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.

More Resources from Discovering Sociology

Social Inequality Introduction

Social divisions, and the inequalities that these inevitably bring, continue to be the most ce...


Cross-Cultural Examples

Students can read about the issues in different countries, creating their own overview, before mo...


Feminist Art

Begin with a brainstorm of the names of any artists the students are aware of. It might be that s...


Inequalities in Health

This briefing paper from the University of Manchester and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exami...


Karl Marx and Key Concepts

Students will learn a lot about the work of Karl Marx during their study of social inequalities a...


Social Inequality

Video overview of social inequality


The Demonisation of the Working Class

In this Thinking Allowed broadcast, Laurie Taylor talks to Owen Jones whose book, »Chavs: T...


The Fawcett Society

The Fawcett Society is a UK charity that promotes gender equality and women’s rights at work.


The Great British Class Survey

The Great British Class Survey was led by sociologists Mike Savage and Fiona Devine and was a col...


Who are the Working Class?

Working in pairs or small groups, students have five minutes to draw a picture of someone f...


Women in Politics

The 2015 General Election has provided sociology teachers and students with a wealth of inform...