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U.S. Marksmen Stand Up For Open-Carry Rights

U.S. shooter Kim Rhode has a chance to tie a record for the longest consecutive streak of medal-winning performances at this month‘s Olympic Games.

Rio: U.S. shoot­er Kim Rhode has a chance to tie a record for the longest con­sec­u­tive streak of medal-win­ning per­for­mances at this month‘s Olympic Games, but the six-time com­peti­tor shows no sur­prise when the dis­cus­sion turns from sports to gun laws.

A new chap­ter in the long-run­ning U.S. debate about gun rights opened this sum­mer, when police depart­ments in some major cities began to call for restric­tions on laws per­mit­ting the open car­ry­ing of firearms after a for­mer U.S. Army reservist shot dead five offi­cers dur­ing a racial­ly moti­vat­ed ram­page.

The laws, passed through in 45 of the 50 U.S. states by gun-rights activists who call them pow­er­ful proof of their rights under the Sec­ond Amend­ment of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, raised new con­cerns for police at a time of increas­ing­ly vio­lent polit­i­cal protests.

Rhode and her team­mates empha­sise the safe­ty of their sport, not­ing that while in Rio de Janeiro their guns are kept locked up in an arse­nal. They also voiced sup­port for activists who open­ly car­ry weapons.

The Sec­ond Amend­ment was not put in there just so that we could go shoot skeet or go shoot trap. It was put in there so that we could pro­tect our First Amend­ment rights and pro­tect our­selves from our own gov­ern­ment,” Rhode said, refer­ring to the amend­ment that pro­tects the right to free speech.

The Dal­las attack, which came short­ly after an Islam­ic State-inspired gun­man killed 50 peo­ple in Orlan­do in the dead­liest mass shoot­ing in mod­ern U.S. his­to­ry, led Democ­rats to call for new restric­tions on guns. Repub­li­cans reject­ed the pro­pos­als, say­ing they would not improve pub­lic safe­ty.

Rhode agreed with that rea­son­ing, say­ing strict gun laws in Cal­i­for­nia and Paris had not stopped dead­ly mass shoot­ings in Decem­ber and Novem­ber.

Asked about calls by police in cities includ­ing Dal­las and Mil­wau­kee for tighter lim­its on open car­ry, Rhode said, “I can’t speak for the police and what they feel, but I am a strong sup­port­er of the Sec­ond Amend­ment.”

Team­mate Vin­cent Han­cock, a U.S. Army vet­er­an, cit­ed sim­i­lar views and not­ed he rou­tine­ly car­ries a licensed con­cealed hand­gun at home in Texas.

Peo­ple have a right to own firearms and to car­ry them, but they should be trained,” Han­cock said. He said he had rarely encoun­tered peo­ple open­ly car­ry­ing guns in his home state, the epi­cen­tre of the open-car­ry move­ment.

It‘s rare,” Han­cock said. “It‘s more about mak­ing a state­ment, the need to stand up and pro­tect the rights that you have.”

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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