3 Reasons Why Open Carry is a Bad Idea…And Why They’re Wrong [VIDEO]

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You might expect a man whose company makes concealed carry holsters to preach against open carry. Not so with Bravo Concealment’s jefe, Rene Aquirre. His Texas company makes level one inside and outside the waistband holsters (I own four of them) and he’s a proponent of carrying a gun — either openly or concealed — because it’s your right to do so.

As he makes clear in the video above, he’s heard all the arguments against open carry, such as . . .

  • Someone will grab your gun from behind and disarm you.
  • You lose the element of surprise when you open carry.
  • Open carry gives all gun owners a bad name.

Watch the video for Mr. Aquirre’s fisking of all three of those reasons to keep your gun on the DL.

As he concludes . . .

I’ve had people tell me, ‘This is why they go after our rights. Because we go out there and we showboat them.’ They’re coming after the Second Amendment because they just don’t like guns period. And they don’t like us. 

It doesn’t matter if we play nice or not. As long as we’re doing what’s legally right, and what we can do, it doesn’t matter, guys. Don’t let political correctness keep you from carrying, whether it’s concealed or open carry. 

Well put. But even given Aguirre’s rebuttal to the anti-open carry arguments, a lot of gun owners still think open carry is just a bad idea.

How about you? If you can open carry, do you? If you could, would you? Do you disagree with Mr. Aguirre?

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  1. Do not carry openly for those 3 aforementioned reasons. However when first started carrying, Texas law said exposing your weapon even accidentally would subject you to penalties. So it is not a concern of mine anymore.

  2. I would open carry while riding my Harley… I often carry in an OWB holster but must wear a long shirt to cover it, this is okay at night when it’s cooler but daytime temps of 90 plus can be uncomfortable… Don’t think I’d walk into Walmart or a restaurant with a 10mm Glock on my hip or in a shoulder rig over a tee-shirt, Too much attention… And I’m not a big fan of walking around with an AR slung over my shoulder while grocery shopping… In the end whatever is/feels right for the individual is up to them but, let common sense prevail (cammies, full tac gear w/armor, AR w/a dozen mags and couple of 9mm in cross draw holsters COULD cause some unease to even downright panic in a general population that has been brainwashed that “Gun are baad. umkay?”…

    • You had it right, for a bit…, “In the end whatever is/feels right for the individual is up to them…..”

      Then you had to “but”……

      How I, or anyone else chooses to carry, is not your business.

      • How I, or anyone else chooses to carry, is not your business.

        I said: IN THE END WHATEVER IS/FEELS RIGHT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL IS UP TO THEM but, LET COMMON SENSE PREVAIL (cammies, full tac gear w/armor, AR w/a dozen mags and couple of 9mm in cross draw holsters COULD cause some unease to even downright panic in a general population that has been brainwashed that “GunS are baad. umkay?”
        The “BUT” was only CAUTIONARY, IF you want to walk around naked with a shoulder fired SAM I could give a fuck less, IF you want to “display” ALL of your tacticool shit then I say good for you… I absolutely agree, how, what, when, where and why YOU carry is your business… I was merely stating the obvious issues that can arise from certain “displays”… Hope I was able to clear up my position for you there Todd…

  3. Can’t find a useful explanation to support open carry. I would never open carry my wallet, either.

    However, if someone want to open carry a firearm, fine. I don’t need to justify my lack of interest, and the open carrier doesn’t need to justify their decision.

    • People also open carry their keys, phones, their butts, their boobs, so if they want to open carry a guns that’s fine too.
      I carry both ways depending on a lot of things at the time but usually carry outside waist band with a tee shirt halfway covering it up…

    • I open carry often when I’m out and about with my wife and daughters. Like a scorpion raising his tail, or a rattle snake shaking his rattle; I have no desire to unholster my weapon, I just don’t want anyone messing with my family.

      A guy in a cell phone store once acted surprised and looked quite nervous when he saw a pistol on my hip. I nodded toward my two young daughters and told him I was transporting precious cargo. That explanation seemed to resonate with him.

  4. I open carry when I can without having a bunch of Karen’s fainting all over, but mostly just to keep from being harassed by beat cops, I carry concealed (which I have a license for),
    I prefer open carry myself.
    But I’m almost never without a weapon.

    • “Karen” is an anti- white slur. Please stop using it. My wife came home in tears after 3 black women called her a “Karen.”

        • You can’t say anything to black women or they will put a video of you online and then you loose your job.

          She’s pregnant and works at a restaurant. She told the group they couldn’t bring their pit bull inside.

          We are working poor and can’t afford to loose our jobs for live for saying something to black people.

        • Show me an example of somebody calling a non-white woman a Karen.

          Though I’m certain there IS someone somewhere who has done it they would be incorrect in doing so since the term was first “coined” by black people in reference to a privileged “white woman” who demanded things be done HER way… The term is not considered a (slur) by black people however try calling a black woman “Aunt Jemimah” or a black man “Uncle Tom”… It’s a desriptive for any entitled, demanding “WHITE” woman who uses her “privilege” to get her way… So: Stop, if your wife is demanding, entitled, privileged and goes to extremes to get her way then she “just might be a KAREN”… On the other hand if she (like millions of American white women) just goes about her day and doesn’t pitch a bitch if the person ahead of her takes the last jar of peanut butter from the grocery shelf or interjects herself in stuff that does not concern her, then she was most likely confronted by two ignorant individuals who used the term incorrectly probably trying to look cool for their twitter/facebook/utube/etc. page and should just ignore it… Only your wife knows if she truly is a KAREN or not…

      • That’s B.S.

        Karen is slang for faint of heart and it has absolutely nothing to do with race.

        I don’t mean disrespect. And, I’m not trying to start a fight online here. And, I’m sure your woman’s terrific.

        But if someone, who actually knew the meaning of the slang, unlike you, used it to describe your lovely wife…well…maybe she could use a little bolstering by someone who knows and loves her.

        You know anyone like that?

        • Show me an example of someone calling a non-white woman a “Karen”.

          You people watch too much TV.

      • Because it’s not like Time Magazine has an article called “ How the ‘Karen Meme’ Confronts the Violent History of White Womanhood”.

        No- you guys just really really badly just want the Democrats to be the real racists for once. I know you can’t wait to support Caitlyn Jenner for governor. I bet you watch Hannity.

  5. Where I live in unincorporated L.A. County (the County is so large that, yes, we still have a lot of it), we have a lot of mountain trails and open areas. There have been many times when my wife and/or I have been on hiking trails and not seen another soul, and we have wildlife or even aggressive dogs in the rural areas. Can’t count how many times some semi-rural homeowner who doesn’t keep Fido within a fenced yard has let ‘ol Fido come running out into the street with snarling teeth as we jogged by. One time, a younger man literally stood by his gate and watched as his large Rottweiler came charging out on the street at my wife, ignoring her screams. He only called for the dog to stop after I yelled out that I was going to shoot the dog.

    Then there was that bobcat. And the time when three coyotes came charging at us from the bushes.

    Yes, I would open carry all day long. If our idiot former Gov. Brown hadn’t unilaterally prohibited open carry ten years ago, I would stencil the words “Shall Not Be Infringed” in bold white lettering onto my black Kydex holster to remind all onlookers they have rights.

    Conceal carry? Absolutely, in certain environments.

    Open carry? Absolutely.

    • You can open carry in unincorporated areas of the county. But you cannot be loaded. Penal Code 26400(a) provides with respect to rifles and shotguns:
      A person is guilty of carrying an unloaded firearm that is not a handgun when that person carries upon his or her person an unloaded firearm that is not a handgun outside a vehicle while in any of the following areas:
      (1) An incorporated city or city and county.
      (2) A public place or a public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county.
      “Incorporated city and county” = San Francisco
      The same rule applies in respect to handguns: Penal Code section 26350 (a) provides:
      (a) (1) A person is guilty of openly carrying an unloaded handgun when that person carries upon his or her person an exposed and unloaded handgun outside a vehicle while in or on any of the following:
      (A) A public place or public street in an incorporated city or city and county.
      (B) A public street in a prohibited area of an unincorporated area of a county or city and county.
      (C) A public place in a prohibited area of a county or city and county.

  6. The reality is I like open carry…on the other person. Frequently they are loud and proud, no overall consideration of tactical positioning (back to door, engrossed in their phone etc).

    Them being open carry means they area the primary target, giving me time to move to a concealed and cover position to return fire.

    I want my weapon to be produced as a total shock to my opponent.

    • So here’s the “You lose the element of surprise” argument.

      I’ve been saying for a long time that this is false.

      As noted, most criminals are cowards and looking for any easy score. If they see someone with a pistol on their hip they do not know anything else than that there is a gun in the room where they were intending to commit some sort of crime and they have no idea WHO YOU ARE. You could be an off duty cop, private security, SpecOps on leave…they just do not know and getting in a gunfight was NOT the reason they came there. The idea that they are just going to draw and pop you because you’re armed and then get on with robbing $65.00 and a 12 pack of Bud from the 7/11 cashier is ludicrous.

      What they are going to do is casually about face and get the hell out because there’s another 7/11 about a quarter mile down the street without anyone inside carrying a pistol.

      So there is no crime and no event to be concerned about – the pistol was the deterrent to the crime before it ever occurred. You pay for your Monster or Red Bull and go about your business.

      Now if that same guy was carrying concealed and Robbing Hood came in with his Airsoft Glock replica to get that $65.00 you now have the element of surprise and must decide if you are going to shoot this guy or not, a choice that would not have been an issue if the crime never happened in the first place.

      • I thinks you have a case if short sightedness….. NEVER…….I REPEAT, NEVER EVER UNDERESTIMATE A CRIMINAL AND WHAT THEY MIGHT DO UNDER DURESS……
        Open carry is NOT the best option in all circumstances….I can tell you right now I know if a few areas of my town, Louisville, where open carry would make you a target…. of course there’s many variables and not all cases have the same outcome, but concealed carry is the ONLY carry for the common citizen….
        Police are a different story altogether…. their presence alone is a deterrent….

      • exactly.

        The reason this is all so hard is nearly everyone believes (due to movies mostly) that every bad guy is a killer and that it’s easy for them to do.

        This is completely false, humans are born with a protection instinct that not only prevents easy suicide but also killing others. There has to be a glitch in the system to make a killer. Not only a killer but also to overcome their own sense of self preservation to attempt to kill someone AND knowingly accept they may have to deal with the ramifications to follow.

        So the old saying that an armed society is a polite society is quite true.

        • Most petty criminals probably are cowards, but are you willing to bet your life on that? Have you seen the news lately about what is going on in Chicago? Or Baltimore? A whole bunch of other places. Some yutz who is high on crack or is desperate to get a fix of heroin isn’t thinking about being afraid to shoot somebody. Some of those folks in Chicago will shoot you because you got a pair of tennis shoes they want, or because you’re part of the wrong gang. Heinlein was right about armed societies, but he was talking about relatively stable societies, not those with the wheels coming off like much of ours is today.

        • This is completely false, humans are born with a protection instinct

          Is that why it is so difficult for the Mexican and South American Cartels to slaughter entire families or MS13 members to hack young girls to death with Machetes or street gangs in major cities to shoot a kid in the head because he doesn’t want to join a gang or a person to blow themselves up in a crowded market killing and injuring scores of innocent people? People are products of their environment, not their DNA… Twins separated at birth, one is raised in a loving nurturing home the other is neglected, forced to fend for himself, abused… Do you think their inherent nature will preclude that they both grow up to be productive members of society or does the possibility exist that the latter child will grow up to be a cold, heartless thug who will get what he wants through whatever mans necessary including physical violence and murder…

  7. I’ll say this about open carry: just be prepared to be asked quite about about what your intentions are.

    Maybe a pistol gets a pass but a rifle I feel is just unnecessary. In my town we had a gent walking down the street carrying an AR and a few people called the police. They were told open carry is legal and since he wasn’t menacing anyone he was fine. However, that was until he opened fire and started shooting people.

    If you’re running to Walmart in a plate carrier, a dozen mags, and a rifle you’re going to get some unwanted attention. Unless you live in downtown Fallujah I think you’re a might overdressed. If someone strolls into the local supermarket dressed like that I’m keeping my eye on them.

    • “If someone strolls into the local supermarket dressed like that I’m keeping my eye on them.”

      Be polite to everyone you meet, but have a plan to kill them.
      (i read that on the internet, somewhere)

      • “Be Polite, Be Professional, but have a plan to Kill everyone you meet”.
        General James “Mad Dog” Mattis

        • “Be Polite, Professional, but have a plan to Kill everyone you meet”.
          General James “Mad Dog” Mattis


        • General Mattis is a brave soldier and a wise man, we would do well to listen to his words.

          “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.“

          General James “Mad Dog” Mattis

        • Mattis got it right…absolutely right.

          Trump was easily the most divisive chief executive in my memory. I’m grateful for a fellow Marine to have so openly declared that truth in public.

          Oh. and Trump was also incompetent…ever see the southern border wall completed? Ever see effective governmental effort to stem the damned virus?

          He was a complete failure.

          I don’t like Biden either as he’s a potted plant. So, I just stayed home with my wife and drank beer on election day.

          I can’t say I’m thrilled with Biden. But he has one thing going for him…HE’S NOT TRUMP!!!!!!!!

    • Well open carry ain’t permissable in ILLannoyed. Even in nearby Indiana the Karen’s wet their panties over it especially in Hammond’s. My buddy got his lifetime carry in IN and claims there is none. Not my bidness…

    • “If someone strolls into the local supermarket dressed like that I’m keeping my eye on them.”

      As for me, I’d just go ahead and get my groceries some other time. A guy checking over the bakery section with an AR isn’t actually there to buy bread. Just saying.

    • I understand your concern. But please respect the opinions of others.

      Here’s an example of what I commonly see here in Texas, not at a rifle range, not at a gun shop, not anywhere but at a local food outlet GIVEN BLM AND ANTIFA…


      I went into Krogers grocery store the other day and saw a man and woman buying meats at the meat counter each with slung weapons…perfectly legal here.

      Hell, I walked up, politely, introduced myself and thanked them for openly demonstrating their 2nd A rights.

      Always the best to my gun guys,


      • “a local food outlet“

        I’m somewhat skeptical about the picture you posted being from a local food outlet.

        Number one, all young males.

        And I really don’t notice that many folks going to the grocery store taking their camera with them.

        I don’t really notice that many folks here carrying food items as well…

        Looks more like a second amendment protest at a restaurant.

  8. I agree with all the arguments in the video, especially Mr. Aguirre’s second point. Just as with armed cops, contract security, or military sentries, the open carrying citizen may be the first target IF there is a crime, but the likelihood of the crime happening in the first place is far lower. Criminals don’t become criminals through initiative, exceptional work ethics, or conspicuous gallantry.

    • Bullhockey. Banks get robbed all the time even with trained and armed security on premises. A number of cops get killed every year by gun toting vermin when they inadvertently walk in on a robbery in progress. While it is true that professional criminals will normally avoid any situation where they may have to confront armed civilians or employees/cops, the majority of armed robberies are smash and grab type situations carried out by amateurs who have a nasty tendency to shoot first. I prefer to hedge my bet and keep my gun concealed so I might have a chance to prevent such a situation.

      • “All the time”? Maybe in 1932.

        Thank you for bringing up some great examples, though. Those banks that hold trillions, the mega-corporations that insure them, their security contractors, and all the consultants money can buy have done the math, and choose to keep “trained and armed security on premises” as you wrote. The cops (despite, or perhaps because of, the last year’s clamoring) have not chosen to disarm.

        The military constantly drums the principle of presenting a hard target into every member. Admittedly, they have occasionally toyed with the idea of disarming certain watchstanders (but always because of ND / liability concerns about infrequently qualified cooks and radar twidgets – NEVER because they think a unit’s less likely to be hit with an unarmed pogue at the gate).

        • “the mega-corporations that insure them, their security contractors, and all the consultants money can buy have done the math,” . I don’t buy that. All too many times it comes down to, “I’m the boss and we’re doing it this way”.

        • “Admittedly, they have occasionally toyed with the idea of disarming certain watchstanders (but always because of ND / liability concerns about infrequently qualified cooks and radar twidgets”

          And the average citizen, not having the benefit of Boot Camp, is even less qualified and more prone to ND / liability concerns.

        • Huntmaster,
          I’ve seen that many times at individual military units, small businesses, etc. – but an industry standard across every branch of multiple huge companies, handling trillions, over decades or more is not one boss’s whim or personality quirk.

          So your natural reaction is “We can’t trust this guy with a pistol in a retention hip holster, so let’s force him to stuff it down his pants. Because safety.”

        • Whoa, pump the brakes!

          Bootcamp makes you a better shooter and more trained to handle a gun fight?
          What part? Does anyone else remember being trained and drilled in tactical arms during boot?
          Maybe the extreme skill of learning to shoot using antique equipment that’s falling apart for a few hours gave enough skill to cover thousands of training hours?

          Dig deeper Miner.

      • John,

        There are simple human behavior factors behind both situations that you described and I do not believe those factors would play into John/Jane Do carrying a handgun openly.

        Consider the bank example that you cited. A huge cash payout (potentially $100,000 or more) provides the necessary incentive for those criminals to “shoot first and ask questions later”. That incentive just isn’t there generally speaking for a criminal to start blasting away at some average John/Jane Doe walking down the street or eating a meal in a restaurant.

        Now consider your “cop walks in on an armed robbery” scenario. In that scenario the cop’s uniform and/or the unpleasant/unexpected surprise of simply entering the establishment is what sets-off the criminal to start shooting. What the criminal will not do is look at John/Jane Doe’s belt to see if he/she is openly carrying a handgun in the candy aisle or as he/she walks into the store.

        Could some criminal start shooting for no particular reason at an average John/Jane Doe who is openly carrying a handgun? Sure. It is incredibly unlikely though. Even nasty gang members don’t walk around stabbing/shooting everyone who walks by.

        • Maybe I’m smarter than a lot of people, or maybe its just because I’m older and more conservative. I constantly check people out when I go out of my house. I practice ‘situational awareness’ because I don’t like surprises and I don’t want to be caught by circumstances because I wasn’t paying attention. I watch behavior and I regularly spot people who are carrying concealed. You’d be amazed at how many of them do things that let other people catch on that they’re carrying. A lot of those people I spot carrying are what I would call ‘sketchy’. You never know what will set somebody off. An offhand remark waiting in line in a 7-Eleven, or maybe they just got fired, or they’ve had a fight with a girl friend, or maybe they’re on drugs and need a fix. With the trend these days of defunding the cops and ‘catch and release’ policing even for serious offenses, its getting more like the Wild West every day. The last thing I want to do is advertise that I’m packing a gun. I’ve gone to great lengths to find the right holsters that make my guns disappear when I’m carrying. With Biden and his crew of misfits running things, it is only going to get worse because we’ll have to be watching the gov’t AND the scumbag criminals they’re cutting loose.

  9. I just don’t like to stick out in anyway. I don’t want to be noticed. I don’t were a Leopard skin jacket or wear gold either.

    • Vic Nighthorse,

      What you described is what many people call the “gray man” concept. The idea is that you purposely choose your clothing style and colors as well as your behavior to blend-in and not stand-out in any way. The strategy behind that idea is that attention-grabbing clothing or behavior grabs attention–including the attention of an attacker which you do NOT want–thus you go with clothing and behavior which does NOT attract attention and therefore minimizes your odds that an attacker directs his/her ire at you first. And that translates to more time and more options for you to respond to an attack.

      Whether or not that improves your odds over the probability that open carry would prevent an attack in the first place is anyone’s guess.

    • Gray man here too. Easy to blend in here in the States, but all eyes are on me whenever we visit the wife’s homeland because I’m a gringo who’s a head taller than everyone around me. Not so bad in the better areas of her city, because of the number of Europeans, but in the outer markets, or out in the smaller towns, I stand out and don’t like it. I’m always scanning for improvised weapons and exits because the only firearms within a hundred miles are in the hands of crooks, cops, soldiers, (sorry, redundant I know) or bank guards, and gringos can get seriously jacked up if caught with anything more than a small pocketknife. I take fishing gear, and have never had Customs say anything about my small filet knife, so I often have than somewhere on my person.

    • I’m with Vic.
      I Practice I am ‘the nobody’ in the background daily, however I don’t present as a potential victim either.
      South Carolina will be passing ‘Open Carry’ very soon with a caveat. Only those that have a CWP will be allowed. I believe this will stop all the ‘busybodies’ that report man with a gun when they glimpse a weapon if a shirt is pulled up accidently.
      Me? I choose not too but it’s fine that others can/will. I might give it a go one time just to see what it’s like in my area.

    • When I lived on a boat in the Sea of Cortez and Mexican Pacific coast. We purposely made our boat look less expensive and run down. I figured that the rich looking boats would get picked as a target before ours. I also only flew a Mexican flag.

  10. I was a chunky so kid I’ve always had a spare tire waistline (even when I was 155 lbs and in high school gymnastics for 2 years). I’m now 62 (and 225 lbs) so inside the waistband carry is just not happening, it never has. I live in Michigan which allows open carry, and have my CPL (mostly so I could carry in the car without issue). 80% of the time I’m at home, I’m carrying. 99.5% of the time I step out the door I’m carrying at least 1, & often 2 firearms, most times casually concealed under an unbuttoned, button down shirt. If someone happens to notice my gun(s), good for them and their situational awareness. If they don’t…oh well, I don’t care either way.

  11. Even if open carry is legal where you are, it is disruptive in most situations. It makes people nervous who don’t know the law, or who don’t like guns. Nervous people do stupid things, and that can create dangerous situations. I’ve seen situations escalate to dangerous very rapidly on a few occasions with just an inadvertent showing of a concealed carry weapon. There have been cases of people getting shot by law enforcement because some panicked civilian asshole precipitated something even though the person was legally carrying. In my opinion, anybody who carries openly is asking for trouble and will usually find it. If I have to drag iron I don’t want anybody to know its coming until they’re looking down the business end of my 1911.

      • You notice I said ‘most situations’? That means ‘not all’. Do you have a reading problem or did you just feel compelled to say something? Idaho is rather thinly populated, so it hardly is representative of the majority of the country, is it?

        • You know, John, I’ve some irresponsible and impermissible and perhaps even unconscionable comments in mind about your above response to a fellow poster.

          But I’m a gentleman and you won’t hear them from me. The word “manners” still apply online.

          John, you getting laid enough lately? You seem a little rough around the edges.

  12. If someone is just going about their business and happens to be open carrying a pistol, fine. Good for them.

    What I have trouble with is when some yahoo slings an AR-15 across their back and walks down the street, for the express purpose of getting questioned by the police and filming the encounter with their cell phone and being a jerk. Nobody wins in that scenario, even if they are technically obeying the law.

  13. As a Marine officer, I open carried everywhere on base and, especially, on operations. But only when I WAS ON DUTY.

    I never carried in the “vill” at all.

    Worked for me in the worst of times. Now, I CC and feel quite comfortable about it.

    • Wait, you were an infantry officer, and carried openly on base while on duty?

      Do you mean when you were training? When you were deployed? What duty would require you to carry a hot weapon on base? Military Police would be the only job I know of that could carry a loaded weapon on a military installation.

      Sounds fishy to me.

        • I clearly asked if he meant he carried while deployed. Did you miss that part?
          If someone claimed to openly carry on base while not training or in a combat zone, that would be fishy.

          Tell me I’m wrong and I’ll tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • “Deployed” does NOT necessarily mean “combat zone” you “clearly” said deployed with NO reference to combat zone, in my career in the Marine Corps I was “deployed” to a number of off shore duty stations including multiple tours in Vietnam (where we were locked and loaded 24 hrs a day no matter where we were… til the 1971 insanity)… YOUR response was ambiguous at best, so actually say what you mean or Shut the fuck up and quit whining every time someone points out YOUR fuck ups… OBTW, TELL me I don’t know what I’m talking about and I’ll tell you to GFY…

        • Nah, my question stands as it is.

          I’m obviously looking for clarification, just not from you.

        • You don’t think things may have changed since Vietnam?

          Only if some pencil pushin desk pogue started making rules of engagement in combat zones… No I don’t think things have changed as far as carrying weapons in rear areas.. What do they do if their perimeter is attacked, ask the bad guys nicely to wait a few minutes while everybody runs to the armory to get their guns and a couple of magazines of ammo…

        • @MaddMaxx
          “…Only if some pencil pushin desk pogue started making rules of engagement in combat zones…”
          Indeed that is what they do. Imagine a section (3 guns) of 105s from the 82nd set up to provide counter-fire where I was in Baghdad, mid 2003. Evidently we had ticked the locals off and they decided to send a couple mortar rounds at us each night. locals had buried their tubes around small town at the right angles, would walk by, kick whatever was covering them, drop one or two, cover the tube back up and walk away. This went on for a while, the arty guys were tasked to fix the problem. Except they were slow to return fire..sometimes 10 minutes slow. Bad guys gone by then. You ask why so slow? Because the Lt in charge of the gun section had to ask the Brigade Jag guy for permission to fire…every time. Saw and heard it personally.
          So yes, times have changed quite a bit. We’re were not lock and loaded at all times either in all places. Depended on where and what was going on. Heck, I retired in 09 and I would not recognize what new rules and ideas have come out.

      • I’ll forgive you as it seems you never served, or, if you did serve you didn’t qualify to be an officer…I was enlisted first…then the Marines wanted me to go to OCS and I did, successfully…so no disrespect for either ranks.

        I guess that in your innocence you never heard of “OFFICER OF THE DAY DUTY”. It’s rather common in a Marine infantry battalion. Every officer, from 2nd Louie to Battalion Commander serves in that duty AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR AND QUITE OFTEN MORE OFTEN THAN THAT. And, it’s a 24 hour duty…let me spell that out for you…it’s all damned day and all damned night and as an officer you’re on your feet patrolling the whole time.

        In the Marines, sleep is secondary to security. Got it?

        Again, it’s cool that you don’t know squat about being in the military. I respect you ignorance AND THE FACT THAT YOU OPENLY DISPLAY IT.

        • Cool story.

          Being doing my time in SOF for 15 years, so spare me the “innocence” condescension.

          All that time barely qualifying as an officer and you fly off the handle with the most minimal provocation. I’m not impressed – your sorry officer of the day duty war story would illicit zero sympathy or respect from me or my team, REMF.

        • David Walters seems to be competing with Maxx Pad for the site’s biggest blowhard.


        • Yeah, washed-up conventional dudes with overly-embelished self-important posts have made comments by other veterans rather stale by mere association.

          Dave, no one cares that you may have openly carried a handgun, in uniform, on an installation. It has little to no bearing on civilians open carrying in public. Your feeble attempt to show off a mediocre military career is pitiful.

  14. There may be a somewhat compelling argument against open-carry of handguns in states which have Progressive leaning legislatures. It all depends on whether there are loud-enough voices to convince state legislators to eventually forbid open carry and possibly even shall-issue concealed carry.

    If everyone carries concealed it is unlikely that those loud voices will ever realize how prolific the armed populace is and therefore never shout at their state legislators to “do something” and ban any type of carrying handguns. On the other hand, if enough people carry openly such that those loud voices become painfully aware of how many people are armed in public, that could be the impetus which leads to those loud voices shouting at their state legislators to “do something” and ban open carry–and possibly even advocate for “may issue” (which would effectively be “no issue” in practice) concealed carry ala New Jersey.

    What I just described is very realistic. Whether or not events would play out like that in the real world, I do not know.

    Disclaimer: I myself carry a handgun openly at times and support legal open-carry.

    • I agree, but I think the converse is also true. Fence-sitters in reasonably free states – people who aren’t gun-grabbing ideologues, but don’t know (or don’t think they know) any POTG, and may think guns are weird things for weird people – may benefit from the interaction with courteous, alert, articulate and professional people who just happen to be carrying.

    • Oh, they do indeed. Once upon a time, open loaded carry was legal in California. But after the Black Panthers visited the State Capitol one fine day–armed–the legislators had a fit, and Governor Reagan was happy to sign a bill that banned open loaded. Open carrying of unloaded firearms was permissible, but the law also provided that a LEO on demand was allowed to search any firearm to assure that it was unloaded.

      This was the status quo for many years after, likely because no one carried open unloaded. Beginning in 2012, a group ro groups of people3, in order to demonstrate for further rights (mostly in “no issue” counties such as LA, the Bay Area and San diego) organized open carry events. People would show up with their holstered and unloaded firearms, and would visit that boardwalk or a local Starbucks. Invariably some KAren (although they weren’t called that then, usually Soccer Mom) would call the police to report a MAN WITH A GUN!!!! They just cold not believe that it was legal to openly carry firearms. And just as invariably, the police would show up, in force, with guns drawn. They would disarm the “perps” and verify the unloaded status. After a long tongue lashing, the protesters guns would be returned and the police would leave.

      Seeing that their calls to 911 did not have the desired result of arrests and prosecutions, these soccer moms got on the horn and started expressing their concerns in the strongest terms to their (liberal) law makers. In less than a year, a bill was drafted, passed, and signed by the governor (Brown this time) outlawing open carrying of handguns. Then, just the threat of people carrying unloaded long guns lead to a second bill the following year banning that as well.

      As a result of these laws, the only way to carry a firearm in any urban area of the state is to be out in unincorporated territory (state and federal forests), on private property, or with a CCW.

  15. Open carry is quite common in my neck of the woods. I think it serves as a deterrent, provides quick access to a firearm, and people are genuinely curious about it and their own firearm rights so questions will be asked by curious people. The constant questions are why prefer not to open carry, most days I don’t want to be bothered with it. To the die hard people who refuse to obtain their government permission slip, more power to them.

    • Exactly. During the time between moving to a free state and completing all my CCW requirements, I was concerned about the questions at first, too. After a while, I came to appreciate the opportunity for ambassadorship.

      I’ve had exactly one negative experience (a drunk who got upset when my friend explained her ignorance of the law, and proceeded to call the sheriff with false allegations because she knew he was right) and about 100 positives. Some began with unlikely POTG (little old ladies, etc.) striking up conversations about the pistols in their purses. Others involved non-shooters who were on the fence and not gun-savvy at all, yet ended with them thanking me for keeping them safe. Grooming, demeanor, and (of course) courtesy are always helpful.

  16. Merely because one Can do something does not make it Wise. In most cases concealed carry is preferable for a multitude of reasons, most of which are already mentioned. I really can’t find a good (or wise) reason to carry an AR to the grocery even if it is legal in that jurisdiction.

  17. I carry how and when I wish. That said, if you’re gonna open carry at least carry something that has some class and says “Don’t mess with me.” Not some cheapo plastic fantastic, or NAA mini, in a uncle mikes floppy. Have some respect for yourself and other gun owners. Carry that high dollar BBQ gun in custom leather you paid big bucks for.

  18. Most amusing open carry I ever saw was a fellow who looked like he was straight from central casting for a B grade Western. Stetson, boots, and what looked like a flat top Ruger, that might be common some places, but not so much in the Atlanta area even in Walmart. I would have stopped to chat but I was late to pick up the wife.

    • He must have been shopping at the outlets in Commerce on 85..lol Big western store down there. But yeah, I don’t think that would fly even where I live out in the sticks. people would stare.

  19. We must each decide for ourselves which risks we are willing to manage and which benefits matter most to us. I do not care what, how, or why anyone, for whom I am not responsible, carries.

    Here in Texas, my default is to carry my S&W M&P9 M2.0 5″ 17+1 openly in a Safariland 7TS ALS with Guard (Safariland retention level II https://inside.safariland.com/education/holster-retention/). I conceal as required by law or suggested by the situation. I make my defensive decisions based on evidence, not emotion or myth. Works for me. I see no upside in denigrating the decisions of others.

  20. “Open carry gives all gun owners a bad name.”

    If that’s true then we can never do that without getting the bad name moniker. If people are offended by someone carrying then that’s too bad for them — their feelings don’t trump my rights.

  21. I’ve lived all my life in a state that doesn’t restrict how you carry a gun, so I have always open carried off-duty because that’s what I’ve done every day on duty. That being said, unless you’re CCW, I strongly suggest anyone who OC’s use a Level 2 or 3 retention holster!

    People who condemn OC don’t know WTF they are talking about.

    • My 1911 Llama Extra rides in a thick leather OWB crossdraw on my left side. Concealed from the back/inconspicuous in the front when wearing a coat or vest. It must be drawn straight up and out to fully clear the holster. If pulled at an angle, the leather holds the slide in a deathgrip and the front sight hooks on the bottom lip. It’s taken some drills at the range to burn the straight up draw into muscle memory, lest I end up a very embarassed victim of my holster’s excellent retention.

  22. I gave it up. There is crime here, but really no violent crime to speak of. Murders are few and far between, and rarely involve strangers. More likely to be a victim of burglary than a home invasion. I spend most days in an office with no one else, and when I go out to court or a doctor’s office, I can’t take it with me anyway. So I got tired of the hassle, dressing around the gun, semiannual renewals, insurance, and all that jazz. If things change, then maybe i will change my mind.

  23. Diversity.

    People want to open carry large shiney, polished revolvers on each hip in custom made leather, God bless ’em!!
    People want to concealed carry a 1911 in chambered for 45 magnum, with a 38 special in an ankle holster for back up, God bless ’em.
    People want to carry a double-barreled 12 gauge shot gun slung over their shoulder, God bless ’em.

    We’re a diverse lot, us POTG folk. Brothers and sisters, all races, all creeds. God bless us all.


  25. I was sitting in a local restaurant a while back (pre-pandemic) and that day I was open carrying, which is legal here. I’M retired, a bit scruffy looking, grey haired and a little old lady walked over to me and says, “I feel safer with you here young man. did you know this restaurant has been robbed twice?” I said, “yes, but I carry everywhere. Just today it’s in the open.” And the waitress said, “no, it’s been three times.” That restaurant is less than 500 feet front do to front door on the city police station.

    Maye that open carry makes me a primary target, maybe it lets them know that easy in and out robbery, isn’t going to be that easy after all. And, yes, when you open carry you need to be more situationally aware. Small price to pay for the extra safety it can provide. But mostly I carry a concealed Govt size double stack 1911.

  26. I’ve been open carrying in Washington state in, most likely the most blue county in the state . I’ve never had a problem, most people don’t even notice and if they notice they don’t seem to care. In 15 years of chronic open carry I’ve only had one negative Nancy, I did not even give her the time of day . Just shrugged my shoulders said oh well and carried on with my day.

    Now I’ve has more than a few thug looking individuals mean mug me . My guess is trying to figure out if I was LEO or not , but other than that nothing .

  27. I don’t open carry but I prefer open carry and would do so if it was the norm. Imagine if a quarter of the people on the street were to open carry… you’d no longer stand out as the guy (or gal) with the gun. Open carry is quicker and a hell of a lot more comfortable. Not to mention Military and LE routinely open carry in unfavorable conditions without hollywood-level crime ninjas sneaking up and stealing their guns. If you’re worried about that you need to work on weapon retention.

  28. I carry the way that works best for the weather and clothes I’m wearing. Sometimes it’s open, sometimes it’s not. I do what I want.

  29. If you have the right to carry open and do not have the right to what amounts to wearing a coat then by all means carry open until the azzhats stopping you from conceal carry get a clue.
    Once a person passes a NCIC that puts a firearm directly in their hands training or no training. With that said wearing a coat over your firearm should not require further blessings from Big Brother. I am really tired of hearing, I carry concealed but I have a license…Like covering a firearm with a coat is on the level of flying a Jumbo Jet. C’mon Man.

  30. One thing I like about a plastic holster is the way it conforms to the shape of your gunm over the years.
    Rattle rattle.

  31. Florida is doing it right; removing all legal and punitive local government policies and holding anti-gun local politicians accountable by fines and removal from office. There can and will be no limitations, liens or encumbrances on publicly carrying our guns and when necessary, the use of them. This right flows from GOD, written down on the Constitution and then directly to the people.

  32. Two holsters, one ISW for normal EDC, the other open carry only for the woods, boonies, etc., why call attention to your self in public scenarios!

  33. There have a been a number of instances in which an open carrier was targeted for his gun by criminals who had prior knowledge he was open carrying. There have also been a number of instances where a criminal has walked right by an open carrier to commit a crime and not noticed him.

    What we do not have is any instances where an open carrier was shot first by someone at the outset of an unrelated crime.

  34. I carry a well holstered 1911 (.45) on an every day basis, most people do not notice it. I have done this for may, many years. My State Constitution has, since it’s conception, considered “concealing” as illegal and it was considered nefarious and sneaky. Open carry is the rule of law in Montana. Here, 90% of households have firearms and 60% of the adult population carry on a regular (every day) basis, most concealing as “permits” are not required here. I do come across a “karen” or two on occasion and they ask “why I carry a gun”, I reply that they should not assume I have just one. It is well accepted here to carry a firearm and I exercise that Right to the max. Just to top this off, I sit on my Towns City Council AND wear a gun while doing it. Long Live the Republic!

  35. Practically speaking in terms of self defense:
    Carry openly!
    Carry concealed!
    …as the kids would say… You do you! 🙂

    Both ways are correct.

    About the “showboating” comment, that is a real problem and has caused a lot of businesses to put up anti-gun signs. It’s done by people who look kinda’ stupid doing it. Search the web, there’s the big morbidly obese dude with the huge shirt that looks like a man-dress carrying an AR and the little scrawny guy with a rifle so large you have to wonder if he can hold it up to aim the thing. A Texas open carry protest, a very bad bit of advertising for us.

    You want to do open carry events in public? Hey good idea, that’s great, go for it. Just be smart about it. If you want to normalize open carry of every sort of gun, make a family and friends thing. Mom, dad, the kids, the grandparents, in-laws, neighbors and co-workers.

    Dress neatly, do not look like clowns. Keep it fairly sedate.

    My favorite was a bunch of folks in a restaurant, the kind of group I just described. They made a reservation, like 15 or more people. Every adult wearing a sidearm of some sort. Other patrons got the heebie jeebies about the guns and called 911. Cops show up.

    What happens next is too cool. Restaurant manager tells the police there’s no problem here, those are paying customers behaving just fine, having a big family meal and ordering lots of food off the menu. The customers who complained can stay or leave, their choice, but leave that big party alone.

    That’s normalizing open carry the smart way.

    Not that there aren’t other smart ways, just think about perceptions. You are trying to sell an idea not brag about your hardware.

    It’s a political campaign after all, and in that image matters greatly.

  36. I love seeing other people open carry, because i know the bad guys are gonna shoot at that guy before they shoot at me.

    • I have been openly carrying for many, many years and have never heard of or seen anything like that. Do you have some anecdotal evidence of your claim? Has this happened to you?

  37. Ugh. Holster warz. Again.

    Meh, pick your poison. You picked the wrong caliber anyway, so you’re gonna die when the SpecOpsRecon Crack Ninjas join forces with the ParaCavScout Crank Fiends and tactically assault your local sportsball game/grocery store/gas station/theater/fat shack/house of ill repute/whatever anyway, so who cares?

    It’s a guarantee. Unless you’re Gecko45, he’ll barely make it out but you, you’re fucked. CNN says so.

    • Yeah but if you are using a good quality handmade leather holster, all will be well.

      That Kydex and carbon fiber stuff just attracts bad guy bullets.

      • “Yeah but if you are using a good quality handmade leather holster, all will be well.”

        Anyone got a line on making a holster at home, using Duck Tape?

        • Anyone got a line on making a holster at home, using Duck Tape?

          Yeah but mine requires “Gorilla Tape”

  38. Do what you want. Me personally, open carry is openly gay. Not there’s anything wrong with that of course. Especially if you’re very polite and always vigilant for trouble.

  39. How does open carry reconcile with the recommended philosophy of “Surprise, Speed, and Violence of Action”? Asking for a friend.

  40. I live in a constitutional carry state. Most anything is o.k. here. However, I rarely open carry. I don’t like to advertise my weapon. I’m not a good hand to hand fighter so less potential to have a weapon taken if not visible. I don’t think it sends a good message to the public in general, if weapons are displayed all over the place. If I want to make a political point, I contact my represenative(s) and look at whom I vote for to begin with.

  41. Open carry if you want to, or can. If you fail to exercise your right to open carry, you might just lose that right.

    the 2nd A does not contain the word “but….”

    Carry on……..

  42. I do not open carry because: I don’t like striking up a conversation about guns with idiots.

  43. Whew! Quite an array of comments and some of the commenters apparently haven’t had a good night’s sleep.

    Situational awareness, as noted, is primary regardless of whether you have a physical weapon or just your brain.

    Next, living in a free state (NH), open carry is not uncommon. I am much more likely to OC in the warm weather ’cause it’s too darned hot. (I really feel badly for folks in hot & humid states.) In cold weather I’m wearing a jacket of some sort. OTOH, when I go to a restaurant, I’ll doff my outerwear and carry openly in said establishment.

    I used to carry concealed in my synagogue until I was asked to choose between carrying or attending. (You can probably guess what path I chose.)

    I like to OC in places like Lowe’s or the grocery store because: A) I appear to be a normal person doing normal things while carrying a pistol in a holster and B) It starts conversations. Those conversations have prompted a few people to take my basic firearms safety & myth busting class. Knowledge is power.

    I concur that OC can, at times, be a disturbance to those of little knowledge or greater fear. OTOH, I believe that more OC while engaging in normal activities moves the needle towards “firearms are normal”.

    Where I live, if those visitors from the People’s Republic of MA get skeered and call the PD, an officer responds–to tell the caller that it’s legal up here (and get over it).

    As someone already said: you do you.

  44. People that openly carry a firearm in public are giving up a tremendous tactical advantage if a deadly force situation arises. Be discreet, don’t advertise that you are carrying a firearm. Be that person in a crowd that no one notices.

    • @Jim:

      People that openly carry a firearm in public are _potentially_ giving up a tremendous tactical advantage…


      The evidence is slim here for regular folks who carry.

    • I can be brand agnostic.

      Not really, there is a “UGE” difference between “Duck” tape and Gorilla Tape… Each has it’s place and I use both for various purposes…

  45. “…there is a “UGE” difference between “Duck” tape and Gorilla Tape… ”

    I switched from duct tape to Duck Tape because the latter is more versatile, and suffers a bit less damage in heated spaces. Duct tape gets too sticky when used for book covers, knife sheaths, and wallets.

  46. “Duct tape is silver……silence is golden!”

    But, if I open carry my space gun (Beretta .22 Neos), I want the holster to look snazzy.

  47. I do not disagree with Mr. Aguirre. Even though no matter what we do, even if we just own but do not carry, they will still hate us for simply exercising the right to own. However, there is one point which I do think some caution is advised and that point is when anti-gun people object to open carry and cause issues among others by scaring them, with their false claims and rhetoric into thinking they are about to be shot. I recently witnessed such an event, and the gun owner did the right thing by simply leaving the store because the anti-gun person was sort of whipping the other customers (not all of them) into a “were going to be killed by this man with a gun” hysteria and basically about to incite a mini-riot.

    Now face it, you don’t want to shoot any innocent person because they were, in their mind, in genuine fear because of the false BS of the anti-gun person in a case like that and they got so whipped up that they tried to attack you in their idea no matter how false of self-defense. I know there are some out there who would say “stand your ground” anyway in a situation like that which I think is a stupid idea in this case – but think about it for a second, trying to make a point of “hmmm, its my right” and allowing the hysteria in that case to spread by staying around only endangers people in a case like that. So I think the gun owner did the right thing in that case by simply leaving. Other than cases like that, and where its simply not permitted, yep open carry the heck out of that gun and concealed carry too.


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