There was a period in which Americans used to openly carry handguns in public. This was because (a) it was their right to carry a firearm, and (b) it was even expected from them in some parts of the frontier. However, gradually, laws and restrictions were implemented to regulate gun control and reduce gun related crimes in the society. However, now there are numerous people and groups who believe that it is time that we returned to the old concept of open carry while many believe there isn’t any need to revive that old concept.
In the past few years, many Americans have shockingly witnessed individuals openly carrying guns in places like public parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and other public places. These individuals believe that it is their right to openly carry guns wherever they do and deem themselves as a part of the budding movement of open carry. These individuals have drawn criticism and concern among the citizens. Some of the states implemented licensing systems for the purpose of regulating gun control but many of the states haven’t. The advocates of open carry seek for the normalization of carrying guns openly and typically carry guns to spread awareness about how unjust the state laws regarding open carry are. Although the ones in favor of this practice state that they are merely ‘exercising their rights’, the reality is that such practice intimidates people, waste the resources of law enforcement, and mostly increases the possibility of injuries and even death because of intentional or accidental gun usage.
Open carry creates challenges for law enforcement agencies as they have to respond to emergency calls from alarmed citizens when they witness individuals openly carrying guns. Many individuals claim that open carry is essential for self defense; however studies indicate that carrying guns can enhance the probability of the individual getting injured due to a gun related incident. Instead of enhancing the safety of individuals, open carry can actually enhance the risk of typical interpersonal conflicts turning in to deadly ones.
Additionally, in certain states that permit openly carrying a firearm, without a license or a state issued permit, officers are prohibited to demand identification of the individual openly carrying a gun. This indicates that since they can’t check the identification, the police officials have no way of confirming whether that person is actually eligible to carry a gun openly under state or federal law. This means that there are numerous flaws in the gun policies that must be revised if better gun control is to be achieved.