In recent weeks, Walmart, Meijer, and some other business have begun to ask people not to open carry in their stores. Open carry has been a debated topic among MCRGO members for years. Many people believe it’s only done for attention and in response to the bans ask, “Who cares?” Here’s why all of us should care:
OPEN CARRY WITHOUT A CPL:
1. Open carry allows 18-20 year old adults to engage in self defense outside the home.
2. Open carry allows those financially unable to pay the $200-$300 cost of obtaining a CPL to engage in self defense outside the home.
3. Open carry allows those who don’t meet the long list of disqualifiers for a CPL to engage in self defense outside the home.
4. Open carry doesn’t require permission from the state in the form of a license to engage in self defense outside the home.
OPEN CARRY WITH A CPL:
1. Open carry is simply a more comfortable form of carry for some people, especially those using an OWB holster, those carrying a larger handgun or long gun, and during the warmer months.
2. Open carry may provide a tactical advantage for some people due to body types or physical limitations allowing for a faster draw.
3. Michigan’s convoluted firearms laws allow open carry in some places where concealed carry is banned.
4. Open carry has a social element that concealed carry lacks encouraging conversations and education about legal gun ownership.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive. I won’t get into the more confrontational tactics of open carry used by a small minority of activists as I know how controversial that is. I also recognize the deterrent effect of open carry is as statistically suspect as the unsupported claim that open carry makes one a target.
In short, MCRGO supports responsible legal carry whether it’s open or concealed, semi-auto or revolver, pistol or long gun. Article I § 6 of Michigan’s Constitution doesn’t distinguish between carry methods or firearms types and neither should we. Gun bans hurt us all collectively even if they don’t impact us personally. When bans occur on open carry, similar restrictions on concealed carry will soon follow.
Brady Schickinger, Executive Director