Milwaukee Police Chief Blasts Open Carry as ‘Lunacy in Urban Environments’

Chief Flynn at a ABC News sponsored townhall meeting with the president.

Chief Flynn at an ABC News-sponsored town hall meeting with the president.

In a very candid, no-nonsense interview with The Marshall Project, a nonprofit organization that covers criminal justice, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn blasted open carry, calling it “lunacy.”

Chief Flynn made no bones about his disdain for laws that protect one’s right to keep and bear arms openly in public, saying, “The law is, quite simply, lunacy. It’s lunacy in an urban environment.”

“These laws get passed overwhelmingly for ideological reasons, and, marginally to offer comfort to people who live in rural areas, where everyone knows everyone, and where the casual carrying of a hunting-style weapon no doubt causes little alarm,” he continued.

Flynn griped about state pre-emption laws that keep municipalities from passing their own gun regulations. From his perspective, a state Legislature’s one-size-fits-all approach to gun ownership is a mistake as cities face different challenges than rural and even suburban communities.

“I mean, right now in Milwaukee, we don’t have any rights to govern ourselves when it comes to firearms,” said Flynn.

“We’re totally at the mercy of the state legislature, and they decided there can’t possibly be enough guns in Milwaukee,” he added. “The law is written in such a way as to casually and legally arm criminals. It is written in such a way as to flood the streets of our cities with high-quality firearms.”

Perhaps it goes without saying, but Flynn is no fan of modern sporting rifles nor those open-carry advocates who opt to carry their modern sporting rifle around town.

“If we’re going to make these weapons available to anyone who wants them, to parade around in public spaces, perhaps during elections, perhaps outside polling booths,” lamented Flynn.

“Is this notion that the framers really wanted to build into the Constitution, the destruction of democratic institutions? That’s the logic of these idiotic laws,” he went on. “The logic of these idiotic laws is political violence, and mass casualties.”

Anyways, you get the idea. Flynn is emphatic in his opposition to open carry. In truth, a sizable portion of the gun community is divided on open carry. Many believe, as do I, just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. In other words, I’m pro-open carry but at the same time I’m pretty sure that concealed carry is the way to go 90-95 percent of the time.

Where do you stand on open carry and what are your thoughts about Flynn’s opposition to open carry laws?

{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Rcjokerst March 10, 2018, 12:17 am

    This same police chief gained respect in a different video , against the media.Damning them for jumping him for answering a cell call. Kinda mixed on him now. I still respect Sheriff Clarke.I met him. He is a great man, himself.

  • Willie-O July 18, 2017, 4:10 am

    It is my opinion that open-carry should be allowed by law because I think that was the intent of those that authored the 2nd amendment. Let’s be honest, how common was it for firearms to be carried concealed in those days ? Not very. That being said, just because I think open-carry should be legal doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea. In reality, I’m against the practice for (2) main reasons :
    (1) It is not a good idea from a tactical perspective. There is a major benefit gained from the element of surprise. Open-carry identifies you as a threat to anyone with criminal intentions even if you weren’t their target.
    (2) Guns make some people very uncomfortable. Do I really care ? Hell no, BUT those people’s opinions and feelings (discomfort) will very likely never change. It is my opinion that open-carry antagonizes them and intensifies both their anti-gun position and their resolve to further restrict guns, if not completely do away with them.
    Carry always, but do it discretely. There simply is no real world benefit to open-carry.

  • Penrod July 17, 2017, 12:45 pm

    I used to live in Milwaukee, in the good old days of the Crack Wars before the state government mostly submitted to the Constitution and still prohibited concealed carry for we peasants. While open carry was not prohibited by law, wise public servants like the Chief arrested and prosecuted we peasants for disturbing the peace if we carried openly. So all during the Crack Wars, peasants like I were reduced to walking around with big flashlights when we walked outside at night, while the druggies carried guns, and the police terrorized the peasants into disarming. For practical purposes, the government was firmly and unequivocally on the side of the armed criminals: our wise public servants ignored the Constitution and disarmed the peasants, and the criminals had all the guns they wanted.

    I have a pretty distinct recollection that Milwaukee Police Department officers carried openly. I guess things must have changed under Chief Flynn. I guess MPD has gone all concealed carrry. Right, Chief Flynn? What’s good for the peasants is good for the public servants, right?

    As for state pre-emption: that dratted one size fits all US Constitution must gall a lot of people. That’s a shame, Chief. Mandating concealed carry anywhere in Wisconsin allows people like the chief to arrest anyone who inadvertently allows their weapon to be seen. Even IF the courts released the victims, it wouldn’t take a lot of arrests for people to get the idea that police officers are rulers instead of public servants. Don’t like the terms of employment: Find a new job, Chief.

    • Rcjokerst March 10, 2018, 12:39 am

      Some conflict between the chief and the sheriff. Being a politician , the chief gets politicized, being serving at the mayor’s discretion. I am with (former) Sheriff Clarke.

  • Phil July 17, 2017, 5:39 am

    OK. We should know what the Second Amendment says: “…shall not be infringed.” Doesn’t mention anything about open carry or concealed carry. So guess what? If I want to open carry, it is my right. If some naysayers have an issue with open carry, do they have the issue with LEO “open carry? if not, why not?

  • Jason December 26, 2016, 9:49 am

    Just clarifying something: OC is protected by the Wi Constitution. (In three languages, by the way.)

  • Gregory Thomas August 23, 2016, 9:50 am

    “Open Carry” is the most idiotic, ass-i-nine, stupid, fool hardy, dim-witted way to carry a pistol or rifle!!! Do these people really feel the need to carry a gun openly simply to show their stupidity? Todays state laws may allow it but is it smart? No way.

    When I was a kid, growing up in a small Minnesota (1200 people or so.) town, it was un-noticed by all, that a kid was walking down the street headed for the public dump, 5 miles down a gravel road, carrying a 22 rifle just to shoot rats or what ever was worthy of our target practice. These days, because things have changed, is a totally stupid thing to do. Even I would could the police if I see anyone, and I mean anyone walking down the street with a rifle or handgun openly, I will immediately call the police!

  • mpr August 22, 2016, 10:35 am

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it! The FIRST thing the NAZIS did was to disarm the public in the interest of ‘safety’. Then they killed all dissenters. He sounds like another Nazi – time to call em like they behave! Fire him quickly voters or you will have a worse city to live in.

  • Herrick Higson August 21, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Where do these people come from,it ok for is untrained idiots to intimidate the people he works for. Why do public employees complain about the job to protect and serve? No they want to collect outrageous wages and do nothing. Just as fire men ride the backs of medics. Quit your job if you can’t keep mouth shut on a political policy,I am sure your taxpayers love your big mouth they deserve better QUIT, I bet you could not get a real job where if you bitch about your job you would be fired,you and your
    Storm troopers think you are needed,what is needed for public employees is a reshuffle , and start acting as employees and not thugs!

  • jimmyjet August 20, 2016, 3:20 pm

    The Chief is not an idiot. That title can only be applied to those who open carry and are unable to understand why those children are crying and women are fainting in his presence. But then again, it all has to do with the O.C bunch needing attention, something their sorry, insecure selves are unable to achieve any other way

    • Rock December 26, 2016, 8:29 am

      Jimmyjet took the words out of my mouth. Truth. Concealed carry here 100% of the time, and I can legally OC whenever I want. Like somebody said, OC is fricken stupid, drama queen BS.

  • Joe Gunn August 19, 2016, 10:01 pm

    The Chief is an idiot. And yes protection against officials such as him and like him in gov is EXACTLY why the founders put the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

    RIGHTS . Not needs, not wants, and not negotiable.

  • robert jensen August 19, 2016, 3:15 pm

    This old geezer chief is an anti-gun SOB.
    I despise cops like this. They’re on a power trip where they think only COPS should carry guns.

    • bobby kirk August 19, 2016, 9:13 pm

      I suspect most cops feel this way. A great many police believe that the limits to freedoms, privileges, and other societal allowances should go only as far as they can lend a firm and sure hand of control over it all. It reflects much of that, “without us, society will fall apart and there will be blood on the streets,” idea. It’s a belief a great many have.

      • JT August 21, 2016, 9:29 pm

        You’re wrong Bobby. I know many many LE officers who believe in the 2nd Amendment and fully support the right of citizens to defend themselves. To say “most” cops feel differently is painting with a very broad brush, and doing a disservice to those who serve in blue.

        • Steve in Detroit July 17, 2017, 5:24 am

          Oh contrare JT, most current and ex LEO I know think that Badge & Gun gives them a leg up on ordinary Joe. They forget the “Civil Servant” Rules and the Laws that apply equally to all. DWB is a real thing. Ex Detroit Civil Servant.

      • PN July 29, 2017, 9:53 pm

        Guess I’m not “most” cops then, cause I think we should ALL be armed, regardless of a badge or lack of one, and could care less if it’s OC or CC. I happen to think that weather you carry openly or concealed isn’t any more my business than what color underwear you’re wearing. If you’re committing a crime, that’s when it becomes my business, but until then, I’d much rather see you armed than unarmed.

  • DaveGinOly August 19, 2016, 2:49 pm

    Patchwork laws within a State and differing laws from State to State mean that your rights (that which you can do without government approval, permission, or interference) vary as you travel from place to place. SCOTUS rejected this idea a long time ago. The Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause was supposed to have taken care of the problem on the national scale. When such patchwork is permitted within a single State it is nothing more than a spider’s web, designed to catch those unaware they’re violating the law. Such laws are unfair and unjust. Not surprised to see a political tool promoting such injustice.

  • ExGob August 19, 2016, 2:40 pm

    When, if ever, will the anti gunners finally realize and admit that laws for and against firearm possession and/or carry mean absolutely nothing to someone bent on using one in the commission of a crime? The penalties for criminally using a firearm are far more severe than they are for simply illegally carrying one, openly or covertly. People who aren’t concerned about the repercussions for criminally using a firearm, certainly aren’t concerned about any laws pertaining to it’s carry.

    The only ‘law’ needed in this great country of ours is a federal one that states; “Any person(s) who intentionally and illegally uses a firearm for any purpose and lives to go to trial, will be punished by the court, to the fullest extent of the law.”

  • larry steckler August 19, 2016, 2:03 pm

    Some years ago I lived in Las Vegas Nevada,. There was indeed at that time, a open carry law. I remember going to the local Police Department substation to register by handguns ( they gave you a “blue card” for each weapon.

    They also remarked that “yes there is an open carry law here”, HOWEVER, it was not a good idea to take advantage of that law, because if some person (spell that tourist) complained, you might be arrested for “disturbing the peace”.

  • David Schortner August 19, 2016, 1:51 pm

    I have to agree with the chief, because most Lunatics live in urban areas. Don’t lump them in with “raised on shotgun” country folks.

  • Bay Bomber August 19, 2016, 1:39 pm

    This is just another example of of weak leadership and a justice system that has been crippled by political correctness. This guy has no answers as to how to enforce the law and protect its citizens because the police have been neutered by the liberal media’s sensationalism of the poor down trodden misguided criminals. He wants the government to fix it for him. The same government that broke it for him. Wake up sheep. Things will get better when the right people have the power to make it better. In this case law abiding citizens that have been granted the right to bear arms. Poll the open carry community to see how many of them have been robbed, assaulted or raped while carrying. Poll them to see how many of them are criminals as well.
    The worst part is that our corrupt government is only using this ish to control us.

  • Patriot August 19, 2016, 1:18 pm

    In Milwaukee, Chief Flynn and whoever appointed him to be chief of police need to be replaced. Apparently, Chief Flynn does not know that in the United States, we have Constitutional rights and the Second Amendment clearly states that American citizens (that have not been convicted of a felony) have the right to bear arms for self defense and self protection. Being armed may also help someone else who is being robbed, raped, assaulted, and in need of protection or defense. Why do people elect idiots who do not respect the Constitution or appoint idiots who do not respect the Constitution to positions of authority? Doing so does not make sense!!!

  • Chief August 19, 2016, 1:17 pm

    Have you noticed how you can just look at these people and tell their stance by how they look ? These anti-gunners always look like fearful , constipated and weak for some reason . The Pro -gun folks look confident and proud to be American.

  • Dan C August 19, 2016, 1:02 pm

    I kinda have to agree. Open carry is not the way to go. I’ve been an NRA member for 40 years and fully support them, but there has to be some sort of decorum in public. Do we exhibit Pron in public? no, it is in poor taste. Although we have freedom of speech, do we say the ‘N’ wow in public if you are White, no, because to can offend some. As I say there is a certain measure of decorum that needs to be exercised. If you want to ‘carry armed’ conceal it. All the better, because the bad guys don’t know who is armed and who is not, that alone generates uncertainty and to some part protection for all.

    • robert jensen August 19, 2016, 3:21 pm

      People open-carry all over Arizona, for example, and you never ever see it cause any problems there.
      It’s how the weak-minded and anti-gun zealots REACT that is the problem. Instead of taking away people’s open-carry rights, how about instead have the state force all anti-gun people to get educated(and medicated?) so they don’t shake and tremble at the sight of a gun?
      And, many people don’t want to carry concealed. For one thing, it is often very uncomfortable to do.
      Either open-carry is legal, or it’s not. It it’s legal, then we are free to carry as we wish, and it’s just YOUR problem if you’re afraid of it.
      The police departments need to either ignore, or start fining, people who call the cops just because they see another citizen legally carrying.

    • Dave August 19, 2016, 4:37 pm

      You are so far off base it’s astounding. Your comparisons are laughable on one hand, foolish on the other and both utterly ridiculous. Furthermore you are completely missing a very, very important point in the story. A high ranking law enforcement official, public servant, employee of the People, is all but burning the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America in a public forum. What an absolutely disgraceful and foolish display of irresponsibility to the People he is charged with protecting and serving. By his own admission, his own words, he is ignorant of the US Constitution, it’s meaning and intent as well as the administration of the Constitution among the several states. He whines that he must follow the intentions and structure of the Constitution. He literally called the Constitution “lunacy”. He does not understand the fact that there is one Constitution for one Nation collectively. In his mind each and every city, town and small village should be at liberty to create their own rules without regard to the Constitution. That my friend is lunacy! Furthermore he appears to be sitting on the fence in a state of confusion unsure of where to stand.
      He has just shown the world that he is not trustworthy and that he should be removed from his post immediately and stripped of any and all law enforcement credentials and certifications as clearly he is unable to think in a rational manner.
      Even as stupid as they are a criminal is not very likely going to approach a person who is bearing a firearm thereby making that person and those in the immediate vicinity much safer in his or her person in a very dangerous world. Concealed carry is fine in my book but it could lead to a chaotic and even deadly situation should the carrier be accosted by a criminal and be forced to take action.
      The media and other firearm phobics have created an environment whereby the average citizen is becoming uncomfortable with seeing firearms and that, in my opinion, could be considered a crime unto itself.
      The authors of our Constitution were very wise men indeed and certainly far more forward thinking than even they themselves knew and most certainly far more brilliant that Flynn.

  • Rob D August 19, 2016, 11:51 am

    What this chief doesn’t understand is we have had open carry for years now in Wi.. The problem is he isn’t concentrating his efforts on fighting crime where it should be. I go to the VA monthly in Milwaukee and would never go up there unarmed, but I conceal carry(legally). Car jackings and car thefts every single day there now, mostly juveniles. I see more cops taking radar, than I do when I have to drive through the high crime areas to get there. This guy and the courts he works with, picks them up and puts them right back on the street the next day. Almost every criminal you read about is a habitual criminal offender, just released from jail, or a juvenile they just keep releasing, some of them caught twice stealing a car twice in one week. He’s the worst chief Milwaukee ever had according to some friends that live there.

  • Tom Horn August 19, 2016, 11:49 am

    Massad Ayoob has a good chapter on, ‘open carry,’ in the Guns Digest, Book of Concealed Carry, that explores many of the issues. Excellent book, well worth the $.

    I believe the AZ posters have it pegged. It is a cultural thing. Here in my Midwestern community growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, we could walk down the streets of town with our rifles uncased and shouldered, to go to the town dump to shoot rats, and no one would bat an eye lid. If you did that now-a-days you would have a swat team down upon you. Democratic, JFK loving teachers taught us the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment in our public schools. Back then, everyone was on board for their Constitutional Rights. How things have changed.

    I’m all in for making America great, again.

    • Tom Horn August 19, 2016, 12:09 pm

      I am for Constitutional carry, period. Unfortunately, at the time when Americans most need to defend themselves, (SHTF, civil unrest, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, Martial law), is the time when these liberal, saw dust for brains politicians try to restrict our 2A rights the most.

  • NavyVet1959 August 19, 2016, 11:47 am

    As someone who lives near the Texas Gulf Coast with it’s 100F / 90+% humidity days and 9 months of summer, I have to say that I most definitely like the fact that we now have the option to open carry. My experience has been entirely positive since it was authorized on the 1st of the year. People either don’t notice or don’t care for the most part. A few people notice and give you a thumbs-up or a conversation ensues about your choice of firearm to carry, but I have not had any negative reactions.

    When the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment, they were not granting a permission, they were guaranteeing a natural right of all free men everywhere. You just need to look at the gun laws that existed at the time of the writing of the 2nd Amendment to see their intention when they said, “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” — there *weren’t* any gun laws.

  • pete August 19, 2016, 11:34 am

    The Chief is correct! Open carry is foolish, confrontational, childish (we all want to go back to our TV cowboy past and play with guns!). Our 2nd A rights would be less threatened if open carry was gone, less AR fetishizing, etc.
    Some of us gun nuts are real good at shooting ourselves in the foot, and we’re too stupid to know it!

    • DaveGinOly August 19, 2016, 2:44 pm

      How does chopping off the left arm benefit the right arm?

      • Rock December 26, 2016, 9:42 am

        You all are not the left arm, or even the left big toe, of the 2nd Amendment. The OC crowd is the hangnail of the 2nd Amendment community, constantly making a caricature (aka “a joke” for the low-information crowd) of the 2nd Amendment and those who enjoy those freedoms.

        To deflate your ridiculous sense of self-importance, the right to keep and bear arms needs no poster boys or other idiots to be Her endorsers – the right is natural and the benefits of exercising it are self-evident. The 2nd Amendment needs no protection, other than at the ballot box.

    • Rog August 19, 2016, 5:39 pm

      What this tool doesnt realize is that once we the people “allow” a right to me removed it is gone, FOREVER!! What is even worse yet is the slipper slope that allowing that creates for the rest of our rights as people, as citizens of this great nation. Dont be a fool. The right to defend your life against attack is worth fight for.

      Take a look at what is happening is Venezuela. They are starving to death, have no resources to make anything and yet this past week the so called govt began firearms confiscation because they are going to make it safe!!! Now THAT is lunacy!!

  • Bruce August 19, 2016, 10:31 am

    “Flynn griped about state pre-emption laws that keep municipalities from passing their own gun regulations. From his perspective, a state Legislature’s one-size-fits-all approach to gun ownership is a mistake as cities face different challenges than rural and even suburban communities.

    “I mean, right now in Milwaukee, we don’t have any rights to govern ourselves when it comes to firearms,” said Flynn.”

    Sounds like what he really means is he’s mad because he doesn’t have the right (power) to decide for everyone else, when it comes to gun laws. He sounds like so many other liberal Constitution haters…. They want control, plain and simple!

  • Frederic Woodbridge August 19, 2016, 9:03 am

    One law for the rubes and another for the urbane is only good when it comes to guns. Applying this to any other sphere will quickly give the lie to this elitist ideology.
    Please stop using the idiotic example of shouting fire in a theater. It’s cliché and dumb.
    Notice what the political hack (that the chief is) says about the police officers’ supposed “right” in Milwaukee to strip citizens of their actual, enumerated right to bear arms.
    Sometimes, just because you can means you SHOULD. But, as always, and as an adult, one is supposed to use discretion.
    Lastly, I’m always incredulous about those who wish to stay as invisible as possible about one of their rights. Imagine if you’d told gay people they should stay ‘invisible’ about their stated rights to get married. Yeah, right. And what has become the law of the land? Those shy, retiring gays now have the right to marriage nationwide. We gun owners admonish ourselves to stay in the closet about our right to keep and bear arms. I wonder who will win this cultural battle? 🤔

    • Rock December 26, 2016, 9:00 am

      You’re not very street smart if you OC, and you may also be lacking some emotional stability. Why the need to call attention to yourself and “strike up a conversation/get attention?” Carrying a firearm for protection is indeed a natural right, and it needs no general public advertisement to endorse it; the benefits of firearms ownership speak for themselves, without stupid people being stupid in public.

      OC crowd: you are not the “left arm” or even the left big toe, of the 2nd Amendment community – you are the ugly hangnail which gives us all a bad name. 99% of you OC in a shitty level 1 or 0 level retention holster, have ZERO weapons awareness, and are a gun snatch waiting to happen.

      And while you’re making an ass of yourself with a OC, make sure to also flaunt your Rolex watch and lots of jewelry too, because it’s Constituionally guaranteed “life liberty and the pursuit of property.” Some of you think that a pistol or rifle is a magic talisman against crime — a firearm is actually something of high value to criminals, which is why they steal them with such regularity. So when you get skulled in the back of the grape with a brick and relieved of your shitty pistol/rifle and jewelry, make sure you tell the ER docs how you were just exercising your rights like an idiot.

      Smarten up OC people. Concealed carry and keep your mouth shut. Show your firearm when/if a threat appears, and not until then.

  • David Sharpe August 19, 2016, 8:57 am

    Obviously this Police Chief has no clue. Obviously Liberal in his views. Criminals can legally carry guns. Is he stupid or what?

  • Hugo August 19, 2016, 8:30 am

    In the current political environment, open carry is a mistake. Of course, you should not be prosecuted if your concealed pistol is accidentally exposed when you reach for your wallet…that is ridiculous. However, public opinion (and probably the Supreme Court balance) is shifting against us. A concealed weapon is better than no weapon.

    • MSG John Laigaie August 19, 2016, 10:45 am

      Sorry my friend, A Right not Exercised is a Right Lost. I openly carry a well holstered firearm all day every day. I have no worries in my urban environment, no worries from local LEOs, and I get a great deal of support from local shopkeepers. Your argument does not hold water.

      • Rock December 26, 2016, 9:09 am

        Why do you need or care about the “support of local shopkeepers?” Do you also tell them about your jewelry, cash, and other personal valuables? You’re a straight up idiot if you OC anywhere except a very rural / hunting environment. Even then, it’s still usually better to hide your hand than show all your cards.

        And I’m LMFAO at these fat-bodies complaining about how it’s ‘hard’ and/or ‘uncomfortable’ for them to concealed carry. Well cupcake, your FUPA and gut could hide a damned M1 Garand, so I’m not sure that a Glock 19 or Ole Slabsides will be that difficult to conceal.

  • Nate August 19, 2016, 8:13 am

    ““I mean, right now in Milwaukee, we don’t have any rights to govern ourselves when it comes to firearms,” said Flynn.”

    Lets reword this.

    ““I mean, right now in Milwaukee, we don’t have any rights to govern ourselves when it comes to speech.” said Flynn.”

    Now do we see the problem?

    You don’t have the power to govern firearms because its a right ya moron. That’s authority that was reserved for The People. Not you.

    *** for the record I think open carry is stupid. but stupid and illegal are different things***

  • Ed F August 19, 2016, 7:49 am

    Screaming and chanting you want dead police officers is protected speech, but I don’t condone it. Posting comments about killing people due to race may even, with some judges, be considered free speech, but I think there needs to be some cap on that at some point (yelling fire in a crowded theater comes to mind). Open carry – fully intended to inspire some idiot to take you on or challenge you because you have the right to open carry – is, as the Chief indicates, stupid and as some responses above have pointed out, although it is your right you don’t have to be stupid. Remember, not everyone with the same right has the same sense of responsibility so why encourage stupid? So you are in a bank, restaurant, grocery store and bad guys slip in quietly deciding their plan before pulling their concealed weapons – they are picking targets…who would be the best targets? Maybe the ones they see with guns? 1st out, now no help at all. Don’t be stupid.

  • Vic August 19, 2016, 7:33 am

    Oh please..

    “Lunacy” a clear well reasoned argument as might be put forth by a mature sober adult..

    I suppose the Milwaukee Police Chiefs.. Long disproved and shopworn anti-second Amendment Canards are worse but your comment deserves a dishonorable mention.

    Arizona has had Open Carry as a right protected in our State Constitution since we became a State 100 some years ago. We have large Cities like Phoenix or Tuscon along with smaller cities and towns where no small number of people routinely practice Open Carry today even though we also have the right to carry concealed without a permit..

    If it is 80- 102 degrees out people carry openly.. If their up in the mountains they may wear a coat or sweater.. Who cares?

    Peace Officers have always been able to do a mature quick assessment of the Citizen carrying just like everyone else does and neither they nor the public at large pee their pants at the sight of an armed person.. nor do they harass people because they are openly armed..

    Then again of course Arizona Peace Officers are not a bunch of Panties in a Bunch Political Appointees from back East or the Left Coast…

    Or one of their fellow travelers… so eager to agree with long disproved shibboleths…

    • Clifford Marhefke August 19, 2016, 9:25 am

      I agree! I live in Wisconsin, in the county just West of Milwaukee County. Chief Flynn has never seen a firearm in civilian hands that he doesn’t believe should be confiscated. Once Milwaukee confiscates a firearm as evidence in any situation – even legal self defense, a person might as well consider that firearm as gone. The law abiding citizenry in Milwaukee are treated as criminals and the criminals and thugs walk free!

    • Rob D August 19, 2016, 12:03 pm

      Being from Wi. and having been to Az., what this ineffectual PD chief never mentions is that 95% of the people that do these shooting and crimes aren’t even supposed to be carrying a weapon. Mostly felons and habitual criminal offenders. It’s the “Lets disarm the law abiding people, while the criminals run amok” while Wi. has had open carry for years, it’s the criminal element that’s out of control. If you ask me they don’t want to go after the criminals and go in the high crime areas because it’s not PC.

  • Vic August 19, 2016, 7:26 am

    Oh please..

    I suppose the Milwaukee Police Chiefs.. Long disproved and shopworn anti-second Amendment “Canard” is worse but your comment deserves a dishonorable mention.

    Arizona has had Open Carry as a right protected in our State Constitution since we became a State 100 some years ago. We have large Cities like Phoenix or Tuscon along with smaller cities and towns where no small number of people routinely practice Open Carry today even though we also have the right to carry concealed without a permit..

    If it is 80- 102 degrees out people carry openly.. If their up in the mountains they may wear a coat or sweater.. Who cares?

    Peace Officers have always been able to do a mature quick assessment of the Citizen carrying just like everyone else does and neither they nor the public at large pee their pants at the sight of an armed person.. nor do they harass people because they are openly armed..

    Then again of course Arizona Peace Officers are not a bunch or Panties in a Bunch Political Appointees from back East or the Left Coast…

    Or one of their fellow travelers… possibly like

    • Todd August 19, 2016, 1:15 pm

      You also have Tombstone.

  • Kdm August 19, 2016, 6:32 am

    Open carry is stupid and the morons walking around with Rifles on slings are idiots. My Glock will always be ready, and concealed.
    Grow up, open carry infants. It really is stupid.

    • Lying Bastard August 19, 2016, 7:22 am

      You seem to be mixing right and obligation. If you live in an area that allow open carry, do you *have* to carry it exposed or it is your choice to do so?

      I do not know if this still stands, but I think in Florida, a state that does not allow open carry, if your firearm is accidentally — due to wind, reaching for something, or falling down — exposed, you are then charged with a felony. Sounds like you would be delighted to see those unfortunate people to jail.

  • Glen Lillund August 19, 2016, 6:22 am

    I’m for open carry of pistols ,kids carrying around 30 rd. Ar’s not so much, I think NM AZ NV it work’s TX is very large and populated it is our right . I wonder about Chicago and New York ..I mean if you pay and jump through hoop’s concealed is an option but for me I prefer a 6 in s@W on my left hip smile say good morning and let’s be friends.

  • Timothy Whitson August 19, 2016, 5:47 am

    Aside from the Constitutional pissing contest open-carry proponents always seem to be so concerned about, I think common sense dictates concealed carry for a variety of reasons.
    Many people are intimidated by firearms and those who carry them; particularly people they don’t know personally. They may have been a victim of a gun related crime, or had a family member commit suicide with one. Maybe they’re just ignorant of shooting sports and were never exposed. Why intimidate strangers, particularly strangers who vote by “flexing our Constitutional Right” in their faces, when keeping it tucked under your jacket or t-shirt offends nobody?
    In addition, open carry is tactically stupid. You give up ALL element of surprise and merely make yourself the first point blank headshot victim.
    Just my thoughts.

  • Skyviking August 19, 2016, 3:43 am

    Open Carry is a useful tool when dire circumstances dictate it. Otherwise, it is less than an ideal method to carry a firearm in public. Walking around urban areas with a MSR or other type of long arm is simply moronic, IMHO. If you want to go about armed in Urban(e) America, carry a concealed handgun. Part of being Prepared is being Invisible. Giving up the element of surprise is not sound, from a tactical standpoint. The peson going about wearing a handgun openly or carring a long arm is the closest thing to caarrying a BIG sign saying, “Shoot ME first!”

    • George August 19, 2016, 9:21 am

      I live in a state where open and concealed carry are legal. I carry concealed every day. I do however like the fact that if I need to run into the convenience store for a coke I don’t have to cover my hand gun that I hunt with. It has never seemed to intimidate anyone. Oh, buy the way, my father did commit suicide with a handgun.

      • Kimberpross August 19, 2016, 11:30 am

        I agree with you. I conceal carry daily and I do hunt with a handgun. I like the fact that when I hunt I can have my 44 mag in the bandolier while I am walking around, maybe with a coat on concealing partially, but don’t have to worry about some DNR or police giving me a citation for not having it concealed. Those laws are just for that, hitting the law abiding citizen with fines, a revenue stream for the government.

        I prefer to conceal carry normally. Open carry, in my opinion, makes me a target for gun sensitive people and the criminal element for two reasons. First, I may be the first to be taken out in a serious criminal act if it is obvious I am carrying, and 2, I don’t like advertising I own guns. Someone may want to come into my home or my vehicle sometime when I am gone to see for themselves.

        I wonder what Sheriff David Clark thinks about this Milwaukee Police Chief?

  • David Keith August 19, 2016, 3:15 am

    Open carry was passed into law this year in Texas where I live. Up to this point I’ve not seen one person open carrying . I wouldn’t do it for a variety of reasons and apparently there’s a lot of people who feel the same way. I don’t pretend to have been all over the state checking out people’s carry habits, but at least in central to Texas I haven’t seen it practiced.

  • Tom Horn August 18, 2016, 10:24 pm

    Agree with the author, which I believe is pretty much the same stance Massad Ayoob takes on the issue.

  • Christian August 18, 2016, 5:29 pm

    Hi, again I would like to write down my own opinion from a foreigners and outsiders perspective, as far as I can understand the facts about the topic. I’m not sure if I understood it all so far, so if you have a different opinion about what I will write now or if you think I understood something wrong about the topic, feel free to reply. I watched the video and was also reading the long interview with Chief Flynn and tried to understand as much as possible.

    At first, I would like to answer the question of this news at the end: I do believe that open carry should only infringed in certain situations but in general, no matter if on the streets of a big city or in a small suburban area, the open carry should not be infringed, especially to make sure to not touch the 2nd amendment and therefore to not hurt the freedom given by the 2nd amendment.

    What do I mean about infringing open carry in certain situations? Well, for example at demonstrations and marches, just like the one in Dallas where the five brave police officers have been killed. I was in many demonstrations on the streets of my hometown Berlin, Germany. And I can tell you, in heated-up situations like this it is much better to not have the marching civilians, as well as the civilians around them, having guns, especially when you move with a political movement that receives many hate from the common blended people that are too blind to see the truth, thanks to governmental media propaganda and therefore see the ultimate devil in movements like Pegida although those movements talk the truth. The job for the police officers that have to secure these demonstrations and to allow the people their freedom of demonstrating their political view, no matter if the others like it or not, is already tough enough. If the demonstrating people or the people that are protesting against them would even carry guns in such a situation, where you often can cut the air with a knife, it would just be a too dangerous situation, in my personal opinion. There were also Hooligans walking with us at Pegida Berlin and the police already had to specially taken care of these guys. I was not always a friend of the Hooligans walking with us and it was a huge discussion inside the movement. Would I like to see these guys having guns during a demonstration (many of them are also alcohol fueled)? Better not.

    In the video of this blog entry, at 6:28, president Obama said one good thing I do really like: “It is a testament to the professionalism of the Dallas police department that more people did not get shot because when the sniper started shooting, you have people in the protest who were carrying long rifles. So they weren’t even sure who was doing the shooting.”

    Now that is exactly what I do expect from police officers. The police must be made up with experts who know what they are doing and I know the US police surely does a great job, while I unfortunately cannot say the same about the police of my country but that is a different topic. At all, I do expect police officers to be ready for every situation. That is what they are training SWAT teams for and I’m sure they are also doing these kind of situation trainings with the “normal” police officers, who are not in a specialist unit.

    I also would like to say that I do believe that Chief Flynn has not understood what the 2nd amendment is also about. Many friendly people here on gunsamerica have willingly told me that the 2nd amendment especially exists to make sure that the American people can defend themselves, against a tyrannical government. Chief Flynn stated in the question if we should take care of the mentally ill instead of making tougher gun laws:

    “That fact is, our laws are written in such a way as to make the mentally ill, but undiagnosed, in a perfect position to have access to these firearms, and a lot of our most homicidal individuals don’t meet standard definitions of mental illness. They’re sociopaths. We’re arming them with military grade hardware. What in the name of God does anybody think the framers had in mind? Do they think the framers had in mind that they would arm the masses so that at any given time they could overturn the results of an election? Is that what we’re doing? If we’re going to make these weapons available to anyone who wants them, to parade around in public spaces, perhaps during elections, perhaps outside polling booths … Is this notion that the framers really wanted to build into the Constitution, the destruction of democratic institutions? That’s the logic of these idiotic laws. The logic of these idiotic laws is political violence, and mass casualties.”

    I think this statement of Chief Flynn shows that he does not fully understand the validity of the 2nd amendment. The average response time of the police is 11 minutes (statement of Chris Cox from the latest republican convention). So, who is the first real police force that can act as a militia against bad guys, until the police arrive and can professionally secure the situation? The people, just as it has been stated in the 2nd amendment. And although it is 17 years ago, I always tell the people to remember the massacre at Columbine High School. The police were waiting for the whole time outside of the school. When the first police officers finally went into the school, the two killers already have committed suicide. 13 years later at Sandy Hook it wasn’t different. The killer just committed suicide as soon as the police arrived. But in both horrible cases it didn’t helped anyone that has been killed in those massacres. So we need an armed population that can defend itself, otherwise we will see these horrors happen again and again.

    It is just my personal view on this matter but if I would be a criminal walking around and I would see at least every 2nd person openly carrying a gun, I think I won’t have the guts to start something bad. Same goes for terrorists. They are cowards and that is why they only attack the weak and unprotected. If there would be a country where open carry is free to everyone, I do not believe that even the cowards from ISIS would have the guts to start something. In my point of view open carry can save lives before any shooting has even started. If I would be the father of a family and we are going out to somewhere together, I would like to openly carry a gun to make sure that everybody who sees me and my family knows that I won’t give my family away without a fight. And if my girlfriend/wife would carry a gun as well, the better it is in my belief. Just carrying a gun can already deliver a stern message to any bad guy.

    To mention the SWAT teams again, most criminals that encounter these tough men throw their guns away as soon as they see those guys in black because they look tough, they go in fast and only their looks are enough to leave a stern message that takes the courage out of criminals within seconds. Many of these guys already give up when they just see that SWAT has arrived. So why we shouldn’t try this in a civilian way as well? Criminals are cowards. They only attack the weak. You never see a lion attacking the toughest gazelle but he is always looking for the weakest of the heard, to get something to eat. What I want to say is that we have to get the guns out of the hands of criminals but not of law abiding citizens that first and foremost want to defend themselves and their families. And we would make the time of criminals very tough if we would have a free open carry. And that is why I do believe into open carry. It can defuse tough situations before they would even start.

    Now, naysayers could say “During the march in Dallas people were openly carrying guns, yet the five police officers still got shot and killed.”. Yes, that is true but the problem was that the person was likely (I admit that I have not followed this matter) driven by a mental illness. No one would go out and start shooting people randomly without having a mental illness. For example, there are studies about school shooters about this matter. Many of them have a history of suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts, mental illnesses and criminal records. So, to me mental illness is still a serious topic to stop the nightmare America is going through right now. And again, I personally, would say yes to a law that forbids carrying a gun for civilians while being at a march or demonstration, because of my own experiences, but not forbidding the open carry in general because this would infringe the 2nd amendment, which shall not be infringed.

    So, as you can see I cannot share the opinion of Chief Flynn and I do support open carry, at least in most cases.

    • Tom Horn August 18, 2016, 10:50 pm

      Thanks for getting involved in the discussion. I enjoy hearing the view points of those from outside the U.S.A.
      I won’t address all your points, but agree we need to find better solutions for the mentally ill.

      My only other comment is, there has always been a high cost for freedom. Always has been, always will be. That is what our upcoming election is about, whether we want to continue to pay the cost of freedom, and remain free men; or are we ready to give up our freedoms for a nanny state.

      Best regards,


    • Tom Horn August 18, 2016, 11:06 pm

      P.S. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun. Just think of these tragedies you mentioned. Suppose a good guy had been allowed to carry a gun? Crime happens in an instance, and police are only minutes away. Just because a good guy in the crowd with a firearm didn’t stop the Dallas shooter, doesn’t preclude the possibility that they could have. With no good citizens carrying, that possibility is nil.

      • Christian August 19, 2016, 7:16 am

        Hello Tom and thank you for your nice responds!

        Yes, you are absolutely right. Freedom as well as democracy are never granted. They are always fought for and it always needs sacrifices to ensure the safety of these two important things, which do make the United States special in the world. So I am happy that the debate continues but I do fear that the media is only covering the anti-gun opinions, while leaving the points of view from the pro-gun side somehow away and in this way control many minds and political opinions of the people. But again, this is only an opinion from me again, which I so far evolved by watching the news here at gunsamerica, which help me to understand your country as good as I can from a layman standpoint.

        You know, I already have stated a saying of Jesus about the whole gun debate numerous times on gunsamerica: The one who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. Ergo, you need a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. Of course the situation in Dallas was a very tough one, even for the police officers that are trained for situations like this. So you cannot expect that good civilians with guns can react as expert as a police officer with a daily proper training can. So they were not really able to do something on that day but luckily the police responded in a good and professional way. I also would better keep the possibility of carrying a gun because there were a lot of happenings in the US where a good civilian with a gun made the difference between life and death. So to keep guns in the hands of good people and take them out of the hands of criminals (yes, I know this is easier said than done) is, in my point of view, very important and surely will always be.

        Best regards to you as well!


    • Kimberpross August 19, 2016, 11:43 am

      Thanks for your perspective. It is interesting to hear from an outsider that is a rational thinker. My comment on a demonstration with everyone carrying. I believe the vast majority of law abiding citizens are safe, even in that situation. More guns do not mean higher potential for problems. The individuals that would shoot in a situation like that came to the event with that in mind, and would have the weapon regardless of what the law said, and would do the evil deed regardless of the law.

      The Dallas sniper shooting is a great example. If in fact there were many law abiding citizens armed there ( In Texas, highly likely), isn’t it interesting that none of them pulled their firearms and started shooting? They all ran, as they should, as I would have, even with a concealed firearm, or open carry. Now if in the chaos I ran into the sniper and he pointed the weapon at me or those around me, you bet I would pull and fire. And that is what carry is meant to be.

      And by the way, I don’t perceive there is a nightmare occurring in America, no more than elsewhere in the world. But the media is happy to blow any event out of proportion.

      • Christian August 19, 2016, 2:33 pm

        Hello Kimberpross!

        Thank you very much for telling me more about the situation in your country. Yes, I should have known, someone who goes with a gun to a demonstration is likely keep doing so, especially in a country like yours where you grow up with such a freedom that is hundreds of years old. I only know how demonstrations in Germany work and it was amazing how thick the air can suddenly get and how much hate comes from the anti-protestors towards friendly people like me. They were also throwing bottles, stones and stuff like that, so if these freaks would have guns I could have only imagined the words. They even threw that stuff against children and call themselves anti-fascists! So maybe this is a German thing only, I can only suspect. Anyway, in general we would love to have the same freedom like you guys have and that is why I happily continue to follow this discussion, as I am wondering about the tough political fight you have to withstand to actually keep this freedom.

        I also thank you for mentioning your second point. Now I also know why there was no kind of counter-fire from the crowd itself. It was something I was wondering about in this case. So again, thank you very much for explaining it to me! And yes, even I would have done like you have explained it. I never was in a firefight my whole life (and hope I never have to endure one) and so I do believe I won’t be the toughest guy either and just try to get the hell out of there, except for the situation you mentioned, when the shooter suddenly would be right in front of me and where I have absolutely no other choice.

        About the nightmare, I am using this phrase because the rate of school shootings and shootings in general continue to plague your nation and to me it looks like there is no one really safe right now, except your politicians maybe. That is why I personally call it a nightmare. I would not like to send my child to school, not knowing if today it will come home in one piece and having to endure this fear every single day. But I have to say that in Germany you cannot be sure as well anymore for plenty of other reasons. That is why I thank to God that I am still single and do not have children. I would not like them to live in the world we got right now.

    • Rock December 26, 2016, 9:20 am

      Christian, you’ve played too much Call of Duty if you believe that an average guy with a publicly holstered pistol or a slung AR has the same mental effect upon criminals as a trained SWAT team serving a search or arrest warrant. They aren’t even in the same ballpark (American baseball jargon).

      I will say again: a firearm is NOT a magic talisman that repels crime. Merely having a firearm doesn’t necessarily make you well-armed, any more than merely carrying a guitar makes you a good musician.

      When you OC, you need a level 3 or higher retetntion holster, and CONSTANT weapon awareness – you must constantly be connizant of your 360° space, with special attention given to who is near your holster. You must also be trained in weapon retention and avoiding holster snatches – the very same training police officers utilize.

      Even then, how many officers are STILL disarmed every year and relieved of their firearms by criminals? Even if you could OC, you are creating many more unintended effects, most of which the OC crowd is gleefully ignorant about.

  • Mike D August 18, 2016, 3:07 pm

    This guy should spend some time in an area where open carry is not an issue. Maybe Phoenix AZ for example. Doesn’t seem to be any issues. When you go to the central library where firearms are prohibited, they have gun lockers so you can check your piece in while browsing books. Almost no issues with legal to carry citizens. Same issues as everywhere else with the non-law abiding criminal element.

    • Kalashnikov Dude August 19, 2016, 4:25 pm

      Phoenix is a great place to live as far as our 2nd Amendment is concerned. Like everywhere, it’s always under attack by people most of us never met. I say this because all of those I do meet take notice of the firearm on my side, and they compliment my choice to exercise my 2nd Amendment rights, and or strike up conversations about the pistol, or my mode of carry. That’s the people. The police, are mostly very cool and supportive of our 2nd Amendment. They appreciate when folks take their own health, safety, and well being into their own hands. Makes their jobs easier and safer, and they know it. The administrators are often appointed, by liberal, left leaning gun grabbers. Anybody can notice the left rarely parades rank and file police. They use asshats like this loser because he’s bought and paid for. Sure, there’s always work to be done to make things better, and more in line with our nations highest law. But It’s been great. OK, with that said, there are always still the usual suspects. They’re all politicians in reality. The balance of non Republican elected officials in our state government and other state officialdom, medical, education, city governments, and all their associated offices. They’re as always, Nazi like in their zeal to offend my God given, Constitutionally affirmed rights in all manner, up to and including outright tyranny. It’s a never ending battle in our legislatures everywhere. Police are no different, the administration and therefore policy is set by anti Constitutional tyrants, elected by dead pets, illegal aliens, dead relatives, and enslaved and brainwashed minorities. In circuses of elections ring-mastered by local chapters of two equally tyrannical parties. They don’t even bother to hide it much anymore. They openly promote hatred and division. Everybody here needs to make a choice about what kind of nation you are going to leave for your children. The hour is at hand for all of us to take this ship back from the hijackers and get it heading back in the right direction.

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