Lucio Eastman [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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You live in an open carry state. You can carry a gun — handgun or long gun — openly just about anywhere you want. Okay, but should you?

Some of you are probably thinking “Not this crap again,” because this is an oft-visited trope for folks who carry a gun. If that’s you, then you might want to skip this one or – alternately – go vent your spleen in the comments. Go ahead, bring the pain, you won’t hurt my feelings.

At present, more than 30 states permit the practice of openly carrying a handgun and most permit open carry of a long gun. Twenty-six states now have full constitutional or permitless concealed carry.

Granted, open carry laws vary by state and by locality. In some states, such as Texas, if you have a concealed carry permit, you can carry openly or concealed if you so choose. Other states, such as Virginia or Montana don’t require a permit. Anyone who can legally possess a firearm can openly carry their handgun in a holster in non-prohibited areas (though concealment requires a permit).

Some states outright prohibit it, and certain cities do as well. Make sure to consult your state and local law before proceeding. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and blathering on about what you think your rights are (instead of what the laws and court precedents say they are) in front of a judge isn’t likely to keep you out of jail if you break the law.

Federal law doesn’t really have anything to say on the topic of open carry, outside of A) where federal law says you can’t carry, i.e. school zones (without a permit) federal buildings and so on, and, B) who can and can’t possess a firearm.

Open Carry
Dan Z for TTAG

Whether or not you should open carry breaks down into practical and ethical considerations. Practically speaking, open carriers insist that open carrying is a deterrent to criminals with the concealed carry objection being you lose the element of surprise.

How true is any of that?

It’s true that some bad guys have been REALLY surprised when an off-duty officer or lawful concealed carrier has produced a handgun where they weren’t expecting one.

As to open carry being a deterrent…well, it’s not as if any exit surveys have been done where career criminals have said, “You know, I was totally gonna knock off that Piggly Wiggly, but when I saw that guy with a gun on his hip, I thought better of it.” To date, no causal or correlative relationship has been established between open carry laws and crime rates that I’m aware of.

In short: it might have an effect, but nobody can prove it. Hitchens’ razor (that which is claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence) would suggest the “deterrent” argument is specious. Ultimately it’s up to you to make your own decision on that front.

Open carry
Dan Z for TTAG

As far as anything from the real world that would suggest an argument against open carry, there have been a few isolated incidents where an open carrier was targeted by a small group of hoodlums, bashed about the head and shoulders and deprived of their firearm. It has happened, but it’s very rare.

However, the thing is that gun owners talk about that crap because we’re dancing around the question of ethics. In other words, the real question is whether you’re being an asshat when you open carry. It’s a touchy subject, as a lot of people have strong, differing opinions, and hoo boy…people will get into it.

I believe everyone should be able to carry openly or concealed as they wish. Some people choose the former, some the latter, and neither bothers me. So long as a person isn’t legally prohibited from possessing a gun and is doing it in a safe, responsible manner, I don’t care.

I wouldn’t want open carry to be legally prohibited, and I would strongly urge anyone to vote against initiatives or candidates that mean to do so. But not everybody thinks the same way I do.

Open Carry
Dan Z for TTAG

Look, not everyone is comfortable around guns. In fact, some folks want gun control measures so restrictive that no one would be able to have guns except the police or the military…and some folks even want to disarm the cops.

When you open carry, you’re wearing your holster and pistol (or slinging your rifle) for everyone to see, other people’s feelings and the torpedoes be damned. That can make some people nervous, uncomfortable or even frightened. Yes, it’s due to their ignorance about guns, but that doesn’t change how they feel.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of grey matter to remember the Golden Rule. Don’t do something to someone else if you don’t want it done to you. Do YOU like people waving things in your face that make you uncomfortable? Of course not, and that’s how some people feel about guns. But then again…not everywhere is like everywhere else.

Where I live, nobody really notices if I or anyone else open carries. However, eastern Washington/northern Idaho isn’t like the rest of the country. If you live in, say, a bedroom community in Connecticut, you’re going to get the stink eye and the local PD may end up wanting to have a chat with you. Even if there’s nothing illegal about what you’re doing.

Again, you can argue about the “should” all you want. This is about the “is,” and you should definitely consider that.

Open carry fast food restaurant
DrunkDriver [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
So the answer is really that it depends a lot on where you’re doing it. Thus, if you open carry in an area with a strong or strong-ish gun culture, it’s probably no real never-mind to anyone and there’s not really much of an ethical problem. If you do so in an area where that isn’t the case, then you’ll probably be making people uncomfortable…maybe intentionally.

Which brings up another reason some open carry. They present the “normalization” argument…it goes something like this: If people who don’t like guns start seeing more people carrying guns openly and not causing a problem, they’ll be more accustomed to them and thus won’t have a problem (or less of a problem) with gun ownership in general.

If that means nonchalantly carrying a pistol in a holster, then maybe that will happen. The problem is some folks take open carry a step too far.

Armed members of the “NFAC” march through downtown Louisville, Ky., toward the Hall of Justice on Saturday, July 25, 2020.  (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

In other words, “Let’s all start open carrying our AR-15s and tactical gear so people can see it’s no big deal.” While there may be no legal prohibition against that – and many states don’t prohibit the open carry of long guns – that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re helping the cause.

Sure, you might not be hurting anyone in any tangible sense…but some folks will definitely find it distasteful or actually threatening.

So if you start parading around a Walmart with an AR-15, a tactical vest, multiple loaded magazines and a loaded handgun on your hip a few days after a mass shooting…you’re going to have a problem, no matter what your rationale is.

So to bring this all home . . .

Should you open carry? So long as you’re legally permitted to do so, and you’re doing so in a safe and responsible manner, you won’t have anything to worry about legally speaking. However, try to use good judgement. If you know you’re doing it in a way that’s liable to cause a scene or make a lot of people nervous or spook the horses, so to speak, you probably shouldn’t.


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    • with the power of the internet it’s always possible to find a unicorn. I live in Arizona a open carry state since Statehood and can assure you this is extremely rare. Do I a 60 plus year old man on a walker open carry ? No did I when I was a thirty year old power lifter?Yes
      Everyone’s millage varies

  1. The “If I was robbing a place and saw an open carry gun, I’d know who to shoot first” is the same crowd as “I couldn’t join the Army because I’d punch a Drill Sergeant in the face if he yelled at me”.

    Bitch, you wouldn’t do a damn thing.

    Truth is, almost nobody hoping to rob someplace would willingly tack on murder charges. They’d wait for the open carrier to leave or they’d pick a different place or they’d crap themselves with the realization that such an action carried real life or death consequences.

    MAYBE a mass murder would shoot an open carrier first. But I suspect there’s a reason basically all the mass murderers pick “gun free zones”.

    • The advantage to conceal carry is that a potential criminal doesn’t know if anyone has a gun and may be able to kill him.

      The advantage to open carry is that a potential criminal can plainly see that someone has a gun and may be able to kill him. The more guns that are present and visible, the higher the deterrence. Therefore, if everyone in an area is carrying, the chance of a criminal trying anything is next to nil.

      The solution is for everyone to carry, anything they want, and any way they want.

      • Well said. That’s also the solution for people who are afraid of guns. Dress nice, be polite, demonstrate openly that gun owners aren’t terrible people.

  2. I conceal, if for some reason I need to pull, I want the element of surprise. Anything in my favor to come out on top of a confrontation.

    I live in a bigger metro area that open carry is allowed with a carry permit. But it does get noticed when someone is open carrying and often times those folks are making a statement or just trying to feel powerful.

    One example was a guy who was opening carrying a .45 on each hip and had 4 mags total on the back of his belt. He also had a shirt that said something along the lines of “try it, see what happens” and was just loitering in the lobby of a family restaurant. I feel he was looking for a manager to ask him to leave or otherwise confront him. Eventually he left when he was asked to be seated for lunch or order something to go. He got a bit agitated and left in a huff. This will only turn those on the fence against 2A issues.

    • Bellweather,

      Anything in my favor to come out on top of a confrontation.

      Here is a pertinent quote (technically a paraphrase) from Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War which is very applicable: the only fight that you are guaranteed to win is the fight which never happens. In that regard, if open carry causes an attacker to NOT attack, that is a “fight which never happens” and you are literally guaranteed to prevail. (Versus a confrontation–even a confrontation where you carry concealed and have the element of surprise–where you certainly may fail.)

      Of course the element of surprise is huge as well. Sun Tzu also touched upon that subject when he stated that it is imperative that you know your enemy–meaning that you must know your enemy’s capabilities and how far your enemy will go and you will always prevail. Needless to say, the corollary is also true that if you don’t know your enemy’s capabilities, e.g. you are unaware that your “enemy” (victim) is carrying a concealed firearm and capable of stopping your attack, you could easily lose that fight.

      I don’t have a set answer. Sometimes I carry a self-defense handgun openly and sometimes I carry concealed. And I typically carry concealed. Your mileage may vary. Choose wisely.

  3. Concealed carry on populated property, open carry rural property, lease, etc. Works for me.

  4. Were the option to do so suddenly becomes viable where I currently live (Floria-duh), it would depend entirely on the place and time.

    Out-n-about doing daily regular things in public, I wouldn’t be comfortable unless it was in a quality retention holster. Why? Because the level of butt-f*cking *stupid* behaviors in Florida is mind-boggling to behold (as born out by the endless examples found on YouTube under the search term “Florida man” )… 🙁

    • I would open carry while on the Harley, just more comfortable, use an OWB holster now but it’s a Galco High Ride and my T-shirt and leather vest cover it well enough…

        • Assless chaps and a hot tailpipe sounds like an adventure.

          (Mine isn’t tanned enough to look good… 🙁 )

        • All “chaps” are assless, that’s why you wear then OVER blue jeans… Otherwise they’d be leather “pants”…

        • so that’s a yes.
          fun distinction.
          and a visual.
          but as long as the legs open their full length they’re chaps, assless or not.

  5. Not an option in ILLANNOY. It is a scant mile east but it still causes twitterpatted Karen’s great distress. Farther from the border not so much. When/if we move to Indiana I doubt I’d open carry…

    • Sounds like you must have been in Terre Haute….ISU is as bad as Bloomington and IU

  6. There is a huge difference between having a holstered pistol and having a firearm in your hand. If your carrying a slung AR with grip in hand, you’re a threat.

    Your fashion sense is another question.

    There are many things in life where you need to ask ‘you can but should you?’.

    • I never understood why having your hand on the grip of an exposed rifle isn’t brandishing.

  7. A light in the darkness. I was paid to open carry. Didn’t mind in uniform. I was already driving a high profile vehicle. Never liked open carry in plain clothes, but it’s so hot in the summer here. Then there’s that whole hide a full size 1911 in the summer here. All the bad guys knew me anyway. Open carry as a citizen. It should be legal for every citizen of the United States of America. That doesn’t mean it’s always smart. Openly carrying a handgun in Wal-Mart is like those guys that drive around with there stereos blasting. I call it the “Look at me syndrome”. Attention is not what you want. Be the grey man.

    • seems like owb makes you the proverbial “biggest guy in the room” to be challenged by those in need of proving, um, something.

    • Damnit Gadsden, I was open carrying that eyetalian 1873 with the ivory grips for nice gunm comments.
      Never got any.
      Well the weather here is getting nice enough for Barbque, I’ve got hope.

  8. I personally don’t care if people open or conceal carry. I conceal more than open carry. When I open carry its mostly for quick errands or to/from the range. People around here don’t care if a person is open carry, the businesses don’t care, very few private property business ‘no guns signs’ and most of those will say its ok anyway if you ask, heck, except for maybe three, possibly, four places I can’t remember the last time I saw a ‘no guns’ sign on a business around here. We do have our anti-gun crowd locally, they might say something and get really upset and hysterical and sometimes may try to confront and provoke, heck, I had one assault me once pretending they were a hero as the cops carted them off in handcuffs.

    But I have seen those people who open carry just to make others uncomfortable, not many normally. But some of those ‘second amendment audit’ people who trot around with their MSR’s that deliberately position their selves and movements so people will notice, yeah, those guys.

    Look, you folks doing the ‘second amendment audit’ thing – I mean the obnoxious ones the ass holes, yeah those – there are still social graces. If people are letting you know they are uncomfortable and kids are starting to cry because it scares them that some stranger with a gun is deliberately getting as close as they can its probably time to exercise some of those social graces and stop doing that and leave. You guys want to provoke a call to the police so you can video them when they show up. Don’t wait for the police to show up so you can start making a video to demonstrate ‘second amendment audit’ in action on YouTube, just leave and don’t do that any more.

    • on that note, many of these “audit” types seem to have gone to the same training class as antifa and various other agitators, where they’ve perfected getting on someone’s last damn nerve and provoking an incident. They stick their camera inches from someone’s face and scream and yell about filing a lawsuit if the object of their experiment pushes it away. Of course, when the cops are called, police officers should never overreact the way individual officers sometimes do in these encounters, but I can also say I’m not surprised that it happens. Personally, if I were an ambivalent bystander and saw some squeaky-voiced dude in full camo and strapped with multiple firearms trying to intimidate people and provoke them, I can’t say it would endear me to whatever cause he espouses.

      I saw a video of some auditor type trying to make a point about easements by going onto private property and waving a tazer around when asked to leave. When someone associated with the business told him to get off, he replied “I suggest you do something about it” in the most punchable voice possible. I’m surprised there arent any jurisdictions where such a challenge doesn’t cover the property owner from charges if it gets physical.

    • .40 very well said. An armed citizen should be polite. The first rule of being polite is not to make others uncomfortable. Even if you are the one who is correct. It’s called being a gentleman, or.a gentlewoman. My parents taught me manners. Sometimes at the end of a belt. I learned to stand when a lady entered the room because it was uncomfortable to sit again.

    • If a challenge came up over open carry in Times Square NYC (and the SCotUS elected to hear it) I believe they would rule that the locale could chose the mode of carry, as long as concealed carry was an option…

    • Ever take a handgun retention course? I have and I guarantee you strength and flexibility matter.

  9. You legally can, but should you? It all depends.

    You can legally fart in an elevator, but should you? Hell no.

    Was what the Chipotle Ninjas were doing legal? Probably. But it was asshattery of the highest order.

    So, look — like the author, I have no problem with legal rational open carry. I do not want it prohibited. It should be 100% legal. But, like farting in an elevator, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do it everywhere. Parading around like a Chipotle Ninja does not help “the cause” one bit. And if you’re going to open carry a handgun and don’t use a quality retention holster, that’s just irresponsible and if it allows someone to snatch your gun and then use it in a crime, I wouldn’t be surprised to see you charged in that crime.

    So — like so many things necessary for the proper operation of a “polite society” — don’t be an asshat, and everything will be fine.

  10. There is a large on line debate going on on a California gun forum between the advocates of “open carry is the right” and “concealed carry is not the right and may be prohibited” versus the “the Supreme Court has never said that and times have changed since 1787.” Today, many people in what are or have been predominately ban states are quite uncomfortable around exposed firearms and Karens are not unlikely to call 911 to report a “Man With Gun!!!” Open loaded carry was banned in 1969, but open unloaded was legal until 2013. It became illegal when open carry advocates started open unloaded events of a few carriers visiting the Boardwalk or a local Starbucks; the Legislature acted with great expedition in enacting a new law banning all open carry except in areas open to hunting. Bruen in essence held that where open carry is banned, a CCW must be on a shall issue basis, thus finding a right where none had been explicitly recognized by that court on prior occasions. Bruen is best explained in terms of its language and result as standing for the proposition that there is a right to public carry that may be reasonably regulated to limited degree as to time/place/manner as is the First Amendment, thus not specifying where the permitted right is open or concealed or both.

    • {Bruen, in all its glory}

      “…thus not specifying where the permitted right is open or concealed or both.”

      I have said here in TTAG over the years that I eagerly await the time when California is forced to make a ‘dammed if they do, dammed if they don’t’ decision regarding the 2A – Open, (the public has a pretend ‘right to know’) if someone is armed, or ‘out of sight. out of mind’ (if they can’t see it, it doesn’t exist) concerning armed carry.

      The opinion pages of the newspapers will be a true joy to read *that* debate.

      Please, Lord, make my dream come true! 🙂

  11. Open carry on the ATV, at the (outdoor) range, while hunting, on my own property, and concealed everywhere else.

  12. I mostly open carry because in Texas it gets warm. Many layers get really hot. I have had nothing but positive interactions when approached about my style of carry. Most are thanking me. I also am generally wearing an Air Force Veteran cap and also get thanked for my service which I have mixed feelings about, but they are sincere. I have attempted to be a goodwill ambassador for open carry out in public. I answer any questions politely and as best I can. I say please and thank you when appropriate. I still believe the choice to open or concealed carry should always be a personal choice, when allowed. The trick I see is not be “That Guy” that gives the rest of us a bad name. Just my two cents on a divisive subject.

    • ” have had nothing but positive interactions when approached about my style of carry. Most are thanking me. I also am generally wearing an Air Force Veteran cap and also get thanked for my service which I have mixed feelings about, but they are sincere.”

      My dad is ‘old US Air Force’ (entered in 1957, served a combat tour in ‘Nam flying helicopter refueling in a Herc), so I hear you. Texas though, is pretty alien territory to most in the US. They can’t, or simply won’t respect that right so obvious to you and I.

      Some folks you simply can’t reach… 🙁

  13. Sam’s so knowledgeable on the subject of open carry he thinks you need to have a “concealed carry permit” in Texas to do so.


  14. carry, something.
    now, ~open carry~ i’ve always hoped for. it’s legal in some states, but here i have to wait until i get where i’m walking to before i can crack the bottle.

  15. These articles drive me nuts. Every state and city is different. Arizona has been an open carry state since the beginning. Folks grew up around open carry and they as well as the police are smart enough to recognize context
    A man with his family at Dennys eating dinner isn’t the same as a masked man screaming obscenities. Further most armed robberies are in and out affairs focused on the cashier and the cash. I am quite certain with the power of the internet people can find unicorns but in my 60 years of living in an open carry state they are rare.
    This said at age 60 using a walker I conceal carry. WHY? Because a walker attracts attention and makes fighting of any type difficult

    • Ah, so that explains the guy from Arizona telling me “I’m from Arizona. ” when I commented on his cowboy gunm being not very concealed.

  16. These articles drive me nuts. Every state and city is different. Arizona has been an open carry state since the beginning. Folks grew up around open carry and they as well as the police are smart enough to recognize context
    A man with his family at Dennys eating dinner isn’t the same as a masked man screaming obscenities. Further most armed robberies are in and out affairs focused on the cashier and the cash. I am quite certain with the power of the internet people can find unicorns but in my 60+ years of living in an open carry state they are rare.
    This said at age 60 using a walker I conceal carry.

  17. Is this not a perfect example of States regulating Second Amendment issues? We are so used to it that we accept it. What happened to the right to bear arms? How do they preemptively do this legally?

  18. It’s quite simple. It makes sense to open carry a larger handgun if hiking, hunting, camping ect… where animals may be a bigger concern. Though don’t think that bad people can’t be out in the sticks. In crowded areas it makes more sense to conceal so someone can’t just snatch up your gun.

  19. There is a time and place for everything. Its like eating – do it in moderation.
    Having said that, the only thing I open carry are my atomic hand grenades

  20. I don’t open carry unless I’m in the woods, that’s just my preference. I certainly respect those who do as that’s their preference.

    Then there’s the “tweeners”. Those are the people who THINK they are carrying concealed but due to a poor setup, they stand out like Rosie O’Donnell in a gym and may as well be open carrying. I’m sure we’ve all seen Tweeners, constantly tugging up their pants, shifting their clothing around usually around their waists. Those are MOSTLY newbies, but these guys, these guys I’m extremely wary about and you should be too. I will keep a close eye on where they are at all times since you don’t know it’s definitely a newbie or just someone so absolutely clueless I like to call “NDWTH” Negligent Discharge Waiting to Happen.

    Don’t be “Tweeners” or the “NDWTH” guy and everything’s all right!!!

  21. Open carry is okay if you’ve got a leather holstein and IWB sux with a plastic holstein.
    In other words I dont like plastic holsteins.

  22. I open carry every chance I get when not in Illinois. That being said I have no tattoos or piercings so I don’t look like a scumbag. Also, I am wearing nice slacks and a button up shirt with nice leather shoes not jeans and a t shirt with filthy athletic shoes. No one looks twice for the most part. My choice of holster is an outside the waistband retention holster from Safariland.

    • I am wearing nice slacks and a button up shirt with nice leather shoes, No one looks twice for the most part… (always thought it was a “button down” shirt, yeah I own a couple)

      You would attract ALL the attention from the tatted up, t-shirt and jean wearing “scumbags” I hang with daily (MY New Balance look like new)… You would be so out of place in my world… What’s it like to look DOWN on about 75% of Americans, the “scumbags” that drive the trucks that bring your “nice” clothes to the stores, the construction workers that build the office buildings, your home or apartment, the factory workers that build the cars, trucks, busses, trains and planes that keep this fucking country running, the oil field workers that make damn near everything in this country possible… Sorry, I’ll stick with the tatted up t-shirt and jeans wearing “scumbags”… Must really suck to be you…

      • If you have no pride in yourself that is your choice. Look like a shitbag dude. Have all the random graffiti placed on your body you want. Pierce yourself. Go for it. Feel free to worship the NFL. Smoke, drink and do drugs. You be you.

        • exactly how many construction workers wear slacks and Oxfords ?
          I don’t have a tattoo or a piercing but almost every younger vet and cop I know does

        • Just another uppity moron, I will be me and I will enjoy being me without having to give a fuck what pretentious, self important, pompous-ass morons like YOU think?

          My “jeans” cost just as much as your “slacks” and my leather “shoes” (boots) are just as nice and acceptable as yours… GFY…

        • Some of the biggest “scumbags” I know (lawyers, politicians, executives and “wanna-bes”) walk around all day dressed just like you… If you need to “dress to impress” then YOU are the biggest loser…

        • Hey Maddmaxx, look at some pictures of people in public in the 1950s. Notice how people dressed? Notice they were not covered in tattoos? Notice they did not have green or blue hair? Notice men did not wear dresses and call themselves women? You are contributing to the coarseness and degradation of society.

        • First of all, I grew up in the fucking 50s and 60s, I was raised in a rural area in Ky (on a working farm) and didn’t even know a suit and tie existed til I went to school… You’ve apparently never seen an old Marine or Navy Vet from WWII or you would not say no one had tats back then, in fact tattoos have been a thing since man first stood upright… I spent 6 1/2 years in the USMC, did three tours in Vietnam walked out with three Hearts and a handful of other medals, worked Construction, got a degree at night, went to law school til I could no longer stand to be around those phony, pretentious pricks so I bought a Rig and spent the last 20 years of my employed life hauling shit around the country (logging over three million miles) so ungrateful assholes like you could eat and have clothes to wear and a place to live… I’m very comfortably retired just chillin til my wife (A Registered Nurse) can retire in another five years… I earned the right to do whatever the fuck I please and I don’t need some pseudo-elitist prick like you telling me I’M to blame for societies problems… I DO NOT worship the NFL, I don’t do illegal drugs or smoke, did drink a Bud from time to time til they put the little freak on the payroll, and I don’t have any piercings, but if anyone wants to do any of that it’s their business and not MY place (or yours) to judge them. No MAN I know wears a dress or WANTS to be a woman, I doubt if you can say the same… It’s actually Liberal pricks like you that have done the most damage to this country, the users, the takers, never contributed anything to this world, no idea what it means to do REAL work, you just walk around thinking you’re so much better than everyone else… You are just a waste of oxygen that someone way more important than your Snowflake-ass could be breathing… If I wasn’t clear enough the last time I’ll make it easier for you to understand… G-O F-U-C-K Y-O-U-R-S-E-L-F… And since you seem to be one of those “last word” kind of assholes go for it, I’ve wasted enough of my time on your dumb ass…

        • MADDMAXX:
          I mostly agree with what you have to say. And I prefer casual dress myself. I grew up in the nineteen forties and fifties, so you and I are from about the same generation. In those days, people in some occupations were required to wear a business suit who now dress in what is called “office casual” (a sport shirt and khakis in my case). Back in the day I can remember working as a business machine service guy in the 1960s with my hands covered in grease and purple ink but having to wear a tie. Today I don’t even own a tie and good riddance. It all depends on what you do for a living and there’s such a thing as uniform. You wore a uniform as a Marine and, again, appropriate clothes (a sort of uniform) as a truck driver. I’m rambling, but to sum it up, I think you are correct, and Paul is out of order.

        • Excellent, Mad Max, and right on the money. As the saying goes, the main difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is that tattooed people don’t care if you’re not tattooed.

          As for the issue at hand, I don’t recall a “don’t offend or frighten the gun-grabbers” clause in the 2A. Maybe it’s in there now, who knows.

  23. No. Out of site, out of mind. Regardless of your arguments for your rights, we live in a society where it’s just safer to conceal. Don’t overthink it. Once you learn how to conceal and practice your draws enough, you will never go back to open carry in public.


  24. As I’ve repeatedly stated, tactics, tools, and procedures for personal defense are as personal as a toothbrush. What “works” for me may be unusable for someone else. So, I’m happy to share my thoughts with anyone who asks, I don’t go around making judgements about the PD response and methods of anyone else, or OFFERING advice. Not my circus, not my monkey. You do you.

    I almost always carry concealed, because it’s just less hassle. Sometimes I chide myself for letting the Karens dissuade me from doing what SHOULD BE a fairly standard thing, but . . . I don’t trust my self-control if some sanctimonious Karen-bitch (female OR allegedly male) gets in my grill about my open-carrying, and how it “triggers” them – don’t want the legal hassle surrounding punching their frickin’ lights out.

    But how anyone else carries is . . . their business. The sight of a gun doesn’t bother me, so long as it’s not pointed at me. Might an open carry attract the attention of a perp (or a cop), and cause something? Possible. I’m more concerned about having to deal with some Shannon Watts wannabe, who might cause me stress (“stress” being that conflicted feeling when your rational mind overrides your natural desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole who richly deserves it).

  25. I was open carrying one day. I was in line in a convenience store behind a lady who was purchasing a pack of cigarettes.

    She completes her purchase and turns around and sees the gun and says really snarky and loudly and accusatory “How many kids did you kill today?”

    I said, calmly and in a normal speaking voice “That’s a pretty bold lie from a woman who just helped financially support the tobacco industry, the biggest mass killers in history who kills about a half a million a year in the US which includes about sixty thousand kids due to second hand smoke and will kill another 5.7 million of today’s kids in the near future due to premature deaths from smoking related diseases. I haven’t killed any kids. How many did you just kill?”

  26. Check your laws…twice. Like in the PDRC, if you open carry and it can be “concealable”, then you can be arrested. If you’re 5′ and 100 pounds and open carry, the criminal is going to be looking to take your gun. Plenty of videos of a open carry guy standing line and the criminal behind him trying to steal it. It’s better to conceal carry if you can’t watch your six.

  27. Carry how you like within the laws of your state. There is no Constitutional carry without open carry first and foremost. Every state should be like Kentucky’s Constitutional Carry law with open car carry, which most states did not address when they passed their Constitutional Carry laws. Kentucky had open carry and open car carry long before it passed its Constitutional Carry law in 2019. Most states do not even have open car carry as part of their Constitutional Carry laws that have passed. Does not do you any good if you can not also carry in your vehicle.

    TTAG rarely has articles about car carry or car carry laws, which gets a lot of individuals in trouble.

    • I notice how the term “Constitutional Carry” is used on this and a lot of other sites. In my opinion to be truly constitutional there should be no restrictions, NONE. Any time that we have to ask permission or are restricted from certain locations then it is not truly constitutional. I think that the term permit-less carry should be used as it is more accurate. Just my two cents worth.

    • Now I use level II retention holsters for any OWB carry open or concealed. Mainly Safariland, and lately been trying out the Blackhawk T-series compact which has turned out to be a pretty good holster so far.

      I have noticed though at various times when I do open carry there will sometimes be someone who is really interested in the gun and is thinking hard about going for it and even tries to get into a good position from behind. Some of the local cops have told me they have responded to such attempts that failed when the carriers got into a tussle with the grabber during the attempt and the grabber fled failing to get the gun.

      So I’m not so sure that its completely a myth that bad guys don’t try to grab guns being openly carried. I know there are people who think about doing it and may even stage for it but for what ever reasons they don’t actually execute, and I know there are attempts and some of them have been successful. I think its just not reported as such and people don’t talk about it, even if it may be rare.

    • …… and there it is again, maybe I missed something so tell me and I’m being serious what is it with some and their fixation with mocking/denigrating Uncle Mike’s holsters?

      Though I have good quality Pusat OWB leather holsters and Kydex ones I choose to use an Uncle Mike’s leather shoulder holster for my Star BM and Star PD the majority of the time, “why?” you might ask, well the reality is it fits me, it holds my firearm securely, but mostly it’s because my lower back is blown-out after three decades of heavy manual labor so not having something hanging on my hip/waist all day is actually a relief.

      So can someone explain the Uncle Mike’s hate I mean it’s not like it’s a Glock right?

      • Wow: you spend the time to mount a passionate defense in favor of a cheap nylon holster (I have a leather Galco “Jackass” shoulder rig) and ask WHY they are mocking and denigrating YOUR choice of holster and then you blow it right at the end by inserting your own biases by insinuating YOUR hatred for a particular brand of firearm, so I guess you pretty much answered your own question…

        • I have no hate for Glocks, never held one, ever, just repeating the typical anti fan-boi bs that so prevalent for effect.

          As for the Uncle Mike’s holsters, I have two leather ones, as I said before each a shoulder-type, the Star BM & PD fit inside them perfectly and securely, I’ve never seen one of the nylon types.

          Now go get your Glock hat, bandana, t-shirt, scrunchie, bra, panties, socks, and tampon carry bag out of the washing machine and hang them out to dry. Lol!

        • Glock hat, bandana, t-shirt, scrunchie, bra, panties, socks, and tampon carry bag…

          Yeah… Well, fortunately I’m not a 20 something moron, or a Banger on the block… As a 73 year old ADULT white male the ONLY thing I own that says GLOCK is one 10mm G29 handgun (the best “concealable” choice available for the money in 10mm at the time and is STILL considered by “experts” to be one of the top ten 10mm handguns available today) and the case it came in… but if you can tell me where I can get those panties, they might look cool on my wife’s tight little butt (she’s considerably younger than me)… I’ve carried this piece DAILY for over 20 years, I run a minimum of 50 rounds a week through it and the ONLY failure I’ve ever experienced was ammo related… I’ll stick with what I know, on the other hand I would suggest you find a new occupation as your mechanical skills appear to be “questionable…

        • MADDMAXX:
          “…I would suggest you find a new occupation as your mechanical skills appear to be “questionable…”
          Yeah, I picked up on that too. He, she or it doesn’t get to work on my ride either.

  28. I Open carry on my property, and in the woods. I follow the Greyman principle in public, which means concealed carry among other things.

    Why call attention to oneself by openly slinging a carbine or openly bearing a hand cannon for all to see while shopping or strolling the neighborhood ?

    Now Im a regular guy, been shooting and collecting for 50 years, and carrying concealed from the get go since CCW permitting in Florida. I had one encounter while carrying concealed, necessitating armed self defense, with no shots fired.

  29. Why skulk around and carry concealed (CC) where “Open Carry” (OC) is permitted, CC is tantamount be ashamed your exercising your rights.

    The fact is “Open Carry” (OC) normalizes the “legal” carrying of firearms in public thus it’s a practice we all should engage in, it also spurs conversations with like-minded individuals, I can’t count the times someone has seen me OC-ing and began a “positive” exchange.

  30. Open or concealed depends alot on the when and where. Out here on the farmstead and in the little wide place on the road towns around here, open carry is not an issue and I usually have a heavy revolver on a separate gunbelt. Only issue was someone asking about the old S&W model 25 I was wearing. When going into more populated areas where I might frighten the children or Karens, I carry an old 1911 officers model inside the waistband with the shirt over it. Or in an OWB thumb break holster still under the shirt. Much of anything else becomes too uncomfortable for 8 months of the year down here on the Gulf. Both hot and humid makes concealed carry a nuisance.

    • For me the only place I’d consider concealed carry is the synagogue (me, Catholic boy, my girl Jewish), though deemed “legal” in my state for “self-defense” 90% of the congregants are Obamaites/Bidenistas and with only one congregation within an hours drive I wouldn’t want them banning us from services if they saw me Open Carrying. Notably in our first visit to one of their events held “off premises” we met two other like-minded congregants, a father (70+ yrs old)/son (in his 40s) duo, who were both CC-ing), they informed us of the other’s virulent hoplophobia and told us to keep CCW-talk on the QT, even though they, the “antis”, were so fixated on “Anti-Semitism” and the possibility of becoming victims. What isn’t surprising is the that all the churches I know about in my area are pro-2nd Amendment/pro-Self Defense, it’s a startling contradiction and definitely a “cultural” phenomena especially when one recognizes 90% of the Jewish community in the USA vote for Democrats. It appears those who like to say “Never Forget”/”Never Again” have indeed “forgotten” the lessons of history, those terms are meaningless when espoused by the ideologically unsound Jewish population so willing to become defenseless victims.

      The best news is my girl, once firearm adverse due to no experience with them (she’s a great shot), just completed her CCW class and has applied for her permit which is pro-forma where we live and will likely receive her card within a week or two.

  31. As someone who lives in Washington state, South King County , I open carry , never had a problem, I’ve open carry at pike place market middle of cruise boat season , no problems, now not to say i have not gotten stink eye from lulumon wearing liberal women on occasion , but never have i had a true negative reaction, never had I have had LEO stop me , I used to live a few blocks off 6th ave in Tacoma for many years , would walk my dog and OC down the ave friday/saturday nights (6th ave is prime night hot spot in tacoma (bars/clubs/ music ect) never an issue …

  32. If you are going to OC use some form of a retention device, even something like a thumb snap will suffice. You don’t want an open pouch where the gun can fall out or be easily snatched, imagine tripping and having your pistol skid across the floor.

  33. Concealed carry allows the option of not acting when it’s better to not.

    Observe and report is taught to off-duty cops.

    Pick your scenerio, the biggie being too many innocents present. A robbery without shooting, out numbered and out gunned, etc.

    NOT talking about an active shooter situation.

  34. The author doesn’t know what he’s talking about with firearm Carry in Texas. You DONT need a LTC to carry open/concealed in Texas. Texas passed Constitutional Carry two years ago. No permission slips required. (Although I do keep my license current)

  35. Carry legally how you’re most comfortable and don’t worry about what others think. If it hurts their precious feelings to hell with them. Everyone wants open carry until they get it and then try to find ways that you shouldn’t.

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