Open Carry: More Common Than You Think

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Rani Molla reports:

“Concealed carry—you don’t know who’s doing it and it doesn’t cause as much concern as open carry. One is a danger you know, and one is a danger you don’t know.”

— Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Gun-rights advocates see the practice as a way to normalize gun ownership and deter crime, while gun-control activists believe carrying guns in stores and restaurants is disruptive to the public and encourages violence.

In a Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 photo, Rick Ector carries his Smith and Wesson 9mm as he prepares to pump gas in Detroit. Ector is pushing to make Detroit an “open carry” city and organizes public dinners and picnics where each legally licensed attendee wears a handgun. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

In a Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 photo, Rick Ector carries his Smith and Wesson 9mm as he prepares to pump gas in Detroit. Ector is pushing to make Detroit an “open carry” city and organizes public dinners and picnics where each legally licensed attendee wears a handgun. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Recently, TargetStarbucks and Chipotle have asked their patrons not to bring their guns. After petitions by gun-control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in AmericaKroger said it would uphold local and state laws in the 34 states it operates.

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Carrying a firearm in a concealed manner is legal in all states, but open carry has more restrictions, especially for handguns.

Though federal law doesn’t restrict the open carrying of handguns in public, several states—including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, South Carolina and Texas—ban the practice, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thirteen states require a special permit or license to open carry. Read the rest of this entry »


D.C. Issues First Gun Carry Permits

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Approves 8 Applications, Denies 11 

 reports; The District of Columbia has issued its first concealed handgun carry permits. As of January 26, there are eight civilians who can legally carry a firearm in the nation’s capital. Currently, more permit applicants have been denied than approved.

“The City Council adopted a ‘may issue’ law which featured a myriad of restrictions, imposed 18 hours of training requirements, cost $110 in application fees, and required applicants prove to city officials their need to carry a firearm. It has been widely criticized by gun rights activists.”

“We’ve had 69 applications, of which 3 were canceled at the request of the applicant,” Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said. “So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”

"Legitimate self defense has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal misuse of guns." —Gerald Vernon, veteran firearms instructor

Veteran firearms instructor Gerald Vernon

The District was forced to adopt a legal framework allowing civilians to carry firearms after a federal judge declared the city’s previous ban unconstitutional last July. The City Council adopted a “may issue” law which featured a myriad of restrictions, imposed 18 hours of training requirements, cost $110 in application fees, and required applicants prove to city officials their need to carry a firearm.

“So far eight licenses have been approved and issued.”

It has been widely criticized by gun rights activists. The city began accepting applications several months later on October 23rd but established a 90 day review period.

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The eight people legally allowed to carry a gun within city limits represent about .00001 percent of the 646,449 people the Census Bureau estimates reside in the city.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

The MPD did not provide any information about where  the eight permittees reside, but there are non-residents represented among the 69 people who have applied for a permit. Read the rest of this entry »