Shall Issue" states, meaning their local laws force the state to issue concealed carry licenses to all residents who qualify and with several more being "May Issue"... the vast majority of the states in our country allow their citizens to carry firearms. That coupled with the 2nd Amendment it's clear that we, as Americans, are legally able to carry firearms for personal protection.
Now, some states and municipalities within those states have more restrictive laws so things obviously aren't the same across the nation. But in Allentown, PA citizens are guaranteed by their state constitution that they are able to carry a firearm either concealed or openly legally. Section 21 of the Pennsylvania constitution clearly states "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
So why did officer Dale Stokes of the Allentown PD stop, search, detain and confiscate the firearm of gun owner Jerry Corliss who was legally carrying his Glock pistol openly while visiting a Home Depot on October 6th, 2008?
Only officer Dale Stokes knows.
But officer Stokes ignorance of the law cost the tax payers $23,500 when the city settled out of court for violating Jerry Corliss' rights.
It's time police departments stop harassing citizens for exercising their constitutional rights. If it takes being sued to accomplish this, then I am all for suing these municipalities that violate our civil rights. I'm not a litigious person by nature, but it seems all the government understands sometimes is being hit in the pocketbook. It also gets the attention of the tax payers who also need to be educated.
I live in Indiana and we too may carry firearms openly if we hold a valid concealed carry permit. I've often times carried my firearm openly around town in the summer when heading to the range to do some shooting and it's too warm for a cover garment. Only once have I been approached by a LEO about my firearm being carried openly. He asked if I would cover it up, and I smiled and said "I'll cover mine up if you cover yours up". I know my rights and I knew I was within the law, and his request was unreasonable. He was pleasant and said "it's not the same thing" to which I responded "I believe it is". We went our separate ways without any further exchange. Had I been detained, searched or had my firearm confiscated, you could be certain I would have filed a suit with the local PD as well to make my point.