Open Carry: First, 5 reasons in support of open carry

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Open Carry
Last Man Standing shoulder rig

MAKING A STATEMENT: Gun fans have a lot of evocative choices on the market today. This hand-crafted leather double-shoulder rig is called “Last Man Standing.” The name and design is taken from the 1996 Blue Willis action movie of the same title. (Photo by Michael E. Cumpston, released for public use via Wikimedia Commons.)

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Making a statement. Given the controversy about open carry, wearing a holstered handgun in public is a political statement
  4. 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.
  5. 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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  1. Dennis Crouch says

    I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment. The reasons stated for open carry are understandable. However, I believe concealed carry is a greater deterrent than open carry. As a nation, we have not had many citizens “open carry” and therefore it’s bound to cause some angst of people as they are not used to seeing this. Will people become accustomed to seeing people walk around with guns? Maybe,in time but it’s questionable. However, I do find it ludicrous that many businesses, banks, etc., have posted “firearms not allowed in this building” and expect a criminal to abide by it. To me, this attracts criminals. Having the capacity for concealed carry in all areas is reasonable and serves as a deterrent to crime. I serously doubt that prohibiting concealed carry of firearms in a “no firearms zone” is unconstitutional but it probably hasn’t been tested.