Video: Packing Heat Part 1: Open Carry Prevails in 28 States

Posted July 11, 2012 in Criminal Law by Kate Stafford


[Also see Part 2 of this video report:  Denver Shootings Highlight Brady Campaign’s Call for Stricter Gun Laws]

The United States has a long history of gun ownership, and the right to keep and bear arms is one that is enshrined in the Constitution. The interpretation of this right, however, has grown increasingly contentious, particularly since the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin earlier this year put so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws under the microscope.

John Pierce

In the first part of our look at gun laws in the United States, Kate Stafford-Walter visits Virginia and speaks to John Pierce, the founder of, to discuss what open carry means in practice and some of its common legal restrictions:

  • Weapons must be properly holstered and plainly visible.
  • Businesses and other private property owners can refuse to allow open carry on their premises.

Pierce stresses that if you are asked to leave you must comply or risk a possible trespassing charge.

Stay tuned for part two of our “Packing Heat” series, in which Kate will speak with Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to hear the other side of the debate.

Do you think open carry makes citizens safer? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below. 

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