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Thread: Why 'Open Carry' Gun Laws Work

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    http://www.usnews.com/articles/opini...laws-work.html

    Why 'Open Carry' Gun Laws Work
    Second Amendment or no, law-abiding citizens have the right to go about their business
    By John Pierce
    Posted April 15, 2010

    John Pierce, cofounder of OpenCarry.org, is a second-year student at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., and holds an M.B.A. from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

    The phrase "open carry" refers to the act of law-abiding citizens carrying a properly holstered handgun in plain sight, wherever it is legal to do so, as they go about their daily lives. This includes such mundane tasks as driving to work, walking the dog, grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or buying a book at Barnes & Noble. Those who choose open carry are just going about their business while armed, just as do the 6 million-plus Americans who hold concealed-carry permits. The only difference—open carriers have taken their jackets off.

    Contrary to popular opinion, the ability to carry a weapon openly does not currently derive from the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but rather from the constitutions and statutes of the 50 states. This is important because those who are opposed to open carry often attempt to characterize it as an oddity of the law or a mischaracterization of the U.S. Constitution. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    In fact, in the majority of states, any law-abiding citizen who is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm may openly carry a loaded handgun with no license or permit required. In the majority of these 29 states, this right is based upon state constitutional provisions. And while anti-gun activists often argue that the prefatory clause of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brings the intent of the framers into question, the history, tradition, and practice of law-abiding citizens peacefully bearing arms is spelled out time and time again in state constitutional provisions whose interpretation is clear.

    In an additional 14 states, citizens who hold a state-issued carry permit may carry openly or concealed as they see fit. It is of particular import that in these states, the legislatures crafted their carry statutes in such a way as to avoid requiring concealment of the firearms thus carried. If open carry were the public safety issue that anti-gun activists proclaim it to be, it is hard to imagine 14 separate legislatures actively passing legislation enabling the practice. It is also illustrative to note that the majority of these carry statutes have been passed within the last several decades. This demonstrates that such legislative thought is not an anachronism, as often claimed by those who are anti-gun. Rather, such carry statutes reflect a modern, individual-rights focus that finds open carry appropriate when balancing the personal protection interests of its citizens with the state's interest in ordered liberty.

    In attempting to discredit open carry, anti-gun activists often like to ask the question, "How do I know that the person openly carrying is in fact a law-abiding citizen and not a criminal?" While this is an attempt to imply that anyone who lawfully carries a firearm is a potential criminal, thankfully there is an authoritative answer available. The 2006 FBI study "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers" by Anthony Pinizzotto revealed that criminals carefully conceal their firearms, and they eschew the use of holsters. In layman's terms, this report tells us that, statistically speaking, citizens who are openly wearing a properly holstered handgun and are willing to subject themselves to the intense public and law enforcement scrutiny that open carry brings with it are not criminals.

    But with open carry legal in some form in 43 states, and with the practice becoming increasingly common, it is not surprising that citizens unfamiliar with the practice might have questions when they first see a neighbor carrying openly. And these questions are often directed to local law enforcement. One of our key missions at OpenCarry.org is to serve as an educational resource for citizens and law enforcement alike when such questions arise in order to insure that interactions between citizens and law enforcement respect both the rights of the citizen and the difficult job being performed by the officer. Interestingly, the increasing normality of open carry has helped to ensure that law enforcement officers across the country have been educated about its legality, rendering such encounters infrequent.

    So is open carry right for America? The answer is an unequivocal "yes!" Already present in the vast majority of states, the increasing popularity of the open-carry movement is a visible symbol that the right to bear arms remains a vital, core right of American citizens.

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    Regular Member gsx1138's Avatar
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    Very well written.
    "Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world." ~ Musashi

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    Poor research in this article. Mundane tasks such as "driving to work" while openly carrying will land you in jail and lose your right to bear arms unless you have a permit!

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    High Plains Drifter wrote:
    Poor research in this article. Mundane tasks such as "driving to work" while openly carrying will land you in jail and lose your right to bear arms unless you have a permit!
    In some states no permit/license is need to carry in your car.



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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    High Plains Drifter wrote:
    Poor research in this article. Mundane tasks such as "driving to work" while openly carrying will land you in jail and lose your right to bear arms unless you have a permit!
    Poor research in your reply, and you paint with an overly broad brush.

    While state laws do vary, a great many states permit vehicle OC w/o a permit - Va. being just one.

    Suggest you reread John's article, this time for content.

    Yata hey
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    High Plains Drifter wrote:
    Poor research in this article. Mundane tasks such as "driving to work" while openly carrying will land you in jail and lose your right to bear arms unless you have a permit!
    With '1' post I am sure this is a 'First Amendment Hit and Run' abuser......
    Live Free or Die!

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    :celebrate

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    GRAPESHOT,



    :shock:This is listed under Washington state. IN WASHINGTON IT IS ACRIME TO CARRY A LOADEDHANDGUN IN YOUR CAR WITHOUT A PERMIT. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Does that clarify things for you? Not sure what you mean about theFirst Amendment. Personally I do not wish to lose my right to bear arms. :?Do what you will.

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    GOGODAWGS,



    I was just trying to keep fellow arms enthusiasts OUT OF JAIL. Just so you know I carry just about every day as a rancher and have done so long before it became a "fad". You would be hard pressed to find a more staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I won't bother you folks anymore. Dawgs suck, Cougs rule.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    High Plains Drifter wrote:
    GOGODAWGS,

    I was just trying to keep fellow arms enthusiasts OUT OF JAIL. Just so you know I carry just about every day as a rancher and have done so long before it became a "fad". You would be hard pressed to find a more staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I won't bother you folks anymore. Dawgs suck, Cougs rule.
    Never question your dedication.

    Your original statement that was "Poor research in this article" is what I was taking to task. The article was NOT Washington exclusive.

    John Pierce is an eminently superior researcher. I can only presume that because someone else posted it in the Washington sub-forum, you limited the application accordingly.

    Understand that OC in a vehicle w/o a permit is not legal in some states - Wa. & Pa. notably similar. There are those in both states working to change that.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    its AOK to OC in your car here in washington state without a CPL!!
    just got to unload the gun before you get in!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Yes, this IS posted in the Washington forum. Yes, it IS ilegal to carry a loaded weapon in a vehicle without a license... However most anyone reading this article will see that it is a National publication and many of the comments are generalizations to the masses. At no point in the article did it say for Washington State.

    In some states your vehicle is part of your home and no license is needed to carry loaded and concealed. In some states one can have loaded in a glove box, in some states one can have a loaded weapon on the seat in the open. The list goes on and on.

    Just because the article was added to a particular thread does not mean that the article's content is legal in that state. According to that "Daily Show" clip I saw only 13 states are Open Carry states, should I take that as gospel? The CEO of Starbucks said OC folks were only carrying unloaded weapons into the shops. I guess I should believe that one as well.....

    Articles come and go, it's up to the individual to know the laws of his state and those that he visits.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    High Plains Drifter wrote:
    GOGODAWGS,



    I was just trying to keep fellow arms enthusiasts OUT OF JAIL. Just so you know I carry just about every day as a rancher and have done so long before it became a "fad". You would be hard pressed to find a more staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I won't bother you folks anymore. Dawgs suck, Cougs rule.
    First, High Plains Drifter, welcome to OCDO.

    Second, read, understand and comprehend not only the post (national story by John Pierce) but also the entire forum. There is plenty of detailed discussion on this issue. There are exceptions to loaded carry in a vehicle in this state! 9.41.060.




    [/b]The provisions of RCW 9.41.050 shall not apply to:

    (8) Any person engaging in a lawful outdoor recreational activity such as hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or horseback riding, only if, considering all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to whether the person has a valid hunting or fishing license, it is reasonable to conclude that the person is participating in lawful outdoor activities or is traveling to or from a legitimate outdoor recreation area;




    Third, continue to bother us! However, you will find that if you don't do your homework on OCDO and back it up by citing sources.....be prepared to be corrected.

    Fourth, Dawgs Rule! Most Medal of Honor recipients of any school outside of the service academy's with 8. Also .......(Softball ranked #1, Mens'Tennis #25, Volleyball #13, Men's golf #3, Men's basketballSweet 16 ranked #21)
    Live Free or Die!

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