One of my enduring memories of my many trips to Alaska is from Ketchikan. While walking its downtown streets I saw someone backing into a parallel parking spot when a pickup truck pulled in behind him, trying to steal the spot. The two drivers got out to argue. The driver of the pickup put his hand on the gun he had openly holstered on his hip. The gun totting Alaskan won the spot. In the Open Carry community this is a heroic act.
In California there is this semi-political movement to openly carry weapons. The other reason for strapping a phallus on your hip is that penis gourds are illegal in California. Starbucks throughout the state have been inundated by overweight cowboy wannabes who don't feel safe unless they are carrying heat while ordering their venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha.
California has a strange law. It is legal to openly carry guns as long as they are not loaded. How, you may ask, can the police know if a gun is loaded? Easy, just wait until he draws the gun and pulls the trigger. If it goes "click" the gun is legal. If a bullet rips through the officer's skull then he is violating the Open Carry law.
The unloaded exception is a meaningless distinction. Open Carry advocates brag about their ability to load a gun in under two seconds. Hence, a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, AB 1934, to close this silly loophole and make openly carrying a weapon, loaded or unloaded, illegal. This bill is supported by police departments across the state. It is the just deserts for the Open Carry protesters, their exhibitionism is bringing about their own demise.
Links: The Christian Science Monitor article.
An interesting article on the subject from a Philly lawyer.