Saying that, mentioning the foolishness of civilians openly carrying firearms must be discussed and debated. The debate about the law here is long over for me. Open carry or any carry is the law of the land. The debate about the wisdom of open carrying in an urban setting must continue.
Just because you can carry openly should you?
I say that open carry is incredibly problematic and will put you in prison or worse! Let’s begin with the worse. If you’re carrying a gun for personal and family security doing that openly, deprives you of the element surprise needed to survive a violent event. Even worse, experienced violent criminals can be counted upon to attempt to strong-arm you for your weapon. The tactical disadvantages of open carry are huge.
Other challenges are laid out like mines in a minefield. I’ve seen the fallout of open carry first hand. Here are just some scenarios:
A gun rights hater sees you with your gun and calls 911. The story this jerk tells is exaggerated in many different ways because the caller wants to see the police confront you and your gun. The 911 caller will say, “the guy appears drugged up or drunk” or “The guy looks mean and angry and has his hand on the gun!” or “The guy is paying quick draw in the street!” The police can be counted on to treat the call like it is valid and the potential for disaster here is enormous.
Then there is the town troublemaker who will see your weapon and will try to aggravate you and instigate to the point where something stupid happens.
Last but not least is the malicious person that you may or may not know. He or she wants to see you in jail and calls 911 saying, “there’s a guy with a gun and he pointed at me and threatened to shoot me!” The police arrive and see you carrying the gun as described. With a complainant that continues with this lie the police have absolute probable cause to arrest you for a felony crime of Aggravated Assault.
They will arrest you, seize your gun and you will spend the next year of your life fighting the lie in court. Between the huge cost for bail and lawyers, even if you win in court you lose. Yes, I’ve seen innocent people sent to prison for as much as seven years this way.
If you are arrested for Aggravated Assault there is an 80% chance you will be convicted. Innocence is really irrelevant in today’s American courtrooms.
If you are discreet and keep your weapon concealed you can avoid so many real booby traps that can kill you or ruin your life. Why would you take the unnecessary risks of open carry?
Saying all of that there are places where open carry is not a problem Events like those put on by SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) or for filmmaking.
I simply ask you to think before you place yourself in harm’s way by openly carrying.