Open Carry: Been There. Done That.

One of the perks of this Gunwerks trip is that I get to visit one of OpenCarry.org’s “Gold Star” states. And that means I get to open carry for the first time in my life. I’ve done it twice so far. The first time was for these cheesy tourist pictures taken at the Wyoming/Montana border.

The second was to head over to the Walgreens next to my hotel to pick up some forgotten toiletries. Taking the advice of some prominent OCers, I made sure to iron my collared shirt, tuck it in, and be as polite as possible. And then I found out that OC in Wyoming is so last week. Just like the first time I carried concealed, I realized that it really isn’t a big deal. I may have gotten one wary look from an elderly couple, but I figure they were out-of-towners.

So now I’ve done it. And it’s back to concealed carry for me. Why? Because carrying is supposed to be comforting. And having things tucked away makes me comfortable.

comments

  1. avatar tdiinva says:

    I was in Colorado recently and had to open carry because Colorado doesn’t have reciprocity with Virginia and my hotel room did not have an in room safe. While I was a bit nervous at first I quickly found out that nobody really cared. I carried in the Longmont-Fort Collins area, in Rocky Mountain Nationa Park and in rural locations. The only social interactions I had were positive. So much for Rob Pincus’ opinion that open carry is a bad idea.

  2. avatar Jason says:

    One day of experience beats a month of speculation.

  3. avatar ST says:

    Welcome to America. Believe it or not societies with open carry really are polite societies. If only Chicago would get with the program. *mental picture of strolling along Lake Shore Drive while open carrying*

  4. avatar thegunwire says:

    I love open carry. It certainly isn’t for everywhere, but I do enjoy it when I’m somewhere that allows it. For me, its usually rural Nevada. Not too many people to upset out there, and actually, its extremely common to see people open carry. I remember a few of my firsts – the first time I went into a Bank of America to make a deposit with a gun on my hip – my first time shopping in a big box retailer with a gun on my hip – my first time walking up to law enforcement to ask for direction while I had a gun on my hip – and my first time walking into a restaurant with 10 or 12 guys, all with guns on their hips. I actually prefer open carry to concealed carry, but I do recognize that in most situations and in most places, it goes against the grain so much that it is the wiser move to conceal.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      Gunwire: ever think about attending the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno? I went for the first time last year, and it was a real hoot – met some real great people and fired some great guns, too.

  5. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    man…you made some good time driving…

  6. avatar Jason says:

    I live in the Longmont area and although I wouldn’t expect too much trouble I wouldn’t OC here simply because this is where I live and I don’t want to advertise to friends/neighbors that I both own guns and carry one. Longmont is in Boulder County and it doesn’t get much more liberal than that.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      In Colorado, right?

  7. avatar KYgunner says:

    With the exception of the local gun store, I’m the only person that I have seen OC’ing in the Cincinnati Area. When I was still living in KY it was a little more common, but not much. Every once in a while I get strange looks, but mostly people are oblivious, so I’ve stopped feeling awkward about it. I’ve had conversations with people that didn’t even notice I was carrying. My own fiance went an hour and a half with me without noticing I had my SERPA on around the house.
    For me, its more comfortable, I don’t have to buy 16,000 holsters, and I can carry anywhere I could legally conceal. ATM, I don’t have much urgency to get my CCW, especially once HB 495 passes (hopefully today, though I think it still has to go through the Senate) and I can have loaded magazines in my car. Oh yeah, and its free.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      Open carry in Sinsinnasty without getting arrested for inciting panic?

      1. avatar KYgunner says:

        The outlying suburbs. Closer to Indiana than Downtown. Never had the balls to take my Sig for a walk down Vine. Though God knows that’s the most likely place for me to need it…

        1. avatar napoleon says:

          I’ve dealt with my share of beef on Vine and always heeded the advice to stay out of Over the Rhine at any cost. Cincy is one place I’d definitely prefer CC over OC. Those kids where always looking for an excuse to stir up the suits.

  8. avatar JJ Swiontek says:

    While Colorado is open-carry, Denver (city & county), Boulder (city), and a handful of smaller towns are conceal-carry-only. Check RMGO.org for current listings. YMMV.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I did before I left.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        where is the editor… to make more clear I checked before I left Virginia about where I was allowed to open carry.

  9. avatar Mashahsin says:

    I run a Pizza Hut in Wyoming and earlier this week I had a guy come up to me telling me I had to call the cops and quick, asked him why thinking I had a drunk hustling in the parking lot. He was upset as someone at one of the tables had a gun on him, told the guy your not from around here are you. He got upset and demanded to speak to the manager I reintroduced my self as the store manager and explained Wyoming gun laws. He never really calmed down and I made a point of getting a look at his plates when he was pulling away and sure enough New Jersey

    1. avatar AZRon says:

      That’s hysterical, and sadly, all too common.

      1. avatar Mashashin says:

        Yeah the guy would probably faint during hunting season

      2. avatar Mashashin says:

        Yeah the guy would probably faint during hunting season, although I guess he also isn’t terribly aware as his surroundings as the building right behind mine is a gun store too

    2. avatar Bryce says:

      I love it. What Pizza Hut, My father and I remodeled most of the Pizza Huts in the state. You’re story is hilarious.

      1. avatar Mondle says:

        The Riverton store

    3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I live in WY as well, and had personal encounters with an idiots from back east on this topic, as well as several encounters when I lived in rural Nevada.

      In the Nevada instance, a woman with a Bronx accent (Jewish, dressed absurdly for the high desert, and every bit as shrill and off-putting as the stereotypes would indicate) was ranting about a gun in a rack in a pickup parked on Main Street of a town of about 700 people. She wasn’t making much traction with passers-by, but seemed to be quite flustered, so I stopped to inquire what her problem was.

      She pointed an accusing finger at said pickup and wanted to call the cops. I told her to save her cell minutes, just walk down the street about 200 yards, the sheriff’s office was right there behind the cottonwoods. This seemed to short-circuit her brain, as she then started demanding to know why anyone would be so brazen as to park a pickup with a gun rack so close to the sheriff’s office. I answered “Because the sheriff knows everyone in town… and the person who owned the pickup knows the sheriff…. so I don’t think he’s too worried about someone taking his Savage 99 out of his pickup right there.”

      I then offered informed speculation that probably every other local vehicle on the street had either a handgun or short, handy rifle on, under or behind the seats, and that she was standing amidst at dozens of firearms she couldn’t see just at that moment.

      Further astonished bewilderment ensued. She then demanded “You mean that you people live like this? Why doesn’t anyone do something?” I said “That’s a very good idea. I’m going to do something positive about this situation right now.”

      She said “Finally! What are you going to do?!”

      I said “I’m going to ask you to leave town, go home and never return here again. Good day, madam.”

    4. avatar Esemwy says:

      Had a police officer here in Virginia ask me if I had a permit while I was OC. I was quite confused. I said that I didn’t need one, which made him confused. I finally showed him my CCW so he would go away. It was all cordial in a sureal sort of way.

      1. avatar Matt H says:

        Which county/city was this in?

        1. avatar Esemwy says:

          Fairfax County/Centreville

    5. avatar TSgt B says:

      Been to New Jersey one time, by accident. Missed my turn while working in Philly, crossed over the Delaware River into Camden. By crossing a line on a map, I COMMITTED AT LEAST 52 FELONIES (unlicensed/unregistered Glock 19 and 50 rounds of hollowpoint ammo in the trunk; each round of hp a felony in NJ).
      Needless to say, I turned around ASAP and got the Hell out of there and made it back to America unscathed.

  10. avatar Aaron says:

    Open carried twice. First time in Vermont – I had literally just finished begging for permission to merely own a handgun from the NY Nannies. I borrowed a Kimber 1911 (class was geared toward semiautos, my NY handgun was a GP100) from the instructor – open carried both during class and during lunchbreaks going into town.
    Second time recently in AZ, another Gold Star State. Another borrowed handgun, the instructor’s Glock – carried openly and concealed as I saw fit.
    Both times it felt odd for about five mins, then I got used to it, and at times I even forgot I had it on.
    (I borrowed the instructor’s Glock in AZ so that I wouldn’t have to risk arrest flying out of a NYC area airport with a pistol)

  11. avatar Bryce says:

    Glad to see my home state (Wyoming) treated you well. When the columbine massacre took place I was in high school there and I remember it being a pretty big deal that we could no longer bring guns to school in the guns racks of your truck. In retaliation some students when on a varmint hunt and scattered the carcasses all over the steps of the school in revolt. Like most things, Wyoming is a little behind the curve but in most cases it’s a good thing. I don’t think the gun portion of the culture will ever change. It’s a great place in that respect.

  12. avatar traye says:

    Just did for the first time tonight. In the process of getting cc in NC. Wife wanted to walk to ice cream shop so I tucked my little .40 in an iwb holster and put it in my pocket with the back and grip sticking out. I don’t think anyone even noticed. But I would have been glad to put the shirt tail over it.

  13. avatar sedona2A says:

    Open or concealed, the way I carry depends on what makes me feel comfortable. I learned a long time ago not to try to make other people happy. If I offend some poor soul from some liberal state, oh well. When it’s 105 degrees out, I’m not adding any more clothes, just so I can keep some wack job from NJ calm. In Arizona most of are wack jobs are from The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia.

  14. avatar Gunluvr says:

    As I’ve gotten older I really don’t care whether or not I offend anti-gun types in my little GA town of Decatur. They really wish that GA was CA but that’s not gonna happen because some things are just irreconcilable as is the case of guns and the non use of public transportation.

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