Dallas police shooting: Why it’s tough to spot a shooter in many U.S. states

Posted January 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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After a sniper opened fire on police in Dallas Thursday night — killing five and wounding seven officers — police scrambled to find the attacker.

ChangSha Night Net


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    The Dallas police tweeted out a photo of a suspect: a black man carrying a rifle. Problem is, it wasn’t the shooter. It was someone innocent who was openly carrying a gun, as you are allowed to do in Texas (provided you’re not doing it in “a manner calculated to alarm”). Mark Hughes was one of hundreds of people who had gathered to protest deadly shootings by police this week.

    Hughes has received thousands of death threats over social media as a result of the Dallas Police’s hasty tweet, according to his lawyer. His brother said that Hughes immediately turned himself in and handed over his gun over fear that he would be shot. After interrogation, he was released without charge.

    READ MORE: How an innocent protester became a hunted suspect

    It’s a scary scenario, but one that maybe isn’t surprising considering the gun laws in many U.S. states.

    People are allowed to openly display firearms and carry them in public or down the street in many parts of the United States. In many states, you don’t even need a permit to do so, particularly for long guns. This could make the job of law enforcement tricky. How do you separate the shooter from innocent gun owners?

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    The open carry of long guns (rifles and shotguns) is allowed without restrictions in 38 of 50 states, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In six states, openly carrying long guns is generally allowed, but might be banned in certain cities. Or there might be other restrictions including a rule requiring guns to be unloaded.

    Six states prohibit the open carry of long guns, as does the District of Columbia.

    Click here to view data »

    Rules around handguns tend to be more restrictive. Five states and the District of Columbia completely ban the open carrying of handguns, according to the Law Center.

    Fifteen states require gun owners to obtain a permit or license first. Eight states allow it, but have restrictions like that the gun be unloaded or don’t allow it in certain cities or on other people’s private property. In Texas, for example, a gun owner must have a handgun license and must have their handgun in a shoulder or belt holster in order to carry it in public.

    Twenty-two states allow the open carry of handguns.

    In Dallas, Texas, where Mark Hughes was legally carrying his gun at the protest, his brother Cory worried for his safety when shots rang out. “Just 48 hours ago, a young man who had a permit to carry a gun was killed by a cop,” he said. “And so when shots started firing, I went to the cops. I approached them. And I told my brother, I said, ‘Give your gun to this cop because we don’t want an accident. We don’t want them to come around the corner and see you with a gun and start shooting at you.’”

    “He was allowing himself to carry a firearm, but that’s his constitutional right,” he told reporters.

    “What bothers me is that my brother could easily have been killed because somebody irresponsible identified him as a suspect.”

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    ‘The sniper started shooting and all the cops were getting shot’: Dallas shooting witness

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