Downrange: June 2011
Back and Forth on Open Carry
Our sister site GunReports.com recently reported on a Texas bill that would permit concealed handgun license holders to carry openly. Curiously, Texas is one of only seven states that does not have some form of an open-carry law. Under Rep. George Lavender’s (R-Texarkana) bill, CHL holders could carry their weapon openly if it was in a holster.
"We have a constitutional right to bear arms, and in many ways, it’s being infringed on," Rep. Lavender said. In the comments section under that story, there was a lot of back and forth about the topic—with some of the points covering areas I hadn’t considered before. Here’s a sampling of that discussion, which you can join in at GunReports.com (just search for "Lavender"), or email me at GunTestsEditor@me.com and we’ll talk more about it in "Firing Line."
James H: Open carry is a bad idea whose time should never come, as long as a state like Texas has a "shall issue" stance toward concealed carry. Persons openly carrying firearms needlessly antagonize those who oppose the Second Amendment. I know it’s a right, but you can exercise your right by carrying concealed in Texas. … In states like California, which rarely allow concealed carry, open carry has its place, since there is no alternative.
User425181: …When a lady saw a sheriff at a ball wearing his sidearm, she asked him, "Are you expecting trouble?" To which he replied, "Ma’am, if I were expecting trouble, I’d have brought my rifle."
David B: Well, I agree with James generally, but would like to add a thought. To me, a gun is now a necessity. In the last 12 years I’ve suffered some damage and am now unable to run away from a situation, and am too lame and out of shape from my injuries to put up a fight. So I carry. And as I don’t seek any kind of confrontation, I keep my mouse weapon hidden. I doubt anyone will open fire at 30 yards (if I expected that I’d have a rifle along), so I depend on the element of surprise to bail me out. Want my wallet? Sure, here.
Myk9noseKnows: I would not personally open carry. As a LEO, that would also complicate nearly everything we do all day. But it is a right, and since you would already have to have a CHL permit (unlike say AZ) at least some responsible people would carry.…
Melleeb: I am also a LE officer, and I don’t have a problem with open carry as long as the person has a CCL. I can carry open now if I show my badge, but I don’t want bad guys knowing who I am. If others carry openly, then I can too without people knowing I am an officer. I always carry when off duty, but sometimes it has to be a small 380. If I could openly carry, then I could carry a more effective handgun.… Bottom line, bad guys carry no matter what the law is. GT