After the video of an Arizona thief stealing an open carrier’s firearm hit the ‘net, all the armed open carry naysayers came out of the woodwork to say nay. Their crusade plays straight into the hands of the antis — this is why you can’t have nice things. Equally, these anti-open/concealed carry-only gun owners are using the same sorts of “arguments” favored by gun control advocates . . .

1. They’re holding-up a single incident as “proof” that an idea is bad/dangerous

In six years of monitoring the interwebz, I’ve come across two open carry gun grabs. This case and one where thugs beat-up an open carrier and stole his gun. The Copper State McDonald’s gun grab is certainly a cautionary tale, but it’s hardly indicative of a widespread problem.

2. They’re ignoring the positive side of a gun-related practice

For every time a thief who grabbed a gun out of someone’s holster, how many times did an open carry American prevent a crime? How many times did an armed American openly carrying access his or her firearm more quickly than if they’d had to remove a cover garment, and what impact did that have on the outcome? We don’t know, but there are tactical advantages to open carry.

3. They’re ignoring the bigger picture 

Open carry helps normalize firearms for gun muggles. Normalization protects gun rights. Protected gun rights enable the exercise of Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms — any way they choose. (Open carriers to concealed carriers: you’re welcome.)

USCCA T-shirt (courtesy ammoland.com)

This video was produced by the United States Concealed Carry Association. So it’s no surprise their rep excoriates open carry — although I am bemused that they’re hawking a T-shirt proclaiming its wearer as armed; an even more prominent form of open carry.

Kevin Michalowski would have been better advised to lay out the pros and cons of open carry and recommend retention holsters for those who don’t hide their gat. The same kind of holsters police use to prevent gun grabs. Or would Kevin have the police carry concealed as well? No, of course not. That would be silly.

98 Responses to United States Concealed Carry Association: Open Carry Doesn’t Work

    • This. And now this will be the central issue that antis lock onto to divide the gun community. Saul Alinsky and Sun Tzu are both laughing their asses off over a beer somewhere.

    • My thought exactly.

      Under most normal circumstances, I would choose not to open carry, but I can conceive of situations in which I might do so (and safely). People should have the right to choose but if they lose control of their weapon, they should have to pay a fine and wear a dunce cap for a week (assuming they survived the blunder).

      • It never ceases to amaze me how gun carriers or just gun owners can argue endlessly over open or conceal carry , which caliber is the best defensive round , what is the best holster position , chamber a round or not , revolver or pistol , manual safety or not and on and on .
        As the great Rodney once ask , ” can’t we all just get along ” ?
        If I’m carrying my 4 pound Ruger Red Hawk in 454 Casull , I do not attempt to hide it , senseless . I strap it down properly on a strong belt in a well made western holster . If I carry my 15 ounce PMR 30 , I tuck it in quite comfortably inside my waist in a very simple Kydex ‘ Dead Eye Luke ‘ holster . If I carry my P 95 , I can go either way . The point is , on all these issues , our fight is for the right to carry at all and we should concentrate our energies there .

  1. I go both ways. Sometimes I like it in sometimes I like it out. In and out, out and in. It all works for me…

  2. There once was a time when concealing a firearm was considered dastardly. Only a person of questionable moral character would do such a thing.

  3. Here’s the thing: 9 times out of ten, criminals are looking for a score with the least amount of possible complications. Yeah, if you happen to be in the way of a highly-planned operation with a large score (such as a coin store heist), they’ll probably just take you out immediately. But the vast majority of crimes are not like that. They’re small-time, minimally planned events where the crooks DON’T want complications. Somebody who is clearly armed is a VERY large complication, and not with the trouble for $200 from a convenience store.

    • You know what criminals want even more than jewelry or a quick cash grab? Guns. Yes thieves are opportunistic and they look for crimes of easy opportunity. Look at this video – guy couldn’t even bother to get off his phone — he saw a gun, he said “hey, cool, gun”, and took it. How much more opportunistic can you get?

        • Oh, I see, because carrying a pistol in a back pocket is exactly the same thing as a cop carrying in a level 3 retention holster. Of course grabbing a cop’s gun is just as easy and just as simple of an opportunity. You’re right as usual, how silly of me.

        • @realitywhatever

          Even in uniform, with the full backing and force of law, and with a retention holster, there are still cases where individual officers have to fight a suspect trying to grab their firearm.

          Bottom line, it’s hard to guess what every individual is thinking or going to do within every specific context, you can only account for yourself. What is needed is situational awareness regardless if you are unarmed, cc or open carrying.

      • The criminal in this case was casing this guy for a while and saw that he would be an easy target. Only the dumbest criminals are going to run up to someone without any sort of surveillance beforehand and try to steal a gun from a holster.

  4. Carrying a gun is insurance against a low probability event, that is needing to use it. But risk reward makes it more than worth it.

    Carrying is #1, after that all the arguments we get into are effectively arguing astronomical odds on top of astronomical odds.

    Open carry, manual safety, 9mm or .45….all of it are minutia compared to JUST CARRY THE DAMN THING.

    • “after that all the arguments we get into are effectively arguing astronomical odds on top of astronomical odds. ”

      AMEN, especially in terms of the caliber wars.

    • So, is this the point that some knuckle head comes out and says
      “What? You open carry a 9mm? Just throw the gun at them, you’ll do more damage!”

      But for some reason those same people never want to go down range and let others shoot at them with 9mm’s.

      What is there to be afraid of if it’ll “just bounce off” 😉

      I’d rather not be shot at. I’d also rather not telegraph my intentions/plans/options – conceal carry for me.

    • Precisely why I carry. I like the idea of perpetuating positive statistics and I oppose violent crime. Seriously doubt I’ll ever really need to use a weapon to defend myself or others, but despite the misleading statistics, chances are greater that I mitigate a violent crime or terrorist attack than the chance that I kill myself or a loved one.

  5. If you’re going to open carry, get a proper holster. A back pocket Remora ain’t gonna cut it. That is all.

    • If you’re going to open carry, get a handle on your situational awareness. I don’t use a retention holster but I am alert to my surroundings. Funny how looking at people’s eyes really is very telling…

      • This. It’s also amazing how many people are absolutely terrified of eye to eye contact. Though most people under 40 have their heads buried in their phones these days.

      • Did you even watch the video, Gman?
        The dude was ordering lunch at a fast food joint. During the few seconds when his attention was focused on the order taker, thug comes in, grabs his gun and is gone.

        Situational awareness is crucial, but we can’t be 100% aware when we are actually doing something that requires our attention. This is why everyone who open carries should do what the cops do and use a good retention holster.

        • No, to be honest I didn’t because they don’t run on this puter. But there are ways to protect your firearm other than a retention holster. I usually rest my hand or forearm on it when I don’t have a clear image of my six. When I get home I will watch and comment further.

        • So you have you hand on it anytime you aren’t backed to a wall? Seems to me that short of having optical sensors implanted into the back of your skull you will never have the ability to maintain perfect situational awareness on your 6 (well, I suppose you could spin around, but you’d get dizzy).

          I think TX got it wrong with their OC requires a shoulder or belt holster requirement. I suspect that mandating a retention holster for OC would go further towards preventing grabs than specifying a location.

        • Cops also usually work with a partner, so while one is focused on a task the other is keeping track of the surroundings.

      • I never said anything about a “retention holster,” I said a proper holster.

        Yes, situational awareness is required when carrying (open or concealed). Open carrying in a soft holster, in your back pocket, while in a fairly crowded area is still a bad idea.

      • Come on – be factual. FBI & DoJ stats would say that your safe because its not written in ebonics NOR spanish…

    • It’s slightly more subtle than the 5.11 cargo pants and rigger’s belts so many of these “never OC” types gravitate towards.

    • They don’t advocate wearing stuff like that out in general society when you’re out and about. Just like they recommend that you don’t put gun related window and bumper stickers on your vehicle. Draws attention to your vehicle…might even make it a target for theft hoping there’s guns inside. Save shirts like that for the range or other “closed” environments.

  6. “United States *Concealed* Carry” hates on open carry and loves concealed carry.

    I am totally shocked because no conflict at all there, right?

    *whatevers*

    Be sure to wear your “I am carrying a big ass gun” USCC shirt while conceal carrying too.

    • And water is wet. Would love to see a video where the CC’er struggles cuz the gun grabs on clothes, ADs presenting the firearm, perp closes the gap before CC’er can fully draw, or manages to hit the guy but too small a caliber or not enough rounds. Nothing is full proof. I am not a big fan of OC but I would not deny someones right to do it . . . or put out a misleading video emphatically stating it doesn’t work.

      * Those break away holsters look better all the time.

      • Do you realize that you just said you’d love to see a victim come to harm for your amusement?

        • Um not for amusement. And I want to see what is already happened not make it happen to prove a point. Which is kind of a paradox. If you must wish it to happen to prove your point then your point is invalid. These things have happened already. I want to “see” that on video to prove the point to others. Just like I do not think the CC guy in this video wanted the gun theft to happen – but the video of it “proved” his point.

  7. In the video, the guy didn’t call for a ban on open carry and even said it was appropriate for circumstances like political rallies. I am filing this one under “yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

    https://youtu.be/pWdd6_ZxX8c

  8. Okay, look – if I’m a criminal, and I walk in to a McDonald’s, and I see a guy in front of me with something sticking out of his pocket, I might be interested in taking it. Let’s examine the options:

    Scenario 1: it’s a wallet. I could take it. There might be some cash, there might not. The guy might fight me for it, he might not. He might have a concealed gun and I might end up in a lot of trouble. Should I take it? Nah, I’ll pass.

    Scenario 2: it’s a gun. I could take it. Then I have a gun! I can sell it for cash, I can use it for more robberies. The guy might fight me for it, but – he’d lose, because I HAVE A GUN (exactly what happened in this scenario). Will the mark have a concealed gun? Probably not – and even if he does, I already have a gun, and mine will be in my hand ready to go, so he’ll still lose. Should I take that easily-snatchable gun? Oh hell yes. 100% of the time.

      • Not making an argument for or against either type. Just pointing out that if you are going to openly carry a gun, and you think that’s a deterrent against crime, you’d better be EXTREMELY vigilant. Because whether you like it or not, that gun is a hella attractive item for a criminal.

    • “see a guy in front of me with something sticking out of his pocket”

      in your scenario the guy is concealed, because you don’t know what it is. How your scenario is relevant or on point is beyond me. Whether it’s a wallet, a phone, or a gun, you are not guaranteed to get it and might get hurt. I also doubt criminals do such complex calculations in their head, in line McDonalds.

      Regardless of whether you are open carrying, concealed carrying, or not even carrying, situational awareness is the key. Don’t stand in front of idiots at McDonald’s eyeing your ass. Anyone at McDonalds could be looking to pick your pocket, regardless of whats in it.

      • >> in your scenario the guy is concealed, because you don’t know what it is. How your scenario is relevant or on point is beyond me. <> Don’t stand in front of idiots at McDonald’s eyeing your ass. <<

        Now I have to ask — did you even watch the video? The thief walked in, took it, and left. At what point was there some idiot standing there eyeing him? What type of hyper-vigilant situational awareness would have solved this problem?

        The only idiot in this scenario was some moron who thought that just by having a gun on him, that he was somehow discouraging crime. Decades ago criminals stole watches, because people wore expensive watches. What do they steal now? Phones – because everyone has an expensive phone. And what do they want to steal from open carriers? Guns. Because they're more valuable than phones in many ways.

        Ain't rocket science, it's obvious.

    • You did not state the fail condition for Scenario 2. You fail to take control of the gun. The owner of the gun legally shoots you dead. Real life examples of this were Trayvon Martin and Micheal Brown. Both started fights and had the initial advantage but lost and paid the ultimate price.

      • Ooh, your argument becomes so much clearer and coherent when you simply copy and paste the same snarky line. Thanks for the illuminating discussion, it’s been very helpful. I bet if you copy and paste it a third time, you’ll sway even more people to your line of thinking.

    • Scenario 3: That guy is a cop.

      This criminal was scouting out his victim for a while to be sure of #3 above all else.

  9. In public, oncealed carry makes the most sense for me. Your mileage may vary.

    If I was going to open carry in public, I would certainly have a holster with some kind of retention and train with it.

  10. OC is still too far ahead of its time. We haven’t even cleared all the legal/psychological hurdles of CC yet.

    • Opposite really. Open carry is the original way to carry. I’d call this a resurgence of open carry but it never really went away. It was just was not as common in some places.

  11. Meh. I wish I could legally open-carry. Like a COP. See it in Indiana sometimes and NOTHING happens. These CC guys I had to block and mark as spam ’cause they bombarded me with endless E-mails.

  12. Until this ASSociation gets concealed carry laws to mirror OC laws in all states. They can kindly STFU since their argument is morally bankrupt.

    OC laws are generally less restrictive than CCW laws. This holds true in AZ, you can’t CCW in AZ if you are under 21 unless you are doing so under LEOSA or their limited exception at 19 with an AZ CWP which is only issued in very limited circumstances to 19 or 20 year olds.

  13. I do both, also. I’ve walked into Starbucks and other stores wearing a shirt, slacks, tie, badge, and a modded Glock 23 or my duty gun. Not sure if that counts for TTAG purposes. I’ve also done a bit badgeless OC in Wisconsin and Arizona. I like intelligent OC and CC. There is no perfect retention, as I’ve said before, and there are rare circumstances where bad guys have managed to steal guns from cops and open carriers.

    I blame criminals for the crimes, and have no desire to punish good people for what criminals have done. Although when I see careless firearm handling I take action. I see the OC vs. CC rift as a waste of time.

  14. If you’re going to open carry, please do everyone a favor and use a good holster that has at least some measure of passive retention. McDonalds gun grab guy wouldn’t have gotten away with a free gun quite so easily if it had been in a proper open carry holster not attached to a clueless owner.

    • No, NOT Serpa. Safariland ALS.
      It’s probably the best simple, fast, cheap retention holster on the market.

      I make custom kydex holster for a living. But the ALS holsters are awesome (and made in Mexico, last I checked). We’ve talked about reselling them through our site – they are that good.
      But not very concealable – about like a Serpa.

      • +1 for the ALS. There is also a guard you can get for $15 that covers the ALS lever making it even better.

  15. WHO CARES? Let people carry the way they want. Don’t try to dictate what can/should be done. Individual responsibility folks. Mind your own business and move on.

  16. Good write up RF. I agree 100% on all counts.
    CC’ing during the week while at the office and OC’ing on the weekend with an M&P in a Serpa is what works for me.

  17. Avoiding places like McDonald’s/Little Caesar’s/K-Mart/etc is probably a good practice in general, and even more so if you’re OCing without a retention holster.

    • While I understand the argument of avoiding stupid places at stupid times, etc., I would hope that being armed means I don’t necessarily have to allow the criminal element to dictate where I go, and when.

      … although I might avoid certain restaurants out of fear of food poisoning.

  18. I support a persons right to choose how to carry. I hope those people choose responsibly. I will say this though I doubt many will hear me. There are a lot of comparisons that can be drawn between the drug war and the struggle to keep the 2nd amendment whole and intact. Anybody remember Timothy Leary? He was psychadelic drugs biggest proponent back in the day, believed it was a god given right, thought everybody should be into dosing. He almost single handedly set research and development for the genuine medical uses for psychadelics back decades. We are just now getting back on track with that. It doesnt matter what the facts are, it doesnt matter if god and the second are on your side, it only matters that he scared the establishment so much that they cracked down on it and instead gave power to the “safe” pharmacueticals to treat depression and ptsd, you know the ones that require daily dosing and years of continuous use with both mental and physical addiction along with a host of both mental and physical side effects and have been involved in a huge percentage of suicides and school shootings. But i digress, my point was, sometimes the loudest voices are the scariest ones and what real benifit did you gain by the end of the day that you couldnt have gained plus some by pulling your shirt or jacket over your gun and being a bit more civilized? If your out on the range, disregard, if you are packing like a cowboy at the city center mall, consider what i said. Im out before the hate. Peace.

    • I agree with most of what you say.

      Howeve, as older people remind me, if it wasn’t for people peaceably protesting by OCing we wouldn’t have CC.

      Plus with CC things happen that reveal your gun. If OC is legal, that’s not a problem, if it’s not legal and the wrong person witnesses the failure of your concealment you could end up on the pokey.

      There was a time when concealing a weapon wad thought to be something only scoundrels did. Today, while opinions have changed, there’s still truth to that. You won’t see gangbangers open carrying.

  19. I don’t own a gun, so I can’t carry. What I did was order a baseball cap that has wording on the front and back stating: “Peace, through greater firepower. Wanna see?”. The hat is three years old. I don’t get any comments. Is this just luck, or is the hat an actual deterrent?

    If the hat is doing what I think it is doing, I may never need a gun outdoors (home might be another thing). If it is just dumb luck, I probably need to keep reading this blog to learn a thing or two. BTW, what is a .460 Rowland, and should I think about getting one?

    • That method of deterrence relies on three things:
      1) The would-be criminal has the ability to read English.
      2) The would-be criminal is close enough to read it.
      3) The would-be criminal takes the time to read it.

      Good luck!

      • English on the front, Spanish on back? Ayrab left side, Persian on the right?

        The hat can only be just so big. Maybe a cowboy hat, where words can be placed on the upward curl of the sides of the brim?

    • What you doing is what science calls Batesian mimicry. It is when a harmless species mimics a dangerous one to ward off predators. Yeah it works. Until it doesn’t.
      If you are really wearing the hat to deter criminals why not something that has government insignia on it? As long as you don’t actually present yourself as a State agent you should be good to go. Check your local laws first, of course.
      My CHL instructor suggested a cheap, fake police badge as a deterrent for some situations. For example, he bought one for his college aged daughter. It came in handy when she was being harassed at a red light by two men in the car next to her. All she had to do was take the fake badge out her purse and hang it around her neck and the two guys shut up, faced forward and drove away without further incident. She didn’t have to say a thing. Again check your local laws. YMMV

      • Now there is an idea. Kinda like it. Would you guess just a kid’s plastic badge would do the trick?

        • Just do a search for “police badge” on Amazon. Lots of elaborate fake ones there. Again make sure you know your local laws to know what is legal or illegal. Impersonating a police officer is illegal, being mistaken for one because a fake badge happens to be in plain sight might be o.k.

    • Any self defense plan that relies solely on the cooperation of the attacker is inherently flawed. This may work for some circumstances, just like drawing a gun without firing it may still be effective in countless situations, but when your life is on the line I would prefer to have a little bite to backup the bark.

      • Crazy that even if you don’t use a gun in defense, you gotta worry about cops. Thanks for the advice.

  20. Can’t we all just along…? The OC/CC divide has become too pronounced IMHO. Both have their pros and cons. Carry responsibly, remain situationally aware and keep your wits about you. For most POTG, we all want the same thing- 2A rights with minimal hindrance, interference or otherwise. Same goes for the whole Fudds/tactical divide as well. As long as you’re not an outright anti, or a 2A- BUThead (as in, I support the 2A, but…) then we gotta encourage, accept and promote all the different types of gun owners out there.

  21. I CC because I rather try to have the element of surprise. Even then, my holsters all have some form of retention. And I practice faithfully so as to avoid clothing problems.

    As far as trying to reach the gun muggles, I think taking them out to shoot is more effective in changing their mind.

    • When you mention “gun muggles” are you talking about anti-gun? Or “fence sitters”? Or both?

      What if the “muggles” refuse the invite?

  22. A few points.

    First, both methods of carry have pros and cons. I won’t detail that here as I’m sure from having been here a week that most TTAG readers know them.

    Second, the guy in this video is an idiot carry a gun in his pocket this way. It’s not representative of OC, so this is a red herring on the part of the USCCA. This is like me arguing against CC because I know a guy who was distracted by two thugs and knocked out by a third he never saw. He woke up needing a trip to the hospital and missing his boots, wallet, gun, spare mag, watch, keys and cell phone. Yes, I really know someone that happened to, but it’s not representative of CC, it’s just a single data point that proves nothing other than that bad things happen to good people.

    Third, the idea that OC makes you a target is mostly theoretical BS from people who have no actual experience living in a crime infested neighborhood, which I do. Street criminals are cowards. If they see that you’re wearing a gun they don’t screw with you. What’s in your wallet isn’t worth getting shot over. These people are looking for quick and easy money with as little risk as they can get. Even a group of four or five of them is extremely unlikely to jump you if they see you’re OCing. These guys are looking for people who cannot resist the force they present. An 85 year old lady with a S&W on her hip is more trouble than they care to deal with in most cases.

    Forth, the vast majority of people don’t notice that you’re OCing and most that do assume you’re a cop. Even in a hippie town like Boulder or Santa Fe, most people don’t notice and/or don’t care.

    I could go on, but you get the point. It’s six of one half a dozen of the other. You pays your money and takes your chances. Personally, I roll both ways based on what I’m doing/wearing, where I’m going and what my threat assessment of that day’s itinerary is.

  23. More ‘look at me’ mindless blather and bullshit from those who would have guns carried the way they assume it to be best.

    It is not up to me nor to any of the concealed carry weenuses to dictate or self-importantly pontificate as to how a free man should exercise his essential individual Liberty.

    I applaud men and women who choose to arm themselves and exercise their fundamental individual Liberty.

    Pfft….a massive snore and a vigorous middle-finger to the ‘concealed carry is the only proper way’ weenies.

  24. Funny how many gun people cry about freedom then try to take away others. Isn’t it the person who is responsible for stuff, or is it not? It can’t be both ways.

  25. This is as big a waste of time as caliber the callout threads on the internet. I mainly CC, but glad I can OC if I want. I know a guy on the internet that does both with two guns at the same time. Seems like the perfect setup now that I think of it. Thanks to Robert for doing an honest article on the subject. Not letting ourselves get carried away over one incident is important. We as a community are prone to it and hysteria all the time unfortunately.

  26. It’s the United States Concealed Carry Association, so maybe (I’m just spitballing here) — just maybe — they have an agenda.

  27. I laughed when some guy from “concealed carry magazine” said that concealed carry is the best method and open carry was definitively disadvantaged due to one … Yes one … cherry picked occurance of some idiot carrying a gun, not in a holster, but loose in his baggy back pocket exposed.

    I could care less if someone carries concealed or open – not my business.

  28. I still dont think OC is a good idea

    But this public attack on your ally thing made me throw up a little

    Arguing on a forum is one thing

    Making a youtube video on a popular channel is a whole different deal

  29. Why not both? One exposed on the hip, one hidden in the appendix position.

    Making a thesis off one data point does not make for scholarly discourse. But there are definite learning points to be made from this incident.

    Two is one and one is none. Have a backup, either on your body or someone else’s. I cannot OC because I live in XX, but if I could, I would only do so I were with someone else who was also carrying, or had some other weapon on me.

    Hardware solution: retention holster. Both my OWB holsters are Safariland ALS type holsters that will only release the gun if a small button is depressed. This may stop someone from slyly lifting it off your person when you are not paying attention, but could put you in a tussle with an aggressive assailant. Think all the videos where attackers are wrestling on the ground with a police officer. One way or another, someone is going to get hurt.

    Software solution: situational awareness. This is the crux of the problem in this (and most cases). If you are not paying attention, someone can easily walk up and take your exposed gun. Or your wallet. Or stab you in a crowded train station. Or play that knock out game that is all the rage with young thugs. Conceal carrying a gun will not make you any less vulnerable in these situations. Simple things you can do is pay attention. If you are talking to someone, whether at a counter, checkout lane, or just having a conversation with someone, position your body to maintain control of your weapon and provide the best visibility of your surroundings.

    Another software solution: having the correct mindset. It is easy to armchair quarterback this video, but let’s assume that SA or no, bad guy gets the drop on you. In Jeff Cooper’s Principles of Self Defense, he explains the importance of decisiveness, aggressiveness, and speed. If you are caught flat footed in first gear, you’ve already lost, especially if time and distance favor the assailant. The bad guy had the gun and was already out the door before the good guy even knew what happened. I guarantee you the bad guy would not have been expecting to fight for the gun. If the good guy had turned and immediately tackled the guy before they got outside, the tables could have turned back in favor of the good guy.

    In short, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. This type of argument is exactly what anti-gun lobbyists use to curtail our rights. Instead treat it like a case study, become smarter, and carry on. It is a personal choice to OC or CC, and we all need to support each other and remember that we are all on the same side.

  30. I have never been one to believe in absolutism. I conceal carry most of the time because I like the advantage that no one knows I carry, and when I OC, everyone wants to talk to me when I am usually in a hurry. When I am instructing, I often OC.

    Here is where I have much concern. When a person OC’s, he/she represents every gun owner whether they realize it or not, and if he/she screws it up, it is just that much more difficult to fight the good fight. If you are going to OC, get competent professional training. Practice gun safety. Have a decent holster with good retention. Do not dress like a thug, and do not wear tacticool crap. Certainly, do not wear anything with a message that may be interpreted as you being a loose cannon. Be courteous and mature. If someone asks you to leave a store, do not quote the law, just politely apologize for the misunderstanding and leave. If they respect your right, thank them. If you are in an area where guns are still not well respected, start with baby steps. For example, do not carry your highly accessorized AR or AK at first. Start with an average looking pistol in a professional looking holster. If you gradually up it a notch over time, eventually, it becomes no big deal. Stand tall and be Andy Griffith style friendly, and certainly, do not be a Barney Fife. People are less likely to fear someone they think is competent and nice. If police stop to question you, realize that most police are only there because someone called them and they are required to respond. If they determine that you are not a threat, heck, you may end up finding a range buddy.

    Anyhow, that’s my 2 cents.

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