(A pro-gun Internet community of over 22,000 registered members)
For Immediate Release – November 7, 2010
Candidates pledging to legalize open carry
win Governorships in Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, & Texas
2 of the new “open carry governors” are women
OpenCarry.org sees gun rights as a non-partisan
issue & applauds NRA endorsements of many Democrats
This past summer a lone bill (AB 1934) to ban the open carry of properly holstered handguns failed in the California legislature, leaving the number of states banning open carry at 7 mostly Southern states: Oklahoma, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, and New York.
But meanwhile, back at their respective ranches, Gubernatorial candidates in 3 of these states (Oklahoma, Florida, and South Carolina) explicitly ran on pro-open carry platforms – and won! Additionally, Texas Governor Perry, who has said he would sign an open carry bill, was returned to another term over his opponent, Bill White, who remained AWOL on the open carry issue during the campaign (see http://www.ammoland.com/2010/10/27/b...-on-open-carry).
State by State analysis:
Oklahoma – Mary Fallin wins on platform to sign an open carry bill. Explained the LA Times:
“Fallin want[ed] to send a message that if Oklahoma had a boyfriend, it would be the 2nd Amendment - the right to bear arms. ‘I believe that gun ownership rights in Oklahoma can and should be expanded,’ Fallin wrote on her website. ‘Gov. Brad Henry vetoed an 'open carry' law that would have permitted responsible gun owners to carry weapons without concealing them. When I am governor, I will sign that bill into law and send a message that in Oklahoma, we mean business when it comes to the second amendment’" (see http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/wash...governors.html).
Florida: Rick Scott won a hotly contested race shortly after issuing the following statement:
“As a member of the NRA and a hunter, I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and I will protect our fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Florida is one of only seven states with wide prohibition on carrying an unconcealed firearm. Repealing the ban on unconcealed or Open Carry will eliminate practical and constitutional problems in Florida (see http://www.ammoland.com/2010/10/19/r...ll-for-florida).
South Carolina: Nikki Haily will be both the first woman and non-white person in history to occupy the South Carolina Governor’s mansion. The race was one of the closest in the nation, perhaps because BOTH candidates supported legalizing open carry in South Carolina. Haily declared her support for open carry as did Democrat Vincent Sheheen who issued the following statement during the campaign:
“Vincent Sheheen would sign an open carry law if it were passed by the legislature and came across his desk as governor” (see http://www.ammoland.com/2010/09/29/s...pen-carry-bill).
Meanwhile open carry organizers in these states are not taking anything for granted. For example, Florida Open Carry’s Sean Caranna organized open carry “fish-ins” (the only way to legally open carry in Florida) in Tampa, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Ft. Myers, and Daytona Beach yesterday (see http://www.ammoland.com/2010/11/05/o...-fishing-event).
Open carry was legal in Florida until then Dade County Assistant State Attorney Janet Reno pushed the legislature to ban it in 1987 (see http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-i...-carry-florida). Vows Mr. Caranna,
“the Janet Reno open carry ban will be repealed.”
John Pierce, co-founder and spokesman for OpenCarry.org, welcomes these election results and predicts that
“open carry will be legalized in Oklahoma in the next legislative session, and probably Florida as well. Once that happens, South Carolina, Texas, and Arkansas will probably follow suit.”
Mr. Piece also says he was pleased to see the National Rifle Association endorse many pro-gun Democratic party candidates despite heavy criticism from some of the NRA’s members and national pundits. “Gun rights are and should be a non-partisan issue, so the NRA is right to endorse pro-gun Democrats, or choose to not endorse pro-gun Republicans like Sharron Angle challenging pro-gun Democrats like Harry Reid,” says Pierce, adding
“just think for a moment if Harry Reid lost his election but the Democrats maintained control of the Senate. Do you think we’d be better off with New York’s Chuck Schumer as Senate Majority leader?”
National: John Pierce, co-founder and spokesperson, OpenCarry.org, John@OpenCarry.org, 276-xxx-xxxx
Oklahoma: Oklahoma open carry petition founder: Russ Cook, email@example.com, 405-xxx-xxxx
Florida: Sean Caranna, founder, Florida Open Carry, firstname.lastname@example.org, 386-xxx-xxxx