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(courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Yes, I chose open carry. I know: carrying openly makes me vulnerable to a gun grab and/or a “shoot-him-first” attack. But gun rights are my job. I am a defender and spokesman for Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. I’ve decided to walk the talk. Literally. To fly the flag. Symbolically. More than that, I believe that openly carrying a handgun – which, as a licensed concealed carrier in the Lone Star State, I will be “allowed” to do come January first – is a strong crime deterrent. I only wish . . .

that I lived in a place where I wasn’t likely to be the only person open carrying a sidearm. I reckon if one open carrier is a deterrent, two are ten times more effective. Still, I open carried in Rhode Island for a while, so I can guess what’s going to happen. Clean-cut, short-haired, simply dressed, old, slightly fat, cowboy hat-wearing white guy. Cop. Anyway, three-out-of-ten is a lot more open carry compadres than I’d imagined. Thank you for your service – to yourself, your loved ones, other innocent life and the perpetuation of American gun rights.

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      • I thought this was a stupid poll question. What exactly is it asking? If you could ONLY have one or the other, which would you choose? Concealed and open carry are both great things. Many people do both. There is no need to choose. Personally, I choose to practice concealed carry (but may OC sometime in the future).

      • Most of that 29% is WV and Kentucky , I think .
        I always open carry when I’m on my farm , most of the time at home and at my office and occasionally when I’m out . I enjoy the choice . The WVU football team mascot open carries for crying out loud .

    • Can anyone give me an example of a time where a bad guy with a gun shot a man open carrying first so he could commit a crime without being shot?

      • The more of us who open carry, and the more often, the less of that sort of crap is going to occur.

        It’s time to bring our gun rights out of the closet (or gun safe, as it were).

      • So you are letting others determine what you do? Why?

        For the record, I have never been harassed, swatted, called-out, or publicly vilified so I’m not sure why you think you would be..

        • Because I prefer the outcome. In the circles I run in, its much easier to avoid the needless interactions that distract from my plans at the moment. When I want a confrontation about the issue, I will dictate when I will have it.

      • “If I could, without being harassed, swatted, called-out, or just plain publicly vilified, I would open carry.”

        I OC specifically because that might happen. And it has.


        Just doing my part to wear their game out…

  1. The other day I was in Trader Joe’s and an older gentleman approached me. He saw my openly carried pistol and had some questions. He was originally from Chicago and was curious about the gun laws in Arizona. We had a great talk about gun laws in general and what gun he should buy, etc etc. That would have never happened had I been concealing, and it is exactly the reason I chose to OC. If you want to stop talking grass roots activism and start actually doing something, start open carrying. I am sick of the supposed 2A supporters that turn white when they see a gun that isn’t their own. Its put up or shut up time. Oh, and the first person to utter the phrase ‘tactical advantage’ gets a shoe to the face. *

    *Obviously this only applies to those that live in an open carry jurisdiction. since that covers over 40 states, that should be most of you. The rest of you are excused.

    • I like to OC, but I don’t really want people to talk to me because of it. Curious about gun laws? Google it and leave me alone.

    • “If you want to stop talking grass roots activism and start actually doing something, start open carrying. I am sick of the supposed 2A supporters that turn white when they see a gun that isn’t their own.”

      Those two sentences present a false dichotomy. I am a concealed carrying 2A supporter, who actually turns bright with hope when I see a gun that isn’t my own. The core of 2A support is that of individual responsibility, AND CHOICE. It is the acknowledgement that everybody’s circumstances are unique to themselves and the choices they make, how they act, how they show support or demonstrate their activism, are their own, and not dictated to them by others.

  2. I whole-heartedly agree with you.

    This tactical discussion is a matter of personal choice. It’s fine if you prefer to carry concealed.

    Now, what are you willing to do for the cause of gun rights?

    I don’t see that transporting our guns in the trunk to a range or hunting field does much to promote gun rights in the public square. Nor does carrying concealed in the public square do much for gun rights. Out-of-sight – out-of-mind.

    I think we need some flamboyant political promotion of gun rights and there is nothing (short of a rainbow colored boa) to attract attention than an OC parade. The public will (IMO) tolerate just about anything under the banner of politicking.

    After getting the conversation started, then I think we need to maintain the “walk”; i.e., every child, teen and grown-up (as loosely as I use the term) needs to see an OC on any trip to the public square. There is no need to see EVERYONE, nor MANY, just one or two or three.

    At first, they will notice. And again, they will be aware. And, in due course, they will cease to be aware. At that point, silence will be our declaration of victory. When non-gun-owners no longer any more aware of guns on the hips of civilians than they are of guns on the hips of police, then we have won. It’s normal. And . . . . . . nothing happens. No blood. No bang-bang sounds. Just the tweeting of the birds and the honking of horns.

    Texas is – I hope – the advent of OC as normalcy. When such a large State deeply intertwined with the commerce and social activity of the nation accepts OC then other States will follow. Texas isn’t really AZ or NM. I think that TX has enough critical mass to make more of a difference than the intrepid carriers of MI, OH, and elsewhere.

    We PotG are counting on Texans to come-out on 1/1/16 and sustain the practice of OC thereafter.

    • Well said. The whole country points at what Texas does or doesn’t do regarding guns. Give them something to point out, and after a while without blood flowing in the streets, it will give our cause that much more “ammunition”.

    • “Texas isn’t really AZ or NM. I think that TX has enough critical mass to make more of a difference than the intrepid carriers of MI, OH, and elsewhere.

      We PotG are counting on Texans to come-out on 1/1/16 and sustain the practice of OC thereafter.”

      The reaction from those in Austin will be *priceless*…

      I hope Austin OCers make a point of shopping at Whole Foods and their ilk…

  3. Not for me in dense populated areas. I seen some who do, fine by me. I don’t know if they live in area or are passing thru. Texas/Arizona one thing, inner city another.

    • Matt From Pa says:
      September 22, 2015 at 15:17
      “Texas/Arizona one thing, inner city another.”

      You do realize that Texas has 2 of the 10 most populated urban zones in the country right?

      6 of the top 20 largest cities in the country, 3 of which are in the top 10.

      • And don’t forget that Houston is about to overtake Chicago for the #3 slot. Unlikely that they will overtake LA or NYC for the foreseeable future.

        • I just find it funny that people still operate under the impression that Texas is just a bunch of wide open land full of rednecks with guns.

          There are more people in this state than the entire country of Australia.

          If Texas were it’s own country we would rank number 47 out of 200 countries by population.

        • Don’t blame them, though. It’s tv and movies.

          When we transferred to Houston, I expected to find multi-acre homes for 200k. I didn’t plan to buy about a 1/4 acre in Cinco for over 300k.

    • I’ve OcC’d for almost eight years, much if it in Albuqerque, NM. With a metro area of about 500 thousand people. Across the street from the biggest university in NM.

      Nary a problem from the citizens, business owners or the police. And most businesses are free of GFZ signs.

  4. Despite my primary carry method being concealed, I voted for open. I want and prefer to carry with an owb holster for comfort and convenience (not having to buy new pants and such). Plus, as i really hate iwb holsters, my concealed method is in pocket… and even if thats easier for me, i recognize how its potentially not the most ‘tactical’ decision.

    • If I am still at my current job or at a new job which will allow it… yes, I will be open carrying on the first. My big decision is: go for showy with one of “The Pimp Guns” stainless PT92 with faux pearl grips or stainless 1911 with purple Hogue grips, go for outrageous with “The Yosemite Sam Gun” 6 inch barrel Judge, or go with sensible “Tactical Advantage Gun” black Sarsilmaz SAR K-2 with 15 rounds f .45 ACP?

      Ouch! Where did that shoe come from?

    • I intent to OC for the sake of gun toting Texas women. Ladies it’s not like you are flashing the “girls” in public. As a woman and a woman in my 60’s now, have felt somewhat at a disadvantaged concealed carry, to look at me you would never think I have 5 to 6 rounds of .38 P+ in my pocket. I would rather look less sheep like when I’m walking around. Oh that Ruger .38 LCR will still be undetected in my pocket but a Ruger GP .357 3″ revolver will be on my hip in a leather carved bear paw Mernickle Holster on a proper gun belt. Right now due to unfortunate encounter with a goofy 18 month old 65 lb. Lab mix, had to have partial hip replacement and using a cane, open carry would be a better strategy for now.

    • I’ll be carrying openly wherever I can in Texas on and after 1/1/16.

      I’ve carried openly every day since getting my Texas CHL in 2013. On my own property in Texas, but also in OK, CO, NM, and AZ.

      Not because it’s cool or to make a statement. It’s just best for me.

      O. L. James, III
      CPT, US Army Retired
      Field Artillery

  5. As an Illinois resident, this “choice” is merely hypothetical for me. I think if I had the choice, there would be times/places where I would conceal, and times/places where I would open carry. My only hope is that:
    1) Such decisions are made based on perceived tactical advantages, personal comfort and convenience, and
    2) While we all should publicly fight for our rights, guns shouldn’t be used as a prop in that theatre. Carry the way that makes sense to you, and wear a “Molon Labe” t-shirt if you feel the need to express yourself.

    Better yet, write your legislators, join and give $$ to a pro-2A group, and join an organized gathering/demonstration/march. The fact that we outnumber the “moms” 100-to-1 may be ignored by the media, but expedient legislators will quietly take note.

  6. I’m surprised open carry percentage wasn’t smaller. Then again what do I know, I live in Florida and we don’t have open carry. Although a bill in the state house was introduced to allow open carry recently.

  7. I love the freedom that open carry symbolizes. Living in Illinois we do not have that option, although I think I would still prefer a concealed weapon if only for the advantages that style of carry brings. I do agree with some who feel that open carry accelerates the notion of acceptance to the general public. It makes those that do ambassadors of sorts, wether they like it or not.

  8. Come to KY. At least once a week I see another open carrier. And we are in the largest city in the state. Regular people doing regular things while visibly carrying is our “hearts and minds.” PS hold the door for people, or get the milk off the top shelf for granny while carrying.

  9. I voted open. Though I carry concealed as well, I find myself preferring open because it is more comfortable. I have my conceal carry permit for Wisconsin winters where it’s difficult to keep a pistol outside a heavy winter jacket.

  10. Truth is , when I want to un holster my pistol or revolver , which ever one I am carrying , I would prefer to not have to tug up my shirt or jacket to do so . The guy or gal that is not impeded in acquiring his or her weapon is in better position to fire first , I think . I actually would like it if everyone did open carry and that doesn’t mean of coarse that there wouldn’t be one tucked away somewhere as a back up . I do think it would be a crime deterrent .

  11. ‘I know: carrying openly makes me vulnerable to a gun grab and/or a “shoot-him-first” attack.’

    Frankly I’d be more worried about a gun grab attack from an ignorant cop than from a criminal. You’re probably more likely to be passed over by a criminal if he sees your gun.

    That said I don’t OC because I’m a small (micro) business owner and I don’t want to bump into a client and find out that he’s rabidly anti-gun. Most of my income relies on a very small handful of people.

  12. I live in Illinois and observe the occasional open carrier in nearby Indiana-AND nothing happens. Hammond is pretty densely populated too. I assume some girly types think the OC is a cop or a guard . A criminal isn’t going the tacticool retension holster route either…

    • Open carry an unloaded gun? For what? Bait?

      Then what happens when the neighborhood neanderthal grabs it? You gonna draw your other gun and shoot him?

      Because you know it’s unloaded so you know he’s not a deadly threat. Self-defense fail. Prison time.

      Good luck with that. But please, stay out of Illinois. We have enough logic-changed whack jobs here.

      • Open carry an unloaded gun? For what? Bait?

        No. As a deterrent. But if it doesn’t work – you are still good to go. Also, your open carry piece doesn’t have to actually be functional.

        Relax Curtis, take a deep breath, I’m not coming to IL anytime soon to hang out with you.

        • He does make a point tho… If you know it’s not loaded, then you know he’s not a deadly threat… If you act with your concealed gun, to a stop a threat that you know isn’t a threat… That’s not self-defense. Your suggestion, from a legal standpoint, pretty much means that you’re giving away a free gun, or getting convicted of pre-meditated murder…

        • He does make a point tho… If you know it’s not loaded, then you know he’s not a deadly threat…

          I’m glad you guys got this. That is the point actually. The goal is to avoid a DGU.

          Not looking to shoot anyone. I would rather give him a free defective gun than to shoot him.

  13. Gun blogs are an informative way to advance knowledge about firearms. However I fail to see how open carry – and possibly scaring the living $h*t out of people – will advance 2A rights.

    • My wife found a garden snake in the pool today. She pulled out our handy dandy Texas snake guide and knew it was non poisoness. But she was still scared anyway. When I got home and took care of it, the damn thing jumped at me and I jumped back.

      I don’t mean to sound like a dick, but I don’t care if someone is ‘scared’ by my gun if their scarediness is unreasonable.

      The point is that if I handled a few of those snakes over a reasonable amount of time, my wife and I woulda been ‘scared’ less. Seeing an OC firearm by a normal looking citizen gives the ignorant (pure sense of word) citizen an opportunity that gains them experience and lessens their fright. It normalizes the situation.

      As for the “gun blogs” comment, I’m sorry but that is beyond naive. 99.995% of people on gun blogs are POTG and not uninitiated observers looking to gather information.

      Jan 1 (Texas OC) I will open carry. In fact, I bought 2 wpns for that purpose. A New Army cap n ball to keep police at bay and a new Kimber Master Carry when I am not at a rally.

        • Mr. Insulted (Ted Unlis),

          I know you are trolling, but your purposeful ignorance and needless insult may warrant a response – for others, not for you. In fact, I think your trolling is actually kinda helpful – though sophomoric, it can provide a discussion that can elucidate.

          As for “scardiness” – it is usually a bad idea to correct grammar and punctuation on a blog. It is quite petty. Now, the word was neither misspelled nor used improperly grammatically. It was used as neologism and is therefore immune from your criticism.

          The comment you made about “to keep police at bay” may be of interest to those outside of Texas (or to those inside (as I believe you are) who may not know or (as I believe you are) intentionally ignorant or grossly uninformed.

          The recent law that established Open Carry in the state was exceedingly poorly mismanaged. One provision that had Democrat support was a codification in state law of DeBerry V. US wherein a police officer cannot detain (for investigatory purposes) an OC’er simply for OC’ing, if the OC’er is doing so where it is lawful to do so – and the officer has no other justification for the stop. While superfluous to the law, this provision would have codified the case cited giving law enforcement a clear delineation of their authority IN the law instead of needing to read case law.

          In addition, in Texas if you are contacted by the police for any reason that is not consensual while carrying (concealed or open), a CHL holder is required to notify the officer of their CHL license and present it if requested. You cannot refuse to provide this license if you are carrying. No matter the reason you refuse, you will lose your CHL – period. So, you are FORCED to identify yourself to police for no reason other than their whim.

          Although the authors of the OC law clearly stated their legislative intent that police could NOT stop an OC’er for investigatory detention UP DB v. US; there are some unprofessional peace officers who disagree. My purchase of a Uberti 1858 New Army “keeps the police at bay (or at least attempts to)” since it is not classified as a firearm for federal or state purposes. Ergo, if contacted by police while carrying this type of “Curio or Relic or Replica Thereof” I am under no obligation to Identify myself and cannot be hit with a Failure to ID charge – another law peace officers misunderstand greatly.

          So, your snarkiness falls flat … again.

          • I believe Ted is a LEO, or that is my impression, which would explain his attitude here. If so, he seems like one who would not respect your rights.

        • Thanks for the clarification Mike, now I understand, you won’t really be carrying a cap and ball black powder pistol “to keep police at bay”, but instead to intentionally provoke a confrontation with law enforcement at a rally since it’s difficult to discern your holstered Uberti replica 1858 New Army non applicable revolver from a revolver similar in appearance but defined as a firearm, and should any LE Officer unable to correctly identify your holstered Uberti dare ask for you handgun license or ID, well we all know the rest. Brilliant plot MIke! Good luck with that! Hopefully you won’t wind up having to sell off your son’s priceless re-blued C prefix 3 digit serial number 1911 for attorney fees.

          • Yes, there you go again – intentionally obtuse. However, if you mean “intentionally incite an incident (with a LEO)” by acting perfectly legally – I guess you are correct.

            Kinda the same thing as sitting here typing on my iPad is inciting the NSA to dispatch the FBI to my home for exercising my lawful right to respond to ass-hats.

            If an LEO can’t tell the difference between a holstered exempt curio firearm replica with the little cap primers clearly visible, well then they do need an education. And I’ll be quite happy to provide it. And while I am adverse to wasting money, I’ve been blessed financially and can afford a nice attorney both for defense and for the lawsuit, which should be a nice ROI when I get a fat settlement check from your tax dollars – thx Mr. Insulted 😉 Perhaps you should write your local Reps and Sens and the Gov and Lt.Gov and help them understand probable cause and unlawful arrest. Alas, I doubt you will do that, it’s more difficult than sniping from your basement in your pajamas.

            Oh, by the way and to be clear, what if I loose? Oh well, taking responsibility is what an adult d …. Lmao – nevermind, that is a bridge too far for you.

          • …and should any LE Officer unable to correctly identify your holstered Uberti dare ask for you handgun license or ID…

            Why should a police officer be bothering a law-abiding citizen, conducting his own affairs lawfully? What is the specific, reasonable, articulable suspicion of unlawful activity that would justify the police officer seizing and questioning that person in the first place?

      • The only two negative OC encounters were from two people who were definitely not afraid of me, but just dick liberals.

        One SWATed me, the other tried to pick a fight.

        Because scary, dangerous, unstable white guy with a gun is who you pick a fight with, all 300 lippy pounds of your fat ass with 3 badly behaved kids in tow who didn’t even notice I had a gun. These types always out their own lies with their very actions… It’s one of the very reasons I Open Carry. They make a scene, I turn it to my favor by ripping their BS to pieces in front of the crowd that THEY create… I’ve never seen a more effective pro-gun presentation that has such a positive result as that incident.

  14. I’d prefer to open carry, but I know I’d be having a lot of stupid, aggravating conversations I’d just as well not have, living as I do in Seattle. So I carry concealed instead. Absent any consideration of day-to-day hassles from morons, open carry would definitely get my vote.

    • The morons either stop being morons, stop harassing you, or get arrested for harassment… Solve the problem, don’t hide from it. Don’t let those jerks bully you.

  15. Quite frankly I’m shocked the open carry percentage was as high as it was. What with all the brainwashing of concealed carriers that Open carriers are targets of the bad guys and will supply the bad guys with weapons once they take them away.

    Oh, and Phoenix is the 5th largest metro area in the country, so AZ isn’t a bunch of rural hicks either.

  16. I’ve been OC on private property along with CC, just to get used to it and to acclimate certain family member, who seems to be adverse to OC. Property is outside of a small Hill County town. Expect Japanese tourists to want to take photos, curious bunch but they do love Texas.

  17. The goal *ought* to be to make both of them legal without a license, and let people decide what makes sense for them, that day, under those circumstances.

    I open carry–mostly–during the summer, in the winter I generally have a jacket or coat on over the identical rig.

  18. Of course all the open carry obsessed will exercise their new privilege with zeal in Texas beginning New Years Day 2016. But even with those folks, enthusiasm will wane as the new wears off.

    I worked in Oklahoma in the year after open carry became law and still go there a few times a year but rarely see an OCer . Since the people of Texas and Oklahoma share so many commonalities, I suspect participation and reaction to OC in Texas will be about the same as it is in Oklahoma; very few people open carry and if they do, no big deal, no one panics.

    Outside of Austin and any other almost nonexistent liberal enclave in Texas, and maybe to a lesser extent in the Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio areas, those openly displaying a handgun for attention or political statement will likely be disappointed when they realize most Texans really don’t give a $#it one way or another about their cause.

    Just because open carry is legal doesn’t make it smart. There are a few circumstances and locations where it’s viable and practical, but mostly it’s just dumb to cede a possible tactical advantage by making sure everyone your encounter knows you’re armed. The only real change in Texas come Jan 1 is that all the armed dumb@$$es who’ve been in our midst all along will become easy to spot and keep an eye on.

    Even though 29% of licensed carriers in Texas might prefer OC, I suspect the percentage who actually practice it for any length of time will be in the low single digits. It won’t take very many “you’re a dumb@$$” glances or stares from peers in the community to cause a Texan of at least average common sense and intelligence to have second thoughts about the wisdom of open carry and revert back to concealed carry.

    • Really, nasty looks is your reason? I get nasty looks unarmed, less so when I am OC! And I would considerate a victory if most people didn’t care, not a disappointment.

    • The ad hominem that OCers are attention whores grows thinner the more you play that card. It’s no different than the liberals constantly playing the race card.

      If nobody gives a damn, that’s perfect! But how will you know if that’s the case if you don’t do it?

      Tell me again how I’ll be the first one targeted by a bad guy, but for some reason, your hidden gun will be a deterrent even though nobody knows it’s there…

      If all it takes is a dirty look from the enemy of human rights, and you throw your rights away, well, duh, no wonder they win. What a wimp…

      Tubgirl gun owners… Crapping in their own face so that the job is done and there’s no need for anyone else to crap in their face because it’s already been done without even putting up a fight… This is winning?

    • Concealment offers no advantage. “The element of surprise” is an offensive concept, fit for ambushes and the like. It is not a defensive concept by it’s very nature.

      An ounce of prevention is worth 9 rounds of cure.

    • Too funny! No surprise both Darenger and Dustin are unable to draw a distinction between “nasty” or “dirty” looks, and “you’re a dumb@$$” looks; which is exactly why a benefit of the new Texas OC law is that it provides a way to spot folks like them who were always there but unrecognizable before Jan 1.

      • Perhaps if someone isn’t recognizable as a dumbass, perhaps it is the person judging who is actually the dumbass.

        • I see, the inability to identify a dumb@$$ not displaying a firearm means you’re a dumb@$$, interesting perspective Danny.

  19. Open carry is MUCH faster on the draw. I was a military police and a low slug western style holster is VERY fast, I like it.
    The 2nd Amendment was put into the Constitution so the people could protect themselves from a corrupt government. The only gun control law there should be is that criminals can’t have any firearms. Thanks for your vote, pass the word.

    • Weapon retention capability, situational awareness, tactical advantage, ability to quickly identify the threat, muscle memory from training to efficiently engage the threat, sufficient skill with a firearm to stop the threat without causing collateral damage; those are lucid rational survival attributes in a real world deadly encounter. Creating a loud fast noise quickly drawn from a low slung holster is not.

  20. You are right, in every sense.

    I may not prefer open carry most of the time, but if I want to open carry, IT IS MY RIGHT TO DO SO.

    • Not in Texas teebonicus, none of the constitutional carry proposed legislation became law. Open carry of a handgun in Texas like concealed carry is a privilege extended to those properly licensed.

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