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POSTED May 3, 2012 8:45 p.m.

ASSEMBLY BILL WOULD BAN THE OPEN CARRY OF RIFLES: SACRAMENTO AP) — A year after the Legislature approved a ban on the public display of handguns, the Assembly on Thursday passed a similar prohibition for rifles.

AB1527, which makes it a misdemeanor for a person to carry an unloaded long gun in a public, passed the Assembly 42-28, with Republicans opposed. It includes a long list of exemptions for hunters, military personnel and others.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, modeled the bill on one he wrote last year banning open carry of handguns. That bill was a response to demonstrations by "open-carry" activists who were gathering at coffee shops wearing their handguns on their hips.

Democrats said those demonstrations could lead to tragedy because the only person who knows whether a gun is loaded is the person holding it.

The same activists are now bringing rifles to public places to protest what they see as an attack on their rights.

Many Republican lawmakers spoke in opposition to the long gun ban Thursday, saying it would undermine the constitutional right to bear arms.

"Hunters are not going to know when they're walking across the road with their firearm if they're one of the three pages of exemptions to this unnecessary bill," said Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks. "I think California has enough problems."

UTILITY EYES JUNE RESTART FOR C NUKE PLANT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The utility that operates California's troubled San Onofre nuclear plant is looking at a possible June restart, while costs related to the long-running shutdown could climb over $100 million, a senior executive said Thursday.

Southern California Edison is drafting a plan under which the twin reactors would run at lower power, at least for several months. Engineers believe that will solve a problem with vibration that has been causing unusual wear in tubing within the plant's massive steam generators.

"By operating at lower power ... the vibration does not occur," executive vice president Stephen Pickett said.

The plant has been offline since late January, and federal regulators would have to approve a restart.

COPPER THIEVES KNOCKING DOWN UTILITY POLES: FRESNO  (AP) — Brazen thieves are now knocking down utility poles in rural areas of Central California to get valuable copper wiring.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims says the new tactic by wire thieves endangers motorists who come across down lines and poles on darkened roadways.

Additionally, hundreds of residents cannot make emergency 911 calls.

To reach copper wire, thieves are cutting guy wires that support poles and they use a vehicle to knock them down. In neighboring Madera County, eight poles have recently been knocked down by thieves.

Recyclers pay cash for copper wire.

AT&T is offering $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of wire thieves who knock down power poles.

LA WANTS 25 MPH SPEED LIMIT FOR SKATEBOARDERS: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Daredevil skateboarders are facing new restrictions in Los Angeles.

The City Council on Wednesday ordered a law that imposes a 25 mph speed limit for sidewalk surfers and penalizes them for failing to follow traffic rules, such as stopping for stop signs and yielding for pedestrians.

The Los Angeles Times ( says Councilman Joe Buscaino proposed the law in response to the recent deaths of two skateboarders.

Buscaino says he wants to end high-speed downhill skateboard runs that sometimes include weaving in and out of traffic.

He also wants the skateboards of young offenders confiscated by police when citations are given.


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