This article reports on the right to openly carry a hand gun. The web site www.OpenCarry.org is for an organization which tracks states and the right to openly carry. However, it is always advised to double check before going ahead and openly carrying in any state as there may be restrictions like schools and court houses and so on.
In California you can openly carry but the weapon must be unloaded. Which gives a whole new twist to - unarmed victim.
Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
Hostis res Publica
More gun owners carrying weapons openly, legally
Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
Sunday, June 8, 2008(06-08) 04:00 PDT Provo, Utah -- For years, Kevin Jensen
carried a pistol everywhere he went, tucked in a shoulder holster beneath his
In hot weather, the holster was almost unbearable. Pressed against his skin,
the firearm was heavy and uncomfortable. Hiding the weapon made Kevin feel like
Then one evening he stumbled across a site that urged gun owners to do
something revolutionary: Carry your gun openly for the world to see as you go
about your business.
In most states there's no law against that.
Kevin thought about it and decided to give it a try. A couple of days later,
his gun was visible, dangling from a black holster strapped around his hip as he
walked into a Costco. His heart raced as he ordered a Polish dog at the counter.
No one called the police. No one stopped him.
Now Kevin carries his Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants and shopping
centers. He wore the gun to a rally for Republican presidential contender Ron
Paul. He and his wife, Clachelle, drop off their 5-year-old daughter at
elementary school with pistols dangling from their hip holsters and have never
received a complaint or a wary look.
Kevin said he tries not to flaunt his gun. "We don't want to show up and say,
'Hey, we're here, we're armed, get used to it,' " he said.
But he and others who publicly display their guns have a common purpose.
The Jensens are part of a fledgling movement to make a firearm as common an
accessory as an iPod. Called open-carry by its supporters, the movement has
attracted grandparents, graduate students and lifelong gun enthusiasts like
Kevin and Clachelle.
"What we're trying to say is, 'Hey, we're normal people who carry guns,' "
said Travis Devereaux, 36, of West Valley, a Salt Lake City suburb. Devereaux
works for a credit card company and sometimes walks around town wearing a cowboy
hat and packing a pistol in plain sight. "We want the public to understand it's
not just cops who can carry guns."
Police acknowledge the practice is legal, but some say it makes their lives
Police Chief John Greiner recalled that last year in Ogden, a man was openly
carrying a shotgun on the street. When officers pulled up to ask him about the
gun, he started firing. Police killed the man.
Greiner tells the story as a lesson for gun owners. "We've changed over the
last 200 years from the days of the wild, wild West," Greiner said. "Most people
don't openly carry. ... If (people) truly want to open carry, they ought to
expect they'll be challenged more until people become comfortable with it."
When Jensen bought a Glock and the dealer threw in an external hip holster,
he began researching the idea of carrying the gun in public and came upon
The Web site, run by two Virginia gun enthusiasts, claims 4,000 members
nationwide. It summarizes the varying laws in each state that permit or forbid
the practice. People everywhere have the right to prohibit weapons from their
property, and firearms are often banned in government buildings like
According to an analysis by Legal Community Against Violence, a gun control
group in San Francisco that tracks gun laws, at least eight states largely
prohibit it, including Iowa and New Jersey. Those that allow it have different
restrictions: In California, people can openly carry only unloaded guns.