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View Full Version : Mulford Act of 1967, cause for it?


Steyr_223
03-28-2011, 11:22 AM
Was this bill in the works before or after the Panthers marched in the state capital? From the Wiki article it seems they were reacting to the proposed bill and were not the cause of the bill.


"The Mulford Act was a 1967 California bill prohibiting the public carrying of loaded firearms. Named after assemblyman Don Mulford, the bill garnered national attention after the Black Panthers marched on the California Capitol to protest the bill. The bill was signed by California Governor Ronald Reagan and became California penal code 12031 and 171(c)"

HondaMasterTech
03-28-2011, 11:27 AM
I've read the same thing. I think you're correct.

Crom
03-28-2011, 11:32 AM
I believe the bill was crafted to disarm the Black Panthers.

It began shortly after the shooting of Denzil Dowell. Easy Bay legislator Don Mulford introduced a bill to repeal the law that permitted citizens to carry loaded weapons in public places so long as the weapons were openly displayed [see link to California Penal Code, Sections 12031 and 171.c]. What the Mulford law sought to achieve was the elimination of the Black Panther Police Patrols, and it had been tagged "the Panther Bill" by the media.

The Police Patrols had become an integral part of BPP community policy. Members of the BPP would listen to police calls on a short wave radio, rush to the scene of the arrest with law books in hand and inform the person being arrested of their constitutional rights. BPP members also happened to carry loaded weapons, which were publicly displayed, but were careful to stand no closer than ten feet from the arrest so as not to interfere with the arrest.

Passage of the Mulford Bill would essentially end the Panther Police Patrols, so the BPP sent a group to Sacramento, California on May 2nd, 1967 to protest. The group carried loaded rifles and shotguns, publicly displayed and entered the State Capitol building to read aloud Executive Mandate Number 1, which was in opposition to the Mulford Bill. They tried to enter the Assembly Chamber but were forced out of this public place where they then read Executive Mandate Number 1 out on the lawn.

The legislature responded by passing the bill, thus creating the Mulford Act, which was signed into law by Governor Ronald Reagan. This step by the Black Panther Party was enough to put them into national prominence and was a stimulus for growth of the party within the young Black population.-SOURCE (http://www.pbs.org/hueypnewton/actions/actions_capitolmarch.html)

yellowfin
03-28-2011, 11:53 AM
It was crafted before then, but then they had the excuse to pass it. Just like all anti gun junk, it's always passed ostensibly with a certain group of people in mind but then later it's gun owners in total who are the hated minority. Since the so-called civil rights era (what a ridiculous joke) took away ethnicities as a political voodoo doll, gun owners became the convenient substitute to abuse.

stag1500
03-28-2011, 12:24 PM
So you could have openly carried a loaded firearm in public prior to Reagan signing the Mulford Act into law?

CitaDeL
03-28-2011, 12:29 PM
So you could have openly carried a loaded firearm in public prior to Reagan signing the Mulford Act into law?

Yes.

Nick Justice
03-28-2011, 12:31 PM
So you could have openly carried a loaded firearm in public prior to Reagan signing the Mulford Act into law?

That's right! You could not carry concealed w/o the permit, but you could carry openly and loaded (at least in theory).

CitaDeL
03-28-2011, 12:39 PM
That's right! You could not carry concealed w/o the permit, but you could carry openly and loaded (at least in theory).

Even into the State house, just like New Hampshire allows today.

paul0660
03-28-2011, 2:31 PM
That is the way I remember it (reaction to the BP), and there was no School zone law.

nicki
03-28-2011, 2:46 PM
There is a "deeper issue" though, and that issue is why were the "Black Panthers" carrying in the first place?

One could argue that the "Mulford Act" was passed to protect " POLICE OFFICERS" who were engaged in violating the civil rights of Blacks.

The Black Panthers originally were showing up at police scenes and recording both with audio and pictures of police officers violating the rights of Black Americans during things like traffic stops or other things.

The police started attacking people who were documenting their abuses.

Bobby Seale happened to be going to law school at the time and found that it was legal to openly carry guns, so when faced with armed attackers, you better have a gun.

There is a chance the Mulford Act itself may be attacked because it was passed to effectively protect racist police officers from their victims.

In hindsight, the Black Panthers made a tactical mistake showing up armed to the state capitol, but did they have a gun lobby that would work with them up in the Capitol back in 1967?

Bobby Seale is still alive, if he came to us and said that he would like to work with us to overturn the Mulford Act, how many of us would say we would be glad to work with you?

Bobby Seale is a HERO in the Black Community. If he joined us against the Mulford Act, it would mean state AG Kamilla Harris would be defending a lawsuit against a Legendary Hero from the civil rights era.

For those of you who never saw a picture of her, Kamilla Harris is BLACK.

Nicki

SanPedroShooter
03-29-2011, 5:01 AM
I think someone should email Bobby Seale just to see what he says.

MrClamperSir
03-29-2011, 9:19 AM
That is the way I remember it (reaction to the BP), and there was no School zone law.

It's what I heard from my old man as well.

Wrangler John
03-30-2011, 7:07 AM
Not only could I openly carry my loaded revolver in a custom rig, and did, it was possible to purchase a handgun in another state and walk out with it immediately. I purchased a Ruger pistol in Louisville, Kentucky and took possession immediately, while in California I would have had a three day waiting period. The federal 1968 Gun Control Act wasn't around then to prevent such sales.

Never had any trouble with any law enforcement contact during the years I open carried. I did however also have a CCW which also allowed open carry at the time.

We had more freedom in those days.

jeff762
03-30-2011, 8:13 AM
iirc the mulford act was created in response to issues the chp and local leo agencies were having in pulling over the hell's angels for traffic violations. apparently the angels figured out it was ok at that time to do loc.

Steyr_223
03-30-2011, 1:25 PM
Found this very good summery on opencarry.org. IMHO, clear evidence of violation of rights to me..


http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-77292.html


"
A piece of the history into California’s unloaded open carry law.

“It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, ‘prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street.’ The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners.
It began shortly after the shooting of Denzil Dowell. Easy Bay legislator Dan Mulford introduced a bill to repeal the law that permitted citizens to carry loaded weapons in public places so long as the weapons were openly displayed. What the Mulford law sought to achieve was the elimination of the Black Panther Police Patrols, and it had been tagged “the Panther Bill” by the media.
The gun laws in California in 1966 stated a gun could be carried loaded in a public place so long as it was registered, not concealed and not pointed in a threatening manner.
The Police Patrols had become an integral part of BPP community policy. Members of the BPP would listen to police calls on a short wave radio, rush to the scene of the arrest with law books and inform the person being arrested of their constitutional right. BPP members also happened to carry loaded weapons, which were publicly displayed, but were careful to stand no closer than ten feet from the arrest so as not to interfere with the arrest.
Passage of the Mulford Bill would essentially end the Panther Police Patrols, so the BPP sent a group to Sacramento California on May 2, 1967 to protest. The group carried loaded rifles and shotguns, publicly displayed and entered the State Capitol building to read aloud Executive Mandate Number 1, which was in opposition to the Mulford Bill. They tried to enter the assembly Chamber but were forced out of this public place where they then read Executive Mandate Number 1 out on the lawn.
A frightened California legislature responded by passing the bill, thus creating the Mulford Act, which was signed into law by then Governor Ronald Raegan.


Origins
In 1966, Huey P. Newton with his friend Bobby Seale from Oakland City College, joined a black power group called the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM). RAM had a chapter in Oakland and followed the writings of Robert F. Williams. Williams had been the president of the Monroe, North Carolina branch of the NAACP and later published a newsletter called The Crusader from China, where he fled to escape kidnapping charges.
The Oakland chapter consisted mainly of students, who had no interest in this extreme form of activism. Newton and Seale's attitudes were more militant. The pair left RAM searching for a group more meaningful to them.
They worked at the North Oakland Neighborhood Anti-Poverty Center, where they also served on the advisory board. To combat police brutality, the advisory board obtained 5,000 signatures in support of the City Council's setting up a police review board to review complaints. Newton was also taking classes at the City College and at San Francisco Law School. Both institutions were active in the North Oakland Center. Thus the pair had numerous connections with whom they talked about a new organization.
With the help of Huey's brother Melvin, they decided on a uniform of blue shirts, black pants, black leather jackets, black berets, and openly displayed loaded shotguns (in his studies, Newton had discovered a California law that allowed carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun in public, as long as it was publicly displayed and pointed at no one).
The organization's official newspaper, The Black Panther, was first circulated in 1967. Also that year, the Black Panther Party marched on the California State Capitol in Sacramento in protest of a selective ban on weapons.
The Black Panther Party's most influential and widely known programs were its armed citizens' patrols to evaluate behavior of police officers.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” and he supervised an extensive program of counter-organizing that included surveillance, eavesdropping, infiltration, police harassment, perjury, and a laundry list of other tactics designed to incriminate party members and drain the organization of resources and manpower.
From the beginning the Black Panther Party's focus on militancy came with a reputation for violence. They employed a California law which permitted carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun as long as it was publicly displayed and pointed at no one. Carrying weapons openly and making threats against police officers, for example, chants like "The Revolution has co-ome, it's time to pick up the gu-un. Off the pigs!” helped create the Panthers' reputation as a violent organization.
On May 2, 1967, the California State Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure was scheduled to convene to discuss what was known as the "Mulford Act", which would ban public displays of loaded firearms. Cleaver and Newton put together a plan to send a group of about 30 Panthers led by Seale from Oakland to Sacramento to protest the bill. The group entered the assembly carrying their weapons, an incident which was widely publicized, and which prompted police to arrest Seale and five others. The group pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of disrupting a legislative session.
Since the party's decline in the late 1970's, the group has been both praised and detested by scholars. Historians oftentimes use the Black Panther Party as the paragon example of the effectiveness of counterculture grassroots movements in the 1970's. However, due to the media's portrayal of the violent acts committed by the Black Panther Party's leaders, modern America overwhelmingly perceives the group's actions as a negative movement.


Morgan "