Posted May 21st 2012 | By:
Open carry, act of carrying a firearm openly and not concealed by a shirt, vest, or jacket has become a hot potato in the past few years. It must be stated that this is not waving arms in the air that can lead to charges or brandishing a weapon and public endangerment, this is holstered carry for handguns and slung carry for long arms. The main preaching point of the exercise is that 'a right unexercised is a right lost'. This harkens back to the old days when it was legal and often expected for an adult male to carry a firearm in public for both community defense as well as personal protection. The nation's first carrying of a concealed weapon laws in many areas come from this, as those who carried hidden firearms were seen as unseemly and downright impolite.
With the increase in the news of open carry festivals such as congregations at local coffee houses and political rallies, the term is fresh in the news and gaining popularity. There are even open carry kids' books.
One of the largest internet venues for open carry is the aptly named http://opencarry.org/ website. According to opencarry.org, an online gun-rights community with 25,000 members, only six states deny the right to walk the streets with a handgun on your belt - New York, Illinois, South Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, and, somehow, Texas.
Oklahoma just recently changed this and now allows licensed open carry. The state's governor stated that the bill "sends a strong message that Oklahoma values the rights of its citizens to defend themselves, their family, and their property." This was carried out even with some democratic state senators publicly saying, "Open Carry is an invitation to chaos"
As with other licensed open carry states Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts, those who possess a current CCW can carry openly. . Open carry is legal in 28 states without restriction. In all, most states allow some form of carrying a firearm in public without it being concealed.
(Most people forget that the Black Panthers were advocates of Open Carry in California before it became popularly known by that name)
California is classified as Rural Open Carry and its small but vocal open carry community has pricked the ears of many in that left-leaning state. Such large and popular media outlets as the LA Times have openly called for the banning of open carry saying, "It's not for California" and "There is no compelling reason society should tolerate weekend commandos flashing their firearms, confounding law enforcement officers and terrorizing the public."
(Photo from Restore the Constitution)
However even this paper is against the upcoming bill in the California Legislature that calls for a law to prevent the open carry of rifles in public.
The bottom line is, if you live in a legal open carry state practice gathering while armed to show those friends, foes, and undecided that Second Amendment rights could be used. If you live in a state that does not support it, write some letters and make some phone calls, every day, until you do.
That is your first amendment rights.
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