Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Letter to Public Safety re: Interim Study on Gun Owner's Rights

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Moore, OK
    Posts
    744

    Letter to Public Safety re: Interim Study on Gun Owner's Rights

    After listening to the audio of the interim study on gun owners rights, I spent some time digging, delving and researching a few things and have written a letter that I plan to email to the members of the House Public Safety Committee. While I have tried to keep my comments brief, the letter is 3.5 pages. I am posting it here for any comments you may have. I plan on emailing this letter early next week, maybe around Tuesday so hopefully they may get it before they leave for the holidays.

    Please comment.

    Recently I listened to the audio of the Interim Study on Gun Owners Rights in the state of Oklahoma and wanted to address a few things I heard in the study.

    First a little about me. I am not a member of any firearm group or organization, I am simply a firearm enthusiast and have lived in Oklahoma all 36 years of my life. For about the last year, I have been a member of a national internet forum whose focus is the open carry of firearms in all states. Hopefully I can keep this brief so as not to take up to much of your time.

    At approximately 30:18 into the audio, Professor O’Shea mentions that some bills have made mention of a retention holster being a requirement for open carry. Also at approximately 50:13 Representative Martin asks if there are stats from other states in regards to gun grabs.

    After searching other states laws, I could find nothing in any state that requires a particular type of holster. Requiring a particular type of holster may limit the type of firearms that can be carried. Companies that make mechanical retention holsters do so for the most popular types of firearms. This means that those that are not “in style” would have to use a generic type holster with a simple snap. Personally I feel better with a holster that uses friction as the mode of retention that is designed for a specific firearm than a generic one with a snap. Friction holsters are generally designed so the firearm can only be drawn from a particular direction so an individual coming up from behind would have a hard time removing it.

    Professor O’Shea mentions there have been some media reports about gun grabs. In the last year, I have heard of 2 instances that were called gun grabs. The first was an assault on someone who was open carrying, but not a gun grab. The second was a true gun grab where 2 individuals removed a firearm from an individual open carrying. Others that I am aware of turned out to be false reports. Professor O’Shea may know of others but the fact is, gun grabs happen very rarely considering the amount of time people openly carry in other states.

    While talking about retention, at approximately 1:07:10, Representative Omby asks if other states require retention training. That I can find in other statutes, no other state makes a specific requirement of retention training. It may be covered in the training class but is not mentioned in statute.

    Another bill made reference specifically to a firearm had to be in a belt holster. I do not believe any open carry statute should dictate the position of holster, only it must be in a holster. Requiring a belt holster, completely rules out the use of a drop leg holster that can be attached to the belt, and strapped around the upper thigh. These can provide an easier draw position for some people as well as being more comfortable that on the belt.

    At 53:53 Representative Martin asks Professor O’Shea about the ability of an officer to approach an individual who is openly carrying and ask to see their license. Later on, Major Rhoades makes a comment about this being a civil rights issue.

    There have been court decisions that say the mere presence of a firearm does not indicate a crime, therefore there is no reasonable suspicion to initiate contact with the individual. Much like Terry v. Ohio, where you can’t stop a car to make sure the driver is licensed, you should not be able to stop a person who is doing nothing wrong to see if the have a carry license (absent constitutional carry).

    Around 1:00:45, when speaking about business owners rights and the decriminalization of carrying a firearm in a business that is posted, Representative Roan asks about what other states do when someone fails to leave when asked.

    As other speakers have mentioned, the people we are talking about are law abiding citizens and when asked to leave, they will. Other states allow trespass charges to be filed against people who refuse to leave.

    At approximately 1:56:00, Mr. Hall is talking about asking his guests about open carry vs concealed carry and he states the majority of responses are for concealed carry. Prior to 15 years ago, Oklahoma had no carry provision for self defense. For the last 15 years we have had concealed carry. It is my opinion that if concealed carry is all you know, then it will be what you are comfortable with and will be your choice. I believe that if open carry passes, more and more people will open carry, especially in the warmer summer months as they won’t have to worry about a cover garment.

    Around 2:11:50, Major Rhodes comments that bad guys don’t open carry, and his is afraid that if open carry passes, they might. This has not been the situation in other states, the bad guys continue to illegally conceal their weapons. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Phelps was quoted in the San Bernardino Sun on September 6, 2010 as saying “[G]ang members aren’t know to open carry.”

    Around 2:22:53, Major Rhodes mentions that in his mind, concealed carry is a tactical advantage because the firearm is hidden, and the guy with the gun could be the first one shot.

    Open carry also has it’s own tactical advantage in that it takes less time to draw from an open holster than a concealed holster. There is no data to support the open carrier being the first person shot. People don’t look for firearms on law abiding citizens, they expect to see them on law enforcement and people in uniform. That is why the law enforcement or people in uniform are the first ones shot during altercations with criminals.

    Open carry is also a deterrent to crime. There have been documented cases where criminals have seen law abiding citizens openly carrying and have left the establishment. The most notable is the Waffle House in Kennesaw, GA., where armed robbers were arrested outside while they were waiting for four armed citizens to finish eating and leave.

    Finally, around 2:25:00 Representative Reynolds asks Major Rhoades about how other states law enforcement handle people who openly carry. Major Rhoades stated he specifically did not look at other states because this should be an Oklahoma thing.

    As other states looked at Oklahoma’s Concealed Carry law and make it their own, I think Oklahoma can look at other states laws for ideas and customize it to Oklahomans wants and needs. From reading reports from other states, many states law enforcement simply pass by someone openly carrying unless they receive a call about a person with a gun. This requires an officer to respond. Responses can very from simple observation to questioning the individual as to what they are doing.

    This can be a tricky area to navigate as an officer could be seen as questioning someone without any reasonable suspicion of a crime.

    Allowing open carry can be tricky the way Oklahoma law is currently written. Many states allow open carry simply because there is no law against it. Oklahoma has a law that specifically disallows this practice then lists exceptions as to when it is OK.

    While I support the practice of open carry and would love to see Oklahoma become a constitutional carry state or the illegal act be stricken from statute, I believe there is to much fear about firearms for this to happen at this time. It is the same fear of blood in the streets that was brought up 15 years ago when concealed carry was passed. I believe that for an open carry bill to pass now, it should be tied to the Self-Defense Act and permit.

    I have tried to make this short but still provide additional information for you to consider while debating open carry laws this session.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Little Axe, Oklahoma
    Posts
    137
    Excellent. Gets to the point while using examples and statements from professionals who's daily encounters with the public acknowledge the value of open carry. Also gives examples of other state laws concerning open carry. It nullifies negative questions citing real experience and not hearsay from other states.
    Let us know your response from them when and if you recieve one.

  3. #3
    Regular Member FireHawk911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by hrdware View Post
    After listening to the audio of the interim study on gun owners rights, I spent some time digging, delving and researching a few things and have written a letter that I plan to email to the members of the House Public Safety Committee. While I have tried to keep my comments brief, the letter is 3.5 pages. I am posting it here for any comments you may have. I plan on emailing this letter early next week, maybe around Tuesday so hopefully they may get it before they leave for the holidays.

    Please comment.
    where can I go to listen to this recording?

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Moore, OK
    Posts
    744
    Quote Originally Posted by FireHawk911 View Post
    where can I go to listen to this recording?
    See if this works for you.
    http://okhouse.gov/Documents/Interim...011/11-014.mp3
    Last edited by hrdware; 12-16-2011 at 04:26 PM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Colorado Springs. CO
    Posts
    924
    Opportunistic predatory criminals are the first offenders to remember that there was someplace else they were supposed to be - upon observing a person wearing a holstered handgun. I have two anecdotal experiences that come to mind to support this premise.

    While walking down the candy aisle in a Colorado Springs Walmart, I observed this dude packing his jacket pockets with bags of treats. As I recall, we shared glances as I passed by, and he immediately "restocked" the candy rack and departed.

    On another occasion in a motel parking lot in Dumas , Texas an obvious motel parking lot "attendant" sitting on a nearby parking space curb-stop decided to hurriedly depart the premises - perhaps after observing my holstered Glock as I stepped out of the car to enter my motel room.

    I think an important fact worth pointing out is that just because a particular state's laws do not prohibit OC doesn't mean everyone is going to be OC'ing. It is a simple, and viable deterrent to crime and should be one option available to the armed citizen.

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Granite State of Mind
    Posts
    4,510
    Mandatory retention training for licensees? Most states don't even require a license to OC!

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,797
    ...but the fact is, gun grabs happen very rarely considering the amount of time people openly carry in other states...
    I would change this to say something along the lines of "but the fact is, gun grabs are so rare that one is statistically more likely to win a lottery or two than to be the target of a gun grab." Maybe even throw in the chances of winning a lottery (in decimal format as I think seeing all of those zeros will help drive the point home) so that they have an even better idea of just how small the chance is for a non-LEO to be targeted.

    While talking about retention, at approximately 1:07:10, Representative Omby asks if other states require retention training. That I can find in other statutes, no other state makes a specific requirement of retention training. It may be covered in the training class but is not mentioned in statute.
    I would change the bolded part to say something more along the lines of "there is no known retention training requirement for OCing in any state that allows its citizens to OC." This is more authoritative and makes you sound more assertive and sure of your response. Also remember that there's only a handful of states that require a permit to OC (and then it's only a CC permit where all of the mandatory training is on CCing). With how you have it worded it makes it easier for an anti to try and dismiss it.

    Another bill made reference specifically to a firearm had to be in a belt holster. I do not believe any open carry statute should dictate the position of holster, only it must be in a holster. Requiring a belt holster, completely rules out the use of a drop leg holster that can be attached to the belt, and strapped around the upper thigh. These can provide an easier draw position for some people as well as being more comfortable that on the belt.
    Another issue is that they now have to define what a "belt holster" is. Does the belt have to go through eye-holes, or can it be a simple clip (not that I would want a simple clip for an OTW holster, but if for whatever reason I'm using my ITW CC holster to OC this could become an issue)? Would a paddle-holster count since they are designed to simply go over a belt but not have the belt 100% secure it? etc.

    Around 2:11:50, Major Rhodes comments that bad guys don’t open carry, and his is afraid that if open carry passes, they might. This has not been the situation in other states, the bad guys continue to illegally conceal their weapons. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Phelps was quoted in the San Bernardino Sun on September 6, 2010 as saying “[G]ang members aren’t know to open carry.”
    Maybe bring up how even the Tucson shooter had concealed his weapon up until it was time to start firing. Or how criminals almost never use holsters (I've never heard of one using a holster, but I'm sure a few have) and how they are worried about drawing attention to theirselves even if it is legal to OC.

    Around 2:22:53, Major Rhodes mentions that in his mind, concealed carry is a tactical advantage because the firearm is hidden, and the guy with the gun could be the first one shot.

    Open carry also has it’s own tactical advantage in that it takes less time to draw from an open holster than a concealed holster. There is no data to support the open carrier being the first person shot. People don’t look for firearms on law abiding citizens, they expect to see them on law enforcement and people in uniform. That is why the law enforcement or people in uniform are the first ones shot during altercations with criminals.
    I would say the reason why LE get shot first is because it is their job to interact with and try to stop criminals. The person in uniform is directly between the criminal and their freedom and they put theirselves in that position. An OCing LAC isn't going to go out and try to put theirselves in that type of position, but rather are simply trying to defend theirself (and maybe others, but that depends on the situation). There is also the fact that an OCing LAC is an unknown that can't be reliably planned for, while a security type person is something that is known when casing a place and can be planned for.

    Open carry is also a deterrent to crime. There have been documented cases where criminals have seen law abiding citizens openly carrying and have left the establishment. The most notable is the Waffle House in Kennesaw, GA., where armed robbers were arrested outside while they were waiting for four armed citizens to finish eating and leave.[/quote]

    This is another spot where you can plug in the whole thing about OCers not being targeted for crime/gun grabs and again how one is more likely to win a lotto than be targeted for crime while OCing. Also maybe add in how the lack of documented cases is because when something is deterred the prevented crime is almost never reported. I would also suggest going to gunfacts.info and putting in the info about convicted felons avoiding people with guns (look at the "Myth: Guns are not a good deterrent to crime" for the info).

    As other states looked at Oklahoma’s Concealed Carry law and make it their own, I think Oklahoma can look at other states laws for ideas and customize it to Oklahomans wants and needs. From reading reports from other states, many states law enforcement simply pass by someone openly carrying unless they receive a call about a person with a gun. This requires an officer to respond. Responses can very from simple observation to questioning the individual as to what they are doing.
    An officer doesn't HAVE to respond. I don't have the case law to quote, but there have been multiple cases that have stated that the police don't have to defend any one person. Also some states have started training their 911 operators to ask questions like "what is the man doing" when they get a MWAG call. That way the operator can explain that a person not brandishing a weapon and simply walking around with a holstered gun is not a crime and thus help prevent wasting both the LACs time and the responding LEO(s) time.

    Allowing open carry can be tricky the way Oklahoma law is currently written. Many states allow open carry simply because there is no law against it. Oklahoma has a law that specifically disallows this practice then lists exceptions as to when it is OK.
    I would state how these laws (1272 and 1289.6) are unconstitutional and directly conflict with Section II-26 of the Oklahoma Constitution. Specifically "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property...shall never be prohibited..." but yet the quoted laws directly prohibit the carry of weapons with no exemption for self defense as the Constitution calls for. Yes the Constitution states that they can "regulate" the carrying of weapons, but these laws don't regulate, they simply prohibit.

    While I support the practice of open carry and would love to see Oklahoma become a constitutional carry state or the illegal act be stricken from statute, I believe there is to much fear about firearms for this to happen at this time. It is the same fear of blood in the streets that was brought up 15 years ago when concealed carry was passed. I believe that for an open carry bill to pass now, it should be tied to the Self-Defense Act and permit.
    My concern with the bolded part is that an anti can take that and use it to try and push the OC subject off to a later date by stating how "well people are scared of OC and so OK just isn't ready for it yet." The "fear of blood" has been proven wrong time and again and we should call it out for the farce that it is. IMO we should also push for what we want at the start while understanding that we will likely need to compromise. If we start off compromising then when the other side calls for compromise we either end up even further from our goal, or we look rigid and unwilling to work with the others even though we started off with a compromise.


    Overall I would say it's a good letter though.

  8. #8
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Okanogan Highland
    Posts
    2,332
    This mostly pertains to WA, but also fits ID, OR, MT and quite a few other states. Contrasted to the OK constitution.

    OC is a right in these states based on their states constitution. (all very similar to the OK Constitution) The courts have stated that regulation of carry only pertains to CC. OC for self defence is not to be questioned (been through the courts..as in "in re Brickley" (ID)1906) OC for self defence is not to be licensed, and I do not believe (personally) OK can regulate OC either, as they already regulate CC, but that is something for the OK courts to sort out.

    IMHO 1272 is 100% unconstitutional. It states, "all carry is illegal". That automatically makes the law invalid as carry for self defence is a protected right in the OK constitution. ID is the best example of "regulated carry" being part of the wording of the state constitution, and long ago (in re Brickley 1906) the courts said, yes, you can regulate (concealed) carry, but you cannot prohibit carry (OC) for self defence.

    WA does not have a statement like this giving the legislature the ability to regulate carry in it's constitution, but the courts have also said, yes, you can regulate CC, but not OC.

    OC in the above referenced states is unlicensed and unregulated, and has always been so. It has never created a problem. an example could be: In MT you cannot CC into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you may enter the same restaurant OC.

    I have never heard of any state that has any specific legislated holster requirements. I do know some Law Enforcement organization policies that address retention, but none by law. I think that legislating holsters, or retention is over thinking something that should be left to the person that will carry the arm (whatever happened to freedom of choice).

    Again, IMHO, OK really does not have a choice. If they abide by their own state constitution OC should be legal, unlicensed and unrestricted in any way by state law, (all would still have to abide by the federal law on posession of firearms) 1272 should just be repealed, either by the legislature or the courts... end of problem

    Criminals (especially violent felons) do not OC becasue they do not want to chance going to jail for a firearm posession violation. Even in states like the above mentioned, where as a general rule your OC is not (and should not be) questioned by a LEO, and if he does question it he needs to be very careful not to get sued, (federal civil rights suit) criminals do not OC.

    Wether a person who is OC could be a special target, well, that is for the carrier to make the choice don't you think...BTW: In my personal experience, OC prevents crime. It does not create any extra opportunity for more crime. I personally have OC for over 40 years. I have had one, two word conversation, with a Sheriffs Deputy about my OC, in over 40 years. I have had one verified incidence where a hothead was going to beat the C$%^ out of me until he saw my carry...it never left it's holster, but he sure left in a hurry.
    Last edited by hermannr; 12-17-2011 at 12:20 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •