TTAG Publisher Robert Farago at Austin's Heroes & Legacies cigar store carrying a Wilson Combat X-TAC Commander 1911 (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Gun guru John Farnam [not shown] writes [via Ammoland.com]:

The State of Texas has recently authorized “open” (exposed) carry of guns within the state. Arizona and some other states have technically permitted the practice for some time. And, even in states where there is no specific legislation, the practice is commonly noted in some areas. My advice to students is not to carry openly . . .

When open carry becomes common, even expected, I may join in. Until then, I’ll leave the practice to those far more in need of fame and recognition than me! To me, it is similar to wearing a T-shirt proclaiming your particular political party. Why do you think everyone who sees you needs to know that? How does that benefit you?

My personal philosophy of appearing in public revolves around always projecting a low profile. I don’t think it is in my best interests for me to inadvertently, nor intentionally, broadcast important information about myself, information that is no one else’s business!

So, I discretely carry concealed. I am always heavily armed, to be sure, but you can’t tell by looking, nor do I talk about guns, politics, travel plans, et al with people I don’t know. Precious few people have a legitimate need to know any of that!

I do my best to be courteous, polite, and pleasant with everyone, but never chatty with people I don’t know. I don’t want to appear “interesting” nor “beauteous” while in public. I just quietly go my way and conduct my business without fanfare. I believe that philosophy adequately represents my best interests.

Be a “stand-out” when you are so inclined. Just be prepared to garner far more “attention” than you ever wanted!

/John

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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145 Responses to John Farnam: Don’t Open Carry!

  1. “When open carry becomes common, even expected, I may join in.”

    How will it ever become common or expected if no one ever does it? Sheesh.

      • I live in texas and i have yet to see one open carrier. I go around and ask my coworkers and they all say the same thing. Nobody sees kpen carriers anywhere in public. All the antigun talk about the dangers of open carry, increase in violence, the wild west…all a bunch of bs. Open carriers are obviously the most peaceful, non threatening people around because nobody even notices them.

        Keep carrying man.

        • Outside of a gun store employee, I have seen one so far in Texas, and that was here in my home town, San Antonio. That was a guy that was going into Top Brass (a store that sells gear) which is where I would expect to run across someone. Other than that… nobody, not that I’ve noticed, at least.

          I have “open carried” my VP9 a couple of times. I use the quotes because I had the VP9 in an OWB holster, but under my jacket.

          I do have to agree with Mr. Farnam on the matter: I prefer to be discrete. I don’t wear shirts with slogans, I don’t like bumper stickers, I have one tattoo and you wouldn’t know it unless I decided to walk around sleeveless. OC is much more comfortable, but until it becomes out there and accepted I don’t want to be the sore thumb.

          Yeah, it’s kind of a crappy stance to have, I know, I’m not your “three-percenter” type or the guy that wanted to raise pulses by open carrying my rifle in Wal-Mart. I stand up for open carry however and I think it should be Constitutional Carry, but I don’t practice it, not yet at least.

        • I open carry and I’ve seen a few around (maybe 10) in the DFW area since January. I think half of it is because you (myself included) just are not looking for it.

          I talked to some employees in Cabelas and they say they usually see one or two a day.

          It probably also has something to do with where you are. I don’t think you would see many OCers in some areas and more would be present in others.

    • You lot charge the machine gun, I’ll wait here.

      At least he is open about being a beta male and a coward.

      • I’m in the low profile camp and if required will use a 3 inch fire hose to get the sand out of my “beta male” crack. Nothing stops a thug from slugging and relieving you of your open carry, symbolic speech schooling common folk seeing armaments mantra. Simple rule like don’t draw on a gun is completely counter to open carry and no one has SA 24/7.

        I liken OC’s same as evangelical’s working their bolt to save my soul which is none of their business. If you want to preach 2A, say a silent prayer go about your business with none the world wiser knowing your private security gadget is a quarter arm reach away.

        • Nothing stops a thug from slugging and relieving you of your open carry, symbolic speech schooling common folk seeing armaments.

          [citation needed] for this, also.

          Where are the statistics of all the open carriers (including three quarters of a million police officers) being spotted, targeted, assaulted, and relieved of their openly carried firearms?

        • Chip, it is much more than just the carried gun that keeps people from robbing police officers, so that, I posit, is a red herring. As for the statistics, I don’t think that there is yet any confidence inspiring statistical analysis pointing either way. I don’t think the numbers are collected enough for such a thing. That being so, it is not unreasonable to go either way. We are all just engaging in speculation so far.

        • chip, Are you going to walk around North STL OC’ing? Seriously, no chance of getting assaulted by a large group, and relieved of that proudly displayed firearm?

          Do what you will, OC is for the boonies where you can see the threat approaching. OC in an urban setting has just made you the first target in the room if a bad guy comes along, not to mention an invitation to a group of kids who are just about to get their lives together. After they relieve you of that piece.

          Your life, your choice. But I’m with mk10108, what I’m doing is no one’s business, and I prefer the element of choice that CC leaves me. Someone robbing the coffee shop and no one getting hurt? Keep drinking that mocha latte. OC removes options and can push you into scenarios you had no need to get entangled in.

        • chip, Are you going to walk around North STL OC’ing?

          I’m not going to walk around north St. Louis, period. My method of carry would therefore be moot.

          Seriously, no chance of getting assaulted by a large group, and relieved of that proudly displayed firearm?

          Zero chance. Stupid places, stupid people, stupid things. Since I wouldn’t be there, such people can’t see, target, assault, and/or disarm me.

          Do what you will, OC is for the boonies where you can see the threat approaching. OC in an urban setting has just made you the first target in the room if a bad guy comes along…

          Still waiting for that source citation regarding open carriers being a criminal’s primary target…

          …ot to mention an invitation to a group of kids who are just about to get their lives together. After they relieve you of that piece.

          Not being targeted by those aspiring youth has far more to do with my own situational awareness, and manner of conducting myself, than it does with my method of carry. If I look like an easy mark, then I’ll get targeted. The firearm would just be a bonus. If I look like a difficult mark, then I won’t get targeted. The firearm might just be a contributing factor to their choice to find another mark.

          Your life, your choice. But I’m with mk10108, what I’m doing is no one’s business, and I prefer the element of choice that CC leaves me.

          I support your choice completely. I also carry concealed. As long as the choice is portrayed as a matter of personal preference, all is well and good. I support individual liberty, including one’s choice of carry method.

          Someone robbing the coffee shop and no one getting hurt? Keep drinking that mocha latte. OC removes options and can push you into scenarios you had no need to get entangled in.

          Where has that happened? How often does that happen? If it is asserted as fact, surely there are statistics to support the assertion?

        • There are no statistics around that and likely never will be (there’s no way to determine how many people open carry or how often they do it), but TTAG has run multiple stories of open carriers being mugged for their guns and I’ve seen a few other ones elsewhere on the interwebs. It is something that actually happens.

        • TTAG has run multiple stories of open carriers being mugged for their guns and I’ve seen a few other ones elsewhere on the interwebs.

          I doubt the veracity of your claim. I probably know about every reported OC attack, and there aren’t enough to fill your requirements of “multiple stories” reported here at TTAG and then other ones as well besides.

          We can go through them, I suppose, like the guy in Gresham, OR two years ago who was hanging around a street corner talking at two o’clock in the morning OCing an unloaded pistol.

          Then there was the guy in Milwaukee who was robbed while OCing six years ago. Details of that were pretty sketchy other than he was walking down the sidewalk.

          Or maybe you want to talk about the one recently where a guy in Newport News got robbed. But again, what are the circumstances? He was at/walking to a motel known for prostitution and drug busts. He “said” he was open carrying, but we (and the police) have no evidence of that. And since I don’t think he had a concealed carry license, that keeps him from saying he was illegally carrying concealed. I mean he wasn’t left with an empty Safariland retention holster on his belt.

          Things that make you go “hmmmm…”

          I can think about one more from five years ago, and it doesn’t sound like he was wearing a retention holster or had much SA.

          I could post a lot more stories of CCers getting their guns stolen off of them compared to OCers. Would that persuade you not to CC? Probably not.

        • We know about 8% of police officers killed in the line of duty from 1994 to 2003 were killed with their own weapon, and they typically have security holsters and weapon retention training. What percentage would you need to think it was a bad idea? It’s not like disarming an open carrier is a particularly planned crime. It’s ultimately a crime of opportunity.

          I’ve been carrying guns as a civilian for 23 years and I still don’t understand why people open carry. I especially don’t understand it when people do it with an open holster and have no weapon retention training. I have it and I still won’t open carry given a choice. Hell even when I’m in the woods I’m carrying concealed. Think of all the times you were having a bad day, you were distracted, preoccupied with something at home or work or life in general. Think of what it realistically takes to disarm you, even if you aren’t walking around in Condition White because of the kind of day you are having. Presuming somebody intent on disarming you is going to give you fair warning is kinda ludicrous given that they are criminals. I’m not willing to roll the dice that all of those circumstances will come together on “any given Sunday” and I’m not in a drop-down drag-out trying to retain or recover my weapon. To me, part of the responsibility of carrying in public is the security through obscurity gained by concealed carry. The risk of carrying open are not outweighed for me personally to open carry to change societal mores on guns. I carry to protect myself, not make people feel uncomfortable or more comfortable or feel anything else about guns or gun owners. If they don’t like people who carry in public, that’s their problem. However, if people are going to open carry, seems to me they owe it to themselves and everybody around them to use a security holster and get some training in weapon retention. I don’t get the sense a lot of open carriers do that, and I personally think that is irresponsible.

        • We know about 8% of police officers killed in the line of duty from 1994 to 2003 were killed with their own weapon, and they typically have security holsters and weapon retention training.

          Which, if I remember from the last time I ran those numbers, works out to about 6 officers per year who were disarmed and killed with their own service pistol.

          Six, out of a population of three quarters of a million – and that, a population at a likely higher degree of risk, since, by virtue of the nature of their work, police officers are more likely to encounter and engage dangerous criminals – dangerous criminals who have a vested interest in avoiding being apprehended or killed by the police officer.

          What percentage would you need to think it was a bad idea? It’s not like disarming an open carrier is a particularly planned crime. It’s ultimately a crime of opportunity.

          …an opportunity that those criminals typically choose not to take. Unlike their (involuntary) encounters with police officers, criminals don’t have a vested interest in creating or engaging in (voluntary) altercations with non-LEO who may present a threat to them. There are statistics that demonstrate that criminals will avoid armed citizens and choose easier targets.

          Presuming somebody intent on disarming you is going to give you fair warning is kinda ludicrous given that they are criminals.

          I won’t pretend to be an expert on such things, but typically, such criminals will give you fair warning, through the “tells” of their behavior and demeanor.

          To me, part of the responsibility of carrying in public is the security through obscurity gained by concealed carry.

          So, you contend that criminals are deterred by firearms that they cannot see and do not know exist?

          However, if people are going to open carry, seems to me they owe it to themselves and everybody around them to use a security holster and get some training in weapon retention.

          I can get on board with that. Part of the reason I’ve not open carried is the lack of a retention holster with which I’m comfortable. I’ve since resolved that issue, and have even used that holster in an IDPA match. I have no plans to change my method of carry, but I at least have comfort knowing that I have a viable means to open carry, should I ever need or want to do so.

        • There are no statistics around that and likely never will be (there’s no way to determine how many people open carry or how often they do it), but TTAG has run multiple stories of open carriers being mugged for their guns and I’ve seen a few other ones elsewhere on the interwebs. It is something that actually happens.

          Not to just point at Jeremy’s post, because many were on the same theme here, but yes, there may be an occasional OCer that gets assaulted, etc, but how many were not assaulted because they were OCing? That can’t be proven as it certainly isn’t recorded. It is very well possible, that the number of assaults against particular individuals are less because they were open carrying – not because they were and were targeted to obtain a firearm.

        • “Nothing stops a thug from slugging and relieving you of your open carry, symbolic speech schooling common folk seeing armaments. [citation needed] for this, also. Where are the statistics of all the open carriers (including three quarters of a million police officers) being spotted, targeted, assaulted, and relieved of their openly carried firearms?”

          Chip, your a better commentator than this. Your melon and reason is vastly superior than mine and there is no but after that statement.

          Open carry officers have full weight of law wearing a uniform and perhaps is the best deterrent…they’re not everywhere. Citizens don’t get a uniform or a badge and must use their wits responding to a criminal. [no citation…sorry]. What is different from our past…is today criminals/drug users have complete disregard for any law. Will take any action to complete a crime regardless. Knock out game…check, kill a cop…check, illegals gang raping, got that as well.

          If OC is all you got then employ it. One is wiser going through a process to secure a CCW and let criminal make the bet.

        • Chip, your a better commentator than this.

          You know my position: I support the right and liberty of the individual to choose his own method of lawful carry, for his own lawful purposes.

          If OC is all you got then employ it. One is wiser going through a process to secure a CCW and let criminal make the bet.

          I think it would actually make for very interesting research material, if there were ever any urban areas in which a greater percentage of the adult population carried firearms daily, to see what impact that circumstance might have on crime in general.

          Right now, we’re at about 5% of the adult population who are licensed to carry. That, of course, doesn’t include non-licensed lawful (i.e. “constitutional”) carriers, nor does it account for those who are licensed, but who don’t carry regularly.

          What is the magic number? What is the critical mass? I believe that such a point must exist, in which the common criminal must consider the likelihood that his mark will be carrying a firearm.

          But, we don’t know what that number is, and we certainly haven’t reached it in any areas of high crime. If we did, then I would agree that concealed carry has the potential to deter crime.

        • Open carry in groups of two or more, and I can guarantee that no thug will be stupid enough to attempt a snatch.

          IMO solo open carry is kind of advertising for trouble. Group open carry is safe as hell.

        • Cost/benefit analysis is something else, as is the actual frequency or likelihood of it happening. It was asked where the instances of an open carrier or police officer being robbed of their firearm actually were, if it has ever actually happened in the first place. The implication was that it’s a made up thing and doesn’t occur in real life. It has now been proven here that it does, in fact, happen. Specific instances were listed, and apparently 6 officers die every year because of it (which we have to assume is a lower number than the amount of officers whose guns are stolen from them without their death coming of it, and it’s only the robbery of openly-carried firearms that we’re discussing, not deaths).

        • No one walks up to a cop and tries to steal his gun. However, cops do go up to criminals and try to arrest them. Sometimes when that happens the criminal fights with the cop and even tries to get his gun to avoid arrest. That’s not the same thing as OCers getting attacked because they OC. How some can’t recognize the difference is mind boggling.

        • I’m not going to walk around north St. Louis, period. My method of carry would therefore be moot.

          That you wouldn’t do it is moot. Suppose you get lost and have a flat. Never ever drive through a sketchy neighborhood? Ever? Don’t have any friends with family still in a sketchy ‘hood? So, if that would “never” happen to you, I must assume that you don’t get out much. Because hood rats are mobile, they can be pretty much anywhere. I do have black friends with family that won’t leave North STL, so what am I to do when I go to a family BBQ with those friends? OC? That’s like a white guy waving a stack of c-notes with a whistle for a block between parking and the back yard. Let alone that makes their backyard a target as well. So I guess I should just disown those friends, huh?

          Zero chance. Stupid places, stupid people, stupid things. Since I wouldn’t be there, such people can’t see, target, assault, and/or disarm me.

          Like I said, they often go hunting for prey outside their ‘home’.

          Still waiting for that source citation regarding open carriers being a criminal’s primary target…

          Primary target, as opposed to what, the guy flashing a $5K roll in the wrong company? Every time an OC’er is robbed of their gun, you can be 100% sure it wasn’t the Timex they didn’t know about that was the target.

          Not being targeted by those aspiring youth has far more to do with my own situational awareness, and manner of conducting myself, than it does with my method of carry. If I look like an easy mark, then I’ll get targeted. The firearm would just be a bonus. If I look like a difficult mark, then I won’t get targeted. The firearm might just be a contributing factor to their choice to find another mark.

          Perhaps you are a buff 300# bouncer, blessed with FLIR vision, the ears and nose of a dog. But having something, anything they want, makes you a target. Maybe you’re so scary that none of the punks will try you.
          Or maybe they really want that gun. They might lose, but they just might try. I guess if your walking path is the distance between the car and the Galleria, maybe situational awareness is enough. I used to go to a range in the city. You walked out of that range with a loaded gun in your hand, because it wasn’t the first time the hood rats rolled up precisely as someone put that $10K range bag in the trunk. Pointing 4 guns at them, asked really nice to please have it. (Actually it was something about geese, a person who fornicated with their mother, and being shot by the four guys with guns. In Ebonics, which not all speak fluently.)

          They know someone had guns, that made them the target.

          I support your choice completely. I also carry concealed. As long as the choice is portrayed as a matter of personal preference, all is well and good. I support individual liberty, including one’s choice of carry method.

          And I support yours. I know OC is not a good idea in urban areas, but hopefully you’ll never have to learn exactly why.

          Where has that happened? How often does that happen? If it is asserted as fact, surely there are statistics to support the

          So there’s a realistic scenario where the OCer is what, ignored? The bad guy knows you have a gun, you had best use it right now. Either that, or he guaranteed has the drop on you, since he knows for certain you have a gun. So you’ll be giving him yours too. Unless of course, the guy you can’t see around the corner, isn’t ever there, because situational awareness.

          I’m sure there are robberies that are delayed or abandoned due to the presence of an OCer. But there’s no statistics to back that assertion, so it also must be false. Yes?

      • Right, decorated combat veteran, Maj USMC, wounded twice in VN. A beta male who doesn’t belong in the company of an Alpha like yourself.

      • Yep, Maj USMC, decorated for valor and wounded twice in combat, VN. Beta like that could t shine the shoes of an Alpha like you, even though you appear to be one by self proclamation.

    • “When open carry becomes common, even expected, I may join in.”

      What I got from this is John isn’t going to fight for open carry. Who knows if he fought for concealed carry – but he is certainly reaping the benefits from somebody’s fight.

      I totally understand today’s climate and the perceived benefits of concealed carrying vs open carrying. I also understand that a person is likely to not be targeted if they melt into the background of everything and become invisible. But that simply isn’t for everyone.

    • The point about open carry (or better still, constitutional carry) is that it should be institutionalized through law. When that happens open carry becomes such a mundane behavior that it is taken-for-granted. The point at which it is regarded as such an accepted, routine, behavior that it is no long necessary to open carry for demonstration purposes is when open carry truly becomes real. Put another way, open carry becomes real when nobody cares enough about the practice to make an issue of it.

  2. The attention open carry draws (pun intended) is not from fear of guns, but fear of someone with mental illness with a gun.

    OC is a total Catch-22 in the purest Joseph Heller sense. If you want to do it, you shouldn’t. It’s just that simple.

    • “If you want to do it, you shouldn’t. It’s just that simple.”

      What a completely asinine statement. Just wow.

      I’ll say it again. Every. Single. Time. Every time there’s an OC related article on this site, the woodwork opens and out come the ridiculousness and FUD.

      Like clockwork.

      • WTF? Here in AZ, open carry draws as much attention as “being outside” or “owning a car”. It only got that way because people DID open carry for so long. The only “bad open carry” stories I have heard were all from one guy I know, who seems to be a police magnet. None of them involved criminals stealing his firearm, just police stopping him in downtown Phoenix because he was dressed as a thug and not using a holster. His weapon was never taken, they just asked him to put it away.

  3. “My personal philosophy of appearing in public revolves around always projecting a low profile.”

    And my personal philosophy of appearing in public revolves around always wearing something other than a florescent lime green jumpsuit. Whether or not this is “best” for other people is not my place to say. Similarly, whether or not open carry is better or worse than concealed carry is not a teacher’s place to say. It is a teacher’s job to teach, not indoctrinate.

    We have covered the pros and cons of open versus concealed carry numerous times on this forum. By all means, share both the pros and cons of both methods of carry with your students. Leave it at that and let students decide what is best for their personal situation.

  4. The stupid is strong with this argument:

    When open carry becomes common, even expected, I may join in. Until then, I’ll leave the practice to those far more in need of fame and recognition than me! To me, it is similar to wearing a T-shirt proclaiming your particular political party. Why do you think everyone who sees you needs to know that? How does that benefit you?

    “When open carry becomes common, even expected…”

    Well, John: when, and exactly how, will that fortuitous time come to pass? Normalization of open carry can only happen by law-abiding people choosing to open carry. Butt, you’re telling law-abiding people specifically not to open carry; therefore, there will never come a time when open carry is normalized.

    There are some people who, despite the oxymoron you present, choose to open carry. These are the very people who are working to bring about the very thing you claim to want: normalization of open carry. And yet, how do you view such people? You project your own dislike and fear of open carry upon them, to view them as mere seekers of fame and recognition – regardless of the fact that the vast majority of them, like you, merely desire to go about their daily affairs, seeking neither fame nor recognition.

    I am thankful such people exist, and go about their daily lives, choosing to carry openly despite being castigated by quislings such as you, who would side with our opponents and work to prevent the normalization of open carry.

    • Wow Chip you fleshed out what he said perfectly, well done! And in such a professional manner. He should after reading you assessment do as he has suggested and keep a low profile.
      Not always agree with you, but this is spot on. Great day to you and yours
      Drew in Michigan

  5. “Nor do I talk about guns, politics, travel plans, et al with people I don’t know. Precious few people have a legitimate need to know any of that!”

    Uh, looks like that ship has sailed.

    • Since your up-arrow and string of pluses are not specifically assigned, I am claiming them for my post. Thanks.

    • When a non-LEO walks into a crowd while OC, it then begs the question of “why?”

      Overtly packing heat greys the line between good guy and bad guy. Hard to tell who will snap. But OC is an indicator that the snap has begun. Am I making you angry? Whatcha gonna do, shoot me? I rest my case.

      • When a non-LEO walks into a crowd while OC, it then begs the question of “why?”

        The most suitable answer is: it’s none of your business.

        Overtly packing heat greys the line between good guy and bad guy.

        Really? What are the statistics for crimes committed by people openly carrying firearms? Openly carrying a firearm is, if anything, a declaration that the carrier is utterly law-abiding.

        Hard to tell who will snap.

        Yeah, life is risky like that.

        But OC is an indicator that the snap has begun.

        Paranoia based on irrational fears is a much better indicator.

        Am I making you angry?

        Not in the least.

        Whatcha gonna do, shoot me? I rest my case.

        Is that what you would do, when someone makes you angry, and you snap? Are you (yet again) engaging in psychological projection? Have you sought professional help?

      • When a non-LEO walks into a crowd while OC, it then begs the question of “why?”

        Overtly packing heat greys the line between good guy and bad guy. Hard to tell who will snap. But OC is an indicator that the snap has begun. Am I making you angry? Whatcha gonna do, shoot me? I rest my case.

        Wow. You need to put the Jägermeister down.
        Just because a guy is open carrying doesn’t make them a bad guy. This is what TTAG is about man. The presence of the gun does not dictate the morality of the individual – ok? OC is not an indicator that any “snap” has begun. Completely nonsensical. Dean, Robert, etc., etc., have open carried. Millions of american’s open carry every year, yet no incidents arose. I have seen countless off duty cops openly carrying out of uniform in regular clothes, there is no indication that these people were off-duty cops or permitted open carriers.

        I guess you have placed all the mass shooters in the “open carrier” category? Because their firearm was revealed in the open just before and after they started shooting? Completely nonsensical.

      • Why is the cop OC? Who is he trying to impress? Does it make the cop/copette feel more manley Is he trying to intimidate the local taxpayers? Suggest the local thug to go rob somewhere else?

  6. Being openly armed attracts attention most places. When I see someone carrying openly, I discreetly check them out. Is there any indication that they are police officers? Is their behavior and dress normal? If they check out, I don’t worry about them. I am into guns and am well aware of the laws that govern carry and of the controversy between open and concealed carry. Many, if not most, people are not and are fearful that open display of a firearm is a prelude to a violent crime. That describes most of the people I know and is why I need deep cover such as a tiny pistol in a pocket holster even though it has serious disadvantages compared to a larger gun in a bigger caliber.

      • Citation: Common sense.

        C’mon man, you don’t need a randomized, double-blinded trial to prove every statement.

        Talking to more people than just your mom. If you’re posting on this site, someone wearing a gun attracts your attention…if only briefly to check out what cool gun they might be carrying, to give them a knowing nod, or to make sure they’re not an immediate threat.

        • “If you’re posting on this site, someone wearing a gun attracts your attention…if only briefly to check out what cool gun they might be carrying, to give them a knowing nod, or to make sure they’re not an immediate threat.”

          Tell me, *exactly* how do you make sure they’re not an immediate threat?

          Do you know “just by looking at them”?

        • Citation: Common sense.

          Flag on the play. Argument from incredulity. Appealing to “common sense” in the absence of supporting evidence. 10 yards. Replay the down.

          C’mon man, you don’t need a randomized, double-blinded trial to prove every statement.

          I’ll settle for simple statistics.

          If you’re posting on this site, someone wearing a gun attracts your attention…

          If you’re posting on this site, you’re self-excluded from the norm. Of course people who carry routinely will look for and notice the signs of other people carrying. But our subset – perhaps 5% of adults? – is not indicative of the population as a whole.

        • I OC every time I go grocery shopping. Every time I run errands of just about any kind that don’t involve my kids’ school. When I carry, my situational awareness is heightened–I make it a point to see if anyone’s noticed or made visibly nervous by my OC. I’ve noticed exactly *three* instances of anyone noticing, and all of those led to a positive interaction/conversation (including two students who thanked me for carrying [I was at a cross country meet at the time]).

          I’d wager a large amount of your salary that, if you ask those of us who OC on a regular basis, you’d find that they fly pretty well under the radar, that “normal people” just don’t notice things that are plainly obvious. I even have brightly colored tape on the end of my EDC magazine, and that doesn’t attract their attention either.

          I’d also wager a large amount of your salary that if you surveyed a large number of criminals, they’d probably tell you–at least in hindsight–that they are/were not looking for “civilians” who are armed as they get ready to commit their crime; I bet you’d find that the vast, significant majority of them suffer from their own tunnel vision, hyped on the adrenaline as their prepare to commit the crime.

          I do wish the “regular” people would notice more, because one of the reasons (though not the primary one) I OC is to raise awareness and create a sense of normalcy of a non-LEO OCing a firearm.

          Statistically–historically and still today–OCers are not the ones to be worried about. Do you know the reasons why OC is generally allowed, often without statute, while CC requires a permitting process? Because it was/is the guys hiding their gat who were up to no good. Personally, I don’t like being lumped into that category, via “guilt by association”. I prefer to OC like the good guys. 🙂

        • meadowsr, you are trying to make rational (ie evidence based) points against someone who made the argument “My opinion is ‘common sense.'”

          Bear that in mind and save your BP…

          Every time there’s an OC article on this site, folks show up with this nonsense – always posting with non-recognizable (to the regulars) usernames which are usually 1-2 characters or a first name. The arguments and vitriol are the same.

          And, rarely do they ‘engage’ in reasoned discussion. They drop their “OC is stupid” line, then bail out.

          Every. Single. Time.

          It is an easy conclusion that at least SOME of them are drive-by trolls. Or most.

        • Common Sense?
          When you start your argument with that term, personally, I tend to dismiss all that follows and I will explain why. In my experiences, I have met people that were very smart but had little common sense and vice versa. But more importantly, the term (Common Sense) is a buzz-word employed by the anti-gun advocates such as MDA, Everytown and CSGV.

          If you were to present anecdotal information why you agree with or disagree with a platform with citations supporting it, then a debate can be had. But the [Common Sense] term is vague (at best) which can be viewed at differing levels depending on the audience. What one person considers as common sense, another person may view such ideology as an infringement, arbitrary or restrictive.

          Now, I may be enticed to support your views depending on the argument but when that term is used I tune it out. To make my point, remember last year when the picture of the dress was going viral and people argued that it was either colored White & Gold or Blue and Black? It is like that…Common Sense differs from one viewer to another.

      • Chip, this is why I rarely visit TTAG and rarely post anymore. This place is overrun with Fudds and neocons who really aren’t all that into freedom and responsibility. There are more authoritarians here than HuffPo!

      • Chip, I’ll give you an example from personal experience.

        My wife and I own two horses that we board at an equestrian facility. It’s somewhat out in the country and their next door neighbor occasionally shoots at targets in his back yard. Because some horses spook at gun shots, I expected some riders might complain. Therefore, I made a point of informing the barn owner that the neighbor was within his rights. She was clearly uncomfortable during the conversation. I can imagine the reaction if I showed up with my cocked and locked Gold Cup in an OWB holster on one side and a couple of spare magazines on the other.

        Most of the riders are girls in the age range from pre-teen to late teens. The ones too young to drive usually are brought by their mothers. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone but me that it’s a target rich environment for a would-be child abductor. The probability of an abduction is low but is greater than zero. Despite that, I am sure I would get a negative reaction if I raised the subject and advised parents that chemical fire extinguishers and manure shovels make decent improvised weapons. In their eyes, “normal” people just don’t think about such subjects.

  7. I like this part of the description about the organization of which Mr. Farnham is a member:

    “[Farnham’s training organization] wants to make sure that their students fully understand the … societal consequences of their actions or inactions.”

    You mean something like the societal consequences of:
    (1) A populous that assumes all people with firearms are violent criminals because the populous never SEES otherwise?
    (2) A populous that supports laws to restrict firearm ownership because they only SEE violent criminals with firearms?
    (3) A populous that never considers purchasing a firearm and joining our ranks because they never SEE the utility of firearms and being armed in public?

    Yes, there are societal consequences to a populous who does not know that we exist, cannot identify with us, will never join us, and therefore has no empathy nor support for us.

    We don’t have to disclose intimate personal information in order to promote responsible firearms ownership. Is there an element of risk when the public (which includes violent criminals) can see that you are armed in public? Sure. Is there also an element of risk when the public (which includes violent criminals) cannot see that you are armed in public? Sure.

    Open carry or concealed carry. Choose wisely.

    • Exactly the point I came to the comments to make. Some people will likely be uncomfortable the first time they see someone open carrying, but after a number of times seeing it cause no harm they, hopefully, will recognize there is nothing to fear.
      Where I live, I see an open carrier probably about once a week on average. It’s pretty normal here, and I haven’t seen it cause any issues. I open carry sometimes and the worst reaction I get is a few jokes “Oh, I thought you were here to rob us.” “You boys heading to rob a stagecoach?”. I just smile and laugh and they do the same.

    • Unusual sort of thing for you, Uncommon–but the word you wanted several times is “populace.” “Populous” is an adjective meaning, in essence, “containing lots of people.”

  8. Does anyone have stats on the number of open carriers becoming involved in altercations as compared to concealed carriers becoming involved in altercations?

    • Of course not. That’s what allows the open door policy on the Geezer Science idiocy like “OC will get you attacked first.” It’s called Geezer Science for a reason…

  9. He’s right – low profile is better from a tactical and self defense perspective.

    Open carry is a political statement. Personally I am find with political statements to defend the Second Amendment. The a**holes on the other side have no issue making political statements, and we should have no hesitation making statements that are actually in defense of the constitution.

    But don’t pretend like it’s smart from a self-defense perspective.

    • Open carry is a political statement.

      No, it isn’t. You’re merely engaging in psychological projection. That you consider for yourself open carry to be a political statement does not prove that the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of open carriers to consider it anything more than their chosen method of carry.

      • It’s to normalize firearms for people that tend to believe all the nonsense and tripe about guns they get from the media. It’s a political statement that I happen to support. One reason I don’t personally open carry is – and maybe this makes me lazy or less committed – that I don’t feel like waging the culture war over guns when I go to 7/11 to get a Slushie.

        Great, some guys got scared away from Waffle House. In some other circumstance the open carriers might be the first to get shot. Generally for the civilian CCW to telegraph their capability just isn’t that smart.

    • Forgot to add:

      But don’t pretend like it’s smart from a self-defense perspective.

      Tell that to the patrons of Waffle House, who unknowingly thwarted an armed robbery attempt when the would-be robbers cased the joint, saw the open carriers, and decided to move on to greener pastures.

      Tell that to the surveyed criminals, who indicated that they fear armed citizens more than even law enforcement.

  10. I don’t like to open carry but I do once a month to promote the idea. People ask questions, I get to inform them about why I carry… it’s good for the cause.

  11. I AM ALL FOR OC BEING LEGAL!!! But with rights come responsibilities. I don’t think actually open carrying in areas where it might alarm or offend people. I know OC’ers don’t give a damn about alarming or offending or offending people, but I think they should. It’s bad PR for the gun community and we do not need more of that. This idea that we are “training the public to accept guns” is BS. If masses of people get offended, they will turn against the RTKABA. We have enough problems as it is.

    In addition, I think OC is tactically unsound. We now have incidents where people have been attacked just to steal their guns and it is an obvious play. Guns are great street currency with BGs and if there is one hanging out there for the taking, what could be a more tempting target? The “shoot me first” idea is also obvious. If you were a robber and you knew someone had a gun, who would you shoot first?

    Finally, I think these ad hominem attacks on people who express a different opinions about OC on this site, like the “beta male” comment above, shows the low-brow character of SOME of the OC militants. Yahoos like that can call me whatever they want. I will just consider the source.

    • “I AM ALL FOR OC BEING LEGAL!!! But with rights come responsibilities. I don’t think actually open carrying in areas where it might alarm or offend people.”

      How in the freaking HELL is someone supposed to know if it might alarm someone? Really??
      Shall we have people walk around with t-shirts that tell everyone what they may be alarmed by? What they may be offended by?

      As for offending someone, tough crap. Nobody has a right to “not” be offended.

    • I don’t think actually open carrying in areas where it might alarm or offend people. It’s bad PR for the gun community

      I’ve been OCing for five years. Most people don’t even notice. We’ve all heard the cries of “Open carry is bad pro-gun PR and will likely lead to stricter gun control!” Where is the proof of this assertion? Each year open carry is becoming more prevalent and more widespread across the United States. With just a couple of narrow exceptions, most states are simultaneously enacting more pro-gun legislation every year. Although some do have limits, 45 states currently allow open carry, not including some rural open carry in California. Arkansas and Texas recently joined the ranks of full open carry states, and South Carolina and Florida are working on it. As with the other spurious anti-open carry arguments, the facts prove just the opposite of what they claim. More states are expanding their “stand your ground” laws, slowly eliminating gun-free zones, and requiring CLEOs (chief law enforcement officers) to sign off on NFA items. In the past few years, a number of state legislatures have crafted and passed “Constitutional Carry” bills where no license whatsoever is required to carry a firearm concealed or openly.

      So no, the increasing amount of open carry in America is NOT hurting gun rights. Our gun rights are expanding practically everywhere in America.

      This idea that we are “training the public to accept guns” is BS.

      Actually it is not BS. The fact that some people are afraid they’re going to offend others is entirely in the mind of the person making the argument. There is no negative impact on the community from someone carrying openly, minding their own business, obeying the law, and engaging in commerce or social activities. When you hide your gun, the anti-gun crowd thinks it’s winning. How does concealed carry where you hide the exercise of your right possibly promote the right to keep and bear arms? Who would respect your right of free speech if you were similarly restricted from exercising it?

      By open carrying, it shows the general public that bad things don’t mysteriously happen when a gun is present, and it helps to dispel the various gun myths that have been promulgated by the government, the police, Hollywood, and the media. As long as armed Americans are forced to conceal their firearms, the people who would deny them their natural, civil, and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms can maintain their anti-gun belief system thinking they’re winning, even when they’re not. They will not change their minds.

      Alternatively, anti-gunners who regularly and routinely encounter guns openly carried by their fellow Americans will gradually shift their perspective towards respect for gun rights, much as they did for civil rights.

    • I’m alarmed and offended by interracial couples. They have the right to be together, but with that right comes the responsibility to never go out in public in case I see them and am offended. Also any type of brightly colored hair, piercings, or tattoos. They have a responsibility to stay home and order their groceries online. For my sake.

    • I’m alarmed and offended by people that don’t think rationally.

      So, JohnF, should I get to tell you not to post on TTAG?

  12. MEH! What a whiny little boy. If I could I would open carry. In Illinois. Been upsetting the weenies for decades with a brown woman on my arm.

  13. We’ve had open carry in DE for decades. It has never become common place. To this day, if you open carry, expect to be questioned by every LEO who notices or who has been called to investigate you by someone who doesn’t like to see people open carrying. Better luck to you TX!

    • I have taken the advantage of open carry in the mid cities (cities between Dallas and Ft Worth) here in Texas since Jan 1. The wife and I both have been and there have been zero interactions with law enforcement about this practice. We walk our dogs every night in a moderately patrolled area and we do have passing greetings with the law enforcement as we walk past a QT station that they frequent. A simple howdy to sometimes a 5 min conversation about what ever, mostly about our dogs. Not one mention, not even in passing, do we get any comments/questions about what we are carrying, our permits or even their opinions about the practice.

      We have a few thumbs up, even a conversation with an elderly lady in a wheel chair saying she was finally glad to see this and she is going after her permit so she can carry. Can you imagine concealed carry in a wheel chair? That open carry has passed IS the reason for her to pursue her LTC. In fact LTC applications have risen sharply since the laws have changed.

      I take the advantage of a more comfortable carry method, not trying to make a statement. We dress semi formal and don’t stick it your face like the open carry crowd did with their long guns. Even when we ride our Harleys we don’t do the “biker dress” but we still openly carry. There have been exactly zero raised eyebrows, fainting, cops called or anyone trying to take them away from us. We are both close to 60 years old and you would think that alone would make us a target for real “gun grabbers”, nope, nothing.

      Further, I have open carried 35 of the 38 years in my profession but on private property, but dealing directly with the public. My profession has absolutely nothing to do fire firearms but with the leading killers using big hunks of metal. CARS, trucks, pickups and so on. I repair them. I also get zero negative reactions but instead a LOT of referral business. And only in Texas.

      I do have tiny hidey guns but never carry them. Nothing less for me than a full sized 1911 in a 45. The wife has tiny hands so she does carry the smaller guns. A Bersa 45!

  14. For me, supporting open-carry was never about being able to open-carry. It was about being able to concealed-carry, without the possibility of becoming a criminal just because I raised my arm too high, or had to take off my coat to change a tire.

  15. The don’t get noticed part is just smart self defense strategy. If the bad guy doesn’t “see” you he won’t target you. But how many people actually notice that you are carrying a gun? People are generally oblivious of their surroundings. The first time I read about open carry was an Article written by a guy who talked about dressing for open and concealed carry. He dresses like a “grown up” and when he open carries virtually everybody assumes he is a LEO. He has even gotten comped at The donut shop.

    I am with Farnam with the low profile but I will open carry when it is the only option or when it is usual and customary. I also open carry in the woods. I think carry a rifle or a shotgun is a dead giveaway that I am armed.

    Society will be safer if there is a mix of open and concealed carriers. Most criminal are stupid and need to be constantly reminded of the risks. If they don’t see anyone armed they might forget that you might be packing.

    • ” If the bad guy doesn’t “see” you he won’t target you.”

      That’s a pipe-dream, though.

      If you are where the bad guy is, he’s seeing you. He’s scanning everyone, doing a little “thin-slicing” and knocking people off his target list based on what he SEES, not what he does NOT see.

      Or, are the experts on “target selection” wrong because a lot of POTG have a bias against OC?

      OC or don’t OC as is your, and everyone’s, choice. But let’s put all the rationalizations that are made-up, out of the anus guesses about why it’s good/not good to rest.

      It’s a carry method. Seriously. We have bigger arguments to engage in…like uniting against pre-crime restraining orders, super-secret watch lists, national registry, cosmetic-based firearm bans, etc.

    • I wasn’t talking about open carry. If you look like everyone else then it is harder to get specifically targeted. That isn’t the only thing you have to do but it cuts the threat down to more manageable size. Buy I guess all those IC surveillance/countersurveillance guys are blowing smoke.

      • I get your point. I was merely ALSO pointing out that to the bad guy that’s doing his target selection, generally very subliminally, you pretty much CAN’T “look like everyone else.”

        He’s selecting and he has certain cues many/most don’t understand at all, much less understand a little. Point is, what most think of as “fitting in” stands out like a sore thumb to those acculturated to violence and selecting targets.

        William Aprill talks about this stuff. Some of it is very subtle – or can be. Stuff like eye contact and facial expressions come into play in ways most are unaware.

        So, while we go down the tangent of “OC can make me stand out,” the reality is there are FAR FAR many other things that are making us stand out. We look at obvious “signals” like an OC handgun, mode of dress, etc…the bad guy is looking at body language cues and all manners of OTHER things that have nothing to do with what WE think can make us stand out and be noticed.

        Meantime, due to the thin-slicing ‘default’ of “Don’t attack,” OC can (and has been documented to have been) a deterrent. Baddies tend to look for cues that OVERCOME the default “Don’t attack” and the potential victim having a firearm is definitely NOT that.

        Short Version: There’s no panacea. There’s no simple answer to this stuff. It’s not as “cut and dried” as many of us try to make it.

  16. “I don’t want to appear ‘interesting’ nor ‘beauteous’ while in public.”

    …But I do desperately want to get attention online by trolling open carry advocates.

    Isn’t this the same schmuck who said that cops aren’t shooting enough people?

    (Also, “beauteous” may not mean what he thinks it means.)

  17. If one does not want to obtain a concealed carry permit, then open carry is the only option! Last time I looked the 2nd Amendment says absolutely nothing about a concealed carry permit!!!! We should have the right to conceal carry without the government knowing about it then the thugs on the street would always be wondering as would the thugs in DC!!!! As for what if’ing, if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle!!!

  18. Guy in the picture is a good example of why OC isn’t a good idea. That looks like a Wilson Combat pistol in his holster. He’s looking at expensive cigars. In other words, he’s showing off. A person who is concerned with security keeps everything on the down-low. So that guy is not actually helping us; he’s making the antis’ argument for them (i.e., that gun owners are insecure over-compensators and it’s not about safety but about ego). If you need to make a spectacle of yourself, go ahead, it’s a (relatively) free country. But don’t pretend you’re doing the rest of us any favors.

  19. I have said it before on this forum and elsewhere , it is my belief that open carry is an enemy of gun rights. It scares people period. If I see an open carrier say at Walmart, I’m outta there.

    • So if you see a well dressed man or woman open carrying at a Walmart you leave even if it’s a plain clothes police officer?

        • See, must be a cop.

          I generally don’t shop at Walmart. OK, I am a snob. I go to Target, Walmart for the well off./sarc.

    • I shop at Walmart. It’s not my favorite place and occasionally I see “Walmart people” there. Does that make me a crazed criminal or mass shooter?

      I am slowly reaching the conclusion that anti-open carry people are exactly like anti-gun people. Their mentality is the same, only their exposure is different.

      • I agree. CC people that are Anti-OC, use the same type of irrational justifications for why they don’t OC, “They’ll target me first in a mass shooting” (citation?) and then they turn around and say the same derogatory and demeaning insults towards OC’ers and why they OC as any anti-gun nut. “They OC because they have a small package!”

        Both of these methods are based on subconscious fear. I believe what they are afraid of is what most people are afraid of. That to OC is to place themselves out side of the “societal norm”, at least the norm the has been created over the last hundred years. We are a tribal, herd based society, after all. So out of this fear, mostly unconscious, they come up with some really bizarre rationalizations and they attack the character of those that choose to go outside that societal norm, to make them selves feel better about their fear based choice.

    • Kerry,

      When you see me at a local store, dressed in business casual, holding my child in my arms, smiling, holding the door open for someone as a courtesy, and possessing a visibly holstered handgun on my hip, why in the world would you interpret me as a threat and run out of that store?

      How many criminals dress in business casual? How many criminals bring their child along with them? How many criminals hold the door for someone?

      Pro-tip: a person with a firearm is a threat when they have the firearm in hand and have actually threatened someone — like, pointing it at someone and demanding something.

  20. The only way I can CCW is register with the government and get there approval and ID. In my state the Governor gave that list to the fed several times against the law. I will OC as the law allow me and use a retention holster . That is my choose and I do not tell other to do or not to do . I do not make money by teaching others either

  21. A relative moved to Colorado last year. He told me that at first he noticed people Open Carrying and it made him think a whole lot of things. After a few months he still notices most of the time, but it’s like noticing a person wearing a Sports Team logo cap. You see it and recognize the Team, and that’s it. A situational awareness thing.
    In our great-grandfather’s day, people who open carried were considered good upstanding people, but those who carried concealed were regarded with suspicion and as “probably being up to no good.”
    Just beware of those “Mom’s Demand Action” bat guano crazy female dogs that would call 911 to tell the Police they see a man with a gun and you need to “come gun him down”…(paraphrased and directly quoted [where so punctuated] from a post I read on Facebook a few years back that absolutely shocked me and stuck in my mind). Can you imagine the uproar if we wrote stuff like that online directed at them regularly like MDA does to us nowadays?
    I think you should choose whatever carry option you are comfortable with, and/or what you can legally do in your State. It should always be a choice, including not carrying, if that’s your comfort level. What’s bad is being in a State where you cannot Open Carry and have no chance of getting a CCW, believe me, I am in California. There are severely limited conditions where you can get a CCW in California, but the vast majority of us cannot qualify for those conditions.

    • I too am in CA, and fortunately my county is essentially “shall issue” however I still do not qualify for a carry permit.

      • Yes, I moved out of San Bernardino County to Orange County thinking I had a better chance to get a CCW in OC (not the ONLY reason, but appeared to be a definite possible bonus) only to find-out OC was as restrictive as SB….DAMN! In neither County is it good enough just to want to be able to defend yourself, as it ought to be.

  22. I open carry because it is more convenient, more comfortable, faster to draw and because I can exercise two rights at the same time. Hey, if exotic dancing is protected by the first amendment, so is open carrying.

    I walk the dog through the neighborhood every day, frequently OC (always armed), and all the people in the neighborhood remember is my dog.

    The some of the first gun laws in the old west were banning concealed carry, because honest men carry openly. Only people who were up to something concealed weapons. I think we need to get back to that viewpoint.

  23. I normally don’t open carry, but the few times I do outside of a gun show, most people don’t seem to notice anyways. I remember a colleague of mine who was in the Denver PD talking about how inattentive the average person is. He and his team would be decked out in full SWAT gear, waiting for the go ahead in a vehicle, and people wouldn’t even notice them walking by.

    As for OC being a political statement…sometimes it just gets too damn hot conceal properly in Arizona, you might as well OC.

  24. I’m simply amazed by all the anti-open carry crowd who came out today to leave a post explaining why it shouldn’t be done while in a different breath on another post talk about how gun control doesn’t work, government is overreaching, and people’s rights, freedoms, and options are being unjustly limited. I could care less if my neighbor, my friend, or a complete stranger open carried or conceal carried, or didn’t carry at all. That is their right and choice and it quite simply… is none of my business. I really don’t care about the tactical advantages of either option. Our natural rights and the freedom of the people shouldn’t be contingent on how tactical an action is or is not. My freedoms should not be dependent on your FUD (Fear, uncertainty, doubt) opinions: A person shouldn’t open carry because they might get mugged, or aren’t trained in a retention holster, or it’s bad PR because we are afraid more might be taken from us, etc. Do we have the right or don’t we? Contemplate on that for a moment.

  25. I don’t understand the vitriol this topic seems to cause. OCing your AR/AK at low ready is over the top, but we are talking about OC of a handgun.

    From MY seat, OC is not worth it. I think the trade-offs just aren’t worth it. I think the tactical concessions and second glances aren’t worth the larger weapon. It’s a decision that is fraught with too many political overtones, something I generally shy away from (if I was a homosexual, I wouldn’t have been one of the first to try and get married – I just prefer a low key lifestyle). I prefer to CC and do so because I think it’s a better option. Even though I can OC in Texas, I choose not to.

    From YOUR seat, OC may be worthwhile. If you think so, good for you. MY opinion and feelings on the subject should have no bearing on what YOU do, as long as you are being safe about it (just as any CCer should be safe).

    I don’t get why CCers get up in arms over those who choose to OC. I don’t get why OCers get up in arms because CCers don’t see it as worthwhile. You do what’s right for you, I do what’s right for me. Beyond that, why can’t we get along?

    • And you just got to the meat of the matter: why can’t we just get along?

      Answer: because some of us are no content to let other people live their lives.

      The problem is gun-grabbers who want to tell us what we can or cannot do. The problem is concealed carriers who want to tell us what we can or cannot do. The problem is open carriers who want to tell us what we can or cannot do.

      Telling someone what we like and why is not a problem. Telling someone else what they should or must do is the problem.

  26. Huh. See, now I like chatting with complete strangers. I’ve me some really neat people in my days here. Some have become great friends, fishing buddies, hunting partners in whom we share a zest and love of life.
    Open or concealed.
    Keep calm and carry on.

  27. What does “technically permitted” mean in the sentence, “Arizona and some other states have technically permitted the practice for some time”?

    • I think he’s attempting to imply that AZ is similar to other states like DE, where open carry is legal, but would undoubtedly result in police harassment or even arrest. This is clearly not the case, open carry is alive and well in AZ.

  28. I have long thought what a different world we would have if a large enough number of civilians were responsibly open carrying. Much like I consider responsible gun ownership as my civic duty to keep our 2A rights exercised and intact, I consider responsible open carry a duty for those who are able, trained, and comfortable doing so.

    The way things are now, a criminal can assume in almost all cases (short of bank robbery types) that everyone they will encounter will be unarmed. As we have seen in the last decade or so, that assumption has become less reliable but is still a pretty good bet. Now imagine if just about everywhere you go, you routinely see someone open carrying, maybe at about 5% of the population. I think this would have a distinct deterrent effect on crime and positively effect the feeling of safety for the general population.

  29. Hmmm, to open carry or carry concealed. It is a conundrum.

    So there I was, grocery shopping with my wife at Wally World the other day when another patron noticed my Vietnam Vet hat. Not only did he thank me for my service and compliment me on the hat, but he thanked me for carrying (kind of hard to not spot the handgun on my hip if you really looked). Said it made him feel safer knowing that a Good Guy was armed.

    Today? Wandered around a supermarket and big box home store while open carrying. No puddles in the aisles, no crying babies, no mothers shielding their child’s eyes. Nothing.

    It’s only a big deal if one makes it a big deal. Other than that, it’s Wednesday.

    • Yeah except depending on where you are at, open carry can become brandishing real quick if you cause any sort of civil disturbance. And all due respect, but that hat and that gun on your hip only scares off the lowest level of predator, for any bad guy above the bottom rung, you’re gonna get targeted first, whether CrackyMcCrackerson wants a new gat or Jihadi John wants to collect a bounty and so unless you have some Bob Munden type skills going on maybe the sheep would be better off if their Sheep Dog didn’t get targeted and taken out before he gets a chance to do some good.

      • Sorry, but only if I’m waving the gun around can that be considered brandishing. Causing a civil disturbance? That would require something considerably more than just walking. As for getting targeted first, most bad guys don’t want to be anywhere near any law-abiding citizen with a gun.

        If you don’t want to open carry, then don’t. That’s your choice, but don’t make your choice my choice.

      • ” And all due respect, but that hat and that gun on your hip only scares off the lowest level of predator, for any bad guy above the bottom rung, you’re gonna get targeted first, “

        That is pure, unadulterated bull squeeze.

        That goes against everything published by professionals that have studied violent actor criminal selection in at least the last 20 years.

        Show some citations that an OC-ers will get “targeted first,” because that simply contradicts what is well established in the social science/criminology research community about victim selection.

        OC does not only deter ‘bottom wrung’ players. From some of the most violent, habitual criminals studied, it is well documented that they would AVOID a known armed potential victim and select a softer target.

        Geez. This “selected first” crap has been debunked so many times that I am beginning to wonder if it is spread as some attempt by the anti’s to discredit ‘carry.’ Today OC, tomorrow CC.

      • Joshua, where is open carry considered brandishing? Please cite some court cases where someone was convicted of brandishing when they OCed.

        • A most excellent question, and one I had as well.

          How can the case be made that a handgun in a holster is “brandishing.”

          FUD. Pure and simple.

      • …for any bad guy above the bottom rung, you’re gonna get targeted first…

        I’m going to go full “Chip” on this one. Citation needed!

        Why would he get targeted at all? Why not go find a better victim? If he needed a gun – why not go buy one out out of the trunk of a car illegally, or steal one when the owner isn’t around, you know … any other action with less risk?

  30. Complete BS.

    No one get unnecessary attention from open carry. That’s fantasy.

    No one is exposed by giving stangers unnecessary information. Fantasy.

    OC does all good no evil. It’ll deter any and all crime. The next mass shooter or terrorist will see that slung AR15, piss his pants and run away, instead of tagging the OCer as the first target. It just never happens and never will.

    Anyone not liking or doing OC is not a purist to our ideology, who needs to be blackbagged and shot by KGB Branch 2A.

    • I agree. The summation of Chip’s comments are greater than the summation of other’s comments. Chip is the winner here.

  31. Arizona and some other states have technically permitted the practice for some time. And, even in states where there is no specific legislation, the practice is commonly noted in some areas.

    What the heck does this mean? No specific legislation to allow it? Do you have to have specific legislation to allow you to wear a green shirt on a Tuesday?

    This guy apparently is clueless as to how laws work. If we had to have a law specifically stating everything we can do that is legal…

    Pro tip for Mr. Farnum: if something isn’t illegal, it is by default legal.

    • “Arizona and some other states have technically permitted the practice for some time. “

      Danny, it means he is completely misrepresenting the laws of many states.

      http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/map-where-is-open-carry-legal-1715/

      In 2014, only 6 states prohibited OC.

      Only an additional 14 required a permit to OC.

      That means, in 2014, the majority of states in the United States allowed permitless OC.

      “AZ and a few other states” is…30 out of 50. Interesting.

      And, the numbers are MORE favorable to OC here in 2016.

      It is very clear that Farnam chose his words carefully so as to manipulate to maximum effect, not be factual in his presentation.

  32. Farnam’s also the guy who said police need to shoot more people. I consider this piece equally insightful and valuable.

  33. Hey Robert, next time your inside that humidor pick me up a Opus Opus X… Please.
    Chips comments are right on as usual. Thanks Chip!
    Mr. Farnum’s advice fits right in with the Lib. attitude prevalent in Fort Collins, Co. I don’t give an aeronautical intercourse what he thinks about open carry, more especially when I’m in the Texas heat.
    That also applies to the rubber phallused Fudd’s that come out of the cracks whenever this subject comes up!
    This Texas cowboy has open carried all around the DFW area without so much as a whimper from John Q Lunchbucket. People are to busy with their own little world to notice. That and the fact that I carry at 3:00, with my arm partially covering my Ed Brown 45.
    You live your life your way and I’ll do the same ; )-

    • Before the spelling nazis correct me for spelling his name wrong, I meant to spell it Mr. Farnam’s.

  34. I would never consider open carry for the same reason I do not show my hand to the other poker players.

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