Schwarzenegger Angers Sikhs By Vetoing Kirpan Bill

October 13, 2009

Author: Angela Abbamonte

Source: The Pew Forum/Religion News Service

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed as "unnecessary" a bill that would require law enforcement officials to learn about Sikhs, specifically a ceremonial dagger called a kirpan considered a central article of faith.

"The veto message makes no sense to us," said Neha Singh, Western regional director of the Sikh Coalition. "The community is shocked, we are very outraged. It was a real surprise."

Assembly Bill 504 would have required the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission to create training materials about the Sikh community and the kirpan "as part of peace officers' cultural diversity and weapons violations training." The bill passed through both houses of legislature with unanimous, bipartisan votes.