Do you believe you need to exercise your rights to preserve them?

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by RunningOnMT, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    A few months ago when the the subject of open carry outside a town hall meeting came up, I began wondering about how local ordinances here may have changed in light of changes in state law.

    As long as I can remember it had been well known that a person could strap on a holster and walk down a city street openly carrying a firearm. At the time there was a rather strange law regarding concealed carry. There was no such thing as a concealed carry permit.

    While one couldn't get pre authorization to carry via a permit, anyone who could justify why he had a need to CCW would have to take a chance in court. In other words you had to be charged, then go to court, present the facts, and let a judge decide if you had a reasonable reason to believe you needed a firearm to protect yourself or property.

    Jewelers, pawn shop owners, and others engaged in a business which required them to carry large sums of money or valuables could be given a pass by the court...but only after being charged.

    Thankfully that passed away with the passing of Ohio's concealed carry laws. But I wondered if the fact that carrying concealed became more widespread if perhaps open carry might have become a forgotten right.

    So I called the local police department and spoke with an information officer who told me in no uncertain terms that if I wanted to carry a handgun I needed to obtain a concealed carry permit. I said "But I'm not talking about concealed carry, I'm talking about open carry in a holster worn in plain sight".

    He responded again that if I wanted to carry a firearm I needed a concealed carry permit. He then said "You don't really think you could get away with walking down Main Street with a six-gun on your hip do you...this isn't the wild west you know". Not satisfied with this answer I began to search the net and found this"

    Information for officers regarding “Open Carry” of firearms by citizens
    In late summer in Akron, Ohio a couple officers saw a man walking on a Main St. sidewalk with a pistol strapped in a holster on his hip in plain view. The man said nothing and did nothing threatening. In fact, he was with his adult daughter and the two stepped into a restaurant to order food. He was just going about his own business. The officers were concerned, not yet alarmed, but wondered, “What police action should we take?”
    When Concealed Carry was made legal in Ohio some changes came about that affect local law. Most recently, state law enacted “preemption” with purpose to make any and all laws pertaining to firearms a statewide matter with uniform regulation and enforcement. Simply put, the state law trumps any pre-existing local ordinances and prohibits creation of new ordinances in conflict with state law.
    Under state law, there is no prohibition against carrying a firearm openly, i.e., not concealed. A permit is not required to carry this way. Carrying a pistol openly on the hip is not breaking the law. This action in and of itself alone is not a basis for a stop.
    Neither is carrying a gun openly disorderly conduct or inducing panic. If an officer engages in conversation with a person who is carrying a gun openly, but otherwise not committing a crime, the person cannot be required to produce identification. The law does specify that a person may not carry a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle except under the provisions set forth for a person who possesses a concealed handgun license (CHL).
    It is rare that people carry this way in Akron. However, if you do come across a person with a gun holstered in plain view, think before you act. Is he breaking any law? Is he threat? Is he doing anything that constitutes a Terry stop? If not, be cautious, keep on eye on his actions and let him go about his way.
    Sgt. Jeff Mullins, Training Bureau. Reviewed and Approved by Police Legal Advisor, Mr. Tom DiCaudo, Asst. Prosecutor, City of Akron.
    ORC 9.68 Right to bear arms - challenge to law.
    (A) The individual right to keep and bear arms, being a fundamental individual right that predates the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, and being a constitutionally protected right in every part of Ohio, the general assembly finds the need to provide uniform laws throughout the state regulating the ownership, possession, purchase, other acquisition, transport, storage, carrying, sale, or other transfer of firearms, their components, and their ammunition. Except as specifically provided by the United States Constitution, Ohio Constitution, state law, or federal law, a person, without further license, permission, restriction, delay, or process, may own, possess, purchase, sell, transfer, transport, store, or keep any firearm, part of a firearm, its components, and its ammunition.
    (B) In addition to any other relief provided, the court shall award costs and reasonable attorney fees to any person, group, or entity that prevails in a challenge to an ordinance, rule, or regulation as being in conflict with this section.
    (C) As used in this section:
    (1) The possession, transporting, or carrying of firearms, their components, or their ammunition include, but are not limited to, the possession, transporting, or carrying, openly or concealed on a person’s person or concealed ready at hand, of firearms, their components, or their ammunition.
    (2) “Firearm” has the same meaning as in section 2923.11 of the Revised Code.
    (D) This section does not apply to either of the following:
    (1) A zoning ordinance that regulates or prohibits the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for residential or agricultural uses;
    (2) A zoning ordinance that specifies the hours of operation or the geographic areas where the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms may occur, provided that the zoning ordinance is consistent with zoning ordinances for other retail establishments in the same geographic area and does not result in a de facto prohibition of the commercial sale of firearms, firearm components, or ammunition for firearms in areas zoned for commercial, retail, or industrial uses.
    Effective Date: 03-14-2007

    So now I am wondering. Even though the above proves that open carry in Akron Ohio isn't a violation of the law, and though this training officer was advising officers of this fact, apparently the message has not gotten through to some if not most police officers.

    I am sure if I walked down my street with a handgun in an exposed holster I would be stopped the first time a cop saw me. So what do we...or should we do, under these circumstances. Do you believe that one should fully exercise all of their rights in order that citizens AND law enforcement both DO NOT FORGET THAT WE HAVE THAT RIGHT, or do you just avoid the hassle, forget it and get a CCW permit if you want to carry?

    Of course this leads to another question. If open carry is in fact legal does that not nullify the brandishing section of the concealed carry law which says that when in the process of legally permitted concealed carry, your firearm becomes visible or is not fully covered you can be charged with brandishing? From my understand even if a firearm imprints on your clothing you can be charged.

    My natural tendency is to just play along with the ignorance of some and never open carry. If I want to carry I would probably just get my ccw permit anyway. But I wonder if in a way that is not abrogating my responsibility as a citizen.

    A second concern is that in realizing a large segment of socity may find the sight of many people openly carrying could spur legislation that would make it illegal, thus further infringing on our rights. It's pretty ironic when one does not exercise their rights because they are worried that government will take away those rights if the issue is brought to their attention.

    I would really appreciate all of your opinions on this..especially from those who have a law enforcement or legal background.
  2. tntrucker

    tntrucker New Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Very good post. I wish I had answers.
    Like you I want to defend my rights; But at the same time; do I want to spend all my time fighting the legal battles and hassles?

  3. topper

    topper New Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    deep in the woods
    I'm not sure i would even want to 'open carry' a handgun on the street or store or anyplace else. Not only would it attract much attention, but also there is always someone who thinks it is a 'terroristic act' to do so and summons the LEO's. More potential trouble abounds then and possibly a trip to the jail. Even if it is found to be legal, in my book it is not worth it. CCW is there for a purpose to carry and to be concealed so as not to alarm the masses of people that are encountered. I think that CCW is fine for persons that are carrying large sums of valuables, ladies that are afraid of stalkers, rapists, etc. and anyone else with a valid reason to be armed, ready and concealed, like travelers, handicapped persons, etc. It's a wild world already with high crime rates in many places, but open carry, IMO, has no place in modern society....yet.
  4. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    I have the right to open carry where I live.
    If someone gets upset by it, them I'm a criminal.
  5. Hardballer

    Hardballer New Member

    I open carry in Wisconsin. We have no concealed carry law. I have open carried in communities with laws on the books against it. The state law trumps the city law and I have had no trouble. It didn't hurt either that several recent court findings have been for and not against the open carrier.

    When it costs the city big bucks, they generally listen up.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  6. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I open carry at times when in town. Usually when I'm hearding out to or returning from boonying. Sometimes, just because I feel like it. I've never been questioned or stopped. However, the public acceptance of arms is much different here from that found in the coastal cities of this state (not to mention some big cities in this country.)

    I remember a little tavern in central Arizona which had a gun rack under the coat/hat rack. I was never in there when there were not more guns in the rack than coats on the rack. I also remember the principal of our high school in Oregon having a gun rack in the secretary's office and another in his office. I remember the teachers in elementary school having a counter behind their desk for BB guns and .22 rifles.

    I went to town one day and bought a box of .22 ammo. Then I stopped at Central Market and bought a box of kitchen matches. Owner of the market called Mom when I left and I got my butt beat and was grounded for awhile. Because of the MATCHES.

  7. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    ROMT, i feel that if you dont excersize your rights they will go away. for example if you dont use free speech, if you always agree. and you do this for a long time. then one day you disagree, everyone looks at you like (i cant believe he doesnt agree). you become outside the norm and people dont understand. the same thing goes for open carry.

    i open carry most of the time. i do have a license to conceal, mainly for travel to where my wife is from (nc). i haven't ever had a problem. had some strange looks but in kentucky it is a guarranteed right. when i started, i expected for the local law enforcement to see me and then hassel me. so far, nothing has come of it. no cops have been called on me, no stores have asked me to leave.

    i have open carried in walmart a lot. and even though the local gunstore owneres (wanda and bill) told me they know people that were asked to leave walmart because their concealed gun shown i have never had a problem. these same people told me it was dangerous and a good way to get shot. and that it would cause such a hassle if someone didnt shoot me that it wasn't worth it. that is all bs.
    i remember a time specifically that i was open carrying in walmart and i went around the counter to get a better look at the ammo prices, the clerk was off stocking or something. but he came up while my butt was in the air, pistol shining, and asked me if he could help me find anything. i told him no i was only looking and we talked for a few about guns and the like and then i was on my way.

    no problems yet. although it does make me a little uncomfortable at times because i still expect to be hassled at some point about it.
  8. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I have a CCL so I carry concealed unless I'm hunting or fishing. Open carry is legal in NH but I figure if I need it then I know where it is and it's really no one else's business if I have a firearm on me.

    The reason I don't open carry in public is I think there are a lot of good people that aren't anti-gun but more ambivalent about them and if you go into Wally World or where ever while they are in there with their kids it will scare the crap out of them. If you think about all the mass murders and 24/7 publicity they receive then I think their fear is understandable. What will then happen is they will complain and the stores will start posting themselves as no gun zones and someone carrying concealed will be (generally) in voilation of the law if (when) they enter. I carry a gun to defend myself and family not as a statement of rights. Those rights are enumerated in the second amendment and that is good enough for me.
  9. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    +1 Good sound logic there Terry.
  10. belercous

    belercous Former Guest

    Aug 7, 2009
    RunningonMT: First off, Ohio has local rule (Home rule). This means that cities can have stricter laws than in other areas of the state. Akron has home rule. Business owners may carry, even off-premises, if engaged in the normal course of business. You may have the weapon for defensive purposes (this means that you weren't hunting, then you're o.k.) if you can PROVE (that means convince a jury) that a "prudent man" (again, a jury will have to decide that) would be so armed while you are engaged in a lawful activity. (buying "rock" in the `hood=no. Little leauge game=convince a jury that a "prudent" man would carry for such.) However, it is an affirmative defense, not a "right." You will have to go to court to defend it. It's a coin toss. As a private citizen, no you have no right to "open-carry" in Akron.
    Don't try it unless you know what you're doing, have e-gads of cash, or are an attorney.
    This information is valid thru 2006, it may have been updated since then, check your local ordinances to be sure. But please remember, just because your state law says one thing, this does not mean that your local laws are not stricter. Federal law trumps state law, every time. Local law may/may not trump state law. Federal law trumps all, even state constitutions.
    Bottom line; I wouldn't try it if I were you.
    I'd love to have this much freedom. I live in Illinois where we don't have even this much rights (thank you Chicago).
  11. I've watched a lot of old Westerns in my time, and the sheriff always disarmed the cow pokes that came into town. They got their guns back when they left. Unless you are doing something where being armed would increase your safety, then it is reasonable and understandable. Traveling across country, to a city I'm not familiar with, I would definitely have something with me. But to a little league game? Uh, where's this ball field at, the corner of Martin Luther King and Caesar Chavez blvd.? I am in NO WAY wishing to limit anyone's personal Right to self defense, but not every occasion requires one to be armed. If I lived (as I once did) in a rural area, where it was no big deal, I always had my rifle slung across my shoulder and a pistol on my hip. I never saw the need to carry a firearm to a PTA school play.There's a time and place for everything. If the area you're in makes you feel that you should have something, by all means do so. But I do not yet feel so threatened that I need a gun while getting the weeks groceries. If you do, and there really is, I won't stop you. I prefer that you had it out of sight rather than slung on your hip :p TJ
  12. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    the secretary where i work doesnt like for me to carry open. but i do anyway. she complains to the owner, but since i lease the building and i dont work for him, or her, there is nothing she can do about it. he doesnt mind. i've had arguments with her several times, she says there is a place and a time for it, but work is not the place or time. she owns guns and is pro gun. there isn't any threats around where i work. nothing ever happens. most folks are polite and nice. there is a cop that lives several doors down the street. and no i dont need to carry. but i want to carry. i carry not because i can, but i carry because if something should happen, then i will be ready. along the same reason i have a flashlight in my car, a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack. i've been known to carry a lighter and a shovel and a pick ax and a machete. i've also been known to carry rope, chain, and binders. but i rarely ever use any of it.

    the problem we have is not people that dont want to carry all the time, or people that done feel the need to. but the problem we have is people that think that because that choice is best for them, it should be best for the rest of us. see, what i do shouldnt be anyone elses business, just like what they do isnt any of mine. so one reason i carry is for prepairedness, but i do also carry because i can, because i will miss being able to should meddling people ever try to take this right away. i carry because my i want to be able to defend myself and my wife's lives to the best of my ability. i do trust god, but i dont trust everyone else. and there is a lot of christian folks been killed here and there. i am not afraid of dying either. i just dont want to die for lack of shooting back is all :D

    guess i am long winded today.

  13. Hardballer

    Hardballer New Member

    The last "Western" I watched like that, the sheriff got killed. Some ornery ombre' crawfished the kindly old sheriff and kilt him dade. I don't even want to talk about schools. Hmmmmm. Do I see a pattern here? Bad guys do not obey the law.

    Your example points up and proves the very point most who are pro-gun have known and espoused for a long time. Gun Free Zones are killing zones because the bad guys "DO NOT OBEY THE LAW". Law in reality is for good guys. Punishment is for bad guys. But punishment does not seem to be a deterrent.

    You know what seems to be a deterrent? The general population owning and carrying guns. Openly or otherwise. Who knew?

    Like the legislator in Texas who lost both parents because by law, her gun was in the car and not on her side in the restaurant. Lack of visible, scary looking ( Oh My!) guns does not guarantee life or safety. It simply means you are defenseless against bad guys or worse and infinitely more unpredictable, crazy guys.

    The above incident at the restaurant or something like it may never happen to you. Good for you and yours. But. . . . if it does and you are unarmed, you are no longer relevant to this discussion because you are gone. Maybe your family too.

    This goes along with one of my favorite sayings, "Hope for the best but prepare for the worst." I do.

    Right John. If we conceal them, let our rights be dictated away by those who are too scared or dumb to exercise them, we will not have them. If I had the choice to concealed carry, I would some of the time but my overwhelming choice has always been to open carry.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2009
  14. Hardballer, you're absolutely correct. There isn't any warning that some nut is going to come into your MacDonald's and start shooting people till someone kills him. You can never know. It's just a tad bit uncomfortable to have a lot of weapons openly carried. But life isn't perfect and, as Alpo says, "always take precautions." I have no objection, and to tell the truth, I'd probably wear mine, too. P.S. LOVE that movie, too. TJ
  15. topper

    topper New Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    deep in the woods
    I was a security guard at one job i had and had to carry a weapon in a holster. That thing got heavy in a hurry. I was stationed in a locked office building with a lot of night shift people working. I finally took it off and stored it in a desk drawer and then my supervisior came in and ask why i was not wearing the gun belt. I told him about it being heavy and he said it was ok to store it in the desk. He understood. Other guard stations that i had were outside and in a not so nice area of town and i had to wear the weapon, but i finally got used to it.....somewhat. Don't know how them old west sheriff's carried a gun around all day, but i'm sure it must have been necessary.

    Open weapon carrying may become normal in the near future if things don't improve in america....soon!
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