By uncommon_sense

Many citizens who embrace the Second Amendment to our Constitution contend that it is a bad idea to openly carry firearms in public. They fear it will lead to laws that criminalize openly carried firearms and maybe even concealed firearms. Or worse yet, government might criminalize the ownership of entire classes of firearms such as AR-15 rifles.  Is there any truth to this? Let’s start with a brief look at history . . .

Remember when Chicago criminalized ownership of handguns? Remember when Washington D.C. criminalized possession of an operable firearm in the home? Need I mention New York City’s downward spiral to the current situation over several decades? Or the New York SAFE Act? And how about the 1990s? Does everyone remember the federal “assault weapons” ban and magazine capacity restrictions?  How about the federal gun free school zone act?

However government justified those laws, I can tell you one thing for certain: they did not enact those laws as a response to citizens openly carrying firearms. Were people parading around Chicago with openly carried handguns?  Around Washington D.C. with openly carried and operable firearms? Around the nation with openly carried “assault riles”? Around schools with openly carried firearms? Obviously not. The government entities who passed laws that criminalize ownership and possession of firearms passed those laws because they want to disarm citizens, period.

At this point I am sure someone is saying, “But look at California! They banned openly carried loaded firearms after the Black Panthers stormed the legislature and then again after people openly carried unloaded handguns!”  True.  And how about all the additional subsequent bans that have absolutely no relationship to openly carried firearms?  How about the “may issue” concealed carry situation in much of the state that is effectively “no issue”?  Again, it is the simple fact that the California legislature wants complete civilian disarmament and is doing everything possible to make that happen.

Regardless of the legislative/legal history of criminalizing ownership and possession of firearms, let’s look at this in a simple and pragmatic way.  What good is a “right” if we cannot exercise the right for fear that we will “lose” the right?  Does that not mean the right is already lost?  The logical paradox should be obvious and yet no one seems to see it.  What kind of strategy is this?  Are we hoping to save the right to carry openly until we really “need” it, only to be banned then?

Don’t think for a second that government or anyone else will be content with banning open carry. I already mentioned the continued assault on the Second Amendment in California long after they banned open carry.  And look at concealed carry. Look at the lists of “prohibited places” in various state concealed carry laws. Illinois’ concealed carry law criminalizes concealed carry in something like 22 locations.  Michigan’s concealed carry law criminalizes concealed carry in something like 10 locations.  Other states criminalize concealed carry in various locations as well such as churches, bars, schools, hospitals, university campuses, parks, etc.

Bans on concealed carry in various locations obviously have nothing to do with open carry and yet they exist. They exist because the forces of civilian disarmament are criminalizing as many firearms as possible, in as many locations as possible, and owned/possessed in any way possible.  And where they have not been able to criminalize firearms directly, they have put up as many hurdles and obstacles as possible to armed citizens.

The situation is clear.  There are forces pushing for total civilian disarmament.  How can we ever oppose that push if we hide our faces and our firearms at all times?  What kind of a right do we have if we cannot exercise it for fear that government will infringe on that right?  How will the public ever learn that good people own firearms and that those firearms do not magically turn those good people into violent criminals if they never see us with firearms?

199 Responses to FNS-40 Contest Entry: Does Open Carry Jeopardize Gun Rights?

    • And yet the Second Amendment makes no distinction between the two.

      A law based on personal preference is bad legislation.

      • If concealed carry is the right how does that mesh with the revolutionists carrying long arms? They certainly did not carry their muskets concealed. There is no historical basis that concealed carry was the right and much evidence to suggest the opposite.

        • Maybe not. But they certainly had their share of concealable weaponry, pistols, bladed, blunt objects…

        • One can speak in a whisper or one can proclaim loudly. Neither is an excluded method of free speech.

    • Whether something is a right or not isn’t yours to determine. You have a right or you don’t, and they aren’t defined by consensus.

    • Both methods of carry are part of the same right. One is not ‘more of a right’ than the other. In some states the citizens have allowed part or all of their right to be usurped by a licensed/permitted privilege or banned completely.

    • I think the fact that I have a right to defend myself and my loved ones by any means necessary also means I can carry a firearm or any other weapon as I see fit for the situation. If I have to go through a riot to get to my loved ones, I prefer to be open carrying with my firearm holstered into my palm. If I am going to a Daddy-Daughter dance, well it will be concealed. The 2nd Amendment guarantees that I have the right for both those situations and no amount of manufactured feel good laws will stop me from protecting myself and the lives of my loved ones.

    • Open carry is critically important. It helps eliminate the ever increasing stigma associated with firearms when people see good guys and gals carrying. Like all things, there is a right and a wrong way in which to do so. Dress professionally, act responsibly and so on. While waving an AR around at a public intersection is and should be a protected right, it may not be the best PR move.

      Also, when open carry is banned, it turns an otherwise legal CC’er into a potential criminal, or results in a yanked CCW…

    • “I think conceal carry should be more of a right than open carry.”

      Neither one of those things is a right. The right is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to “…keep and bear arms…” Therefore, ANYONE’S opinion on how you bear arms is totally irrelevant, and the government’s opinion doubly so.

  1. Does PDA between same-sex couples jeopardize gay rights? This is not a rhetorical question. Personally, I think it’s a good long-term assimilation/desensitization strategy, IF done slowly.

    • Though some gay pride parades, particularly in San Fran, probably set the gay movement back a bit, ones where you had to watch out to avoid being hit by flying or falling bodily fluids (damn fine day to be nowhere close to the city). I guess that’s the equivalent of people dressed up in tactical gear open carrying ARs in their hands (shock value wise, at least). So wearing a Glock 19 on the hip next to your cell phone case while going about your business might be more like an occasional peck on the cheek.

      • That analogy occurred to me too, but it took a long time for homosexuality to become as accepted as it is now and I don’t think we have the caselaw to go down that path; Heller wasn’t exactly Lawrence v. Texas (the law striking down sodomy) in terms of its scope…

        • “a long time”? In the grand scheme of history, homosexuality went from illegal to state endorsed in the blink of an eye.

    • Bad analogy.

      Gay rights, good or bad, (personally don’t care either way) don’t kill people. PDA amongst two gay people is not causing panic with people running for their lives in a mall ,coffee shop, air port or school.

      Another major factor around gay rights is it, like gun rights is largely a public perception issue. The media is controlled by left wing and often people in the media/hollywood are either gay or very much in favor of gay rights. Again not saying that is right or wrong.

      However these same people are NOT in favor of gun rights, and the gun rights advocates don’t have the same advantage of media control. Not even close, if anything those that control the media will spin open carry in a very NEGATIVE way. Hence I believe it does more harm, especially when people OC to make a point, bring them selves fame on youtube…etc and it freaks out Joe Public.

  2. Open carry is not the problem. It is the confrontational nature of most open carriers that causes so much problem.

    It’s one thing to have a problem with guns, it’s entirely different to have someone shove a gun in someone’s face that has a problem with guns. It doesn’t make people more comfortable, I propose it actually has the reverse effect.

    Open carry itself does not worry me but the behavior and attitudes of open carriers does. If you want to be an advocate for gun rights, there has got to be a better way to normalize, or maybe it’s re-normalize at this point, then doing everything short of brandishing firearms in public.

    • Well said, and you have put your finger on a broader problem with the Tea Party movement. The objectives are laudable but the tactics are so often in your face, that many people turn away even though they would possible agree with the position.

    • LOL. Confrontational nature of the open carriers? LOL.

      Open carriers obey the laws and are confronted by cops who assault and batter the law abiding. The cops cause the confrontation, not the other way around.

      • your partially right. It is not so much the cops causing the confrontation as it is the hoplophobia. We have seen that there are cops that are called out to small open carry demonstrations that just briefly talk to the protestors and go their way. And we have seen some of your videos where you are basically goading the cops into a pissing contest. Cops don’t like losing pissing contests and when they do start to lose, they call on more of their cops to help douse you in their piss. Bottom line, if you are respectful then the majority of the cops out there will actually let you go. but you already know that and it wouldn’t make you youtube famous, would it?

        • “Cops don’t like losing pissing contests and when they do start to lose, they call on more of their cops to help douse you in their piss. Bottom line, if you are respectful then the majority of the cops out there will actually let you go…”

          So, it’s okay for cops to start a confrontation and if they feel that they are losing they will douse you in piss. On the other hand if you “respect”, and by respect you mean answer all of their questions and give up your rights, then the cop will allow you to leave and not charge you with crime.

          That sounds about right. Do what I say and all will go well, but if you don’t then I will destroy you.

        • When am I going to see the video of the cops, having confronted the legal open carriers, go inform the person who called in the complaint about what the law is, and why its not advisable to call the police needlessly?

    • Like 40 people carrying long guns to protest that twat Watts meetings.

      Something can be legal and be a phenomenally bad idea at all the same time. If you care about perception–and if you want to win this war you damn well better–you need to think how your actions might come across to people that DON’T agree with you. Not the raving antis–they’re lost–but any fence sitters.

        • If you don’t give a shit what he thinks, why are you reading his comment? Or this one?

          Maybe you should go to Washington D.C. and prove that open carry is “a constitutionally protected right, period.’ Of course if that “period” turns into (…) then that just makes you a man of principle, doesn’t it?

        • Enjoy an ever increasing hostility and regulation of gun rights with that attitude. You are not the poster child of gun rights we need right now.

        • @Leonard Well, I’ll give you points for doing what is right, but what do you think your chances are of advancing your case and it contributing to a reversal of the law you “violated”? Honest question, not trying to come off as a jerk.

        • @Leonard

          Godspeed, sir. If there is a story to be told, please tell it. Perhaps TTAG could be of some help.

        • There is a system in place to change the constitution. 2a can go away, legally. And with in your face advocates for 2a scaring the soccer moms that becomes a very real threat to our rights.

          Remember, women vote. Witness barry’s presidency. Distancing ourselves from people like Leonard and Kokesh is a good move for those of us who wish to preserve the 2a.

          And a large group of open carriers showing up for a 4 woman mda event does nothing but turn a non event into great fodder for those wishing to do away with 2a.

          Remember, if 2a is legally removed from the constitution then we’re no longer arguing about open or concealed. We’re arguing about what’s best for home defense. gladius or katana.

        • @jwm: That’s a valid point. However, at least two counter points must be considered. First, the individual’s natural right to self defense will always exist. Second, what is the duty of a people when their government institutes something that is intolerable to a free people? If you understand the intent of the 2A then you understand that the RKBA is necessary to a free state. Without it, no free state. How many choose to wait around for re-education camps or muster at the cattle car stations is debatable. How many would see the repeal of the 2A as an overt act of tyranny. But, I don’t think for a minute that our government is stupid enough to not fear what may occur should it make such a bold move towards usurpation.

          When we approach our RKBA from a 2A standpoint and ONLY use crime statistics, popularity, and the like without understanding its necessity to the security of a free state then we are negotiating our exercise of the right away incrementally. Statistics change, opinions change, mass shooting happen but an armed populous will always be necessary to the security of a free state. Always.

          To those that might try to strike the 2A with an amendment to the Constitution I say, bring it if you must. At least it is an honest approach and preferable to this illegitimate, piecemeal infringement that has been ongoing for far too long.

        • John, if 2a was stricken from the constitution using legal methods would you fight or resist turning in your guns if that was demanded? Remember, the process to amend the constitution is legal and part of our system. Why take it to the level of making yourself a criminal or traitor by turning against the constituion and your country?

          I’m a strong 2a man and believe that constitutional carry should be the law of the land. But if confrontational limelight searching folks like Leonard and Kokesh are said to represent us then we may awaken all the fears of the voting public and drive them to push the process of change to our disadvantage.

          I was raised on a farm in a gun friendly state. We all had guns. But we didn’t walk around with them slung up unless it was hunting season or there was a threat present.

          Most Americans today have little to know contaqct with rural folk and ways. For better or worse city folk make up the vast majority of our population and get enough of them riled enough to vote and we’re screwed.

          Personally, I feel that if Leonard was a paid shill for Maig it wouldn’t shock me a bit. But if he’s not then he’s so wrapped up in his attention getting(his me, me, me) approach that if he ever had good intentions they been subordinated to his attention whoring.

          He’s facing a felony conviction for his stunt. Any felony conviction carries a lifetime ban from owing guns. But like the moth to the flame he’s still circling ever tighter to the fire.

        • Mr. Embody,
          If you have an account set up to contribute to your defense, please provide the details. If your case is legitimate, I will contribute to it.
          Retired cop, still at your service.

          Tom

        • @jwm: Um, I’ll take the 5th on that question, Senator. 😀

          I’ve followed some of the situations Mr. Embody has been involved in; before and after the felony charge. I was prepared to go to DC alongside Kokesh. I was in DC October 13th of this year; right against the WH fence in fact. I was active in patriot militia groups in the 1990s. Sooooo… yeah… we might come from differing POVs.

      • Agreed. Leonard might “not give a shit” how he comes across and be in the right, but people’s perceptions and ignorance needs to be addressed in a manner that doesn’t immediately turn them off. Running around with long guns is like slapping them in the face and then calling them an idiot for not knowing. OCing your holstered pistol is a little less intimidating to folks and is a good entry level way of making folks aware. You have to win a culture war through dialogue and OCing rifles tends to shut that down between the two parties pretty quickly.

        • It is your mentality that has and will continue to cause the loss of gun rights in this country. The right to bear exists or it does not. I argue that it exists and nothing may change it. You would give away some of the right to maybe save some of it.

        • @Leonard If you think that running around with AR15s is going to sway fence sitters, then you’re being disingenuous.

          I’m not saying we give up on OCing. I am saying OCing pistols are a better option to open a dialogue. People are so far gone that you have to start small and work your way up. If you can’t see that, then you’re not very good at communicating with the average joe.

    • Your perception is skewed. Nobody posts videos on youtube of all the uneventful, non-confrontational, open carries that happen every day.

      • And that’s the problem… people only post videos of the confrontational types, and it’s the confrontational types themselves who post them.

        If open carriers who post this stuff were less confrontational and more cooperative with the cops, people’s perception of them (and all of us gun owner’s in general) would start to improve. Really, the officer asking to see I.D. isn’t a trampling of your rights.

        • Really, the officer asking to see I.D. isn’t a trampling of your rights.

          Trampling or violating; let’s not waste time with semantics. When an officer exceeds constraints set forth by the Constitution of the United States, that state’s constitution, and that state’s laws what would you call it? Is the officer to follow those mandates or is the officer free to pick and choose? Do you want rule of law or rule of man?

        • I will not show my ID to a cop when no law is broken. Period. They have no authority to ask it or demand it in most cases.

          This is a problem I have with confrontational cops. They do not recognize there are limits to their power and this is the reason open carriers must carry audio and video recording devices.

        • Officers are trained to stretch the boundaries. After a crime, a detective will always try to get a suspect to waive their rights, and is even allowed to use deceit. We live in an adversarial legal system, so it will always be thus. Their job is to get you to waive your rights. The, the onus is on you to assert them. An officer asking for ID may or may not be violating rights, but even if (s)he is, they are just doing their job. They are allowed to be confrontational. Don’t be a douchebag, or throw a tantrum, or return the confrontation, just politely refuse.

    • +10000000000000000000000000

      I don’t have a problem with open carry. I have a problem with morons with no common sense that OC.

      Fact the Anti’s are typically liberal.

      Fact the media is largely controlled by liberals.

      Fact liberal law makers enjoy free media support from the liberal controlled media.

      Fact constant blasting of something in a good or bad way by the liberal controlled media creates perception amongst the average person.

      I open carry on my private property, away from the public for the most part. Its my right. I open carry in my driveway when move my firearms from my cars to my house and vise versa. My neighbors have seen me and they are just fine with it.

      If I were to strap my AR to my back and walk my dog down the block, they would probably be freaked by it. Honestly if I looked out my windows and saw three guys walking down my block with pistols or rifles in plain view, I would be concerned and I would watch them and possibly alert law enforcement.

      OC is a right, but JAMMING in someones face to make a point is only going to get that right at least challenged.

      Stand your ground when you are NOT jamming it in their face but exercising it in a common sense way.

      For example, if I was taking my rifles out to my truck and in open view on my property or in the street in front of my house, where many of my neighbors could see and one of them called the police because they were scared…..I would politely remind the police and my neighbor that it is MY RIGHT. If challenged I would legally engage them in court. I would make a huge stink about it if needed.

      That said because I am practicing COMMEN SENSE nobody will probably do anything.

        • You walk down my block, and you don’t live there, and you are sporting some kind of black rifle to make point, the cops will be talking to you.

          I don’t know you. That is not normal on my block. I and other have kids that might be out playing. They get paid to confront you and possibly take a round…..I don’t.

      • Someone once said, regarding the 1st amendment, either it protects the worst speech or it protects no speech at all. It is the same for the 2nd.

    • Mr. Java, you are 100% correct. It’s the few, but loud knuckleheads out there that are deliberately provoking others verbally that do not help us at all.

    • I agree. If we 2A rights defenders want to continue to keep and bear arms to defend our families we are going to have to get smarter politically in both strategic and tactical fashion. Open carry in CA by OFWGs in Starbucks resulted in a quick bit of legislation to remove that right. Not to be outdone OCD AR fans responde by open carry in confrontational fashion at the beach as documented on Youtube. Voila …the CA Dems quickly ‘fixed’ that problem.

      So. To answer the lede: In a word: yes.

    • So Crazed Java; how many OC people do you know that you can say so authoritatively that “most” OC’ers are “confrontational”?

      I’ve OC’d for over three years in a large Metro area, I’ve worn my weapon as I go about my business and I have never had a “confrontation” with the police or the citizenry. I am willing to bet that “most” OC’ers have the same experience. It’s pretty simple, as long as the police or the citizenry doesn’t cause a confrontation with me as I practice a traditional American right; a confrontation won’t happen. See, it’s simple.

      I’m willing to bet The confrontations we see on YouTube are just a small fraction of all the people that OC.

      How about it Robert, maybe do a poll just for people that OC and ask how many have had my experience versus the “confrontations” we see on line?

    • You seem to be getting your view of open carriers entirely from youtube videos. Those are designed to be sensational to drive views. However, those are but a tiny fraction of 1% of all open carriers. Moreover, as others have mentioned, the confrontational ones are the cops. The true troublemakers are the namby pamby flightened flock out there who call the cops.

      Really, in none of these cases is any carrier directly confronting anyone. The “in your face” scene you describe isn’t “open carrying”, it’s “assault with a deadly weapon” and something else entirely unrelated to legal open carrying.

      • That’s a very good point. If some of these officers really had enough to charge an OCer, wouldn’t they usually do it other than wasting so much time? The bad ones are simply fishing for something to charge so we get some of these videos. When the OCer is free to walk then fishing came up empty.

    • “Open carry is not the problem. It is the confrontational nature of most open carriers that causes so much problem.”

      No the perception that Open Carriers are intentionally confrontational is the problem. I would be willing to speculate that the MAJORITY of Open Carry instances are unremarkable and uneventful. Only the instances where law enforcement over-reacts or the OC guys create street theater (which used to be a favorite tool of the lefties, by the way) specifically for YouTube, are given any wide dissemination.

      I do not Open Carry specifically because I am not a confrontational person and really don’t care if I am ever on YouTube (and I do hope never to be arrested). More power to the guys who are willing to expose the corrupt civil authorities who try to suppress our 2A rights.

  3. I totally agree with open carry and would love to do it. I just don’t agree with the people who film their open carry of rifles looking for fights with law enforcement officials. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it .

    • Open carriers must audio and video record because the cops word is worth more in court. Audio and video recording should be welcome by law enforcement as it preserves a true account.

      Open carriers should continuously record when carrying, because reaching for a recording device after a cop approaches could be a fatal mistake.

        • Of course not all cops are looking for an argument. Only the cops who stop law abiding open carriers are looking for an argument.

          Open carriers simply want to be left alone. We don’t want to argue. We don’t want to carry audio and video recording equipment. We don’t want to post videos of bad cops detaining, assaulting, battering, and arresting us. However, it is simply a fact of life that bad cops break the law and we must be prepared to deal with their confrontational attitudes.

        • Leonard, that’s B.S., and you know it. Unless you’re on a battlefield or hunting, Constitutional right or not, there’s no particular reason to be carrying an AR-15 in the middle of an urban area if you “want to be left alone.”. You decidedly want to spark, if not confrontation, at least conversation – it’s like carrying a big picket sign with you everywhere you go – also your right.

          I open carry in my rural area, and indeed I DO “want to be left alone”. And I generally am, unless someone comes up to ask what caliber I’m packing. In the big city, I pack concealed. And I’m left alone.

          You have the Constitutional right to be a dick. And you’re exercising that one, too. Just don’t be surprised when your fellow gun folks point it out to you.

        • “Unless you’re on a battlefield or hunting, Constitutional right or not, there’s no particular reason to be carrying an AR-15 in the middle of an urban area if you “want to be left alone.'”

          I feel like you’re treading awfully close to the “you don’t really need that 30-round magazine” type line.

        • “Unless you’re on a battlefield or hunting, Constitutional right or not, there’s no particular reason to be carrying an AR-15 in the middle of an urban area if you “want to be left alone.””

          I disagree. I have the right to bear arms and that right does not limit me to carry in a forest or battlefield.

        • Leonard. I am breaking my own rule NOT to label other gun owners here but it needs to be pointed out in a caring but direct way sometimes. No matter how right you are if you come actoss as a dick you lose. This applied to MikeyB#s and it applies to you William at times. Think about it. If you persist you have the same impact on reasonable people coming here looking for info…some are going to conclude all gun owners are dicks. Thats not fair I know its just how it is.

        • PS: Leonard. I just read the part about being busted. You obviously have a personal conflict of interest in arguing here and the only way to solve that is to provide facts that fan be independently verified as a matter of public record. Its your choice of course but personally I’m uninterested in what you have to say otherwise until you do. If I were your lawyer I might advise you to be quiet otherwise. my $0.02 and defer to the resident lawyersattys here.

        • @Matt in FL: I feel like you’re treading awfully close to the “you don’t really need that 30-round magazine” type line.

          Therein lies the problem in that kind of reasoning when it comes to the Second Amendment. It’s an arbitrary standard; subject to the whim and will of the day. As the right of the people to keep and bear arms is necessary to the security of a free state; a nonarbitrary line was used; shall not be infringed. If an arbitrary standard is used then a government would merely have to condition the People over time, perhaps generations, to usurp power and eventually disarm them. Not, of course, that such a thing could EVER happen here. 😉

  4. It’s a thought-provoking article. While I agree with most of the points made I believe one critical fact is overlooked: the War on the 2A is about the low-information general public. These are people who don’t know much about firearms and could fall either Pro or Anti 2A depending on the experiences they have- whether in person or more commonly through mass media.

    These are the people we need to win over to the Pro 2A side- and like it or not Open Carry can often scare those people, which does impact their views on the 2A

    • You are absolutely correct. So much of the argumentation on this site starts out with the premise that the Constitution is set in stone and that their is only one way to interpret the 2nd Amendment. I think we can all think of the circumstances in which much of the recent 2A court success could get overturned by judges that don’t see our gun rights in the same absolute terms that we see them.

      We need to win the political battles that ultimately inform the judicial battles and to do that, we need to win the electoral popularity contests. We have to make the cause of the 2A popular so that when some politician thinks about getting tough on crime by restricting gun rights, they fear the polls. To be successful in that, we need to expand our tent.

      I think individual open carry, particularly pistols is perfectly fine. I personally think long gun open carry is fine but that scares many of fence straddlers. I’m sure many here might say, who cares if we scare the fence straddlers, but if we turn those straddlers into anti’s by parading around with ar15s we’ll have less success at the polls.

      I think the RKBA crowd is right in principle, I just hope we are also smart.

  5. Like it or not, open carry of rifles in urban areas has been shown to have the potential to be counter-productive to gun rights. However, open carry of handguns seems like a good way to advance the normalization of guns in daily lives at this point in time, if done by individuals going about their daily lives and not large assembled groups that may seem confrontational and intimidating to many members of the public.

    The number of States where open carry is legal has been gradually expanding. There seems little logic that people living in a State that has just passed a law allowing open carry should actually not open carry. Why was the law passed then?

    There are also States where open carry is legal, in theory, but where the police will find something to charge you with if you actually open carry. This type of situation requires a patient push-back over time.

      • True, but my post was about the best present-day political course. One has to (re-)learn to walk before one can run.

        • Not when there are a pack of wolves giving chase! One would be wise to try with all of their might to run. When one looks at all rights, we are losing ground. Without public long gun OC, the Second Amendment loses it’s deterrent value. The right must be un-infringed and people must be free to exercise it. With so much ground lost in the areas of other rights, the RKBA has to be shored up in a hurry. Otherwise, you are relying on the other implied intent of the 2A. I’d rather give deterrence the best chance possible rather than relying solely on the solution implied by the 2A.

    • There seems little logic that people living in a State that has just passed a law allowing open carry should actually not open carry. Why was the law passed then?

      You have that backwards. The right exists until government infringes. Ohio has no law beyond affirmations of the 2A and the Ohio Constitution making open carry ‘legal’. There is a place where open carry is affirmed in Ohio law but that just clarifies state preemption over local laws.

      There are also States where open carry is legal, in theory, but where the police will find something to charge you with if you actually open carry. This type of situation requires a patient push-back over time.

      They will never get there at a glacial pace. Advances in Ohio have been made because people have been exercising their rights. In Ohio, the State would have to amend its Constitution to ban open carry. Courts have held that because open carry is not infringed (a right) that concealed carry licensing law (a privilege) is acceptable under the Ohio Constitution. Of course, I don’t agree with that but it also means that Ohioans shouldn’t be seeing open carry infringement by the State anytime soon.

  6. My opinion on open carry is best represented by a quote from the Dude:

    “You’re not wrong Walter. You’re just an asshole.”

  7. People see open carry of rifles, along with the confrontational tactics employed, and associate the movement with some kind of right wing paramilitary “militia” neo-somethingorother survivalists like the Branch Dividians or Timothy McVeigh.

    In makes it all that much worse that only the eventful videos are circulated, and eventful usually means some kind of confrontation, whether wholly hyperbole or not.

    Handguns, on the other hand, don’t have that baggage – non-confrontational, and post the video of nothing-to-see-here.

    Yes, people tried to “normalize” gay rights in the 80s with excessive public displays of affection. Sticking peoples face in it, even if they agree with it, is a turn off. Being petulant is an even bigger turn off. Gun owners will disassociate with other gun owners being seen as petulant.

    • actually probably a better example is the march in Skokie Il of some neo-Nazis through a jewish community. Sure, its their right. I doubt it won any converts to freedom of speech and assembly. If you were looking for support for freedom of speech rights, don’t stand on the corner shouting racial epithets. Emphasizing the undesired behavior will turn against. If OC is to be successful, it must overemphasize examples of good behavior, not just behave like petulant children doing stuff because they can.

  8. The question of rights isn’t what’s important, nor the impact on what stupid anti-gun laws may. You have a right to carry (in most of America), and you certainly have a right to free expression (openly exercising your 2nd amendment rights is certainly a 1st amendment act). Aside from deliberately seeking confrontation with police, it seems to me that open carry is tactically stupid, whether it is a long-gun or a pistol. I deer hunt in rural VA, where open carry is legal (it’s legal everywhere, it’s just more prevalent in the sticks). No one bats an eye when someone is carrying a pistol. But even there, if you are exercising your rights, the question is what for? If you have your pistol for personal protection and/or to defend other innocent lives, open carrying is going to get you one thing: shot first by any bad guy. It’s your decision, and you are within your rights. But you have to recognize that you are basically seeking confrontation. Don’t whine like a bitch when you get it. And good luck not being shot in the back of a head should you happen upon an actual criminal.

    • No, open carriers simply mind their own business. It is cops who confront open carriers. I have never seen a video of an open carrier or group of open carriers swoop down on a cop or groups of cops and confront them, detain them, assault them, batter them, arrest them, and charge them. I have seen many videos of open carriers who have done nothing other than open carry be confronted by cops. Cops are the ones confronting open carriers, not the opposite.

      • Right. Open carriers “simply mind their own business.” They don’t go out expecting to be confronted by the police, or to get alarmed reactions. And I’ll sell you a unicorn rodeo ticket. And you completely ignored my point about tactical stupidity.

        • Concealed carry is tactically stupid. I would rather not be assaulted because I decided to show my cards rather than hide my firearm and run the risk of harm. Open carry is a deterrent to crime.

        • I feel like Defens did a pretty good job of handling this one. What’s more “tactically stupid,” me who walks down the street unmolested because I’m carrying concealed (but can deploy my weapon and defend myself if that changes), or you who’s walking down the street with an open-carried but unloaded AR, who could be relieved of your weapon by any goblin who saw you and thought their real gun trumped your effectively fake one?

        • But – according to you, you’re being assaulted all the time. Your chances of being shot – by a cop – are greater than my chances of being assaulted when I concealed carry.

          Do you carry your long gun loaded? Didn’t think so – so there’s no deterrent at all there. It would be relatively easy for a couple of thugs to relieve you of your back-slung, unloaded long arm.

          Face it – you can’t have it both ways. You are engaged in a purely political (and perhaps ego-stroking) activity. There’s nothing deterrent about it and you’re thriving on the attention and confrontation you’re getting. That’s fine – but don’t be claiming that you’re doing it on my behalf.

        • “Concealed carry is tactically stupid”

          Bullshit. Kindly refrain from advice of such nature. Some of us are quite sound in our tactics without your assistance.

    • Open carry of arms, including handguns and long guns, is a major component implied by the Second Amendment; deterrence. The second major part is the implied solution should the People need to use those arms against usurpation. Without the commonly exercised RKBA in public, second component implied by the 2A is crippled. Remove the open exercise of the RKBA and the Second Amendment becomes toothless and practically meaningless.

      A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      Look at the plain language… The people shall have arms. The people shall bear arms. They shall be free to do this because it is necessary to the security of a free state. Seeing the People freely bearing arms in public, day to day, is an extremely strong deterrent to all enemies; foreign and domestic. If, heaven forbid, the People should need to use those arms to defend our free nation, are they all of a sudden going to show up in public bearing arms and the enemies, foreign and domestic, are going to somehow not think something is going down? If you think the general public freaks out now when people OC rifles in public, how much more so will they should trouble come? The militia is composed of the People and the militia is camouflaged by the People. If the only time individuals are going to exercise the RKBA with long guns is when it is time of great need then we aren’t going to be all that effective in securing a free state; now are we?

  9. Seems that once open carry was normal. Concealed was for criminals or for those with a permit such as investigators. We’ve been duped into thinking that open carry is unacceptable behaviour and concealed carry is only marginally better, that we need to hide our dirty little habit, that it’s something to be ashamed of….
    Are we ashamed of our right?

  10. OK, here we go. To ME, a retired LEO with a CCW permit (which I don’t HAVE to have, as my state laws allow both open carry and CCW without a permit) who’s been a Gun Person for 50 years, I see every Nimrod packing exposed guns in public just because he CAN as the equivalent to a shaven-headed (usually covered by a soiled baseball cap), child-molester-beard-wearing, wild-eyed a**hole one degree away from becoming an evening news story. In fact, a lot of the Open Carry zealots ARE shaven-headed, child-molester-beard-wearing, wild-eyed a**holes. Yes, I know, many are well-groomed, or female, or wear sunglasses to cover their eyes, but ANYbody who’s not in uniform and who carries a visible gun in public places where firearms are not ‘normal’ and commonplace is a zealot. A zealot carrying an exposed firearm in a public place is saying, although usually unintentionally, “I have the power to kill you and yours, and you are nothing. There is nothing you can do about this, nothing you can do to me. You have NO idea what I’m thinking of doing right now. I could go batsh*t crazy at any moment. Fear me!” [cue demonic laughter]. Once this message is conveyed, anything that comes after–the explanations, the ‘I’m just exercising my Rights’ statements mean little.

    Maybe I’m a little too conservative. . . however, I feel that OCers might just as well be unzipping their flies and exposing themselves. .

    A VERY high percentage of the American voting public agrees with me: Exposed guns in public being worn by NON-uniformed people are distressing. Period. I will NEVER ‘get used’ to someone doing so, as it’s rude, it’s threatening, it’s in-your-face provocation, and it’s an affectation. A zealot blatantly packing a pistol or rifle or shotgun in a public place where it is completely out-of-place is a poseur, a provocateur, and a jerk.

    So. Since a lot of the American public agrees with ME, just how do you think that they would vote if given the chance to overturn or alter that troublesome part of the Bill of Rights, which IS an amendment–which implies that the original got CHANGED somehow–that allows (poor word, but our massive Government can take anything I have including my life any time it wants. . .) ME to have MY gun? By blatantly waving your ‘rights’ about in the face of your fellow citizens to their displeasure, you help to convince them that ALL of us are wild-eyed zealots, and thus encourage them to see gun owners in the negative, encourage them to vote against us, and thus endanger MY rights.

    One national vote could expunge the 2nd Amendment forever, or change it so thoroughly as to make it unrecognizable. The Zealots, by their in-your-face acts, are encouraging this vote.

    • “visible gun in public places are not ‘normal’ and commonplace”

      Maybe if more people could do it, without being scrutinized by current, or former like yourself, LEOs, then it would be considered normal and commonplace.

      • It doesn’t seem to work that way, though. It seems like there are places where it is already normal, in which case no ‘normalization’ is needed, and those where it is not, and it turns undecided people away from the gun movement because they see it as extreme.

        • Whether open carry is accepted in a given area is not always a black and white issue. You’d think AZ is a State where open carry is generally accepted, but in the particular part of town I live in I saw an open carrier all of once in more than ten years of living here. I hear it’s supposedly a bit more common in other parts of town, but does that mean one has to have some detailed map of where it is “accepted” and where it is not? One can, of course, just carry concealed and be done with it, but that would mean one will in practice be giving up on OC eventually as it falls into disuse.

        • Most citizens see the police as the good guys, and don’t know you from Adam. I know a lot of the folks here are anti-cop, but it’s not the same everywhere.

          Cops carry openly in uniform because there’s really no reasonable alternative. They carry concealed when not in uniform because it IS the reasonable alternative.

    • //Since a lot of the American public agrees with ME//

      Several States have legalized open carry in recent years. Now, it was not done by a popular vote, but still.

      • Just because something is legal, it does not mean that it is good manners or good behaviour in all situations.

        I can legally go into a public restroom and relieve myself; I cannot relieve myself in the middle of the building’s lobby. Well, I CAN, physically, but people will talk.

        I can carry a rifle or shotgun from my car to my house, from my house to my car, from my car to the range or hunting area, or into a place where I can trade my gun in, or get it fixed; It is bad manners and poor behaviour to carry that rifle or shotgun into a crowded mall or open park in the middle of a city.

        • Obviously, a lot of our behavior is molded by social constraints, not legalities, but laws do reflect our attitudes to some degree. So, when a State passes a fresh law allowing open carry, I take it as a sign that – constitutional issues aside – this practice enjoys a degree of democratic acceptance in that State.

      • So, I have a legal advantage that you do not have. I had nothing to do with getting that legal advantage or than surviving to retire; Some legislators decided it was a good idea. If you don’t like it, CHANGE IT. You have a vote; Don’t whine about something that I have that you don’t like an Obamanite, get it for yourself-‘grab a weapon and stand a post,’ or elect good legislators. Or, if you are a Liberal or a Democrat, get to to work and take what I have from me. Your choice.

    • John in AK: Even proposing an amendment to the US Constitution is difficult, requiring affirmative vote by 2/3’s of members present (given a quorum) in both the House and Senate….or proposal by a constitutional convention. After successful proposal by either source 3/4’s of the states must approve the proposal. The 2nd Amendment isn’t going anywhere.

      However, the life of a right is always subject to constraint by politics, via courts. There is and always has been a battle, Right by Right, to achieve realization of the free exercise of each right. For this reason alone I see it as a political duty of those who chose to open carry, that they deport themselves in a positive way. The thing speaks for itself.

      I utterly disagree that open carry is generally an “in your face” affront. LEO’s and open-carrying non-LEO’s alike have a duty to conduct themselves with consideration, leaving no law-abiding person with the feeling the carried gun is an implied threat. The moment an individual in either group seems to be using their carry to enable uncivil aggressiveness, the legitimacy of their carry is reduced.

      • Those that supported Prohibition were shocked when it went away. Slave owners were shocked, SHOCKED to find that a simple amendment could strip them of their ‘property’.

        Frighten and dismay enough people, and the 2nd Amendment is dead.

        If OCers would all act responsibly, we would not be having this conversation. Obviously, they do not.

        • So, maybe the answer is for open carriers to act responsibly, and not for there being no open carry.

        • Frighten and dismay enough people, and the 2nd Amendment is dead.

          If left eviscerated and meaningless, it would already be dead.

          You know… If it weren’t for officers like you then the People wouldn’t need to open carry so much. 😉

    • So, you’ve sworn an oath relating to the Constitution and you don’t even understand the meaning and intention of the Second Amendment to that very same Constitution? The plain language purpose of the 2A is that the right of the people to bear arms is necessary to the security of a free state. How can that even be possible without the carrying of long guns in the open? You clearly don’t understand the document to which you swore an oath to support and defend.

      Hell, you don’t even appear to understand what a right is. I’m glad you’re retired.

      • Oh, but I DO. I understand that I have an unalienable right to self-defense, for example. I don’t, however, have an unalienable right to self-defense with a FIREARM. If I DID, if that right was so unalienable as to be unworthy of even mentioning, there would BE no 2nd Amendment. I cannot defend my life with a nuclear device. I cannot defend my life with an intercontinental ballistic missile. I cannot defend my life by ringing my property with explosives and napalm-filled booby traps. If my peers feel that I cannot defend my life with a switchblade or Samurai sword, they can deny me those tools. At the same time, if my peers feel that my right to self-defense with a firearm is no longer acceptable, there go firearms.

        Simple, really. Either we are a nation and people of laws, or we are not.

        • The Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment, was not included because people did not understand the rights existed prior to enactment of the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was included as a mandatory act prior to ratification of the Constitution because it was clear that at least some, including King George and more than a few rich plantation owners and coastal merchants, thought the rights were an intrusion on their power to rule.

          Your catalog of non-firearms (missiles, explosive devices, etc.) has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment, and to highlight such items as a suggestion that virtually any firearm may be banned notwithstanding the constitutional right to keep and bear arms…. is exactly the absurdity Metcalf committed, that of discussing the 2nd Amendment without reading the Heller opinion.

          The amazing fact about the repeal of the constitutional ban on alcoholic beverages was that it was ever necessary in the first place. It has since been taken as an abject lesson in the dangers of tinkering with the constitution, and as a memorial to the good sense of remembering why a piece of legislation should be kept separate and beneath the force of the Constitution’s provisions.

    • “… but ANYbody who’s not in uniform and who carries a visible gun in public places where firearms are not ‘normal’ and commonplace is a zealot.”

      See, you lost me, pretty early, with that bullshit statement. I don’t live in an open carry state, but there have been situations, of time and circumstance and dress, where open carrying would have been a preferred alternative to concealed if that opportunity was afforded to me. I’m not a zealot. I’m just someone who would have found it more comfortable to carry my gun in a nice leather OWB holster when I was wearing dress pants rather than trying to make it fit inside the waist of pants that weren’t cut for it. Your blanket statements are no different than me saying that because you’re a cop, you’re a jackbooted statist pig.

      Furthermore, an anecdote. Again, remember I don’t live in an open-carry state. I was out at a very popular local BBQ joint a few weeks back (4Rivers for those of you in the know), and while I was eating, a group of 10-12 guys walked in and sat down with their trays (having gone through the line already). To a man they were dressed like they’d just come from a softball game: t-shirts, warmups or shorts, and sneakers. At least half of them were conspicuously open carrying. Half of them were caucasian, a couple black guys and the rest Hispanic/latino. Looking around the room, I saw one or two double-takes (one of them was mine, but I mean obvious double-takes), but I saw no panic, I saw no scrambling to call 911, none of that. People largely had the attitude (if they noticed at all, and most didn’t) of, “Hmm, that’s interesting…” and then they dug back into their brisket and beans. I assumed they were cops of some sort, despite their ultra-casual dress, and I recognized a couple of the holsters as being retention holsters, but I had to look hard before I eventually saw a badge, and even then I only saw 2 or 3 out of the 10-12 guys. One guy went to the restroom and came back with it on a chain around his neck, but the other couple were clipped on their waist, and half-hidden by t-shirts. The rest, nothing. No outward signs of being LEO. And yet not a single fuck was given in that restaurant. My point is, your “never get used to it” and “always a zealot” attitudes seem to put you in the minority, in my experience.

      Some of it, admittedly, has to do with how someone is carrying. If I lived in a state where open carry of rifles was permitted, and someone had walked into that same restaurant with a slung AR, I would have watched them closely, and if I determined they were an unlikely threat I’d have still probably thought them stupid and attention-whore-ish, but I wouldn’t have thought they were doing anything wrong. If that same guy walked in with an open carry handgun, I wouldn’t think anything of it (beyond noticing it), and my experience is that most people seeing someone open carrying assume that person is LEO, and move on in Condition White. I think that bystanders seeing an open carrier as rude, distressing, or threatening has everything to do with the demeanor of the open carrier, and very little to actually do with the person making the observation (unless of course it’s someone from MDA looking to make a point).

  11. That can go both ways , the founders did grant us a right to carry firearms, but The also said as long as it did not put overdue fear in public places ,that means they are saying open carry is legal, but don’t over due it, like having , a sword, knife, pistol, and rifle all at the same time say to go shopping, now returning from militia training and stopping to eat you would leave your rifle and sword parked by the front door etc or in church, but if fear of Indian’s attacking , if no door man on watch yes keep all arms at hand etc. and yes even a cannon would be ok even for a parade or again returning from militia training etc…but not a cannon for everyday travel except to move form one area to another , so you would put a dust cover on the canon for travel. And the public could see your intents by the way you dressed and so camo and body armor , and lots different arms , YES would be FEAR to public safety.

    • Black men with guns are especially dangerous looking. We can’t have someone with a shaved head carrying gun either. don’t forget the arab looking person. Or the guy who speaks Spanish.

      Clothing gives away intent. Camouflage on a city street means danger so ban that. Can’t wear body armor and carry a gun at the same time, one must choose either or. Can’t wear all black. no one can wear boots that look “tactical” or tactical socks.

      Some guns look more dangerous than others, so don’t forget to ban them based upon looks.

      LOL

      • You are missing the point of the Founders intent , You can carry any THING and at any time ,But carry a machine gun and put it and extra mags in a back pack… and YES FULL battle gear , is for militia duty , hunting gear is for hunting and YES you are legal to stop and eat etc..But looking fearful are what creates public FEAR.. and because someone is not grown up and can not act adult is his problem , That’s what causes gun controls… EVEN war paint is ok to say go to and from games etc. and a rifle over the back is even ok…. INTENT ! look like a NUT CASE and you are… Hollywood is very un – ADULT ..When I was in Marines You NEVER kept on Full battle gear and camo etc for a stop for gas and food etc… The battle gear was left in the car… TO NOT CREATE PUBLIC fear.. and to set a good model for the public.. Some will never grow up- this cost us rights…

        • Some will never grow up- this cost us rights…

          Do you really not understand what unalienable means? Rights can be loaned and rights can be usurped but they cannot be lost or even given away. They are unalienable to the individual. Each is born with them.

          Perhaps part of the problem is that you are looking at rights as if they are privileges. If government tries to usurp an individual’s right not loaned to government through a contract (a constitution), what do you think the individual’s responsibility is at that point? It’s the same as dealing with any other thief and murderer; defend his property and his life. If one has not Liberty then one has not life. Defend it as such.

      • The founders probably didn’t give two shits about STATE level regulations on guns. Seriously folks, is everyone forgetting that the Bill of RIghts was only held to apply to state level laws AFTER the 13th and 14th amendments were passed following the civil wars? I’m opposed to state level controls, and the 13th and 14th mean I can cite the Constitution as a justification, but don’t kid yourself about what the founders would have said about the legality of such controls. Crap, these guys passed the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798.

    • the founders did grant us a right to carry firearms

      *Sigh* No, they didn’t. They enumerated specific powers to be loaned by the People to their government. The whole thing has its foundation in the concept of unalienable rights. They didn’t grant anything. The 2A and 9A preclude government from infringing upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.; shall not be infringed.

      None of your conjecture is recorded where it matters; the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The Constitution is the contract by which the People agreed to be governed; period.

      • I feel your pain. It is amazing how many people do not understand what a right is and that the Constitution does not grant them. I applaud your corrections.

  12. It’s true that plenty of crap gun laws are passed without regard to open carry. I think we’re missing something if we dismiss the laws passed specifically to ban OC; this is true especially in a state like CA that has different regions. There are some rural areas of California that would be positively pro-gun legislatively but for the state laws. In such places it would be perfectly reasonable and accepted to carry a gun around openly, be it hiking or driving to the county store. But because some folks decided to force the issue in places where it was seen by most people as disruptive and even dangerous (hey, there are a lot of anti-gun folks in cities) something was done about it statewide.

    If open carry actually normalized guns I’d say it might be worth it, but I don’t believe it for a minute. In places where open carry is already accepted, it doesn’t do anything. In places where it is NOT, it tends to scare people and make them think the anti-gun people are right about ‘those gun nuts who want attention.’ As to exercising rights, I agree in part, but believe there is a time and place to be reasonable. I do not exercise my right to free speech by protesting at a soldier’s funeral, for example…

  13. If you open carry, and you truly are obeying the law, why have a camera? When someone (anyone) asks if that gun is loaded, ignore them and continue your business.

    • We carry audio and video recording devices in case we are confronted by cops. Most of the time when asked the cop will state we are detained. Most of the time the confrontational cop will seize our firearm and run the serial number, most of the time the confrontational cop will search our pockets. most of the time the cop will seize our ID. Most of the time the cop will run our ID.

      To protect ourselves we must audio and video record the confrontational cop. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public.

    • Open carry is but one reason to have a form of video recording available. The other good reasons are traffic stops, recording of apparent criminal behavior, and recording public matters of a positive sort which might provide an encouraging human interest segment on the internet or local TV.

      If people did not lie so much, did not so often act abusively when they felt free of effective observation, there would not be a need for video recording. The prevalence of video recording in public areas is nothing but good, provided every side has equal right to record. This means that government surveillance of public areas is no more legitimate than private surveillance, since we must assure our ability to “watch the watchers.” The abusive use of video ‘footage’ to huniliate, embarrass, or bully is a separate issue with which evolving law can deal.

  14. I believe a cleave should be made in ones comments about OC to separate or to distinguish between a holstered side arm and a back strapped AR.
    The AR on your back has about zero tactical advantage in 99% of potential DGU scenarios, thus it is a political statement. How often are we advised that in an emergency adrenalin dump, we lose a lot of rational thinking power. What do you think happens in a non gun persons mind when they see an AR out in public (and it serves very little self-defense advantage), they see Holmes/Lanza. They go from White to at least Orange and do not process your political statement.
    I believe we have to defend ourselves on two fronts, criminal and political. Tactically, I believe concealed carry is superior against the criminal front and open carry can be very useful on the political one.
    So if you are trying to preach to the choir, strap on your AR along with criss-crossed bandelaros and two Colts so that the fearful will write their congressmen.
    If your true motive is trying to “normalize”, dress smart and holster your XD40, S&W M&P full or your Glock 17.
    Let them see it in normal life situations.
    Hide your LITTLE gun, Show your BIG gun, leave your LONG gun at home, at least for now.

    • “Tactically, I believe concealed carry is superior against the criminal front…”

      Hey, you want to ambush an attacker then fine. Don’t limit my preferred form of carry.
      Open carry is a deterrent to crime, I would rather not be assaulted in the first place.

      • Leonard, if I see a rifle slung across your back, that isn’t really a super deterrent. It just means I need to come up from behind you and conk you, or start when it’s too close for you to unsling it and bring it to bear.

      • I suppose that it’s never occurred to you that YOU may very well have been the target each and every time you went out in public wearing an exposed gun, when somebody carrying concealed spotted you and the threat you posed. . .

        Nope, probably not. You think you never got assaulted because you were wearing an exposed gun? Nope, the CCW guy merely let you live as you didn’t do anything stupid.

        • John, the “let you live” idea is a two-way street, i.e. when someone is not open carrying I can as well wonder “why are they hiding their firearm? Are they a felon?” There has to be a limit on the legitimation of suspicion. Your assumption that it is normal and right to suppose an armed person is a dangerous person is soooo policeman, on one hand, and timid urban poof on the other. In the middle are those who assume a firearm carrier is a normal person, a non-felon almost by definition, given her open carry. In a nation that generally forbids weapons possession to felons, open carry in a public place is effectively a statement that the carrier is a non-felon. With the advent of face-recognition software, this statement is becoming doubly true.

      • I CC at work (only way allowed), OC camping in state parks and Long gun carry in my trunk.
        I am not against your preference and I would not limit Long Gun carry.
        The problem right now is that while we want to exercise our rights, there are those that wish to exercise power. I am concerned with the anties use of incremental erosion of our rights. Carrying a long gun is “just crazy, it should be banned”, wow that was easy, let’s move to OC pistols, not too bad, let’s move on CC, Oh heck, why don’t we just become Australians.
        We are in a battle, open carry of long guns is like wearing Red Coats and announcing our presence with fife and drum. Can’t we just strategically hold off on that for now or do you think we are not at risk of losing it all.
        For readers that don’t really read I am talking about us, BY OUR OWN CHOICE, not open carrying long guns in order to win the war.

        • We are in a battle, open carry of long guns is like wearing Red Coats and announcing our presence with fife and drum.

          No, not really. If we allow the open exercise of the right to keep and bear arms be cowed then the nation will one day be in a real battle. The right of the People to keep and bear arms is necessary to the security of a free state. Let individuals be bullied into hiding the fact that they’re armed and the antis won’t magically say, “Oh, that’s okay then.” Nope, once they get us retreating, they’ll push even more. The strongest thing we have to our advantage right now is the deterrent utility of the 2A. If we hide our arms then we will lose even that to incremental-ism. With the massive infringements on other rights that have happened and are continuing to grow, the People cannot afford to lose the deterrent value of the Second Amendment. It’s suicide for our free state to do so; especially now!

    • It can. Let’s talk about the Westboro Baptist Church, hate speech codes, ‘bullying’…

      …oh, sorry, was that a hypothetical question?

      • Wow, SPOT ON!

        With ‘rights’ comes responsibilities. Ignore the responsibilities, and you lose the ‘rights.’

        • You don’t lose rights. Governments deny them via legislation, but they still exist.

          Regardless of what a law says, people still have the fundamental, natural, unalienable right to self defense.

        • . . . and in very much the same way. “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” And I will loathe you to my very core while I do it.

  15. There’s strength in numbers.

    One man who open carries in a place where it is viewed with hatred is going to get arrested, or at least have his balls broken by the cops even though he is acting peaceably and legally. Two hundred people open carrying are not going to be hassled by the boys in blue, and that kind of peaceful demonstration (the Alamo and Arkansas marches are models for the future) makes a far greater impact.

    The best part — oh irony of ironies! — the cops, often the enemy, become our escort on open carry marches, protecting and clearing the way for us (can you stand it?), and they’re open carrying too.

    • I have to ask. . . did those mass-but-peaceful demonstrations accomplish anything positive? Or did the participants simply look like gun-wielding fools and paranoid delusionaries to the people watching them?

      As I recall, the American Nazis in Skokie, Illinois had a police escort. So does the Klan when they rally.

      See any parallels?

      • We’ve helped legislation get knocked down, legislation get passed, law enforcement training corrected, local laws and policies corrected, etc. Our numbers have grown. So yeah, it’s been effective for us here.

        Undoubtedly, a few bad cops didn’t like it though. The ones that actually understood their oath seemed just fine with the results 😉

      • John, you’ve already made your anti-open carry stance clear. At the same time taking the position that whats good enough for the police and the state is not good enough for a regular citizen.

        Your view on picking and choosing which parts of a natural right another person should be able use puts you in the same camp as the anti-gunners.

        • No, I do not pick and choose the rights of others. It’s not my choice to make as an individual in a democratic republic. It may be my personal choice not to annoy the folks by carrying an EBR into the Starbucks in the mall, but I cannot stop some other fool from doing it if it is legal. It’s totally out of my span of control. There are LOTS of things that I might not like, but it’s not my choice to make if other people are doing them and it’s legal to do.

          What I am saying is that if fools KEEP carrying their EBRs into the Starbucks, they may very well alienate the regular people to the extent that that law banning EBRs in Starbucks comes to pass.

      • Many different kinds of gatherings are accompanied by the police presence. So, unless you really feel that the the Alamo demonstration was somehow equivalent to a KKK rally in its content, and not just in there being a demonstration, I don’t see what the parallel is.

        Would they have gained more politically if they demonstrated without any weapons? Maybe, maybe not – I, for one, don’t claim to know the answer.

        • Darn. You found me out. Yes, I do think that zealots carrying exposed rifles and the like in public places where guns do not belong are akin to the KKK and the American Nazis in certain ways–they are all zealots with ulterior motives who don’t give a sh*t about the rest of the folks, so long as they can make a point. The KKK marches to try to convince people that the World would be a wonderful place if they can just get rid of them [insert minorities here]. The American Nazis march to try to convince us that the World would be a wonderful place of they can just get rid of them [insert specific minority here]. The rifle-toting zealots gather to try to convince people that the World would be a wonderful place if only everyone packed around an EBR so as not to be overwhelmed by the Mongol Hordes taking over the Starbucks. Or maybe it’s aliens.

          All three groups intimidate with the threat of violence, do they not? All three groups espouse a fringe belief not accepted by the majority of people, do they not? All three groups carry or wear a symbol hateful to many, do they not? All three groups appear in inappropriate venues, do they not? And all three groups do not CARE that they are causing unpleasantness and affront to the majority around them, because it is their RIGHT to behave in the manner that they have chosen.

          I think that this discussion, for me, ends here.

        • //All three groups intimidate with the threat of violence, do they not?//

          “Intimidating with a threat of violence” is not a fair description of the mindset of everyone who carries openly. A few might have that mindset, but there’s no way it’s everyone. And those who carry as a political statement may have something else entirely on their minds.

    • I like the way you think.

      How do you think that female cop from the story the other day would have acted if the police would have of out numbered the armed citizens. Do you think she would have been more or less pleasant? Do you think she would have just let it go when they refused to show her an ID?

      • Do you think she would have just let it go when they refused to show her an ID?

        Towards the end of the video the group began walking away and she singled out one guy. She continued to press him for ID. The group responded that they wouldn’t go without him and he ended up complying with the officer. Would she have detained him if he didn’t? We have no real way of knowing. But, it did look to me as if she singled a straggler out and did continued even after telling the group that they were free to go. So, there’s your best answer. IMHO, likely not.

  16. I believe in the second amendment right to bear arms and carry with a CCW permit in AZ only because I think the training that was once required to get it was important…knowing the law and qualifying…..they don’t do that anymore. . I believe the 2A supporters who open carry are doing more damage then good to everyones right to “bear arms”. Even though I carry concealed you still are slightly on edge when you walk into a location and see the gun on someone belt. You automatically see it and pay attention to the person and weapon more then you would of normally. Sometimes depending on what the person looks like it makes you a little nervous. The ones who demonstrate at open carry events definitely are hurting the cause. More negative publicity then good usually and not to stereotype, a lot of those carrying really are the ones you would questions walking down the street with a gun. Fight for the cause but don’t flash the weapon just because you can…..For everyone of us who believe in your gun rights there are tenfold who don’t. Flaunting your gun on your belt at a McDonalds full of kids is not the way to gain marks for your 2A rights.

  17. I don’t think open carry threatens gun rights, that is, along as it is with the open carry of pistols, and we as a gun carrying community watch out tone. That is, the trolling of police officers needs to stop, the carrying of shotguns and rifles needs to be curbs to locations or times that are approciate. And carrying an AR or Mossy 500 into Starbucks isn’t that time. Carrying a Krinko AK at a Tennessee state park isn’t that time. Those sort of displays are only use against us to protray the gun rights community as crazies, not responsible citizens that we all know we are.

    Mr. Zimmerman you may now delete this post at your likeing now.

    • Just what kind of an urban pussy Liberal pinko rights-trampling Gestapo LEO pig ARE you?! You should be ashamed to call yourself a ‘Murican! My right to carry my MG42 with tripod and three full belts of ammunition into the Starbucks in the mall shall not be infringed, you bastidge!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    • the trolling of police officers needs to stop

      Yes, absolutely. As should the callous shooting of police dogs, unlawful arrests of police, beating police officers in the back of squad cars and at the station and shoving plunger handles up policemens’ asses.

      Oh, BYW, what frickin’ planet are you from?

      • He’s probably from the one where ‘dog-killing’ is not a joke and where most people go through life without having a bad experience with a police officer, other than perhaps a speeding ticket. Those people find it difficult to understand how it could be that police are militarized nazi/communist/fascist brutalizers when they tend to see police just sorta walking around most of the time. Or maybe they see cases of police brutality and think ‘that officer’s terrible!’ instead of ‘police are terrible!’

        For those people it might seem unwise to troll police.

  18. Another way of saying this if not a repeat:
    99% of the time, OC of a LONG GUN is a political statement, OK.
    That means you are carrying the AR to achieve a political end.

    IS IT WORKING???????????

    • That is the big question.

      Also, what better way to demonize AR-15 owners, carriers and gun enthusiasts in general than to plant a few among the ranks who go all “AM I BEING DETAINED/COME AND TAKE IT” and do more harm than good.

      Reynolds wrap or store brand tinfoil?

    • The implied deterrent expressed by the Second Amendment requires that at least some of the People do it. The implied solution to enemies, foreign or domestic, expressed by the Second Amendment requires that at least some of the People do it. So, unless you are conceding that the Second Amendment serves no purpose anymore then your point is moot.

    • IS IT WORKING???????????

      Hey, sunshine patriot, imagine if somebody had asked George Washington the same question in 1776.

      Anyway, yes, it’s working.

      • George Washington did not carry a musket to the congressional congress, he carried it to war. Well, he probably didn’t carry a musket, but…

  19. Be nice if one day gun rights advocates could actually gain some unity. They all will preach “shall not be infringed” but only half believe in that fully. Other half is so in fear, they argue over how using a right is bad.

    Maybe we should only have free speech when it doesn’t offend another?

    Only have religous freedom when it doesn’t scare people of a different faith?

    Only use due process, when noone is in fear of the person NOT going to jail.

    Maybe, only have life, liberty, and happiness when noone else will get jealous of how it is being used by another?

    Half of you sound similar to those you are fighting against. “You have the right, but…”

    You want to save 2A? Get over yourselves, and get some fucking unity.

    • They all will preach “shall not be infringed” but only half believe in that fully. Other half is so in fear, they argue over how using a right is bad.

      Half of you sound similar to those you are fighting against. “You have the right, but…”

      Get over yourselves, and get some fucking unity.

      +1000 🙂

    • Point well taken.
      But, if the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that carrying of any weapon in any manner is constitutional and all laws to the contrary are void, I still would not carry a long gun.
      So…
      Maybe a “Question of the day” should be,
      If Open Carry is legal in your state, Why don’t you carry a long gun? Or Why would you if you could?

      We would then see a legitimate diversity of opinions and that diversity and the freedom to express and live it, is what makes America.
      Our unity exist strongly in our support of the 2A, our diversity is revealed in how we might defend it.

    • Your definition of getting unity is to subscribe to believe what you believe. Hmm… ever thought about going into politics?

      • I don’t believe everyone should be of the same opinion. We are Americans, not lemmings. However, the constant arguments between the the hows and whys of how someone should use their 2A right between gun rights advocates is THE most detrimental part of the fight for rights.

        Unity should be “i don’t agree with how you use you right, but I’ll stand by your side, and defend that right.”

        Not “OMG! YOU USED A RIGHT THAT WILL SCARE PEOPLE. THAT’S BAD!!!”

  20. Open carry is good for gun rights, as long at the open carrier is not being a giant asshole. Too often giant asshole and OC go hand in hand, or at least that’s the media that ends up out there. Yes maybe some cops do start it but, how it finishes and how it’s remembered by those not directly involved are important.

    All gun owners need to be cognizant of how they are perceived, especially if you’re out in the public eye. These perceptions by non gun owners form preconceived notions and then eventually stereotypes. The stereotype is what sticks and then defines the non gun owners opinions and eventually voting preferences. The anti’s already hate us, it’s the middle grounders that we need to positively influence.

    Do you think the pro abortion people would make any headway if they started flinging dead babies around at the mall and screaming their heads off?

  21. Open carry legality has been the norm in most states since the founding. It has probably also been considered sensible since the founding not to act aggressively or abrasively when exercising that right. Those two points are not in conflict with each other. Asserting the legality of your carry when questioned by an LEO, however, should be considered neither aggressive nor abrasive.

    I am amused when challenges to open carry made by police on the street are met by a group with curb-side shall-issue law licenses, espousing five different views. I think these guys should meet in chambers and harmonize their legal language before initiating a demonstration. It would be good for public relations.

  22. I open carry rarely,I personally believe, just me no one else, that open carry folks would be advised, not mandatory, to go through a CCW class,for their own protection,so they know what we conceal carry folks know about laws,rules ,regs, do’s, dont’s.Just a suggestion.

    • I agree; the more information, the better. However, given the higher risk of having a negative interaction with law enforcement; by and large, OCers tend to know quite a bit more about the laws, regulations, do’s and don’ts than the concealed carry only individuals. It’s not uncommon for rank and file CCers to come to OCers with questions. I carry either way and, in my state, it takes a higher information level to OC compared to CC if we want to avoid legal hassles and misunderstandings.

  23. Does anyone really need to open carry? After all it makes some people uncomfortable and they might call the police and make further laws that endanger our civil rights. We should just sit quite and keep what freedoms we currently have.

    Did Rosa Parks really need to sit at the front of the bus? After all it makes some people uncomfortable and they….

  24. Yeah… and did Roscoe Filburn really need to grow that extra wheat? Oh, it actually resulted in a landmark case expanding the scope of federal power because it happened to occur at a time when the courts were not friendly and the nation was trying to solve a serious and complicated problem, allowing the commerce clause to ride roughshod over individuals for decades?

    Well, shit.

    See Wickard v. Filburn, an example of how a court can take a case and end up not only making a bad decision but very bad precedent, because of the time and place. Sometimes it’s best to concentrate on the areas most likely to result in legislative\judicial success (Heller being a good example) rather than pretending that most people see gun advocates as being modern-day Rosa Parks… because they don’t.

    • Or see Gonzales v. Raich (based in large part on Wickard).

      I particularly like O’Connor’s dissent, where she says “the Court’s definition of economic activity for purposes of Commerce Clause jurisprudence threatens to sweep all of productive human activity into federal regulatory reach”.

    • If, as a reaction to Ms. Parks’ actions, government had further engrained institutional racism; would that have been her fault? Isn’t that classic ‘blaming the victim’? The criminal in that situation and in analogs of OCing would be government, not the free individual exercising a right.

      Are exercising a right and redress of grievance the domain of attorneys and those wealthy enough to bring suit and see it all the way to the Supreme Court? The exercise of a right that is controversial by popular opinion is a form of grievance. OCing can be not only an exercise of the Second Amendment but also of 1st, 4th, and 5th. Shall an individual give up the protection of all of those merely because popular opinion might not be in their favor?

  25. For the record:

    California’s may issue dates to 1923, and was a law that also passed in New Hampshire and North Dakota (also established the DROS and other aspects)

    This law was not actually pushed as part of civilian disarmament. Quite the opposite. This was in the time period when New York got its Sullivan act, and Texas was outlawing any carrying whatsoever of guns (as did most states). In the face of this, a bill was introduced on the federal level, but kicked down to the states (California, New Hampshire, and North Dakota). The supporters explicitly stated the bill was in response to fanaticism against the right to bear arms.

    As a US Senator who introduced the same bill on the federal level said “It is frankly, an effort upon the part of those who know something about firearms to forestall the flood of fanatical legislation intended to deprive all citizens of the United States of the right to own and use, for legitimate purposes, firearms capable of being concealed upon the person”

    Hence the bill guaranteed the right to own and carry such arms at home, business or outing (hence we can still carry without a license while fishing…go figure), and set up a may issue permit system for other times. And the penalties for violating the law? They were added punishments to whatever other crime you had committed, rather than being a standalone offense.

    Sure it has morphed some since then (1 day turned into 15 days for a waiting period). And it does prove you never throw a bone to ward off worse legislation. But the move, on the CCW front in CA, has actually been positive, if only very minimally. E.g. in 2011 passing a law that eased some requirements, put caps on fees and required same criteria to be applied to all applicants…meaning if the sheriff followed the strictest criteria allowed for one applicant, he must for all, and vice verse. So we aren’t completely lost…we still have moments of pushing back the enemy

  26. How will the public ever learn that good people own firearms and that those firearms do not magically turn those good people into violent criminals if they never see us with firearms?

    It’s a culture war. To non-gun people, open carry of any kind is alarming. Even for many gun people, open carry comes with some degree of cognitive dissonance. Here’s my take on that:

    If you respect the idea of “knowing your target and what’s behind it,” how can you reasonably fire a rifle defensively in a crowded urban area? Charitably, I’d find that challenging. Perhaps during certain times of great urban unrest (like the L.A. riots or post-Katrina New Orleans) the defensive capabilities of a rifle (and increased potential need for them) might warrant carrying one, but in a day-to-day sense it just doesn’t strike me as the practical thing to do.

    Sidearms make more sense to me for open-carry in more populated areas simple because they’re more practical to use at close distance and with consideration for travel distance / penetration, etc. Personally, I don’t think OC is the best way to win hearts & minds of non-gun people, so I don’t do it. Whether or not it should be, it’s alarming to people unfamiliar with guns. I strongly support the legality of OC, but choose not to exercise that right myself. At least for now, and in urban / suburban areas.

    For me, the underlying problem we need to address is the general normalization of guns among people who don’t know much about them. And for that, I prefer to engage people in conversation. It’s even better if I can subtly invite other people to engage me in conversation. For example, I brought my Battle Mug into work with scope & flip sights attached as a conversation piece, which opens the door to talk about Picatinny rails, optics and then guns & target shooting. Which, in turn, gives me a natural opening to invite people to the range. I don’t need to preach to people that guns aren’t scary; I can teach them by exposing them to gun stuff in a way that doesn’t set off alarm bells and immediately shut them down.

  27. No, it doesn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Regardless of the claims made by the FUDs who decided to grace us with their presence, because on like some other sites we actually welcome discourse here, it is only when a right is abused that its exercise is detrimental.

    To wit, there are legal terms for this abuse, including but not limited to: menacing, brandishing, and threatening. Here in my state of North Carolina, you could be charged with “going armed to the terror of the public”.

    Contrary to the belief of some people here (and you know exactly who you are and your credentials don’t matter either), the simple act of openly carrying any weapon does not in itself carry with it an implicit threat. If anyone really wants to argue that point further, start with the case of Miller v. Texas and go forward. Happy reading.

    Before that, allow me to offer you some food for thought:

    “The carrying of arms in a quiet, peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a breach of the peace.” (Wharton’s Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th Ed., Vol.2: Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197)

    Moving right along, broad-stroking all practitioners of open-carry — which IS exactly what some people here did — with such a broad brush as “zealot” is disingenuous at best. With the way some people here have gone on at length to emphasize their ready willingness to do so, it’s flat-out dishonest and malicious at worst. I would go so far as to say that that behavior makes them every bit as bad as the elitist, gun-grabbing hypocrites we all proclaim to be fighting. They’re using the exact same logic and tactics. It’s disgusting, quite frankly. To even say that most practitioners and/or advocates of open-carry are “zealots” or even so much as “confrontational” is an out-right lie. P E R I O D.

    As has been pointed out in many articles here, the right to keep and bear arms is not grounded in public opinion nor is it based on public utility. Further, in states that allow open-carry, it’s reasonable to conclude that on some level, it enjoys at least some degree of public acceptance. Perhaps not agreement per se, which would be utterly irrelevant anyway, but acceptance. It also doesn’t matter if open-carry is not considered “normal” behavior in any particular place. ANY reservations held by bystanders are solely their problem and theirs alone, and their personal feelings have absolutely no real-world bearing on our right to keep and arms. So, that being said, to claim that most of the voting public is against it is, too, a flat-out lie (and completely irrelevant).

    Even if the Second Amendment were somehow by some miracle repealed, it was found by the SCOTUS that the rights enumerated in the Constitution preexisted the government starting waaaaay back when with U.S. v. Cruikshank. In other words, we have a prima facie right to keep and bear arms regardless of whether or not the right is enumerated. There are also the 9th and 10th Amendments that, by extension, also protect and affirm the right.

    In conclusion, the only time a right is “lost” is when it goes unexercised or abused — and open-carry is not abusive.

    /thread.

    • Very well stated and I agree. The substantial difference between a cheap prostitute and an expensive one is merely a matter of degree. They are both prostitutes. Those who proclaim that they ‘agree with the 2A but…’ are merely anti’s of differing degree from rabid antis. I mean, c’mon, the 2A states, shall not be infringed and necessary to the security of a free state. The amendment is short and to the point. There really isn’t room for ‘but…’ in a statement of its support. Those anti-lites that you describe in your comment are using the same arbitrary measure as the anti-rabids do; which will arrive at the same destination as the Wicked Witch of the West and the others.

  28. Our rights are just like a muscle. Exercise it frequently, it will get stronger. Exercise it enough, it will stay healthy. Never exercise it, it will get weaker and eventually be useless.
    I reject the false choice that only only way to keep our rights is to live like we don’t have them in the first place.

  29. Excellently-reasoned argument. Does anyone remember when said Black Panthers shot up the California legislature?

    I didn’t think so.

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