SAN LEANDRO (KCBS) — Bay Area gun rights activists took to the Bayfair Center in San Leandro this weekend, protesting a new law that will bar them from carrying unloaded handguns in public.

Assembly Bill 144, which was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown earlier this month, was introduced in January right after the shooting in Tucson, Arizona that left six people dead and injured several others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

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KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Gun rights activist Adnan Shahab of Fremont was one of dozens on hand, carrying an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun, but with live rounds on the gun’s sling.

“We are at the disadvantage because (their guns) are loaded. The fact that we’re carrying handguns that are unloaded put us at a disadvantage,” Shahab said. “But this is how our government officials view us. We’re the law-abiding citizens and they continue to make life more difficult for us.”

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Shahab also serves as president of the gun rights advocacy group Responsible Citizens of California. Many of the protesters said that the new law infringes on their constitutional right to bear arms.

The ban, which goes into effect January 1, does not include long guns, such as rifles and shotguns.

Officials at Bayfair took extra precautions to keep mall patrons away from the gun-toting activists by closing off a large section of the parking lot.

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