Open Carry?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

We’re reaching an exciting threshold for those of us who believe in our God-given right to defend ourselves and our families. As of a couple of weeks ago, the 24th state passed a Constitutional Carry law, allowing their citizens to carry firearms, without a permit. I’ve heard of two other states whose legislatures are currently debating the merits of passing similar laws. While these laws vary a bit from state to state, there is clearly a movement in favor of allowing people the rights and the tools to defend themselves, regardless of what the gun grabbers think.

It appears that our country is gradually going back to its roots, at least in one area, even though some of our major states are getting more and more restrictive about guns, pushing their narrative that guns kill people and the solution to that is to get rid of the guns. Personally, I’ll do what I can to avoid those states. There are plenty of others for me to enjoy.

But constitutional carry raises its own questions for those of us who are gun owners; specifically whether we should continue to carry concealed or whether we should carry openly?

In some states, this question may be at least somewhat answered for us, as the version of constitutional carry might be limited to open carry of firearms. But most states don’t have that restriction. They leave it up to the gun owner as to when, where and how they carry, usually with only a few restrictions.

Personally, I fall on the side of carrying concealed, even though my state passed open carry a few years back. While carrying openly does exercise the right, making a public display of the fact that it is legal to carry, I don’t feel the educational value for others warrants my taking the risks associated with carrying openly. Yes, my carrying might openly might cause a criminal to decide to go elsewhere; but it also might make them decide that I should be their first target. That’s a risk I don’t want to take.

Another risk, albeit a slight risk, is that a criminal might try to take my gun and use it to commit a crime. While taking a holstered gun from someone isn’t all that easy to do, it has happened. But it’s not going to happen if they don’t know the gun is there.

Finally, the other reason I don’t want to carry openly is that I recognize that there are still a lot of people who are made uncomfortable by guns. I can understand that and respect their opinion, even though I think it is wrong. Both my mother and mother-in-law are made uncomfortable by the sight of guns and I don’t see any reason to go out of my way to offend them, especially when there’s no benefit in doing so.

But what if your state doesn’t offer the option of carrying openly as part of their constitutional carry law; what should you do then? Currently, there are 41 states which are shall-issue states, meaning that barring any reason not to issue a concealed carry permit, they will issue one. So, chances are fairly good that you can get a permit, unless you live in New York, California, New Jersey or one of a few other states.

Having a concealed carry permit doesn’t just allow you to carry in your home state, but if you do any traveling, you might want to consider having one, even if your state has constitutional carry. Many states have treaties allowing reciprocal rights. So even if you’re going to visit a state where constitutional carry is only for citizens or where there is no constitutional carry, having a license may still make it possible for you to carry.

There are a couple of different websites that will provide information on reciprocal carry rights, updated as the laws change. By and large, these are run by some of the biggest pro-Second Amendment organizations in the county; so they’re plugged in to this issue and have the latest information.

Having that license is just another way to be prepared, just like keeping your powder dry and your survival kit close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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