|Enacted by||Ronald Reagan|
|Enacted||July 29, 1967|
|Bill published on||April 5, 1967|
|Introduced by||Don Mulford, John T. Knox, Walter J. Karabian, Frank Murphy Jr., Alan Sieroty, William M. Ketchum|
|First reading||April 5, 1967|
|Second reading||June 7, 1967|
|Third reading||June 8, 1967|
|First reading||June 8, 1967|
|Second reading||June 27, 1967|
|Third reading||July 26, 1967|
The Mulford Act was a 1967 California bill that repealed a law allowing public carrying of loaded firearms. Named after Republican assemblyman Don Mulford, and signed into law by then governor of California, Ronald Reagan, the bill was crafted in response to members of the Black Panther Party who were lawfully conducting armed patrols of Oakland neighborhoods, in what would later be termed copwatching. They garnered national attention after Black Panthers members, bearing arms, marched upon the California State Capitol to protest the bill.
Assembly Bill 1591 was introduced by Don Mulford (R) from Oakland on April 5th, 1967, and subsequently co-sponsored by John T. Knox (D) from Richmond, Walter J. Karabian (D) from Monterey Park, Frank Murphy Jr. (R) from Santa Cruz, Alan Sieroty (D) from Los Angeles, and William M. Ketchum (R) from Bakersfield,. AB-1591 was made an “urgency statute” under Article IV, §8(d) of the Constitution of California after “an organized band of men armed with loaded firearms [...] entered the Capitol” on May 2nd, 1967; as such, it required a 2/3 majority in each house. It passed the Assembly (controlled by Democrats 42:38) at subsequent readings, passed the Senate (controlled by Democrats, 20:19) on July 26th by 29 votes to 7, and was signed by Governor Ronald Reagan on July 28th, 1967. The law banned the carrying of loaded weapons in public.
Both Republicans and Democrats in California supported increased gun control, as did the National Rifle Association of America, a major supporter of the act.  Governor Ronald Reagan, who was coincidentally present on the capitol lawn when the protesters arrived, later commented that he saw "no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons" and that guns were a "ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will." In a later press conference, Reagan added that the Mulford Act "would work no hardship on the honest citizen."