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Sgt Patrick Hayes saw the Jerry Miculek video on open carry protocol. He couldn’t agree more:

There have been a number of news stories recently concerning folks running around with long guns. Most were from Texas where such carry is legal and open handgun carry is not. I live in Georgia, a state with very good gun laws. Open carry of long guns is legal and open or concealed carry of handguns is legal with a carry permit. In 20 years as a law enforcement officer, other than hunters during hunting season, I have never seen anyone carry a long gun just to do it. This seems to be an attention-getting tactic that makes the public very uncomfortable. It causes negative feelings about gun owners with the voting public . . .

If the gun is slung on the shoulder it’s just a display, right or wrong. What concerns me: the owner carrying his firearm at port arms or low ready. These folks are just asking for a confrontation with cops or armed citizens. Cops don’t walk around all day with a gun in their hand or a rifle at low ready. If you see me with my gun unholsterd, there is a reason.

It’s common sense folks! If I see a man walking into a Walmart with an M4 at low ready I am going to stop him. His manner of carry presents as an immediate threat. That is just how it is.  I cannot ignore him just because he might be exercising his rights. I don’t know his intent and until his hand comes off that pistol grip I don’t care. He will be at gunpoint. He doesn’t comply, he gets shot.

Please . . . stop doing this. The armed citizen might not even give you a chance to stop. Anyone can articulate the threat of a rifle in hand with your finger millimeters from the trigger. It’s no different than doing the same with a hangun in your hand. Most of you would never walk into a store with a handgun in your hand. Why would you do it with a rifle?

Leave the rifle at home or in your car. Carry a handgun, open or concealed. We don’t need the bad press and we certainly don’t want two gun owners shooting each other because one wanted to act irresponsibly.

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  1. If you absolutely must do these demonstrations, use a behind the back carry so you aren’t holding the damn thing. This is common sense.

  2. If a LEO is aiming his/her firearm at you, are you sufficiently “in immediate fear of your life” such that you may then reasonably use deadly force to defend yourself against the LEO? Of course depending on other facts, the prosecutor of the armed citizen would not want me on the jury.

    But to be clear, I’m not a proponent of open carry of long-arms for expressive purposes only. Also, I did not (and would not have) run out to the Cliven Bundy ranch in Nevada earlier this year.

    • “If a LEO is aiming his/her firearm at you, are you sufficiently “in immediate fear of your life” such that you may then reasonably use deadly force to defend yourself against the LEO?”


      • Yes, seriously. A citizen cannot preemptively (before an actual threat) aim a firearm at someone. A LEO should not either.

        • A gun in a ready position is a threat. If you’re just peacefully carrying (for whatever reason), there is no reason to carry like that.

        • LEOs are authorized to use force in ways that civilians are not, and it pretty much has to be that way. It’s a necessary component of powers to arrest. That doesn’t mean they can shoot first and ask questions later – the use of deadly force in defense of themselves pretty closely matches the civilian criteria – but short of shooting, it’s a different ballgame.

        • generally most state laws say or imply that the citizen is obligated to obey reasonable police requests to ensure officer safety.

          That usually means you may NOT resist physical force applied by an officer. If they do a rodney king while you are not resisting, THEN you MIGHT make a case for self defense, after you have not resisted. Not complying with an officers request is never the prudent and wise thing to do.

          To justify a SD shooting, all the officer would have to prove was that the officer thought that the suspect was armed and making a move to bring a weapon to bear against him.

          Even if the case went to the Grand Jury, which is composed of ordinary citizens, not folks who are knowledgeable about weapons, and sympathetic to the cause. Who would you think the jury would agree with.

          Cops are not paid enough to take extraordinary risks with their safety, and the public doesnt expect them to push their luck.

          I do wish some folks would walk in LEO’s footsteps for a couple of shifts before they make all of these pronouncements.

      • Society gives police limited additional authority as a tool because it is their charge to stop and investigate crimes. In exchange they have to go through extensive (and invasive) background investigations, training, and continual review. If you decide you want to make a point by ‘defending yourself’ from a police officer, you can expect to be killed or spend the rest of your life in jail (there are very few exceptions to this general rule). If you don’t like that you should probably move to a place where there is no color of law.

    • I really shouldn’t even dignify that with a response. But suffice it to say, some incidents to the contrary notwithstanding, the police are still far, far from deserving the same calculus we use with rapists and armed robbers. By far, your most reasonable, safest course of action is still to cooperate.

    • I’m not going to say you’re an idiot, naive, but not an idiot. I think you’d find that in all 50 states (and probably anywhere in the world), a uniformed LEO is going to be assumed the “good guy” for legal purposes, and if you’re dumb enough to raise your weapon at them “in defense”, and you survive that mistaken thought, you will be the defendant in the subsequent criminal trial. Just saying. The only gray area would be an undercover (how do you really know they are an undercover cop? people are pretending to be cops all over these days, and your life is potentially at stake), but your chances still aren’t much better. Plus if an undercover blows his cover to pull on you, there was probably a good reason why he did so – you did something you shouldn’t be doing.

  3. “Carry a handgun, open or concealed.” And, if you are a Texan, go to jail.

    Sgt. Hayes, like an incredible number of people on this blog, does not get it. In Texas, YOU CANNOT LEGALLY OPEN CARRY A HANDGUN.

    While I disagree with the tactic of “protesting” open handgun carry laws by openly carrying long guns, at least I get the idea that Texans cannot openly carry handguns. Maybe they should move here to Virginia, where open carry of anything is legal. (JK about moving)

      • But not open carry, which is what the open carry activists are trying to change. They’re attempting to show the absurdity of being able to openly carry rifles, but having to conceal pistols. Sadly, a bunch of poorly-dressed out-of-shape guys carrying rifles at low ready in a Jack In The Box are not the way to get this message across and get open carry legalized.

        • What is the point of open carry when you can have conceal carry? Why advertise you are carrying a gun to begin with?

        • Larry, why be forced to conceal? It could be a comfort issue, or a convenience issue. Tell me, how many people walk around with a gun on their hip in states where open carry is allowed? Would Texas be any different? I sincerely doubt that people will suddenly openly wear a pistol everywhere they go – but having the option of carrying without having to hide it – or carrying a full-sized pistol instead of a more easily concealed one – seems like a reasonable idea, doesn’t it? Or do you think the “streets will run red with blood” if that option is available?

          There are many reasons why someone might be openly carrying – but as it stands now, they have to either disarm themselves or conceal before leaving private property. But it’s perfectly legal to sling a rifle over your shoulder instead – what kind of sense does that make?

        • What is the point of open carry when you can have conceal carry? Why advertise you are carrying a gun to begin with?

          One HUGE reason is that if one must take a license then they are no longer exercising the right to keep and bear arms.

          Are you suggesting that a privilege is equivalent to a right? Is it acceptable to relinquish the exercise of a right when a government privilege is offered in its place? Do you realize what will happen to the right should that become commonplace?

        • Larry – open carry also gives you more options, in that you no longer need to compromise between capacity/caliber and concealability.

          Well, unless you plan on carrying a Pfeifer Zeliska, but that’s more a compromise between capacity/caliber and carryability.

    • We get it. We just don’t support stupid and counter-productive protests in response to a bad law.

    • Dude, he mentioned that specifically in the article: “Most were from Texas where such carry is legal and open handgun carry is not.”

      I think his statement had the unspoken caveat of “in accordance with state law”

    • Is it really beyond your comprehension that many people think it’s stupid to do it EVEN IF it’s the only legal open carry?!?!? Quit assuming we don’t know OC of a handgun is illegal in Texas. That just gives you an excuse to ignore our point, that OC of a rifle, especially the way shown in the pictures (single point sling, hand on the grip), is stupid if not reckless.

      I am aware it was a posed picture. But it is the only thing that more than 300 million Americans saw. perception matters, and you are creating a bad one.

  4. Well said. Carrying guns just to get attention is a bad idea. Carrying them in a ready position is a really bad idea.

  5. I agree with every point I don’t like seeing it anymore than the anti’s. Looking at this picture like most of the pictures of these types they have that immature look. Excellent post.

  6. All the “hunting and fishing” open-carry events around here have explicit guidelines about handling your firearm in public. Basically, keep it holstered and don’t touch it, especially when law enforcement is present.

    For those that don’t know, here in Florida the only permitted time you can openly carry a pistol is when you are going to or from a hunting/fishing activity or a sport shooting-related activity, or participating in those activities, obviously.

    So on occasion, what happens is that a group of firearms owners will go fishing on a pier somewhere, while openly carrying pistols.

  7. No matter how we try and justify the ‘right’ to open carry long guns, the perception is going to be that people may be heading for a place to ‘do bad things’. I am all for the right to keep an bear arms IN ANY AND ALL SITUATIONS, but (yup) PERCEPTION is what it is. Just like the writer stated, ‘Anyone can articulate the threat of a rifle in hand with your finger millimeters from the trigger. It’s no different than doing the same with a handgun in your hand. Most of you would never walk into a store with a handgun in your hand. Why would you do it with a rifle?’ If I see someone walking into the Walmart where I am going to shop carrying a long gun OUTSIDE of a case, I would wonder what is going on. Perception people: big thing that……

  8. Grandpa always told me only a fool disturbs the bees nest. Even the beekeeper moves slowly and wears a suit…

    Just sayin

  9. I wrote a P320 entry on how I think open carriers (of which I am one) should conduct themselves. Didn’t get put up (probably due to sub-par writing), but seeing others mirroring some of my thoughts on it (stop carrying at low-ready; stop wearing tactical gear; tight leashes on the a-holes in the group) tells me at least it was poor writing and not dumb ideas the shelved it.

      • True, and they can post it if they want, but after reading a lot of the other entries…lets just say I’m glad the winner is drawn at random, because that’s the only way mine has a chance! Some of you guys are great writers!

  10. I love how cops admit that they will hassle someone, even though they are not breaking any law, just because they don’t like the looks of the situation. Give a guy a badge……….

    • Hassel? I think he said “he gets shot.” If the State, as embodied by Sgt Hayes, doesn’t know and agree with your intent, you die.

      I disagree with long gun open carry demonstrations. However, the natural human tendency to force one’s will upon another, as demonstrated by Sgt Hayes is why I give wackos on the other end of the spectrum the benefit of the doubt.

      • I suspected that line was either sloppy wording or was thrown in just to get a rise from people. I going to give Sgt. Hayes the benefit of the doubt and assume he doesn’t really automatically shoot people. Really the scenario is silly. An Open Carry demonstration is not just one shifty guy walking around. It’s a crowd of demonstrating people carrying signs and flags. I don’t think Sgt. Hayes would just walk into a crowd of people singling out one person then shoot him if he didn’t respond exactly as expected? I should hope not.

    • A police officer’s duty involves investigating suspicious activity. Someone holding a weapon in a ready position is damn suspicious to me.

        • Yep, and if they comply and cooperate with the investigating there won’t be any shooting. However, if they refuse to cooperate and continue to present an immediate threat by keeping their booger hook right next to the bang switch…they may catch some lead.

        • “Yep, and if they comply and cooperate with the investigating there won’t be any shooting. However, if they refuse to cooperate and continue to present an immediate threat by keeping their booger hook right next to the bang switch…they may catch some lead.”

          Wow. I guess thoughts like that are why we have the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. It is often said that the second amendment supports all of the others. In fact most of them support each other. The right to own a machine gun wouldn’t do me much good if that’s how the state was allowed to “investigate” me.

        • Of course there is a difference. Nathaniel nailed it. If someone is carrying a gun in a ready position the police should investigate what is going on, and they should be ready to draw their weapon if need be. If the police get calls from people saying there is someone with a gun and they see a person who is legally and responsibly open carrying they shouldn’t have to talk to that person, they can investigate just by looking.

        • That difference is the time it takes for a suspect to raise the muzzle and pull the trigger.

          Would you depend on that difference?

          Don’t put yourself in that position. He’s not saying “don’t open carry,” just do it right.

        • Of course, but if the guy carrying the rifle turns to respond to the cop, and his rifle rotates with his body and begins to point at the cop, and he already has his handle on the pistol grip and his finger near the trigger . . .

          Well, it might be a very short distance between the two. And that is just a very stupid way for someone to die.

        • That difference is the time it takes for a suspect to raise the muzzle and pull the trigger.

          Would you depend on that difference?

          Citizens have to depend on that difference every time an officer draws his firearm. But then again, cops have never used force to murder citizens before… 😉

    • Hugh would you open carry a pistol in your hand especially If is is a 1911 cocked and locked, when this open carry of long guns started they were carried slung across the back with the magazine out now we have people carrying them in the ready position,I think that is a bad idea . I understand the points about open carry but along with rights come responsibilities let,s use our heads on this issue.

    • Seriously?? A police officer sees a guy walking into a store/mall/restaurant with an AR/AK, held at the low ready and he should just walk away? Call me crazy, but I would really like for the officer to do his job and “hassle” the guy to make sure he is not on his way to the next mass shooting. Some of you guys really take the whole “evil LEO” theory to absurd heights…

  11. Carrying a rifle slung over the shoulder with barrel down if legal under state law is a demonstration or display protected by the Second Amendment and the First Amendment.

    If open carry of a rifle is done right — on the street (not in private businesses), by well organized groups, with good signage so people know what it’s all about, and with notice to local law enforcement so the cops don’t freak out — I favor it strongly.

    Carrying a rifle in one’s hands is a whole different kettle of fish, especially by a lone actor or a pair. It might easily be misconstrued by law enforcement as a threat, and maybe by me too.

    • This exactly. The problem is the open carry demonstrators are not getting their message across (they seem to be assuming everyone knows their motivations – and we can see from the comments here people don’t), they’re not carrying safely, and it’s turning into “Lookitme! Lookitmeeee!” instead of drawing attention to a law they want changed.

  12. I watched the Jerry Miculek video on open carry and liked it. He’s a better shooter than I’ll ever be, but my ammo is organized better than his.

  13. This is BULLSHIT and why I have problems with today’s police. Folks in TX are carrying long guns because its illegal to conceal carry, hand guns. Carrying long guns is speech, nothing more or less. The absurd statement of carrying at the ready is a cop looking for escalation regardless of the fact they’re just carrying. Do we now define intent…at port arms, sling left/right, barrel up/down or horizontal? People’s intent is NONE of your business.

    The carry of long guns will STOP when every citizen is able to conceal carry, exercising their natural right of lawful self defense.

    • My point exactly. Cops have way too much power . Some of the biggest assholes in school are cops now.

    • I suspect you are spoofing but I’ll respond anyway:

      If you must demonstrate in such a manner, pull out the JC Penny catalog and look at the models in the clothing section. The are trying to sell something just like you are. Look like them–quiet, understated, well groomed, and smiling. (Also note that they are of modest build and have not sweated through their clothes. If you can’t pull that off, then maybe being a spokesperson for a movement is just not your thing.)

      If you are trying to sell the idea that guns are normal, then be normal. Be a normal person, going about your normal everyday activities, who happens to be carrying a gun. Such a person will have said gun stowed and secured out of his way so that he can better carry out his everyday activities. In fact, such a person would probably carry a gun that took into account that being armed is a supplemental activity to his primary purpose, and not an end in itself, such as a handgun.

    • Well then mk10108, why not make a REAL 1st and 2nd Amendment fashion statement and paint your long gun neon FLAME red and carry it at the ready everywhere you go to be sure you catch EVERYONE’s attention.

      Sheesh; I thought it was just the grabbers that embraced a “common sense” deficit.

      • Wrong Roscoe, here’s why. Police do not protect anyone. They take reports after an incident and choose to protect when they want. Review You Tube videos of Oakland gang members firing weapons at intersection in police presence and elect to drive past. Why because they’re scared of gang bangers. Roll that over to law abiding carriers and its investigate citizens going about their business. In effect let’s determine intent then maybe not arrest them.

        The difference is law abiding people are now subject to scrutiny (because they’re safe and police can run them for warrants) whereas gang bangers get a pass. The incessant need for LEO’s to get in the business of law abiding citizens is opportunity to create revenue via the 12,000 laws created for that specific purpose.

        The idea police can or will protect people is a lie, told by them, our city councils, legislators, and politicians. They do not want to accept they are employed at the will of the people and the more they can interfere with lawful self defense the more job security they hold on to.

        • Agreed.

          I remember years ago there was some crazy older woman walking around and flashing herself in a mall parking lot. A police car drove by and ignored her and drove right to a nearby doughnut shop I kid you not. Police only serve themselves, they don’t protect anyone but their masters and themselves. It isn’t their job to protect the peons.

    • Um, it is not illegal to conceal carry in Texas with a permit, and permits are not terribly difficult or expensive to obtain.

    • “People’s intent is NONE of your business.”

      Are you dense? Are you REALLY suggesting that someone walking into a bank with a ski mask and guns akimbo should be allowed to go about their business in there until the moment they rob the place, because their intent is none of your business?

    • Um, excuse me, when there is a concrete possibility that their “intent” is to KILL ME, then their intent is very much my business, thank you. Or did you forget about my right to life in that other amendment?

    • WTH are you talking about. Texas has conceal carry, it is open carry of handgun they want. The Texas Constitution prohibits the state government from regulating long guns but does allow regulation of carry of handgun. This stems from reconstruction after the civil war. Texas state law makers can change the law and allow unrestricted carrying of handguns or the Texas Constitution can be amended through a statewide vote to prohibit state government from regulating handguns.
      I am more worried about a backlash and the Texas Constitution being amended to allow regulation of long guns as well. That is my fear and we all lose in Texas with that!!!

  14. Yeah; good points; I was thinking of the analogy that a rifle slung muzzle down on my back is equivalent to a holstered pistol. So just as I would never consider walking down the street with my hand gripping the handle of my holstered pistol nor would I ever walk down the street with an un-holstered pistol in my hand unless I was going to use it in immediate self-defense; I would never walk down the street with the rifle slung in front or in the low ready with the pistol grip in hand unless I was in immediate need for self-defense.

  15. Rifle + sling + shoulder it = open carry.
    Rifle + low ready + finger near trigger = immediate threat.

  16. “I don’t know his intent and until his hand comes off that pistol grip I don’t care. He will be at gunpoint. He doesn’t comply, he gets shot.”

    You should probably get started now on explaining that at your deposition and trial the next time you justifiably use force in your job. Come to think of it, the community you serve should probably set aside some money to pay for the lawsuit.

    • Since you still didn’t read the quote and understand it after quoting him in the comments I’ll explain it to you. A rifle in hand is called brandishing, just as if you had a pistol in your hand. Remove your hand from the weapon. If you look like you are ready to shoot someone (ie carry in the low ready outside of an organized function) then you will be subject to felony stop procedures.

      • But he didn’t say he’d stop; he said he’d shoot.

        Also, I disagree with both your definition of brandishing and of your understanding of the investigatory stop. Please cite.

        • Brandishing can be defined as simply displaying in a threatening manner. So for this we’ll say it’s a pistol, then you can insert rifle later. Guy walking into Wal-Mart has a pistol in his hand. My perception is he is a threat to me and others in his immediate surroundings because he has his pistol out and appears ready to use it. During a felony stop, gun is drawn and commands are given because the potential threat level is high. Guy is holding a deadly weapon. If he does not comply with commands and makes some stupid nervous movements that can be interpreted as a threat, he is probably going to be shot. Officers do not know you or your intent. Dealing with the worst of society gives you the mentality of “assume the worst, hope for the best”. That’s my impression of Haye’s story.
          Flip the script and dude has a slung rifle, that’s going to be a quick investigation more interested in what rifle and does he like it.

  17. ok this might catch heat but Open Carry in protest of a backwards law should be done right or not done at all. I feel that by following the 5 simple guidelines listed below you could get the message across and cut down drastically on the bad press these events catch.

    1. Keep it in the streets DO NOT go in a business with the weapon on. Hand it off to a trusted friend, post a weapon guard and stack arms, or put it in a locked case in a locked car.

    2. No magazines in mag fed long arms. We don’t know and can’t tell if there’s rounds in there or in the chamber. You can always clean ole betsy after the event if she gets dirt in there.

    3. Chamber flags. These lil bright orange 10 cent pieces of plastic or bright colored zip ties will alleviate any doubt that the weapon is empty & will let folks know at a glance that you aren’t a threat.

    4.Sling it on your back. In many aspects of shooting I suggest deferring to the military, this aspect not so much. We carried them on our chest because in a low intensity conflict you just never know when you’ll need your rifle at hand quickly.

    5. Keep the idiots in line and display prominent eye catching signage. Not saying everyone is an idiot just sayin you see a carrier ignoring these rules, send them the fudge home! No exceptions. As for the signs well that should be self explanatory.

    Oh, and if you’re worried about defending yourself there’s no rule saying leave your CCW piece at home… carry the damn thing & use that instead of your long gun.YMMV

    • I would humbly suggest one addition…

      Dress appropriately! One of the recent OCT videos (I think it was at Sonic), showed guys wearing camo, wife beaters, and even a tactical vest. Why would you dress like this for a publicity event? Is this really the image OCT wants to portray?

  18. The thing that bothers me the most about someone carrying a rifle at low ready: Even if I dismiss the possibility that they are a criminal, I have no way of knowing the competence level of that individual. They very well could be an Idiot Gun Owner and an ND waiting to happen.

    • An open carry demonstrator publicly posturing with their long gun an “Idiot Gun Owner”?

      Nah, never.

  19. “Leave the rifle at home or in your car. Carry a handgun, open or concealed.”

    …But they can’t. carry. a. handgun. openly. Because they are in Texas.

    #America! (?)

    • Pretty sure he meant, open or carried (witch ever is allowed). I think it’s safe to assume that he knows you can’t open carry in TX.

  20. I am not a member but I support the efforts of Open Carry Texas to try to keep the torch burning for the Texas state legislature to address and pass open carry of handguns at next year legislative session. See this recent editorial written by CJ Grisham the founder of Open Carry Texas in USA Today:
    As you can read in the article they are listening to constructive criticism and adjusting tactics, but are continuing the struggle to get Texas gun rights on par the majority of American states. The dire scenarios imagined by Sgt Patrick Haynes are not accurate. Open Carry Texas have been conducting peaceful political demonstrations. There have been no reports of violent confrontation.

  21. I think Sgt. Hayes basically said “don’t be a di#khe#d”. Whatever folks-we just got legal concealed carry in Illinois. I’d love to open carry but it’s way down my list of importance. Rev is right on this one.

    • “I think Sgt. Hayes basically said ‘don’t be a di#khe#d’.”

      No. What he said was, “If I think you’re being a di#khe#d, or I’ll shoot you.”

      There’s a big world of difference.

  22. Yes, this is why I don’t just sling my rifle when I go to the range. On a related note, if I had a dog I wouldn’t walk it around cops.

  23. Carrying a holstered handgun is fine but when you carry a long arm around it just looks like you are hunting trouble.

    In short it’s rude.

  24. Bobmcd – We do get it. We know they can’t open carry handguns in Texas. The problem is that groups like OCT and OCT-Tarrant County are doing it the wrong way. And the way they are demonstrating is having repercussions on a national scale.


  25. ” I don’t mind where people make love, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses.”
    Mrs. Patrick Campbell (1865-1940)
    Don’t scare the horses people.

  26. Well they are carrying the rifles because have guns are illegal, that’s the point. But I totally agree with the rest. I support open carry, I want them to succeed. Keep It on the shoulder and on your back.

  27. The private citizen’s perspective and freedom of actuon is different from that of a sworn peace officer.

    I can walk around all day muttering about the personal hygiene of my federal, state and local elected officials making them smell as bad as their corrupt governance. A private citizen can tell me to shut up and stop being annoying.

    A peace officer telling me to shut up is violating my right to free political speech.

    Bottom line, it is not the job of the police to decide how to interpret the law. That’s the job of the courts. It does NOT matter if the police officer likes what I say, it is my right to say it. Period.

    Does that mean I think the Chipotle-Carry folks are doing any good? No; frankly I think they’re being stupid and doing more harm than good. Does that mean I have a right to stop them acting like jerks? No, unless they’re on my property; then I can tell them to leave.

    But the police officer doesn’t get to tell them to stop, unless they’re breaking a law, any more than he can tell them – legally – to stop implying the governor’s parents were descended from ruminants. If they are breaking the law, then they should be arrested. But if open carry is legal, then getting arrested for open carry is as bad as arresting someone for wearing a Duck Dynasty cap.

    • Police officers are at the very front lines of interpreting the law – they are the ones making the initial contact, creating the detention / arrest, and deciding on a course of enforcement action. What happens to the violators when a police officer does not take action? Probably nothing.

      The judges and court system are definitely in play, but those only occur after an enforcement action has taken place.

  28. OCTards insistence on their “right” to carry long guns in a suburban setting reminds me of someone “insisting” on their pedestrian right of way in the cross-walk here in CA. Yeah, its a law, and technically- the driver has to give way.

    The reality is accidents happen, ALL THE TIME.

    Same for OC long carry. If you dont check your surroundings, insisting on your right may not be just stupid, but life threatening. And not just to you, but other innocent bystanders.

    DON’T Be “that guy”…

    • Really? Accidents “happen all the time” in relation to long gun carry? Can you name a SINGLE instance where there was an accident involving carrying a long gun as a means of political expression?

      The only injuries have not been accidents, but deliberate actions by police officers like the writer, who says he WILL shoot someone for not obeying him.

      • KB- go back and read it again, slowly. The reference as to “all the time” was for CA pedestrians thinking their *right* to the right of way, made them safe, from oncoming cars.

        If I have to explain what the analogy is about, then you aren’t getting it, and I suspect on purpose, because you can’t or wont admit to the points that much more patient and experienced folks, like Jerry Miculek, or the good Sgt, or the NRA, have made over and over.

        • No, the man has a good point. If you wish to make an analogy between two rights, then the application of such a statement to one of them must be able to be equally applicable to the other. Your thinking was not very “Publius”cent in this case.

      • No, I am pointing out the falseness of the analogy. Maybe you should try reading more slowly.

    • Sgt. Hayes isn’t the enemy. Neither am I. We are solidly for gun rights so long as they are used in an intelligent manner. I also don’t support the 1st Amendment when it is used to deliberately cause harm – as in yelling fire in the middle of the street or making a frivolous call to 911.

      The anti-gun cops out there are the ones who should legitimately keep you up at night.

      • We are solidly for gun rights so long as they are used in an intelligent manner.

        I’m sure that you and Hayes are good guys and not part of the problem, but you still don’t get it. As long as cops are the self-appointed authorities on what constitutes “an intelligent manner,” I can’t trust them.

        • I think I get gun rights as well as anyone. I think I also understand that government – and police officers who are part of the government – is supposed to serve the people. I just wrote a public facebook post about “just following orders.” The independent thinker can tell his police chief or commanding officer to pound sand rather than following an unconstitutional or immoral order. Further, “just following orders” does not justify the murder of women and children. Or in the case of police and SWAT teams, the family pet.

          Further, juries and judges still have the ability to nullify the conviction recommended by the police officer. Lawyers such as yourself are supposed to provide checks and balances, as should an armed populace. I welcome whatever checks and balances you can provide.

      • Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever heard of any case anywhere in the country where the cops responded to a 911 call about people open-carrying guns where it’s legal to do so by arresting the person who made the call for making a frivolous 911 call? I know making false 911 calls is actually illegal in many states…

  29. Here’s the Virginia (an open carry state) law on brandishing a weapon (source:

    § 18.2-282. Pointing, holding, or brandishing firearm, air or gas operated weapon or object similar in appearance; penalty.

    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to point, hold or brandish any firearm or any air or gas operated weapon or any object similar in appearance, whether capable of being fired or not, in such manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another or hold a firearm or any air or gas operated weapon in a public place in such a manner as to reasonably induce fear in the mind of another of being shot or injured. However, this section shall not apply to any person engaged in excusable or justifiable self-defense. Persons violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor or, if the violation occurs upon any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds or upon public property within 1,000 feet of such school property, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

    B. Any police officer in the performance of his duty, in making an arrest under the provisions of this section, shall not be civilly liable in damages for injuries or death resulting to the person being arrested if he had reason to believe that the person being arrested was pointing, holding, or brandishing such firearm or air or gas operated weapon, or object that was similar in appearance, with intent to induce fear in the mind of another.

    I think it’s pretty clear that a Chipotle Ninja neckbeard who is carrying in a ready position with his finger next to the trigger is, at the least, right on the edge of meeting the legal definition of this crime.

    • The operative phrase in Texas law is “in a manner calculated to cause alarm.” In other words, the burden is on the state to prove that the subject carried or displayed the firearm with the specific intention of scaring someone. Not, mind you, that someone was scared at the way the firearm was displayed. Unless they have changed it recently. I still think Gen Zod has the right take on the situation.

      • The state can still try to infer intent from action. It’s probably a bit of a tougher case than in VA, but a prosecutor could still try to make it stick without being utterly unreasonable. I certainly wouldn’t carry either a pistol or a long gun in a ready position, precisely because it would appear threatening.

  30. Wow. Just wow. We have a sensible article, demonstrating gun manners and why gun manners are important to the cause (and the carrier)…. then we have the usual types crying and stomping their feet about how unfair it is and they want to keep on doing what they have been doing. The behavior suggests, once again, that they aren’t really for open carry at all, but appear to be working for Bloomberg in undermining the movement. It is unlikely people who are really down for the struggle can really be that bullheaded and closed minded to learning manners unless they are up to no good.

    • I agree. I am sure that there are many OCT members who mean well, but unfortunately they are not what the media is showing. Instead, they show the mall ninja wanna be’s, posing like idiots. Yes, I understand the point they are trying to make, but what are the results? So far, what I see is at least six major chains that have banned firearms in their stores. At what point will these guys wake up and think, “gee, maybe this isn’t working?”

  31. All of the constructive criticism above from law enforcement and concerned people about how to open carry a long gun in public did not matter on whit when CJ Grisham was arrested for open carrying a long gun last year. At no point did Mr. Grisham put his hand on “that pistol grip” as verified in the dash-cam footage. As shown here on TTAG:

    So maybe Sgt Patrick Hayes and other concerned people are not really interested in public safety, but are just moving the goal posts. They would prefer open carry to be restricted as it is in Texas. Or in States where it is law, they would prefer the citizens too cowed by the police to exercise their rights, as per Sgt. Hayes statement where he would confront and shoot an open carrier. Maybe Texas isn’t too bad, open carriers have not been shot here. Fined yes, but not shot on sight.

    • Sigh… What part of this don’t you understand? We are for open carry. RESPONSIBLE open carry. Idiots who open carry AR’s and AK’s into the local fast food shop at the low ready are doing more to take away that right, then MDA ever could.

  32. Normally, if this were anyone but an LEO, I’d let this pass; However, “He doesn’t comply, he gets shot” is a very foolish bit of unprofessional hyperbole that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

    “Doesn’t comply” with what? A person simply standing with a gun at ‘low ready’, not pointing the muzzle at anything endangered, not having a finger on the trigger, not disengaging the safety, is not liable to be legally shot. That person does not pose an IMMINENT threat. It’s an uncomfortable situation, and an officer could ASK any number of things to defuse the discomfort, but the person, absent a SPECIFIC and DIRECT threat, is not liable to deadly force. For example, if the person should simply say, in response to a command from said officer to ‘drop the gun,’ “No, that would be a bad idea,” and then walk off in the opposite direction, what is the officer to do then? Shoot him in the back? I think not. . . Unless the person has committed a crime, or will be committing a crime by not obeying the officer, the officer has no right to command the person to do ANYthing.

    Words have meaning, and they have weight. How about, “He does not comply with a lawful order, and does something obtuse that directly threatens me or a third party with lethal force, he MAY get shot.”?

    That’s better.

    • At first I thought it was bad wording, but I now suspect he is deadly serious as many people agree with him. People talking tough on the Internet is not usually big deal, but police officers typically face little or no consequences for their actions.

    • I’d like to ask you what you think ‘imminent’ means. If all someone has to do is raise a gun slightly and pull the trigger, that’s pretty damn imminent to me.

    • Hell, we all say something that we could have said better sometimes. Based on prior posts, I don’t think Sgt. Hayes is one of those “operator” cops we are justifiably concerned about.

  33. Short version: “I will assume you have bad intentions and shoot you unless you prove otherwise.”

    No friend of liberty, this writer.

    • Agreed. No friend of civilization at all, this writer. Since when are assumptions sufficient justification for deploying lethal force? My, my, my, what arrogance these badge brandishers display.

    • No friend of liberty, this writer.

      This writer has previously demonstrated his positive defense of Liberty. Although I disagree with him on this one, I wouldn’t go so far as to agree with your statement either.

  34. Most open carry demonstrators are in organized, diverse, abundantly exuberant and cordial groups; often with the permission to visit the establishments they do. Name ANY mass shootings committed by a such a group. True, the regular public might be alarmed at such demonstrations, but there are people who are alarmed by absolutely nothing more threatening than a pop tart. See the lockdown of the day articles for numerous examples. Should we shut down people’s excise of freedom on account of the pearl clutchers? As for the lazy cops, they just don’t want to field the calls. It’s easier for them to show up, infringe on freedoms, cuff and stuff someone, than it is to do their damn job and keep the peace while respecting the Constitution.

    The mischaracterization of the typical rifle OC’er as being a lone guy with AR and low ready in Walmart is a disgustingly expedient and misleading use of imagery. I don’t know whether that was intentional on the author’s part and he intended to skew people’s perceptions, or if his own perceptions are so severely biased that he’s incapable of objectively assessing and discussing the subject.

    Either way, as a citizen, I am MUCH more concerned about HIM running around with a firearm and the accompanying authority, than I am about any bunch of OC’ers exercising their rights.

    • While I agree, I still see plenty of photos of Chipotle Ninjas and stuff with their hands clearly on the grips of their guns. Some even have their fingers on or near the trigger, and that’s stupid.

      • You’re losing credibility by continuing to comment with the “Chipotle Ninjas” shtick. I probably agree with your comments 99.9% of the time but not when you continue to push that meme. I have a lot of respect for your postings and those of a few other officers here. I don’t push insulting cop memes. TTAG ought not degenerate into this.

        • I don’t like how they do it but I defend their right to do it. I also, to a lessor extent, defend the right of the business owner to ask them to not.

          I was not there, Hannibal. Which one were you at Waco?

        • I agree, mainly because up until this post, McCain seemed to be if not the originator, then at least the chief user of that phrase, so anyone else who uses it is inextricably linked to him, in my mind. And since he has less than zero credibility with me at this point, people who are linked to him lose a pretty healthy amount of my respect as well.

        • @Matt in FL: To whom are you referring? If it’s me, then you’ll have to tell me which statement as I wasn’t a McCain supporter and have no clue what any McCainisms might be. If you mean the Waco comment, I was active before those incidents and it was just one of two that came to my mind for making a point (Ruby Ridge and Waco). It was a quick mental coin-toss for me with no attribution to any other speaker.

        • Oh, THAT McCain! LOL I was thinking John McCain and how I didn’t have the foggiest idea what he had said or didn’t in the past. I had put Paul T. McCain out of my mind hours ago and didn’t make the connection.

          Boy was I confused. 😀 Thanks for the clarification. I guess it’s past bed time here at the Ohio nursing home. Good night.