William H. “Skip” Holbrook (above) is the Chief of the Columbia Police. Writing for thestate.com, Chief Holbrook wants the citizens under his protection to know that “the right to bear arms is fundamental to our democracy.” But —

The sale, purchase, ownership and carrying of guns comes with great responsibility and use of common sense, and I firmly believe an open-carry law will significantly complicate police interactions with citizens, resulting in many unintended consequences.

And how might that happen?

Open-carry law or not, when citizens see someone with a gun, they will call the police. When responding to “person with a gun” calls, officers have few details to help them quickly determine an armed individual’s intent and whether that person poses a threat to public safety or the individual.

They could, I dunno, ask? Observe? And doesn’t the Chief’s qualifier — “open-carry law or not” — indicate that the police face the same “problem” whether or not there’s open carry? I protest! Oh wait . . .

Also let’s not forget the numerous and frequent protests, demonstrations and marches in our city. Open carry could make it extraordinarily difficult for police to protect those exercising their right to assemble and protest peacefully. There is no denying that easily accessible firearms add fuel to already emotionally charged situations, which too often results in tragedy.

God forbid protesters should exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms while exercising their right to free assembly. Practically speaking, it might prevent violence.

Chief Holbrook really isn’t happy with South Carolina’s move to gun rights restoration. But even he knows his argument sucks. So . . . time for a meaningless anecdote!

Recently, Columbia police officers answered a call about a “person with a gun acting erratically” at a local Wal-Mart. It was just the second day on the job for one of the responding officers.

Upon their arrival, the officers were easily able to identify the suspect, but because he was in a store with many innocent people nearby, the officers allowed him to leave the store before engaging with him. Obviously, this was a tense, dangerous situation, putting a large number of our citizens and our officers at risk as the armed suspect moved from Wal-Mart through a parking lot and into another business, ignoring officers’ commands.

Imagine this same scenario if South Carolina had an open-carry law.

Conceivably, there could have been many individuals with weapons displayed when officers arrived, making it extremely difficult to distinguish between the suspect(s), accomplices and innocent bystanders.

Police would have had to make very quick judgments about whether each armed citizen was a threat. What looks like erratic behavior by the person who called the police could look like perfectly normal behavior to others. Then the split-second decision our officers have to make will be judged by others who have the luxury of time, information and a controlled environment.

So South Carolina cops wouldn’t be able to distinguish between a suspect — presumably described by the 911 caller and identified by witnesses — and law-abiding citizens. Who might have a gun! And if cops couldn’t make that determination they’d shoot the wrong person? Which has happened when?

The simple truth is that some cops don’t like armed citizens. They consider open carry — which deters crime — an affront to their authority. It isn’t. And even it is, so what?

But in the end, police opposition to open carry is a matter of optics, not reality. Chief Holbrook’s closing statement makes that perfectly clear.

I hope that if our state senators decide to take up this bill, whey will consider the unintended consequences and potential impact to our state’s image and reputation that an open-carry law could have.

I hope the South Carolina Senators consider their sworn duty to uphold both the U.S. and their state’s constitution. Watch this space.

93 Responses to Columbia, SC Police Chief Holbrook: Open Carry Puts Officers in Danger

  1. “Open-carry law or not, when citizens see someone with a gun, they will call the police. When responding to “person with a gun” calls…”

    When someone calls 911 to report a ‘man with a gun’ ask what he was doing. Unless the answer establishes reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, tell the person that open carrying is lawful and end the call.

    Hey look, I solved the problem.

    • “There’s a guy with a gun!” should elicit the response “So what?”, every single time. Which puts neither police nor citizens at risk, and also does not reward busybodies for making stupid 911 calls by giving them the attention they crave.

      • Shit, where I live if someone called 911 every time they saw someone with a gun the 911 system would crash from overload.

    • That’s what happened in Colorado Springs…and then the nut job shot several people at a medical clinic.

      You open-carry whackos really hate the Second Amendment because you do more to curtail them than Bloomberg. Concealed carry is better in every way.

      • First: wielding a firearm != open carry.

        Second: even if that incident involved an open carrier, the plural of anecdote is not data. Literally millions of people carry openly daily, with no consequence.

        Third: your bigoted anti-open-carry rhetoric is more harmful than anything Bloomberg or his ilk could ever do. Support liberty – even and especially for those who exercise liberty in ways with which you disagree.

      • What, exactly, is your point?

        Do you think those dead people would be gratified if he had at least conceal carried instead?

  2. Virginia has always had open carry because they never made a law making it illegal. I am not aware that there has ever been a problem with someone open carrying. Nobody pays attention to it and life goes on. Why would it be different in South Carolina?

    • Open carry has always been legal in most Western States. It is a non-issue. No one cares. Just the other day, I saw a man OC at McDonalds (Grizzly Adams type guy with a huge sheathed knife as well). No one freaked out. Frankly, no one even batted an eye. People with holstered handguns aren’t a threat to anyone.

      What is so magical about South Carolina, that makes it any different?

      Security theater scam

      I imagine OC was banned in SC during the bad old days, so that the KKK could better terrorize disarmed black folks. Gun control has ALWAYS been primarily directed towards oppressing people.

    • True, mostly. I always feel compelled to post this to keep my fellow Commonwealth gun owners out of trouble, because not all of them seem to know this:

      “Virginia Code § 18.2-287.4 wrote: § 18.2-287.4. Carrying loaded firearms in public areas prohibited; penalty.

      It shall be unlawful for any person to carry a loaded (a) semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that expels single or multiple projectiles by action of an explosion of a combustible material and is equipped at the time of the offense with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock or (b) shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered on or about his person on any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.

      The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement officers, licensed security guards, military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, or any person having a valid concealed handgun permit or to any person actually engaged in lawful hunting or lawful recreational shooting activities at an established shooting range or shooting contest. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

      The exemptions set forth in § 18.2-308 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the provisions of this section.”

      So, don’t OC a threaded-barrel handgun or AR with 30 round mag in those places unless you are have a CHP or are otherwise exempt.

  3. Several states now have open carry and, other than liberal snowflakes calls to cause trouble, there has been little problem caused by the open carriers.

    I frequently see citizens with open carry and have never seen anyone else paying much attention….but then I don’t live in or near a snowflake state.

    • I open carry here in ‘inner-city’ dallas several day a week – and generally no one notices. Since OC has been ‘legal’ in Texas for just a year or so – in the last 100 years – none of the ‘chicken little’ testimony from Soros anti-gunners and Democrats – in testimony to the Legislature – has come true. Expanded carry to include state college campuses have not created blood in the classrooms by CHL holders either.
      There was a murder two weeks ago by a crazed nutjob at UT Austin with a large sheath knife, but I don’t believe the ‘alleged’ murderer was a licensed CHL, but I do think he was a democrat.

      • I made a mental tally of how many open carriers I saw during the first year of OC in Texas – by December 31 I had noted a grand total of eighteen carriers… and I work in a gun shop.
        This is SUCH a non-issue… stupid bigots…just let us live in peace already.

  4. I hope this bill can get through the senate this time….but yeah, quite a few police chiefs in big cities around the state are opposing this. It’s always ‘blood in the streets’ hypotheticals with these people, despite 11 states that already allow open carry with no notables issues. As a citizen of the state, I’m insulted by this attitude.

    • I’d feel insulted too if I were a South Carolinian.

      Given that nothing the chief is worried about seems to happen elsewhere begs 3 questions:

      1.Does the Chief think South Carolinians are more violent than the citizens of other states?

      2. Does the Chief think his officers are especially stupid?

      3. Why does absolutely no one in the media ever ask anything like the above when someone else has made such an ill-informed and demonstrably absorb statement.

      It used to be that if you said something really stupid in public you’d be called out on it. Now…if it fits the narrative…

      • 2. Does the Chief think his officers are especially stupid?

        Well, if he’s the #1 thinker in the department, what’s that say about his inferiors?

    • 45 states have open carry, 13 states have constitutional carry, if I remember right. We are with California, Illinois, Maryland and New York banning open carry. (I think I got those other 4 right) This is a bill that should have got a vote this term, but the good thing is it’s still alive and can be voted on next term without having to go through committee.

  5. “Open-carry law or not, when citizens see someone with a gun, they will call the police. When responding to “person with a gun” calls, officers have few details to help them quickly determine an armed individual’s intent and whether that person poses a threat to public safety or the individual.”

    Yes, this is exactly what happened in California in 2012. although the law only allowed the open carry of unloaded guns, every time there was an open carry “protest” (meaning a number of like-minded individuals would go on the boardwalk or go to Starbucks) panicked soccer moms would call 911 and sure enough, a murder of police officers would descend on the scene, more often than not with guns drawn. they would demand ID and threaten arrest if it was not produced (which was and is not allowed), and would take possession of firearms, as allowed by law, to check that the guns were not loaded–and then would run the serial numbers. These incidents would often extend for 15 minutes to a half an hour, with the unstated intent of discouraging further displays. Sure enough, the Legislature acted with great alacrity in banning the open carry of any firearms in all incorporated cities and towns. It wasn’t pretty.

    • The opposite happened in Texas when legal open carriers of long guns paraded in public time after time after time to protest the ban of open carry of handguns. Open carry of handguns is now legal in Texas.

  6. I hope the local DA will will consider the consequences of allowing a treasonous cunt like this to be in charge of a police department and will instead order him indicted on charges of sedition and treason.

    • We can dream. Though, I wouldn’t be at all shocked to find out that the DA thinks like the chief (who, one presumes, in turn thinks like the mayor who appointed the chief). I’m sure there are exceptions, but as a gun owner I wouldn’t expect fair or lawful treatment from officials in most cities, even in generally friendly states.

  7. The people who get to the scene of a crime or potential crime SECOND (or third, or . . .), are ALWAYS MORE PROTECTED ANYWAY.

    If you’re government says “We can’t protect you unless and until you give up the means to protect yourself” then ONLY THE FIRST PART OF THEIR STATEMENT IS TRUE.

    If you’re government says “We can’t protect US unless and until you give up the means to protect yourself” then YOU NEED A NEW GOVERNMENT ! [see Paragraph 2 of The Declaration of Independence].

    If you’re government says “We can’t ________ . . .” then say GOOD! NOW PACK YOUR SH_T AND GO TO THE HOUSE !

    • Joe, sometimes I’m concerned for you, but with this you’ve nailed it! You’re absolutely right, and brillient!

  8. “Image & Reputation”? Is he trying to say that those of us that live in states that are or have been open carry are somehow beneath them?

    • Gaston, I believe he is actually complimenting the residents of open carry states while insulting South Carolinians generally, and his officers particularly.

      Think about it: Here in Ohio open carry has never been restricted and nothing he suggests has happened, and it’s the same in 10 other states with open carry and no problems. Thus this chief must think that South Carolinians are especially violent, and that his officers are…what, very stupid, poorly trained and trigger happy?

      Based on his own words, and assuming that he isn’t either being facetious or very badly informed regarding the conditions in open carry states, I’m not sure that his attitudes are conducive to being a public servant in SC or chief of any PD.

  9. wow, if its that scary, then maybe the police should stop open carrying. They may give themselves nightmares.

  10. Two major issues that I see with this argument:

    1) By and large criminals don’t OC, so if you want to talk about “distinguishing” good guys from bad guys the “problem” is the same. Personally, I don’t expect that the kind of person who flips and calls Johnny Law is going to note a holster or the lack of a holster and for me “That guy has a gun in his waistband” is of more concern than “That guy has a gun” when I can see it’s an SR1911 riding in a Galco.

    2) Years back I was on the receiving end of a “guy with a gun” call for OCing in hippie-liberal Santa Fe. The cops were completely professional and we ended up smoking a cigarette outside and shooting the bull about their guns vs mine. It basically turned into a mini “caliber wars” discussion.

    So, I would say OC vs CC doesn’t eliminate the “identifying the suspect” problem if the gun is detected by someone faint of heart and he’s also effectively arguing that his officers have piss poor training and/or are stupid.

    If I worked for this guy I’d take his comments as an insult.

    • This was exactly the point I wanted to make:

      Open-carry law or not, when citizens see someone with a gun, they will call the police. When responding to “person with a gun” calls, officers have few details to help them quickly determine an armed individual’s intent and whether that person poses a threat to public safety or the individual.

      Criminals don’t carry openly; they carry concealed. Prison inmate surveys have shown that 90% of criminals who use firearms in the commission of their crime do so with a concealed handgun. Most violent crimes are committed by felons who are, by definition, “prohibited persons”, who even if not intending to commit a separate crime, would not willingly advertise their status as a “felon in possession” by openly carrying.

      If an LEO encounters someone openly carrying, there is a near-100% chance that such person is a law-abiding citizen.

      • I think you’re right Chip. Furthermore, if his officers have been proceeding under the assumption that if they can’t see a gun then the subject is unarmed, they need to be disabuse of this delusion immediately anyway.

        I think the real story here is that no one is reporting the rather obvious fact that the only way this chiefs concerns are valid is if his officers are poorly trained idiots and the residents of SC are especially violent. If these things aren’t so, at least in the Chiefs mind, then his concerns are absurd in light of the non issue open carry is in 11 other states.

  11. Uhhh. Police officers put citizens in danger all the time and get free passes when they abuse the law.

    So they are nervous about OC? Really? 20-30 years ago, the police were more disciplined and didn’t have itchy trigger fingers. I think it’s a training issue.

  12. “Open carry could make it extraordinarily difficult for police to protect those exercising their right to assemble and protest peacefully.”

    So what? Maybe we can protect ourselves. Isn’t that exactly what open carry and any other exercise of the Second Amendment were intended for? Maybe we don’t need you or even want you, Commander Snowflake. And maybe that’s exactly what you’re afraid of.

  13. Are the good citizens of the State of South Carolina remarkably different from the good citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? Sure, they talk funny, but Eastern Pennsylvanians say that about Western Pennsylvanians.

    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania DOES NOT have an Open Carry Law. Since there is no law prohibiting open carry, nor could there be without being in violation of the State Constitution, open carry is legal by default. And somehow there isn’t a problem anywhere in the Commonwealth with citizens open carrying a handgun. The police know its not illegal, and you’ll have to search far and wide to find any “No Guns” signs posted.

    Perhaps the good police chief should visit Up North to observe a problem that doesn’t exist.

  14. From what I’ve asked an seen from local leos, they HATE the idea of open carry because in a situation where they’re needed it’s harder to tell who’s the perp vs non involved individual if there’s 5 people around all displaying firearms.

    • Tough, a citizen’s rights are more important than any consideration for a government employee.

    • If all five are brandishing, intervene with all five. If one is brandishing, intervene with him. If none are brandishing, observe for dangerous behavior. If none are behaving dangerously, move on.

      This can be scaled up or down, as appropriate to the situation.

    • I doubt this is a common enough scenario to really make a difference. The one time I remember something like this happening it was because there were two biker gangs in a fight with quite a few of them armed. It ended badly but is definitely the exception.

    • That argument is absurd Bill. How do police decide who is a perpetrator and who isn’t involved when no one has a visible weapon? If they are able to do this (and they are) then what do holstered handguns have to do with it? The only way this makes sense is if the only description of the perpetrator available is that he was wearing a holstered handgun. Think about it Bill. The argument sort of falls apart in light of reality, that is unless you cling to the underpinned assumption that being in possession of a handgun makes one appear more suspicious. If that’s the case, the problem exists in police training, not in the method of carry.

  15. As far as everyone calling the police because they are ignorant of the law:

    So, what? Armed citizens have to CC because the average American is that ignorant of firearm laws? How about you add a hefty fine to everyone that misuses 911?

    And educate the public. Put out a nation-wide PSA on recognizing criminal BEHAVIOR instead of whether or not a person is armed.

  16. Kentucky has had open carry for over 200 years. Never had a problem with it. They banned concealed carry for most of that time on the grounds that only someone up to no good would have cause to conceal a weapon.

    Back in the 90’s when Kentucky was trying to pass concealed carry, the Lexington police chief threatened to have his men turn every traffic stop into a felony stop by taking all drivers out of their cars, cuffing them and frisking them. All for “officer safety”. Of course after it was passed he quickly backed down.

    • That’s the same stupid argument in reverse. It still follows that a law abiding person, with or without a gun isn’t a threat, and criminals may conceal a firearm even though it’s unlawful.

      Some of these people obviously have an agenda, but perhaps just as frightening, some people, including some in positions of power and influence, really are that stupid. What’s wrong with us, that we leave someone to serve in an important possition where they are clearly so far beyond their intellectual capacities?

      If the media were not all in for gun control this couldn’t stand. A few basic questions, such as asking the Lexington chief if he is not aware that criminals unlawfully conceal guns, or that ordinary citizens, armed or otherwise don’t attack police officers, would have destroyed not only his argument but in an honest world with an informed electorate, it would have been career ending as well.

      Fools, hypocrites and evil statists are our enemy, but so is the MSM. All three would reveal themselves for what they are with the most cursory questions. Without the pass from the media, they couldn’t proceed.

  17. I can identify the criminal. And I am not a trained police officer.
    It’ll be the guy committing the crime.
    And if there are several open carriers on scene when the police arrive, it’ll be the guy bleeding on the pavement.

    • It amazes me, with how much trouble he imagines having in identifying armed criminals, how he ever manages to identify drunken brawlers in a bar where everybody has fists, or drunk drivers on roads where even the sober have cars, or shoplifters where anybody could have pockets.

      • Lol, one wonders how many construction crews they have jailed for possessing B&E tools and sign painters they’ve run in on suspicion of vandalism.

        I shudder to think how many bands and little league teams have be rousted for violating anti gang laws.

  18. Chief Holbrooks comments indicate he wants to kick your ass, but if you got a gun it interferes with his style of policing.

  19. LEOs of the rank and file overwhelmingly support the citizens’ right. It is those at the top, who deal with politicians who most often come out against 2A.

    The Chief obviously forgets his oath of office in which he swore to protect and defend the Constitution. Not part of it; ALL of it. Not for some people; for ALL the people.

    Politically influenced people quickly forget their oaths to the people under their jurisdiction. Meanwhile about a million regular police officers (federal and state) live up to their oaths. And millions of active duty military and veterans who took the same or similar oath and put their lives on the line to defend ALL the rights of ALL the people and they accept that there is no expiration date on the oath they took. It continues after the leave the military.

    • “LEOs of the rank and file overwhelmingly support the citizens’ right.”

      Yet they still enforce gun laws and make gun arrests. Hypocrites or liars? Since they are government employees the answer is probably “Both”.

  20. It’s over anti’s, open carry is coming to your safe space. All I can say is look at other open carry states. It will help calm intelligent individuals minds to know none of this doom and gloom comes to pass when open carry passes.

  21. “They consider open carry — which deters crime — an affront to their authority.”

    This pretty much says it all. But it also explains the inherent problem. Someone—an anti-gunner—calls in an anonymous complaint about “someone with a gun acting strange” and, on arriving, the cops can’t find the strange acting person because there isn’t one. There is instead a private citizen exercising a constitutional right that someone didn’t like. The problem is that the cops will give more credibility to a phone call that what their own eyes reveal. Add to this, the fundamental belief by many cops that private citizens carrying guns in public is wrong, and you have scenario custom made for trouble. I’d hate to be a gun-owning private citizen in this guy’s jurisdiction.

    • Your comment reminded me of an incident at a WalMart where an unidentified person made a MWG. It turned out that the MWG “wandering around the store”, was a black man holding onto a BB gun he was planning to purchase, and was on his cell phone. The two responding officers quickly located the man and gunned him down, shooting him in the back. Yes, OC can work, but it requires some officer training so that they don’ come into a situation–every situation–believing that a deadly threat is presented.

      • You are aware that those things come in boxes right? If someone is planning on purchasing a pellet/bb gun they don’t usually take it out of the box and wander around the store.

        • Some people like to actually look at an item they are considering buying before the purchase.

  22. “Open carry could make it extraordinarily difficult for police to protect those exercising their right to assemble and protest peacefully.”

    Waitamimute. I thought there was no duty to protect individuals, only society. Or would an armed group exercising their right to assemble and protest peacefully, somehow not be considered part of “society,” but an unarmd but otherwise identical group would be?

    • I expect there is more than a little of the sentiment that an assembly of open carriers is not part of what he deems society. Given that an assembly of open carriers is not likely to need, or expect, much in the way of police protection it seems clear that he means it would become harder for the police to protect the “good” people from the evil, gun toting cretins he probably assumes his fellow citizens (that happen to carry a gun) to be.

      My thoughts? Take a long walk off a short pier, chief.

    • Exactly how much police protection would a large assembly of armed people need?

      Is there anyone in the habit of attacking large groups of armed people? Armies and those who are about to die come to mind. These arguments the antis come up with are just absurd.

  23. Open carry was banned in California to the cheers of police.
    Whenever a hunter is stupid enough not to carry his Rifle cased, 911 switchboard light up.
    Also open carry complicates things after a terrorist incident – you gotta tell apart terrorists from those defenders but it is legal at that point to shoot open carriers. How many honest citizens will get shot in this scenario? Look at Chattanooga for examples where the LtCdr with a pistol delayed first responders and was almost shot!
    That police officer was speaking from experience and is spot on! Instead of cheering him on for defending your rights, you attack him for attacking a dangerous practice

    • Again, why aren’t these kinds of issues showing up in the 11 OC legal states? How can the cops in those 11 states safely deal with scenarios like this, but nobody else can?

      Because of federalism, we already have the answers to these fear-mongering hypotheticals and the answer is…it’s not a problem.

      Also, how is this Chief speaking from experience? OC is not legal (yet) in SC, so he hasn’t had the opportunity to ‘experience’ dealing with people open carrying legally.

    • SurfGW,

      … open carry complicates things after a terrorist incident – you gotta tell apart terrorists from those defenders …

      And how do responding police discriminate terrorists from defenders when both the terrorists and defenders are carrying concealed?

      The answer is exceedingly simple: the terrorist/spree killer is the person who is indiscriminately executing people. The defenders are the people who are defending themselves.

    • I hunt in CA, surf. I never case my shotgun, rifle, or cover my pistol while I’m hunting. I’ve been approached by wardens, armed, a number of times. They’ve always left their sidearms holstered and our interactions have always been cordial and professional.

      In town we keep our guns cased. But it’s obvious what we’re carrying. Never a problem from the cops. Open carry only causes fear amongst the drama queen panty wetters amongst the populace.

  24. Sounds like a simple training and communication issue to me.

    911 operators need only ask what the armed person is actually doing. I can’t write out a decision tree here exhaustive of all potential scenarios. So let’s just say that if the open carrier is just shopping or talking on the phone or enjoying a very delicious frozen yogurt treat, then the operator only needs to tell the hysterical caller that there is no crime and no emergency and officers will not be dispatched.

    If the open carrier is arguing loudly with someone (or worse, with nobody visible), has threatened anyone, has unholstered and is walking around with gun in hand, or otherwise appears not in control of himself, then tell the caller to stay away from the carrier and that officers are on their way. Convey the behavior and physical description to the responding officers.

    These are broad categories, so operators will have to use their judgment, just like they do on every other call. Open carry doesn’t change anything. It just gives statists an(other) excuse to hate the public.

  25. I suspect some convention center vulture has recently been selling high $ “messaging” seminars to over funded and naïve police dept. I notice this “ignoring officers’ commands” cropping up frequently in the last few months in “officer involved shootings” as new buzz phrases for the POPO PAO. Rings the BS detector.

    I’m not all that impressed with a “officers’ command”. He is not the captain of a ship and not in the military so Officer Friendly doesn’t “command” dick. Perhaps he politely REQUESTS a taxpayer _______. And throwing a citizen facedown on the ground/in mud is for POWs or slaves.

  26. Open carry puts officers in danger? In danger of what? Killing more innocent people than they already do?

  27. Let me get this straight: the Chief is claiming that it is more dangerous for police when they know for certain that you are armed … than when they have no idea if you are carrying a concealed firearm. Ooooookaaaaaaaaaay then. Does that Chief also bark at the full moon?

  28. Living in SC I can tell you that if OC passes and gets signed there will be issues and problems between law enforcement and citizens. SC is not used to OC and there has been no media or public interest broadcasts detailing what OC will mean. That is a failure on the governments part, failure to inform the general public in a meaningful manner. We carry in our vehicles without a permit/Lic now and LEOs are used to that. OC takes it to a new level and it’s going to take time to settle down. I hope no incidents lead to loss of life, but I see it coming.

    Personally I won’t OC. I believe that everyone walks their own path and should always be allowed to.

    • We have had OC in Ohio for years and it’s cool here. I usually only OC when I’m going to the range. During the RNC last summer the news media were sperging out because Cleveland is such a bastion of corrupt (D)s and the locals are not used to seeing people legally bearing arms. I’m always happy to see people carrying guns as long as they’re not using them for bad purposes.

      • Years indeed, Ohio has never barred open carry and thus has had it since it entered statehood, in 1803.

        Relatively recently the legislature passed, over a gubernatorial veto, preemption of local laws pertaining to open carry.

        Ohio is a great example though, for over 200 years it was so little of a bother that the legislature didn’t even take up the issue, and when they did it was to prevent municipalities from ruling out open carry within thier corporation limits.

        How many times must it be pointed out that this is a non issue for policing? A person with a visible but holstered gun is no more a threat than one without, since it’s entirely possible the one without is also armed, but concealing. Absurdities to the contrary notwithstanding, I’ve yet to hear an even plausible argument that legal open carry complicates police work.

        Even if it made policing impossible however, it would still be a right, and not subject to arguments of utility.

    • I live in SC too and I disagree…I think it’ll work out just fine, like every other state that has OC. I think cops will easily adjust.

      BTW, when it passes I don’t plan to OC, but I think it’s important to have that option. And who knows, I might give it a try sometime.

  29. The Chief is obviously issuing a thinly veiled solicitation for citizens to dial 911 on OC’ers, aka “swatting”. What he should have done was exercise his right remain silent on the topic instead of mouthing off and drawing attention to the few Open Carry obsessed nuts out there desperate to be the center of attention.

    OC will likely be as rare in South Carolina as it has been in Texas where after 17 months the OC option is exercised by fraction of a percentage point of licensed handgun carriers.

    Most of the few Texas LTC holders who dabbled with OC after 1-1-16 stopped after the new wore off and they grew weary of the “you’re a dumb@$$ stares and glances encountered in public.

    • You started out fine, until this: “the few Open Carry obsessed nuts out there desperate to be the center of attention.”

      Project much? You don’t have a fucking clue what you’re talking about. You’re obviously a concealed carry bigot who thinks that your way is the only way anyone should be allowed to carry – so anyone who does things differently is an attention-seeking nut, eh? Such a FUDD…

      “Most of the few Texas LTC holders who dabbled with OC after 1-1-16 stopped after the new wore off and they grew weary of the “you’re a dumb@$$ stares and glances encountered in public.” Uh, no – didn’t happen like that. Thanks for playing, but again you expose your total cluelessness in public.

      I live in a state where OC has never been prohibited, and I’ve open carried regularly for seven years – and I’m telling you, those disapproving glances are so rare they’re nearly nonexistent. For every negative reaction from the public that I see, I get at least 10-20 times as many thumbs-ups, or “Is that legal? COOL!!!” questions, or “Thank you for carrying” comments. That’s a minimum 90-95% positive reaction rate, in case you needed help with the math.

      If the situation in Texas hasn’t yet stabilized at the new OC normal, just give it some time – it will. In the meantime, take your CC bigotry somewhere else. Or go buy a clue.

  30. “…Conceivably, there could have been many individuals with weapons displayed when officers arrived, making it extremely difficult to distinguish between the suspect(s), accomplices and innocent bystanders.”

    Really? If your staff can’t determine the difference between someone with a firearm in a holster and someone with a firearm in their hands doing bad things then you need to fire every single one of them and start over.

  31. I have OC in Oklahoma for 2 years. Not a single LEO has ever said anything to me. I get more attention for people who want to know what kind of pistol it is and if they can see it. They start to get mad when I tell them no. That taking out a loaded gun in a public place is not responsible. They seem satisfied with my answer

  32. When will the police understand that the Rest of the world is not made to make there job easier?

  33. If open carry puts officers in danger than why does the police chief require his officers to open carry?

  34. The Chief should just step across the border here to North Carolina and take a little looksee. We’ve had Open Carry for years and have no problems at all. I mostly Conceal Carry, but do occasionally OC and very rarely does anyone give me a second look. I don’t give a second look to anyone OC. I’ve never heard the Police here in North Carolina say that OC poses problems for them. It’s a non-issue, but I guess this Chief just wants his guys/gals to be the only one’s that can go Pew Pew!

  35. Better yet…I.stead of having your SC state turn into a Liberal Progressive Utopia with Militant Left-wing PD…Like say, NJ, or Massachusetts….1st, GET RID OF YOUR IDIOT POLICE CHIEF !!! Then Defund the PD as a penalty…Ban all police Unions! Start local Civilian review boards !!! No police carve-outs, or special privileges….”””

  36. Law enforcement seems to say the same thing anytime regulation / REGAINING OF FREEDOMS ever happen… I remember GA, when the highway speed limit went from 55 mph to 65 – 70 mph … The State troopers said anyone going 1 mph over the speed limit would be stopped and ticketed (LOL – Atlanta traffic, drafts at 80 to 90 mph on a slow day) even though all such tickets would be thrown out because the courts require 10+ minimum for any conviction brought to court.

    Open carry does not affect the officer because we in effect give up our only advantage to make a political statement. As for me, I’ll let my vote make that my statement not my CCW…

  37. Columbia is a den of Democrats.
    With open carry at least you know who the good guys are because the bad guys always keep their illegally possessed gun out of sight.
    Also, I just want to add.
    A couple weeks ago my Wife and I went shopping at the Whiteville, NC Walmart (Tax rate lower than in SC) and we spent over an hour wandering around the store for this and that. I open carried the entire time because it’s legal in NC.
    What happened?
    NOTHING!
    Nobody said anything, gave me a weird look, complained to management or called the Police,
    IT WAS A NON-ISSUE!

  38. This chief is an complete idiot people who open are law abiding Americans who are not criminals…criminals do not open carry for fear of arrest….this chief needs to be replaced soon…RETIRED POLICE OFFICER PENNSYLVANIA…!

  39. The only negative interaction I ever had while OCing off duty was outside a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Oklahoma. I had already shopped with no incident and was on my way to my truck. A woman stopped in front of my shopping cart and demanded (!) to know why I was carrying a gun. I told her I wasn’t, and she got 1. confused, then 2. angry. She pointed at the J frame S&W I was wearing crossdraw and almost screeched, “You are so carrying a gun!” I shook my head pityingly and said “No, ma’am. I’m wearing two guns.” I turned a bit so she could see the 3 inch K frame s&W behind my right hip. While she was spluttering, I went around her to my truck and loaded my purchases in the back seat. She stood in the parking lot glaring at me as I left. I guess I could have flashed my badge, but I was tired.

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