The Mulford Act was a 1967 California bill prohibiting the public carrying of loaded firearms. Named after assemblyman Don Mulford, the bill garnered national attention after the Black Panthers marched on the California Capitol to protest the bill. The bill was signed by California Governor Ronald Reagan and became California penal code 12031 and 171(c.)
David Codrea noticed it here. Huffington Post has it here, but it originally came from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training – which preceded fatal shootouts with Oakland police in the turbulent 1960s – was an undercover FBI informer, according to a former bureau agent and an FBI report.One of the Bay Area’s most prominent radical activists of the era, Richard Masato Aoki was known as a fierce militant who touted his street-fighting abilities. He was a member of several radical groups before joining and arming the Panthers, whose members received international notoriety for brandishing weapons during patrols of the Oakland police and a protest at the state Legislature.Aoki went on to work for 25 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator at the Peralta Community College District, and after his suicide in 2009, he was revered as a fearless radical."All power to the people . . . er, ah, the FBI secret police."But unbeknownst to his fellow activists, Aoki had served as an FBI intelligence informant, covertly filing reports on a wide range of Bay Area political groups, according to the bureau agent who recruited him.That agent, Burney Threadgill Jr., recalled that he approached Aoki in the late 1950s, about the time Aoki was graduating from Berkeley High School. He asked Aoki if he would join left-wing groups and report to the FBI.
As David comments: "I certainly hope no "conspiracy theorists" point out how armed Panthers were exploited to gin up hysteria and pass the Mulford Act..."