Open Carry GunLaws
“A right unexercised is a right lost," is the motto for theOpenCarry.org. In the United States, openly carrying guns has been inexistence in many States since time immemorial. In fact, many Statesprohibit concealed guns more compared to openly carried ones. In thecountry, only five States New York, South Carolina, California,Florida, and Illinois that has placed prohibitions on openly carryingguns by the citizens. Individuals may openly carry guns without anypermit or license in 31 States. In 15 States, an individual ismandated to obtain some form of permit or license to openly carry ahandgun. There are several benefits that are enjoyed by a person whoopenly carries a gun. First, their response time is reduced, and thisminimizes the chance of one being assaulted or those around them.Besides, the rationale behind openly carrying a gun is that potentialcriminals are deterred from perpetrating violence in the presence ofarmed citizens. This paper asserts that openly carrying a gunimproves the defense of oneself, third party, and family as itguarantees a quick response on the part of the gun holder.
First, openly carrying a gun improves self-defense. As opposed to aconcealed gun, an openly carried one is easier to use when respondingto a threat posed by a criminal. In the first place, potentialcriminal understands that citizens openly carrying guns will nothesitate when responding in case of any firing. Larry Pratt reportsthat a 1985 survey undertaken by the Department of Justice amongincarcerated felons showed that 57% of the criminals agreed that theywere more worried about their encounters with an armed citizen ascompared to meeting the police. Additionally, Platt cites the work ofGary Kleck a gun policy researcher, who found that merely showing agun deterred 92% of the possible criminal attacks. The rationale ofopenly carrying a gun or its possession, in the first place, is todeter potential criminals from finalizing their heinous plans. Thus,the same way potential criminals desist from attacking a place uponsighting police officers, a similar reaction will be witnessed uponseeing individuals openly carrying their guns.
Apart from improving self-defense, openly carrying a gun facilitatesthe protection of a third party or the public. John Pierce in anarticle, Open Carry Laws Benefit Public Safety, says that accordingto an FBI study entitled “Violent Encounters: A Study of FeloniousAssaults on Our National’s Law Enforcement Offices” criminals doeverything possible to conceal guns in their possession. They do thisby not wearing holsters and by not making any attempts to openlycarry guns under any circumstances. Additionally, Pierce argues thatby openly carrying guns, individuals subject themselves to thescrutiny of other citizens. According to James Grisham in an articleTitled, A Gun Owner Speaks: My Case for Open Carry, while there is amisconception that individuals carrying guns are the first target incase of an attack, criminals prefer soft targets. Grisham gives theexample of a senior citizen carrying a .380 caliber pistol, whothwarted an attempted robbery in an internet café in 2013.Additionally, Grisham reports that in Phoenix, a woman succeeded inscaring off two robbers that intended to rob a jewelry store bymerely pulling her gun.
Thirdly, openly carry a gun facilities the defense of one’s familyin a personal property. Joshua Gillin and Amy Sherman in an article,Is Violent Crime lower in States with Open Carry, report the findingsof Gaetz, who analyzed the uniform crime data possessed by theDepartment of Justice and confirmed that States with open carry gunpolicies experienced a 36% lower robbery rate. Carrying a gun inone’s residence mean that an individual is on standby and is readyto use it any time the situation warrants. According to an articleBy Rick Ward titled, Does Caring Gun in more places Reduce Crime?,when Mississippi enacted the enhanced gun carry laws, property crimereduced from 90,115 in 2011 to 83,906 in 2013. Also, burglaryincidences dropped from 30,907 in 2011 to 28,076 in 2013. In privatespace, it is more efficient for an individual to safeguard theirproperty when they openly carry their guns as compared to when theyhave concealed them. Prompt response is paramount in the case of anattack and this can only be achieved in case individuals open carryguns even in their private residence.
While openly carrying gun provides citizens with power againstcriminals, gun control laws’ proponents argue that there is a needto tame the high gun violence in the country. According to the LawCenter to Prevent Gun Violence in an article, Open Carrying PolicySummary, research shows that in the first place carrying a gunjeorpadizes the holder’s safety. Thus, while the proponents of gunopen carry gun argue that openly carrying gun increase anindividual’s safety, research points to the contrary. Instead ofimproving safety, open carrying a gun increases the chances ofinterpersonal conflicts that culminate in deadly shootouts. Besides,possessing guns increase the likelihood of self-inflicted harm. TheLaw Center to Prevent Gun Violence, reports that States that have notplaced any prohibition on open carrying of handgun experience 36%more suicides as compared to States that restrict the act ofindividuals carrying guns in the public. The correlation betweenopenly carrying guns remains unchanged when variables such as age,ethnicity, population density and poverty are controlled. Besides,while the opponents of gun control argue that guns are only availableto law abiding citizens, research shows that many individuals whopass the gun tests pose harm to themselves and others. In an articletitled, Open Carry, Concealed Carry and Crazy Carry, FrancisWilkinson argues that about 25% of Americans are binge drinkers andsome of the individuals in this group are drug abusers as well.Alcoholism and drug abuse minimize an individual’s ability to makea rational decision, particularly when they have in their possessiona weapon of mass destruction such as a handgun. This shows that thereis a need for gun control laws.
In conclusion, it is evident that many states have embraced theconstitutional requirements that citizens carry gun. As it turns out,many states place more restriction on concealed gun as compared toopen carried ones. The contentious issue is why individuals opencarry guns when they can conceal them. While research shows thatcarrying concealed guns reduce violent crime, open carrying is evenmore effective in term of crime deterrence. This is because of theincrease in response time in case of an attack. As a result of thequick response, States with the open carry policy are experiencinglower crimes as criminals prefer soft targets. Thus, with open carrylaws the safety of gun holders, the public and private property isenhanced. However, while evidence suggests that open carry laws detercrime and reduce injuries in case of an attack, gun controlproponents argue that the crime rates are higher in states with lessstrict gun control laws compared to their counterparts. Besides, opencarry increases chances of a person being robbed of the gun. Thisnotwithstanding, open carry gun laws give individuals more power toexercise their rights
Gillin, Joshua., & Sherman Amy. "Is Violent Crime Lower inStates with Open Carry?" POLITIFACT FLORIDA, October 9, 2015. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Grisham, James. “A Gun Owner Speaks: My Case for Open Carry.” TheDaily Beast, June 12, 2014. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Open Carrying PolicySummary.” Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. August 21, 2015. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Pierce, John. “Open Carry laws Benefit Public Safety.” US News.April 25, 2012. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Pierce, John. "A Right Unexercised is a Right Lost.".OpenCarry. Org. September 17, 2012 Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Pratt, Larry. “Open Carry Deters Crime.” US News, April 25, 2012.Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Ward, Rick. Does Carrying Guns In More Places Reduce Crime?.Mississippi Gun News, January 6, 2014. Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016.
Wilkinson, Francis. “Open Carry, Concealed Carry and Crazy Carry.”April 22, 2014, Bloomberg View, Web. Accessed on May 18, 2016