Sunday, November 25, 2007

Utahns exercise right to openly carry firearms

Among the things that make Utah a special place are its gun laws. Love 'em or hate 'em, they often make living, working and even dining in the state a visceral experience, harking back to the heady days of Deadwood and Dodge City. Most Utahns are aware their state issues an easily obtained concealed-weapon permit. By passing a background check and basic course in gun safety, anyone over 21 can qualify to carry an undercover gun.

But in how many places, outside parts of Africa and the Middle East, can you legally stroll down the street with a semi-automatic carbine slung over your shoulder, let alone a handgun on your hip? "Any citizen over 18 can protect themselves by openly carrying a firearm," says Brian Nelson, an emergency vehicle equipment salesman who lives in Layton. Nelson is the spokesman for the Utah branch of, a national network organization whose motto is "A right unexercised is a right lost."

Last month, Utah began a monthly "lunch group" to talk about gun rights while openly carrying handguns. Twenty-five members met at the Golden Corral in Layton on Saturday. Joe Smith, a computer programmer from Lehi, joined the group for lunch with his wife, Tiffney, and 9-week-old son Paxton. Why does Smith feel the need to pack a 9mm Hi-Point semi-auto on his hip? "Right here," he says, nodding toward his wife and son. "They're the reason."

More here

Tennessee: Store Video Shows Bold Robbers In Action: "A violent robbery caught on tape. Cops say the bad guys were bold and were ready to shoot and kill to get what they wanted. But a store worker was able to turn the tables on the thugs. And the clerks were saved by sheer luck. It happened at the Fast Check Convenience Store off Winchester Thursday around 9:30pm. Two robbers busted in, one got away with cash, the other took a few bullets after one clerk chased the robbers out of his store. "One of the victims inside the store heard click click," says Lt. Darren Goods with the Memphis Police Department. The click was the gun... jamming. Both clerks know are lucky to be alive. It lasted just a few seconds -- a few seconds that could have ended someone's life. Lt. Goods calls them robbers with a sinister motive, "Their purpose was to take-over style robbery. Lets take any and everything we can, lets get as much money as we can. Both armed with guns. And lets get out of here as fast as we can." What's worse say police, several customers - including young teenagers - were inside the whole time. One lady walked into the middle of it. Police say somebody has to know these brazen robbers. The one robber hasn't been charged yet. He's still critical but stable at The MED."

Ohio: Robber shot at Mexican market: "A store clerk shot a robbery suspect inside a Mexican market on Glenway Avenue tonight, and police were hunting for a second suspect. The incident happened about 8:45 p.m. when two suspects, wearing scarves over their faces, entered the Tienda y Carniceria. A woman behind the counter shouted for her husband, while trying to protect a 3-year-old child who was with her. The male clerk scuffled with the robber and was struck in the face with a gun. Both apparently fired shots. One robber was wounded in the shoulder and was taken to University Hospital. The second fled the store and was being hunted by police. Police said he was a heavy-set Hispanic male with a shaved head, wearing a black sweater, black jeans and white tennis shoes."

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