations are tense,unnecessary and it's only a matter of time before they end tragically."
Portantino's current measure would make it a misdemeanor to carry an unloaded long gun in public. Republican lawmakers say it violates Constitutional rights. G.O.P. Assemblyman Steve Knight says it would hurt law-abiding citizens.
"They know the great responsibility they have by carrying a firearm, and they do it. And they do it in accord with the law."