Assembly Chief Sergeant-at-ArmsÂ Ronald Pane has given four legislators permission to carry concealed weapons in the stateÂ Capitol, according to two seniorÂ Senate staff members who have been informed of the decision.
State law prohibits carrying loaded firearms and deadly weapons in public buildings, except under limited conditions. A 2010 bill by AssemblywomanÂ Cathleen Galgiani, D-Livingston, tightened the law, requiring that most holders of concealed weapons permits or other gun licenses get permission from the sergeants-at-arms of the stateÂ Assembly or the state Senate in order to bring their gun in theÂ Capitol or legislative office buildings. Peace officers are exempt from the restrictions.
No such approval has been given in the Senate, where theÂ RulesÂ Committee has established a no-guns policy. Senate Chief Sergeant-at-ArmsÂ Tony Beard said while he respects theÂ Assembly’s judgment to establish its own security practices to best protect its members, it would take an “extraordinary situation” for him to give a member theÂ OK to carry aÂ concealed weapon in the building. He said his focus has been on how existing safety protocol and systems can be used to respond to threats and protect all members, staff and visitors.
Shortly after The Bee first reported the news, a spokesman forÂ Assembly Speaker John A. PÃ©rez said the Los Angeles DemocratÂ had asked Pane to revoke the authorizations “pending a full review of safety and security measures.”
As the Sacramento BeeÂ reported this week, sergeants for the lower house have recently started carrying concealed weapons full-time while on duty.
Pane and a spokeswoman for PÃ©rez, who directed the change in policy, said the move was intended to create continuity and enhance safety for members, staff and the public as a whole.
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