Open Carry a “Nonissue” for OK – So Let’s See it in Florida

   10.13.15

Open Carry a “Nonissue” for OK – So Let’s See it in Florida

Lawmakers in my home state of Florida are currently considering whether to allow concealed-carry licensees to carry their guns openly as well as concealed. Perhaps they, and other states, should look to Oklahoma.

On November 1, 2012, it became legal for “Oklahomans with a handgun license to carry their weapon openly in public.” It was subsequently reported that it was “a nonissue.” In other words, allowing a little more freedom did not cause an increase in crime or complaints.

“We’ve not been responding to any calls, we’ve not had any complaints, we’ve not been taking reports. No, no issues here,” said Maj. Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department.

The story was the same for numerous law enforcement agencies.

Steve Emmons, executive director with the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, said his agency has not fielded or heard of any complaints, which is consistent with feedback he’s received from departments across the state.

“I think it proves our point just a little bit that good, responsible people don’t get in trouble with firearms and that thugs and hoodlums get into trouble with firearms every day,” said Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton.

The nice thing about allowing open carry is not that many people will choose that option (I will almost always choose to carry concealed in public), but it gives people the option. In warm weather, allowing your gun to be seen might be an acceptable compromise, rather than having to be unarmed.

When Florida began its “shall issue” concealed carry license program, it banned open carry at the same time. So essentially, although I have submitted to the state and jumped through all necessary hoops as well as paying them my hard-earned money, if I allow my carry gun to be seen in public, I’m a lawbreaker. And that’s just not right.

Come on, Florida. Get it right this time.

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