Open carry (courtesy armoryblog.com)

TTAG reader Tyler writes:

I’ve been seeing a lot of videos in the YouTube gun community about Open Carry. They all discuss the legalities of it, which vary from state to state. However, none of them really discuss the ethics of Open Carry. Specifically how to open carry without coming across as a jerk to citizens or law enforcement. You’ve no doubt seen some of the videos posted by Marked Guardian, who films his (often hostile) confrontations with police officers on a regular basis. That, in my opinion, does more to hurt the pro-Second Amendment movement than help it. I think you’d benefit your readers, myself included, if you took a little time to share your thoughts on the issue and how we can exercise our Constitutional rights without scaring everyday people away from our cause.

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98 Responses to Question of the Day: Open Carry Manners?

  1. Tough to carry on a bike. Open carry like she is may be the safest in a crash, but you will probably lose your gun when you go down. Concealed is tougher and more dangerous to the rider because of the hard object trapped against your body.
    I carry openly sometimes and feel that there is NEVER a reason to be confrontational no matter what someone says. I have have found that 99.99% no one even realizes, or maybe they don’t care.

    • I carry my Taurus PT709 concealed on my R1. I have an inside the waistband holster that I wear inside a belt but over my jeans (you’d need jeans 2 sizes too big for riding). The sharp bend of your hip and leg keeps it tight and secure, but I would concede it could be an issue if you go down. The safety on the Taurus is on the in side, so I can’t imagine it going off. If anything I’d think it would have a better chance of skidding off into the rhubarb being outside your clothing. Shoulder holsters also work well if there’s enough room under your jacket as well.

    • The percentage that notice is small. People interact with Me, not my weapon. I am friendly and maintain eye contact with others in the normal things I do. I wear the weapon, the weapon does not wear me.
      On the bike tho…..I Open Carry every day, all day, including when I drive my V-twin. I have a retention holster and it is doing its job well.

  2. I can’t open carry where I live, but I have open carried when in places that allowed it. That said, here are my thoughts.

    * If I could open carry, it would likely (>95%) be a pistol in an OWB holster.
    * I would carry while simply going about my business. I’m not a jerk normally, and I don’t see open carry changing that.
    * As far as not being a jerk to citizens… well, see point #2. If someone flipped out on me because I was open carrying, I would do my best to defuse the situation while at the same time standing my ground. I’m not going to get up from my table at Cracker Barrel just because someone nearby has a hissy fit.
    * As far as not being a jerk to law enforcement… the only thing I can say is don’t go all “I know mah raghts!” on them if they want to talk to you. Be polite, and civil, and don’t be a jerk.
    * I think I would avoid the vast majority of confrontations due to a combination of my demeanor and the fact that I was carrying a pistol, not a black rifle.

    In general, the folks who have confrontational OC encounters with law enforcement are almost always carrying black rifles. Sometimes the confrontation is the fault of the responding cop, sometimes it’s the fault of the guy with the rifle. While I appreciate the “doing it because I can” idea, I would not personally OC a rifle, black or otherwise, unless I was doing it for a reason. A reason, for me, is that I’m going from someplace, to someplace, with my rifle in tow, not simply walking up and down a sidewalk to draw a phone call. I don’t consider “Fvck you, it’s legal” to be a reason. For me. YMMV.

    I look forward to hearing other folks’ input, and I hope there’s more actual input than there are “because I can” comments.

    • and yet some people i know here in Texas would call you a statist, left-wing, abortion loving, commie for doing that because “cops dont own the rules man, they are just there to piss you off”

      i worked in the service economy, i know how much of a PITA it is to talk to someone who is just doing their job or me doing my job having to tell someone they can or cannot do something. momma always taught me to be courteous to anyone, even those who are confrontational.

      as always, dont see it as an attack on your rights, see it as an opportunity to educate those who are uneducated. think about how you learn. do you learn best by someone having a pissy fit with you or by someone educating you with facts and logic?

      that alone should dictate your attitude towards LEO/those not in-the-know.

      alas, texas doesnt have Open Carry and we wont for another 2 years (due to our backwards legislative schedule)

      • (due to our backwards legislative schedule)

        It may seem backwards, but it’s a blessing in disguise.

        “No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.
        — Judge Gideon Tucker

        • Amen brother. You do not want a California style full-time legislature sucking down cash, enriching themselves and their buddies, and only feeling productive when passing more and more laws which are restrictions on your rights.

          A part time legislature spending most of their time in session auditing how state agencies are carrying out their duties and abiding by/fulfilling/carrying out/enforcing the existing laws is far better.

    • Well, my buddy and I wanted to go shooting one day at a place called ‘Lytle Creek’ in SoCAl back when it was a legal shooting area, it’s not now. All we had were motorcycles and had no idea what the laws were. Called the Highway Patrol and they explained open carry, unloaded in the holsters, rifles strapped (in soft cases) to the bikes. Got there and back passing/riding next to couple of CHP units at various points with no problem.

      BTW, we (the gun community) lose more good shooting sites from idiots who bring tons of things to shoot and then leave that garbage lying around. Bottles, cans, propane tanks, cars, TVs etc. etc. etc. I’ve seen more areas shut down over the trash issue than from objections over lead, safety, or objections to shooting.

      • We too in Eastern Washington have lost a couple of “honey holes” for shooting in the past couple of years due to the trash issue, one private land and the other BLM property. At the one my wife and I often go to we always bring back more trash than any amount we could possibly contribute to the area. We even pick up our brass and others’ brass to help keep the area just a bit better off than when we first got there. Just an extension of our “pack it in, pack it out” conscientiousness I guess.

  3. I think the key to open carry is body language. Carry on with your business as usual. If you’re not calling attention to your weapon, and are relaxed, those around you will follow. Seen some turd on UTube encouraging and filming police encounters with an AK or similar. This is an immature practice and makes all who carry look bad. Cops are just human beings doing a job, although a potentially dangerous one. Make their life hard and they can reciprocate. As a career ER nurse I wish I had a dollar for every person that talked their way INTO jail. I’d always warn them, can only remember once when someone listened to me, shut up, and went home instead of to jail. The more comfortable we are with open carry, the more comfortable the public will be. And the cop goes home at night to his family.

    • I think you nailed it regarding maintaining a maturity level appropriate for OC. In my opinion this is part of the responsibility character of being a gun owner exercising his/her rights within a given jurisdiction.

  4. It’s a cultural thing. I would not normally walk around Northern Virginia inside the beltway with a pistol on my hip. It’s legal to do so but we have too many deep blue gun haters who don’t know the law, would freak out and call the cops on me if they saw me. The cops know the law but they are going to give you a hard time for causing someone to waste their time. I have open carried at night in the park walking my dogs where people were present but with a dark pistol on dark clothing on a dark night they probably didn’t see he gun.

    When I am out in Fort Collins visiting my son I cannot conceal because Colorado does not recognize the Virginia permit and won’t issue CHLs to out-of-staters. Larimer County is still old Colorado, most people have guns and you see a few open carriers all the time. You just go about your business and nobody cares. I find that it is often a conversation starter. I have never had anybody go all swoony over it.

    The concept that I have always use when deciding whether to open carry is “usual and customary.” If the culture meets that standard I will open carry.

    • “The cops know the law but they are going to give you a hard time for causing someone to waste their time.”

      Yeah… that would be the person who called the cops on you!

      • It certainly would but I would be the one they had a chance to “talk” with. Seeing the caller would not have been around for them to take out their frustrations.

    • But you go down to much of the southern part of VA and you wouldn’t normally have a problem. But NOVA is much different from the rest of the state.

    • For 6 months I open carried in Northern Virginia, I had not a single issue from the police. I open carried in Reston, Herndon, Arlington, and Alexandria.

      Are you sure you are not just assuming there would be problems because of how “liberal” it is?

      • I’ve open carried fairly often around NoVA in the last several years. In that time I’ve only had one “encounter” with the police. “Do you have a permit for that?”; “Uhhh… I don’t need one???” Finally I showed him my CCW to get him to go away.
        Beyond that I’ve got a lot of “What kind of gun is that?” at the Best Buy, and the occasional “Thanks for carrying” from fellow people of the gun.

  5. Living here in one of the “Constitutional Carry” states…..

    Seeing someone “open carrying” is as commonplace say as a woman carrying a purse.

  6. When I open carry I’m substantially more polite than usual( and I’m painfully polite as it is). At the risk of sounding egotistical I feel I represent the gun community when I am open carrying. So being as friendly as possible is the only way to represent us well. I also wouldn’t mind getting the cops called on me because I know I’m doing nothing wrong and maybe the person who called the cops would feel foolish after for calling the cops on someone breaking no laws.

  7. Here in Albuquerque, NM, even down around the University with a bunch of college kids running around; never had an issue with the police or the citizens.
    Polite, courteous and friendly is the key.

    • Interesting. I never was in ABQ much, but I’m happy to hear your rights were respected. Lived in Taos 5 1/2 years; never open-carried, except around the property.

      Forgot. DID concealed-carry, once or twice, illegally. Taos has some Old West vestiges, but not as much as, say, Cimarron.

  8. Here in Arizona, I see people open carry on an almost daily basis. The only time I open carry is when I’m going hunting. I carry concealed otherwise. I’ve noticed some people will clam up when they see another open carrying. I was with a friend who is anti-gun at a restaurant a while back. A guy came in with a glock on his hip. He was there with his wife and two kids. My friend commented that she felt unsafe with him there. I replied that I feel more safe around someone who is open carrying. I also added that she didn’t seem to feel unsafe around me, and that I was carrying concealed. I also mentioned that the guy that she was concerned about could possibly be an off duty leo. I think my point is that the knowledge that someone is carrying is what people fear. That an openly carried weapon is somehow more nefarious than a concealed one is logic that I don’t understand.

  9. Open (unloaded) carriers enforcing their rights is what got the practice banned in California. [Not that open unloaded is worth a damn, but loaded carry was banned under Gov. Reagan.] Doesn’t matter how nice you might be, the urban soccer moms out here have cows at the sight of a gun. It’s sooo bad, said one of the owners of a LGS I visited today, that pretty soon anything that carries more than one round will be deemed an “assault weapon” and banned.

    • They are not “enforcing”, because they are not law enforcement.

      The word you might want is “asserting”.

  10. What I find strange is on the days I don’t change from my work suit, and then carry open. Ususlly the jacket covers, but I did this a few times without the jacket, and heard several people talking about me as if I were the Police. I decided to stop doing this, but I realized the only way some people think of a man with a suit and a gun is as a cop.
    I also had a very nice woman ask me if I was a cop once when I was carrying open.
    I could tell she was surprised and disappointed when I told her no.
    Do cops get this nice treatment all the time?

    • Same deal here. People already think I’m a cop under normal circumstances – my wife says I look too serious, plus the short hair. I even had a slightly drunk guy on a recent flight accuse me of being the air marshal. For this reason I think nobody has ever cared when I carry openly, though I rarely do it outside of hunting season.

      They key is really to just look straight-laced and act normal. People tend to assume you are carrying for a reason (again, cop), and if you give them no reason to suspect otherwise, they won’t.

      • HOLD THE PHONE. You open-carried ON A PLANE?

        You got some ‘splainin’ it do, if you’re NOT an air marshal.

        It sounded like it. I’m sure the reality is very different.

        • I think he meant the drunk dude got in his face just because of his look and demeanor, not necessarily because he was OCing.

  11. Why instigate trouble. If you need to carry, get a concealed carry permit (or whatever they call it in your jurisdiction). You never know who is watching. In the not so distant past, TTAG had a story regarding this topic. Just my $0.02.

    • So exercising a constitutionally-guaranteed right is “instigating trouble”?

      Are you ready for your shearing? I’m on a fixed income; why should I have to shell out a hundred bucks – or two – for a piece of paper that says I have the rights I already have?

      • Yeah whatever. There is no such thing as a constitutionally guaranteed right. If there were, than you wouldn’t even need a concealed carry permit because it would be guaranteed by the constitution. If you wish to risk your rights and have an arrest record (if you live in a jurisdiction that prohibits open carry) just to make a political statement, good luck.

        • How in hell does exercising a natural, undisputed right qualify as a political statement? You are aware that the constitution specifically enumerates rights to be guaranteed, correct? I’m not entirely sure wtf other purpose you think it serves.

  12. I live in an area where open carry is not common. In
    my experience, as long as you don’t make it a big deal,
    it isn’t. That said it also depends on the time of year.
    During tourist season, the number of calls to LE about
    OC firearms jumps. 9 times out of ten the complainant
    is from out of state and simply has no clue as to the
    local laws. (Some of course don’t care what the law says
    and are simply rabid anti-rights nuts, but that’s for
    another argument.) If there is no issue with the
    “offender”, then a LEO may simply ask them to keep it
    at home or concealed (if they are legally permitted).
    Of course having LEOs that are members of the local
    shooting clubs and also keep up on firearm legalities
    definitely helps.

  13. I have open carried here in he Las Vegas area. It was not a pleasant experience, as I questioned, not by the police, but by people who thought they knew the law. They were the ones that wanted to be confrontational. One person tried to hold me in citizen arrest status. When I explained to them I was calling 911, to have them charged with unlawful detainment, they ran like a cat on bath day.

    The attitude in this area is VERY Harry (stinky pinky) Reid libtard. I have not carried in that manner since then, as it was obvious they wanted to create a situation. Plus I am not looking to commit suicide by cop. The cops in this area are not above popping a cap on you, and then making sure you never get to testify. If one shoots, they all shoot. Few have been relieved of duty, and almost all have walked from a Coroner’s Inquest.

    In some ways I find this to be advantageous. It tells the truly bad guy/gal they will go down. Unfortunately it has also left some who should not have been taken down, with little recourse. Las Vegas is truly the wild west.

    • I OC in Vegas almost every day now in the summer. Winter Ill conceal but other than that its OC.
      I get looks sometimes but rarely blatant fear or shock, unless Walmart. I stopped OCing in Las Vegas Walmarts cause they are like libtard antigun strongholds

  14. Why instigate trouble? So if my exercising my rights bothers someone else, then I shouldn’t exercise them?

    I open carry for three reasons:

    1) to exercise my rights
    2) to help people see that regular, nice folks carry guns and guns aren’t evil
    3) in the hopes of striking up conversations about guns and politics

    First, I used to think of exercising my rights as just doing what I’m allowed to do. Now I’ve come to think of it differently—really just like exercising. When you exercise, you’re fit, your muscles are strong, and you have greater capability. When you don’t exercise, your muscles atrophy, you get weaker, and eventually you cannot do the things you could when you were exercising. That is now how I think about exercising one’s rights. If you don’t exercise them, they will atrophy, you will lose capability, and eventually, they won’t function or exist at all.

    Second, I’m normally friendly, but when I open carry, I try to smile just a bit extra and say hello a bit more often. I want to put people at ease and try to help them see that—even though I have a gun on my hip—I’m a nice, friendly, regular guy. My hope is that they will relate the two and see that “if this guy is carrying a gun, maybe guns aren’t necessarily evil.”

    Third, I’m hoping that it might encourage a conversation about guns and politics that might not otherwise happen. I’m happy when someone asks about it and enjoy batting things around with them. It has happened on a few occasions.

    I live in Tacoma, Washington and open carry to major events such as The Taste of Tacoma and Freedom Fair (4th of July). There are thousands and thousands of people at these events. As was said previously, hardly anyone even notices. Among those who do, some don’t seem to care. On occasion, others seem a bit concerned, but then I smile and say hi. If we begin to chat, they begin to relax. No one has ever reacted strongly. Tacoma cops are at these events and they see me and pretty much completely ignore me. In the grand scheme of things, I think Tacoma cops are pretty good. A bit standoffish, but decent.

    I also carry around town, for example to a few local farmer’s markets and while simply walking around. Sometimes, I’ll talk to a resident while walking from the house to the market and they don’t have a problem, at least in part, I suspect, because I’m friendly and pretty normal looking. I’m sure the employees at Taco Time would know immediately whom you were talking about if you mentioned “the guy with the gun.” They don’t seem to have a problem with it.

    I’m actually batting around the idea of running for the Federal House of Representatives in Washington’s 6th district next year. I will seriously consider carrying open while running. I’m a straight shooter. If I run for office, I won’t hesitate to say that I’m opposed to amnesty, gun laws don’t work, the IRS should be abolished, the government needs to get out of health care, and subsidies need to go away (etc., etc., etc.). If I’m not going to pull any punches, why should I hide my gun? If being straightforward prevents my getting elected, then so be it.

    While there’s a legitimate argument that open carry puts one at a tactical disadvantage, I believe that the pros outweigh the cons, and so I will continue to open carry when the weather is good.

    • I’m a few miles north, but it almost makes me want to move to Tacoma to vote for you. And that’s saying a lot. LOL

      If you run, I REALLY hope you win!

      • Thanks for those words of encouragement. They mean a lot!

        By the way, Tacoma is actually a pretty decent city (and continuing to improve). At least at this point in its history, it doesn’t deserve a bad rap.

        Keep in mind, if I do decide to run, it will be impossible to win without volunteers and money. You could help in those ways. That would be tantamount to—or better than—one vote. Even though I wouldn’t be in your district, it’s a federal vote that I would be casting—that can affect the entire country. That’s why I am particularly interested in the federal government, as opposed to state or local. A reduction in the federal government would be an improvement for the entire country. That gets me excited.

        Thanks again.

  15. I open carry in Ohio daily, have been doing so for over a year now. I have yet to have any problems. I have never been ran out of an establishment. I have never seen anyone run in fear, or call the law.

    If I am ever approached by the law I do not plan on showing ID, and I will only let the officer know that I am just exercising a right. Thin I will not say another wourd but am I free to go. If the officer does not deal with it well that will be on the officer not me. I carry a digital recorder every time I OC. It may come in handy in a civil case.

    I do not go out looking of officers to film, but I don’t blame the OC’er that post videos. For the most part if the officer in the videos would of respected the OC’ers rights there would be nothing good on the video to post.

    • If you don’t see that the videos of those OCers that are hostile towards cops are more harm than good then you may just be one of them. Carry a smartphone so that you don’t have to say digital recorder(nasally; pushes up glasses with one finger).

      That being said as long as you’re friendly as hell while you’re OCing then keep calm and carry on.

      • The videos that I believe you speak of are the ones where a citizen is exercising a right, breaking no law, and is being harassed for doing so.

        I don’t believe that sitting on the side of the road arguing with the cops is the place to fight the good fight. I also don’t believe that this should be call harassing the cops. If the cop was not trying to overreach authority they would of left the OC’er alone after they found out it just some fool looking to catch them in such overreach.

        My plan will be to politely let the officer know that I am just exercising a right and that I am well within the law. I will not show ID I will ask if I am free to go and if I am not free to go I will not say another word until I talk to my lawyer.

        As for your childish comment about the cell phone. I always carry a digital audio recorder. I turn it on to cover my but any time I leave the home OC’ing. You can never tell when you need to record and make a call on your cell at the same time. You can never know when a anti will call the cops and tell them you made a threat or had a conversation with them that never happened. So you just stick with running your recorder on your phone just when you think you may need it.

        • I agree. Except I think that a smart phone video is superior to just an digital audio, because it simply contains more information.

          In many cases, it’s quicker and easier to offload onto a more permanent format also.

        • I agree if I have the opportunity to video I will. I just will not let that be my only means of defense.

      • Generally the only hostility shown is by the callers, and sometimes the officers in such cases. Standing firm and asserting your rights calmly is not “hostile” nor should Americans train themselves to regard it as such. Slippery slope.

    • Where in Ohio? No specifics. Is it urban city, or rural farm? It’s just, to OC in Bowling Green is not equal to OC in Cleveland. If it’s rural Bowling Green, I don’t find anything extraordinary about people not having an issue with your OC. If it’s urban Cleveland, OC might be a different matter. I was born and raised in Ohio’s rural parts, and having guns was just being normal. It’s not the same in the cities, and certainly not in Cleveland.

      • I can attest that OCing in the part of Cleveland I lived in last year and this year never got me any unwanted attention. I lived in a seedy part of the east side of the city of Cleveland. Usually OCed to places like the gas station late at night.

        In the ghetto there tends to be an attitude of pretend-you-don’t-see-anything, or people just assume a well-dressed OCer is a cop.

  16. I OC in northern Indiana whenever it’s warm enough and/or dry enough to be outside without a jacket. Rarely does the fact that I have a gun on my hip cause an interaction (verbal or even simple body language). When it does, the incredibly vast majority of encounters are positive and the other person(s) is/are primarily inquisitive and we have a discussion on firearms and carry issues.

    I’ve had one single incident when a police officer approached me while I was sitting in a coffee shop talking with a friend. The officer asked to see my LTCH and mentioned that someone came to him about a MWAG while he was there. He looked at my license, noted that I was completely legal, and thanked me for my cooperation. I’ve encountered many more police officers while getting fuel and/or snacks at convenience stores, etc. without so much as a second glance away from their coffee and donuts. 😉

    Today, while getting a haircut, I was asked if I’ve ever shot anyone. Of course, I said that I hadn’t …and, again, we talked about firearms and the perceptions brought on by tv, movies, the media, etc. I also mentioned that they can now tell people that some guy with a gun came to where they worked, no one got hurt …and he looks a lot better after his haircut!

    Oh …and I don’t think I’ll be moving to California any time soon …just sayin’.

  17. I find it sad that anybody needs to discuss how to behave in public while open carrying. if it bothers someone, ignore them. carrying a tool on your belt doesn’t change change you, does it? if it makes you feel superior and gives you a condescending shitty attitude towards fellow citizens, there’s a high likelihood you have a badge to go with that tool. either way, I’d say you have bigger problems to worry about if you get comments or glares because of carry a gun. in Arizona, I get compliments and have never encountered negativity or spooked people when carrying. a heater on the hip is perfectly normal here. if you’ve experienced anything other than that, your community is falling apart.

    • “if you’ve experienced anything other than that, your community is falling apart”

      As most are. EXCELLENT observation!

  18. I was open carrying the other day when I went to Northwest Territorial Mint to sell some silver. Long story short, I ended up having a brief job interview with the CIO while there after they learned I was currently out of work and looking for a job. After a followup interview (neither wearing shorts nor carrying my gun this time), it looks like I’m going to get the job.

    http://www.jpwphoto.com/img/s10/v108/p1770303431-4.jpg

  19. Thered be no confrontational videos to post if cops didnt confront people harming no one and committing no crime.

    If they want to play the “just checking” card then why arent they stopping everyone they see visible gun or not? Anyone can have one at any time afterall.

    At least the tyranny could be consistent. Lack of consistency just tells me they have no clue what the hell theyre doing in the first place.

    I dont bother you, you dont bother me. Simple.

    As fas as “we have to follow up on every report” goes Ive made a report or two of a real crime where harm was caused where no follow up has occurred. Seems they realistically get to pick and choose. At least to a point. Back to consistency do we really want an armed paramilitary force sent out everytime some outpatient jumps at their own shadow? Seems like a bad idea to me ans since the NSA is already reading this it seems like a great way to spread out and preoccupy the fuzz if you so wanted to free up a section of a city and a chunk of time for yourself.

    • Think how much better his life would be if George Zimmerman had followed the advice in your first paragraph.

      • It’s true, but did he commit a crime in doing otherwise? That’s part of what the jury will be asked to consider.

  20. I don’t personally carry openly, but I don’t have an issue with it as long as you’re going about your business without making an issue of it. The only reason most of us don’t open carry is because people freak out, but if more people carried openly then people would get used to it.

    • Please re-read your post, then think carefully about the dichotomy you’ve just exposed about yourself.

  21. I open carry all the time and in multiple states in the West, (not CA of course) and have done so for the past few years. No negative confrontations to account for, only numerous positive ones.

    I have seen the occasional soccer-mom pull out here cell phone while looking at me with concern, but still have not had a visit by any officers. I just smile and say hello (something I do not normally do when I am not carrying) and continue on my day as if nothing has happened… because NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. She gets educated by the police and I go on with my life.

  22. The Constitution dictates my rights, not politicians, not law enforcement, and definitely not some chickensh*t citizen. The reason that carrying a weapon in this country receives so much negativity is due to the media, Hollyweird, and government pushing their libturd socialist propaganda. This is exactly the same reason that Chistians are being persecuted today, they allowed the negative propaganda to be spread through media, Hollyweird, and public education and now when they express their religious belief in public the reacting is much like carrying a gun. We will never change people’s opinions until all gun owners open carry.

    • Rattler…I agree with your comments but would like to make a small (!) technical point:

      The Bill of Rights in the Constitution does NOT “…dictate my rights….”, it enumerates certain specific natural rights the Founders wanted to point out as those that the federal government had no authority to violate or infringe upon.

      A fine point, to be sure, but an important distinction.

  23. Florida has limited open carry (to/from and engaging in hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and the range). Most citizens don’t know the law and call 911 freaking out the operator. “OMG, he has a gun and he’s on a Harley. The Hell’s Angels are gonna rape my kids!”

    I routinely ride to the range in town while open carrying. I’ve been stopped a couple of times because someone called 911. Not because a LEO saw me. I’m respectful with them and have never had any issues. They check my ID and firearm. Then I go on my merry way.

  24. Texas doesn’t allow open carry, but the gov wants those with concealed carry permits to be allowed open carry. The FBI check for the CCL makes this a bit of infringement, but I can roll with it as a step in the right direction. I always carry concealed. But I’m a career trauma nurse, 60 years old, disabled by muscular dystrophy. I carry because I hope to die of natural causes.

  25. I’m strongly in favor of open carry, so “regular people” don’t forget that there are guns around them all the time. But from time to time, I find myself at someone’s home (who I don’t particularly know), and I’m not sure if it would be polite to show up OCing. This weekend, I was at a “critter swap” at someone’s farm. Last weekend, I bought some rabbits off of Craigslist, the weekend before that I was at a plant sale in someone’s personal greenhouse. It’s these little things in the middle of my errands that can make OC a “head scratcher”. It seems like it may be impolite to show up with a gun on my side, not knowing how they feel about firearms and the carrying thereof. In general, this is a very conservative and gun friendly area (especially once you get out of the city), but…

  26. I Completely agree, we should hide in the shadows like nasty little perverts, criminals or degenerates. The GALL of exercising your rights out in the open. Next thing you know you will have people openly posting opinions on the internets!!!

    THE HUMANITY!

  27. I sometimes carry openly. I make it a point to dress nicely and be as pleasant, polite, and friendly as possible. As others have stated, most of the people around you will never notice. It’s also nice to carry openly if your spouse — and even better your children — are with you. That almost immediately tells people that you are not a gangster.

    I also have to wonder if many of the people who do notice feel somewhat afraid at first glance … only to feel actually safer once they have about 10 seconds to process what they are seeing. I believe their immediate reaction is understandable given the blitz of television and movies that portray all people who possess firearms as violent criminals. And then they look you over, read your polite demeanor and see a family with you, and realize, “This armed person isn’t a threat at all. In fact I have to believe this armed person would stop a bad guy which means I am actually safer around them.”

    Try to read people next time and you might find yourself sensing the same overall reaction.

    Oh, and have an answer ready. I have had a few people ask me why I carry. I believe a simple is best and the best simple answer is, “so I can protect my family and the people around me from violent criminals.”

  28. I live in Wash. State. I open carry when riding my motorcycle. My riding jacket is too snug to conceal comfortably, plus it would be slow to draw my weapon. When I arrive at my destination, I unzip my jacket and cover my piece. Any other time, I carry concealed.

  29. Just like Uncle Tom’s told those uppity black people not to try to eat at those white lunch counters, we have our Uncle Joes telling people not to open carry where it’s legal to do so.

    Which reminds me of the story about two people in a concentration camp who are lined up against a wall about to get shot. One says to the Gestapo man, “where’s my damned blindfold?” And the other inmate says, “shut up, you’re making him angry.”

  30. I got a call one early morning to a Shari’s restaurant. Man with a gun, I asked ‘what’s he doing?’ Reply was, ‘eating breakfast’. On arrival, the she male manager has his panties in a bunch cause a guy is wearing a gun in a holster. The guy looked innocent enough, so I struck up a conversation with him. He explained that some friends and he were four wheeling and as he had removed the doors from his Toyota truck, he couldn’t secure his ruger redhawk in the truck.
    I showed him oregon law as it pertains to concealed carry. One may carry concealed if one is going to or returning from hunting, fishing and target practicing. I told him to always keep a fresh target and a shot up target and some empty brass behind the seat as proof he has been target practicing. Ended up giving him advice on why concealed carry is often times less problematic as there are no nervous nellies to frighten. Ended up having coffee with him. Nice kid.
    As I was leaving, the manager asked why I wasn’t doing anything. I told him his restaurant was safer with armed patrons. He wasn’t real happy with that…

    • That’s a sweet story and all but…

      The implication is that you advised someone to set up props in support of lying about the reason they should be allowed to concealed carry. I take it that open carrying is legal in that jurisdiction but CC is not (at least without a permit anyway). So your advice to an upright citizen not breaking any laws is to become a lawbreaker and to conspire to deceive the authorities by setting up props that support the lie? Does anyone else here see the irony?

      • The system ain’t perfect. Tom advised him how to work with the less than perfect system. Would you preferr he’d ruined the guys day by jacking him up?

  31. Well I don’t know if ya’ll have heard,but since ya’ll ran the story about the group that filed an injunction against Mississippi’s open carry law,that was to go into effect July 1st.The new news is heartening,a lot of county Sheriff’s deptartments,and a lot of city Police departments are going ahead and letting open carry go on as if nothing has been done,to try to stop it!Due to the fact that in Mississippi,the judge that set the injunction is a Circuit judge and does not have the authority to cause a statewide injunction,only the County in which they serve.Old saying,Power to the people!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  32. One must remember that 90% of Americans do NOT know their rights ( or yours)..under the ‘law’..let alone the Constitution…and by the way that includes LEO….guns have been ‘demonized’ over many years ,hell even in the free Republic of Texas where history is taught..LEO arrest ‘legal gun owners’ breaking NO laws…so one must tread very carefully as you or I can know the law and we are within our rights..as we make that 1 phone call..to get back home…at a great expense both mentally and monetarily…..the losers are US..a someday soon we will be required to use our God given rights just to survive…and it will not be through educating the masses or LEO that trash the ‘Law of the land…THE Constitution’ ……imho

  33. Note the non-threatening colors used, down to white tennis shoes.
    Note that a pistol is what is used to fight one’s way to a rifle.

  34. Just because you can open carry doesn’t by any means make it a good idea. The easiest, and in my opinion best way to ensure that you retain your firearm and avoid making yourself a target is by keeping your weapon concealed.
    If the guy about to rob the store you’re standing in doesn’t know you are armed, he doesn’t know to shoot you first. Nobody tries to take a gun they don’t know is present, either.
    The useful part of open carry, for my purposes, is not having to fear being charged with brandishing a firearm if somebody notices I’m carrying when I bend over or reach for my wallet, or a breeze lifts my shirt above my holster, etc.

  35. Many people mistaken being assertive about ones rights in the face of a cop attempting to act beyond his authority as being an “arsehole”. The problem is the cop, not the citizen if the cop is attempting to act beyond his authority. I find it easier to wear a false smile and say something like “Officer, we both know the law does not work like that.” I also keep a Virginia gun laws summary card that includes the laws’ code references for pointers. One can still be polite and firm.

  36. The VAST, VAST majority of firearms professionals eschew OC. Sure you CAN do it and have the right to BUT the tactical (as well as other) downsides of OC are numerous and well documented. I tend to learn from and base my decisions on opinions and practices of those with VASTLY more experience and expertise than my self. While there certainly ARE times and places to OC, most I’ve met or seen commenting OCing have an underlying bone to pick with some entity or “idea”

    Not the only opinion out there

    http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2013/04/street-smart-carrying/

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