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So two Texans walk into a Walmart . . . Seriously guys, who cares if you open carry a modern sporting rifle into China R Us? Sure you have a right to do so. And yes, it’s polite to let the police know—if only to avoid a cleanup on aisle 11. But what does this accomplish? Gun normalization? As they say in South Africa, ja nir. Look Earle! There’s a guy carrying an AR in the cleaning products department! Wonder if he’s going hog hunting. Or Earle, quick! Where’d you put that Python? No, the gun stupid. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times: open carry is our friend. But how about we start with something simple like a Smith & Wesson 686 in a holster? Oh wait. No open carrying handguns in Texas. So . . . let’s start with that then. And leave the mutual masturbation thing to

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  1. So far as I know — we have open carry in VT.

    However, I have never seen it.

    I don’t think it would do “The Cause” any good — and I also don’t think it makes any sense from a personal safety point of view. Just because you can — don’t mean ya should.

    • I would counter with, just because you can’t, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to.

      I don’t carry as often as I’d like because I can’t open carry (Texas), but I have always maintained that if I had the choice, I would concealed carry whenever possible, just to avoid the confrontations and dirty looks. But that brings us to the main issue. How can we break the stigma of carrying, without carrying openly?

      There is an interesting correlation here to the gay rights movement. Persecution was not avoidable even when not in the public eye. But with the advent of in your face activism great strides have have been made by the movement.

      Why not the same with guns?

        • Being in your face with an AR15 may be a constitutional right, but it’s not going to win over the folks on the fence or marginally on the other side. Why? Because you look like a torqued off nut with a weapon. Torqued off individuals with weapons for some strange reason tends to scare people.

        • You only look like a torqued off gun nut because the media portrays you that way. No matter what, we will be vilified. No one will defend us in the court of public opinion. So fuck it. The only way to normalize guns is Open Carry.

  2. Well, this was certainly better than the unnecessarily confrontational videos of asshats yelling “AM I BEING DETAINED?” because the cop wants to ask a half dozen questions.

  3. These guys were waaaaaayyyy better behaved then other videos I’ve seen. Really, see how much easier it is to deal with the cops when you aren’t instantly belligerent and confrontational with them?

    • Well, the vast majority of the time it’s the cops who initiate the confrontation and belligerence.

      • In most videos I’ve seen posted, the cop doesn’t become belligerent until well after the “MY RIGHTS ARE BEING VIOLATED!!!” routine starts. A cop sees someone walking around with a weapon, it’s not unreasonable to ask then to put it down for a second and ask what they’re doing.

  4. +1 on the article sentiments.

    -1 for shameless pornhub plug…can we go back to Israeli Supermodel link yet? I somehow think the more sensitive among TTAG readers would prefer those over fap site mentions. YMMV.

  5. You’ve gotta start somewhere, and these guys have it right. The more people you get out and about carrying, the more normalized the public becomes to the sight of firearms. As they see officers speaking with them and not arresting them, the public will realize that a guy/gal walking with a rifle/sidearm isn’t such a bad thing. Hell, go speak with them and find out that they are pretty cool cats.

    • “The more people you get out and about carrying, the more normalized the public becomes to the sight of firearms.”

      I am not convinced that this a proven phenomena.

      I am pretty sure that in my own state [VT] — people who are currently unfriendly to gun/civil rights might see frequent open carry as menacing and rally to the “anti” cause. Culturally — VT is a little peculiar in that we have people with VERY different sub-cultures frequently being successful at keeping out of each others hair. Guns are not currently renting a lot of space in the general public’s mind here — I am inclined to think that is a good thing.

  6. How about this
    Everyone start carrying a rifle case loaded up with a copy of the Bill of Rights, State and local gun restrictions…I mean laws. Carry the case everywhere you go. Yea, the police will be called and they will grow tired of wasting their time checking every rifle case anytime someone “calls in” scared of a case which may contain a perfectly legal rifle or perfect copy of laws regarding the subject. Eventually, people will get used to seeing the cases and many will come to assume there’s a rifle in each one…and not one will go off by itself. At some point, folks will lose their fear of guns or just not care. Might even work with empty handgun cases too.

    • Good idea. “officer, this isn’t a rifle case, it’s my library and presentation material.”

  7. Pointless?

    The professionalism of both sides in this video is some of the best I’ve ever seen in this “movement’. It should be emulated, not derided.

    Looks like TTAG got infiltrated by Democrats. Time to move on.

  8. 1) It’s a matter of time before a rookie cop dusts one of these guys. Yes, the cop would be in the wrong but the guy legally openly carrying would be dead.

    2) I have seem countless videos and done research about open carry and I remain unconvinced that it is the way to go. It remains why I don’t wear the “shoot me first clothing.”

    • Calculated risk, and depends on what jurisdiction you are in. Cops don’t have a good record of hitting what they aim at and statistically, what, about 25% of pistol wounds are fatal? On the other hand, I would feel real bad if the cop hit an innocent bystander while he was illegally shooting at me.

      I like the idea of open carry as a normalizing influence, but I don’t think I want to be the test case, so unless they indicate locally that it is definitely okay and legal I think I’ll leave the confrontations to the younger bucks. As an official OFWG I really don’t want to spend my time and money fighting with cops and lawyers and prosecutors just to make a point.

  9. I open carried my handgun for three months straight in Nevada(Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City) while I was waiting for my ccw. Not once did I encounter a problem. I was seen multiple times by police. They don’t even bother you. But to be honest you should carry for self defense not just because you can that’s just my opinion though.

    • I suspect you would have attracted some additional attention if you entered a casino, or not?

    • My experience outside of the Denver- Boulder axis is the same. If anybody asks why I tell them my Virginia permit isn’t recognized and it’s the only way I can carry. The typical response is some form of Oh followed by a pleasant conversation on some topic other than guns.

  10. I appreciate people like this: calm, respectful, and calls and notifies both police and the store before they “demonstrate”. The sheeple have been so indoctrinated into “guns are bad;guns are only good for killing” that they need to be educated that it isnt the guns doing the killing; its the people behind them, and the majority of gun owners are good, law abiding people. If they get shocked at the sight of a firearm openly carried at Walmart this time, maybe next time will be less shocking and so on and so forth.

  11. What they did is totally different to what most of the “activists” (notably that group up in Oregon) do. They called the PD to let them know ahead of time and from what they said it sounds like they talked to the management at Walmart as well about what they would be doing. I think this might actually be before they even went in and the officer just came to chat out of curiosity after they called in what they would be doing.

    This is the right kind of open carry activism.

  12. I do not have strong feelings one way or the other on the open carry movement, but I will second some of the prior comments. The individuals in this video handled themselves far better than anyone else who I have seen in an open carry video.

  13. I appreciate what these guys are doing, primarily because they’re fostering good will with local law enforcement and are united as an organization. There’s strength in numbers and in promoting gun education without coming off like a stuttering @$$hole like Markedguardian on YouTube.

  14. Can you leave comments like “and leave the mutual masturbation thing to” out of your posts? Not only is it completely unprofessional and of poor taste, a lot of web filters block words like that.

  15. Seems like they did everything the right way, but I have one suggestion – trash the $5 pocket tees and get some matching “Texas Open Carry” t-shirts. It might set a few people aback at first, but after a while, they’ll know exactly what you’re up to and that you’re not a threat. And don’t do this by yourself. The last thing you should want is for people to get the wrong idea of what your up to.

  16. I don’t see the point of these demonstrations unless and until the Supreme Court rules–as it should and as other courts in the dim and distant past have ruled–that the law must allow carry in one form or another, whether open or “shall issue” concealed or both. In that these incidents do more to generate fear than understanding, they are more likely to result in greater restrictions than less. At least that is what happened in California. In a bygone era, open carry was the norm; but in most places in the US except the mountain states, concealed carry is the only way to avoid attracting unwanted police attention from frightened soccer moms who are certain that men with guns must e second cousins to Lucifer himself. And politicians being who they are, I would think the chosen method of “allowing” public carry will be the one that provides our keepers the greatest amount of control, essentially “shall issue” ccw plus training for a license to carry.

    • Mark, I live in a “shall issue” state and I like it. There is also no training requirement. As soon as any law is allowed to stand that even implies that a government body can decide what training you need and what taxes/fees you must pay BEFORE you can exercise your right then it is no longer a natural and civil right, but are rights granted by the government and the government can set any restrictions, no matter how expensive or onerous, that they desire in an effort to prevent you from exercising that right.

      “…shall not be infringed.” means just exactly that and allowing a politician’s nose (or horse’s ass, same thing) under the tent flap only leads to you know what.

      • Hey Cliff….your shall issue state is infringing on your God-given right to protect yourself. You have to pay your fee and submit your carry application to get .gov’s permission. Damn….wake up!

  17. Here is another point: In the nearby (to me) State of NY — one needs the good will of the local police — in order to be a handgun owner (never mind carry it anywhere).

    If I open-carried in my town (which I am pretty sure is legal) — I would be on the police “nut” list in no time — and I might need their good will some day.

  18. C’mon RF….

    What’s your beef? That you moved to Texas instead of here in sunny Arizona, where we don’t need no stinkin anything to carry open, concealed….

  19. These fellows may actually help win open carry of handguns in TX. Unlike the amateur street lawyers measuring dicks with police that lost their open carry rights in CA.

    • Thank you. We lost hand gun open carry followed immediately by long gun open carry all within a year or so ago. All thanks to asshats who provoke a confrontation with the police. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, and definitely doesn’t mean you should while being a dick about it. You are not going to win over any middle-ground fence-sitting moderates, and only hurt the gun rights movement in the long run. Completely missing the forest for the tree.

      • It was never a right if it was simply taken away. If the SAF and NRA thought it was a right they would have filed suit…that’s right, they didn’t.

        I believe that the open carry of loaded firearms is a right, the above was to prove that tn rights groups do not feel the same.

      • +1. That’s just how it went down- court ruled on the CCW case brought by Peruta, denying it based on faulty reasoning that citizens could open carry long guns, then the

        nitwits with ego needs starting parading around with ARs and scaring PTA mommies at the Starbucks, and the tourists at the beach.

        Californias dem controlled state senate and assembly promptly ginned up a no open carry long gun law, and Gov Moonbeam signed it, all within a year.

        You can be right all day long, and cite your legal rights, just like your right as a pedestrian to the cross-walk, here in CA, but if a semi is barreling down on you and spreads you out like a bug, its all talk. A little common sense and smart, patient group effort goes a long way.

        NRA and SAF are playing the long game, bringing cases they can win, that have to go thru often a multi-year process, waiting for a piece of the puzzle to be won elsewhere, to obtain the legal precedent that creates the win over the liberal 9th Circuit court,

        which then drags things out…months or years more,

        so fighting this long-gun issue was and is far down the list, compared to the others that they have invested in, and can win.

        • The NRA and SAF keep on losing in court because they are asking for the right to conceal carry. The right to bear arms has historically been understood to be open carry. they are not playing the long game they are playing a losing game.

  20. I watched that video twice. I am so impressed with the professionalism from all involved. But especially the LEO. If that exchange had happened in the town I live in I would want to track that cop down and thank him for how he handled himself and that entire situation.

  21. This sort of stunt, and that’s what this was, a stunt, is five kinds of stupid. These chuckle-heads aren’t doing the gun carry crowd anything but a disservice. Why do they think it’s OK to parade around with a rifle in such a urban area? There’s a time and a place for everything, unfortunately, this wasn’t either of those. Pretending that there is no difference between carrying a hand gun and a tactical sporting rifle makes us look like the cranks we’re all continually, and wrongly accused of being on a daily basis. If they thought it was no big deal, why did they bother call the police first, why didn’t they just carry it and see what happened? (:20 second Final Jeopardy music) What is, because they must have thought they could be seriously endangering their lives if they didn’t, Alec? Bng-bing-bing-bing-bing!!!! We have a winner!! So much for the courage of their gun rights convictions, eh? This is being provocative without just cause, all for the sake of being provocative. Dumb and dumber here trying to act as though the American public hasn’t had an eye and ear full these firearms on TV news in the last two years, and that no one would take notice, only shows that they knew just the opposite might happen. I just hope the folks in Waco didn’t need this LEO doing more important work than trying to ascertain what Heckle and Jeckle were up to in the Walmart parking lot, besides making a Youtube nuisance of themselves. The only kudos I have are for the Waco LEO who had to talk to these nimrods. Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here.

    • “Nimrod, chuckle head, dumb and dumber”; when a person has nothing backing their argument, they resort to ad hominem attacks.
      This is the tactics of gun grabbers, you place yourself in low company OFT; these men have the courage of their convictions, which is to be admired.
      You might disagree with their tactics, but they stand for freedom; we need more people with this type of conviction.

      • Texas open carriers: May we exercise a fundamental civil right today?
        Cops: Yes, you may once we go out and ensure you are doing it in a safe manner.

        That is the only problem I have.

      • If you can show me how this Youtube stunt makes these two look like intellectual heavy hitters for the gun rights crowd, I’ll take it all back. Stunts like this are the opposite of help, no matter what they claim to stand for. Do you really believe this was the proper place, or the proper firearm to test the limits of open carry? Do you? I’ve been shooting for 40 years(since I was 10), and this STUNT makes us look like the crazies the Leftist gun grabbers accuse us of being. So, do you think open carry should allow me to pack a sniper rifle up to the University of Texas bell tower? Hey, open carry means open carry, right? Does that sound like a good idea for a STUNT to display my protected open carry gun rights? Calling these two nimrods, chuckle-heads and dumb and dumber was being kind. How about ass-hats, does that work for you?

        • Take a deep breath, hold it, then let it out, do it again; now don’t you feel better?

          The whole point is that at one time, open carrying rifles and pistols were the norm, the only way to make it the norm again is to open carry pistols and rifles.

          Can’t do that if everyone hides their guns. Simple.

          • “The whole point is that at one time, open carrying rifles and pistols were the norm, the only way to make it the norm again is to open carry pistols and rifles”

            Open carrying of weapons has not been a “norm” in any US city in the lifetime of any living person. I am a member of several historical societies here in VT — and have seen countless pictures of village and small town life over the years. Spotting firearms would be an oddity. I have lived in VT since 1998 and I have never seen someone openly walking around with a firearm. No one arrives at my gun club openly carrying a firearm. In fact — I know very few gun owners that carry at all — even though no permit is needed.

            This may be partly due to the fact that VT is not a very scary place to live. There is no “bad neighborhood” in my town — maybe a bad HOUSE — that you would not stop at for Halloween treats.

            Growing up in NYC and NY Metropolitan Dystopia — the only people I knew who carried guns (concealed) were cops and gangsters (actually — sometimes they were both).

  22. Just pretend it’s Gay Marriage ten years ago. with everyone making it a point to make out in churches, in parks, wherever, to “raise awareness”. 50 years ago, desegregation did the samr thing

    Did you support or hate on those actions then? If you supported it, then quit being outraged now. If you didn’t, quit pretending you care about “rights”.

    Normalization WORKS. Keeping in the closet does not.

    • A reasonable person isn’t going to think the lesbian couple making out on the bench across the street is a potentially life threatening situation.

      A reasonable person isn’t going to think a couple of black guys sitting next to him/her at a lunch counter is a potentially life threatening situation.

      A reasonable person seeing a guy walking down the street carrying a loaded AR15 probably is most likely going to think it *is* a life threatening situation. Whether they are right or wrong is irrelevant… they are most likely going to think it (heck, I would, and most of you would as well).

      Comparing it to gay marriage or civil rights is apples and oranges. Walking around with a loaded weapon is not the same thing as the color of your skin. I can’t kill you with my skin color… I can kill you with my AR. Not acknowledging that fact is being naive of the realities our side faces.

  23. Someone may have already suggested this, but here’s a thought: Openly carrying a rifle in a rifle case that can be slung on the shoulder. It has the all the potential benefits of a holstered pistol without all of the potential negative side-effects – as far as the concept of firearm normalization goes, at least.

    • LOL I did that last week.

      video 1 First detention at about

      video 2 Second detention at about

      audio 1 First detention and news channel 5 interview

      audio 2 both detentions, interview, additional questions, and commentary

      On 7-29-13 starting at about 3:00pm I passed out leaflets stating, ““… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Second Amendment to the United States Constitution,” in downtown Nashville. I openly carried a molded kydex rifle case on my back while wearing a ballistic vest. I purchased the ballistic vest because Tennessee cops have repeatedly pointed guns at me. It would be foolish not to wear a ballistic vest. I was detained once for about 20 minutes and let go. The search included a pat down and the temporary seizure of my rifle case. Once I was released I proceeded to do an interview with news channel 5 who was taking pictures from across the street. I then continued to pass out leaflets and was walking back to my vehicle when I was stopped by a crazy cop. He detained me, while his henchmen removed my sealed locked rifle case and pried it open without permission. They saw a suppressor attached to an AR15 rifle inside the case. The rifle was unloaded and had no magazine. I was arrested for the silencer even though confidential ATF form 3 paperwork was inside the case. I am an FFL NFA dealer and pay the SOT. Information from the form 3 ATF document may only be disclosed to federal officials for violation of the NFA. The cops said that since the case appeared to maybe have a rifle in it they were justified in opening it. I was arrested for illegal possession of a silencer. I was strip searched as ordered by a sergeant to look for “keys”. I was the only one that I saw stripped searched in that manner. I was held without bond for several hours. I was finally given a chance to see the magistrate at about 9pm on video. He gave the cops permission to cut the cable lock on the rifle case. Inside the case they saw that the rifle was unloaded and they discovered the ATF form 3. That did not matter to the magistrate judge and I was charged and to be held on a $3000 bond. I thought I would have a real judge see the evidence the next morning so my intention was to hang out for the night, but they said court would not be held until Aug 2. I was not going to wait three days in jail so I bonded out at about 5am on 7-30-13.

      I have broke no law and believe the DA has not dropped the charges for fear of a federal lawsuit. I have filed papers with the criminal court for a preliminary hearing, speedy trial, pro se defense, discovery, motion to change the court time to Aug 20 9am, motion to return my property, and jury demand trial.

      The case was made from kydex. The kydex covered every part of the firearm and no part of the firearm was visible. The kydex was molded to be form fitting and was very tight. The case needed nothing to remain closed, but I made sure the case would not open by using additional means. A cable lock was placed on the kydex case so that the firearm could not be used. The cable lock was placed around the trigger housing. The sling was strapped in two places over the kydex case, prevent the case from being opened. As a final touch I placed tape around the case at six points to ensure cops did not attempt to open it. As added security there were no keys for the cable lock.

      Form 3 Information

      “The information from this application may only be disclosed to Federal authorities for purpose of prosecution for violation of the National Firearms Act.”

  24. Great. Instead of responding “I’ll send a unit right away,” when a 9/11 dispatcher gets a report of an “armed gunman,” the dispatcher has to play 20 questions, trying to ascertain if it’s a true nut job with malicious intent or just some local yahoo creating political theater for his youtube channel.

    “10 dead? Well, I would have sent a squad car over right away, but I just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a law-abiding citizen exercising his 2nd amendment rights. My bad…”

    • What fantasy world do you live in? Shots fired calls dont get the 20 questions game. Also maybe if more of the sheeple werent hoplophobic pantywaists who call the cops when people carry handguns in retention holsters in public we wouldnt have that problem…

      • “Pantywaists”? That’s rich. The “pantywaists” are the folks too scared to step outside their front door without an assault cannon over their shoulder. I along with most everyone else from the civilized world can go about my daily business without being armed 24/7. It’s not the wild west anymore and it’s not beyond thunderdome. Save your gun for the home, the shooting range, or for a hunting trip.

        And if I see someone with a gun where it doesn’t belong I’m not going to give him or here the benefit of the doubt. The cops will be called. He could be the next Adam Lanza on his way to his moment of infamy for all I know.

  25. To Wal-marts credit here in Washington state. Two of the three times that I have seen open carry in a store has been at our local Wal-mart. The first one was a gentlemen with a silver revolver on the right hip. Early morning with not a lot of people around. The second time was a couple of months later with two women. Both with what looked like a Glock of some kind. The store was packed on a Saturday afternoon. I’m not sure if anyone noticed or even cared.

    I have a feeling Wal-mart knows what most of their shoppers feelings are about guns. I’m sure they will not deny one right to open carry in the store for fear of the backlash of those customers. It would be a PR disaster that even low prices couldn’t fix.

  26. I’ve come to the point where I am now wondering why anyone would open carry and thus give bad guys a tremendous tactical advantage; namely, seeing that you are armed.

    I’d rather the bad guys realize I’m armed only after they find out the hard way, if it ever should come to that.

  27. Open carry is a social experiment, I have found that if one open carries, but does not ‘act’ any differently, nobody really takes notice, and if they do, they don’t acknowledge it…I have open carried just about everywhere I frequent, and have never been asked or even approached, therefore I must conclude that it’s really not that big of a deal…

  28. if every LEO acted like him, there would be far fewer cop haters. (especially on this site)

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