Thursday, October 18, 2012

OK Expands Right to Carry, Still Violates 2nd Amendment

Oklahoma recently passed a law that allows those with concealed carry permits to have the option to openly carry their handguns. The law takes effect on November 1, 2012.

According to the new legislation, the former concealed carry permits will now be "handgun licenses". These licenses will allow the bearer, the one issued the license, the privilege to carry their handguns either concealed or open in public.

For those who support gun rights, this may seem to be a tick in the "win" column. Compared to the previous law, which stated handguns must be concealed, may be carried with an issued permit. The new law allows those with handgun licenses to option should they want to carry their handguns in public view.

However, this law still violates the Second Amendment and is unconstitutional.

The second amendment states that the right to keep (own, possess) and bear (carry) arms will not be infringed.

Requiring a license to bear a firearm makes it a privilege not a right. It restricts the right to only those whom the government deems worthy. Rights are taken away only from those who have proven themselves unworthy, such as violent felons. So I ask, how is giving those who are issued a privilege, that is constitutionally already a right, a step in the right direction.

Law-abiding Americans of sufficient age and maturity (voting age or higher) already have the right to openly carry their handguns, shotguns, and rifles on their own property and in public venues according to the US Constitution. Oklahoma's new statute, while seeming to be an increase in privilege, is an infringement upon that constitutionally granted right.

Texas, another state that claims to support the Second Amendment but, in truth, doesn't, is also considering legislation to allow open carry of firearms. As of now, it is unknown if Texas will stop violating the Second Amendment and allow open carry without requiring permission, a permit, or a license that indicates a granted privilege for a right the citizens already have.

Arizona understands the Second Amendment. They allow open and concealed carry, though with restrictions, to all Arizona residents without requiring a permit of license. Firearms are still restricted from school zones and certain public buildings. In businesses whose primary service is alcohol for on-site consumption, bearers of arms must refrain from consuming alcohol. (Carrying while intoxicated is a crime in Arizona, as is riding a horse while intoxicated).