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Locked, Loaded, And Ready To Caffeinate

Publication Date: 
March 07, 2010
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Ian Urbina

Professor Robert Weisberg is quoted on exercising the right to carry unconcealed weapons in states that have open-carry laws. Ian Urbina of the New York Times reports:

For years, being able to carry a concealed handgun has been a sacred right for many gun enthusiasts. In defending it, Charlton Heston, the actor and former president of the National Rifle Association, used to say that the flock is safer when the wolves cannot tell the difference between the lions and the lambs.

But a grass-roots effort among some gun rights advocates is shifting attention to a different goal: exercising the right to carry unconcealed weapons in the 38 or more states that have so-called open-carry laws allowing guns to be carried in public view with little or no restrictions. The movement is not only raising alarm among gun control proponents but also exposing rifts among gun rights advocates.

...

Robert Weisberg, a gun law expert and a criminal justice professor at Stanford University, described the open-carry activists as “a liability” for the N.R.A., in particular.

While the N.R.A. is almost always going to support the increased deregulation of guns, Professor Weisberg said, the organization keeps its distance from open-carry advocacy because it does not want to distract attention from its higher priority of promoting the right to carry concealed weapons.

“Add to this that the N.R.A. is a very disciplined, on-message organization,” he said, contrasting the N.R.A.’s approach with the free-wheeling nature of some open-carry advocates.