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TTAG reader Zach writes:

“When state and federal courts have considered severe restrictions or bans on open carry they have been struck down. When they have considered restrictions or bans on concealed carry they have been upheld. I wondered why it was 31 states allow the unlicensed open carry of handguns and even more if you include long guns (as in Texas) while concealed carry was illegal (the carry permit providing an exception to the ban on concealed carry). I found out that . . .

“…the reason is that courts have always said open carry was the right and they based it on cultural considerations where criminals generally carry concealed because they have something to hide and want, dare I say it, the element of surprise against their more ‘manly’ fellows. In the case of Norman vs. State, the safe $ is that a court is going to do this again in Florida, hopefully giving them unlicensed if not licensed open carry of handguns. Florida is one of five states that ban open carry.”


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  1. This women speaking cant give any reasons not to have open carry.
    Back in 87 “we” gave in to no open carry to have concealed carry.
    Its more then about time we get it back here. And we will.

    • Here’s hoping that Texas skips open carry to go further to full constitutional carry. This really needs to be the goal here rather than this half measure of bringing back OC out there.

      Also I honestly wouldn’t go so far as to use the terminology of ‘Black Republicans’ in that statement. While it’s very true the Democrats were traditionally against equal rights I wouldn’t automatically go so far that the Republican’s were champions of it either. More than the left then, of course… but still.

      • I caught it. But during Reconstruction, it’s pretty much a certainty that the newly-enfranchised blacks were voting Republican when not under duress from the newly disenfranchised white Democrats. And that the ruling Republicans intended to make sure they kept that advantage.

    • I remember OC in FL, and Marion Hammer “negotiating” OC away in lieu of CC in 87. Take away a couple southern counties, and Florida is as red a state as anything.

      I hope it comes back. Although there are so many transplanted New England folks here it will be sure to scare the straights once again.


  2. As I understand it, Texas OC handgun ban is a direct vestige of Reconstruction. The idea was to keep white Democrats (!) from hanging around, in particular at the polling places, with their openly-carried pistols to intimidate the newly-enfranchised black Republicans (!). Imagine that… Why other Southern states with carpetbag Republican Reconstruction governments didn’t wind up in the same boat is a mystery to me.

    • In the video, the attorney made that exact point: The ban of weapons possession was made against classes of people, specifically newly freed slaves. He did a good job, I thought — and the gal opposing him was surprisingly incompetent.

      She argued that it was just “common sense” that open carry was dangerous, as anyone, even a child, could grab the gun and use it in a crime. A judge challenged her: Were there any studies or statistics to support her assertion? She said she wasn’t aware of any, but it was just common sense.

      He challenged her again: How many states have legal open carry. Since her opposition had just said that only five prohibited it, this should have been easy. But she didn’t know. The judge pursued this: “Would you agree that a majority of states allow open carry?” She still wouldn’t agree, in several rounds of back-and-forth with the judge on this one topic. Pathetic — and the judge seemed to feel that way also.

      Another judge asked the pro-OC attorney for help: “If we agree with you, how would you suggest we word our decision.” This sort of thing is a very positive indicator.

      There were no questions from the bench hostile to OC, and genuine interest shown from the two judges who spoke during the video.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  3. Yep. Only criminals would want to conceal a weapon. Honorable and honest people open carry their side arm.

    Man! How things change, and not for the better.

    But, it was once that way, it can be again.

    Open Carry, it’s for the children.

    • I don’t believe in open carry of children. Children should be carried concealed or not at all. For the adults.

      • Hm.

        Children (open or concealed) are prone to frequent and various nasty biological negligent discharges…

        • I’m for returning to the custom in European high society up until about 50 years ago.
          When your wife becomes pregnant, send her off to the neighborhood convent. She and (especially) the child can return when they are “fit for high society” again. Children were seen, not heard.

  4. The lawyer for Florida Carry slices and dices the state’s attorney on every point. Case closed, IMO. But will the legislature honor the decision?? The retail federation and the Fl Sheriff Association have been effective lobbies against open carry in Fl in the past. Both lobbies want the people completely disarmed, despite their protests to the contrary.

    • Florida Sheriff’s Association is turning into a Gun Ban Lobby. They shot us down on the emergency carry thing last year under jack-boot sheriff Grady Judd (Polk County). You would think Polk County a righteous place with all the boot-licking the locals do on behalf of Judd-head. However, per capita, they are as crime ridden as other larger counties.

      • The retailers are listened to more though. Look for a push for signage and licensing even if the court does the right thing. Of course, we can just point out that in every other state that has open carry without signage it’s business as usual. The Fl House is strongly pro gun, the Senate not so much, more neocon than anything. Couple of boot licking former sheriffs there too who will vote how FSA wants them to. What would be funny is if the House and Senate couldn’t agree and the clock ran out and 790.053 (the ban) just went away. I don’t see anything objectionable to that result, open carriers would still be barred everywhere carry permit holders are, so that would minimize cause for hand wringing.

        • On that last point I wonder if someone would try to give carry bans in private businesses teeth with this. Places like Aventura Mall in Miami have a no gun policy but it has no teeth so I carry anyway (it’s concealed in my pocket so how the hell will they know?) Worse case scenario I can’t carry as freely because, ironic, of open carry.

      • Judd isn’t anti-gun by a longshot. He’ll give you his autograph for your NFA toys…

        Polk’s crime isn’t much different than the rest of Florida. Meth is as bad here as the rest of the state.

        He is quite proactive with his computer child sex crimes unit.

        And he loves that TV camera.

      • All Grady Judd seems to care about is getting on the TV to brag about his latest pedophile sting. Wish he was doing more about meth and gangs in Polk county instead.

  5. Be sure to read “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” by Nicholas Johnson.
    Available on Amazon

    This is great read for MATURE readers. I found it difficult to put down ’til finished.


  6. Why is everyone talking about the “glory days” of OC in Florida that ended in 1987? Florida did have open carry but it wasn’t common and it wasn’t much of a right since a lot of counties and cities had a ban on it. In the case of Dade County, they required that you had a CCW from the Dade Co, sheriff in order to openly carry, in other words… no OC or CCW in Dade Co for the common folk.

    Pre 1987, Florida had local CCW’s that were only good for the county where they were given. When shall-issue passed, they didn’t ban open carry until days later. They should have simply held the line and with preemption, unlicensed OC would have been good to go statewide.

  7. I certainly hope so! It really bugs me that open carry is severely restricted here. I think you can only open carry with a specific security license or during hunting activities.

  8. Also to consider… the act of bearing arms is a right. Government has established, wrongly IMHO, a privilege to proscribe the manner of that bearing. For example, one cannot point a firearm at someone and not expect legal ramifications. Similarly, the act of concealing is what most often is being controlled and not the actual bearing of arms. Of course, I don’t agree with any infringement, however, that is how I understand much of the rationale behind government interference with the act of covering up a firearm. As long as states don’t interfere too much with the openly bearing of arms, courts will likely not meddle too much with the state controlling the act of concealing those arms. By outlawing or severely restricting the bearing of arms in the open, states run a risk of courts finding their laws unconstitutional.

  9. Can’t wait for legal open carry. Would certainly relieve all the clothing discomfort of concealed carry.

    • Discomfort and corrosion issues due to hot + humid = sweaty.

      Those few days of open carry in ’87 were kinda interesting. The local fishwrap (the NYT-owned ‘Lakeland Ledger’) interviewed a guy walking out of a convenience store and had this gem of a quote: “I’m just taking my .45 out for a walk.”

      The ‘Rivers of Blood’ the left predicted never showed up.

  10. There is an important interest, among others, that government has in discouraging open carry. When everyone hides their guns the public then the public forgets over time just how many guns the People have and, in some cases, that the RKBA is not just some writings or catchy slogans. When individuals can freely bear arms in public, it is a reminder of the individual right to keep and bear arms.

  11. The stupid is strong with this one. The usual canards:

    1. What if someone grabs the gun?

    There are no statistics backing up that openly carried firearms are stolen from holsters. Are police firearms stolen from their holsters? (And on and on and on, since this one has been argued and refuted ad nauseum.)

    2. Openly carried guns are scary.

    The Supreme Court has already said that the lawful exercise of a constitutionally protected right does not constitute reasonable suspicion of any unlawful activity.

    • Who is this idiot making these… well, I suppose I have to call them “arguments”? Does she really represent the best and brightest of the Florida AG’s bullpen? I don’t think she could articulate herself out of a paper bag.

  12. With it now being legal to hunt with suppressors Florida has 2 more firearm issues that need to be gone after. Open carry is one, shall sign is the other. Why the state with one of the highest annual number of NFA transfers has so many counties with a sheriff that refuse to sign off, or will only sign off one type not another, should not be allowed to continue. If 41P does come to pass and we don’t have a solution in place, many people in NFA unfriendly counties with collections of NFA items will find it impossible to transfer any more.

  13. The Gunshine State does not have open carry because of that noted baby-killer Janet Reno. She was the AG at the time and would only sign off on CC if OC remained banned.

    What a b!tch. Even Bill Clinton despised her. Then again, he mostly liked women.

    • I never knew in Florida that the Attorney General had to “sign off” on a bill. I thought that was what the governor did.

      The misinformation around Florida and open carry is astounding.

  14. i expect many purses are still stolen or attempted stolen….concealed in a purse wouldnt help much there.

  15. I wish our POTG compatriots in the Great Sandbar the best of luck with this. Should it come to pass I might have to appropriately celebrate with the purchase of a stainless (hence humidity resistant) firearm. (Humidity isn’t much of an issue up here 6000+ feet above sea level.)

    • If OC does come to pass here then I can carry my stainless guns again.
      My 2.5 inch Model 66 and Hi-Power being full sized haven’t been carried here as no IWB is comfy enough to take the weight. It would be nice to belt holster them again with a loose open shirt……….

  16. I’m for conceal carry but as long as states honor at least open carry I can’t fault them too much…


      • What I meant was that I don’t have a problem with restricting conceal carry (my preference of carry) as long as there are no such impediments to open carry. There’s nothing about bearing arms *concealed* in the Constitution.

        • What is mentioned in the constitution is the creation of any edge or fringe to the RtKBA, in that it’s specifically prohibited.

        • “There’s nothing about bearing arms *concealed* in the Constitution.”
          Ah. But there is!
          The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution states, in part, that “the Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
          It does NOT state that “the Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed EXCEPT for firearms larger than .50 caliber or smaller than .22 caliber, large sharp knives from the kitchen, baseball bats, spitballs, tire irons, fists larger than glove-size 8, 12lb cannons, swords, and that all said arms must be openly displayed at all times even in freezing weather, and then only with permission from the state legislature.”

  17. To summarize the female attorney’s response:
    ramble, ramble, mumble, PUBLIC SAFETY, ramble, mumble, ramble, stutter, PUBLIC SAFETY, stammer, (pause, look at notes), PUBLIC SAFETY. Thank you your honors.

    If only our courts would give as much weight to a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT as they do to “public safety”.

  18. “common sense” folks (that’s her logic for no OC by licensees).

    because a child could grab the gun! and guns are lethal!

    it’s “common sense” to ban all guns! #gunsense #banalllethalthings


  20. Concealed carry wasn’t banned just because criminals, cowards and other immoral people carry concealed. There is an important public safety component:

    “The policy underlying the prohibition against concealed weapons is based on the protection of those persons who may come into contact with a weapon bearer. If a weapon is not concealed, one may take notice of the weapon and its owner and govern oneself accordingly, but no such opportunity for cautious behavior or self-preservation exists for one encountering the bearer of a concealed weapon. In light of this policy, the question whether a particular weapon was concealed should be considered from the point of view of one approaching the location of the weapon, and the intent of the defendant as to concealment should not be considered, since a defendant’s innocent intent does not make a concealed weapon any more visible.” People v. Mitchell, 209 Cal. App. 4th 1364 (2012) at 1371.

    • “There is an important public safety component [for prohibiting concealed carry] …”

      I love the justification in the text following that statement. What it says is that nasty people want to be able to accost victims with impunity and concealed carry means that some of those nasty people will pay a very high price for accosting their victims.

      It is evident that laws which prohibit concealed carry are designed to protect nasty people — to ensure that good people cannot “overreact” to being the victim of an assault. I wholeheartedly reject that “public safety” rationale.

      • Well, at least your handle is accurate.

        Laws which prohibit concealed carry are designed to keep “nasty people” (like members of CalGuns.nuts) from harming innocent people. Frankly, California’s current law making it a misdemeanor in most circumstances to carry a weapon concealed is too lenient. In 1923, it was a felony punishable by five years in prison for the first offense.

        Fortunately, “that public safety rationale” you reject has nearly 200 years of state and Federal case law supporting that rationale. Your personal opinion and fifty cents won’t even buy you a cup of coffee.

        • In other words you trust an average person to honor laws (which prohibit concealed carry) … except that you do NOT trust an average person to honor laws (which prohibit harming innocent people). Got it.

          So, which is it? Do you or do you not trust an average person?

            • I’ve never met the “average person” but I can say that I distrust anyone who carries a weapon concealed.

              To quote Rachel Jeantel: that’s real retarded, sir.

              11 million law-abiding Americans have licenses to carry concealed weapons. They commit crime of all kind an order of magnitude less frequently than even law enforcement officers.

              On what basis would you inherently distrust this demographic?

            • No, you don’t distrust concealed carriers. You distrust open carriers, because (despite your moniker), you evidently oppose the right to carry at all.

              Your problem seems to be that, with concealed carriers, you cannot spot which persons you think you should distrust.

              ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

              • Another thing I despise about people who carry weapons concealed is that they are so f*cking ignorant.

                For the past three years I have fought a legal battle to overturn California’s bans on openly carrying firearms while so called pro-gun groups, notably the NRA, have actively interfered in my lawsuit.

                Charles Nichols – President of California Right To Carry

              • Another thing I despise about people who carry weapons concealed is that they are so f*cking ignorant.

                Wow, so because some people who carry concealed don’t support your efforts, all people who carry concealed are ignorant? If you display the same degree of logical fallacy in your open-carry advocacy, I can see why people don’t want to help you.

              • The only people who oppose my Open Carry lawsuit are the bottom dwellers who oppose Open Carry such as the leadership of the NRA, SAF, CRPA, GOA/GOC CalGuns.nuts, and pretty much every other so called gun-rights group that either filed a lawsuit arguing that states can ban Open Carry or filed Amicus briefs in support of lawsuits which argued that states can ban Open Carry.

                It isn’t my fault that you are one of those who carry weapons concealed. Initially, it was probably your parents faults but now the fault is entirely yours.

              • It isn’t my fault that you are one of those who carry weapons concealed. Initially, it was probably your parents faults but now the fault is entirely yours.

                How do you presume to know anything about me? And what gives you the right to dictate to anyone else how they choose to exercise their constitutionally protected rights?

                Yes, I can clearly see why nobody wants to help you. Try being less of a vitriolic, prejudicial jackwagon.

              • You can tell a lot about a person by their words and deeds. Your words prove that you should not be allowed to even possess a firearm let alone to carry one in public.

                Do tell: which words, specifically?

              • This person who has claimed to be Charles Nichols still demonstrates an anti-Second Amendment pattern. I’d written: “No, you don’t distrust concealed carriers. You distrust open carriers, because (despite your moniker), you evidently oppose the right to carry at all.”

                Now he’s said to you that your Second Amendment rights should be infringed upon by the government if you use words he does not like: “Your words prove that you should not be allowed to even possess a firearm let alone to carry one in public.”

                Really? Words prove this? And should determine what rights you should be “allowed” to have by the government?

                This is the same person unaware, or unimpressed by, the statistics that show the extraordinarily low crime commission rates by concealed carriers. He just doesn’t trust such “bottom dwellers” as he calls them, and has implied that they should not have that right — but is quick to call others (who actually do support the Second Amendment) ignorant.

                I can only hope that he is not who he claims to be.

                ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

              • Now he’s said to you that your Second Amendment rights should be infringed upon by the government if you use words he does not like: “Your words prove that you should not be allowed to even possess a firearm let alone to carry one in public.”

                I challenged him to point out the specific words I used that rendered me unfit to exercise my RKBA. I guess he’s just not up to the challenge, because he has since disappeared.

        • California,

          I have another question. Please explain the (magical?) properties of a firearm wherein a person who cares about fellow people and honors laws when they are unarmed suddenly has no regard for laws or fellow people when they are armed.

        • “Fortunately, ‘that public safety rationale’ you reject has nearly 200 years of state and Federal case law supporting that rationale.”

          So, what you are telling me is that it is okay for government to infringe a right as long as they have been doing it for a long time, have supporting case law, and there is a “public safety” or “public good” rationale, correct? Therefore slavery, poll taxes, literacy tests for voting, etc. were all fine and dandy, right?

          Such criteria enables all manor of ways to defile human dignity. But that is okay as long as the Almighty State supports it. Or not.

          I have a better solution. Leave people alone who have not harmed anyone and who have no intention of harming anyone … and only prosecute them after they actually harm someone. In other words, if there is no victim, there is no crime.

      • “I, too, would reject laws that would specifically protect those with criminal intent.”
        And who, Not Jimbo, might they be?

        • Sorry, it seems to be unclear (now that there are several posts separating them) but my post was in response to the law cited by “California Right To Carry”.

  21. What I find particularly interesting about the open carry debate, is how this subject dwells largely on the logical, legal merit, or occasionally, the tactical merit, of why open carry should be accepted and adopted. It’s not that they’re unimportant considerations, they are, but are they really the ones we should be talking about?

    To wit: Do we, as states, a nation, or a society, want to see guns visibly carried on the hips of civilians? Well, you can put me in the “not” column, and I live in FL. Arguing the pros and cons of O-C is just window dressing for morons. Logic and reason are not the points we should be using to decide this. Isn’t what our state, nation, and society will look like outwardly, the more important issue here? Do we believe that our lives are so endangered by outlaws and bushwhackers that we need to O-C our firearms the way they did in the wild west of the 1800’s? Do we all really believe that society has devolved to the point that we need to O-C carry long arms in public? I hope we don’t go open carry here. I have no want, or need to see anyone’s gun…until it’s absolutely needed.

    • I hope we don’t go open carry here. I have no want, or need to see anyone’s gun…until it’s absolutely needed.

      I hope people who claim to support the natural and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms stop trying to dictate to others the manner in which they lawfully exercise that right. Someone else’s reasons for how and why the exercise that right have absolutely nothing to do with your need or want to approve of their decision.

      Either we support the liberty to exercise a right, or we don’t.

  22. Well, you’re the winner the Completely Missed the Point award. Was that on purpose?
    I only asked a question, but you have entirely avoided answering the question. Why?
    Thought experiment time. Do you have a Constitutional right to walk through town buck-naked? No? Why not? Because people decided that that would not be an appropriate public display for a civilized society. But…but, that’s not the same as a Constitutionally protected right. Wrong. Society absolutely has the right to determine how you will comport yourself while in public. Your attempt to conflate a constitutional right 2KBA into a right to to carry whatever you want, however you want, and the Hell with what other people in society thinks, has firmly crossed the Rubicon of arrogant stupidity. You’re showing the same rigid absolutism of despots and dictators.
    Armed intelligentsia, indeed.

    • Walking naked through town isn’t necessary to keeping tyranny in check and to defending one’s self. The bearing of arms is necessary for both. When open carry is restricted, it leaves the door wide open for government abuse of the right to bear arms.

      There is nothing wrong with openly bearing of arms. The fact that the individual right to keep and bear arms is protected is something to be celebrated in this country and not something to be hidden away as if it were something of which to be ashamed.

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