Question of the Day: Should Umbrella Owners Open Carry?

.410 umbrella gun (courtesy

“1:58 p.m.: A resident called to report a man on Maple Street in a white T-shirt who ‘is carrying a hunting rifle,'” reports. “Police respond and find that the man is carrying an umbrella.”  I know many readers are wary of the tactical pitfalls of open carry but I reckon the unabashedly inclement-weather-prepared help normalize umbrellas, protecting the right to carry for all of us. Your thoughts?


    1. How ’bout an umbrella that actually *is* a rifle (or a long barrel handgun)? 🙂

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        The Umbrella Man beat you to it by 50 years.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      I like it, but it definately belongs in the “What could possibly go wrong” file.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        “Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?”
        “Calm down, Mam, What is he doing?”
        “He’s just walking along pushing his shopping cart right now, but he’s got that gun on his shoulder. Oh, please hurry!”
        “Can you describe the gun for me?”
        “Are the police coming? Oh my God! It’s all black with a pistol thing and looks like a clip for a hundred bullets.”
        “That’s not a gun, Mam, that’s a rifle. Are you carrying a weapon, Mam?”
        “What! Are you crazy? Of course not.”
        “Are there other people or shoppers in the area?”
        “Well, yes, the store is pretty crowded.”
        “Do any of the other shoppers appear to be concerned?”
        “No, I don’t understand it. They seem to be ignoring him. Please, when will the police arrive?”
        “Mam, you’re not from around here, are you?”
        “I’m visiting from New Jersey, why?”
        “That man is not committing a crime. If you are uncomfortable I suggest you leave the area, preferably back to New Jersey. And in the future please do not call 911 unless it is an actual emergency. Goodbye.”

        That’s how the 911 call SHOULD go.

        1. avatar Paul G. says:

          Don’t you wish all 911 operators thought this way? In Michigan they are required to make such inquiries, since open carry is perfectly legal, so as to diminish the number of false calls where a person is merely legally open carrying.

        2. avatar William Burke says:

          [Multi-handed face palm] Lord save us from hysterics…

  1. avatar Jesus says:

    Sorry but umbrellas don’t help when the rain is coming sideways

  2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    They should charge the complainant with filing a false police report.

    1. avatar Mistereveready says:

      Possibly. Sadly if anyone filed a complaint about not being able to carry a rifle a huge chunk of the world would laugh and sneer at them.

    2. avatar Hobbez says:

      This is the real issue here. It’s accepted right now to report anyone with a “gun shaped object” in public. IMHO, this is a violation of my civil rights. If the person responsible for the phone call were held financially responsible for the police officer’s time resulting from a false incident, then this might not happen anymore.

      I never feel comfortable saying “there autta be a law” but, in this case…..well…..There autta be a law…

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        Well, there’s a tort: slander.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          I’m not a lawyer, but there are some here. I’m pretty positive that the scenario described is NOT slander.
          Slander is telling or repeating lies about someone which, if untrue, may damage his reputation or standing within a community.

          If the caller had blogged or published an article that the umbrella-toter was a known murderer, child rapist, or something of the sort, it may rise to the level of slander.

          But this was just ignorance, and merely inconvenienced the party in question

  3. avatar Rick says:

    Last year (or so), there was a man in the Burlington (MA) mall with an umbrella slung over his shoulder. Being in MA, some people called the police about a “man with a rifle”. Well, the man got back to work before the lock down went into effect and saw the hubbub on TV. When he realized that HE was the man in question, he called the Burlington police and explained the situation.

    What a state. How many people at the mall were traumatized for no reason as there was no real threat? If open carry were ever allowed here, the psychiatrists will be rolling in dough.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      And underwear retailers. And laundries.

  4. avatar Roll says:

    Assault umbrella with telescoping handle?

    I wonder if that counts as a “Military feature”?

    1. avatar Gregolas says:

      Well, umbrellas definitely have “a thing that goes up.”.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      I’ve got a semi-auto umbrella. You just push this little lever and it pops open. Probably terrifies people?

  5. avatar Salty Bear says:

    My thoughts: why would police respond to a call that isn’t a crime in the first place?

    1. avatar imrambi says:

      They make sure everything is “ok.” They can’t always tell if its true or not without checking it out. Now on the other hand, if this was a lunatic that wanted to do damage, wouldn’t you want the police to at least check it out?

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        NO! That’s the sort of thinking that got us in this mess to start with. I do not want the police to ‘check out’ a man peacefully walking about with a rifle. It’s a natural and fundamental right protected by the constitution, not an invitation to be harassed by the police. In fact, the crime rate drops in the immediate vicinity of a man with a rifle. If anything the police should avoid that area and concentrate on someplace where a crime might actually take place!

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          If it’s just one “man with a rifle” in a place where there is seldom a man with a rifle, maybe not so much.

          But if it’s a place where the peoplr can and do carry open, concealed or consitutional and are able to defend themselves if this is some pyscho shooter, then the police definately have better things to do.

  6. avatar imrambi says:

    This is not the first time that a place in Mas thinks an umbrella was a gun. A couple years ago, a mall was shutdown:

  7. avatar ThayneT says:

    The one in the picture does have a pistol grip. That alone makes it more deadly.

  8. avatar Keith M says:

    It happens often.

    Gotta watch out for those assault umbrellas.

  9. avatar Jerry R says:

    This is only a problem with black tactical umbrellas. A pink umbrella would solve the problem.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      You’ve obviously never seen the pictures of the pink “Hello Kitty” AR-15s.

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Should umbrella owners open carry? Only when it’s raining.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      …and never open umbrella carry indoors; ’tis bad luck.

  11. avatar KCK says:

    We have evolved to error on the side of caution. As dawkins has pointed out, we are more likely to mistake a shadow for a burgler that the other way round.
    Google: Man returns to his office drenched in downpour as his only protection from the rain was his AR-15 rifle.
    Or not.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “We have evolved to error on the side of caution.”
      No, we have been conditioned to fear everything unfamiliar.

  12. avatar Don says:

    I can only think of one place to conceal carry an umbrella. Better hope it doesn’t open up!


  13. avatar Avid Reader says:

    And a bill banning open carry of umbrellas will be introduced in the California legislature in 3…2…1…

  14. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Would be nice if the police charged the caller with making a false complaint. But in today’s day in age that would never happen.

  15. avatar KevinMA says:

    You can’t open carry in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

  16. avatar Rev. Maurice Pompitous says:

    When umbrellas are outlawed only prissy, fashion conscious outlaws will have umbrellas.

  17. avatar Ardent says:

    I’m starting to think that the open carry movement is doing it wrong. What we need are all sorts of gun shaped objects that aren’t guns at all. Then carry said objects everywhere, in mass, until the police are completely overwhelmed with false reports and begin ignoring the calls like they should in the first place.

    Eventually the sheeple will grow used to gun shapes and stop calling 911 every time they see one, it won’t be news worthy any more so the MSM will leave it alone, and in time, we can actually exercise our rights without being intimidated and harassed.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:


  18. avatar Grege says:

    Wouldn’t that be an AOW?

    1. avatar Rev. Maurice Pompitous says:

      As long as he brings Emma Peel, I’ll put up with him.

  19. avatar Ardent says:

    I’ve been thinking about open carry, and I’m thinking machete or ax, perhaps a ‘sling blade’ (some folks calls it a kiaser blade). I’m not aware of this being illegal since it is a tool but specifically not a gun or a knife. I wonder how long it would take people to get used to the idea of people toting axes and chainsaws, machetes and large hammers before they got the idea . . .

    I once saw a warning sign that depicted hatchets and scissors and such falling on the ubiquitous warning sign stick man. The legend read “Watch out for everything.”

    I suppose there are people who would panic at the sight of a gun while in the tool isle at sears, as if the gun were the only dangerous thing there.

  20. avatar Yngvar says:

    This professional photographer in Norway was reported to the police for carrying a machine gun. They SWAT swarmed and arrested him on the street.
    “- I understand that the police could not take any chances. What annoys me most is that people are so paranoid that they see a camera and think it is a machine gun, says the photographer.”

  21. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Same thing happened to me with a wrecking bar.


  22. avatar BillF says:

    Soon umbrella owners will have to have a red tip on the pointy end/muzzle.

  23. avatar Closet Gun Nut says:

    Sadly it was a man carrying an umbrella, thought to be a rifle, which caused a full lock-down of East Carolina University a couple of years ago in Greenville, N.C.

  24. avatar Arod529 says:

    Anyone mistaking an ordinary umbrella for a rifle needs to be sent to the loony bin… permanently…

  25. avatar mercutio says:

    umbrella is fine with saber tip and Uhlman grip

  26. avatar Paelorian says:

    Where firearms are forbidden but blades are unrestricted, I’ll happily carry a sword umbrella.

  27. avatar Conrad says:

    Actually if every one of us carried said umbrella that looks like a rifle, we’d win… What’s the brand and model, here’s my card!

  28. avatar Jorge says:

    Where can you get one

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