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Thread: A research project on open carry in history

  1. #1
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    I've been trying to research the history on open carry. Primarily when it phased out of every day commonality, and why.

    I'm a horrible historian, and any attempt I've made to find this information has been unsuccessful.

    I'm really interested to learn what events in history lead to the common practice of openly carrying firearms by almost every citizen in public became extinct.

    Anyone interested in helping me uncover this information? Or ... maybe someone already knows and can point me in the right direction. Either way I will continue my search.

  2. #2
    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    During reconstruction, after the War of Northern Aggression, a lot of states had laws that prohibited freed slaves from owning or carrying firearms. After the passage of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, some of these states simply did away with carry by anyone.

    Somestates do not have a right to keep and bear arms in their state constitution. Some do, but alsoallow the statelegislature to regulatethe wearing of arms.

    This might be a good place for you to start.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    If you are doing research on firearms laws, you have to know about New York's Sullivan Law. This was put in place to prevent immigrants from owning firearms and casts its ugly shadow over Second Amendment rights in New York to this day. You must also research the Gun Control Act of 1934 (?) and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

    You also have to take into account the technology of the times in question as well. Not until the development of modern smokeless powder and the .38 Special handgun round were handguns of reasonable caliber able to be concealed. Prior to the .38, concealable handguns were mostly the domain of characters of ill repute.

    You also need to research the parallel use of firearms by law enforcement personnel. During much of the 19th Century and early 20th, the carry of firearms by urban law enforcement was largely the carry of personally owned, concealed small caliber handguns. Even the FBI was unarmed during a short period of its very early years. Law enforcement was not nearly universally armed until the shootouts against the mobsters of the 1930s.

    Certainly a miniscule number of cops had shootouts with mobsters, but these events changed the culture of weapon carry amongst cops.

    You also need to research the culture of weapons carry among urban middle class professionals, a new class of citizenry that did not exist in large numbers until the middle decades of the 20th Century. These people were the first in the nation in large numbers to reject the carrying of firearms.

    It's a complex issue but it could prove to be very interesting.

  4. #4
    Regular Member OC Freedom's Avatar
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    I wonder what became of this persons research? It's an interesting topic.

  5. #5
    Regular Member SovereigntyOrDeath's Avatar
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    An example would be towns outlawing guns in town in the old west for public safety.

    It always starts with "public safety" and then progresses from there.
    "Nullification is the rightful remedy" Thomas Jefferson
    http://tracking.tenthamendmentcenter...-preservation/

    "Constitutional Carry is not an oxymoron"
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    Regular Member OC Freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereigntyOrDeath View Post
    An example would be towns outlawing guns in town in the old west for public safety.

    It always starts with "public safety" and then progresses from there.
    Very true. Safety and liberty are like oil and water, more safety = less liberty. I cringe every time someone says its for safety. Bye, bye, lawn darts, Honda big red 250 three wheeler, and other fun stuff, but hey it's for our safety.

  7. #7
    Regular Member SovereigntyOrDeath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Freedom View Post
    Very true. Safety and liberty are like oil and water, more safety = less liberty. I cringe every time someone says its for safety. Bye, bye, lawn darts, Honda big red 250 three wheeler, and other fun stuff, but hey it's for our safety.
    Unless of course if there are deep pockets and lobbyists greasing the wheels. Tobacco comes to mind.
    "Nullification is the rightful remedy" Thomas Jefferson
    http://tracking.tenthamendmentcenter...-preservation/

    "Constitutional Carry is not an oxymoron"
    A Sovereign

    "Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem." Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereigntyOrDeath View Post
    An example would be towns outlawing guns in town in the old west for public safety.

    It always starts with "public safety" and then progresses from there.
    Can't let honest folk carry firearms. Some bad guy might get shot!
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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