August 18, 2009

Open Carry Near Obama Event Perfectly Legal, Authorities Say

PHOENIX — The Associated Press has reported that about a dozen people openly carried guns outside an event where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday in Phoenix.

Phoenix police say the people with guns, including a man carrying an AR-15, didn’t need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

The man carrying the rifle declined to be identified, but told The Arizona Republic that he was carrying the weapon because he could, adding that he still has some freedoms.

Last week, during Obama’s town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., a man stood outside with a gun strapped to his leg.

Arizona is an `open-carry' state, which means anyone legally allowed to have a firearm can carry it in public as long as it's visible. Only someone carrying a concealed weapon is required to have a permit.

Paul Helmke, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said people should not be allowed to bring guns to events where Obama is.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president.

To see a short, but excellent, interview with the man carrying the AR-15, click here.











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Comments (26)

Comment by: E. D. S | August 22, 2009

If you trust your elected officials more than your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors (collectively, your "fellow citizens"), I pity you.

Maybe you need to re-read what I wrote. I said, "I think the people who hurt our cause most are those who trust their fellow citizens LESS than they trust their government."

Posted by: j1a2r3 | January 14, 2010 1:42 PM    Report this comment

Re: I'm damned proud of those that showed up and stood up to make a statement and support our 2nd amendment rights!
I'm with you on that statement Geo! I also thought William Kostric did well during his interview with Chris Matthews. I also believe anyone with a stable mind has the right to protect themselves regardless of how discrete they are. We're a large group of Armed US Citizens with different personalities. What you carry and your method of carry just demonstrates you personality. I don't think we need to modify our behavior to please the anti-gunners or the media. It appears that most responded to the media with short answers like "Because I can" or "Because it's my right". I didn't see anyone waving their weapon in the air while shouting death to the president.

Posted by: JWallace | August 24, 2009 11:23 PM    Report this comment

Well...an armed AMERICAN citizenry has and always will be around a president of these United States. What do they (the pin headed media)think all those guys with the ear plugs, dark glasses and automatic hardware are? Canadians??!! In the "old days" presidents preferred to have a bunch of happy ass gun toters around them, on the payrole or not. The law abiding folks that showed up that were open carring were not going to do any harm to our pres, or anyone else for that matter. I'm damned proud of those that showed up and stood up to make a statement and support our 2nd amendment rights!

In God We Trust.....

Posted by: Geometric1 | August 23, 2009 8:46 AM    Report this comment

I think the biggest problem is, is that the msm, msnbc, made out that the people that carried open were right wing extremist and racist people. the thing is msnbc didn't show the guy carring the ar was a black man, msnbc made sure to not show anything that showed that he was a man of color. as for open carry i believe that that the way it ot to be every where and if you want to carry concealed it ot to be up to you also. because the bad guys do what ever and don't care as long as know one else is carring. I have been in states that have open carry and didn't carry at all because i was in an area i felt secure and then carried at other times even when i felt secure.or should i say some what secure in both places.
locked, loaded and keeping my powder dry

Posted by: bear1 | August 22, 2009 5:55 PM    Report this comment

E.D.S , Trust is such a nebulous term.I think that few trust elected officials period.I for one, trust a used car dealer or an attorney more than I do POTUS. Given that the vast majority of elected officials are attorneys, that leaves used car dealers as the group more trustworthy.Hopefully your "fellow citizens" are teachers and firefighters. LOL

Posted by: Sharps | August 22, 2009 1:16 PM    Report this comment

Some of the previous comments are misguided.

Reference bob h's comment: "... i dont think this helps our cause it shows poor judgement.they could have been arressted for disturbing the peace or inciting to riot."

Oliver Wendell Holmes states: "If a man neglects to enforce his rights, he cannot complain if, after a while, the law follows his example."

If more people carried their firearms openly, we wouldn't have [so-called] Second Amendment supporters quaking in their boots or citing "bad judgment" when they saw someone with a firearm.

Openly carrying a firearm is a reinforcement of our natural rights; it is not disturbing the peace or inciting a riot. I applaud the citizen.

Reference j1a2r3's comment: "I think the people who hurt our cause most are those who trust their fellow citizens less than they trust their government."

Thomas Jefferson stated, "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."

If you trust your elected officials more than your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors (collectively, your "fellow citizens"), I pity you.

Posted by: E. D. S | August 22, 2009 5:26 AM    Report this comment

I agree that concealed carry is definitely the best option. What anger me about the media was the fact that they made it sound like they were closer to the President than they really were. I was working security at a Bob Hope show at Ft. Bragg(Pope AFB) and the Secret Service disarmed us just before President Reagan arrived. Only the Secret Service was allowed to be armed around the President even though we were active duty military. Our weapons were returned to us as soon as Air Force One departed. Its foolish for people to speculate that these gun carring individuals ever posed a threat to the President. Great posts everyone.

Posted by: Robert J | August 21, 2009 7:25 AM    Report this comment

Shoulda had Sheriff Joe on look-out instead of the secret service. Costs less and is probably more effective as a crime deterrent. (Laughing)
I agree that concealed weapons keep me on my toes in precarious situations. The weapons you see are far less intimidating and easier to defend against, hence the "no worries" from the Secret Service I know of few well armed citizens that have ever had to draw their weapons without provocation. A well armed citizen is a safer citizen where I come from.
Brandish a weapon in public and you WILL get a reaction from a Marine. LOL Semper Fi
Semper Fi.

Posted by: Sharps | August 20, 2009 11:16 PM    Report this comment

Yes.....all things should be done with discretion and in moderation. That is the reason that I favor concealed carry vice open carry. Open carry attacts more attention than is really needed, and it feeds the fears of the hoplophobes (word coins by the late, great Jeff Cooper). Also, as some of you may recall, in a previous post I opined that concealed carry offered the best protection, even to the anti-Second Amendment types, because when weapons are concealed, the bad guys don't know who is and who is not armed.
The armed society whose weapons are concealed is a polite society.

Posted by: canovack | August 20, 2009 4:39 PM    Report this comment

Agreed, good post.

Posted by: Vernon R | August 20, 2009 3:42 PM    Report this comment

I agree that discretion is key. But I also believe that the media uses these things to divide our side. Some "gun people" come off crazy with rhetoric, dress and outspokenness. Then there are those who are scared of, "evil guns", who hunt and shoot. Most all of us are in the middle of the two extremes. The point is that while we should exercise our rights, we need to do so in a reasonable manner. We must not role over though. When we try to bend to the lefts criticism we allow them to set the tone, and control the debate. So we must be always respectful, even when firm. We must be ever mindful of our actions, because at the moment the national media would love to be able to shred us up because of one or two idiots. Yet we must also educate the public on what lawful, peaceful gun ownership is, and in some places open carry is legal.

Posted by: Josh G | August 20, 2009 3:18 PM    Report this comment

Open carry is legal but to do it with discresion is far better, we must never underestimate the power of the media, after all, they put Obama in office.

Posted by: Vernon R | August 20, 2009 2:10 PM    Report this comment

Excellent comments by all, especially Lee W's, which I hope is not apocryphal, and the extended ones by canovack and Robert Resk. To me this a gray area. While I would fight for the right of those folks to open carry during such a meeting (I concealed carry during our Tea Party), one cannot deny the political risk of less enlightened folks supporting restrictive, even unconstitutional, legislation denying this right, all the while being egged on by the anti-gun mainstream media,. Is it worth that risk? I suppose everyone must decide for themselves.

Posted by: mookien | August 20, 2009 2:02 PM    Report this comment

I didn't say what they said made sense, I was just making the point that the media took every opportunity to turn these people into villians. I thought the same thing, I saw one with the black guy with the AR. Then on another channel, MSNBC, they didn't show the black guy with the AR and showed the others liking them to white supremists.

Posted by: Robert J | August 20, 2009 12:29 PM    Report this comment

the guy carrying the AR was black...I guess the press labled hin a white supremacist.

Posted by: greg h | August 20, 2009 12:14 PM    Report this comment

Col. Novack I agree with what you said. I was told by a gun show promoter that the reason you cannot carry inside a gun show is due to their liability insurance. I don't know if its the insurance of the facility owner or the promoter. Not being able to carry a gun in a gun show seems pretty ridiculous, however in this day and age liability=ridiculous.

The mainstream media has made these people out to be right wing extremists like Tim McVeigh. They also called these people white supremisists. The media likes to make gun owners villians whenever they get the chance.

Posted by: Robert J | August 20, 2009 11:50 AM    Report this comment

OOPS sorry mispelled imaturity. Meant to say immature (emotionallly undeveloped).

Posted by: Gary M | August 20, 2009 11:40 AM    Report this comment

Robert in Illinois, I sure have empathy for your situtation. However the free citizens of Illinois as well as those other states that deny you your God given right to self preservation need to increase their efforts to fire those in office that deny those rights.

Those of us that live in freerer areas should perhaps exercise our right to carry openly more often and let those that are "gun-O-phobes" know their fear of an inanimate object such as a firearm is a sign of mental imaturity.

Posted by: Gary M | August 20, 2009 11:34 AM    Report this comment

Philosophically their display is laudable but the public rarely understands such a display. This duplicates the activity of the Black Panthers who entered the California legislative assembly carrying holstered handguns; while this was technically legal the police seized the weapons, returning them to the owners upon exiting the assembly. This activity caused fairly prompt legislation making such action illegal.One would have to judge the BP's action as having a notable deleterious effect rather than supporting a freedom. As a resident of Illinois I have to deal with the legal offense of "terrorizing the public" which equates to the public display of an uncased firearm. This is enforced inverse proportion to the distance you are from Cook county. Why tweak the nose of the public? It produces irrational legislation equivalent to the anxiety induced.

Posted by: Robert Resk | August 20, 2009 11:22 AM    Report this comment

Philosophically their display is laudable but the public rarely understands such a display. This duplicates the activity of the Black Panthers who entered the California legislative assembly carrying holstered handguns; while this was technically legal the police seized the weapons, returning them to the owners upon exiting the assembly. This activity caused fairly prompt legislation making such action illegal.One would have to judge the BP's action as having a notable deleterious effect rather than supporting a freedom. As a resident of Illinois I have to deal with the legal offense of "terrorizing the public" which equates to the public display of an uncased firearm. This is enforced inverse proportion to the distance you are from Cook county. Why tweak the nose of the public? It produces irrational legislation equivalent to the anxiety induced.

Posted by: Robert Resk | August 20, 2009 11:22 AM    Report this comment

On its face, the possession of any firearm, whether carried openly or concealed by a law abiding citizen, should be OK with everybody. This includes all venues such as political gatherings, religious services, hospitals & clinics, schools, government buildings, etc, etc. It has never made any sense to me that after somebody has undergone the proper training and criminal investigatory procedures, that they are then prohibited the carry of their arms in some of the most vulnerable killing zones where the criminal miscreants are most likely to strike. Oh yeah.....another one that boggles the mind is that promoters of gun shows post signs prohibiting the concealed handgun licensees from carrying their pieces within the confines of the buildings where the gun shows are held. It's as if the very guys who should be the most in favor of an armed citizenry don't trust the citizens to whom they want to sell their weapons. Go figure.....

Posted by: canovack | August 20, 2009 10:24 AM    Report this comment

"Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president."

Seems to me that if it's cool with the Secret Service then that's pretty much the last word.

Posted by: Dulrug | August 20, 2009 10:06 AM    Report this comment

I think the people who hurt our cause most are those who trust their fellow citizens less than they trust their government.

Posted by: j1a2r3 | August 20, 2009 9:41 AM    Report this comment

i support the second ammendment but i dont think this helps our cause it shows poor judgement.they could have been arressted for disturbing the peace or inciting to riot

Posted by: bob h | August 20, 2009 9:31 AM    Report this comment

The message was lost by the mainstream media.

Posted by: Robert J | August 20, 2009 6:29 AM    Report this comment

It may have been apocryphal, but I recall reading a story about a stump speech being given by Presidential-candidate William Henry Harrison, during the 1840 campaign, out in the frontier wilderness of Pennsylvania, where the audience signalled it's approval of his statements by pulling out their pistols and firing them into the air. Man, warn't them the good-ol' days?

Posted by: Lee W | August 18, 2009 10:54 PM    Report this comment

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