Gun advocates file lawsuit to overturn California open-carry restrictions

August 18, 2016 7:18 PM EDT

A gun rights supporter carries his Ruger model SR9 pistol on his hip during a rally in support of the Michigan Open Carry gun law in Romulus, Michigan April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook


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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A California gun rights group has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the state's restrictions on openly carrying firearms.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association, the local arm of the National Rifle Association, and four gun advocates filed suit against Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Sheriff James McDonnell on Wednesday, saying state law granted cities and counties too much power to restrict the open carry of firearms by residents who wish to do so.

The lawsuit said that in light of a recent ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding restrictions on carrying concealed weapons, the state must allow open carry because to do otherwise would effectively strip most people of their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The attorney general's office did not comment on the case other than to say officials were reviewing it.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, comes as the NRA and other gun rights organizations are embroiled in numerous battles with gun control advocates in the most populous U.S. state. Last month, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed several gun control measures into law, including one requiring background checks for ammunition purchases.

Gun rights advocates have expressed alarm over the measures, calling the package of bills a "gunpocalypse."

Another gun control package will go before voters on the November ballot.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Peter Cooney and David Gregorio)



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