Crime

Race and Open Carry Laws

In the United States, carrying a firearm is legal. However, how it is carried is dictated by the laws of the state. In some states, concealed carry is legal, which means that the gun can be carried on a licensed person but must not be visible to other people.

On the other hand, some states have what is known as open carry, which means that a person can carry their firearms legally in a holster or attached to a sling so that it is easily accessible. It does not need to be concealed from other people.

This clip shows a comparison of two police stops – each showing police responses to two different men openly carrying a rifle. In one video, the gun owner is a young white man. In the second video, the young man is a man who identifies as Hispanic.

The clip is useful for considering institutional racism and the impact of the attitudes of law enforcement officials on crime rates. For those students who have not been on the receiving end of racial profiling and hostile treatment, the video can begin to convey the fear such encounters can elicit.



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