Is that a gun on your belt, or are you just happy to see me?

by David Esrati on March 9, 2010

in hot button issues

While Ohio just recently made it legal to carry a concealed weapon with permit, what many people don’t realize is that if you just strap it on in the open- it’s legal. Do you feel safer already?

And although I know a few people who have a CCW permit, and have been around my share of cops who pack off duty, I’ve not seen anyone carry a sidearm unless they worked in a gun shop.

Those days may be ending.

In recent months, the “open-carry” arm of the gun-rights movement, which advocates that gun owners carry visible weapons as they go about their daily business, have been exercising their rights. They’ve been proudly displaying their sidearms in public places, sometimes meeting up in groups.

via The Associated Press: Politics and retail a no-win mix.

We’ve always had people who are staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment, and some states have always been more gun friendly, but this recent movement to “normalize” the carrying of firearms is a step in a direction I’m not sure I’m comfortable with. That doesn’t mean I don’t think people should be able to own guns, I just think the idea of having one on you at all times is a recipe for disaster. When guns are more accessible- more people get shot (one of the reasons we have more people dying by getting shot in this country every year than any other industrialized nation- and I should take some time to dig up a source- but, it’s not that important to make this point).

Although I’m perfectly comfortable around guns, when with people who are trained and responsible, I’m not sure that everyone walking around with a pistol has society’s best interests at heart. We’ve already got a ridiculous number of people in prisons- do I really want every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry playing judge, jury and firing squad if they think a crime is being committed?

In today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show, Greg Hunter and I (both gun owners) discuss our feelings about this hot-button issue.

If anyone knows what the open carry rules are in Dayton, Ohio, I’d appreciate it if you post in comments. We’d also like to hear from members of the Dayton law enforcement community what their views are on open carry. Does it make your job easier, safer or more dangerous?

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Will Brooks March 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I am waiting to pick up my CCW and I also open carry.
 
Ohio laws.
http://www.opencarry.org/oh.html
 

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jstults March 9, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Open Carry seems to still be a gray area in Ohio  (this happened in 2009, the HB-12 law linked from opencarry.org was from the 125th General Assembly):

Englewood isn’t the first city to raise questions about Ohio Revised Code, 9.68, the state’s right to bear arms law. An appeal of a lower court’s decision to deny a challenge by the city of Cleveland on constitutional grounds is currently before the state’s 8th District Court of Appeals.
Englewood’s argument centers around the definition of a “general law” under the state’s exemptions for Home Rule governments, of which Englewood is one. Those exemptions hold that local self-government regulations and police powers are best served by local governments and not the state. That is as long as those ordinances are not in conflict with the general laws of the state.
Maynard points out that without a general law, he and other concealed-carry license holders face possible prosecution if different jurisdictions enact separate ordinances.
On this the city agrees. The concealed-carry law statutes are general laws under the state Supreme Court decisions. But open carry is not, it maintains, and nowhere in the law are there regulations guiding its enforcement.
Handgun allowed in Englewood park, pocket knife may be confiscated

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Shortwest Rick March 10, 2010 at 1:02 am

Years ago, when I lived in Louisville, I was taken aback when I walked into a rural store out on 42 and Patsy Clyne behind the cash register had a .357 on her hip, I had never seen anything like that in Ohio. I exited the store with my 16 oz Coke thinking I guess they are out here in the boonies but they ain’t gonna get robbed, but it left me with a nagging uneasyness, that the little store must have been heldup numerous times before the owners strapped on guns, I had a vision of myself being robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot of that store, not by Patsy but by the frequent criminals that caused her to strap on a .357. I never stopped there again. Little did I understand at the time I was regularly traveling between two different worlds.

Upfront, I believe the 2nd Amendment (1791) states the right of the United States to assemble an armed militia (military) to defend itself against agressors, others interpert it differently. Now, I ain’t mad at Patsy for defending her property and I’m certain her local customers were comfortable with it, and granted most of the people currently holding CCW permits are responsible thinking citizens, but… at some point just like possessing a drivers’ license, those who don’t bother or can’t get one will have a gun on their hip, it will be common place and up to the street cop to make a split second decision who he’s approaching, if he isn’t facing violating their rights.

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jstults March 10, 2010 at 8:08 am

Shortwest Rick:

Upfront, I believe the 2nd Amendment (1791) states the right of the United States to assemble an armed militia (military) to defend itself against agressors, others interpert it differently.

The Second Amendment (both versions, interesting changes in capitalization):

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

How does an amendment in the Bill of Rights get read as a ‘right of the United States’?  The whole document is about ensuring protection of individual rights.  In 1792, ‘militia’ meant every able-bodied white man, and you brought your own gun and ammo to the fight (and it was the States not the Feds who did the twice yearly ‘training’).  Now that concept didn’t turn out to work very well because no one wanted to show up for militia duty, but that’s another story.  Militia certainly did not mean ‘military’, or a standing professional fighting force, which was seen as a significant endangerment to continued liberty (that sentiment is even enshrined in the Ohio constitution, among others).  In any case, the whole concept rested on individual gun ownership, and the prefatory clause shouldn’t be seen as limiting (the Supreme Court’s interpretation).

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 8:26 am

Open carry isn’t a gray area in Ohio – it’s legal. Some localities such as Cleveland are claiming their right to home rule basically invalidates state preemption, which is likely headed to the Ohio Supreme Court and will likely be ruled that Ohio state laws preempt local ordinances.
 
Here is one link. There are many more if you track the topic and dig a little.
 
http://www.examiner.com/x-2206-Cleveland-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2009m3d20-Fox-news-in-Ohio-covers-open-carry-of-a-firearm
 
David, and Greg – after watching the video you guys did you two really should do some research on the subject before talking about it. It’s obvious you guys did not know the topic at all.
 

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David Esrati March 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

@Will- that’s why we have you guys- to do the research.

I’m pretty sure that Dayton has a law against open carry- which as you and others point out- cause a patchwork problem.

And- if you want to tell Greg he doesn’t know anything about it- I suggest you come packing- since he may just shoot you.

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 11:02 am

@David – lol@”why we have you guys – to do the research.”  – Ok, I guess that can be a contribution since you and Greg are taking the time to do the vids and you eat the expenses and time to run the joint.
 
David, to my knowledge Dayton does not have ordinances against open carry.  Obviously, rules apply – schools zones, government buildings, et al. Here is another link that I found curious:
 
http://www.ohioopencarry.org/
 
Personally, this is not my scene, but there a growing number of people doing open carry meet ups all around the state. Note in the link there was one at the Tasty Hasty Pancake House not too long ago. There have also been efforts by the attorney general to educate local law enforcement on open carry legality since there is a vast ignorance that accompanies the specificity of the state laws that govern it.
 
All of this does not preclude localities such as Toledo from being anti-gun, or Cleveland from challenging state preemption in the courts. There was an appellate court in Cleveland that decided to be an activist and ignored preemption laws and established precedents to push the issue. It will likely get struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court.
 
By the way, Starbucks is doing what a lot of other companies are doing. They are refusing the get dragged into the fray by making their policy to abide by state laws. It’s The Brady Campaign and others who are trying to get Starbucks to forbid open carry in their stores. And so naturally the pro-gun groups now like going to Starbucks to be able to exercise their rights according to state laws. Kudos to Starbucks for running a business and not a political activist front.

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 11:05 am

More links.
 
http://www.opencarry.org/
 
Map showing state by state.
 
http://www.opencarry.org/opencarry.html
 
Ohio is listed as an “Open Carry Friendly State,” due largely in part to state laws that govern firearms and vehicles. Long and short is you can’t carry w/o a CCW in your car and even that is specifically defined as what is allowed and what is not. W/o a CCW you cant carry in your vehicle.

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

Mis-worded: can’t carry a firearm in your car unless you have a CCW.

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David Esrati March 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

@Will- note- I had a link to the OpenCarry site for Ohio- in the post.

Not totally clueless on this end.

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Bubba Jones March 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

>>> Mis-worded: can’t carry a firearm in your car unless you have a CCW. <<<
 
Not quite true.  How do you think that hunters get their guns to the hunting site?  Just because someone hunts doesn’t mean that they have a CCW.  There are prohibitions on how you transport your guns though – mostly having to do with with how the gun is broken down, where the ammo is, etc.  Here’s a link for Ohio’s CCW laws….
http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/files/Publications/Publications-for-Law-Enforcement/Concealed-Carry-Publications/2009-Concealed-Carry-Laws-Booklet
 
The booklet is not all-inclusive with all of the CCW laws, but it’s pretty good reading.
 
 
 
 

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm

@Bubba Jones. I said can’t carry in your car. Not transport it.
 
@David – no, not totally clueless but not informed either.

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Bubba Jones March 10, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Will – You’re correct on BOTH of your points made above!! :)
 

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 12:18 pm

@Bubba – thanks for the link. (and lol)

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm
Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm

And another that has a lot more info.
 
http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7165

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Bubba Jones March 10, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Will – where do you open carry?  On the streets?  Kroger? etc.?  Just curious.  And, if you haven’t already applied for your CCW, go to Warren County.  They are processing them in less than a week.  The last I heard, Mont. Co. was taking 30 days.

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David Esrati March 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm
Bubba Jones March 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

>>>
David Esrati March 10, 2010 at 11:19 am

@Will- note- I had a link to the OpenCarry site for Ohio- in the post.
Not totally clueless on this end.

<<<
 
Didn’t Will post that link already????

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David Esrati March 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm

@Bubba- yep- he did… I guess I’m just failing miserably. Please fire me from this job- you all know it pays me so well.

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

@Bubba Jones – I wish I had known about Warren County. I have been waiting three weeks to get my CCW from Montgomery County. Took my CCW class in February. I open carry at home and around my neighborhood. I am careful not to open carry in my car. I am not one to try and make a statement by carrying it to stores and such open.

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Bubba Jones March 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm

>>> I am careful not to open carry in my car. I am not one to try and make a statement by carrying it to stores and such open. <<<
 
@Will Brooks – Glad to hear that.
 
David asked for views from law enforcement on their views on OPEN carry.  I’m not a LEO and don’t know what most of them would say, but one LEO that I’ve heard speak recommends against open carry in public places.  There are a couple of reasons for this, but one of them is that open carry in congested areas tends to cause the public to panic.  Just because it’s legal doesn’t necessarily make it smart.  If you want to carry, go through the process of getting your CCW.  And, yes, I will agree with Greg to a certain extent that having to go through the CCW process does infringe on the second amendment.
 
All of this typing has made me thirsty for a cup of Starbucks coffee!! ;)
 

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I will say one thing for taking my CCW class. And I don’t agree with licensing either. But taking the CCW class really educated me on proper and safe handling and operation of firearms. I have been using rifles and guns since I was around seven years old, under my Dad’s supervision. He taught me what he knew and I thought I had a pretty good handle on things. I learned lots from this class, which is  based on the NRA basic handgun course. When I say lots I mean it’s as if I really didn’t know what I was doing before. I had some things right but had huge gaps in my practices. So the power to license is one thing but I firmly believe that anyone who handles firearms should invest the time in this type of training. BTW – David, firearms aren’t weapons until they are used as weapons. Same with a broom handle or a butter knife.

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jstults March 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Will:

I open carry at home and around my neighborhood. I am careful not to open carry in my car. I am not one to try and make a statement by carrying it to stores and such open.

A year or two ago I would have thought packin’ at home was silly, but I actually wore my .45 around the house quite a bit after we had a break-in when we were renting over in St. Anne’s Hill.  I second your sentiment about open carrying to Starbucks to make a statement, I think there’s more wannabe cowboy in that rather than any serious self-defense / civil liberties concern.
 
On the topic of Ohio laws, Ohio also has reciprocity set up with most states, so if you got your CCW in another state it’s likely honored by Ohio.

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Will Brooks March 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

@David – ” I’m not sure that everyone walking around with a pistol has society’s best interests at heart. We’ve already got a ridiculous number of people in prisons- do I really want every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry playing judge, jury and firing squad if they think a crime is being committed?”
 
Laws are in place to prosecute people who use firearms for this sort of thing. The law basically states that self defense is about as far as it goes. And I believe that self defense falls under having reason to believe that your life is in immediate danger. Personally, I believe that deescalation and avoidance are best and should be practiced. But there are times where criminals would kill or seriously harm you or your family in the commission of their crimes. That’s what CCW is all about.
 
The man who taught my CCW class specializes in teaching the elderly and new people. He has had instances where elderly ladies who are now ccw that he has trained have warded off strong arm robberies by reaching for their firearms. This particular person had a young man use her grocery cart to pin her against a lamp pole in the parking lot. Her hand was free and she reached around behind her where she had her handgun holstered and the guy took off running. Criminals don’t care about the laws and so if you disarm honest citizens then they are defenseless.
 
 

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Bubba Jones March 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm

>>> On the topic of Ohio laws, Ohio also has reciprocity set up with most states, so if you got your CCW in another state it’s likely honored by Ohio. <<<
 
Hopefully I read your statement more carefully than I read WB’s earlier today before I say again – not quite correct! ;)
 
Your Ohio CCW permit is valid in something like 28 states but Ohio only has reciprocity with somewhere around 15 states.  The discrepancy in the number comes from states that recognize Ohio’s permit as valid but Ohio does not recognize theirs.  For example, an Ohio CCW is valid in Indiana because Indiana recognizes any state’s license.  But, Ohio doesn’t recognize Indiana’s license as valid.   (At least this is the way it was the last time I checked a few months ago.)
 
WB is 100% correct about laws being in place to prevent people from being judge, jury and executioner.  And a good CCW class will cover those laws in depth as well as the ethical considerations that come into play when carrying a potentially deadly weapon.  In general, you have a “duty to flee” if possible.  You can’t challenge someone to a fight and then use your gun to intimidate them.  I could go on about all of the nuances of this but it’s probably just easier to redirect you back to the link I posted earlier about Ohio’s CCW laws.  The booklet is only about 36 pages and not that difficult of a read.
 
WB’s point about “if you disarm honest citizens then they are defenseless” is a good one.  If it were legal in most states to have concealed carry on college campuses there might be two people alive in Columbus today.  I could say the same about biology professors on a southern college campus.  The VA Tech shooter might have been stopped before he managed to kill 25+ people.  And if more honest citizens were armed, there might have been someone to come to the aid of the 80+ year old woman who had a gun pointed at her head when a 15 year old thug held a gun to her head while he yanked the purse off her shoulder in a WalMart parking lot in Kettering.

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jstults March 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Well, it’s up to 18 now (you’re right, not really ‘most’): http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Enforcement/Concealed-Carry/Reciprocity-Agreements
(the ones I cared about were on the list, so I didn’t really count)
 
No duty to retreat at home:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine_in_the_United_States
Of course all the details of affirmative defense, burden of proof and rebuttable presumption makes it plenty complicated, best not to have to shoot anyone, too much paper-work…
 
Bubba Jones and Will B. I agree with you both, I think the general idea of ‘empowering honest people’ is a good thing no matter what ‘tool’ we happen to be talking about.

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Jesse March 11, 2010 at 11:57 am

How silly are we who say that we live in a Constitutional Republic?
How silly are we who disagree with licensing of firearms?
How silly are we who think we should be allowed to carry a gun (and in “public”!)?
Don’t we understand that we are actually violating the right of another to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by not getting a license?  Oh…wait.  How are we hurting anyone by having a gun that isn’t licensed?  How are we hurting anyone by carrying one?  How are we violating your right? What right is it that we are violating?

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Bubba Jones March 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm

The Brady Campaign says that those people that carry, whether openly or concealed, are violating their “right to be free from fear”.
 
Are you one of those right-wing whack jobs, Jesse? ;)
 

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Will Brooks March 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

This is a Wisconsin case, but it was ruled that the police who were not obeying state laws have to pay restitution to the victim, a man open carrying on his own front porch.
 
http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7160

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Jesse March 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

Bubba,
I am a bibliophobe and a staurophobe.  I would appreciate it if others would respect my “right to be free from fear” and stop carrying around books, especially those with crosses on them.  ;)
While I understand your wink, I would like to say that I don’t think I am right wing at all.  I appreciate the opportunity to spell it out though.
I believe that gay people should be allowed to do whatever they want behind closed doors.  I don’t think that the government should have anything at all to say about marriage.  I don’t think that with whom I fornicate or that I fornicate is any of their business as long as the other person is of an age that they can consent and that they do consent.
I believe that drugs should be legalized.  I don’t think that it matters what you put in your own body or from whom you get it.  If you commit an act that violates the rights of another while high, then you have committed a crime.  Until then, have fun.
I believe that prostitution should be legal.
I don’t believe in “preemptive war”.
I am tremendously against protectionism and nationalism.
I don’t know what about me is “right wing” at all.
I actually think that the people on the “left wing” are more “right wing” than am I.  I am not sure that I understand the political spectrum anymore.  Perhaps we need a new one.  Ah…maybe the Nolan Chart from the 1970′s.  Yep…I see me on the chart.  I am not “right wing” I am a classic liberal.  I am just not sure that the Nolan Chart does enough to show the differences between Fascism and Communism.  Fortunately the people I most oft argue with seem to be a little Fascist and a little Communist.

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David Lauri March 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I don’t think that the government should have anything at all to say about marriage.
I’m not going to hold my breath waiting on civil marriage and all its rights and privileges to be abolished in Ohio and the United States.  Instead I’d rather advocate for same sex couples getting marriage rights equal to those of heterosexuals.  That’s something a few years ago I never thought I’d see in my lifetime but which, as it turns out, is happening at a faster pace than I’d have predicted.

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dave January 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

“If anyone knows what the open carry rules are in Dayton, Ohio, I’d appreciate it if you post in comments”
 
city and local laws no longer matter..in the state of ohio, when it comes to guns..what the state laws are supercede the local laws.The local areas (cities) are not happy about this..but it is state law.

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Danny December 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

you are forgetting one thing u cannot have a felony and carry a open gun

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Danny December 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm

or have a CCW

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Danny December 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm

i carry open and conceled at the same time im not going to let some one hurt me or a loved one i served in the military for 9 years i know what im doing

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Sam Williams April 24, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Yes I do have my CCW and have it for 3 years now. I do carry almost all the time to protect myself or my son. I have asked 6 different Police Officer in the Centerville/Kettering area and when I ask this question they all have said to me—why do you carry concealed—Ohio is an open carry state—Im a criminal Justice student as well and I see open carry as a deterrent–after all would you want to rob me, fight me, or try and harm me if in fact you seen i had my hand gun on my side. I see open carry as a problem simply because if i walked into a Wal-Mart or some other store with my gun showing im sure lots of people will be dialing 911 right away. It would be more than a hassle then anything. nI like open carry but usually always conceal it.

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