Controversy Surrounds Open Carry

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By Jarred Aslett

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A growing trend online is bringing the gun control debate to the front lines and targeting law enforcement in the process.

It’s no secret gun control remains a hot topic over the past few years; a growing trend online is helping fuel the debate.

Many states in the U.S. allow citizens to open carry a firearm within the city limits.

It's something that isn't widely practiced, but when someone does strap a gun to their back and walk down Main Street, it can cause alarm.

"As you walk in a place where there is a lot of people and they see you, if someone feels uncomfortable about that, then you can expect they're going to call us. When they call us, we’re going to come out and attempt contact with you to talk to you and find out what's going on," explains Sgt. David Frick, Twin Falls Police Department.

Which is exactly what the trend is trying to do.

In Idaho, police are not allowed to detain someone unless they have reasonable suspicion of them committing a crime.

Some gun activists make videos trying to prove a point that if we don't exercise our rights, we are going to lose them.

Others are just trying to catch police operating outside the law.

"I have great concern about some of the videos of people purposely trying to get us behaving badly, and we don't want anyone to get hurt because they are acting in a way that is uninformed. We are absolutely about your right to carry a firearm at any time, on public property and follow the law," Frick points out.

The Twin Falls Police Department is aware of the trend and uses the videos to their advantage.

"I've seen many of them, and, believe it or not, that's one of the things that I use as a sergeant with training for my guys, is we watch those videos," Frick says.

There are people on both sides of the fence. Some believe the way things are in Idaho are the way they should be, others say you should be able to carry a gun without being bothered.

"If they're just carrying walking, I don't see a problem. Like I said, this is the United States of America, you should be able to do that," Idaho resident Enrique Lewis says.

Fellow Idaho resident Daniel Keidel adds, "If they're not under a reasonable suspicion of having abused that right, they should be allowed to use that right unimpeded."

Walking the line between constitutional rights and public safety.

opencarry.org gave Idaho a 'gold star' regarding state laws on gun control.

We'll dive deeper into open carry laws this weekend on Connections.


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