The Edmond Sun

October 26, 2012

LETTER: Businesses should say no to 'open carry'

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — To the Editor:

In just a few days, it will be Nov. 1 and one thing that means here in Oklahoma is that people with conceal carry permits for handguns will be able to openly carry them most anywhere in the state.

The law specifically prohibits the open carry of handguns on properties owned or leased by the city, state or federal government, at corrections facilities, at bars, in schools or college campuses and at sports arenas during sporting events.

In addition, any business can prohibit the open carry of handguns on their premises by simply posting a sign to that effect.

I have a respect for the rule of law and understand that if after Nov. 1 a person decides to open carry their handgun where it is allowed, then they can certainly do so.

I also have the right to look out for my own personal health and safety and I will not be comfortable at a place of business that allows the open carry of handguns and will no longer use the services of those businesses. It is hard to imagine why businesses like restaurants, banks, grocery stores, etc., would allow handguns to be carried on their premises, but I expect that many will.

I hope that the businesses in Edmond will consider the needs of all their customers and conclude that the presence of openly carried handguns is not the type of environment that most people would want.

I also would hope that the holders of handgun carry permits would consider why they would feel the need to carry a handgun when going to a restaurant or bank or grocery store or any other retail outlet. Perhaps after giving this some thought they would just leave their gun in their car.

Finally, if the state Legislature thought open carry was such a good idea, why did they prohibit it at the state Capitol and all other state offices? Did they feel the need for more protection than they afforded to the rest of us?

Mark Lash