An Honest Look At Open Carry: Is It Time To Stop?

Open carry advocate Angel Swain. (Photo: Victoria Advocate)

Open-carry advocate Angel Swain. (Photo: Victoria Advocate)

There it is, plain as day.

A six-shot revolver swings lazily from the gunslinger’s hip as he saunters down a dusty street (cue For a Few Dollars More soundtrack). Everyone can see the pistol, but no one seems concerned. Carrying a firearm openly is just part of daily life in Every Cowboy Movie Ever Made, and the revolver provides its owner with much-needed protection in the dangerous western town.

But then – shots ring out. A dispute has led to a duel, which leaves one man bleeding out on the street. It’s anyone’s guess whether that man deserved to die, but it doesn’t matter. The man with the quicker draw and better aim walks away while the undertaker arrives to collect the body.

These are the two competing narratives in the debate surrounding “open carry” (the practice of carrying a firearm openly). One side says open carry protects the carrier by deterring would-be criminals. Carrying a firearm openly normalizes the presence of guns in society, securing Second Amendment rights and demonstrating that guns are not dangerous in law-abiding hands.

The other side paints a different picture. Anti-open carry advocates believe the practice is intimidating to unarmed citizens. Openly carrying a firearm can waste law enforcement resources, confuse police officers in active shooter situations, and, ultimately, lead to the normalization of “gun violence” a la Every Cowboy Movie Ever Made.

Open carry has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after the murder of five Dallas police officers and in anticipation of a tumultuous Republican National Convention.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown has said on the record that the 20 or 30 individuals carrying AR-15s at the protest in Dallas made it more difficult to apprehend the shooter. “It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they’re in a crowd,” he said. “We don’t know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting.”

Likewise, Stephen Loomis, the President of the Cleveland Police Patrolman’s Association, has requested Ohio Governor John Kasich to suspend the state’s open carry laws in the county surrounding Quicken Loans Arena, the site of this year’s Republican National Convention. Loomis is concerned about a situation like that in Dallas, and he doesn’t want open carriers to add confusion to an active shooter scenario.

“We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry,” he told CNN. “An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks — especially right now — to be coming downtown with open carry AR’s or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”

Open carry is an interesting issue because, unlike universal background checks or “assault weapon” bans, it divides genuinely pro-Second Amendment communities. The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, and restrictions on open carry strike some individuals as a dangerous step in the wrong direction. On the other hand, Chief Brown’s concerns carry weight, and it’s easy to imagine the difficulty open carriers present to law enforcement officials searching for the true source of a crime.

I want to take a hard look at both sides of this debate and present each side as honestly as possible. Then I’ll conclude with what, in my opinion, is the best way forward.


There are a number facets to this argument. First and foremost, proponents say, the right to carry a firearm openly is crucial to a proper understanding of the Second Amendment. The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Full stop. This means that any government restriction on the Second Amendment is unconstitutional, including a mandate to keep firearms concealed.

Organizations like also believe that “a right unexercised is a right lost.” Only by normalizing the presence of guns in society can the pro-gun community finally secure its right to keep and bear arms. Otherwise, many Americans will continue to view guns as frightening, dangerous, and only capable of being wielded by government officials. includes on their website a quote from anthropologist Charles Springwood, who they say “sums [their goal] up nicely”: open carriers are trying to “naturalize the presence of guns, which means that guns become ordinary, omnipresent, and expected. Over time, the gun becomes a symbol of ordinary personhood.”

Ultimately, open carry proponents want guns to be as common as they are in Every Cowboy Movie Ever Made. If guns are just another part of everyday life, anti-gun activists won’t be able to demonize what is nothing more than a hunk of metal and plastic.

Two additional considerations are often cited by open carry proponents.

If a state legalizes concealed carry but not open carry, anyone who inadvertently reveals their firearm could be subject to prosecution. While most states include protections for those who mistakenly reveal a firearm, many concealed carry permit holders still worry about being charged with “improper exhibition of a firearm.” Legalizing open carry removes this concern as well as the potential for abusive prosecutions by anti-gun activists.

Finally, despite the fact that 45 states allow some form of open carry (30 states allow it without a permit), none of the doomsday scenarios imagined by the anti-open carry community have come to fruition. No one is dueling in the streets. The number of crimes committed with guns has gone down, not up. It isn’t even clear that Texas’s open carry laws contributed to any officer deaths in the recent shooting. The individuals carrying AR-15’s caused confusion in the search for the shooter, but no one has claimed that any officers died as a result of those individuals openly carrying weapons.

In short, open carry can strengthen Second Amendment rights and has yet to caused the kind of widespread chaos its critics feared. It’s easy to see why so many in the pro-gun community have jumped on the bandwagon.


But no right is unlimited, the other side of the open carry debate is quick to point out. Freedom of speech has its limits. The press cannot print whatever it wants. Religious freedom does not allow for murder or breaking the law. The same applies to the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms is guaranteed, but governments can place certain “reasonable limitations” on that right. Some would say that outlawing open carry is one such reasonable limitation. They cite a number of reasons for this.

The most common is laid out in this article, entitled “Open Carry is an Invitation to Chaos.” The idea here is that openly carried guns make it difficult for law enforcement officers to weed out the good guys from the bad. The chaos resulting from this confusion is a threat to public safety. As the author notes, “Even law enforcement is fearful of the consequences of allowing people to open carry, out of a concern about not knowing who is the good guy or the bad guy in the midst of a violent encounter. Law enforcement and communities at large view the carrying of any type of weapon, openly or concealed, as a threat to their well-being and public safety.”

Closely related to the fear of chaos is the difficulty of policing “man with a gun” 911 calls in open carry states. If a 911 dispatcher receives a call about a person with a gun in an open carry state, that dispatcher has no way of knowing the intent of that individual. The carrier of the firearm is not technically breaking a law until he brandishes his weapon, and the dispatcher does not want to waste law enforcement resources. But if the firearm carrier has nefarious intent, the situation could result in tragedy. In Colorado, for example, a dispatcher did not send police to the scene after a woman called about her neighbor carrying a rifle down the street. That man with the rifle went on to kill three people.

The third reason for opposing open carry is that guns are intimidating and frightening to those unfamiliar with firearms. These individuals have the right to go about their daily lives without experiencing the fear caused by exposure to weapons. As the author of the article above notes, “people who choose to live in peace also have the right not to be exposed to weapons and violence.” The author of this article likewise believes that openly carrying a firearm is “provocative,” “dangerous,” and “intimidating.”

I personally don’t find firearms intimidating, but I can imagine an individual feeling uncomfortable if they’ve been raised to believe all firearms are dangerous. The question, of course, is whether their discomfort should trump what could be a constitutional right. Anti-open carry proponents answer with a resounding yes.


I am sympathetic to both sides of this debate, and I think the best way forward lies in a kind of compromise. I’m not at all convinced that openly carried firearms are dangerous or intimidating, but I do think they could present a problem to law enforcement. Responding to “man with a gun” calls can be dangerous for police officers and citizens alike as well as wasteful of law enforcement resources. I can certainly sympathize with Dallas Police Chief David Brown and other law enforcement officers who don’t want to be forced to determine whether an individual with a firearm is a threat or a law-abiding citizen.

That being said, I’m also aware that outlawing open carry could contribute to the marginalization of Second Amendment rights. When we tell law-abiding citizens they must hide their guns, we reinforce the idea that guns are scary and dangerous. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, and citizens should not be forced to hide the exercise of that right like it’s something dirty or frightening.

So I don’t believe states or the federal government should pass laws that outlaw open carry. But I do think gun owners need to be cautious and respectful in their exercise of their right to bear arms. If you plan to attend a rally in the middle of a big city, maybe it’s better to leave your firearm at home or—better yet—conceal it. Our law enforcement officers place their lives on the line every day to protect us—they don’t need us making their jobs any more difficult. And if you do decide to carry a firearm openly in a public place, remember that you’re representing gun owners across America. You may be the only person some people ever see carrying a firearm. If we want to reinforce the truth that law-abiding citizens can be trusted with firearms, we need to act like it.

Open carry is constitutional, but it also comes with certain dangers. The pro-gun community doesn’t do itself any favors when it downplays or ignores the potential risks associated with the public display firearms. Open carry should not be limited via government intervention, but we must always remember to be vigilant and cautious in the exercise of our rights.

About the Author: Jordan Michaels is a new convert to the gun world. A Canadian immigrant to the United States, he recently became an American citizen and is happily enjoying his newly-acquired Second Amendment freedoms. He’s a communications professional, a political junkie, and an avid basketball fan.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 285 comments… add one }
  • Joe Miller August 11, 2019, 6:28 am

    Two incorrect things really jumped out at me at the end. First, the claim that… “Open carry is constitutional….”!

    Wrong, wrong… WRONG! The author and no one in this Country has ANY Federal Right to open carry. NONE! That is wrong! Open Carry at the Federal level has never been ruled on by the SC and they HAVE ruled numerous times that the States get to determine their own gun laws and restrictions, and that States are only prohibited from passing outright bans on owning firearms.

    But States can restrict them pretty much as they see fit, if that State has the votes to pass those laws. The Supreme Court has only rarely ever struck down a State gun law.

    2nd, the opinion that…”So I don’t believe states or the federal government should pass laws that outlaw open carry.”.
    Great….my opinion is that they should…but my opinion is also the law of the land, their opinion is not. People have a right to believe that, but they are wrong in their beliefs…Under our Constitution, the State’s absolutely DO have the Right to outlaw open carry (and many have), and it’s likely that the Federal Govt can also, just like they did when they passed the expired Assault Weapons Ban from 1994-2004, which was never struck down by any Court during those 10 years, before the law was allowed to expire by a Republican Congress.
    And our Democracy and society somehow managed to survive those ten years just fine and dandy, with those weapons being banned, especially with fewer dead cops being killed by those banned weapons, more than by handguns at the time).

  • Joe Miller August 11, 2019, 6:04 am

    proponents say the right to carry a firearm openly is crucial to a proper understanding of the Second Amendment. The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Full stop. This means that any government restriction on the Second Amendment is unconstitutional, including a mandate to keep firearms concealed.
    And that is a ridiculous, ill-thought-out argument that doesn’t hold any water at all. They are claiming it’s an absolute Right. It definitely isn’t. There are thousands of gun laws, both Federal and State and there have been for 150 years or more. If these ppl were correct, and they most certainly are wrong, then none of these existing gun laws could, or would exist at all in the first place. and yet they have, and they do exist.

    So NOPE, your 2A Rights are NOT absolute and most definitely have been, and can be reasonably restricted Constitutionally, despite their narrow of a view of what many mistakenly believe the words “shall not be infringed” actually means, cuz it’s not what most people think it means which is…

    “The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Full stop. This means that any government restriction on the Second Amendment is unconstitutional….

    WRONG. That’s not what it means. They just proved they don’t understand our Constitution. The current existence of State and Federal gun laws prove that this mistaken belief is absolutely wrong and really dumb, if you give it more than a minute’s thought.

  • Equus Pallidus October 18, 2018, 5:47 am

    I enjoyed the article until about the third sentence. Like there were cowboys having duels just willy nilly. There have only been two documented cases that can be proven to have happened which would constitute a duel. One was Wild Bill Hickok vs David Tutt over a pocket watch. So in the streets of St louis, hickok and Tutt drew at the same time and fired. And from a distance of 75 yards hickok killed Tutt. An outstanding shot since they were using black powder and round balls.
    The second was at the O.K. Corral. And we all know how that turned out.
    Liberal fears of the gutters will fill with blood if we allow people to strap on the pistol. That lie has been debunked for years.

  • John Curry May 24, 2017, 9:40 am

    I don’t believe open-carry should be infringed upon via laws and regulations.
    But I am one of those who feel that in many situations it is uncalled for (and very unsafe should an active shooter situation occurs). Many people believe just because they have the right, they can exercise that right whenever they want. Okay, that’s correct, but it’s about being realistic in WHY you would want to open-carry. What’s your intent? Do you want to be part of the “let’s normalize firearms in public to make the anti’s understand that a gun is just a “hunk of metal” and not to be feared? Are you one of the stubborn who say, “It’s my right and nobody is going to tell me otherwise, so I’m carrying my AK wherever I go”? Or the person who doesn’t have a concealed weapon permit (or is waiting for the new permit to be issued) and wants to be armed for self-defense? Or some other reason…

    Here’s my example of why open-carry is NOT your best option: say a bad guy with nefarious intent is out on the lam or simply going to shoot up the coffee shop.
    There you are, drinking coffee or walking down the street with weapon openly visible. How is that going to save you and your loved ones if the bad guy starts shooting? You might respond “Just seeing that I’m armed will make the criminal go away.” Or, “If he starts shooting, I can shoot back!”
    Nope, sorry… since we are responsible, gun-carrying people, our open-carried weapons are not in our hands. They are holstered or slung over our backs. ANY bad guy who is going to shoot up the coffee shop will simply enter, see you with your weapon and shoot you first.
    Being dead before you even know a bad guy is behind you is no way to stop the bad guy, right?

    As I learned in my armed security training many decades ago, the bad guy always has the first initiative. If the bad guy sees someone with a gun… guess who the first victim is going to be? Yep, the good guy with the holstered pistol or rifle slung over the shoulder.
    So for a self-defense reason, there’s no practical use for open-carry… unless you get lucky and they don’t see you, but that’s a big portion of luck.
    The other reasons? I actually agree with for open-carry… to make the public aware that firearms in society should become normalized.
    After all, if everyone was open-carrying, my original explanation why it’s a poor choice for self-defense becomes moot. If everyone is open-carrying, the bad guy wouldn’t have a set first target being “the guy or gal with the rifle”… because too many people have them.

    So there’s your catch-22… risk being the first person the criminal shoots while also normalizing the sight of an armed person on the street.

    … then there’s the safety for the police officer… my brother is retired law enforcement and in open-carry incidents, he had to have eyes on the back of his head. Situation: there’s been a shooting, the shooter has been detained and looky-loos are standing around. The officer doesn’t know if this was a lone wolf shooter or if one of the several open-carrying people surrounding the scene is his partner in crime. Does the partner execute the officer and spray the other people open-carrying to save his buddy?

    … the whole issue is a giant catch-22. As I first stated, I’m PRO open-carry rights 100%. But there’s not only a huge responsibility for those who open-carry, there’s the chance that those who OC are going to be the first victim.
    So how do we get the public to become comfortable with armed civilians in public while not causing massive problems for law enforcement to get to the point where the majority of people are open-carrying (the last part is what stops the “first victim” scenario).
    ??? How are we going to get this done???

  • David September 9, 2016, 3:31 am

    Open carry is to the 2nd Amendment what Al Sharpton and David Duke are to Civil Rights. It is silliness.

  • sharon tinnin August 20, 2016, 3:35 pm

    You may not agree with be but you don’t have to. I don’t disagree with you about your right to “Open Carry” The problem is that those “Rights” are not realistic for everyone. The minute a Black or Hispanic person is seen exercising their “Right to Openly Carry a Firearm” some Paranoid white person screams out “Black person with a Gun” or “Hispanic with a Gun” and here comes some Vigilante shooting them down just for having the gun. It can’t be a Realistic Law until Those type of white people stop seeing all Blacks and Hispanics as bad and criminals.
    When People can start seeing Americans as Americans and stop looking at skin color, Maybe it will be a little easier for you to have your little Wild Wild West back. If that’s what you want.

    Hopefully I will be dead by then. … Or I’ll just give up on this Country That I love and move away to a nice peaceful Island in the south pacific where no body has guns or cares what you look like.

    I just pray for this country to heal and for all of you to stop fighting and arguing over dumb things. Like this. Go hug your kids, or your parents. I miss mine and can’t. ….. May God grant all of you a Blessing in some form.

    • Steve September 3, 2016, 6:21 am

      “We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”…….agreed and disagree. And what has society done to eliminate the problem of someone falsely screaming fire in a theater? Are our mouths rendered inoperable with a temporary non-removable gag for the duration of the movie? This surely would possibly eliminate the problem. It would have the added benefit to most movie goers of not being made uncomfortable with other patrons incessant chatter. No society exercised reason and decided the best way to not have someone falsely yell fire was to make it punishable if they did. No gags would be necessary or required. Besides it left everyone with an operable mouth in case there was a fire.

  • JW August 4, 2016, 4:59 pm

    How bout we start thinking as gun owners. While I believe that open carry is an absolute right I still think it is an absurd thing to do. Open carry does not deter violent crime. Open carry makes you the first target of a determined criminal. Think about it people. If you are a criminal who is armed and you walk into a bank with the intent on robbing it. There are 5 customers in the bank and two of them are carrying firearms openly. Is this going to stop you from robbing the bank. No. You are going to shoot the two who are openly carrying then continue to rob the bank. Now let’s change the scenario. You walk into a bank as an armed criminal. Unbeknownst to you 2 customers are carrying concealed firearms. You start to rob the bank thinking you are the only one there with a firearm. During the robbery things start to get out of hand. Now one of the concealed carry persons, concerned for life and limb, that you did not know was armed draws his weapon and engages you. Now who had the tactical advantage the open carry or the concealed carry? Action is always faster then reaction. Speed surprise and sudden violent decisive action will determine the outcome of all violent confrontations.

    Like I said, I would never say that it should be unlawful to carry openly. Just that it is tactically not the best choice. That goes for this debate as well. We as gun owners are winning this debate folks. The strides made in the last 10 years are huge. Because of the fight that so many have made many states laws now provide for open carry. I think we need to continue this fight till open carry is the law in every state. That being said, stop being tactically unsound.

    • Cody August 20, 2016, 1:22 pm

      You are wrong. No robber would go ahead and rob a bank or shoot anyone armed. Bank robbers don’t want to resort to killing. They want their money and use the gun as a tool to get it. They would 99% of the time cancel their plans.

    • Steve September 3, 2016, 6:24 am

      I do agree with your conclusion.

  • No Body July 27, 2016, 12:01 am

    Author understands both sides? Nonsense. The anti arguments cited are all baloney. People have NO right to disparage and violate the inherent rights of their fellows simply because they are “uncomfortable” and feel “intimidated”. What is being black made someone fearful? It happens often enough, in fact. So what then? Jail a man because he is black? Ban him? How about gay people? Ban, jail, exile, or execute them, too? We could go down a very long list of reasons some people feel uncomfortable around others. Were we to act on those fears and discomforts the way some suggest we must do with guns, the ultimate result would be the last two cavemen nervously eyeballing each other from opposite sides of the fire, too afraid to sleep.

    I am not here to assuage your discomfort. I am not here to make police’s job easier. I am here to live my life freely, exercising my rights as I see fit, when I so choose, so long as I do not violate the equal claims of my fellows. Making them feel “uncomfortable” simply because I am wearing a sidearm grants them no claims upon my prerogative to do so.

  • cappy102 July 25, 2016, 8:05 pm

    Seems to me, a firearm is a tool. A hunter carries a weapon openly in the field. Openly carrying a firearm in a hostile environment, for protection, makes sense. But, would a carpenter wear his tool belt into a restaurant?

    Carrying a firearm to make a statement doesn’t make sense, to me. Many people have been sensitized by the current firearms/weapons controversies, and an open carry is bound to make them nervous, even angry. Then there are the LEOs that have always been pissed off by any show of power by civilians. They’re bound to make a scene after spotting a gun-toting citizen strolling around city streets.

    Maybe goading the “authorities” works, but if we want to keep our Constitution intact, without violence, pressure on members of government might be one way of dealing with potential tyrants. Unfortunately, lessons from America’s history reflect a tendency to use rowdy public protests, property destruction, and other violent measures to address corruption and tyranny in their government. Those tactics worked two centuries ago, but at great cost.

    No one can say where all this will go, but there is clearly a war brewing between Americans and their power-hungry leaders.

    • Steve September 3, 2016, 7:02 am

      A hammer is a tool. You carry a hammer with you anytime you may need to use it. A carpenter need not carry a hammer to a diner unless it is a job site. A firearm is used a a tool for self protection. Self protection is a 24/7 proposition and requires the tool on an ongoing basis.

  • BrianNh July 25, 2016, 6:28 pm

    Open carry should be legal, but it’s not a great idea to do it for 2 reasons:

    First, any bad guy is going to see you’re armed, and you can be sure that you will be the first person he takes out.

    Second, it does alarm non-gun people unnecessarily. It shouldn’t, but it does in today’s mixed-up world. It’s just like hunting – most of us don’t carry our dead deer on the hood of our car any more because 10% of the people are hunters, 10% are rabid anti-hunters, and the rest fall somewhere in between. So, it doesn’t help our cause to stir up otherwise-neutral people against us. Even as a very strong SA supporter, I’d kinda have to wonder about someone open carrying, especially a long gun, in a supermarket.

  • Jim Poteet July 25, 2016, 10:21 am

    Here goes. I fully support the right to keep and bear arms BUT (IMO) in 21st. century America a person going into a crowd, market, place doing business with the general public, city sidewalk, etc. with an AR or AK or any other long gun slung over their shoulder/back without absolute good reason is hurting the struggle against gov’t. intrusion and is also indiscreet, mentally suspect, exhibitionist, probably insecure or perhaps just very immature. I truly believe a concealed 1911 with a couple of spare mags. would be much more logical, handy, and wieldy. In a crowd such as the recent republican or the just beginning democratic fart-in convention how in the hell are you going to handle an AK with three women hanging onto a 16 inch barrel and another kicking you in your nuts. Your best bet may be to start yelling for nearby law enforcement for help and hope for a response before your nuts become mush. Perhaps your cries of pubic pain will scare the “ladies” away. Good luck with that! Sorry, I just got to laughing at a picture of that in my mind and kept typing away. Think about it, your nuts I mean! Regards, Jim.

  • Bernie Lounds July 24, 2016, 8:39 pm

    One thing I forgot to mention was you people who are law biding citizens with carry permits if you have some grand kids or great grand kids take them out and teach them to shoot or may be you have some neighbors and their kids that would like to go.The more you can show people about guns and how to use them the better off you will be and you may just make some real good freinds and a good impression too.

    • cappy102 July 25, 2016, 8:11 pm

      Roger that, Bernie!

    • No Body July 27, 2016, 12:13 am

      I have done just this on quite a few occasions. I have even brought a couple of strongly anti-gun people to the light such that they at least were willing to see reason.

      Education and normalization is so very important now. I openly carry every day. I go nowhere without a pistol. Why? It is NOT because I am afraid, but because people need to know and see and come to understand the importance of free men holding the option to be armed.

      I go to the supermarket with my sidearm; shopping; banking; just about all other things save going to the post office and the like. Nobody could care less because half the people in West Virginia carry daily as well. And notice how low the murder rate is here, and almost all of that is directly related to illegal drug activity. Decriminalize the drugs and end that idiotic “war” and murder would become a shocking thing once more, rather than the multiple daily occurrence it has become in places like NYC and Chicago.

      Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to show the world that we will not be violated and openly carrying a firearm is one of the most important vehicles by which that message is communicated.

      • Mo July 27, 2016, 10:36 pm

        “Decriminalize the drugs” ?! Are you insane? You have obviously never been in law enforcement. Go ahead and decriminalize drugs and this country will go to shit even faster. If you decriminalize drugs who is going to work then? Everyone will be high all the time. Decriminalizing drugs is a terrible idea. Drugs are bad.(PERIOD)

        • Larry September 3, 2016, 7:09 am

          Hey Mo, No Body must be nuts to decriminalize drugs. We would be back in the wild, wild west. The next thing you know No Body would want to do is decriminalize alcohol.

  • Bernie Lounds July 24, 2016, 7:13 pm

    If we didn’t have so many cowardly Democrats preaching fear of guns there wouldn’t be so many cowards out there that panic every time they see someone with a gun.They are probably going target shooting or hunting or just like to have a little self protection.Every one out there is not going to crawl in a hole and quiver every time they think they are in danger and they aren’t all out there to kill someone.

  • Dennis M July 24, 2016, 12:45 am

    Good article except for one point, “We don’t know who the good guy is versus the bad guy when everyone starts shooting.” As far as I know there was no one shooting but the shooter and the police. Don’t muddy the water and give Hillary more “ammunition”. She fires enough blanks as it is. [She used bad judgement as Secretary of State, what makes anyone want her as President.]

    • David W Evans July 25, 2016, 11:57 am

      Wasn’t this a scheduled event? I mean, where the hell were the security cameras. And the LE officers manning them, and telling the officers on foot where to get the shooter!?

  • Leonard July 23, 2016, 10:25 pm

    I do not have, nor do I wish to have, a concealed carry permit. It seems to me that it’s a trick to get gunowners to register themselves and those guns they plan to carry so that when the day comes that guns are illegal, your own state police will know which doors to kick down in the middle of the night. Further, your possession of a concealed carry permit is made available to any and all interested police agencies throughout the country. Many CC holders have found themselves pulled over by cops when traveling to other states and searched and their vehicles torn apart searching for their firearms. It’s a safe bet that even if one is transporting his/her weapon in compliance with all applicable laws, the gun(s) will be confiscated, and they’ll have to hire a lawyer in the other state and sue the police and WIN in court if they want their weapons returned. How much does one want to spend on lawyers just to get your own legally possessed property back? Let’s keep open carry legal. If some people are upset, it’s okay. I hate to have to see men kissing one another, but no laws will ever be passed that will enable me to not see this disturbing, repulsive activity.

    • Tom July 26, 2016, 1:02 pm

      As a former LEO, firearms instructor and an avid 2nd Amnt advocate, I would never support the inability of one to carry open. That being said, I personally will not carry open and encourage all of my students to do the same. The reasons are not many and I believe are simply common sense. They have been addressed here just in different ways.
      1. In today’s political climate, the open carry is not accepted widely. Maybe some day,… but not yet, not now! The actions of many pro open carry groups continue to thwart their own agenda by pushing the envelope in carrying modern sporting rifles ( AR’s AK’s) down streets. They can state it is to exercise their right,..but I have yet to see where it is nothing more than an ego pump and a purposeful attempt to engage anyone, preferably LEO’s to get a “YouTube moment” to challenge the “illegal” detainment and questioning of their actions which it is NOT. You’re dumb-asses!! You’re not helping! Just stop that crap.
      2. If you are an actively concealed carrier,..and you understand the criminal mindset you’ll get this. I would submit to anyone that if I see you open carry and I were to have criminal intent,… regardless of your abilities, your physical size, level of training, name it,… If I see your gun,… It will be mine! I’ll get it from you. Now before you nay-sayers start pounding out a knee-jerk response,…. just continue to read. Let me challenge you to this one thing. The next time you’re out in public, and you are not carrying in a visual fashion or not at all and you see someone open carry,… Imagine that you’re are a criminal. Start thinking of way that you could get the gun from them. What kind of gun is it? What type of holster is it in? What is the level of retention of the holster? Consider place, the person’s physical size, gender, perceptions of abilities, how they carry themselves. Remember that the moment that you started looking at the persons gun,… you are in the criminal mindset. As you formulate your objective in your mind,… that open carry person has no idea what you’re thinking or your intent. Ghost them for a while. How close can you get to them with your “intent” to get that gun? All the while they’re completely clueless.
      Am I encouraging criminal behavior?? No. Just never forget that if you want a good, solid defense against criminals towards you,… you need to try and think like a criminal. They do it all the time. If you just read this and thought to yourself,… “Wow,.. never thought about it that way”,… you’re woefully behind the curve. Welcome aboard! Time to catch up!
      If you’re thinking that I’m full of crap and saying to yourself or at the computer screen (“I’d like to see someone try and take my gun”!),….. Well, the lesson was lost. You’re a dumb-ass.

  • Damon July 23, 2016, 3:07 pm

    I support Constitutional carry. However, I have personally witnessed it being poorly performed. I was in a Safeway store in Renton, WA, and noticed a white male carrying an AR pistol on a single-point sling slung under his right arm. He had a shopping basket in his left hand, and was doing a decent job of maintaining control of the weapon and keeping situational awareness (he noticed me noticing him). We approached one of the checkout lines in close proximity. As he moved to set his shopping basket on the conveyor belt to be checked out, the lifting, swinging motion he used caused the weapon to swing out from under his arm, where it hit the rack of candy and impulse buy items on his right side. Something on the rack activated the magazine release, and dropped his Magpul on the floor in the checkout line. Funny, but not funny, if you know what I mean, and made me appreciate the fact that I was armed at a similar level (Springfield XDm .40 with 17 rounds available instantly and another 32 close to hand), but nobody in the store knew that, and I wasn’t the one on my knees retrieving my ammunition from under a candy rack.

  • greg meyer July 23, 2016, 3:01 pm

    Shots “rang out”? If I’d used such a worn out old cliche in my high school English Comp. class, I’d have had points taken away. The only thing that “rings out” as it relates to shooting is if you hit the gong out at a hunnert yards. “Rang out.” That’s what New York news heads call it because that’s what they’ve heard other know nothins call it, and all they can do is repeat what they’ve heard. “Rang out.” That’s as far as I read in this article because I knew right there that this guy wasn’t goin to have any original thoughts.

  • Open carry is the Second Amendment, so said the US Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) by stating that the Second Amendment “guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” but noting in dicta that, based upon a review of 19th century American state court cases, that only open carry, and not concealed carry, was conduct due constitutional protection. Learn more about the open carry of properly holstered handguns in daily American life at And carry on!

    • Chris Baker July 26, 2016, 11:40 pm

      So the court ALMOST got it right. They, and you, as well as many others, seem to have forgotten that if they can tell you HOW you are going to be allowed (?) to carry a weapon under the aegis of the second amendment, then they are infringing on your right to bear arms. The second amendment doesn’t say, “…shall not be infringed as long as you get a permit.” It also doesn’t say “…shall not be infringed as long as you carry it openly visible.” Nor any other infringement.

  • CHARLIE AYCOCK July 23, 2016, 2:20 pm


    • Chris Baker July 26, 2016, 11:46 pm

      A while back, my dad and I were going to go out shooting at targets. We put on our holstered weapons securely belted around our middles and we went and got in the car and drove to the local bank and went in to get some cash. We didn’t take off our guns. I did note however, that there were other patrons in the bank with similarly carried weapons and also a couple of the tellers were obviously armed. I doubt seriously if a robber would have even attempted to rob the bank, nor to shoot anyone else in there ever. So, you have your opinion and I have mine. Nobody sees my guns, nor even knows I have it with me, except in church where the pastor has given me permission. I figure I could have had it anyway but as a courtesy I asked. I happen to know that I’m not the only one to carry there. I feel a lot safer knowing there are people around me who are armed law abiding citizens.

  • Ken Stewart July 23, 2016, 11:54 am

    I got my first South Carolina CWP in 1974 when less than 5000 people qualify. I display a neck string display of my CWP so everyone can see that I have a permit. Some people ask me who I do. I believe everyone should display this and not the firearm. I go everywhere with this as the so called ID is obvious. I also carry a Beretta .380 Hi-cap magazine. I also pay in cash – as I do not like checking account balancing. These are available on ebay and Amazon for prox $10 or less for 10 and some double-sided view. I have only had to shoot one person whose was trying to rob me. Open carry is an innovation for disaster.
    Respectfully submitted,

  • Jim king July 23, 2016, 10:04 am

    You all need to go back and check your laws in California in 1967 Governor Reagan with the help of the NRA pass a law called Milford law which Alborg open carry in California the great President Reagan and the NRA done this to you check your fax you’ll see it’s true

  • Mr. Sparkles July 23, 2016, 7:43 am

    I am not sure I have seen a longer reader comments section on any other subject. The ringing theme is that open carry is a right and is necessary from a legal standpoint and that it should be tempered by common sense. Period, nuff said.

    • Flyboyron July 23, 2016, 10:08 pm

      Absolutely right. On both counts.

      Problem is, some folks are shorter on common sense than we’d like to see. Some of them are criminals, and some of the others are open carry fanatics who can’t “temper” their carry.

      Both have to be carefully dealt with.

  • Derp July 23, 2016, 6:47 am

    Banning open carry is like freeing the slaves, but insisting that freed black slaves wear white makeup all the time…. of course that’s just one more measure the dumbocraps would like to see enacted….

  • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 6:26 am

    When people get used to open carry the “Man with a gun will almost stop.” There is really no confusion when officers get to a shoot scene. The people with their guns in their holsters are not the shooter and the bad guys will not open carry because they don’t want anyone to know they are armed because it is probably illegal for them to have a gun. I agree that as a general rule people do not need to carry and AR or AK but the arguments of police confusion and citizen intimidation are bogus.

    • TimothyJ999 July 23, 2016, 5:27 pm

      No, the “man with a gun calls” will only ever stop for white people. Open carry is inherently unfair, because people (including cops) respond in a more aggressive and negative way to black men carrying a gun. Hell, there was a black guy shot and killed last year in the gun section of a Wal-Mart because he was simply holding a pellet gun.

      How many 911 calls do you think would be generated by a black guy walking down a sidewalk or through a mall with an AR slung? What would the police response be? How much backup, and how many cars? SWAT team? He’d have a 99.9% chance of an arrest, and probably a 10% chance of being shot, even if he acted in a perfectly non-threatening manner.

      No, this debate about open carry laws Only applies to white people–it’s yet another example of white privilege. If you can deny that you’re just delusional.

      • Jim July 24, 2016, 2:09 pm

        Tim, Are you delusional? Do I detect some amount of racial bias in your comments? Why don’t you subscribe to a “color blind society.” And comments about “white privilege”……total bu!! sh!t. You’re the type perpetuating and promoting a racially provocative statement and society. This column was about OPEN CARRY! Next time, keep your radically motivated comments to yourself. Quit being a calamity howler.

  • WILLIAM July 23, 2016, 4:44 am


    • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 6:36 am

      That 21 FT rule is often misunderstood. The knife wielder does not win. It is a tie, both lose. Also It is not that the officer will not have time to draw his weapon, but will not have time to draw and fire two well aimed shots. The officer has to use other defensive measures, if he is and average officer. When I was an officer I didn’t worry about that. I could draw and fire three or four well aimed shot from 10 Ft. Now there are those who will claim that I can’t. I’ll be glad to demonstrate.

      • Chris Baker July 26, 2016, 11:55 pm

        I knew a guy who was a LEO and he could and did demonstrate his speed in the courtroom when the family of the dead crook tried to sue him for shooting him. Someone else put him in the back seat of the cop’s car and he saw the guy pulling a gun from inside his pants and turned and shot the bad guy before the guy could shoot the cop. His demonstration in the court room was to have the prosecuting attorney hold his hands about 2 feet apart and without warning, to clap them together. The cop had his gun in between the hands before they came together. The judge dismissed the case. Some folks are just amazingly quick.

    • Demaxx1 July 31, 2016, 10:19 am

      William please stop with the all caps (yelling)! I believe in open carry, living in NC, I grew up where you could only open carry, until about 1994 or 95. When they allowed for carry concealed permits. I was a law enforcement officer at that time. At that time we were more concerned with the concealed carry than the open carry. Why was that, it was what we were used to. So every time I hear a State passing open carry laws, and people screaming there will be blood the streets I have to chuckle. Growing up in a open carry state with no concealed carry there was not blood in the streets.

      I will say that I personally prefer to conceal carry, it has its advantages. 1) It doesn’t alarm the gun uneducated, who think that guns are the reason for gun violence. 2) I like the tactical advantage it gives me. No one is going to jump me to try to steal my gun, nor am I going to be the first target.

      I on occasion open carry, again here in NC it isn’t looked at as huge evil. Unless you go to some of the larger cities. with liberal governments. Then you will get a cross look.

      A few months back I was in one of the local restaurants in the small town where I live, in the mornings just about ever police officer in town eats there. A man walked in with an AR slung across his back. He walked up to the table where the officers were sitting and said something to them, One asked what are you up to? The gun carrier told me that he was going to help one of the farmers get rid of a coyote that had been seen on his property. He talked a few more minutes and he sit down at a table and ordered his breakfast.

      I personally think we need to train the firearms uneducated people. People have irrational fears. I hear so many people that say if you carry a gun that you will accidentally shoot your self or others. a firearm in a good holster and left there has never shot anyone.

  • Jay July 23, 2016, 12:39 am

    I live in Texas so a permit is required to carry open or concealed. I believe that it is wrong to require permits but am at least grateful for what we’ve got. Only rarely will I carry openly because there could always be those who would like to try to steal my weapon and it seems to me that would be much easier for them to do if they know who actually does have one. But, that’s just my choice.
    The one problem I do see in this is the issue of confusion for peace officers in a shooting scenario. Something does need done about that- just what I don’t know. Maybe, have a mandatory command in an emergency by the police to “Ground weapons!” Fair odds the bad guy will cut and run. I don’t know. But odds are that if a solution isn’t found, loss of open carry will be soon to follow even though it won’t do any good.

  • Tim July 22, 2016, 11:57 pm

    Carrying AR-15s in public and yelling fire in a theater are not comparable. If I am carrying a rifle legally and doing no harm, there is no victim. If I yell fire in a theater when there is no actual fire, I have just terrified, and therefore victimized the people in the theater. It is not the sight of an AR15 that terrifies people, but rather the phony propaganda about them and the false flag attacks that perpetuate the myths.

  • Frank Staples July 22, 2016, 11:47 pm

    I am a rabid 2nd Amendment supporter…BUT…I hate to see people carrying long guns openly in public. All this does is convince the general public that there is a threat to gun owners! We have several pistol wearing men and women around here and no one gives them a second glance. Those carrying long guns simply because “they can” are, in my opinion, hurting our cause. With slick hilly having a good shot at soiling our White House for the next four years we simply can’t afford to piss off the general non-gun public.

    • Jim Poteet July 25, 2016, 8:37 am

      Frank, I concur with your comments completely, I feel exactly as you do. I saw a photo of some of the people carrying long guns slung over their backs at the republican convention and thought why, why, why? It seems to me that it just harms our cause, so unnecessary. A concealed handgun would be much more discreet and probably a much better choice unless the carrier feels a need to be an exhibitionist. I as an ardent supporter of gun rights find this kind of behavior certainly legal at this location but indeed harmful to support for our second amendment. With regards, Jim Poteet

  • DaveGinOly July 22, 2016, 10:04 pm

    Normally, I’d write several paragraphs in response to an article like this. But as a concealed carrier (most of the time), I’ll keep this brief – I have no sympathy at all for the anti-open carry side of the debate. It’s my right – that’s the ONLY thing that counts PERIOD. Don’t like it – EFF OFF and go somewhere where that right, and undoubtedly others, are trampled upon by government. Places like that are a dime a dozen, this place is unique in all the world. It’s important to keep this country as it is for the people who appreciate it. The Founding Fathers had to carve this country out of the rest of the world. Nobody wants to have to do so again, but there are those who will, if it becomes necessary.

  • James Acerra July 22, 2016, 9:53 pm

    I carry openly in my State, I follow the law and do not go into government, school ect… I understand \”The other side paints a different picture. Anti-open carry advocates believe the practice is intimidating to unarmed citizens\”. Fear of a tool is silly, do they fear pressure cookers? or hammers or knives? When drunk drivers kill people do they fear cars? It is the hand behind the tool that makes the difference! I and many other \”Law Abiding Citizens (key phrase here!!!)\” carry a firearm on a routine basis, I have yet to mow down old ladies and children. Mt firearm has not jumped out of my holster and killed anyone. I have not \”called someone out\” a la Every Cowboy Movie Ever Made!
    As to why \”and the revolver provides its owner with much-needed protection in the dangerous western town\”. Been to Orlando lately or Dallas, or Chicago, Baltimore, any large city? I will be happy and carry to protect myself and family and others if necessary! If others do so also then I will feel much better than having a \”Gun Free Zone\” sign. Put that in your yard see how long you keep your property. Concealed carry is great, I have no problem with that style of carry but it should not be a gift blessed by some government that says \”You May carry a firearm\”
    Yours in service
    James Acerra

  • Paul July 22, 2016, 9:30 pm

    Open Carry is tactically stupid. Period. Everyone with a brain know’s why.

    • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 6:47 am

      I agree that as a general rule I prefer to not advertise that I am armed. There are however times when open carry has it’s uses, but I have been trained in weapons retention and disarming. If you have not then I would suggest you carry concealed. As for “People with a brain.” You might want to consider the saying, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

  • Bigpapy July 22, 2016, 8:51 pm

    I didn’t read every comment here, it took me 5 min just to scroll down to the bottom! But obviously this is a topic people are passionate about. I am for the 2nd, and open carry but at the same time don’t look/act like an idiot. If I’m going to carry in public it’s gonna be in a holster, not strewn out to let everyone know I’m carrying a gun. If they see it no biggie, if they don’t see it no biggie. I think it gives the nervous people at least some assurance you are a responsible gun owner. I don’t have one but am thinking about getting a CCP. Personally think it’s the safest position for the carrier to be in.
    Again this regarding public populated areas, if your out in the butt crack of nowhere, take pleasure caring the largest gun you got!

  • Jackpine July 22, 2016, 8:09 pm

    In MN, the stated purpose of allowing open carry was to minimize any legal action against a lawful concealed carry, when the pistol was inadvertently revealed.

  • Jackpine July 22, 2016, 8:08 pm

    In MN, the stated purpose of allowing open carry was to minimize any legal action against a lawful concealed carry, when the pistol was inadvertently revealed.

  • SGT YOUNGBLOOD July 22, 2016, 8:03 pm

    The other side paints a different picture. Anti-open carry advocates believe the practice is intimidating to unarmed citizens. Openly carrying a firearm can waste law enforcement resources, confuse police officers in active shooter situations, and, ultimately, lead to the normalization of “gun violence” ALLL

  • Raymond July 22, 2016, 7:42 pm

    Thats a nice story about the showdown quick draw gun battle –never happened === I think there is 1 documentated case for this. excluding dueling that was governed by strict rules hence “The Second”

  • Michael J. July 22, 2016, 7:38 pm

    Citizens are safer when criminals don’t know who’s armed. But if it’s your granted right, carry on.

  • Bisquick July 22, 2016, 7:06 pm

    So if the 2nd Ammendment gives us the RIGHT to keep and BEAR arms, why would one feel the need to get a “Carry Permit”. Seems to me, you are giving that right up, and asking permission from the government to carry. Did I miss something??

  • DrB July 22, 2016, 6:58 pm

    It is too painfully obvious how “CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY” is avoided.
    The compromise is obvious. Stop the unConstitutional practice of requiring a permit to carry a weapon in a protected out-of-sight location and the need to carry “on the hip” will not be necessary.
    This solves the “inadvertent display” issue for CCP and solves the problem of wimpy feelings of actually seeing a weapon.
    It is completely ridiculous that a person has to wear a jacket in summer to conceal a weapon, and equally ridiculous that a person open carrying becomes a felon for trying to keep dry/warm by putting on a jacket.
    Too little commonsense is a big part of the problem.

  • Lash July 22, 2016, 6:09 pm

    In North Carolina we have always had and exercised open carry. It is embedded in our state constitution and was never an issue, still doesn’t seem to be. Until relatively recently it was the only way legal to carry a firearm and does not require any permit. We passed a concealed handgun law in 1995. Since then I have marveled at the debate around open carry in other states. I suspect once the novelty wears off in states new to open carry like Texas that most folks will be more used to seeing guns and those who are flaunting them right now will tire of it. We have not had the “wild west” here and when reasonable people see that it isn’t happening elsewhere it will become the same non-issue as it is for us in NC.

    As far as the police are concerned, they work for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people and need to get over any freedom becoming an issue. It is not a job requirement in policing that they like either the law they enforce or the freedom they protect, However it is a requirement that they protect freedom and enforce laws legally and justly passed.

    • bob hunt July 23, 2016, 2:57 am

      Lash- You seem to misunderstand the quite valid concern some police may have concerning open carry. That concern isn’t a matter of convenience or protecting the government. It’s a concern that it can- note I say can not will- make it more difficult to protect the people.
      I have to wonder if you use the same, “By god, they work for me! I don’t work for them!”, reasoning when your doctor tells you if you don’t take care of yourself nothing he can do will make you any healthier.

  • Scott Syverson July 22, 2016, 5:17 pm

    I found the argument against open carry to be critically flawed in its logic. All rights have limits, yes. But the limitation is in the use of the right, not in its inherent display of the right. Constitution says we have the right to bear arms, so the act of publicly bearing a firearm is not a violation. The improper or illegal use of the weapon is. You have the right to free speech in politics, however, you can’t yell “fire” in a movie theater for fun which is the improper use of that right, since it is not political speech. Bearing a firearm in any manner, concealed or unconcealed, is not contrary to the notion of bearing arms. Only the use of the arms will dictate legality or illegality. How you use a firearm, may or may be legal, depending on what you do with it. But the possession- the bearing of arms- is not. That is the limitation to the second amendment. So robbing a bank with a unconcealed weapon is illegal, because you used it to break other laws by threatening other people, not because you walked around with it on display. These are the only limitation to which the second amendment can be consistently and logically applied. What’s next? The term “bear” being interpreted by saying a two handed grip is an illegal form of bearing arms? You can only carry it in one way and grip it it one way?

    • DaveGinOly July 22, 2016, 10:26 pm

      I have to disagree with you. No rights “have limits.” When an act harms an innocent party, it is called “a crime” or “negligence.” Rights are self-limiting in that their exercise doesn’t harm innocent persons or their property. There’s no need to “limit” such activities because they do no harm. Going back to the seriously flawed “crying FIRE in a crowded theater,” you have a right to do so if the theater is on fire and your goal is to get the patrons out alive. If you shout the very same thing with the goal of causing panic and injury, then it’s a crime. You have a right to do the former, yet not the latter. There’s no need to “limit” free speech by making it illegal to shout “FIRE” in a crowded theater. Crying “FIRE” in a crowded theater with the intent of causing harm is not a “right” being used improperly or abused, it is a crime. You can’t abuse the right to free speech, just like you can’t abuse the right to arms. The moment you intentionally harm an innocent person or their property, you’ve committed a crime, you have not abused a right.

      Recognize that bright line between a “right” and a “crime,” and every time you hear someone conflating a right with criminal acts, point out to them their error.

      BTW, the Second Amendment limits only government, it does not presume to limit the right to arms – it sets a bar that government is not empowered to cross. Please familiarize yourself with the preamble to the Bill of Rights, and with the Ninth Amendment. The Constitution dictates how the government is “constituted,” it does not limit, constrain, or define any of the people’s rights. When you read the Second Amendment and see “limits” there, you are doing exactly what opponents of a written bill of rights feared, and what the proponents of a written bill of rights thought they had answered and protected against with the Ninth Amendment.

  • RJFixer July 22, 2016, 4:58 pm

    I can’t think of a clearer nexus of all the debate points regarding firearms. This is where the “anti-s” and the “pros” have their most divergent viewpoints and emotions. I am a firearm owner and carrier. Most of the time, I choose to be concealed. If I am hunting, I go open. If I am in a clearly “pro” accepting environment, I am going open.
    Having said that, I have little sympathy with anyone who seeks to make into law some sort of protection from their own fears. Okay, it makes you uncomfortable, like finding a spider under your chair, or watching an eight year old juggle a knife. As a courtesy to you, I would probably avoid putting spiders around you. I don’t like deliberately making people uncomfortable. But the law is quite clear. We are entitled if we so choose to bear arms. You are not entitled to even make a law against my right and entitlement to so bear arms. The intent and purpose of this second amendment was debated long and thoroughly by the framers of our Constitution. There are whole books that contain nothing more than those great men’s words as to exactly what they meant by the wording and inclusion of that amendment.
    Try picturing Moses having to listen to someone in the crowd pick apart the statement “false witness”. The guy has just confronted God, staggered about the mountain, and torn down the golden idol. Pretty full day, eh? But no, he has to listen to some little minded schmuck asking, “But what if it’s my mistress who told me?”
    What I’m trying to say is, if this right had been adhered to as stated since the beginning, these little debates as to just how much carry we are allowed to carry would sound as nonsense, and it’s only that we keep giving credence to splitting hairs on the right to bear arms that we’ve created the very trouble we are in.

  • Alfonso Alfredo Rodriguez July 22, 2016, 4:13 pm

    I have a permit carry concealed. I do not care for anyone to know that I am armed. Discretion is better when it refers to firearms and I like to keep the element of surprise. I was a federal law enforcement officer for almost two decades and I was also career military and shot in competition too so I know my way around all types of firearms, heavy or light. Open carry has only one reason and one effect: INTIMIDATION. There is no real reason for a civilian to open carry in an urban setting, out in the field while hiking or hunting away from a populated urban setting is a different matter. Those that like to hang an AR15 on their shoulder to shop at the local grocery store or pump gas or attend public gatherings cannot tell me that is just for their protection or because it is their right, they have a warped sense of reality which makes them dangerous. They have no understanding of their social responsibilities or of the Second Amendment or of any part of the US Constitution. An open carrier is doing it just to send a message of “I am armed, don’t mess with me”; to me they are just saying: “I am armed, in case of emergency you know who to shoot first”, which I gladly will if I consider that person a danger to my safety or others. The other part to this mess is that it makes police work insanely more difficult by presenting multiple armed targets some of which may be innocent. In any case, properly trained and responsible gun owners do not go around showing up their weapons as if to tell they have more authority than the next guy. With open carry, the potential is higher for accidents to happen due to bad gun handling, hot tempers, bad judgement in general, mental instability or just plain ignorance; it happens to professionals and in this day and age, it is simply MORONIC to open carry a weapon defiantly. Let me repeat: open carry is bad due to its confrontational nature; I do not need to go out doing my business around town and have to worry about an openly armed moron in my proximity. If you are not a uniformed law enforcement officer on duty who is supposed and expected to be armed, open carry is callous, dangerous and irresponsible since its only purpose is to INTIMIDATE and send a hostile message to other civilians.

    • John Taylor July 22, 2016, 7:40 pm

      I come from a similar background and totally agree with you. I don’t open carry my wallet for the same reason I don’t open carry my gun, except when appropriate.
      As the longest serving RSO at our range, I have a term ” Tactical Timmies”. They are “HELL” on ten yard targets w/30 rn mags. Challenge them to 100yd off-hand, well, they gotta go cut grass.

      Out Here

      • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 6:54 am

        Targets don’t shoot back.

  • SSGRick July 22, 2016, 3:17 pm

    According to the article: Dallas Police Chief David Brown has said on the record that the 20 or 30 individuals carrying AR-15s at the protest in Dallas made it more difficult to apprehend the shooter. “It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over their shoulder and they’re in a crowd,” he said.

    Gee what a NOVEL IDEA!

    • Robert Mowery July 22, 2016, 4:40 pm

      I agree with SSGRICK. Slung arms are not threatening in any way. I conceal carry always. If a bad guy sees you have a gun, the chances are they will take you out first. If they are not aware you are carrying you have a better chance of stopping the bad guy.

  • D July 22, 2016, 2:49 pm

    I’m licensed to carry concealed in my home state. I carry (a handgun) both concealed and openly. However I do feel there is a time and place for both. 99% of the time I carry concealed, especially when in public. Out in the woods, on the bike trail, ect it’s usually open carry but with a handgun. IMHO, these people that are openly carrying the long guns downtown are just looking for trouble. I understand it’s a right but it’s not always wise to do. Use your head people!

    • Spike July 22, 2016, 3:17 pm

      I agree 100% with you. I have a number of “long guns”. I don’t feel the need to sling one over my shoulder and walk down the street just because I can. I am also a concealed weapons holder.

    • Steven July 22, 2016, 5:10 pm

      Yeah, unless there’s a gun shop, pawn shop, or gun show going on nearby, seeing people toting rifles in a downtown area would make me nervous, especially if there’s a protest going on.

  • phoenix michaels July 22, 2016, 2:47 pm

    “I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not.” That about sums up the rhetoric of Loomis and his lip service to the Constitution. Flood the streets with massive open carry every day of every month of every year. Law abiding citizens do not give up their legal rights and behaviors to make policing easier… rather, the police must serve those citizens under the laws we give them to enforce or find other employment. The police and overly concerned citizens will acclimate over time, and the “active shooter” scenario will be much LESS likely with so many armed citizens everywhere.

    • Juan Santos July 22, 2016, 11:31 pm

      I spend 38 years as an LEO and I’m an avid collector of firearms, I resent when an individual thinks that because they pay taxes and a Police Officer is a public servant, their life don’t matter, Police Officer also pay taxes, many individuals use the open carry to intimidate others and to balance their short comings, they are trying to say “look I’m a bad ass” which usually is the opposite. The wild west is a thing of the past, I feel a person has the right to bear arms, but the open carry law serve no purpose and is dangerous.

      • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 7:09 am

        The ‘Wild West’ was never a thing of the present. One of the most potentially violent time in “The Wild West’ was the Oklahoma land run of 1889. Free land to the first person to claim it and almost everyone was armed. There was one shooting. Those that think the only reason people open carry is to intimidate people are probably easily intimidated. As people get use to open carry they will stop noticing. As for carrying an AR or AK around all the time it is a pain in the posterior, believe me I know. If left alone, those who carry around long guns will get tired and switch to a handgun. I would like to add that in reality the only purpose of a handgun is to keep yourself alive until you can get to a long gun. I carry handgun, but keep a long gun in my truck. Actually three. An AR, a shotgun, and a scoped rifle. You never know what may be needed.

  • Ram6 July 22, 2016, 2:05 pm

    Everyone seems to have covered the pros and cons of this article. I just want to say as a CCP holder in Tennessee and someone who carries a firearm concealed I prefer the idea of concealment. I believe that open carry makes you a target in an armed robbery situation or other incident where you are not the primary target. It also eliminates, to some extent, the threat of being instantly shot if you ARE the primary target of a robbery or other type of assault. For those reasons I wouldn’t open carry even if it was legal in this state, however for those that wish to and are law abiding citizens I have no objection.

    I do believe open carry does have a deleterious effect on unarmed citizens who choose not to exercise their right to bear arms and would never expect to do so. It prompts those people to call the police and report “man with a gun” even if it’s legal and wastes law enforcement resources. Further I think carrying a long gun into any demonstration, or even no demonstration where there are a substantial number of people isn’t real smart and is done for effect and not protection. Why create an incident or unease among your fellow citizens that’s not warranted.

    • Steven Pruner July 22, 2016, 3:05 pm

      A simple rule can apply here: let’s apply any limitation to a constitutional right to every other right listed in the Bill of Right and see if that limitation makes sense. For example: if gun owners have to pass a background test, then journalists should have to pass a background test in order to practice their right of the press. If a certain type of gun is banned then may certain types of news stories should be banned. If the mentally disturbed can have guns the liberal leftists shouldn’t be able to become journalists.

    • heath July 22, 2016, 4:20 pm

      I have a ccp and live in Florida. Even if I could carry openly, I wouldn’t. I think I am safer carrying concealed. The author says that by enforcing concealed carry we are reinforcing the notion that guns are scary and dangerous. Guns ARE dangerous and I hope everyone that has one knows that and handles it safely.

      • Dale July 25, 2016, 1:20 am

        Guns are no more dangerous than any other tool, when used properly. No firearm EVER jumped up from a table and shot someone! It is ALWAYS the person who is in control/holding the gun that can be considered DANGEROUS! Training and proficiency are a must when firearms are present. People can be dangerous, firearms are inanimate objects that DO NOT HAVE FREE WILL OR ARE SELF AWARE! Firearms are NOT dangerous in and of themselves.They are NOT any more dangerous than screwdrivers, hammers, saws, knives, etc…

  • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:01 pm

    “We are constitutional law enforcement” but he goes on to say that certain restrictions are “reasonable”. As long as the constitution says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, there are no reasonable restrictions. If they want to pass laws that restrict any kind of carry at all, they need to change the second amendment FIRST. Otherwise like all such laws, any truly honest person has to admit that any restrictions are unconstitutional. Having to ask permission from the government to buy ANY kind of arm is an infringement. Any law that says you can’t buy a certain type of arm is an infringement. Any law that says where or how you can carry your arms is an infringement. It’s that simple. Don’t compare it to speech. The constitution’s first amendment ONLY RESTRICTS CONGRESS. READ IT If you don’t believe me. So all the arguments for or against open carry laws or concealed carry laws are moot, if the police and the courts actually kept their promises and followed the constitution.

  • R Black July 22, 2016, 1:53 pm

    I have a license to carry. Although I choose to conceal carry, I was excited when Texas legalized open carry. Anytime our rights are strengthened rather than infringed, it is cause for celebration. I also think you should have respect for your rights and not be obnoxious about it. Do you have the right to carry an AR 15 down the street? Sure. Is it going to make some people uncomfortable? You bet. Do you and your significant other (opposite sex or same sex) have the right to makeout at the bus stop? Sure. Do I want to see it? No. We aren’t going to win any converts with the in-your-face “come and try to disarm me” AR15-at-the-Starbucks-just-because-its-my-right attitude.

  • DG July 22, 2016, 1:32 pm

    Criminals/terrorists don’t open carry; They keep their illegal firearm concealed until the last moment when they pull it out to commit their crime or to start shooting.
    No amount of restrictions on the Law Abiding will do any good to stopping the evil people intent on doing harm.

    Open carry can and has stopped criminals from committing their crimes. They walk in and see several people carrying, they leave. Check interviews on Fox with criminals in prison. We are who they are afraid of, not the police. They know the cops won’t show up until they are usually long gone.

    I get tired of hearing “compromise ” or “reasonable limitations” on the Second Amendment. This is Wrong. “Shall Not Infringe” means no laws or regulations, no limits or restrictions on. Look it up in the dictionary.
    If someone has an AR15 or any other carbine, long gun, Modern Sporting Rifle, etc. slung over there shoulder across their back, they aren’t any danger at the moment. Its the person running away with a gun in their hand that’s most likely the criminal.

    When you limit or disarm the Law Abiding, only the criminals have guns (illegally as usual) and that means more unarmed easy victims for the evil person doing the shooting, rather then more to prevent it.

    Yes, open carry can get you shot first by the terrorist/criminal, but that gives others a chance to shoot him.
    If people use common sense and know what is going on before they draw their firearm in defense, there won’t be many problems with the wrong people getting shot.

    It’s terrible what happened in Dallas and in Louisiana, but limiting the Law Abiding won’t keep the evil people, the criminals or terrorists from killing more innocent people.

  • Grampa Friday July 22, 2016, 1:30 pm

    First of all, I feel that in most situations, open carry is not such a great idea, particularly in regard to long guns. That being said, I do open carry occasionally. It is much more comfortable and, as previously stated, easier to draw. What it comes down to is this: whether or not a person does or doesn’t agree with open carry, or concealed for that matter, is irrelevant. It is our right, and should at least be appreciated as such. With laws involving our American rights, we have the choice to protect our freedom or potential security. I choose freedom every time. By doing so, I realize that I will be responsible for my own security. It is silly for the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they disagree with something is to make new laws restricting it. This mentality applies to many issues other than gun laws, and I feel the same across the board. Let the law protect my rights, and I will protect myself.

  • jim July 22, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Many people, here and elsewhere, compare open carry to days past when people carried rifles or shotguns in a gun rack in the truck, or carried rifles or shotguns as they waked down the road, heading to another field or other hunting location. There is no comparison between that and a person carrying an AR in a downtown area. I AM an open carry advocate, but only of handguns.

    A handgun is a defensive weapon. Yes, it can be used offensively, but would not be the weapon of choice for a person who is planning an attack. Rifles, besides being used for sport, are also offensive weapons. Their ability to engage threats at long distances denies their use as a solely defensive weapon. In a confrontation, one can use deadly force only when necessary. A person who is threatening you in a city environment at a distance of 100 yards IS NO THREAT. The reason concealed-carry is allowed is for defense, not for offense. It gives us all the ability to defend ourselves, if needed. People who openly carry an AR have a fantasy of engaging multiple lethal threats in a crowded environment, i.e., terrorist acts. They see themselves as putting down the bad guys before the cops arrive, or helping the cops put down the bad guys.

    I open carry my handgun for the purpose of deterring possible criminal activity in my vicinity, and for the ability to quickly react to a legitimate lethal threat. The AR does not fit that scenario, therefore, is unnecessary as an open carry weapon.
    BTW, I own two AR’s, and a folding 9mm rifle.

    • J. Mack July 22, 2016, 1:33 pm

      Open carry in this day and age is just plain ridiculous!

      • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:31 pm

        Well then, don’t do it. It’s your decision. But don’t try to take away MY liberty because you don’t like it.

    • james boyd July 22, 2016, 1:53 pm

      I agree with you, It drives me up a wall to see these “Paper” commando’s strutting around. I’m not a huge fan of open carry with a handgun, my reason is most people i have seen doing it are going through their day without a care in the world. If im carrying a gun concealed or open, i’m watching the world around me. if someone wanted to shoot up a place, the one that they know is armed will be engaged first. and most of the one’s i see ain’t paying attention. The one’s with their rifle strapped to their backs look like paranoid nut jobs. we as gun owners don’t need to help the anti-gun crowd.

  • Robert July 22, 2016, 12:41 pm

    When I moved to California in 1959 anyone could open carry and no one was getting shot on the streets. As the matter of fact the gangs that came in and took over the Chino, California area were not around and afraid to show their faces. For years, even after moving out of California, I belonged to the California Rifle and Pistol Association. They have been fighting the infringement on their rights for years but have been overwhelmed because they have not been supported by most of the major media. One bastion of freedom was Orange County for years but even that is gone with an openly hostile woman sheriff in office there. But, CRPA had a saying that I liked very much. It is on all their literature and goes like this. “Society is safer when criminals don’t know who is armed.” Makes sense to me but not the liberal group in Sacramento.

  • S. Velez July 22, 2016, 12:36 pm

    I have been a police officer for the past 30 years 10 as Sargent. I’m not afraid of any person who open carry firearms (rifle or handgun) I have been more concerned with intervention with a person who don’t have any firearms. It is more dangerous domestic violence and trafic stop interventions than the open carry firearms person.

    • Powder Burns July 24, 2016, 4:59 pm

      With all those years as a LEO under your belt, it’s shame no one ever “Learned ya” some grammar. Your reports must have been an interesting read…RMES

  • Jim Zoppi July 22, 2016, 12:27 pm


  • Bill Schoettler July 22, 2016, 12:26 pm

    Let’s talk a minute about “perceptions”. People are educated and have experiences which help form their perceptions. But perceptions can be changed…by education and experience. The person who doesn’t know guns, has never fired a gun, may have the perception that guns are dangerous, even just sitting on a table, much less attached to a person. Those of us who are familiar with guns realize that it is the mind-set of the holder of the gun that is important. We also know that all of us tend to project our own fears and experiences onto others. So if a person who doesn’t understand firearms sees another carrying a gun, the perception may be the gun-carrying person is dangerous, presents a threat. This is what is in the mind of the perceiver. I can’t control how you think/perceive but the real issue is whether I should be controlled by your perceptions. If you are afraid of the dark should I be prevented from going to a dark place? If you are allergic to strawberries should I be prohibited from eating strawberries? If you are afraid of guns, why should I be prohibited from owning them, from carrying them and from using them?

    • Larry Holz July 22, 2016, 12:57 pm

      Well said!!!

  • Michael July 22, 2016, 12:15 pm

    I have a CHL (or as they now refer to them here in Texas, a Handgun License, as a result of the recent passage of “Open Carry” of handguns here). I do not choose to “open carry” my handgun because I believe I might have the upper hand in a shooting situation and because I prefer to personally decide when I will use that weapon to protect myself and my loved ones. However, “Open Carry” of rifles and shotguns has always been legal here in Texas. I can recall growing up in Central Texas and routinely seeing various types of rifles or shotguns in the “gun racks” of pickup trucks here every day. It was never a big deal – ever! I don’t think anyone would have even considered stealing one of these tools from a vehicle. And concealed handguns? Only criminals hid their guns! Of course, as we became more urbanized as a society, long guns became less of a daily “tool” for most Texans and you saw fewer and fewer rifles or shotguns displayed. Fast forward to our current society. People who did not grow up in an environment where firearms were common, only seeing the nonsense involving guns on TV or in films, may be prone to believing all that silliness and may even become quite concerned at seeing a firearm openly displayed in public. And man of these same people don’t use common sense, nor do they logically look at issues to reach logical conclusions. Well, times change and those individuals may just have to get use to the occasional display of a firearm. While I don’t usually see a need to take a rifle to Walmart (other than possibly during their “Black Friday” sales events!), it is a God-given “RIGHT” regardless of what our elected officials, police agencies, or the common whiners think. Blood is not running in the streets because of Open Carry; crime is actually going down, and as usual, you are more likely to be killed in a car accident or falling down, or by getting a secondary infection when you go into the hospital, or because of a mistake by your doctor or or medical team. Our elected officials need to use some common sense, turn a deaf ear to the uninformed and usually inaccurate media, read our Constitution every day, and pledge allegiance to the flag every morning (and who the heck would spend millions of dollars to get a job paying $175,000 a year anyway? Crooks!)

  • Johnnie Cates July 22, 2016, 12:12 pm

    Based on the your logic that the right to bear arms is absolute and shouldn’t be limited by the government in anyway, I submit so is the right to free speech. If I yell fire in a crowded room, that is my absolute right as defined in the constitution, I am not then responsible for the reaction of the people in the room!
    Yet you do admit that to do that is irresponsible and possibly even criminal.
    I don’t want to purchase a firearm, but I do enjoy going to a gun range. I believe in the right to bear arms, but I would like to point out that as the Wild West became more populous the open carry of firearms became more restricted. The establishment of a police force made a gun on the hip unnecessary.

    • Darren P. July 22, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Yelling “FIRE” in a theatre is not protected by the 1st amendment of freedom of speech. It’s a call to action. It’s like being at a bar and saying to some guys that the guy outside just robbed a girl, you should go beat him up. That’s a call to action, not protected speech. However if you went into a mostly black patroned bar and yell the “n” word, however not smart that is, it is protected by the 1st.

      • Johnnie Cates July 22, 2016, 10:39 pm

        My only point was, while freedoms are part of the Constitution’s protections, reasonable limitations are warranted. Another example. While freedom to practice ones religion is another Constitutional right, imposing your beliefs one other is not. Even though I am a Christian, the Constitution does not allow me to insist that you believe the same thing.
        To say that this country was founded in Christian values and every citizen must acknowledge that is not what the founding fathers intended.

    • Griz Hunter July 22, 2016, 1:01 pm

      Are you for real? The belief that the establishment of a police force makes defensive firearms unnecessary is naive in the extreme. Police are, for the most part, investigators and report takers. They come after the crime has occurred in the vast majority of cases. If you feel safe because your city has a police department, you are badly misguided to say the least. I am a retired law enforcement officer, and I have a handgun on my hip (concealed) at all times.

      • Flyboyron July 25, 2016, 3:33 pm

        Right. You have fire extinguishers in your home, because the situation that you’re faced with someday may require their use before the fire department arrives.
        A gun is no different, except for the fact that a fire won’t chase you if you decide to just leave the house, and a fire extinguisher isn’t explicitly protected under the U. S. Constitution.

    • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:10 pm

      The constitution does not give you, nor does it state anywhere that your right to freedom of speech is unlimited or shall not be infringed. It restricts congress from limiting your right to free speech but it says nothing about other government bodies abilities to pass laws in their own jurisdiction, restricting that right. It’s far far different than the second amendment’s universal statement.

    • Alan July 22, 2016, 5:14 pm

      I assume you mean the Police force that the SCOTUS determined has NO obligation to protect you as an individual, but only the public at large?
      Where at least one member of the SCOTUS wrote that the individual has incumbent upon themselves to secure their own safety?
      THAT Police Force?
      Do you even KNOW the response time of your local LEO’s?
      Not to disparage them, but they aren’t exactly on every street corner. Nor could ANY society afford such a thing.
      BTW, my local LEO’s are quite good, with an average time of 4 minutes.
      But a LOT can happen in 4 minutes.

      • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 7:17 am

        The average gunfight lasts only a few seconds.

  • skipNclair July 22, 2016, 12:10 pm

    Regardless of how many scenarios one may come up with about the 2nd amendment or in this case open carry, there is only one that matters, and that is the right to carry is an absolute right by God almighty, and also the Constitution, case closed. I feel sorry for you weak minded blind individuals that for some reason or another cannot understand this, But I recognize that this is your choice to allow yourselves to be harmed by being defenseless and God almighty gave you freewill so agin I will not argue with your decision, so please allow me my freewill and not argue with me.

    • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:13 pm

      Your disagreement with the folks who hold different views does not give you the right to belittle them nor to call them names or in any way treat them disrespectfully. God loves them just as much as he loves you and you should respect that at the very least. We can disagree without insults. In fact I agree with your view on the God given right to self defense. I hope you will work on the other aspect of your post.

  • Eddie Ray July 22, 2016, 12:08 pm

    What we need in this country is some common sense!
    When I was a kid in the Carolinas. Tons of us carried a shot gun in the gun rack in the rear window of our trucks. It was kinda common. Now days , it would just get stolen.
    Times change, things are different in different places. In the south west I think few would be afraid of a guy with a gun in his truck. Now in NewYork,or Detroit,that might be cause for alarm.
    Common sense? An eighteen year old is to immature t o buy a six pack of beer at Walmart. But he sure as hell can buy a shotgun or assault type rifle,with as much ammo as he wants…..common sense?
    I need to have proper training,and insurance to drive my car on public roads. But with a two hour course,and three shots into a target ten feet away. In Florida I can carry a concealed gun almost anywhere.
    Common sense?
    I love guns! But they are dangerous. Proper real life training is required to carry and use them safely. That is just COMMON SENSE!

    • Steve July 22, 2016, 4:02 pm

      Sorry Eddie – guns are not dangerous. SOME people possessing guns are dangerous. I open carry every day in a level 2 retention holster, never have brandished it or drawn it in anger. I have invested much time and money in proper training, also have trained in when NOT to shoot. On at least one occasion my visible firearm (without being drawn) stopped some gangbangers from harassing me & my wife. My basic attitude is “I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me.”

  • Bob Fortini July 22, 2016, 11:58 am

    I’m sure what I’m about to say is going to tick off a lot of you. I do not agree with open carry or unlicensed CC based on what I have seen. Most of the individuals I have seen with an open carry weapon ( Handgun) have NO CLUE as too weapon security. About 90% that I have observed strap on their hog leg and stroll around. It would be so easy to walk up and take their weapon from them before they even knew what happened. They don’t pay attention to what or who is around them at all. Most do not use a weapon retention holster. As for unlicensed CC, it is a problem for Law Enforcement ( 40 years experience here) in states where anyone and I mean anyone can carry concealed LE does not have a clue if the person their talking to is armed has a criminal history or what. I no longer live in a state that permits this. However if I did and still worked patrol I would have too (for my own safety) treat every stop as a man with a gun. I would approach their vehicle with my weapon out and by my leg period, in the event something went south.
    This is the 21st century not 1874 Tombstone AZ, by the way you can’t carry in that city. My feelings are quiet strong about this. I also believe that individuals who carry concealed should be required to do the following. 1. A complete background check. 2 The training needs to be upgraded, not only classes on the law but also in shoot don’t shoot situations. 3. Re-quals should be at the least once a year. I’m not talking about punching holes in paper, but a qualifying course as Law Enforcement is required to do. Any conviction of a DUI or Drug charge loss of privilege for at least one year. If the individual had a weapon on them at the time of being charged, permanent loss of privilege. Any conviction of domestic violence loss of all firearms period. These are just a few things I feel strongly about. Like I said in the beginning this will probably tick you off. I really don’t care. If you choose to carry your buying 150% of what may happen. If you use your weapon in an unlawful manner or it’s taken away from you due to carelessness on your part and used in a criminal act your history. Just because you can carry you damn well better be prepared to pay dearly if you screw up.
    So go ahead and let me have it. I look forward to reading any responses to MY POINT OF VIEW>

    • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:22 pm

      What I get from your post is that you don’t want the government to follow the constitution and you don’t trust people in general. Problem with that is that the government is made up of people much like you and me. We aren’t perfect but we can only do our best. When you expect the worst you get the worst.

    • Keith July 22, 2016, 3:47 pm

      As much as I would like to see people have good training with their firearms you cannot mandate it by law. What will happen is a government will make the training so exhaustive and expensive that a normal citizen will not have the time or money.

      Please people, if you have or carry firearms get some training! Please, it may save your life or someone else. I got about eight days of rifle and handgun training from Front Sight Firearm Training Institute. They are a great training facility and I highly recommend them.

  • Ronhart July 22, 2016, 11:57 am

    I advocate concealed carry in public areas where open carry could cause concern for some people unfamiliar with firearms. HOWEVER, I also advocate concealed carry should be legal without applying for and paying for a permit from some bureaucrat. I just refuse to pay for permission to exercise my Constitutional Right.

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn July 22, 2016, 11:54 am

    Simply because a person may have the right to do something does not always mean that it is right to do that something.

    • Mike Mc July 22, 2016, 12:47 pm

      I don’t feel threatened by people who open carry. It is their right in certain states. Unfortunately in California where I live it is no longer legal.. I am 66 years old now and can no longer r\un from an altercation. So, I applied for a concealed permit, passed the background check and investigation. It was refused, by the San Diego county sheriff, on the grounds that personal protection is not a valid reason. The response time for a level 2 call, felony in progress, is in excess of 10 minutes. I can’t run at my age and condition. So now I am disarmed completely. I feel open carry fine but not my first choice. My only objection to it is how qualified is the person with the gun? Are they proficient? If they are I’m all for it.

      • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:41 pm

        That is why I moved out of California. I got sick and tired of the people being sheep and electing hypocrites to office like the guy who was trying to get “assault weapons” banned but was also a clandestine illegal gun runner. Or like Gerry Brown who admitted in a nationally televised interview that he lied to the people because if he had not done so he wouldn’t have gotten elected. I was born there, grew up there but I can’t stand the idea of going back. They have no clue about how much more your God given rights are and how great liberty is, compared to their sterile, herd like behavior. They are so much like the characters in the book 1984.

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn July 22, 2016, 11:52 am

    Simply because a person may have the right to do something does not mean that it right to do that something.

  • Ralph Solli July 22, 2016, 11:52 am

    With the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming president this November, there is a a real probability that she will make good on her promise to dismantle the Second Amendment in the first 100 days in office. If that happens, this open carry, concealed carry is moot. Let’s focus on stopping Hillary and the Democrats “Final Solution” of gun confiscation. Save this discussion for another day after we have ensured our Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is still the law of the land.

    • Griz Hunter July 22, 2016, 1:03 pm

      Excellent point, Ralph. I agree.

  • Mark July 22, 2016, 11:43 am

    As a member of the law enforcement community and a firearms enthusiast I do not believe that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens is scary. My friends do not find it to be an issue either. That being said, as a gun owner I have a responsibility to act responsibly, the same as a motor vehicle operator does. Bringing an AR 15 to a public demonstration may be grossly irresponsible, but it is legal.
    To be honest, large groups of people acting together is far more troubling to me, never under estimate the power of stupidity in numbers. But it is a right that I would fight to protect.
    We all have a responsibility to act responsibly, stop the name calling and talk in a nonconfrontational manner. When we allow those that hate America to make us act or speak rashly, they win and we look bad.
    If you want to help further the cause of freedom, send the police in Dallas or Cleveland a letter or a card thanking them for what they do and also let them know that you are a responsible gun owner and you value your right to carry. A friendly voice may not end the argument but it sure can cool it down.

  • JoshO July 22, 2016, 11:42 am

    Having a holstered handgun on your hip in the open is one thing, but in today’s world walking around with an AR slung is just stupid. I own many Stoner pattern rifles and believe they are an essential item…just not in public. For instance, if I’m sitting in a diner with my family and you walk in carrying an AR, I’m likely to draw on you and now we have an ugly situation. Why? Because for all I know, your intent is to open fire and I’m going to stop you before one of those rounds hits my pregnant wife or my two year old.

    Also, scaring the crap out of citizens who don’t yet have a strong opinion about gun rights is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to the cause. They walk away with a negative opinion of you and associate that with all gun owners. Like it or not, our continued enjoyment of peaceful firearms ownership — meaning that we don’t have to choose between giving them up or incarceration/dying in a gun battle with authorities — will be ultimately decided in the court of public opinion.

    Leave the rifles at home, folks.

    • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 2:46 pm

      So you would draw your weapon on someone, when the person you see has done absolutely nothing illegal?

      • Steve July 22, 2016, 4:09 pm

        I think carrying an AR in public is just plain dumb. In a close-quarter self-defense situation, what are you going to do – unsling your rifle, empty a magazine at the bad guy and hit a bunch of innocent bystanders? When I’m carrying my handgun, I’m as polite, kind, and respectful as I can possibly be. I try to show people that not all gun people are ignorant rednecks. (Actually, I AM an ignorant redneck, but I can hide it well)

    • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 7:26 am

      Any person who carries a firearm should be trained in firearms safety, lawful use of firearms, when you are or are not justified in using deadly force, firearms function, marksmanship and weapons retention and disarming. This should total to at least five or six 8 hour days of training, as a minimum. If you are not going to put in the time you should not carry.

      • Flyboyron July 25, 2016, 3:47 pm

        Maybe those things should be included in training, but there is no other provision in the Constitution for a mandatory training course to exercise the right guaranteed by it.
        I WISH there was a requirement for training before one is allowed to vote, but unfortunately, there isn’t. And also unfortunately, there’s no training requirement to exercise one’s 1st Amendment liberty. Why only for the 2nd? You can’t seriously believe that is the only Amendment protecting (not granting, by the way, protecting) a right that can injure people.
        Just look at what uneducated and therefore “unqualified” voters inflicted upon us all in the last 2 presidential elections!

  • BRASS July 22, 2016, 11:36 am

    In states like TX with concealed carry it may be true that open carry is harmful in some circumstances, but not all.
    However, at a time when increased well funded efforts to destroy the Second Amendment start at the White House and governors mansions, no national consensus to ban or stop open carry should be pursued or allowed.
    While I intensely dislike the gun banners in Sacramento that run California and that voting majority that put them there, as the nations most populous state and the state with the largest number of gun owners, Californians who are denied concealed carry have no other option.
    If you are prevented by state law and anti-second amendment county sheriffs from concealed carry, and open carry is allowed to be forced out of practice by commie legislators, compliant police and hysterical nit wits, then you have effectively been disarmed by your government. Californians have no other way to protect their families and themselves in many counties as they are denied constitutional carry of any kind.
    That’s millions of American citizens who are effectively living in a police state where the criminals have the run of the streets and they are by law relegated to being victims any time the step outside their home for any reason. There are other states where recent gains are under attack and if we’re not careful, gun owners rights will move backwards again. Unless we are careful and we remember to stand up for all Americans rights to be armed, we will lose them, city by city, county by county, state by state. Incrementalism is the chosen MO of the Democrat party as they know no national gun ban or registration is possible at this time. Incrementalism in all our cities, counties and states is what we must guard against and not confine our attention to only our local environment and what applies to or affects only each of us, alone.
    Any discussion of open carry must include a national tone and not a local or exclusionary one.

  • tim l July 22, 2016, 11:27 am

    I do not have a ccp and since in the state of Arkansas requires a $200.00 fee to carry a concealed weapon which I feel is a fee for a right we already have. Therefor I oc and think all states should have constitutional carry or permitless carry but until that happens I am limited to oc or breaking the law. My feelings are founded on principles only.

  • perlcat July 22, 2016, 11:26 am

    We have it completely backwards. Concealed carry is what should be legal and available to all & sundry without permit. I think it’s perfectly ridiculous how the concealed carry laws work. It smacks of selective enforcement, where the police-state cops can harass you because of something that nobody can see. You’re even supposed to violate the Fifth Amendment as part of the process, or lose the “right” that was never theirs to regulate in the first place. What should be regulated is open carry, in the same way we allow restaurant proprietors to say “no shirt, no shoes, no service”, or require people to wear clothing to cover their genitals in public places.

    What we have now is the perfect storm for a total firearm ban — first the patently unconstitutional ban of concealed weapons is instituted through bizarre “logic”, and then the easily banned and constitutionally viable open carry ban happens. It’s closing the barn door after shooting the cow. I hear about laws about concealed carry, and I wonder what next? Laws on the type and quantity of pocket lint? Will the ATF be invading my house looking for evidence I sleep on the wrong side of the bed? I understand how people think that racketeering and tax evasion laws are necessary — I see them as a complete violation of our rights as citizens in the interests of persecuting people simply because we don’t like them. Not only that, but they are wholly and totally selectively enforced — if a mob boss can go to prison for tax evasion, why aren’t millions of illegals being detained and deported for being paid cash as day laborers? It’s the same “crime”. Either it’s a bona fide law, or it’s not. Either it gets enforced, or it doesn’t.

    • Thomas Frey July 22, 2016, 11:37 am

      Conceal carry has been ruled by SCOTUS to not be protected by the 2nd Amendment because it hides an individual’s intent to defend themselves. In their view, a person might insight violence, then use deadly force without warning to the other person. Think of this in the context of a card game where someone is caught cheating and then the accuser gets shot by the cheater with a Derringer because he didn’t know the cheater was armed.
      SCOTUS opined that open carry is an honest statement by an individual that they are prepared to defend themselves with deadly force if needed. This is a fair and honest warning to any would be offender that force will be met with force.
      Our biggest issue in this regard is that the NRA has completely failed and propelled the myth that open carry is crazy and scary.
      If our government was truly respectful of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, then all open carry bans would be overturned and only conceal carry would be regulated.

  • pete July 22, 2016, 11:21 am

    Open Carry is the definition of ‘just because you can do something does not mean you should do it’. It’s an embarrassing and creepy hobby done by folks who are showing the world that they are too stupid to even be allowed to own guns. They make us sane gun owners look sick, stupid, dangerous, and grossly irresponsible by association. You OCers want to play wild west? Go do paint ball in private.

  • Sam Meyer July 22, 2016, 11:21 am

    So isn’t the message really “How about using a little common sense? As a shooter, gun collector, hunter, concealed carry permit holder, and owner of 4 AR’s I see no reason why anyone would elect to openly carry an AR in a public place, especially not at any kind of public demonstration, when they can just as easily carry a concealed handgun. Having the right to carry openly is important – exercising that right with some simple common sense is equally important.

  • Doug Huffman July 22, 2016, 11:18 am

    The critical flaw in the system is the obscene notion of ‘crime prevention’.
    If you are not stopping an actual crime in progress, then any police act to ‘prevent crime’ is an improper excess of authority exercised against those who are not engaged in criminal acts.
    It’s a guaranteed death-spiral into totalitarianism. The only way to genuinely prevent all crime is to prevent all unsupervised activity.
    It sounds like such a great idea — who doesn’t want to ‘prevent crime’?
    But in practice, it becomes crimes by the state against non-criminal individuals. A license to dominate, to improperly exercise improper ‘authority’.

  • Robert Brooks July 22, 2016, 11:13 am

    My misgiving is based on how the ccw/oc laws are applied. As far as the cops are concerned, if “ANY” article of clothing covers the weapon completely or in part it’s considered “concealed”. imagine how they will abuse the laws in the future.

  • Pistol Packin Preacher July 22, 2016, 11:12 am

    Hey Jordan, if you don’t like our constitution then you should not have become an American. We have the right to keep and BEAR arms. I carry many ways and if you want to write this junk stirring up and playing citizen then my family died to protect your right to. I have heard a lot of good people, Americans think and respond. Remember the constitution because some of you are falling into the hands of the enemy of guns even if oh so subtle. Again, there is no country like ours and I say love it or leave it or change it by lawful means. You are sounding so righteous but I for one abhor your snide subtle comments and that is my first amendment right sir.

  • T July 22, 2016, 11:11 am

    Lets see, some are advocating banning open carry, which in most states that have it, you do not need a permission slip to carry…Now we are talking about banning it so you will only be able to carry when you have a permission slip? Does ” Shall not be infringed” mean anything anymore?….The founders meant the 2nd Amendment to deter tyranny from government and individuals….NO WHERE does it say we ask permission from the very government they were protecting us from for permission to own, carry or buy a firearm in any way….This is nothing but authoritarian, Socialists, police state thugs who want such things…We need to be armed more than ever in America, any attempt to ban it, stop it, in anyway is treacherous…..Fear and ignorance from a populace and or, governments is not an excuse to “infringe” on our rights in any way! Wake up America!

  • B,ham. Popo retired July 22, 2016, 11:10 am

    What do you not understand about ” SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED ” ? Period!

  • Robert Brooks July 22, 2016, 11:08 am

    The 2nd Amendment, open carry and ccw’s were not intended to make the police officer’s job easier, but to make our lives safer. If cops are afraid of the civilians they should find another job. If the state is afraid of civilians, it’s called freedom. Too many people in charge gain all their life experiences on, and watch too much tv,
    Reality is that shootouts in the old west were few and far between. Folks don’t want to get shot. I’m getting fed-up with hollywierd being used in place of reality.

  • wabbit July 22, 2016, 10:54 am

    1. author didn’t state where his new home is in his adopted country, Chicago; NE states -NY, NJ, etc; CA? or someplace where OC of handguns is readily accepted by both LEs and citizens.
    2. open invitation to Jordan to contact me privately and walk along ‘in my shoes’ OC’g our handguns around my city, or CO or WA or VA or GA or NM or AZ or OH or PAor any of the other states in this union allowing citizens to OC handguns! Jordan, we’ll grab a bite at 5 guys or stroll down the asile of lowes or wally world or sams and let him see the lack of citizens’ horrified panic at our firearms. up for the challenge?

  • nick July 22, 2016, 10:54 am

    See, THIS is what ALWAYS happens in ANY GIVEN SITUATION where FREEDOM is concerned. Do you have ANY IDEA how many people are TERRIFIED of FREEDOM? You get the individuals in a position to have more than a few people hear their views and they start PONTIFICATING and SOUL-SEARCHING and SECOND GUESSING the situation JUST TO HEAR THEMSELVES SPEAK because they are AFRAID of FREEDOM!!!! Because they realize that “The OTHER Guy” has to get those SAME Freedoms too. TAKE THIS GUT-WRENCHING BULLSHIT going on in YOUR HEAD and STICK IT! You are GUILTY of the EXACT SAME BS as the ENEMIES of FREEDOM are. EXACT SAME!!! OPEN CARRY has to go through a NATURAL EVOLUTION AGAIN in this ONCE Great and SOON TO BE GREAT AGAIN Country. YES, there MIGHT be some DRAMA at first but AFTER the initial shake-out people WILL GET IT. They will UNDERSTAND the wisdom of it. The “BAD”, “CRAZY” people are a TINY MINORITY, on BOTH SIDES. At first there will be casualties on BOTH sides. BUT, it won’t be long before ALL of them are gone and the rest of us can live in Peace and Security forever after. Just PROTECT yourselves while it’s all leveling out. Amen!!!!

    • Mike July 22, 2016, 11:00 am

      Do you think that it is people are afraid of freedom itself or do you think they know if they are free then they have to be responsible for the actions and results of said freedoms. If somebody else dictates to you what you can or can’t do, can or can’t do then the other person bears the responsibility and not you. Submissive so so to speak

      • Dewey July 22, 2016, 11:38 am

        Using logic and common sense against a jingoistic, simple-minded, incoherent hyper-patriot like Nick is a waste of time.

        • nick July 22, 2016, 12:15 pm

          And YOU Dewey are an IGNORANT FOOL who happens to be, EXACTLY, one of the PONTIFICATORS I was speaking about. JUST because you can THROW AROUND some ADJECTIVES that you MORE THAN LIKELY just Googled, you think that makes you an “Intellectual”? There isn’t a SINGLE, ORIGINAL thought in your VACUOUS SKULL that wasn’t PUT THERE by the “Other Side”. Your KIND sucks it up like a SPONGE in a PATHETIC EFFORT to FILL THE VOID created by your INHERANT INABILITY for INDEPENDANT, CREATIVE thought. The UNFORTUNATE aspect of YOUR existence is the fact you were ALLOWED to VOTE AND REPRODUCE. THANK YOU for PROVING MY POINT!! AND, if there WAS such a thing to be “Guilty” of as HYPER-PATRIOTISM then by ALL means COUNT ME IN YOU ASSHOLE because I would WEAR the label PROUDLY!!!

          • Dewey July 22, 2016, 2:17 pm

            I never claimed the title of “intellectual”. But you feel free to keep digging that hole. By the way, if you’re going to yell in capital letters, please learn to spell. Your assumptions about me are also baseless, since I’m fairly certain that you do not know me. Kudos on the ad hominems, I always heard that was what “liberals” do when they have no logical argument.

  • Richard Kent July 22, 2016, 10:53 am

    I am as pro 2A and open carry as you can get. However, my belief is that long arms should be excluded in urban areas. Common sense applies here. I don’t see the point of walking around a city street, mall etc. with an AR slung over your shoulder just because you can. I’ve seen it and yes, it looks stupid.

    • Mike July 22, 2016, 11:05 am

      Bingo. We as responsible gun owners must show responsibility and common sense. The left is always touting their “common sense gun laws” but yet some in the pro gun movement just don’t have it. There is a time and a place for displaying your weapon and on your shoulder in the open all the time well it is robbing you of seeing the oh shit look on the face of the criminal when they find out they picked a fight out of the sheep dog and not the sheep

  • WilliamDahl July 22, 2016, 10:46 am

    Compromise is NOT good. That is what has allowed or rights to become so restricted that we are not fighting to get them back. When you compromise with leftists, all they do is use that as a new point from which to negotiate taking away more of your rights. The time for compromise is over. We need to take our rights BACK. We need to go back to what the Founding Fathers intended and stated — SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

    Those who think that ANY restrictions on our 2nd Amendment rights is acceptable have already started down that proverbial slippery slope, but they just don’t know it yet. Some are so far down it that they can’t even see the top anymore.

    With respect to prohibiting open carry, that would be like prohibiting the open display of religious jewelry. A government can no more restrict the right of the people to bear arms than it can restrict what religion its people worship.

    • Dewey July 22, 2016, 11:51 am

      Hell yeah! Shall not be infringed! Guns should be available to anyone, maybe sell them in vending machines. Sadly, you constitutional “literalists” have no idea how stupid you sound when you speak. More thought, less talk.

      • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 7:34 am

        Sorry we can’t help being stupid but your ignorance is your own fault.

    • Griz Hunter July 22, 2016, 1:09 pm

      Excellent point, William. Compromise with leftists is insane. It is a slippery slope that we should not try to negotiate.

  • Doc July 22, 2016, 10:44 am

    Perhaps, as a Canadian immigrant, you didn’t realize that the old West shootouts were rare. If open carry were legal in Florida, I would not participate. However, I would not infringe on that right for others to do so. Like carrying a gun, open carry is a personal decision and should not be the government’s.

    • Thomas Steinruck July 22, 2016, 11:03 am

      Open carry is legal in Florida right now. If you are hunting, fishing, camping, target shooting at the range or going to or from any of those activities. And it is legal without any permit whatsoever. The only time there’s a problem is one of police officer is not familiar enough with the law and hassles the person exercising his legal right. Or some liberal with an anti-gun agenda calls the police trying to cause trouble.
      Strangely enough it is not legal to carry open in Florida when you are hiking through the Everglades, or if I’m riding my horse on friends ranch. But it’s perfectly OK at the City fishing pier.

  • David July 22, 2016, 10:42 am

    Why does everyone use “you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire”? With rights comes responsibility, you CAN go into a crowded theater and scream FIRE, IF THERE IS A FIRE! If not, you cause a panic and probably a stampede. You have to be responsible for your actions/statements. I “open carry” almost everyday especially if it’s to hot to wear a cover of some sort (coat, light shirt, whatever). When in public don’t touch or make a move towards your weapon except when you feel you are in danger. If you need to adjust something do it in private, this applies to adjusting your weapon as well ;). Keep your identification on the opposite side of your weapon. I keep my wallet with my ID and appropriate paperwork (vehicle registration, insurance, credit card and even money) in my front pocket and on the opposite side of my weapon. Think about other people’s reaction if you have to reach for your ID or money and plan ahead. Wear a holster with some kind of retention system. Keep your weapon away from anyone, if in line at a checkout or something turn so your weapon is as far away from the closest person to you. Put the cart or basket between your weapon and anyone near you. Carry your keys or hat, something in your gun hand to easy people’s fear that your carrying a gun. Use your head for something other than a hat rack. Above all smile and be friendly.

    Carry on…

  • leah July 22, 2016, 10:30 am

    I think that comparing the issues of open carry with what happened in Dallas is a bad move. That is not a typical situation although a valid concern. Two things need to happen. Police need to be trained in how not to over react in situations they may encounter with open carry and forcing people to have a permit to conceal carry needs to stop. The constitution guarantees us the right to bear arms. It never said if you can afford to get a permit etc… In some states it is easier to open carry than to carry concealed so people who may prefer to conceal carry open carry instead. I could open carry but I choose to conceal because I don’t want to deal with the bs that comes with open carry. It cost me money and time that it should not have to exercise my right but I deal with it. Being able to exercise that right should not depend on whether or not I can afford the fees and if the sheriff decides I can. Remove the barriers to exercising the fundamental right to bear a concealed fire arm and I bet more people would rather conceal than open. There will always be those who would rather open and it is their right so police need to be trained to exercise some sense when it comes to deciding if someone is a lawful carrier or a threat. Dallas was an exception.

    I don’t think the way this article was titled was very wise and didn’t do much to convince anyone that you are understanding to the progun cause. It sounded more like speaking against the 2cd but covering your azz.

    • Dewey July 22, 2016, 11:28 am

      It’s called being objective. That means looking at both sides without bias. Try it sometime, you might learn to think for yourself.

  • Foghorn July 22, 2016, 10:28 am

    So in my state we’ve had open carry forever… (NC) it was around long before concealed carry. As more people buy the option to conceal we also accept the restrictions to do so. I say buy because you can’t just conceal carry without getting the government’s permission. You can open carry all you want as long as you are of legal age and legally permitted to own a gun. Using the argument that it may upset or scare someone is the same reason that most folks don’t exercise the real freedom of speech.. you can speak the truth without worrying about offending someone.
    I’ll choose to conceal when I can but I have no problem with anyone open carrying. I agree that judgment should be used but not open carrying for someone else’s feelings… well let them go find a “safe space” on a campus somewhere.

  • buh July 22, 2016, 10:28 am

    so because others are “scared” or “intimidated” it’s my fault and I have to change?
    but if faggots in public scare and intimidate me,….It’s also my fault and I’m a homophobe.
    typical libtard wordplay, your wrong no matter what you do.
    maybe some of these pussies should get over their fears instead of making new laws to deal with their made up fears & insecurities. I am sick of the left pushing their narrative. I mostly conceal carry, but do sometimes open carry and it’s not for any of the dumbass reasons these leftist wussies tell you they are to push their agenda. usually to or from the range, or if I’m hiking in the wilderness, and sometimes while shopping in town.
    not all of us are in big cities, and yet the new gun laws passed by these idiots hurt us more than any criminal.
    show me one criminal that obeys the law… idiots

  • david July 22, 2016, 10:12 am

    I choose to OC when I hike, fish in the woods, hunt with black powder. But if I have to stop in a city on the way home, I don’t get out of the car with the handgun on my side as there’s no need to scare anyone and have them call the police, etc. I lock the handgun in the glove box, and then CC. I never open carry in my neighborhood, on the bus, etc., for the same reasons I stated above. I CC.

  • Doug Neal July 22, 2016, 10:01 am

    Couple of comments;
    First, firearm ownership is a right. People can choose to exercise that right, or, not. It is not a right to restrict another individual’s rights out of morbid fear of that right. Pretty sure that is a psychologically treatable phobia.
    Second, the fear of the police of open carry is kind of moot, a legal carry individual, will comply with most any police request to show ID without being combative/resistant. It won’t take but a couple of minutes for an officer to determine if an individual can legally possess a firearm, or, not. Most law abiding citizens have a healthy respect for the police, and, back them 100%. Just like any group of people, you will have your dissenters, including the police! Not all police officers should have a badge, and, not all law abiding citizens should own guns. A known criminal, or, a convicted felon, definitely shouldn’t have a gun.
    Just my Two cents.

    • DAVID July 22, 2016, 10:38 am

      Well stated. I would add that just because you can open carry does not mean you have to. Also don’t see a point of people open carrying there rifles. Total gun guy here but to me and only in my own opinion that is just stupid and makes all of look like we are fanatical nut’s. I have put myself between my family and the weirdo that thinks he should be walking around with a rifle.

    • Thomas Steinruck July 22, 2016, 11:14 am

      what all the antis seem to forget is that bad guys don’t carry thousand dollar 1911s on their hip. Bad guys conceal highpoints.
      A well dressed man with a gun on his hip and a smile on his face is not a threat to law enforcement or passers-by, only a person with Hoplophobia reacts with irrational fear.

    • Erick July 22, 2016, 11:33 am

      Well said!

  • Dave Williams July 22, 2016, 10:00 am

    Open carry is going to be the death of us. Discretion being the better part of valor, the exercising of a right is no less effective when it it discreet. I work in a gun shop and every time I see somebody come in open carrying, I wonder why they don’t just unzip instead.

    • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 11:21 am

      Funny and insightful! However, the gun shops I’ve visited do not allow a customer to be carrying unless it’s in a bag or case. You would get an instant, wary reaction from the employees, all of whom are armed.

      • Keith July 22, 2016, 4:46 pm

        I went to my local gun store doing open carry. It’s normal there. They do not care. You just need to leave your pistol in your holster. The employees are armed and about 25% of the customers were armed that I could see.

  • Nick July 22, 2016, 9:57 am

    Wow, talk about a great CYA opinion piece! I applaud the author for his ability to walk the tightrope (and probably still anger gun owners in the process). I do think it was fortunate that no one was shot by mistake during the chaos in Dallas. Given that the first anti-carry gun control law in California was initiated by then Governor Ronald Reagan as a result of the Black Panthers (they brought openly carried rifles, etc. into the statehouse when it was legal to do so), it might be best to disallow open carry just for black people. This would be both for their protection and white people’s. Since nothing tends to give us white folks heart palpitations more than a black man with a (even legally openly carried) gun, such a “threat” to the community must be stopped. It would save black lives, too since I am sure open carry only increases the likelihood of a black person being shot. Since they get shot frequently anyhow (see the cc owner in Minneaota or the black man in Florida lying on his back with nis arms raised after trying to help the white person under his care), this is probably the right thing to do.

    • Alan July 22, 2016, 10:14 am

      Ok, benefit of the doubt. Now, was that tongue-In-cheek?
      Because that was as racially charged as they come.
      You really need to consider your words, this is the kind of thing that gets us branded by the Lefty Loonies, and in this case, with good reason.
      In addition, if you REALLY get heart palpitations at the sight of an armed Black man, you need to reconsider your own thoughts.

      • Nick July 23, 2016, 1:56 am

        Of course I was being sarcastic. Oh, and I AM a “lefty” who happens to own guns. Bottomline is I think open carry is the dumbest thing a person could choose to do, for too many reasons that I have the energy to enumerate

  • TacticalSnacks July 22, 2016, 9:54 am

    Open carry is a right and should never be made illegal. Would I ever do it? NO. Is it foolish? YES.
    But it is needed so I can be better protected from lunatics. I carry concealed, every day. When the first shot goes off, you see, it will be to the back of the head of an “open carry crusader”. Giving me the opportunity to fight or flight. THANKS GUYS! Better you than me!

    • Erick July 22, 2016, 11:35 am

      When has this scenario ever happened? Please list them.
      Open-carry of long-rifles has been around much longer than pistols, so I’m sure you can get an even longer list for this.

      I won’t be holding my breath though….

  • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 9:49 am

    Except for military and rural situations, open carry is an ego and intimidation trip, like walking a pit bull down the sidewalk. It doesn’t protect the carrier from a determined assailant with a gun. Rather, it makes the carrier a target — for being shot in the back and taking your weapon. If you truly want the safeguard of being armed, carry concealed. Take a lesson from warfare. Secrecy and surprise.

    • Griz Hunter July 22, 2016, 1:12 pm

      Well-stated, Mark. I agree.

      • Joseph Woodworth Jr. July 22, 2016, 4:57 pm

        Sounds like rhetoric from RNC last nite…this will never be resolved, but I agree with the guys who plead for common(also up for grabs) sense about inflaming an already touchy situation…why should it matter if you are not in the restrictive confines of MA, CA, DC or NY, etc…keep it handy and out of sight and use the better part of valor and scoot if you can. Being insightful doesn’t mean you’re a coward or smug intellect wanna-be. Mind your own business and carry an extra magazine.

  • Garry Medlin July 22, 2016, 9:49 am

    Open carry to me means you are able to carry a weapon openly in a shoulder holster or on your belt. This does not mean slung across your back. Although I do love AR-15s and shotguns they do have their place. A sidearm is plenty of protection and deterrent. I love what the ARA is doing they are correct in defending our constitutional rights some people go overboard

  • Chilkoot Charles July 22, 2016, 9:44 am

    This commentary presents a bizarre perspective on the issue. The comfort and sensibilities of a naive populace is hardly a serious consideration for ruling on restricting an established right. Does the abject offensiveness of things like culturally hostile foreign attire (e.g. burkas and thobes), or flag burning, or politically insane bumper stickers make a case for reigning in First Amendment rights? It’s funny that the same camp of activists and their sympathizers who are at war with law enforcement are also political bedfellows with those who think only government police forces should be seen to be armed.
    Another obvious and missed argument against open carry is the probably the strongest: Why show your cards before your adversary has played his? If a wolf is in a crowd of sheep and there’s one obvious sheepdog (the guy with the 1911 in his hip holster), who does the wolf take out first? Now the easily-offended sheep better be hoping there are a few more sheepdogs in sheep’s clothing among them– the responsible concealed carry holders.
    The guy who chooses to walk down main street with an AR slung across his back is doing nothing more than making a political statement, and all too often coming across as a jerk in the process. It is a distraction, and ego trip, a tactically foolish strategy, and it isn’t winning any hearts and minds.

  • dan July 22, 2016, 9:36 am

    We support the Constitution … except when we don’t.

    If we modified our daily behavior assuming there’s going to be something as statistically unlikely as a mass shooting, it’s certainly not going to be *stopping* carrying guns.

  • Justin July 22, 2016, 9:30 am

    If open carry is an invitation to chaos, then why in heck didn’t the country fall apart in anarchy and confusion a long time ago? Real men and women carried firearms in the open from the founding, until domineering liberals and their cretin counterparts decided that only the government was smart enough to carry firearms. Interestingly, the first carry bans in the states were democrat laws aimed at restricting blacks and poor whites.

    What part of “Shall not be infringed” is ambiguous?

    • Robin Miller July 22, 2016, 11:33 am

      I have viewed many pictures of American cities in the 19th century, and cannot recall seeing a single citizen openly carrying a gun in any of them. Open carry was popular (but by no means universal) among western farmers and ranchers, but even they often had to check their guns with the sheriff or marshal when they went into town.

  • Phil July 22, 2016, 9:29 am

    I open carry 95% of the time. Thanks to mi convoluted carry laws, sometimes it’s the only way to carry.

    • TacticalSnacks July 22, 2016, 11:29 am

      Open carry is a right and should never be made illegal. Would I ever do it? NO. Is it foolish? YES.
      But it is needed so I can be better protected from lunatics. I carry concealed, every day. When the first shot goes off, you see, it will be to the back of the head of an “open carry crusader”. Giving me the opportunity to fight or flight. THANKS GUYS! Better you than me!

  • Dewey July 22, 2016, 9:18 am

    I’m guessing that the founders’ intent of “bear” meant to bear arms in defense of an existential threat. The “keep” portion is clear enough, the people can keep arms, train to maintain proficiency with them and hunt with them (if that is their need/inclination). Open carry is not the constitutional “bearing” of arms, only the truly simple-minded believe that. It is brandishing, it is irresponsible and it’s a pretty stupid practice, especially since most of the time, these rifle-toting individuals don’t even have them loaded (so why do it?). Not only does it “spook” the general public, it also spooks the local constabulary, many of whom are ex-military and are inclined to see you as the “enemy”. The fact that police departments even consider hiring ex-military is another can of worms entirely.

    • USAF98-12 July 22, 2016, 11:53 am

      There shouldn’t be an issue regarding former military to join the police force. Most former military who do served the military as military police and did so when they separated the military they can get a job as a police officer. So I see nothing wrong with that. Back when I was stationed at Pope when it was an Air Force base The Fayetteville police department cooperated with Ft. Bragg MPs and Pope AFB SFs in traffic stops on a major public highway near the base and Army Post. It helps them learn the civilian side of public service as police officers while they serve as military personnel.

    • PRISONGUARD1 ASP July 22, 2016, 7:30 pm

      HEY DEWEY? I suggest if you’re going to speak of the military, or ex-military it would be wise to mention your service or branch. Unless like many other sheeple you tend to believe what others fill your ears with. Many ex-military who enter a career in law enforcement have valuable training in leadership and communication skills that better enable them to deal with ‘John Q. Public’. Many of us served in different parts of the country or world that give us an outlook on cultures different from where we may have been raised. Unlike any ‘JOE BLOW’ who can get behind a megaphone and convince some other part of the populace to walk and shout in our public places, those who become ‘sworn peace officers’ must clear an extensive background check and clear a psychological evaluation before ever pinning on a badge. That badge belongs to the people, the officer doesn’t get to keep it until they retire, or unfortunately GIVE THEIR LIFE IN THE LINE OF DUTY. After serving 7 years active in the Regular Army, 1 year Army Reserve, and 12 years in the California National Guard. I was also fortunate enough to retire as a sworn peace officer with 25 years. I then went on to work as a public safety patrol officer on an Indian Reservation.
      WHEN APPROACHED BY ANY OFFICER I ALWAYS LET THEM SEE MY HANDS AND IDENTIFY MYSELF. They get my full co-operation, if I ever have an ISSUE with the officer, the street is not the place for discussion. I can always file a report with the commanding officer or Watch Commander. I’m not a hero nor an expert, but when I speak it’s from experience and 1st hand observations. WE ALL KNOW OUR GOVERNMENT IS FULL OF LYING SACKS OF SHIT. I will sign off as ‘ONE PISSED PATRIOT’ from ‘KALIFORNISTAN’

  • blh557 July 22, 2016, 9:12 am

    I’m in favor of OC, but prefer not to OC except at my farm or at the hunting lease, etc. I take issue with the ego-suppressed who feel they must bolster their self-image by carrying a “scary black gun” around… but will defend that they may do so. IMO Texas’ laws regarding OC are good and, for the most part, define well any person’s ability to CC or OC and in what situations. I agree that protests, especially in the heated, violent, and politicized rhetoric of the BLM (Back Liars Murder) movement, are NOT the proper venue for OC of AR’s, Shotguns and AK’s. I hope the Texas legislature will address that in the near future.

    ‘Nuff Said.

  • Kyle G July 22, 2016, 9:09 am

    No, the notion of it’s okay to place “reasonable limitations” on The Right to Bear Arms is false. True, it is illegal to murder, because we have The Right to Life…but are we going to place “reasonable limitations” on life.. come on you fool.
    Oh and not to mention the words “Shall not be infringed”.. you REALLY can not get any clearer than that.

  • Gingerbaker July 22, 2016, 9:02 am

    ” First and foremost, proponents say, the right to carry a firearm openly is crucial to a proper understanding of the Second Amendment. The Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Full stop. This means that any government restriction on the Second Amendment is unconstitutional, including a mandate to keep firearms concealed.”

    What a crock of shit! There is nothing “crucial” about open carry. You have a right to own and use a gun according to the Supreme Court. Believe that, OK? Believe it! That right is not going away.

    But the Supreme Court has also said that States can regulate how owners can exercise those rights. In this case, it is PERFECTLY Constitutional to regulate HOW you carry your guns in public. And Open Carry needs to be outlawed, just like it is here in Vermont. And I’ll tell you why:

    It’s not just dangerous – it’s unAmerican, that’s why. Because when you open carry, you are going around intimidating people. Some assholes in Texas walked into Town Meetings with their big fucking guns slung for everyone to see and bullied the place. Do you see the problem, here? They should have worn an S.S. uniform with swastikas galore to drive home the point, in case there was a single person at the town hall who might possibly have been convinced to hate them just a tiny little bit more.

    Open Carry is nothing more than a huge advertisement that gun owners are enormous juvenile assholes. Dangerous unAmerican in-your-face moronic assholes. You want the majority of people to demand as many Constitutional restrictions on your gun rights as they possibly can? Keep openly packing long-gun heat, Jack. You will get your wish.

    Our gun laws in Vermont are perfect. No permit needed for hidden carry pistol. No long gun can be carried hidden or carried loaded within 50 feet of any road. Because loaded guns intimidate people, and there is NO NEED for it. Because loaded long guns facilitate crime, and we are supposed to be against that, in case you forgot. Because hidden carry pistols are all you need for protection outside your home.

    Open Carry is a fracking disaster for everyone’s future gun rights because some assholes like intimidating people over the 2nd Amendment. Which is, ironically, about the best way to lose your gun freedoms.

    • Dewey July 22, 2016, 9:25 am

      Well (if abrasively) stated! Many gun owners in this country are their own worst enemy. For an example, it was not the “liberal” media that coined the term “assault rifle”, it was our very own Guns & Ammo magazine. Think about that for a minute. Hell, most gun owners should think about anything for a full minute.

      • Jackie Robinson July 23, 2016, 7:54 am

        The “Assault Rifles” Guns & Ammo was talking about are full automatic M-16s, AK-47 or the original “Assault Rifle” the German stg44. These require a class three license to purchase.

    • david July 22, 2016, 9:37 am

      well said.

    • david July 22, 2016, 9:38 am

      well said.

    • Mark Are July 22, 2016, 10:02 am

      un American? For exercising their RIGHTS? I’m intimidated by a gun pointing in my face, not by one hanging off someone’s shoulder or in a holster on their hip. Maybe you should grow up and become AMERICAN. It is not “un” American to exercise a right. And RIGHTS are not negotiable. Rights are not something you can “regulate”. A RIGHT is a RIGHT. That is why Thomas Jefferson called them UNalienable. The government is the SERVANT of the people not it’s masters. Geezzz…

    • smartadze July 22, 2016, 10:02 am

      Complete agreement. Well stated!

    • PRISONGUARD1 ASP July 22, 2016, 10:18 am

      ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, LOADED GUNS TO INTIMIDATE PEOPLE. The problem is those people couldn’t tell a loaded firearm from an unloaded firearm. Neither can the rest of us, without inspection. If concerned watch the behavior of the ‘open carry’ holder. As with smoking in public places, if I don’t like it, I’M FREE TO LEAVE THE AREA! I myself would me more concerned with cars on a public street in close proximity to a business selling alcoholic beverages. JUST SAYING, WE CAN VILIFY ANYTHING, and there will always be a small percentage making the rest of us look bad to the unknowing.

    • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 10:29 am


    • Erick July 22, 2016, 11:45 am

      A strange man screamed at me once for a reason I do not know. I became legitimately afraid. We should use your logic and put restrictions on speech too. Fear is the best way to create laws, not logic.

  • Capn_Stefano July 22, 2016, 8:58 am

    This muddy way of thinking is why we have lost so much of the 2nd Amendment already.. 1934/1968/state laws, all COMPLETELY unconstitutional. Compromise with evil and you only get more evil. Personally I want to retake our liberties by whatever means required..

  • Infidel7.62 July 22, 2016, 8:39 am

    You are missing the third side, the scumbags see the open carrier during a robbery and take him out first. No one should know you are armed unless you are forced to use your firearm. There does need to be some leeway for accidental flashing or printing that can’t be helped. But carry needs to be concealed to most effective. The scumbags don’t know who to target because anyone might be carrying. With open carry you make target selection that much easier for them.

    • Chris Wood July 22, 2016, 9:08 am

      Typical statement from a concealed carrier. There has never been a case of the open carrier being shot first. Unfounded statement.

      • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 10:35 am

        I personally read newspaper and web news accounts all the time of open-carry persons being ambushed and their weapon taken. — Unless you want to walk around a restaurant looking behind your back, sit with your back to the wall, stand at the urinal with one hand on your gun and one hand on your weapon ….

      • Hugo July 22, 2016, 11:20 am

        Just because iit hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I’d rather not let the bad guys know I’m armed. If the sh*t really hits the fan and you feel that a concealed pistol is not enough..different story. That being said…lots of folks had their legal firearms confiscated after Katrina in Louisiana. I’m all for keeping a low profile whenever possible.

      • TacticalSnacks July 22, 2016, 11:36 am

        Wow. “Never been a case of the open carrier being shot first”? Tell that to all the LEOs that have just been ambushed and murdered this year. Uniformed Cops open carry, BTW.

    • MSG John Laigaie July 22, 2016, 9:16 am

      I openly carry a well holstered pistol on a daily basis. I have bad guys in my area and have never had a problem. Bad Guys do not want to fight, they want an easy target and a Legally Armed Citizen is not someone to challenge. This has never happened.

    • Griz Hunter July 22, 2016, 2:03 pm

      Well-stated. I agree completely.

  • JFLSR July 22, 2016, 8:36 am

    Why is it so hard to specify that “Open Carry” means a handgun only? Long guns should not be included in open carry, and that means sawed-off guns as well. This would be the obvious solution to a situation as clearly confrontational as this was. They wanted a fight! We who are authorized to legally buy a hunting license or permit, do not walk around in public places with a long gun slung over our shoulder! We do not attend rallies, parades or other public place activities carrying our long guns with us! Carrying a long gun as was done in this article tells me instantly that these people had deliberate intentions of hunting people and was hoping for a real chance to use them. In this situation, the police should have taken them down and disarmed them as quietly and quickly as possible. I also believe that you should have a State or police approved permit (background check) to be allowed open carry, and I would prefer to see everyone required to show proof of competency on a target range, of their ability to shoot and handle a firearm efficiently!

    • david July 22, 2016, 9:45 am

      well said.

    • Old Clockguy July 22, 2016, 10:08 am

      And I agree with most of what was said in your post, if a person wants to exercise their lawful right to do anything that involves risk or danger, and is licensed to do so legally, then the onus of responsibility falls directly on that person’s shoulders to do it within the bounds of that responsibility and with a modem of common sense in the results of those actions. But, where does one draw the line between lawful and safe and lawful and also doubtfully safe, for lack of better terms?? I see both sides of the issue, the LEO’s are out on the streets and in their patrol vehicles daily focused on our safety and our abilities to move around in public with no threat of harm. When do these protectors of the citizenry make the decision that this person, who is walking down the street with a long weapon slung over their shoulder, have become a potential threat to others in close proximity? Until that first shot is fired, or at least a potential danger is exhibited by that armed person
      un-shouldering their weapon, they are well within the law to openly carry that weapon in an open carry state! You, as a lawful concealed carry permit holder, then become a potential target in the eyes of that open carry individual. Do you want to wait that long to make your own decision to protect yourself and those around you as I see as part of the personal responsibility of a concealed carry person? Does the LEO make a judgement call based on visual clues, dress, walk, nervousness, glancing around, etc, before that open carry individual actually opens fire on a group of citizens? There is a fine line in that scenario which is the focus of many of the concealed carry proponents who do not necessarily favor toting around their weapons openly or making a “show of force” to others as a possible deterrent to open conflict in the streets.

      I would feel very uncomfortable if I walked into a restaurant and stood in line behind a guy with a long gun slung across his shoulder, waiting to order my cheeseburger and fries. What if the guy in front of this person, who is legally displaying his Constitutional Right to bear arms, suddenly goes off the deep end because he hasn’t been taking his meds for a week or more, and wheels around and cold cocks that person in control of the long gun, takes it, and begins to point it about? That instance throws ME into the fight whether I choose to go there or not!! That is how I see MY responsibility as a concealed carry gun owner. And I would do what has to be done without thought or worry about my own safety for the moment. That is one of the reasons why I have trained and become the person I am today. But how many others have done the SAME training and taken on the SAME responsibility that I have set my mind to honor? Do we really NEED to look like we are civilian counterparts of a soldier who has just stepped in from doing battle to grab a bite to eat? Do we have to openly challenge that law, which already gives us the right to “bear arms” but leaves the judgement on HOW to bear them up to us? Are we simply on an ego trip from too many episodes of war and conflict movies that litter the visual airways today and gross over coverage of the tragedy that is going on in the Mid-East and domestically by the suits on the 6 PM news with little or no emphasis on the soldiers who are trying to help a homeless mother or a lost child as they would surely do if that same opportunity came up here at home?

      The responsibility to carry a weapon is an awesome responsibility and one to which each of us should give long and careful thought before tackling the inherent challenges and decisions that such a responsibility requires us to also accept. The law enforcement community, for the most part, accepts this part of their job daily when they step out onto the streets to face unknown challenges of our homeplaces. It behooves us to think before we act and know up front what we are being asked to do in order to “Keep and Bear Arms” in this great country. The ramifications of taking this right lightly will change some people’s lives forever if they don’t use their reasoning and common sense and do what is beneficial for the citizens with the least amount of impact on all of our lives. Tempting fate for the sake of impressing your friends or making a point of law to the police will only lead to trouble the likes of which will have earth shattering consequences to that carrier if things go south in the process. ………… Why tempt fate …………..?

    • Mark Are July 22, 2016, 3:35 pm

      What part of SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED can’t your state worshiping mind comprehend?

  • C.A. Wason July 22, 2016, 8:24 am

    This article has more holes in it than the target I shot yesterday. The author wants to offer a compromise…, the world has changed, and all my compromise has been depleted. Instead, offer compromise to criminals and ISIS, THEN LET ME KNOW HOW THAT WORKS OUT FOR YOU…

  • Nick July 22, 2016, 8:21 am

    So the author is confused about “shall not be infringed”? Or did you let a liberal write a story.

  • Dave Heston July 22, 2016, 8:19 am

    These people open carrying at big events is ridiculous. Just because something may be Constitutional doesn’t make it right to exercise that right without consideration and forethought. As the article states, it scares some people, intimidates them, and makes it difficult for LE. I’m licensed for concealed carry and support it. I’m only somewhat okay with open carry in general, but it should not be permitted at public events. The only purpose of doing that is to showboat, intimidate, and take an “in your face” posture that only serves to hamper legitimate gun rights efforts. The “Rambo’s” of the gun rights movement need to disappear. I’m aware that there are those who disagree, but I have stated my opinion.

    • John Willis July 22, 2016, 9:12 am

      You’re not the only one who feels that way. I also have a CCW, I even own an AR 15 . I carry my pistol every time I leave my home. The AR, well I cant imagine why I would want to leave my house with that rifle draped across my back. I’m also unclear as to some of the laws governing Open Carry. Are these weapons allowed to be LOADED ? I have read some places that they are not. If this is true, how does that even make sense ? I get that some folks are worried about a slippery slope, I am also of the belief that walking around through the course of my day with an AR 15 strapped across my back isn’t entirely necessary , not when there is another , more sensible approach , such as CONCEALED CARRY. Last point, why would anyone want to confuse the LEO’s at a time when they need to focus on the perp at large, not the 20 or more yahoos walking around with AR 15’s on their backs ? It only makes matters worse. That’s just common sense. This is my OPINION . :-/

      • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 10:39 am

        You’re preaching common sense to the common-sense challenged.

    • Alan July 22, 2016, 9:17 am

      You “support” licensing of a Constitutional right?!
      So, do you support paying a fee and licensing for voting? Because that’s what you’re inferring.
      Also, licensing is by State, for a Constitutional right, that does NOT allow for carry within the entire United States, although your other Constitutional rights do. Any State can restrict that right, as it now is being interpreted by our Courts.
      They’re wrong of course, but is it worth the hassle as an individual?
      Then the words, “should not be permitted” for a Constitutional right?
      I think your thinking is weak.
      Now, I’m not an advocate of open carry, simply because it puts the now timid and stupid on edge at your local grocery.
      We have to remember we’re dealing with an America that has been brainwashed into believing they have a ‘right’ to safety.
      We know that ‘right’ doesn’t exist, it’s up to the individual to look to their own safety.
      Hence the right to bear arms.

    • Gingerbaker July 22, 2016, 10:04 am

      I agree with you.

  • Steve Corcoran July 22, 2016, 8:09 am

    I think it has a lot to do with the culture and what has been the norm. I grew up in Montana and open carry has always been around. It was never something I thought of & it seems like no-one else really did either . . . . until the migrations started. I can remember, as a teen, my friends & I chuckling about the signs posted in some of the store windows in Billings requesting customers check their weapons upon entering the store. Pretty much every truck had a gun rack with a varmint rifle and/or a hunting rifle in the back window, depending on the time of year.

    I don’t recall it ever being something that was contested or ever made the news,even in the State’s largest city of Billings (approx 80k citizens at that time). I do remember that concealed carry of a handgun required a permit issued by a judge & I can remember my Dad, who was an MHP officer at the time, explaining the State legislature’s reasoning behind that requirement.

    Fast forward to just after the real estate boom in Southern California when many of the folks there started vacationing in MT after several movies came out & they saw the views (Far & Away, A River Runs Through it & a couple others). It didn’t take the out of state crowd long to realize how cheap property was in Montana and the Californians started arriving in droves to enjoy the “culture” and get away from the restrictions and the rat race in SoCal. Before long, the complaints started regarding people carrying firearms in public and the transplants started having rallies and protests because a bunch of people wandering around with guns was not what they were used to & it scared them. Before long, the city ordnances and new laws arrived to extinguish the bad old days. Not just open carry, but there were a whole lot of things the Californians decided they didn’t like and before too long, they had forced most of the restrictions they had fled SoCal to escape on the native population in MT.

    I don’t recall the restrictions on open carry being something the locals were too concerned with cutting down on. The law is still there & there are folks who do open carry, but for the most part if has slowly quit being something you see on a regular basis. I know this because people remark about seeing someone carrying a pistol these days when, years ago, it was so normal, no-one even noticed.

    I am huge 2nd amendment supporter and don’t feel the government has any right to restrict our constitutional freedoms, but I have to admit I find it hard to imagine a situation where I would need to walk down the street in town with an AR on my back. If the time comes I feel I need to be carrying a long gun around town, it won’t be slung across my back, it will be on a single-point harness at my chest because if I feel nervous enough to thing I need a long rifle on a daily basis I want it where I can get it in use in a hurry. Besides, if things get to the point where I feel enough tension to feel I need to carry a long gun every time I leave my vehicle, that would tell me it is time to find a new place to live. Having said that, I have no issue with people lugging around an AR or shotgun if they feel it is something that makes them more secure, but I have to agree with the LEOs on this one. An already tense protest rally is not really the place for anyone to be openly carrying a firearm if they are smart. I don’t want to be shot by a police officer by mistake if some whack-job starts a gunfight any more than that police officer wants to shoot me by mistake & I completely understand that in an angry crowd, if the shooting starts, anyone with an openly visible gun becomes someone who will have police guns trained on them. If they are lucky that is all that will happen.

    • PRISONGUARD1 ASP July 22, 2016, 10:37 am

      WELL SAID, as a born ‘KALIFORNISTAN’ I see everyday so many scared brainwashed people think the government needs to wipe our asses. Our weak liberal populace in KALIFONISTAN doesn’t want to think for itself. I will be leaving my home state soon to live freely elsewhere, and to embrace the freedoms of my new state of residency. Large populations of migrants always want to impose themselves on the new territory, history speaks. The only prevention is to ‘LOCK THE DOORS’ so to speak.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 22, 2016, 11:02 am

      Steve, I wonder if the police would ‘think’ differently about open carry if the person (tactically improperly) slinging the AR was at the Texas Officer shooting and took out the sniper out, or at least put some suppressing lead on him disrupting his attack long enough for police to regroup and therefore saved their lives?

      As for your flawed reasoning that you ‘understand’ ‘ that anyone with an openly visible gun in a crowd will have police guns trained on them and will be lucky if that’s all that will happen.’

      That type of thinking reinforces the bad overreacting habits the police have been evolving into lately, and is part of the Police State summary street excecution problem, not the solution.

      Police are supposed to be better trained and more situationally aware from daily experience to make a less flawed emotional /content decision under pressure. Otherwise by now I would have killed at least fifty undercover/plainclothes cops that looked worse than the grubbiest scumbag you could find, if I reacted like most of these cops in bad shootings are doing these days?

      The Police must ALWAYS err on the side of the Constitution. They cannot marginalize it to give themselves some sort of ‘security’ advantage to mitigate personal risk in a dangerous situation. Danger and personal risk is part of the JOB? That’s what you get paid to do. If you can’t take risk and danger without violating the Constitution and people’s rights you swore to uphold, Then get a different fucking job?

      Some moron cops in Florida yesterday just summarily shot a non violent unarmed caretaker on the ground with his hands up, giving new slippery slope police state exemplars, of ‘comply AND YOU STILL die!’ The victim attending to his autistic patient on a public sidewalk. It amazes me that cops are so police state programmed these days-which some say is just poor training in terms of ‘Necessary v. Deadly’ Force, that they completely don’t understand anymore that the radio call of ‘man with a gun’ DOES NOT ALWAYS MEAN THERE IS ONE, AND EVEN IF THERE IS, DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO EXECUTE ANYONE HAVING THEM!

      I’ve been involved in this sort of thing from the psychological problems with police, to the actual training flaws. Many of us are becoming convinced that this vicious circle of fear where the cops (who carry open) are afraid of the citizens, (who carry open) who are then MORE afraid of the Cops, and so on until someeone- either cops or citizens- gets killed UNNECESSARILY, and mass police state hysteria proliferates?

      In our studies, we find that this was one of the rationales when France and GB originally opted for unarmed ‘Bobbies’ and Gendarmes. That, of course, being the absurdity swing of the pendulum.

      Another suspicion in keeping with the ‘nothing is by accident’ social engineering conspiracist theories is that this is the way you develop your ultimately effective Totalitarian storm troopers… By first blurring the clear Constitutional restrictions on deadly force against the citizenry in the cops minds. Then creating a ‘them against us’ mentality within the ranks. Making the ‘thin blue lin’ a greay steel wall. When the cop in Flordia was asked by the innocent victim he just shot for no reason ‘why did you shoot me officer, when i wasn’t resisting and don’t have a gun’, the cops said ‘I don’t know’? (according to news reports)

      We have to go back to the fundamental practice of NOT comprimising the Constitution if we want to do good police work.

      Unfortunately, an ancillary Constitutional tragedy, much like the one where the 4th/A was summarily abrogated and suspended during the Gestapo-like house to house search for the Boston BombingTzarnov brothers, was also ‘enhanced’ during the Texas police shooting tragedy.

      Can any of you ‘Chairborne Ranger’ commentators out there figure it out yet? C’mon, it was a landmark presendent setting event? And no good, not even the assuaging of the vengeance emotion, will ever come of it.

      Don’t go Watters World on me now? ‘THEY’ hope We, The Sheeple” don’t notice it too much???

      But True American Patrdiots should take a very serious look at this.

      • PRISONGUARD1 ASP July 22, 2016, 7:47 pm

        MAHATMA, There are always 3 sides to every incident. He said, She said, and WHAT ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE. Be wary of what is reported. Not everything comes out until years later, or never fully divulged to the public.

        • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 23, 2016, 10:42 pm

          You’re correct Prison Guard, but I’ll bet any amount you want that the Autistic care worker who was illegally shot by the dumb ass cop will settle for at least a Mil, or two, with the state before the civil suit goes to trial?

  • Hugo July 22, 2016, 8:08 am

    A concealed carry permit holder should never be prosecuted if his gun is accidentally exposed while reaching for his wallet. That being said, I think open carry is a bad idea, plain and simple. It makes gun owners look like nuts and is shifting public opinion to the point where liberals are now ready to revisit 2A if Hildabeast becomes president. Walking around a city with your AR slung over your shoulder is just thumbing your nose at those who are against guns and inviting more restrictions.

    • Dewey July 22, 2016, 9:29 am

      I’ve never seen so much (un)common sense in the comments section! Maybe there is hope.

      • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 10:43 am

        You took the word outta my mouth. The open-carry egoists may be coming to the realization that their antics only provide ammunition for the anti-2nd Amendment crowd.

    • david July 22, 2016, 9:46 am

      well said.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 22, 2016, 11:15 am

      When someone reasonably explains to me why open carry is ‘okay’ with uniformed and even plain clothes tactical police like Federal Agents who are now ‘Jade-Helming’ down urban alley ways slnging AR-PDWs practicing for future targeted confiscations, but it then becomes NOT okay with identical looking citizens who have the Constitutional right to do so, as well…then I might entertain a decision to comment on the efficacy and pragmatic value of the disticntion.

      Otherwise the ‘debate’, here, on OC, is just agenda based mental masturbation. Because it remains as it should, A Natural Right Law of Nature GUARANTEED by a LAW of The Land Constitution.

  • John Sorensen July 22, 2016, 7:57 am

    There is a time and a place for open carry of a firearm, but the IDIOTS who go around in a crowded shopping center or in a parade with a rifle slung across their backs are making a POLITICAL statement, NOT carrying a weapon for self defense. The person in the photo at the top of this article with an AR15 type rifle slung across her back hasn’t a CLUE of how to use it. This kind of STUPID open carry display is NOT the way to make friends and influence people. If anything, it makes the gun control Nazis even more insistent that THEY need to take away ALL of our guns.

    If you want to KEEP your 2nd Amendment rights, it’s time to stop all the childish play acting and start acting like responsible ADULTS

    • Libertarian Advocate July 22, 2016, 9:02 am

      “There is a time and a place for open carry of a firearm, but the IDIOTS who go around in a crowded shopping center or in a parade with a rifle slung across their backs are making a POLITICAL statement, NOT carrying a weapon for self defense.”

      Oh, so they’re exercising their first amendment rights. You have a problem with the first amendment?

      “The person in the photo at the top of this article with an AR15 type rifle slung across her back hasn’t a CLUE of how to use it.”

      How do you know her? When did you meet? Is she a life-long friend?

      • John S July 29, 2016, 6:45 am

        I speak from more than 20 years of active duty US Military service, when I carried a firearm nearly every day. It’s quite obvious from the way this woman has the rifle slung over her back that she has NEVER carried a rifle with the intent to use it. IF she actually got into a situation where she would NEED to use a gun, to defend herself or others, she would be long dead before she ever got the rifle into shooting position. Therefore, it is nothing more than a prop, used for making a political statement. While the woman has every right to exercise her first amendment rights, in THIS case, a SIGN could be a much better prop than an AR-15.

    • Dr Motown July 22, 2016, 9:09 am

      Well said! My exact thought when I saw that woman carrying her AR in such a stupid position

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 22, 2016, 11:25 am

      No, John, We don’t have to ‘want’ to keep our 2nd/A rights under fear of some socialist brainwashing of specious moral and behavioral hubris. We already are fucking GUARANTEED by the Constitution to KEEP it, and it CANNOT be infringed just because mental reprobates like yourself, whose control freakish fragile emotional sensitivities are affected, and don’t like the way people ‘demonstrate’ that inalienable right to open carry?

      If they are not hurting anyone, and doing nothing wrong, and minding their own business with it, John, it’s none of your fucking business, or the Police’s business, HOW they can carry it?

    • Griz Hunter July 22, 2016, 2:11 pm

      Exactly right, John.

  • So. Larson July 22, 2016, 7:56 am

    One more thing, about the notion that OC invites trouble. The idea that someone would stalk and wait for the opportune moment to reach for your gun… is just plain ludicrous. First, it violates any regard for self preservation. Second, it requires the OC (victim) to be either blissfully unaware or totally ignorant to what’s going on around them… as if they lived in a utopian world where nothing bad ever happens… aka California dreamin. Third, it would take either a lot of balls and/or stupidity to try something like that, along with a great deal of skill and/or luck.
    And last, even if they could pull it off, that doesn’t mean they know how to rack the slide or remove the safety during hand-to-hand combat… which is what they’d be facing from anyone determined to defend themselves. Bottom line, it’s just another ridiculous scary scenario for those without the means, the brains or the courage to defend themselves, to fret about. These are the same people that don’t know what to do if someone breaks into their house or tries to carjack them at a streetlight. They say ignorance is bliss… I say it’s better to be prepared than scared.

  • Phil July 22, 2016, 7:53 am

    We don’t all live in NYC. I live in a remote desert area with snakes, and my farmer/rancher friends and I have been open carrying since I was 12. I no longer sit a horse, but there is simply no other way to carry a six shooter and have it handy..

    • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 11:02 am

      And that’s the appropriate time/place to open carry. However, I’m guessing that if you went into your favorite restaurant for lunch with the boys … and still had your hogled strapped-on, you’d be considered dafty. I could be wrong. But that’s the way it would work here in rural Nebraska.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 22, 2016, 11:28 am

        Well, that explains, it Mark? Everybody knows that Rural Nebraska is pretty ‘dafty’ alright!

  • Johnny July 22, 2016, 7:51 am

    Everyone over 18 years should be trained and required a firearms safety course and then be Required to carry a fire arm.
    This is the best and safest way to stop the violence in America

    • Hank July 22, 2016, 9:05 am

      +1 on this one, and to add to this idea, perhaps the govt can subsidize (in the form of a tax break?) “permit holders” to take a safety course or tactical course or whatever fits the person’s skill level. I personally am totally for FREE training.

      It’s just like driving. We get practice everyday and in a similar fashion some of us choose to take firearm classes to hone in our skills and pay out of our own pocket. So, I think a subsidy would potentially encourage more people to follow suit.

      Maybe, just maybe, this practice will take us closer to the pro-open carry crowd’s notion where a firearm’s presence is the norm. I personally choose to concealed in crowded area but that’s my choice and I don’t feel like my rights are infringed in any way.

    • Flyboyron July 25, 2016, 7:29 pm

      Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of (nor trainable for) carrying a weapon safely, no matter how much training they have. Some folks know they aren’t and choose not to do so. I say they know best. I’d just as soon they not…

  • Spartacusstoo July 22, 2016, 7:48 am

    It is clear, we want to feel protected, by the law and the officers of the law and finally by common sense. A weapon, anything, that can be used to intimidate, put fear in the heart, in public display, needs to be backed up with a badge. If no badge then the weapon, using common sense, should not be exposed. Most people are very fearful of weapons and should be. The “in your face” weapon carrier is advertising, plainly, but advertising what? It turns out to be very simple: FEAR! It is odd that so many people will sport a lethal weapon, but it is most always a a gun. Why not a sword or axe? you never see anyone wandering about with a sword strapped to the hip. Why not? How about a hatchet tucked under the belt? A hunting knife?

    Then there are the carry laws on knives, no more than a three inch blade! You have to wonder about the stats on knife killings. I don’t see postings on the number of killings/maimings by knife. Knives are lethal, quiet and deadly. Especially in the hands of a knife expert; but, no one talks about this. I am a trained karate fighter. I am deadly just with my hands. I can kill silently and effectively in most all confrontational situations. Now, what is interesting about this is the simple fact that I am a deadly weapon, with the hands and feet; quick and deadly and knowing what I know about using my body as a weapon is scary. In fact it is more scary than carrying a gun. While the gun is basically more dangerous, or so we think. I concede that the big advantage to having a gun is having command in the situation over most confrontational distances. But, up close and personal as they say, well, karate it deadly in the hands of a person so trained. For instance a chest kick by a trained karate assailant most often can be fatal. Same for a solar plexus fist punch. Believe me, do hope for the rest of your life you don’t have to have a physical conflict with a karate trained fighter. Years ago now, I took a course in Kempo karate, full contact. I was totally amazed at the lethality of a trained karate fighter. No guns, no knives needed. A man can be killed by just one move, easy, deadly and scary. After my training I became fearful, fearful of myself. I knew then that I would be obliged to back away from confrontations out of fear, fear of myself in that I would use my reflexive karate skill for deadly purpose. It is worse than having a gun because with a gun the assailant sees the gun and immediately becomes docile. But the assailant has no way of knowing that they are confronting a skilled hand to hand killer. In the course of years gone by I have had a couple of hand to hand situations to deal with. The first was quick and fortunately I was able to stop before doing serious damage to the individual. Nothing is as scary as knowing you can kill without a weapon. And yet too I have always felt that it is better to look cowardly and back away than to use the training which is all reflexive and deadly. Properly trained, a karate expert is a walking weapon and deadly. Sometimes in thinking about it I kind of wish I never had the training. As on TV I see people having at each other throwing punches etc., very pathetic. A trained reflexive karate fighter is an awesome weapon, more deadly than a gun if you can believe that. My biggest fear has been and even in my advancing years, still is…
    In a typical confrontation; i.e., physical fists, just hope and pray you haven’t made a bad choice in who to do battle with as a skilled karate fighter is really bad juju. Most people have no inkling what they are getting themselves into when they take on a karate fighter. I am not talking about the Holly wood displays of spectacular wheeling movements that are all for show as in Tai Kwan Do

    • Steve Foster July 22, 2016, 9:42 am

      I am a police officer and have been in a situation with a “karate expert” and when I hit him upside the head with his AR-15, as he was running at me to jump and try to kick me, he dropped like a “sack of taters”. You seem to be a little braggart about your skills, which tells me your deadly hands are less than lethal. If you wish you had never learned your skills, cut your deadly hands off. Yeah Right!!!!!!!

    • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 11:04 am

      Shine on … laughing my butt off ….

    • Dewey July 22, 2016, 11:46 am

      Sparticusstoo, you sir, sound like a dipshit.

      • Flyboyron July 25, 2016, 7:31 pm

        +1 (Laughing hysterically…)

  • JJ July 22, 2016, 7:46 am

    So you got a Canadian to lecture your readers on US Constitutional Law regarding the Second Amendment? Perhaps, you guys should of had the author talk to a Constitutional Law expert first? Without discussing key cases like Heller, McDonald, Caetano, and Miller, it is hard to give a proper perspective on the constitutionality of open carry. On the other hand, I happy to assist when you guys would like to get down to the nuts and bolts of the second amendment. Just shoot me an email.

  • Jerry Jones July 22, 2016, 7:43 am

    Social norms are not changed overnight…..and that norm now is for the vast majority of society to view their fellow man in suspicion, and fear the intentions of anyone who would open carry a firearm. …. Open carriers should standardize their responses to LEOs that identify themselves….. like putting both hands on their heads with their head with weapon slung or holstered and wait for instructions from the LEO………..the only way to change society’s view on open carry is to relieve the anxieties of those who fear guns and those who carry them……clinging stubbornly, and stupidly to your right to open carry is a sure way to lose it.

  • Curtis Burton July 22, 2016, 7:41 am

    The obvious problem with the article is it lacks common sense.

    Here is the OBVIOUS issue: Would any RESPONSIBLE gun owner BRING a rifle or any other open carry firearm into a setting like the Dallas protest? And the obvious answer is no – these people brought guns to the party because they wanted to communicate to the police and the press they were willing to use violence to make their point. Who were they? Blacks who have been making the point they are prepared to use violence for some time now.

    We’ve had open carry in Texas for just over a year. I recall the media story about how open carry was going to result in massive gun fights on every corner and huge increases in shooting frequency just before the law went into effect. What happened? Nothing – I haven’t seen anyone open carrying and I live in Houston.

    Like all the other crap that swirls around guns misinformation and liberal media bias have more standing than the facts. We also have a sign in Texas that business can post if they don’t want anyone on their property with guns. I don’t agree with it but I understand in a world of lawyers why business owners put the signs out. Simple real world solution vs “Let’s end open carry”…don’t allow fire arms at events like this. They aren’t allowed at sporting events, in courthouses and multiple specific other places and none of the “gun nuts” like ME take issue with that. Same could apply here. And for the record – I own a lot of firearms, have a concealed carry and have never been seen “open carrying” even though I have that right.

  • Ed Kling July 22, 2016, 7:23 am

    One aspect of OC everyone needs to be ready for is if/when someone decides to confront you about your OC. This happened to my son and me in a restaurant. We all need to think through ahead of time our own reactions to a situation where someone feels they have a right to confront you as you practice your second amendment right. I learned that these types of people can be very rude and it’s difficult to remain totally cool headed and calm. My future reaction will be to activate the video on my phone, inform them I am not interested in debating this issue uninvited, and tell them if they don’t leave immediately, I will call the police and charge them with disturbing the peace. I will follow through as well. I would like to see an article addressing these types of situations. Anyone interested in giving me any recommendations or advice, please do.

  • super x July 22, 2016, 7:19 am

    I can see both sides, I have been involve heavily with guns all my life. I have my own range and I reload a lot, all guns pistols, rifles, and shotguns and I shoot a lot. I know for a fact that if you do not train or use a gun you are not near as good as you think you are. Another thing do you know for sure where that bullet is going. When I was in the military I was much more train with combat situations and my target was more defined. Now because of my age and lack of training, I wonder where that bullet is going as I think about situations involved in a combat situations. I would lose my mind if I had to shoot somebody that for some reason was a threat to my family or myself and I shot the person and the bullet hit a kid or somebody who was in the way and I did not see them because of my haste. Most people who live in a city or urban setting does not have the access to shoot and use a range any time they want to because of time, convince or some other reason. Don’t even tell me that you do not need it or you think you are that good that will never happen. I do not live close to really big city but the little towns that I live to I think a lot of times when I am out and about what would happen if I shot a person here over there in a mall, in town, in a restaurant, so forth. When I hunt I am very careful which way I shoot. I know what a gun will do to tissue I have seen it many times most people have not. Once the bullet if fired there is no way to get it back. When you have untrained people with a lot of guns in a place with a lot of people present I don’t want to be anywhere near that place. People in MHO we really need to think this out.

    • Swiss July 22, 2016, 8:11 am

      I don’t see your point. You have to train with concealed carry as well.

      • lonesome Wolf July 22, 2016, 10:51 am

        Not in KS any longer. Open carry is in the state Constitution, concealed carry was made legal, with training, for several years. Recently, concealed carry for anyone legally allowed to own one is legal (no training required).

    • Alan July 22, 2016, 10:29 am

      I am absolutely opposed to those who advocate that “training” is necessary to carry a gun.
      I believe in training, but do NOT endorse that it be a ‘requirement’ as it now is in many States.
      You have NO ‘right’ to safety, only a right to attempt to secure yours by force of arms IF necessary.
      When the 1934 N.F.A. was passed, they imposed a $200 fee or “excise tax” on obtaining an ‘automatic’ firearm.
      In 1934, $200 was a hell of a lot of money. That’s OVER $3000 in todays money.
      In other words, they put the screws to the blue collar American through taxation of a “right”.
      And if anyone here doesn’t think the Lefties won’t try to do it again by mandating outrageous ‘fees’ on getting a permit, you haven’t been paying attention.

      • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 11:08 am

        Please don’t denegrate lefties when you mean leftists.

        • Alan July 22, 2016, 5:21 pm

          Sorry Mark, but it IS a commonly used term on many forums.
          Besides, I always thought it was ‘Southpaws’. 🙂

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 22, 2016, 11:39 am

        Alan, EXACTLY Correct! You are one of the few with any intelligence here on this forum.

  • James Lockhart July 22, 2016, 7:06 am

    Whether advocates of open carry will admit it or not, intimidating soccer moms at the mall is a sure way to get more restrictive laws on gun owners or to have a future supreme court decide there is no individual right to keep and bear arms.
    Just remember that judges are also political animals and that with one vote switching sides the Supreme Court decision in DC vs Heller would have gone the other way.

    • Mark Fiorino July 22, 2016, 7:54 am

      Considering the fact that the overwhelming majority of malls are Gun Free Zones, open carry events and advocates such as myself typically avoid them. Additionally, the purpose of open carry is not to intimidate the “soccer moms” – only those who might wish to attack them. In fact, my fiance – a soccer mom – occasionally open carries herself.

  • Tom C Snook July 22, 2016, 6:54 am

    I support it, but don’t like the attitude that goes with it as some have shown. I’ve done it during hunting season and while camping where allowed. But I see no reason to over-state the point with rifles. On an observation point, “well dressed” while doing open carry with a well fitting side arm and holster almost makes one look like off duty law enforcement. Besides my by-line has been others as well, “why tell everyone you have Ace in a card game”. Shoot straight and safe my friends.

  • So. Larson July 22, 2016, 6:51 am

    Feeling intimidated by someone openly carrying a weapon is no different than the anxiety felt by millions in large crowds, dark alleys, heavy traffic, someone carrying hunting knife on their belt, or a fear of clowns. These may not be rational fears, but they are real to many people. Honestly, if we’re in a Taco Bell with someone open carrying an AK-47, and someone dressed like a clown… I’d definately keep my eye on the clown, and I’d probably ask the guy with the AK where he likes to go shooting?

    Fear of the unknown is like being afraid of the dark. It’s a looming fear that something (bad) could happen. But fearing guns in the hands of ordinary people pales in comparison to the many more dangerous things we should genuinely be afraid of. For example, knowing how many people perish in car accidents each year, it’s surprising there aren’t calls for “car-control” and background checks for a driver’s license.

    Based upon actual crimes committed by lawful gun owners, laws that some view as reasonable, gun owners would view as being paranoid, or pehaps worse, even delusional.
    Those who live under the (false) assumption that everyone is safer when only the Police or Military can open-carry weapons, should think carefully about the greater threat to their longterm safety and security… is it the occasional loon, or the potential for a police state or tyrannical government seeking to disarm it’s citizens?

    Not knowing who is or isn’t carrying a concealed weapon makes everyone a suspect in the eyes of Police. However, knowing that a person in the crowd has an AR-15 strapped to their back also makes them a potential ally if some loon starts shooting… and that is matter of both public AND police perspectives about the lawful gun owners vs. genuine criminals. If we continue to view gun-toting citizens as liabilities rather than assets, we’ll soon dispense with our right to carry in favor of feeding our paranoid delusions for safety.

    Think about this, every armed terror attack happened in the absence of, or least amount of, any armed resistance to that attack. Terrorists don’t go to gun shows and open fire… they go to gun-free zones where no one can stop them… at least until someone with a gun shows up.
    Terrorists fear the unknown… but we don’t have to.
    Support the Police and lawful gun-owners alike, because the record shows they both seek to preserve the peace, and both have earned our trust.

    • Ron Stidham July 22, 2016, 7:43 am

      Well said, many politician’s should take a look at a well armed militia perspective. Not that a gun in hand makes you, or I a bad guy. Ordinary people don’t go around robbing banks, grocery store, gas stations. These are the things bad people do out of spite for the community, and our well being. So. Larson hit it on the head in my opinion.

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 22, 2016, 11:54 am

        Ron,/So. Larson, this is the core problem, This OC ‘fear’is a matter of intentionally programmed perception ‘training’ to facilitate a Totalitarian social paradigm.

        Or put another way, why aren’t we more ‘paranoid’ about seeing a truck approaching a crowded public area?

        Vehicles’ containing bombs or running down people on the street, as we have continuously and very recently in Nice, France, witnessed, account for more one person deadly attacks in sheer numbers than any act committed with an AR or AK. BAR NONE! There’s NOT even a ‘smidgeon’ of comparison?

        Why isn’t there a restriction on ‘Open Driving’ ? Driving kills and maims far more people every year and climbing?

        We should all be ‘required’ to drive ‘concealed’. Only at night. With those ‘black out’ headlight covers?

        So does this mean anybody even debating this OC or any gun carrying control is simply moronically stupid?

        Or what?

  • Larry L. July 22, 2016, 6:44 am

    As an advocate of the Constitution and the Second Amendment I would rather carry concealed than open. As for carrying Ak’s and AR’s in a crowded public venue, it’s a bit much. It’s sort of like taking a Rottweiler to the grocery store; there’s a time and place for everything.

  • Gerry July 22, 2016, 6:20 am

    Should be able to carry a auto pistol or revolver for personal protection. But not shotguns and AR’s slug over shoulders
    or carried on motorcycles etc. And no rifle slug over shoulders. I have a concealed carry. And I like being able to carry it.
    Like when I’m hunting for a back up from a wild animal attack like a bear or bob cat or wolve. Or while out fishing.
    Or in a area where I feel threatened. But other then that no I don’t need to carry one. That’s my view on concealed carry.
    I think we should still be able to carry small firearms on us. We have that right as americans. And even if they did shot concealed carry. You know the bad ones would still have them. So yes we still need the small personal carry side arms. Not large weapons slug over shoulders.

    • Flyboyron July 25, 2016, 7:41 pm

      We have the right to do exactly what you think we shouldn’t have, and your discomfort with it shouldn’t matter a bit. Why should someone else decide for me? I wouldn’t carry openly in many situations, but I should damned well be able to if I decide it’s appropriate, and no one else should be able to limit that right (though the authorities in IL where I’m stuck disagree vehemently, at least we have some CCW finally.)

  • J2 July 22, 2016, 6:19 am

    I want to say upfront, before I am mistaken as an uninformed liberal who is making a case for something in which I have no experience or exposure, that I fully support 2A in whole and own many firearms. I am a hunter and as is common with many men who were raised in the South, hunting, and guns, were both a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I am a CC license holder and rarely have an occasion where I don’t have quick access to a means of defense if required.

    With that said, I grew up in a place that has become basically unsafe due to gun violence perpetrated by those who do not own or carry legally in most cases. That particular state has recently approved open carry. Having been a victim of a shooting myself, I believe it naïve for any pro gun person to advocate that firearms are not dangerous, particularly when in the wrong hands. My personal experience has not made me anti gun, in fact it has essentially reinforced my belief in 2A and the reasons for this being one of the tenets that our country was built on. I also believe that we are safer knowing that an individual who legally carries in concealed fashion has, in most cases, been through some type of approval process that allows that person to do so. While I am unwilling to bite off on any new laws that threaten our 2A rights, maybe it’s time to examine who those rights apply to. I believe (I have no statistics to support this) that many who use firearms in course of criminal activity wouldn’t be able to legally own, or carry, in a state without open carry. Again, the state that I am referring to has approved open carry with no processes or approvals to ensure that anyone who openly carries can legally do so.

    Maybe it’s time to implement a “carry” license. Not open carry, not concealed carry, but “carry”. Allow those approved for this to make the determination as to open or concealed. At least at that point the individual has been declared a non career criminal. In the interests of protecting those who inforce our laws and clean up behind those who break our laws, should a police officer be put in position question the background of everyone who is openly carrying in the course of what could be very quick life and death decisions? In the wake of our current anti police, anti authority, anything goes, cultural climate, I believe that this could lead to further violence involving not only police officers, but also the general law abiding public. Do we need to give the liberal media more fuel for the fire? It could be time to examine this. Maybe we need to examine carry laws before they become irrelevant, and as an NRA member, the legislation that we support, in part, or in whole, as a means of protecting the Second Amendment as it has protected us. I am not advocating giving up any rights for law abiding citizens. I’m just hoping that our liberal policymakers and media don’t use our legal rights against us to successfully disarm the law abiding citizens of this country. Just a thought.

    • Ron July 22, 2016, 7:27 am

      Why should we have to apply for the right to do something that our constitution already grants?

      • Flyboyron July 25, 2016, 7:43 pm

        Just one correction, Ron. Our Constitution doesn’t “grant” any rights. It simply requires the government not to remove those we already possess.

    • Roy July 22, 2016, 8:49 am

      Texas has done just that. The former CHL is now called a License to Carry (LTC). I think the problem is not whether the carry is open, or legal, or constitutional, or . . . . It is about being responsible. Love or hate the article, it ends with a very profound statement: “Open carry should not be limited via government intervention, but we must always remember to be vigilant and cautious in the exercise of our rights.” (Feel free to substitute any right or privilege for “Open carry”.)

      I am not opposed to open carry. I don’t see any valid purpose in it nor have I seen anyone actually exercising that privilege except on the news and social media posted by anti-gun nuts. Why is this? I surmise that in simple terms, 99% of gun legitimate gun owners exercise their rights responsibly – that is they conceal or at the very least understand that discretion is best in a crowd (as in “speak softly but carry a big stick”). The problem I see with open carry (I tread lightly here) is the same problem we faced without open carry – that is (1) unlawful possession/use – i.e. bad guys + guns or bad intentions + guns; and (2) the un-informed or uneducated individuals who believe “guns” are responsible for anything. Let’s be clear, smart guns may be good political talk, but guns are not smart. Guns are metal (or polymer), they do not have brains, emotions, or cognitive ability . . . it is the USER or individual in possession of the gun that is and always will be liable for it’s use/display/purpose.

      Responsible gun ownership demands we do not leave our common sense in the gun safe when we take the gun out. Ergo “Open carry should not be limited via government intervention, but we must always remember to be vigilant and cautious in the exercise of our rights.”

    • Ray Rowh July 22, 2016, 2:01 pm

      Until the Anti-Liberty Liberal Dim-ocrates EnForce the Laws they passed to the Max to Stop Violence and Gun Violence I can Not See giving up any ground we’ve won on Gun Rights! The Police Risk their Lives to put Thugs in jails and Prison and the Justice? system turns them loose with Min time served even when they have a Criminal Record pages long. We have politicians that Break Federal Laws and Their Oath of Office and None of their cronies see a problem with that. The reason being they believe they are the Privileged Wealthy Elite and the Laws they made do Not Apply to them. Our Government is CORRUPT AND OUR POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT. Public Hanging should be brought back into use for all politicians that Break Any Laws or their Oath of Office.

  • Mark July 22, 2016, 6:14 am

    First may I state that I am pro 2nd Amendment. I have a CCW license. I am a retired police Sergeant. I am not a fan of open carry. For what it is worth here is why. First off not everyone is comfortable with guns. Open carry can make people nervous if they are not familiar or comfortable around guns. I don’t need to fuel the fire about gun possession in this country.
    My second reason is this. If I open carry I am making myself a target. If someone is going to do harm to others with a gun and they see me with a gun in plain site I will be the first person they take out. I am the immediate threat to this person. I will have no chance to respond to the person who wants to harm others. If I am carrying concealed I have a chance to defend myself because I may not be the initial target of the perp.

    • Mark Wynn July 22, 2016, 11:13 am

      Common sense from someone who’s actually been there ….

  • Frank G July 22, 2016, 6:11 am

    Open-carrying a pistol is asking for trouble. Open-carrying a rifle is just dumb, moronic, and fucktarded. You’re asking to be the first one shot in a robbery or assault. Most thugs attack with pistols or a lesser form of weaponry. In the VERY RARE occasion that someone does attack with a rifle/shotgun or more, you will be the first ones OUT in that altercation if an attack does ensue. Carrying a concealed handgun gives ANY person the edge in that scenario.

    I understand the want to “support” the second amendment by walking around with slung rifles… NOT! You dumbasses are just hurting our fight! Never have you been walking along on the streets with a slung AR and met an anti-gun fanatic who just instinctively realizes, “Hey! These guys aren’t so bad!” It’s quite the opposite, actually. Don’t be the fucktard who causes this reaction.

    Let’s be the ones who they talk about in news stories who, when a shooting broke out, all of the sudden a concealed carry citizen stopped the shooter in his tracks. There’s always one individual in the 2nd Amendment community who thinks he is George Zimmerman, the King of the Night’s Watch, but that doesn’t really exist…

    I’m not saying go out and look for a fight. I’m saying be ready, and be vigilant. Carry on fucktards. Don’t be that dumbass who shoots a law-abiding citizen with a CCW permit in his car with a girlfriend and child in the backseat. Be realistic! (SMART)

    Carry on Citizens of America!!! Go forth and do great things!

  • Clinton (The Angry Patriot) Bennett July 22, 2016, 6:01 am

    While I am for everyone’s right to own and bare arms and I support open carry, I feel that someone open carrying an AR-15, AK-47 or M4 in a store or mall is over kill, as while I support open carry and do carry everywhere I go (open and concealed)I feel the AR-15, AK-47 or M’4 needs to remain in the vehicle in a secure and protected case (in case a situation presents itself, IE a terrorist attack happens) and the lawful gun owner can open or conceal carry their hand gun…..just my thouhhts.

  • Kelly Lee July 22, 2016, 6:01 am

    “These individuals have the right to go about their daily lives without experiencing the fear caused by exposure to weapons. As the author of the article above notes, “people who choose to live in peace also have the right not to be exposed to weapons and violence.”

    Sorry but there is no right to not be scared and, for that matter, or one to not be exposed to weapons or violence. Please stop feeding in to the liberal social justice bs.

    “But no right is unlimited, the other side of the open carry debate is quick to point out. Freedom of speech has its limits. The press cannot print whatever it wants. Religious freedom does not allow for murder or breaking the law. The same applies to the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms is guaranteed, but governments can place certain “reasonable limitations” on that right. Some would say that outlawing open carry is one such reasonable limitation.”

    This argument is just wrong. Out of all the Amendments, the 2nd Amendment is the only one that specifically states “…shall not be infringed.” It is different from the others for this very reason. The others can be regulated to a degree. However, if the restrictions on the others become too much, it is the purpose of the 2nd to insure that, as a last resort, we have the capability to throw off the chains of tyranny.

  • Steve Holsten July 22, 2016, 5:25 am

    Hell NO. It’s time to leave our Gun Rights ALONE

  • Clark Wilkins July 22, 2016, 5:04 am

    I open carry my rifle whenever I take it shooting on my my motorcycle and, rather than leave it on the bike, I’ll open carry it into Wal-Mart or whatever on it’s sling, bolt open. I would not be so stupid as to carry it into a crowd event such as a Republican convention or a football game. At some point we have to be reasonable. I am a threat to myself if I do otherwise. I have no pity for idiots who get gunned down for it. I might even be one of the ones shooting them.

    • Ken July 22, 2016, 6:29 am

      Common sense and good judgement are the keys. I have carried concealed in NY every where and every time it is legal for over 50 years. And with 4 additional licenses including PA, I can carry concealed legally in nearly 40 states and I just don’t go to the other 17. Having said that, I love the PA open carry law: I ride there on my Harley often. In NY the concern of being arrested for accidentally flashing your hand gun is a genuine concern. There is no concern in PA, and because there’s open carry, most of the folks I run into don’t give me a second look including the cops. PA also allows business owners to display a “no guns allowed” sign. What that really means is, no “unconcealed” guns allowed. And I have no problem with that. I don’t want to force my rights down any one’s throat anymore than I want them forcing theirs down mine. So let’s support open carry and at the same time try to display a little more intelligence and common sense than the anti gun nuts.

  • Mara Mai July 22, 2016, 4:57 am

    There are cultural prerequisites for a free people. It is not possible to legislate good judgement and common sense. Thanks for a sensible, thoughtful and timely article.

  • Julio Galletti July 22, 2016, 4:49 am

    All of you make good points. But there is a practical matter, that should be considered and it weighs heavily in favor of open carry. I worked as a range officer and firearms instructor for a number of years. I taught countless people gun safety, shooting skills and most importantly prudence and hopefully patience. I wholeheartedly agree that carrying a long rifle in public is completely asinine. And is more than likely done as a statement, stupidly done, but a statement nonetheless. Here in Florida we have concealed carry. I have the license and a fair choice of handguns to pick from. The truth is I have the license because I can, but concealed carry is a royal pain in the ass. First off as anybody who has can tell you, carrying a weapon at your side will cause a back problem. I know, I have my 1911 to thank for it. You will not remember the last time you were as miserable as when you hop into a car with a revolver tucked into the back of your pants. My chiefs special nearly crippled me. And lastly, nobody can easily draw a weapon from a truly concealed carry, especially if you tuck your shirt. You will snag the hammer, tear the cloth, possibly cut yourself or worse shoot yourself in the ass or leg or lord forbid, give the bad guy all the time in the world to draw a bead on you as you fumble around like Fredo when Don Corleone got shot. An exposed, holstered firearm can be drawn safely and quickly. Better yet, it is a deterrent. My dad once told me hunters are the politest people in the world. I asked him why. He replied with a smile, “because they are all armed.” I would be pleased as punch to be able to carry my colt 1903 in a neat little holster at my side or cut the hammer off of the chiefs special and carry it with a Barami hip grip but being a lefty that poses a bit of a logistical problem. Nevertheless, open carry is probably for the best and frankly anybody scared of seeing a gun needs to grow a pair of somethings. But, like yelling fire in a movie theater, carrying my DCM isued M1 garand in public is just plain stupid. It is a bit sad that we have to resort to such extremes to preserve the one right that guarantees all the others. Then again, you have people like Hitlery, who are always surrounded by other people with guns tasked to keep them safe telling us we don’t any. Molon Labe bitch.

  • Jefferson Tomlinson July 22, 2016, 3:58 am

    I near Deer Park, Washington and I shop in Deer Park, it’s not unusual to see men and/or weman, open carries and I don’t see or hear anyone objecting to anyone, open carrying. In fact my opinion is that like welcome to people open carrying. I’m in a wheelchair and I’m thinking about getting a shoulder holster for open carrying. One thing I believe in if you carry for self protection, open carry is a good obtion. I have in past carried my 38 SP between my back and the back of the wheelchair, that is a little uncomfortable. I always have my have my 38 SP loaded, and I always treat every gun as if it is loaded. When I was able to walk I could draw out of a military type holster draw and shoot from the hip and hit the primer end of a 12 gage shotgun shell 50 yards away on a bet with a friend I was shooting with I did it 6 times with the 38 then 6 times with my 22 Colt Fonteir Scout, just to prove to myself, that it wasn’t an accident. My greatuncle taught me how to shoot he was in the Army when they patrolled the Mexican boarder. He taught me a lot about firearm handling and safety.

    Jefferson Tomlinson

  • Darryl July 22, 2016, 3:19 am

    cops want to know who the bad guy is in a crowd? it’s the one shooting at you. it the laws that says which way you can carry, OC, CC so if someone is a little upset over it let them not my problem. i’m doing what the law says i can. no matter what we do or don’t do someone is going to be upset, just as in racism. no matter how many was are passed to told someone they can’t treat people or say something bad about them you’ll never can everyone to act the way you want them to. as far as OC being such a bad thing, what about all the states that have been that way for years and without a permit no problems with them. you’re never going to make all the people happy no matter what you do. anti-gunners are going to cry about all of it. so live within the law and don’t worry about someone trying to make themselves look better then you by the way they carry. that’s what i do and we don’t have a bunch of good guys and gals going around making trouble for anyone. as for the cops the good guys aren’t going to be the ones shooting at you. in fact they may be the ones who save your life so you can go home to your family. much ado about nothing.

  • ddavel544 July 22, 2016, 3:16 am

    I prefer not to OC as it reduces my odds of becoming a victim of a robbery. Packing a firearm on my hip out in plain view, means I have to be constantly alert to my surroundings. And busy as life is, that’s almost impossible to do. Example: I’m putting away or getting the groceries out of the car….someone who saw me with my open carry, was tracking my every movement, unbeknownst to me. And the instant my attention is turned to the groceries, he is on my back, relieving me of my weapon, wallet, and car keys! Yea, I know, some of you “expert sharp shooters” will say: “To bad for that robber, I’ll drill him fulla holes!” Well, we both know life really doesn’t work that way ….don’t we? I’d rather have the element of ‘surprise!’ in my favor with CC…that is the function of the best self defense. …Not showing off what you got.

  • Steven Young July 22, 2016, 3:09 am

    I am in favor of open carry I just purchased a western style holster for my revolver I don’t need the government telling me I can’t use it. Quick draw duels in the old west were rare you see them in westerns because it’s entertainment. Most gun duels were done with single shot pistols.

  • DaveG July 22, 2016, 3:07 am

    What happens when OC is banned, and CC requires a permit? If you are in NY or CA, et al, you already know that you may NOT be issued that permit: It’s a defacto ban on all carry.

    There is also an “ageism” component to banning open carry: You can’t exercise that particular civil right unless you are 21, and you then you have a permission slip from the government too.

    Is that how human rights are really supposed to work? To paraphrase Rep Gowdy’s recent question to DHS “My question is, can you name another constitutional right we have that is chilled until … you have to petition the government to get it back? Is that true with the First Amendment?”

  • Dustin Eward July 22, 2016, 2:41 am

    Defying the norm is exactly that. There is no way to make people happy when you rock the boat. Deal with it. There was a time when the same thing was said about open carrying anything at all… Now you can call names at those who benefit you while open carrying your pistol and it’s not the bleeding edge anymore thanks to those who take up the mantle you’re too much of a coward to carry.

  • SuperG July 20, 2016, 1:45 pm

    I think the public at large, and there will always be a few Henny Penny’s no matter what you do, are fine with seeing guns. But there is a context to them. What I mean by that is if you are line at Taco Bell and see someone with a sidearm, you don’t think too much about it, as you are used to seeing them. But see someone standing there with an AK-47 though, which is out of context for the environment, and you do a double take and are apt to get nervous. Go ahead and open carry if you want to, but try to keep it in context, as the overall goal is to get people used to seeing guns and not to scare them. Society needs baby-steps to accept change. Remember, they’ve been inculcated to think that guns are bad by the mass media and you are out there trying to change their programming. Scaring them is not the way to win people to your cause.

    As far as open carry goes for me, I’ll never do it unless I’m out hunting. Everywhere else it is concealed carry, as doing it keeps the element of surprise on my side, and I’m all about not wanting to get into a fair gunfight. Plus, I think I’m more of a target if there are 3 or more thugs out hunting victims and I’m seen walking down the street with a shiny new 1911 or something. Remember, that most are repeat offending sociopaths that have no regard for law or society, so killing you and taking your gun is like going to the store for a candy bar to them. Why bait them?

  • Jon s July 20, 2016, 12:01 am

    I choose to open carry a pistol, on occasion. Most often, it’s concealed. Open carrying an AR is just dumb. It’s inflammatory and serves no real purpose. I’m an ardent proponent of open carry but why carry an AR? As stated, it adds to confusion for law enforcement in a situation. A holstered pistol is nowhere near the threat that a slung AR is. It’s just rubbing the nose in the proverbial crap to the anti-gun crowd. The largest part of open carry is responsibility, carrying a handgun is one thing. Carrying a sporting rifle in a large crowd invites trouble.

  • Will Drider July 19, 2016, 11:34 pm

    Prefaced with it’s a really dangerous World, where ther is an carry option, its a personal choice. My or anyone else’s opinion does not matter in the executions of your rights and acceptance of inherent responsibilities. Fl restricts OC to allowable when engaged in certain activites and going directly to/from them. I partake in a few of thes activites but choose to CC instead of OC.
    Pros and Cons have been debated ad nauseum within the firearms community. For the anti gun folks its just another issue to bitch about.
    All carry (CC & OC) guns are selected by pro/con trade offs. If you truely include what constitutes lawful defensive deadly use of force scenarios, how practical is a long gun et al.? How does its utility fit in the environment you will encounter? Size, weight, mobility around/over obstacles. You can change muzzel direction in a confined space faster with a handgun. You can add optics, lasers and 30 round pistol mags. You can select handguns calibers that defeat soft vests but most will penetrate a face. How effective is the long gun on your back when the confrontation escalated to lethal levels a spitting distance? There are other factors but I don’t favor long gun OC for my needs. I find more advantages for my application of handgun CC then OC.

    If your tactical decision is to OC a handgun & long gun, go for it; I don’t mind. If your doing it soley to draw attention and/or post a vid on youtube while spouting your Rights like a tactifool mall ninja to get 15 minutes of fame (in your own mind): your as screwed up as a soup sandwich.

  • Boba Fett July 19, 2016, 11:06 pm

    “These individuals have the right to go about their daily lives without experiencing the fear caused by exposure to weapons. As the author of the article above notes, “people who choose to live in peace also have the right not to be exposed to weapons and violence.” ”

    I can’t stand this argument. If we take even one step down that road, it immediately falls apart, and we can justify outlawing almost any behavior. Think politics. When I see people (still) wearing “Bernie” t-shirts, it makes me want to projectile vomit, but does that mean nobody should be able to literally wear their political opinions on their sleeve? Rights have nothing to do with feelings. The only person who has any control over the way you react emotionally to any situation, is YOU. There is something fundamentally wrong with a culture whose sense of entitlement is so strong that they expect everyone around them to change their lifestyle so that they can feel comfortable. I cannot, and should not, be expected to have knowledge of the personal preferences of every individual in my vicinity. If I happen to be carrying a gun, and that scares you to the point where you would suggest I should lose that right, my recommendation is to turn off your tv and stop letting it do your thinking for you.

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