BREAKING: Streets Continue to NOT Run Red With Blood in Open Carry States

When Oklahoma’s open carry law went into effect earlier this month they became the 15th state to allow licensed gun owners to openly carry firearms.  Nearly 30 more states permit anyone not prohibited from owning a weapon to openly carry a firearm.  Oklahoma’s new law pushed the open carry movement back into the news and you won’t believe what is happening in those states with laws harkening back to the Wild West…

Nothing.

Nothing out of the ordinary, anyway.  The streets aren’t running red with blood (unlike in Chicago – where guns are nearly impossible to get, let alone carry – which is averaging roughly 42 murders per month).  We aren’t seeing shootouts in the streets (unless you count New York – where, again, firearms are difficult to legally obtain. Carry permits? Fuggedaboutit! – where police unleash a hail of gunfire on innocent citizens who happen to be standing behind a bad guy).  The biggest change will likely be increased 911 call volume to report a MWAG (man with a gun).

What else is business-as-usual?  The consternation and hand-wringing from the hoplophobes worried about someone so lowly as a mere subject – er, citizen – carrying a firearm.

Now that Oklahoma has joined the ranks of “Open Carry States” will the entire state turn into the OK corral?  Are the state’s more than 140,000 CCW permit holders going to turn into Hatfields and McCoys and gun it out in the streets?  Not likely, according to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, who noted that there is no conclusive evidence that open carry laws affect the crime rate in either direction.  TCSO Public Information Officer Shannon Clark said that they do not expect any great changes due to the new law.

Minnesota is an example of how the numbers bear out the idea that allowing firearm carry is a non issue.  In the nine years since both open and concealed carry was legalized here, the nearly 110,000 permit holders have been involved in only five shootings – four of which ruled justified.  Who knows how many times a legally carried gun saved lives with no shots fired.

However, the practice of open carry not only faces opposition from the anti-gun crowd but also from some in the pro-gun, pro-CCW community as well.  Reasons for this opposition include drawing public criticism (Think “Eek! A gun!”), tactical disadvantages in some situations and the possibility of being made a target by the bad guys.  Another unwelcome consequence of open carry may also be extra attention from law enforcement personnel who don’t understand (or, perhaps, agree with) the laws or are simply responding to a MWAG call from terrified people whose understanding of firearms comes solely from the evening news and action movies.

Supporters of open carry cite benefits such as tactical advantages in other situations (ease and speed of access), normalization of firearms carry and crime deterrence.  Some just want to further the idea that citizens should not have to ask for permission (e.g. by applying for a carry permit) in order to exercise a basic individual right.  The ability of permit holders to openly carry could also protect the individual from wardrobe malfunctions if a shirt rides up in a concealed-means-concealed situation.

OpenCarry.org co-founder John Pierce was quoted as saying “Open carry forces the people that you meet as you go about your daily business responsibly and safely, and legally to see that their friends, their neighbors, their loved ones, the people in their community are exercising their rights responsibly.”

What are your thoughts on open carry?  Comment below or join the discussion on the GunLink forums.

One Response to BREAKING: Streets Continue to NOT Run Red With Blood in Open Carry States

  • For me, open carry is good for the community. As stated in this article, there is no conclusive evidence that open carry laws affect the crime rate in either direction. If we allow open carry, it doesn’t mean that it will lead to wild-West shootouts or other serious consequences. In fact, open carry is less dangerous because we know what we are dealing with.

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