Open carry AP feat
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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By Will Mitchell

As a rural Alabama civilian I’ve never experienced any type of major crime. Never has my home been burglarized, never have I experienced an armed robbery, and never have I ever felt like my life, or my family’s lives been in danger. But as times change so does my opinion of society.

I began thinking, “What if my life was in danger, all because someone wanted to take something that was mine?” So about a year ago I made the decision to visit my local county sheriff’s office and apply for an Alabama pistol permit. The process was quick and hassle free and I became a permit holder in under twenty minutes.

Having grown up around guns I feel like I have a sensible amount of knowledge on gun safety, but as much as it shames me to admit, I am, in fact, not an expert and a pistol was an entirely new tool in my tool belt. I consulted several close friends who I knew carried every day including my boss who I often see put his gun in a drawer in his desk. He informed me that his son had a small pistol for sale.

I contacted him and bought one of the cheapest (both in appearance and price) firearms I’ve ever purchased, a Jimenez Arms J.A. .380 for everyday carry. The slim profile and inside the waistband holster helped me “blend into the crowd” as some people would put it. After three trips to the local firing range I became comfortable with the gun and was ready to carry on a daily basis.

Why the background? Because as my boss and I entered our local Piggly Wiggly to stock up on spare ribs to cook for the Fourth of July, we turned a corner onto an aisle to see two boys — emphasis on the boys — each carrying revolvers on their hips and I was immediately taken back.

I didn’t think the boys were any older than 19 and I could tell by their demeanor they thought they were, “Billy Badasses” with these revolvers in big leather holsters hanging on their hips.

As we walked by, we gave nods and they nodded in return. But as we walked into the next aisle, my boss said, “Boys must think they’re hot stuff carrying those little things around.” “Little things!?” I thought to myself, those pistols ran halfway down their thighs. He proceeded to tell me that both guns were .22 caliber, and that he owned the same ones. These were simple guns, used to shoot snakes in the yard, not something you strap to your belt on a trip to the grocery store.

As we concluded our shopping and made our way to the register, I noticed Billy the Kid and his partner checking out just two registers to the left of us, so naturally I inconspicuously watched them. The owner of the store walked out of his office and stood several feet behind one of the open carriers. The tension in the air could have been cut with a knife.

Nothing was said, nothing was done, but every aisle these boys walked down immediately cleared out. Little did anyone in the store know I had more firepower in my waistband than the two combined.

As a strongly conservative Republican I am not the type to put down other people’s beliefs like most left-wing liberals feel the necessity to nowadays, but in my personal opinion, open carry is an irresponsible and unnecessary way to carry that basically screams, “Look at me I have a gun!” As the day went on I couldn’t help but wonder why these two felt the need to strap their guns to their hips on the way to the grocery store.

Suppose these wanna-be cowboys carried their .22s to protect the innocent shoppers of Piggly Wiggly. Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more firearms. Or, what if they wanted to do harm and were scoping out the place? Not sure how well that would have gone seeing as every person in the grocery store was already suspicious of them including the management and at least one armed citizen: me.

I’m not a writer by any means. I failed English Comp 2 at Auburn University my freshman year of college. But if this story caught your attention, let the moral be twice as attention grabbing: if anyone but you knows that you’re carrying a pistol, you’re doing it wrong.


This post was originally published in 2015.

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  1. Carry how you choose. I had an OC pistol prevent me having to draw down on someone once. I prefer CC but do OC on occasion still.

    • Can you tell your story of open carry preventing you from having to draw your pistol? I’m interested and have no sarcasm or malicious intent with the question.

    • Same here, twice — some guy advancing on me, seeing my sidearm, deciding they had somewhere else to be, in both cases. In both cases I was doing trail work and they objected to having their shortcuts blocked.

  2. This is a retread, must be a slow news day. Who cares, the only “tension” was in this guys small brain. I’m a gun owner but…GTFO.

    • My thoughts are more about this being a 2015 retread than about the writer’s position on open carry, which probably had evolved considerably in the last six or seven years.

      TTAG appears to have gotten lazy, as this would be an example, as would the increasing number of “sponsored content” articles we’re seeing.

      RF, please save us!

      • Oh yeah, I’ve been saying ever since Rob left, that it’s been a downward spiral. And the dry, “hardly anyone besides an old white guy with a specific background will get it” meme thing is just too much… 😮

        • Open carry wherever the law allows, I won’t dispute your right to do so in any way. It wont bother me much at all, as long as you are behaving like a law abiding responsible gun owner instead of an idiot.

          But if you do OC, you should realize that law abiding people like me, and even criminals, will always have a piece of information about you that you don’t have about them.

          If you are OK with that, so am I.

      • Skippy Sanchez,

        Reposting an old article is fine if it is a high-quality article.

        Echoing other comments, old articles can be helpful to new readers and even to long-time readers as refreshers of important content. On a somewhat similar vein, it could be helpful to review old articles if “times” (e.g. politics, technology, societal norms, laws, knowledge, etc.) have changed since this site first posted the article.

  3. Things have changed in the last almost 7 years. I kinda wonder how the author feels about the 21 States that are now permitless carry, or if he’s still wetting his panties. And a .380 isn’t exactly a hand cannon, then or now.

      • That was my thought. A Jimenez .380? I actually would prefer a Ruger .22 or a S&W 22. Even a Ruger Single Six over a Jimenez .380. I thought I was fairly knowledgable about firearms but a Jimenez is a new one on me. There used to be three or four el cheapo gun manufacturers in China CA and right now I can’t scare up one name out of my deep history brain cells. It will come to me about 0330 tomorrow morning. Even so, if Jimenez was one of them, the name still doesn’t ring a bell.

        I have never been an elitist, but I sure wouldn’t want to trust my life to an unknown brand of firearm. Apparently the author has fired it several times and has determined that particular firearm’s reliability but I suspect that sometime down the road if he continues to gather range time with it, it will have a part fail and not be able to find a replacement part.

        As for open or concealed carry, my choice is concealed carry, but like makes of automobiles, what I like may be anathema to another and neither of us are right or wrong, just of a different mind. If open carry is legal in your locale and you feel like carrying open, go for it.

    • I had one, long ago. I always felt like it was a turbocharged .22. Slightly louder bark, slightly louder “thunk” when you hit something with it, slightly more recoil. Almost everything else seemed bigger, badder, and more deadly.

      Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’d want to be hit with one!

  4. This site has really gone downhill. Did they lose a bunch of writers? First the padding of content by adding a daily meme pulled from the internet…. Which is just a lazy way to fill space. Now the retreading of 6 year old posts. Used to be a daily viewer of this site but I’m going to take it off my bookmarks as it’s basically a worthless read now

    • Articles such as this may be of little value to the older members of POTG. However, there are a lot of new members for which articles such as this could be of great value. My hunch is that many things are being re-posted here and elsewhere for the benefit of the new gun owners.

      • This isn’t a helpful or educational article in any way whatsoever. It’s a poorly written opinion piece written by a FUDD. It’s the equivalent to some old man yelling to “get off his lawn”. Reposting a thoughtful, intelligently written, and educational article is one thing. This was simply dull filler as this blog has gone so down hill they are desperate to fill up space.

  5. This is full of high comedy and pretentiousness: “Little did anyone in the store know I had more firepower in my waistband than the two combined.”

    Grumpy John Wayne was concealed carrying his Colt 1911 or Python right? Uh, nope:

    “I contacted him and bought one of the cheapest (both in appearance and price) firearms I’ve ever purchased, a Jimenez Arms J.A. .380 for everyday carry. ”

    The author even admits he doesn’t know much, and of course there is his friend selling him jimenez…I dunno, I would call everyone evenly matched in this story. I think the lesson is don’t be judgemental gun snob, especially when all you have is a Jimenez.

  6. Personally, I’m agnostic about open carry. Gangbangers & scheit-birds intent on murder aren’t going to open carry.

    These simply aren’t the people I’m worried about.

    • Exactly. Their not the ones looking to rob the place.
      Once saw a guy wearing sweatpants and a GI pistol belt with a glock in home depot. looked silly but whatever.

  7. Where is my big lebowski opinions meme haha

    This is just like the 45/9 argument, it’s gonna be happening after the nukes drop.

    I’ve been a restaurant GM for years and luckily now get to do firearms video content things. Once I left DFW and started working in a rural area, I began to see quite a few people open carrying, especially at the restaurant. Most were rather large and are doing it for comfort I imagine, but I would always chat with them as i love engaging with my customers who werent raiders. Never any absolutes of course, but generally you can get some kind of general idea about a person through a short conversation.

    Edit: a rural area which has a ton of crime which is like living in the hood in dallas 50% of the time.

    I have seen never seen a single person using a retention holster( how I personally OC when I rarely do in rural NE TX) like a safariland and quite a few times people were open carrying a smaller CCW style weapon like those SCCYs (I guess these are popular).

    The point, at least they have a firearm. Hopefully they are proficient but they’re putting more effort in than most people by actually carrying.

    • I used to rarely open carry away from the house but recently with the polarization of our country and the general stupidness going on I have started carrying openly more. I do prefer a retention style and I must be old school because I rarely see anyone else using these. Some people carrying openly it stands out and others it just blends in. Here in central Texas there are a lot more of the latter of those I have seen.

  8. People, myself included, open carry where I live all day every day: driving their pickups or ATVs; out in the yard; walking their dogs; at the gas station, grocery store, and hardware store. That said, I wouldn’t open carry in the nearest large city (650,000+ population, I visit maybe two times a year), even though it is legal. The crime rate in that city is spiking and I don’t want to be a target.

  9. He carried a Jimenez .380 and thought he “had more firepower in his waistband than the two combined”? LMAO! Talk about delusions of grandeur. 😀
    These two kids are probably way more proficient with their guns than this fud who was ‘unfamiliar with handguns’. I mean WTF? 😐
    With the exception of open carry activists doing it to generate public awareness, people do it simply because of convenience and comfort. Which especially must be the case in a rural Alabama hot and humid ‘town’. It’s not to feel like “Billy Badasses” and the fact someone gets wet in their crotch seeing a gun at the grocery store doesn’t change that it’s LEGAL.
    I am really sick of hearing these old geezers scared of ARs and open carry. Maybe someone should write an open letter to them? Wear your diaper and mind your own business. 😉

  10. Open carry is allowed by Big Brother mainly for hunters to go gallivanting around with shootin’ irons. As for the two gun toting shoppers the writer and his pal not only sized them up but went way overboard scrutinizing the two. It’s a wonder their height, weight, race and religion wasn’t included.

    The one question that matters in such a situation is, “Threat or No Threat?” Why all the hoopla when the Treat Level Needle wasn’t moving and the writer had more firepower and his was concealed? It all turned into such a hair raising experience. And thankfully the writer lived to tell about it, amazing the drama king even survived.

    Bottom line…You pass a NCIC you should not need any special blessings, additional mandates and hoops to jump through before you can open carry or wear a coat over a firearm or put one in a purse, etc. I would be much more concerned about someone taking a parring knife or ice pick from the utensil aisle and walking around the store sticking it in unsuspecting shoppers than the two “Boys” with holstered sidearms going bananas.

    • I vaugely remember seeing this in 2015. And thinking “he carries a ‘ring of fire’ jimenez!”Zamack attack. Kinda didn’t(& don’t) give a rat’s azz about it’s opinion. No open carry in ILLannoy either(I do see it occasionally in Indiana aka GOD’S. country.

  11. It’s 2021, grocery stores can be kinda dangerous. Open carry, concealed carry, whatever. I don’t think anyone cares anymore concerning how it “looks”.

  12. The owner of the store walked out of his office and stood several feet behind one of the open carriers. The tension in the air could have been cut with a knife.

    Nothing was said, nothing was done, but every aisle these boys walked down immediately cleared out.

    People open carry here all the time. I do sometimes. No one cares, isles don’t clear out and store owners don’t run out to stand behind you. Some stores have the “no firearms” sign up, and people respect that so don’t carry in their stores but if you ask the store managers they usually tell you to just conceal it. And stores with a policy of no open carry, their policy is respected. But 98% of the stores don’t have the sign and no one treats you any different if you open carry.

    Occasionally some one will say something, but even then store managers basically say “so?” and If the person gets loud about it the manager usually asks them to either finish their shopping unconcerned or just leave.

  13. That’s a long-winded way to articulate your own psychological projection upon the carry decisions of others.

    Carry however you see fit. And then mind your own business regarding how others choose to carry.

  14. Around here (Metro Detroit) I can remember seeing a civilian someone open carrying in a restaurant up to and including ONCE. It’s just a better idea not to. Too many nervous nellies around, and who wants the aggravation.

  15. Around here, nobody cares if you carry openly.

    And my guess is that if the average criminal walks into a place and sees armed humans, the criminal is far more likely to leave rather than choose to either shoot or physically overpower someone and take their gun.

  16. We have open carry in SC

    Most of the guys open carrying look like nuts. Like the 300 pound guy carrying an old pistol in a shoulder holster at a restuarant. As a result we now have more NO GUNS signs up than ever. No win here.

    I am all for freedom. I hate cigarattes and pit bulls but have to bite my tongue and hold my vote because after all some things are the price of freedom. Open carry leaves a bad taste my friends.

  17. I live in a very gun friendly part of a Constitutional carry state. If we had phone books any more you could use one as a proxy for a listing of gun owners (or deer hunters for that matter) ideally eliminating any convicted felons, although I am not sure that is a good assumption. You would think open carry would be common, but I can count the number of times I have seen someone open carrying on ten or less fingers. These incidences were mostly near my county’s border in an adjacent county that is more urban and less gun friendly. The real value of open carry to me is that I prefer the leather over plastic FrontLine Israeli owb holsters under a vest or jacket most of the time and carry a 357 Kimber k6s, 9mm CZ rami decocker, or CZ Compact decocker. These are all three small guns, but not miniscule. The value of open carry for me and presumably others here is that if I inadvertently flash my handgun and somebody sees it I am well within state law.

  18. I excitedly wait for the day (soon) our republic and its constitution is restored and I again can correctly assume everyone meandering has a weapon of choice carried in their preferred fashion (as intended by the 2A) and this silly firearm [non-issue] is no longer the big deal in your mind you’ve here made of it here. drops mic

  19. Wanna really get Karens’ panties in wad? Walk around, open carrying, a 1911 cocked and locked. Plus, 2 spare magazines. I “might” OC, but I don’t need the possibility of dealing with a Karen. BTW I almost got tossed out of an indoor range when the “RSO” saw that my 1911 was cocked and locked. He honestly didn’t know that’s the way Saint Browning designed the 1911. Had to almost force him to Google what cocked and locked meant.

  20. Maybe the two Billy Badasses were just two young men who had been out plinking. They didn’t rob the store or assault anyone. Perhaps the only villains were the people who became alarmed.

    • Better yet Elmer Fudd,

      Maybe the two young men, who the author estimated to be 19 years old, were carrying openly:


    • Or they may just not have wanted to leave their guns in the car. As we’ve all been warned, it’s a good way to have it stolen.

  21. As I have gotten older I buy mostly Cargo Pants having come to destest carrying a purse.
    Cargo pants have a lot of pockets of different sizes. From wallet and car keys to easily conceal a good size handgun. Placed properly printing is manageable.
    As a rancher’s daughter and granddaughter.
    If your in Ranching territory you might meet the “bless your heart” type of elderly woman, especially if you just said something really stupid!
    And then you can run into someone like me, that conveys “if you mess with me, I will open a can of whip ass on you”!
    I was not raised to be a candy ass person, had career military father, all brothers and no sisters.
    My brothers two older brothers were supposed to walk with me after school but no one wanted to be seen with a little sister with them so as soon as we reached the other side of the highway, I was ditched and became Bully bait, without exception none of them didn’t come home without a bloody nose.!n fact, a couple of the bullies became my bodyguards.
    Same thing when started dating, anyone who wanted to go further than just kissing, would get a bloody lower lip. “No means no”

  22. I don’t even know where to begin with that article.

    First, the author carries a Jimenez semi-auto handgun–about the worst possible choice of handguns, ever, in all time. Then he claims to have superior firepower to two young men carrying .22 caliber revolvers. I cannot decide if that was the most stupid or the most funny thing that I have ever heard.

    How on God’s green Earth does the author know that the two young men thought they were “Billy Badass”? It appears that the two young men nodded back at the author and did absolutely NOTHING to intimidate anyone. They simply shopped, paid for their merchandise and left the store. How does that make them a “Billy Badass”?

  23. Suppose these wanna-be cowboys carried their .22s to protect the innocent shoppers of Piggly Wiggly.

    How does the author know that the two young men were “wanna-be cowboys”?

    Why does the author assume that the two young men carried to protect other shoppers?

    Any gunman would immediately target them, then be armed with two more firearms.

    When the author can provide citations of that happening three times anywhere ever in the United States, I might consider that worth investigating further. (Hint: the author will not find those three citations because they do not exist.)

    … what if they wanted to do harm and were scoping out the place? Not sure how well that would have gone seeing as every person in the grocery store was already suspicious of them including the management and at least one armed citizen: me.

    And the author discounts his own assertion. (Hint: criminals casing a location for armed robbery do not walk in openly armed.)

  24. Let me be absolutely crystal clear: the author of this article is hysterical and what he expressed is hysterical garbage. His mind jumps to all sorts of assumptions, conclusions, and fears based on hysteria, not facts.

    Let me share a similar example. I went a local hardware store with my self-defense handgun (which I carry every day) in a holster on my belt which was plainly visible. I had my young child with me who was about 5 years-old. I was dressed nicely (business casual) and I exuded a very pleasant, upbeat, polite, and friendly demeanor. After paying for my merchandise, I headed to the door. I was carrying my 5 year-old child in my arms. When I got to the door, a person was following somewhat close behind me, so I held the door open for him to pass me by. At that moment he finally noticed my handgun on my hip and recoiled in horror: he would not pass me. Instead, he stood there in fear and refused to proceed. I simply smiled and went out the door.

    That man’s fear–of such magnitude that he was “frozen” and could/would not pass me–was utterly and totally irrational/hysterical. What threat could I have possibly posed to him, a dad with his child in his arms who is nice and polite, dressed nicely, just paid for merchandise at the sales counter, and was thoughtful enough to hold the door open for him?

    I refuse to alter my righteous conduct for such hysterical people.

  25. Did these young men do something wrong while open carrying, it appears that they did not so why not congratulate them instead of spreading fear.

    Open carry is necessary so that a concealed carry person will not get in trouble if their firearm is accidently exposed from concealment. The police open carry, do people avoid the area they are walking in.

    Let’s not spread your fears fand ignorance to others.

  26. Yeah, you don’t get to tell me what to do, especially if you carry a Jimenez.

    90% of the time I’m carrying, it’s openly. You get some looks, but the more people do it, the more it’s normalized. And the people who have a problem with it are almost always too bitchmade to say something about it.

    In my years of doing it, I have only had one person verbally express disapproval compared to dozens of conversations about how to start carrying or what gun to choose etc.

    We should take a lesson from how the gay lobby basically normalized their behavior and made it a thoughtcrime to disapprove of them. We have got to come out of the closet and show people that exercising the second amendment is not something to hide or be ashamed of.

  27. uncommon_sense says “I exuded a very pleasant, upbeat, polite, and friendly demeanor.”

    Help us non woke types. How does one know what they exuded ?

    I mean is it a smell or a perfume ? Such as the fragerance “Exuded” by Juan Browning.

    Seriously speaking us old timers usually exude in the woods. With me I have to exude at 3am when its 19 below. I have never exuded in a checkout line, but Im not 70 yet.

    • JB,

      Dictionary-type description of the word exude.

      (of a person) display (an emotion or quality) strongly and openly.

  28. a .22 long rifle load with a high velocity segmented bullet would be a nightmare to get shot with.. A .22 will kill you as dead as any other gun.. an emergency room physician will tell you a 22 is a very difficult bullet to treat in the victims ..a .22 magnum will Do a job too..I do not choose to carry those but never underestimate them as a defensive round..A lot of technology are going into these new 22 rounds..

    As far as open carry goes.. I just hope anyone that practices that will be prepared for a snatch and grab situation.. that’s the downside to open carry..

  29. Let me start this comment by saying I live in Colorado where we have both open and concealed carry. I carry concealed and seldom if ever carry open for one and only one reason. I think it does make some people uncomfortable, so I do not do it. I would like to point out two things however. While a 22 caliber pistol is not the usual carry weapon for emost people it would be a mistake to think that if you have a 380 acp that you have some heavy duty gun on your hip. A 22 caliber bullet can generate between 140 to 204 foot pounds of energy. A 380 auto can generate between 163 to 233 foot pounds of energy. Either caliber with a well placed shot or shots can kill you. If you don’t believe that ask some mafia hit men who often used a 22 caliber by shooting their victim in the head.
    Second, open carry is not only legal but very popular in some States and to indicate that there is something wrong with that is a statement made by someone who does not understand the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Everyone, who walks around open carrying is not trying to make a statement about how macho they are. Doing so can be a greater deterrent to crime than carrying concealed. Ever ask yourself why law enforcement for the most part open carries? Personally, I don’t think Will Mitchell fully understands the issues regarding either form of carry by what he has mentioned in the article.

  30. Only fools and deranged far right nut cases like to open carry. Its their way of saying since I know my dick is smaller than yours I have to compensate for my masculinity in some bizarre way which of course is open carry and “look at me I am a bad ass”. Famous last words as open carry frightens people and store clerks have been known to call the cops in a panic and the dumb ass cops come in even more panicked than the people that called them. Result the dumb ass that open carried sometimes gets his dumb ass blown away by the panicked cops.

    Several years ago a black guy went shopping with his girl friend. His first mistake was being armed while being black, if he had been white he might have gotten away with it. The female clerk saw his gun when he bent over. Yes it was concealed not open carry and she called the panicked cops. The cops gunned him down as he walked out of the store never even giving him a chance to surrender. After all they figured black lives don’t matter.

    Open carry scares the hell out of normal people because they realize that maybe this guy is an aggressive nut case looking for a fight or maybe he is an incompetent moron who will have an accidental discharge. Or if he suddenly appears he may be a mass murderer. A million concerns go through their minds as they cannot imagine why any normal person would be so paranoid as to go around armed but even doing it openly. To them something is definitely wrong with this nut case. Sadly many times they are correct.

    Many states that may allow concealed carry sometimes outlaw open carry and those that do not often disregard their own laws and arrest people who are legally open carrying. I have seen it happen in my own state as the Cops are often suspicions and wary of people carrying openly. If you want trouble carry openly because trouble will find you faster than if you carry concealed. I asked a cop if he could arrest me if I was carrying openly even though it is legal in my state. The cop immediately rattled off half a dozen charges he could get me on, including inducing panic, none of which were carrying openly but he said he could put me in the slammer just because he wanted to and avoid the legality of open carry and still nail me to the wall. I never forgot that warning.

    The Far Right nut cases actually believe that the majority of normal people are as paranoid as they are and in agreement with them when in reality normal people see them for what they really are, nut cases that want to intimidate people and are so paranoid most even take showers with their weapons and sleep with loaded pistols under their pillows. I am not being factious in any way as I have know plenty of these screwballs down through the years. What a way to try and live.

    I would agree also that if a criminal or terrorist walked into a store and saw anyone carrying openly they would be the first targets and since the people being targeted would not be expecting this to happen they would be drawn down on and shot before they even realized what was happening. Just try and outdraw someone who already has a high power rifle pointed at you, unless you are the reincarnation of Bill Jordan you are dead meat. Anyone who would argue the point is the usual delusional far right nut case.

    The Far Right are always their own worst enemies and by openly carrying it only convinces normal people that more draconian anti-gun laws need to be passed to keep guns out of the hands of people who are intimidating and frightening them when they try to just go to shop at the store. They don not need or want this shit especially when they see mass murders on the news almost weekly. They have no idea as to what a guy suddenly appearing in a store with gun is going to do. Its bad for business owners as well as the people are far less likely to shop there again and blame the store owner for not posting a sign outlawing this.

    If you want to go armed use your damn head and carry concealed and make sure your gun does not show its print. You will live longer if you do.

  31. This is an indirect way for the Austin liberals who run this site to side-poke their views in. The arguments in it are moronic. No one “planning to attack” goes on rampage and then singles out some armed randos – they do not have x-ray vision and willy-nilly know what everyone in a store is doing. I live in probably the most open-carry prone state in America – KY – where you literally see five people at a time in Walmart with them – and most of the time no one even looks twice and frankly many people do not notice. These are tired and dumb arguments. Also, there is an anti-rights wing that wants the gun crowd to hand over open carry for supposed “concealed” rights so that they can get rid of both. This website, which used to not be a few Austin hipsters a long time ago, is really becoming quite boring. You Austin hipsters need to just state what you really think. Oh and the Safari Club is just a bunch of pretentious wankers who want a kind of “gentleman’s” right to be armed like NY City elites.

  32. For me speed out of open carried holstein is quicker then congealed carry.
    I still congeal carry though because I dont have time for someones long winded conversation about how beautiful and exotic my custom HiPoint is. Most of my public appearances develop into signing autographs and explaining my HiPoint Custom, so the less I have the better .
    ” I’m just here to get another covid shot and pick up a role of toilet paper. ” is hard to do with all the admirers.
    I do know a guy who outside carrys outside, but congeals it with a shirt or this time of year a coat or jackal.

  33. I’m glad to see this article published again. You thought the discussion was finalized in 2015, but I don’t think so. There are more Constitutional Carry states now, and I think more debate is worthwhile.
    I remember reading a magazine article from the ‘90’s in which the author, a CCW from a state without open carry, visited a state where he could open carry legally. He tried it, was extremely uncomfortable and returned to concealed carry. He was in favor of the right, but after years of concealing his pistol, he was physically uncomfortable with showing it. He didn’t want to give up the element of surprise. I agree with him. Where I live, open carry has been legal for many years. I’ve done it occasionally, but I’m just not comfortable with it.

  34. I Open Carry when I walk down the street with my dog. Been doing so for six years. No problems at the grocery store, the pet food store or the Pharmacy. Never had a problem. I always see what and who is around me. It is wrong to think that a thug upon entering a store of any kind is focused on who is carrying a gun as they are focused only on what they are doing. OC does not means thugs can spot you right away either. I OC so that people can get used to seeing what a good guy with a gun is like. When mothers walk their kids down the street they stop and chat with me and I tell them they should get armed and trained as just because you live in a ‘Nice Place’ it does not prevent you from the works of the Devil.

  35. Uniformed police officers who open carry guns are deterrent to crime. Civilians who properly open carry are also a deterrent to crime. Wake up Rip Van Winkle. The times have changed since 2015. The year is 2021. And much has changed since you went to sleep.

    The NFAC was formed. And over 25, 000 people showed up in Richmond Virginia to open carry their long guns. It’s a new bright day for open carry.

    Or as a person who claims to believe in Liberty and who calls himself an anarcho-capitalist you, can go back supporting only the police and military, the representatives of the government, being the only ones allowed to open carry firearms.

  36. A comment from another “Dan”. Dan Zimmerman. Very interesting article here. I’ve considered the same thoughts since I first got my CWP in South Carolina. I have held an Open Carry Permit for 5 years in my work as a Bank Security Officer (Armed), and never had to draw my weapon, although one time I came close to having to draw it. Now South Carolina has an open carry option for those who have a CWP. I tell my friends when I talk about firearms, that I think it is ill-advised to carry openly. Why? Because if a bad guy comes into whatever establishment I’m in, I don’t want him/her to know that I’m carrying because their first target will be me, if they see me walking around with a pistol on my hip. I’d rather be the one who surprises the bad guy/gal when they look at me and see a 9mm pistol pointed at them.

    • I think it is ill-advised to carry openly. Why? Because if a bad guy comes into whatever establishment I’m in, I don’t want him/her to know that I’m carrying because their first target will be me, if they see me walking around with a pistol on my hip.

      Right… because news reports are simply chock full of breathless stories describing open carriers who have been “targeted” and attacked while carrying… it happens so often, we can’t count the times! :rolleyes

      Trust me, if this were actually taking place, leftists and the MSM (but I repeat myself) would splash those headlines everywhere – we’d be beaten over the head with them constantly! The fact that you have NEVER heard of it happening is de facto proof that it does not happen anywhere in this country. Doesn’t take much in the way of logic to figure that one out…

  37. My biggest issue with open carriers in an Urban setting.

    Some don’t even use a retention holster. They will use either competition holsters that come with a gun kit, or something like Uncle Mike’s.

    Makes it too easy to have somebody grab their gun; or for them to have it come free at a bad time.

    Even a Serpa or something with a leather snap is a damn improvement lmao.

    There is a pic out there of some moron using a sandal as a holster.

    • There is something to this for open carry.

      I think it should be noted that there is a distinct lack of active retention on many hand gun holsters today and this is not necessarily a good thing.

      The trend is towards having Kydex or an injection molded creation, that have this ‘tactical’ claim or appeal attached to them, and they do look nice (at least most) and are very functional (mostly). Don’t get me wrong, they work and if that’s what someone wants to carry with that’s up to them. I have some of them myself, and use them sometimes.

      These holsters almost always have passive retention (by some sort of “friction” fit thing that’s ‘adjusted’ by a screw arrangement to tighten or loosen the friction fit passive retention), there are some that have active retention also (e.g. Serpa). The purpose of this ‘friction’ retention is to keep the gun in the holster so, basically, some way or another it does not fall/bounce out yet still allow faster draw because you don’t need to manipulate any active retention. Holster manufacturers make a big deal about this like the idea of a screw to tighten two sides of a material together with something between them was never known before they invented the method just for their holster.

      However, the very thing this type of retention is designed for is its weakness. If you can draw the weapon quickly without needing to manipulate any active retention, then so can someone else and there in lies the weakness.

      In most self-defense encounters the bad guy likes to surprise the victim by coming upon the victim in their blind spots like from behind, and today its likely there is going to be more than one attacker. Yes, I know, someone is going to say “but that won’t happen if you maintain ‘situational awareness'” , well, yes and no.

      Consider an example – you are open carrying at a convenience store, you are in line waiting to pay for your stuff and there is a person that steps up behind you. You step up and put your debit/credit card in the reader thing to pay and your right hand moves away from your holster side to do that and while doing that you fully exposing the holster and firearm. So now your hand is tied up and you are concentrating on that debit card use waiting to punch in the pin number or to watch the process to make sure you are charged correctly. That guy behind you, a quick grab and pushing you forward to keep you busy trying to struggle away and, maybe, as you try to regain control over the holster and firearm, for most of these types of holsters a little forward pressure on the gun then up and he has your gun.

      Consider another example – you and another person approach the entrance to some place and as you reach for the door to open it you decide to let them enter first, and from behind comes their partner who simply steps up and grabs the gun as you holster side hand is holding the door.

      You can test this your self, it can happen very quickly and although it might be a little awkward and you might be able to regain control quickly the fact that it could even be budged towards possibly coming out of the holster so easily in the hand of another spells bad news in the right bad situation.

      Yeah, there are a lot of what-if’s you can come up with. The point is that whatever the situation where you have all this situational awareness going on – there are weak spots in that through the many simple routine things we might do every day. Sometimes we tend to be our own biggest weakness.

      If you don’t think bad guys are aware of this for these types of holsters then you are only fooling yourself. For example “Suspect who stole gun from man open carrying at Detroit gas station arrested for unrelated crime” >

      Heck, bad guys manage at times to get guns from people with active retention after some effort, even police officer guns, so no active retention at all only makes it easier.

      Do bad guys grab a lot of open carry people firearms? Maybe, maybe not. Ya gotta think about reporting.

      But there are attempted, or thoughts about, grabs for hand guns being open carried, and the thing is most people and some holster manufacturers would say its unlikely and in some aspects that’s true. But that aspect only includes actual reported attempts and anecdotal experiences portrayed. There are attempted firearm grabs that are not successful, its usually put down to someone actually bumping into you, or a person getting noticed before they can get close enough so they do not proceed, or any number of things that might seem like normal occurrences or “accidents” . Yeah, well, that guy who has been eyeing your gun on and off may or many not be interested in discussing firearms with you, that guy with the gang colors and tattoos probably has a certain state of mind when hes been eying your gun, that person who seems to be looking at you from across the parking lot at night, etc … so why are these people really bumping into you “accidentally”? Ya gotta think.

      And now having said this people are going to come out of the wood work with “but <this-that-other …"

      But like I said, don't get me wrong, they work and if that's what someone wants to carry with that's up to them. I'm not being critical of you, so you do you.

  38. The only myth that is bigger than “open carry means the bad guys will target you first” is “gun control isn’t an infringement on your rights”.

    • Its not really a myth. It depends of what “targeted” means in its context of the situation.

      For example, gun grabs (or attempted gun grabs) do happen sometimes to people who open carry. They are targeted because the gun is visible > for example >

      I’ll bet you have been targeted and didn’t even know it. Most people in urban areas who open carry in some public place (e.g. store, getting gas, etc…) will at some point be near a person who has serious thoughts about trying to grab the gun from that open carry holster and may even start to act on that but will not go through with it. Open carry targeted plain and simple and ya don’t even know it.

      While I’ve been open carrying I’ve had least two anti-gun people tell me face to face they wanted to take my gun away from me to “disarm me for the safety of everyone”. If you don’t think some anti-gun person would not attempt to grab your gun from that open carry holster in their misguided and stupid lunacy you have never encountered them, there is a very radical portion of anti-gun people. Anyway, open carry targeted plain and simple.

      A lot of people open carry around here. I do sometimes. We had a lady here last year open carrying in a store. Bad guys show up to rob the place and see her through the glass entry door she was near at the time looking at some merchandise. So they go back to their car and get a shotgun but have forgotten that its not loaded and are again back at the door getting ready to enter and one is aiming the shotgun through the door at the open carrier, the shopping open carrier happens to turns towards the door and sees them and alerts the kid at the check out to call the police as she draws her weapon and moves back for cover and one of the bad guys opens the door and enters gun in hand pointing it at the cashier and is shot (wounded) by the open carrier and the other two turn and run right into police as they are arriving (who by the way happen to have been right next door having lunch). They told police they were thinking of taking the open carrier out of the picture first by disarming her, and although they didn’t say so you know what they are going to try to do when she goes into full trigger pulling defense mode. Targeted, plain and simple.

      In the anti-gun aspect, the whole gun-control/anti-gun industry is targeting everyone who carries or possesses or owns a gun. Targeted plain and simple.

      So overall open carriers being targeted isn’t a myth, but simply depends on what “targeted” means in its context of the situation.

  39. Did/does the author ever know anything about firearms? Jimenez Arms J.A. .380? More of a danger to the person behind the gun than someone in front of it. When you put that out and it fails to fire, then the bad guy feeds it to you, not a good day. Buy a real firearm, carry concealed.

    • The author (Will Mitchell) displays his ignorance about firearms several times in the story: “‘Little things!?’ I thought to myself, those pistols ran halfway down their thighs. He proceeded to tell me that both guns were .22 caliber, and that he owned the same ones.”

      My guess is that they were Ruger Single Sixes with 6.5-inch or 7.5-inch barrels. And the author ignorantly wonders why they carry them openly in holsters! Have you ever tried to concealed-carry a Ruger Single Six with a 6.5-inch barrel? Those six-shooters are the size of Dirty Harry’s S&W Model 29 .44 Magnum, not exactly the kind of thing you can slip into your waistband in an IWB holster!

      So he doesn’t know the difference between a .22 and a .45 Colt, and he doesn’t know that huge revolvers can’t be slipped into a waistband for concealed carry. In addition, he thinks that with his little Jimenez .380 noisemaker, he “had more firepower in my waistband than the two combined!” What a foolish clown that writer was, Will Mitchell.

  40. When people have sought out my opinion; I advocate for concealed carry over open carry. However, it’s a personal choice and I won’t dissuade anyone from exercising their Second Amendment rights. I definitely don’t look down on someone because they are choosing to do something differently than I am. My only hope is that since TTAG can’t find any news to report on and saw fit to regurgitate an opinion piece from 2015 is that you’ve broaden your horizons.

  41. I actually enjoy being able to tuck my shirt in and not look like a bum when I am in an open carry state. My pistol goes into a level 2 Safariland holster. No one looks at me twice. Guess it helps that I dress nicely (except for the untucked shirt while in my home state). I am not covered in tattoos and generally do not otherwise look like a street thug. Actually, people ask me all the time if I am a cop both when open carrying and conceal carrying.

  42. There is a fairly new liquor store and the owner and at least 2 other male workers OC. With the recent rash of smash and grabs, I believe they are prudent. As far as the written article, I would rather not take the advise of someone who carries a Jimenez .380 as his primary….

  43. I live in rural Alabama. And usually do wear a gunbelt with a large revolver around the homestead. I have not bothered to switch out weapons for a quick run into town to places like the feed mill or parts/implement dealers. And, have run into the local grociery store to get something. Never noticed anyone giving me any extra scrutiny or even paying attention to me or the fact I am wearing a gun belt. Nor have I paid much attention to those I have seen wearing a gun openly. Noticed the side arm, and I also notice the lumps under someone’s shirt, waistband, or armpit. Concealed carry just takes the gun out od direct line of sight. Very few people are all that proficiant at concealment. Even small frame guns print.
    But, if the youngsters in the story were actually under 21, they could only carry openly. Can’t get a permit until then. And, most likely, unless the kids were being beligerent, what would be the issue? The author is standing there with his popgun in his waistband worrying about a couple of youngsters with small caliber revolvers? Perhaps he should be a little more observant and pay attention to the chump with the heavy coat pocket on a warm day, or the thug with the angry expression and attitude and his hand in his waistband . Or the nervous looking guy hanging around the cash register and his hand in his pocket.

  44. Delaware is an open carry state, and it is possible to get a concealed carry permit if you are willing to jump through a lot of stupid, useless hoops. It’s a “may issue” state, but I don’t know anyone who has been turned down. That said, I use both to my advantage. Mostly I carry concealed, but given that open carry is allowed, I’m pretty lax about my concealment. In the summer it’s mostly a matter of not tucking in my t-shirt, and my concealed carry quite often turns into open carry without me even knowing.

    I just don’t let it bother me either way. I’m going to carry, and I don’t really care who knows about it or in what manner I end up carrying.

  45. Always CC in the city. OC always around our farm area……including nearby towns. No one in rural area cares, unless they want to compare preferences on weapon choice.

  46. I think when you are younger or new to carry you might think your cool, but the novelty wears off and taking your gun with you is like having your wallet or your phone with you, it gets to be a normal thing that you just have with you all the time. Living in a small town in Tennessee I open carry quite a bit and nobody pays it much mind as it is a normal thing here. But when we lived in Pennsylvania I would notice some people would act differently than here, although a lot of people would not even notice that you were armed. I mostly open carried there to bring awareness to people that guns are not evil only some people are.

  47. The vigilante is lucky that he did not end up targeting an off duty cop since the cop might fear that the vigilante is engaged in a cop killing attempt and use lethal force.

  48. Why someone would carry a Jimenez JA380 when he could instead be carrying a far superior Hi-Point CF-380 is beyond me. Didn’t this guy do any research before his purchase? Hi-Point or no point is my take FTW


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