Question of the Day: Would You Open Carry?

If I’m carrying a gun, no one else needs to know about it. Living in an open carry state—within a proverbial stone’s throw of DC—has reinforced this belief. There are just too many stories of OC’ers being harassed. I don’t have time to be held up by local law enforcement called in by a gun-shy ignoramus. Spending the weekend in TN changed my perspective . . .

With all the moving between venues, changing clothing and gear was impractical. As TN’s an Open Carry (OC) state, most of us carried openly while moving through hotels, gas stations and restaurants on our way to and from events. No one called the cops and no one even gave us a second look. To be honest, it was refreshing to see people treat openly carried firearms as if they were “no big thang.” Which got me thinking . . .

How many of us would actually choose to open carry if your state allowed it, and in what situation would you most likely choose to do so? I know a lot of people view OC as the equivalent of a wearing a T-shirt that says “Shoot Me First,” but wouldn’t that cease to be an issue if OC reached critical mass?

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About Ryan Finn

Ryan Finn is the Director of Operations and an Associate Instructor for Montana Tactical Firearms Instruction as well as a contractor for Vanguard Security Consultants when he isn't writing for TTAG. In his free time he is a volunteer firefighter and enjoys spending time in the mountains with his family.

78 Responses to Question of the Day: Would You Open Carry?

  1. avatarRobert Farago says:

    I’d wear my gun everywhere where it was legal to do so. As a defender of the Second Amendment, you gotta walk the talk.

    I’ll never forget the first time I saw OC: a black gas station attendant in Atlanta, GA. “Have you ever had any trouble with that?” “No,” was all he said.

    • If you open carry, it’s vitally important you exceed the standards of politeness and courtesy for your surroundings.

      A nice person with a gun makes guns nice.

      A jerk with an attitude and a Glock (or 1911) on his/her hip scares people, and therefore makes guns scary.

    • avatarJohn Fritz says:

      Take a load off Robert, …

  2. avatarRob says:

    I open carry most of the time… and this is in suburban Minneapolis, not farm country… I open carry as a means of activism, and public education.

    When I open carry, I often go with my kids… Because my kids are cute.
    Most gun owners are family men, who are concerned and motivated to protect their lives, and the lives of their loved ones. I am the same.
    When I open carry with my cute kids in tow, the public can see that I’m not a deranged redneck stroking his rifle quoting lines from Full Metal Jacket. I’m just a regular guy, wiping his 1 year old son’s snotty nose, and debating with my 3 year old about what kind of cereal she can have.

    99% of people either don’t notice, or don’t say anything. I have only had a handful of encounters, and all of the good or neutral.

    Remember to be polite, and don’t rub people’s noses in it. I respect business owner’s rights, if they don’t want me carrying in their business, then I certainly don’t want to spend my money there.

    When you OC, you are representing all gun owners, wheather you want to or not. handling yourself in a kind, courteous manor may just win some hearts and minds. Being a jerk will certainly lose them.

    Re: the “Shoot me First”:
    Some people say that concealing gives you the element of surprise, and a tactical advantage. Others say that open-carrying gives you easier access, and is a tactical advantage. Another concern is that if you are open carrying, you will be eliminated first to neutralize a threat, a counterpoint is that the presence of a visible gun will deter a threat. Truth be told there simply isn’t enough data to substantiate any of the previous claims. There are a wide array of good and logical reasons both ways.

    Being inconvenienced is something to take into consideration if you OC.

    Last summer, an acquaintance was “cuffed and stuffed” for legally carrying a gun. He had been at Cosby Farm Park in St. Paul, and removed his vest because of the heat. As he was walking through the park he was detained, disarmed, and put in a police vehicle. The officer even said ” it was illegal to carry a pistol in the open” and asked ” if (he) knew what “concealed” meant”. Eventually it was found he had committed no crime, and he was released.

    This kind of ignorance is all over the police force. The fact of the matter is, the public, by and large is unfamiliar with carry laws, and unfortunately, so are the police. There is some sound reasoning for this though… Permit holders are by nature, law abiding citizens. With all of the laws police officers are responsible for remembering and enforcing, it stands to reason that since they don’t have problems with legally armed citizens, they don’t invest much time in the laws that pertain to that right.

    If you do OC, carry a voice / video recorded (check your local laws) to make sure your rights are protected and observed… and as a means to defend yourself against crazy accusations from the public and or cops.

    OC is not for everyone, but if you are up to the challenge, I think it is a good thing for the general public to see good guys with guns.

  3. avatar2Wheels says:

    I occasionally OC (In VA), mainly just for stuff like running up to the neighborhood grocery store where I and my family are well known. I prefer to CC primarily because I just don’t want to be bothered or have my time wasted by yahoos. If I’m leaving my house it’s for a purpose and I don’t want to entertain the questions of random people or be the subject of 911 calls.

    I’ve personally never had a bad experience yet, no one has ever called the cops on me or started screaming at me about guns in public. The one encounter I did have with a police officer (ran a stop sign), she didn’t care at all that I had a .45 on my hip. I’ve had a couple people ask questions, and a few funny stares… Some people are supportive, 90% of people don’t really seem to notice at all.

    I did have one friend who had the cops called on him while he was waiting on his food in a McDonalds, the woman who called apparently really exaggerated the incident and she almost ended up getting cited for filing a false police report. So my buddy did walk away with no problems, and the entire incident was handled without drawing guns or handcuffs (I gotta give my local cops credit for being level headed with gun owners), but stuff like that does happen and in places like Philly it can get you in some serious trouble.

  4. avatarBlake says:

    I would OC if I lived in Arizona.

    • avatarGunship Cowboy says:

      I live in Southern Arizona and I have seen people open carry as it is legal to do so with no fuss from others, that I have seen. Most recent was at a chain store for ladies crafts, to go undisclosed. No one really noticed the older gentleman with his wife, with the 1911 on his hip. I don’t open carry as my budget hasn’t been sufficient to yet purchase a handgun, but quickly saving to do so. I would open carry in certain portions of my city and in those places which do not ban the carrying of firearms. Also, if I ventured further South closer to the border. So far the Mexican cartels haven’t yet openly carried on their warfare this far North and in the daytime. When they do is when I will open carry and its getting close to that point. We in Arizona are not the wild-eyed, crazy desparados the media makes us out to be. We are mostly law-abiding, educated people wondering why the Federal government dislikes us so much as to not enforce our border with Mexico, and refuses the help of the State government to assist them in those efforts. Our half of the State is the prime corridor for the cartels drug and people smuggling. Pima County will replace our sheriff in the next election as he is long past the due date to replace and is demonstrating his incompetence daily.

      • avatarBlake says:

        I lived in AZ for three years in a suburb of Phoenix. I loved living in AZ. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

        I remember the first time I saw someone OC in AZ. It was a guy on a Harley with a big hogleg in a nice leather holster.

        Anyway, people are pretty casual about OC in AZ because it is part of the culture.

        I believe Tombstone has city ordinance against OC. I believe the ordinance dates back to the Earps. (I’m not sure if that’s correct, but hey, kinda cool if it does)

  5. avatarAndrew Snyder says:

    There is a clear tactical advantage to not letting potential enemies know what your capacity for violence is. This is true on every scale and in every situation. Ever since man has taken to killing his fellow man, this has been a truism. Even large armies will attempt to conceal what kind of weaponry they have, their potential for reinforcements, and the true strength of their fighting force.

    So, while I am not opposed to OC, I would still CC if the option was available in a world where OC was commonplace. Because even if there are 5 OCers and a bad guy, the OCers are still the top 5 targets even if 4 of them are not first. If I am CC that means I am at most 6th on the target list, which gives me the advantage of someone reacting before he gets around to me.

    Of course the opposite is also true. Letting potential enemies know your capacity for violence, or better still making them believe you are for more capable of reacting with violence than you truly are, has the advantage of deterrence. Bad guy would probably wait till you are gone or pick another place to be if you show up with a Kevlar vest and an MP5, even if it is the ineffective gen 1 vest and the semi-auto 22lr shooting MP5 lookalike.

    But to me anyways, CC is still the way I would prefer to go.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      “There is a clear tactical advantage to not letting potential enemies know what your capacity for violence is.”

      I would disagree, otherwise the concept of deterrence would not exist.

      • avatartdiinva says:

        It’s about critical mass. If you are the only open carrier then you become a target if you stumble onto a crime scene. If you live in an area where open carry is normal and customary then it is a powerful deterrent to crime.

        I live in Arlington and I am not brave enough to open carry. I just don’t want to get hassled. Once I get to Loudain or Prince William Counties I will OC if I find it convenient

  6. avatarJason says:

    For most of Arizona’s history it was the only way to carry. The presumption was that honest men did not conceal their firearms. The law has changed, but open carry is still part of the culture.

  7. avatarMark says:

    I live in an open carry state (Kentucky); furthermore, I live in a part of the state where I wouldn’t be hassled if I carried openly. But I don’t.

    My reason for carrying concealed has nothing to do with safety or “tactical” concerns nor fear of harassment.

    I just don’t happen to think the fact that I choose to carry a firearm is anyone’s business but mine. It’s not a secret–my family and close friends know I carry, and if for some bizarre reason someone were to ask me I’d answer honestly–but with respect to those who feel strongly about open carry I view the practice as akin to slapping political bumper stickers on one’s car. I don’t do that either.

  8. avatarRob says:

    @Andrew Snyder

    Can you point out one situation where a civilian was shot first because of Open Carry?

    I can give 4 personal encounters where OC was a deterrent.

    • avatarTodd AF Vet says:

      Could you please post the links or such. I want to start a blog or website that list stories where the OC or CC gun solved the problem. This goes for any one else also.

  9. avatarBenjamin T. Shotzberger says:

    If I were carrying a P7, you’re damned right I would! Just to show it off!

    Really though – no, not here in Northern VA. Further from the district – maybe. Here in the land of paranoia, thanks but no thanks. It’s my business and I’ll keep it that way

    • avatarGiao Nguyen says:

      Why not in Northern VA? I OC quite frequently during the summer in Northern VA. I’ve never had a problem.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    I’d love to open carry legally and responsibly. And were I hassled by ignorant LEOs, I would certainly begin a new career suing them and the municipalities they represent. Why is it that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” except for the police who are charged with enforcing it and should be the most knowledgable?

  11. avatarAndy says:

    With that ugly holster? No way!

    Seriously, I live in Northern Virginia and I use to OC all the time before restaurant carry was passed. But I tend to CC because I’m around my kids and my kids are around other kids. And in my experience, there only two types of people who notice the open carrying of firearms: other people who carry firearms and children. I just don’t want other children asking their parents about my gun and having any repercussions coming back to my own children.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      “in my experience, there only two types of people who notice the open carrying of firearms: other people who carry firearms and children.”

      lulz. What does that say about us?

  12. avatarPT says:

    I do so because its 90 degrees outside, humid, and I bought my shorts before I started carrying (so they are too small with a gun in them too). My OC holster is also a lot more comfortable than my IWB.

    I also do it because I can. I have never gotten a complaint, and have gotten a few compliments.

    And for police harassment, know your laws, and know the “Wash, Rinse, Repeat” routine from the open carry forum or youtube. Also a voice recorder helps in case the cops decide to go all Philadelphia on you.

  13. avatarCliff P says:

    The idea of being able to OC thrills me. However, I have never had the opportunity to carry and unless relocated never will. Living in a State that frowns upon all things firearm related, even legal open carry would result in unnecessary police intervention and panic from those feeling “threatened.” As far as being tagged as a “shoot me first” target by your OC, with proper training and awareness one should be able to counter any real threat this could pose. I would OC at any opportunity despite the hassles it may bring. The benefits greatly outweigh the trouble.

  14. avatarDerek says:

    If it wasn’t an open invitation to be harassed by the police, even here in OC legal Ohio, then I’d open carry everywhere I go. I’m very conscious, probably too much, of whether or not I’m printing and how much and it can wear on me after a while.
    The first time I open carried I was helping my brother-in-law, who also happens to be my gun dealer lol, move. 80+ degrees that day, and I can sweat with the best of them, so I donned an OWB holster and a t-shirt and was completely prepared to take it off if I offended anyone, my gun that is :). I get to his house and 5 out of the 7 other people there were open carrying. Everyone was totally comfortable and no one even mentioned anything until “zombie” jokes started flying lol.
    I can totally understand why some people, namely those unfamiliar with firearms, would be uncomfortable with an OC public but that one time open carrying was the most comfortable I’ve ever been with my gun attached.

  15. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    I would open and conceal carry at the same time, so if something happens to the first gun I would have a back up ready to go.

  16. avatarxpo says:

    I carry a gun for self defense, not as a political statement. I don’t think I would open carry at first, but I would like to have the option and would like to know that if I was “made” while concealed, it wouldn’t turn into a federal offense.

    I think if I was on a long trip through the state, I might carry open in the car and then not have to worry about messing with a cover garment when going into a gas station or whatever.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      In the car I usually put it on the center console or toss it on the passenger seat. I didn’t even think of that as open carry, I just thought that’s where it went when I am driving because it is uncomfortable elsewhere.

  17. avatarmiforest says:

    I discount the shoot me first argument because even criminals don’t start conflicts with armed individuals. why take that risk when all you have to do is wait till they move on. cops and security are seldom mugged or robbed. look how rare armored car robberies are. millions of $ being carried arroun in bags. quite a target for criminals , except that they are armed.

    • avatarNew2This says:

      Agreed. The most likely threat any of us civilians face are garden variety criminals who are mainly just opportunists seeking an easy target. I don’t think anything says “not easy target” quite like openly carrying a gun.

  18. avatarChris Dumm says:

    In my corner of the woods, open carry is not illegal but many police and bystanders don’t realize that. Some of my clients have run into Philadelphia-style open carry hassles that takes months and piles of money to resolve, and some jurors have decided that open carry is inherently dangerous and provocative.

    I don’t open carry. I’d rather litigate the test cases than BE the test cases.

  19. I know a lot of people view OC as the equivalent of a wearing a T-shirt that says “Shoot Me First,

    That would only be the case in the event of a terrorist or other attempt at mass murder. That is very unlikely. In such a situation I would prefer that I be the first person shot at – it would get my attention, remove any hesitation about shooting back, and would make me highly motivated to stop the threat.

  20. avatarJJ Swiontek says:

    I live in a open-carry state in a non-open-carry city(Denver, CO). Thankfully, the state is “shall” issue and the city was forced to follow state law. 95% of my time is in the city so I can only conceal carry. I open carry when I go camping which I do as often as I can.

  21. I open carried for the first time last week. Went to the gas station, and then hung out with my friends at a coffee shop for a couple of hours.

    And absolutely nothing happened.

    • avatarJon says:

      Nothing should happen – it’s really pretty commonly accepted here in Arizona. I OC all over the place, had it on me when I was walking the dogs earlier today.

      I have yet to notice any negative reaction other than some staring.

  22. avatarDon says:

    No, not under typical circumstances when I am around society, but sometimes in the woods.

    Arguments about deterrent value must make assumptions about the psychology of the individuals to be deterred. Assumptions about the average psychology of medium to large groups of individuals can be made and proven to be accurate through averages, however the whole reason you need a gun for self protection is to address anomalies and outliers of the group. The argument about deterrent value becomes an exercise in estimating how anomalous people outside of yourself and the norm will evaluate risk and measure reward without being able to rely on the law of averages which allow us to make assumptions about medium to large groups.

    The logical foundation of the effects and benefits of laying low, not drawing attention to yourself, and retaining a tactical element of surprise, I feel, is much stronger in that it does not require that you make predictive estimates about the psychology of crazy people. The exercise here only requires you to estimate how YOU evaluate risk and reward. I think that is a safer exercise.

    I feel a lot of the other arguments for open carry tend to be more academic than strictly practical, in that they have to do more with idealism and abstract concepts of rights. Those arguments are legitimate in a sense, but the crux of self-defense is a very practical issue. I feel it could some do a disservice to practicality to publicly co-mingle the practical with the philosophical. The standard for getting your way (in the practical sense) then becomes the much harder task of changing the philosophy of your opponent to match yours, rather than just bludgeoning them with data and an empirical analysis.

    I have also noticed there seems to be a certain kind of antagonistic and emotional character which correlates to the vocal and visible people who, past occasional open carry, choose it to be one of their most personal fundamental issues in life. I do not assume these people to be typical of the group simply because they are vocal and visible, but I fear others watching the issue may not be so skeptical and associate the character of this small group of people with pro-gun people at large. It pulls gun issues into the realm of the emotional, which is a hard realm in which to win the battle.

    More then that, it is a “tactic” (suggesting intent) or “characteristic” (suggesting benign logical negligence) of a lot of anti-gun interests to move the debate into the realm of the emotional, for the very reason that it better serves their purpose. Gun issues regarding law abiding citizens’ right and need for self-determined adequate self-defense are best served on empirical grounds in my opinion.

    Now because I have reasons why I do not prefer open carry does not at all mean I think open carry should be legal. It really should be legal everywhere. Is kind of a necessary protection of law abiding citizens’ freedom. If the wind blows my shirt and my gun peeks out or if I lose my cover during extenuating circumstances, that doesn’t functionally make me a criminal and I should not be treated as such.

    -D

    • avatarKevin W. says:

      “I feel it could some do a disservice to practicality to publicly co-mingle the practical with the philosophical.”

      I couldn’t disagree more. Is the Constitution primarily a philosophical document or a practical one? All philosophical ideals MUST have their practical counterpart. This co-mingling is what represents a true change.

      As far as OC itself goes, I believe that, as you said, it should not be illegal just because the wind caught the corner of my shirt. Shoot-me vs. Deterrent arguments aside (as both sides have lots of proponents and really good points) I think that OC is a good thing IF those doing the carrying are good representatives of gun owners. What constitutes a good representative I leave to you to decide. For me, it means if I am open carrying, I will be on my best interpersonal behavior for the duration.

      • avatarDon says:

        Agreed, except that the constitution is a practical document. The implementation of the ideals held in the constitution through the judicial system, which is constantly ‘interpreting’ the intent and relevance of laws, is the practical piece. The fact that there is so much debate over intent and that there is so much work involved in applying the ideals of the constitution is due to the difference in nature between a philosophical directive and a practical directive.

        -D

        • avatarDon says:

          err… correction: “the constitution is a philosophical document” not “practical” is what I meant to say…

          for example, practically speaking all men are not created equal (some are bigger, faster, stronger, smarter, and some are women). we choose to treat all people as equal due to a moral imperative. It is an ideal we aspire to, and a worthy one at that.

          -D

  23. avatarsdog says:

    i live in MD, so all i can do is dream about either open carry or concealed. go to love the “may issue” idiocy around here. More like “more than likely will never be issued to a normal citizen”

    • avatarTodd AF Vet says:

      If you hate it that much put love your state, run for local office. Make a change. I can tell you that if you feel that way there are other that feel the same way. Find lawyer will to challenge the laws, apply for a permit and if rejected sue. A couple of years ago I would not think of getting into politic but after the mess that GW Bush let this nation in my choices are ether move to a different country or take action. I have chosen the latter and am laying the ground work. That is one of the reason I like this site. If can work on replies about issues and define what I want to stand for.

  24. avatarAaron says:

    Open carried in the Franklin, VT area. Twice. Each time was during a lunchbreak halfway through a firearm course. Was wearing a 1911 and holster borrowed from the instructor, too!
    It felt comfortable right away… no one at the small lakeside restaurant said anything or looked at me funny.
    Coming from New York, it felt really neat to be immediately trusted both by the instructor with his personal handgun, and by the state of Vermont, itself.
    If I lived in an open carry state, I’d definitely exercise that option.

    I don’t have a link to the story, but on another forum I did hear of a farmer whose family was wiped out by thugs passing through his area. They took him out first from a fair distance with a rifle as he was out in his fields – he was apparently carrying openly. The killers then moved on to his wife and whoever else was in the house and did as they pleased.
    Pretty horrible thing to happen, but stuff like that doesn’t occur too often. Most time I do think that the vast majority of opportunistic criminals are deterred by potential victims that openly display their weapon.

  25. avatardeadcenter56 says:

    I would LOVE to open carry here in Fla if we could ever get it past the self-appointed elites in this state.
    Number one, it would mean that we would be much closer to being free-men instead of having to ASK our political masters for permission to exercise a RIGHT.
    Secondly, it would return us closer to de-criminalizing guns in the minds of the general populace.
    And three, it is hot a blazes here for MOST of the year and I sweat like a pig, and wearing almost any type of extra clothing makes things worse.
    The thing about CCL printing and temporary showing just got a bit better, but it is STILL left up to the opinion of the po-po who responds to the bleating sheep about the event. OC would probably eliminate that element.
    I’ll worry about my OC being a “shoot-me-first” concern when someone can actually SHOW me that it is real, rather than just another straw-argument. And if it comes down to having to respect a businesses right of refusal, then I’ll just be happy to not spend my money with them and make sure that they fully understand what portion of “word-of-mouth” is reflected in their advertisement budget ……

  26. avatarpoppymann says:

    I would not. I don’t see the need. I don’t frequent high-crime areas or assoicate with criminal elements.

    • avatarTodd AF Vet says:

      And this will keep crime from you? Self-Defense is not about crime it is about being prepared. I carry and hope to NEVER need it but, like seat-belts and car insurance its there if/when needed that way I never end up on a breaking news segment because I needed it and did not have it. As for OC vs CC, depends on the place, time and environment. If a store as a problem with OC then the stores as lost my business.

  27. avatarstateisevil says:

    I don’t care how people carry. Just recognize that it is my right to do so. There is nothing more annoying than those who say, without evidence, that you’ll be “the first one shot.”Also, keep in mind that when OC is normalized, the “gun control” movement is dead.

  28. avatarBob H says:

    Living inside the Beltway in Northern VA I am surrounded by hoplophobes (Obama got 70% and Kerry took 60% of the vote in my city), So I have never even considered open carry. When I retire, and therefore will have the time to deal with the screaming panicers here, I will try it. (assuming my wife doesn’t issue a veto)

  29. avatarTony says:

    I don’t know that I would all the time but I’d like the option to be available. Proper concealment is sometimes difficult with my preferred mode of dress. I’m generally kilted when not in uniform. I have noticed that most folks don’t really see guns on OCers. Most people go through life rather oblivious. As for the ones that would be scared, the fact that I’m fairly big and tattooed would scare them just as much.

  30. Barring a time of civil unrest (when deterrence outweighs discretion), I would not OC.

    CC works better for me.

  31. avatarGerald says:

    Even if I could open carry, I wouldn’t.

    young black male + gun + cops = never anything good

  32. avatarBuuurr says:

    I will open carry on my way through Utah this summer but other then that, no, I wouldn’t.

  33. I would love to open carry (and am darned upset that Texas of all states doesn’t allow this) when working alone in the field. I’m a commercial photographer and work alone almost 99% of the time, carrying around very expensive photographic gear that tends to attract the wrong kind of attention. I’ve been approached several times over the years by individuals intent upon determining if I was “prey” or “predator”. I would love to be able to openly display my firearm when packing up my photo gear in the back of my vehicle (which is when most would-be muggers start sniffing around). Now all I can do is discretely display my concealed firearm and hope the prep is smart enough to recognize the situation and move on.

    Would I open carry in church or when out to dinner with my family? Probably not, but when I’m alone and the most vulnerable? Certainly!

  34. Can and frequently do open carry. Previous comments seem to have covered the debate fairly well, so I’ll just add an amusing anecdote.

    Wife and I were shopping at Costco (before they explained they didn’t desire my business), I’m carrying my Para P-14 in an Uncle Mike’s Horizontal Shoulder Holster and we hear from behind us:
    Male: “Ooh, honey . . .”
    Female: “No.”
    M: “But honey . . .”
    F: “No! You have *enough* holsters!”
    M: “But I don’t have any shoulder holsters . . .”
    F: “NO!”

  35. avatarjk says:

    I know a lot of people view OC as the equivalent of a wearing a T-shirt that says “Shoot Me First,

    That’s funny because I always thought of it as the equivalent of wearing a t-shirt that says “don’t even think of fu**ing with this establishment while I’m here or I’ll shoot yer ass”.

    Seriously though, where I live nobody notices, nobody cares. I CC 99% of the time but have never had a problem when OC. In fact, several years ago I was rear ended on my motorcycle in town. It must have been a slow day because three police cars responded. It was warm so during the “take all the witness’ statements” phase I tried an experiment and removed my riding jacket which exposed my holstered 1911 for any and all to see. The ONLY comment I got was from one of the officers who asked; “Is that a Springfield…very nice”. That was it. Of course by this time they had run my license and knew I had a CCW permit I suppose.

  36. avatarDenver says:

    “ExurbanKevin says:
    June 1, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    If you open carry, it’s vitally important you exceed the standards of politeness and courtesy for your surroundings. ”

    By definition, “An armed society is a polite society”. – Robert A. Heinlein

  37. avatarThundar says:

    Open carry is a liberating feeling. I urge you to try it some time. If you do not want to do it alone, try initiating an open carry dinner at a local restaurant. Many others have already done it. Go to opencarry.org to find out.

    It is a shame that so many do not open carry because of fear or repricussions from law opinion officers (Not law enforcement because there is no law to enforce , only the police officers opinion).

  38. avatarRes Publica Americana says:

    On a road trip, a few of my friends were carrying in holsters openly (I wasn’t carrying). We got stopped for speeding, and the driver was asked out of the car for some paperwork related to the citation, or something. The three cops didn’t comment at all, and the guns were clearly visible. And they didn’t seem bothered at all either — no hand on guns in preparation to draw, no nervous stances; just crossed arms and smiles.

    It was pretty refreshing to see some seemingly decent cops when you know what the reality of modern law enforcement is.

  39. avatarthreeper says:

    I carry concealed everywhere I go. There are no legal limits to my right of self-defense. Until Marbury v. Madison is overturned, the Constitution is STILL the supreme law of the land.

  40. avatarMike says:

    Why do I have to pick between OC or CC? Its my constitutional right why can’t I do either or BOTH at the same time?

  41. avatarHomobangbangamus says:

    Sure I’d open carry but I’d pick the time and place real carefully because some ‘officers’ didn’t learn their constitution and bill of rights very well and the governments in various locations seem very intent upon you not doing so. It’s a fact that we now resemble a police state in some locales. Then there are the tactical issues involved which may dictate you do otherwise.

    Oh for the days when we had a constitution that was respected and not ignored.

  42. avatarOtter says:

    Hey Mike, come to Ohio. You can OC or CC, or do both at the same time as long as you have a CHL. If you don’t have a CHL, then you can only OC, but not in a vehicle. Just get your CHL and you’re good to go. I put my gun on in the morning and only take it off at bed-time. In between, sometimes I’m OCing and sometimes I’m CCing. It’s great.

  43. avatarDuane Suddeth says:

    I’ve been fighting for open carry here in Texas for over 4 years now. I’d love to open carry to places outside of my yard.

  44. avatarJohnH says:

    I absolutely love OC. Alabama, while being an OC legal state, has taken a while to warm up to it, but these days in all but a few locals, no biggie. So to all the naysayers on OC because of fears of being harassed or detained, I say the more often the opinions of the police are challenged, the sooner they will leave people alone; it is afterall both legal and our freedom to choose to do so. Surrendering your rights without even fighting for them is sad. The police are just that police, not all powerful and a great many of them are both Constitution and OC friendly.

    For me, every week that passes finds me OC’n more and more. It is more comfortable, easier to do things like use the rest room in a restaurant, and most of all, I have the arm with me. Summer time, shorts, tee shirts are simply not conducive to CC and OC gives me a way to insure that in the moment of need I’m not found wanting.

    But most of all OC allows me to live out the full benefit of freedom, making a choice which method of carry best suits my needs on any given day.

  45. avatarJohnH says:

    Forgot to add, that OC is legal in 40+ states, one doesn’t have to be “out west” to OC legally.

  46. avatarSedona2a says:

    “A Right Not Exercised is a Right Lost.” I open carry twenty four seven even though I have a CCW. Never had a problem with cops over the last fourty years, most are trained to not mess with are right to carry. The only people that give me a second look are the tourist from Kalifornia. Thank God for Arizona!!!

  47. avatarM W says:

    About 3-4 years ago a guy was killed in his garage by home-invasion situation. They shot because they thought he was carrying. It was actually a cell phone or PDA on his belt. This was in Phoenix. While this is a single instance it shows me that the “shhot me first” concern in not totally theoretical. Consequently I stay cobcealed when evewr practical.

    • avatarKevin W. says:

      I don’t know if you remember many of the details, but how do you know they shot him because of that? I’m not discounting the possibility that their motivation was indeed the supposed OC, mind you, but motivation is one of those things that’s kinda hard to judge.

  48. avatarKevin W. says:

    I love OC in certain circumstances and CC in others. If I am on my way to go shooting, I’m not going to waste effort to conceal my gun as I walk into the local Wal-Mart for ammo. If I were (for some imaginary reason) to go to a high-crime area, I’d OC. Why? It’s faster for me to draw in case of emergency. If I’m just out for a walk, I would probably conceal. If I am in a bad mood, I’ll conceal, because I don’t think I’d be a good representative of the gun owner population. I think that there are times where either is appropriate, and times when both are just fine.

    We have these lovely safety devices between our ears. Let’s use them.

    • avatarRyan Finn says:

      We have these lovely safety devices between our ears. Let’s use them.

      +1 I really like that line.

  49. avatarCUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

    After years of carrying on the outside as a cop, often on transport duty with suspects who would LOVE to be able to snatch and shoot, I learned to feel the outside carry weapon as a living part of me. The minimum level of retention I want is 2, I feel that Blackhawk’s Serpa qualifies as that. The other choice would be to have a Magna Trigger put on a favorite Smith revolver. In that case I’d probably go with a .44 mag loaded with hot .44 specials, liked MagSafe rounds. The trouble I always had was those dinky chairs with narrow arm rests. I’m a big guy, and with my full duty rig and the Glock 22 on my side, sitting in a Dr’s waiting room type chair was nearly impossible. I’m 6′ with a 52” chest. Nautilis was my friend in the Marines.

  50. avatartdiinva says:

    When it’s 90 degrees out I am always in “reveal and carry” mode. There is no way to hide a full sized 1911 in summer cloths.

  51. avatartedjackson7 says:

    in south carolina we are concealed….this presents a problem for me, i am tall and skinny and trying to conceal anything larger than a ruger lcp is VERY difficult. so that’s what i carry.

    i would love to be able to open carry.

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