Headline: Man practicing open carry law robbed of gun

As editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, I have the opportunity to read articles posted to our site well in advance - even weeks in advance, as is sometimes the case when an author submits a draft for consideration. And so it is that I've had several weeks to ponder Gerard Valentino's recently-published "Top Ten Threats to Gun Rights in 2015," and his decision to list "Open Carry Extremists" as the number one threat to gun rights.

Although Valentino's article focused on antagonistic individuals who are seeking confrontations with law enforcement, politicians or business owners, my mind kept going back to an article I read recently involving a man who had his openly-carried gun stolen from him.

From Portland, Oregon's CBS affiliate, KOIN:

William Coleman III was robbed of his Walter- brand P22 just after 2:00 a.m. October 4 in Gresham by a young man who asked him for it — and flashed his own weapon as persuasion.

Coleman, 21, was talking to his cousin in the 17200 block of NE Glisan St., after purchasing the handgun earlier that day, when a young man asked him for a cigarette, police said.

The man then asked about the gun, pulled a gun from his own waistband and said “”I like your gun. Give it to me.”

Coleman handed over the gun and the man fled on foot.

The armed robber was described as roughly six feet tall, wearing grey sweatpants, a white T-Shirt and flip-flop sandals.

Similiar incidents have happened in Wisconsin and Michigan.

On the other hand, I read a lot of firearms-related news media reports every day, and have done so for many years now, and I can't think of a single incident in which a concealed carry licensee was taken by surprise and had their concealed gun taken away from them. I'm not saying it's never happened, but it stands to reason that a thug is much less likely to try and steal something from you when they don't know it's there.

As these examples prove, openly-carried firearms may not be much of deterrent to today's street thugs - even ones wearing flip-flops. Instead, a gun worn so that others know it is there may be perceived as nothing more than an invitation to take it.

I am glad open carry is legal in Ohio. I want it to remain legal in Ohio. That being said, I share law enforcement and TDI instructor Greg Ellifritz's conclusion that the perils of open carry are such that it just isn’t a very good idea most of the time.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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