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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Are open-carry advocates helping or hurting gun rights?

The New York Times has a piece here about open-carry advocates. Most states have laws allowing gun owners to openly carry weapons in public, but it has the effect of, well, freaking some people out. In recent years, open-carry advocates have organized meetups where they'll all show up at a restaurant or coffee shop or what have you.

They do this partly to show that, really, it's not a big deal -- mature, licensed gun owners are perfectly safe. Though some, the Times notes, are doing this because they can't get concealed-carry permits. In California, for example, acquiring a CCW permit takes some doing.

The Times says that some people in the gun-rights movement think how open-carry advocates operate is counterproductive.

“I’m all for open-carry laws,” said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights advocacy organization in Washington State. “But I don’t think flaunting it is very productive for our cause. It just scares people.”

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