AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is Part I of a 2-part series on the complicated issue of open carry of firearms. In Part I the laws and actions of lawful gun owners in general will open the discussion into a hotly debated arena of gun ownership today. Part II will look at the legal responsibilities of law enforcement, and provide suggestions to law enforcement’s response to lawful citizens who open carry.
Openly Carried Firearms
It is not news that today’s law enforcement officer has an increasingly difficult job. Packed with all manner of new digital and computerized equipment, changing laws that sometimes contradict decades of precedent, and the ever-present video from in-car cameras, lapel cameras, or citizens, today’s officer is put in the spotlight every time they hit the road.
One of those challenges centers around citizens‘ right to carry firearms. A constant thought and concern of law enforcement officers is a confrontation with an armed person. However, the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically guarantees the citizen’s personal ownership, possession, and carrying of firearms in most circumstances. So the job becomes an even more difficult challenge as an officer must consider individual rights while at the same time discerning if a legitimate threat may exist.