In many states, you can openly carry firearms without a special permit or license. In others, you need a permit or license. Open carry is prohibited in only a few states, like New York, Illinois, California, and a handful of others. Open carry is prevalent, and, some say, on the rise.
Are there good reasons for open carry?
- Deterrence. Gun-rights activists often cite deterrence as a good reason to openly carry a firearm in public. Open carry makes you (and those around you) safer because would-be attackers or criminals will avoid a person with a firearm.
- Exercising your rights. The Second Amendment grants the right for private individuals to keep and bear arms. The right is jeopardized if it isn’t exercised.
- Making a statement. Given the controversy about open carry, wearing a holstered handgun in public is a political statement
- Speedy defense. It’s faster to draw a pistol that is openly carried, compared to one that is concealed. Instead of fumbling around for your concealed handgun, you can quickly defend yourself with an openly carried weapon.
- Normalizing weapons. Wearing a handgun in public is also intended to “desensitize” the public, as open-carry enthusiasts often say. Today, many people are alarmed at the sight of a private citizen wearing a handgun. Once desensitized, weapons become normal.
What’s your evaluation of these reasons for openly carrying firearms?
Are these good reasons for open carry?
What concerns, if any, do you have with them?
Tomorrow—What are reasons not to openly carry handguns?
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- Open Carry: Now, 4 reasons not to allow it
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- Open Carry: Is Texas Next?