What led to the creation of the Mulford Act?

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The Mulford Act, which basically banned the open carry of firearms in California, was an attempt to weaken the Black Panther movement. It was especially aimed at what were called "patrols," where members of the militant Panthers would enter white neighborhoods, fully armed, and walk the streets. Other times Panthers would follow police patrols, with weapons to protect, as they saw it, African-Americans from police brutality. The Mulford Act was intended to end these activities. It overturned a previous law allowing Californians to carry firearms in the open, and was signed by noted anti-radical governor and future President Ronald Reagan. The law was explicitly linked to the Panthers' activities in Oakland--it was introduced by a state legislator from that area--and was part of a larger effort on the part of law enforcement to be rid of the Panthers, who they regarded as a threat to the stability of the state.

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