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CA Assembly guards to carry guns full-time

The recent shooting of an Arizona congresswoman and threats against California lawmakers have prompted a change in the state Assembly, where the officials who guard lawmakers will begin carrying handguns full-time.

April 6, 2011 12:54:29 PM PDT
The recent shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and threats against California lawmakers have prompted the state Assembly to arm its guards full-time.

Until recently, sergeants-at-arms, who are trained as law enforcement officers, were armed only when threat levels were high or during large events.

They will now be armed with .40-caliber semiautomatic handguns whenever they are on duty.

The Senate does not plan to implement the same policy.

Sergeants-at-arms in both chambers provide security for lawmakers and during committee meetings and floor sessions.

The California Highway Patrol also guards the Capitol.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.