Debate Club

Should People Be Allowed to Carry Guns Openly?

Should People Be Allowed to Carry Guns Openly?

A bill currently making its way through the Oklahoma state legislature would allow citizens of the state to openly carry loaded handguns without a permit. Only six states and the District of Columbia expressly prohibit this practice, with the remaining states either specifically allowing open carry or having no law on the books prohibiting it. In recent years, the practice of openly carrying a gun has grown in popularity, as legislation that would permit it has been introduced in places like Texas, South Carolina, and Arkansas—some of the last states that have held out against it.

Proponents of open carry laws point to the Second Amendment as their justification, as open carry has never been ruled out of the Constitution in any court, and they argue that the practice is technically legal in every state that does not specifically prohibit it. They claim that weapons carried in plain sight act as a deterrent to would-be attackers and criminals, and they hold that those with malicious intent almost always conceal their weapons—a practice that is much more widely accepted.

Opponents of open carry say that relaxing attitudes toward publicly displayed guns would naturally lead to more violence and misuse of firearms. They claim that the Second Amendment does not justify open carry, and they hold that more guns out in the open will lead to more intimidation and less safety.

Should people be allowed to carry guns openly? Here’s the Debate Club’s take:


The Arguments

#1
1,291 Pts
An Armed Society is Truly a Polite Society

Yes – An Armed Society is Truly a Polite Society

Jerry Henry Executive Director for GeorgiaCarry.Org

#2
998 Pts
Open Carry Laws Benefit Public Safety

Yes – Open Carry Laws Benefit Public Safety

John Pierce Co-founder of OpenCarry.org

#3
902 Pts
In Parts of the Country, Open Carry Hardly Raises an Eyebrow
#4
848 Pts
Open Carry Deters Crime

Yes – Open Carry Deters Crime

Larry Pratt Executive Director of Gun Owners of America

#5
832 Pts
Open Carry is Already Legal Under the Constitution

Yes – Open Carry is Already Legal Under the Constitution

Ralph Shortey Republican State Senator in Oklahoma

#6
-1,000 Pts
Open Carrying: Provocative Conduct, Dangerous Consequences

No – Open Carrying: Provocative Conduct, Dangerous Consequences

Lindsay Nichols Staff Attorney with Legal Community Against Violence

#7
-1,005 Pts
Open Carry Is an Invitation to Chaos

No – Open Carry Is an Invitation to Chaos

Constance N. Johnson Democratic State Senator in Oklahoma

#8
-1,011 Pts
Guns, Carried Openly or Concealed, Threaten Our Safety

No – Guns, Carried Openly or Concealed, Threaten Our Safety

Josh Sugarmann Founder and Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center

#9
-1,036 Pts
Carrying a Firearm Puts the Community at Risk

No – Carrying a Firearm Puts the Community at Risk

Joshua Horwitz Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence


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