McFarlin: We Can’t Allow Open Carry to Intimidate Or Suppress the Right to Protest

open carry protest capital

A protester carries his rifle at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In obtaining my concealed carry license, I underwent training before being granted the privilege. It wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as my military weapons training, but it was something. Meanwhile, open carry is permitted by default as a result of the silence of the law in 41 states — which means that almost anyone who possesses an AR-15 or shotgun can legally carry in public, with no training requirement.

This country has a long road ahead in the fight for racial justice, but when it comes to open carry, we can take action sooner. States must prohibit firearms at demonstrations held on public property or at capitol buildings. If you want to protest, bring signs, not guns.

Weak open carry laws should never be used to enable armed intimidation or suppression of the constitutional right to assemble and peacefully protest. More states should follow the example of the handful that already regulate the open carry of firearms in public, by prohibiting it or requiring a license. And where we have these laws, they must be equally enforced.

I carried a firearm on behalf of this country in uniform. But I can’t feel safe carrying my own firearms here at home. Something must change.

– Justin McFarlin in I’m a licensed gun owner but I haven’t carried in years. Why? I’m Black and I’m scared.

comments

  1. avatar Mike says:

    I’m sorry freedom doesn’t agree with you. Perhaps you should try Venezuela.

    1. avatar JustSayin(OG) says:

      The rare “first” comment that completely nails it in the fewest number of words.

      1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

        McFarlin’s wife thinks they should both see other men… 🙂

        1. avatar Tired of the bs says:

          Lol that was funny!

        2. avatar Mike says:

          Legendary.

        3. avatar Rad Man says:

          Exercising your right is suppressing my right, right?

      2. avatar Debbie W. says:

        Justin McFarlin…You are long on your unnecessary qualifiers and short on common sense. Being as you are Black you should know Gun Control is Rooted in Racism and Genocide and it cannot be tolerated no matter what.

        What you propose amounts to you laying your rights at the feet of a democRat Party slave master. And what you propose amounts to forcing everyone to gather beneath a Gun Free Zone Sign and hope some violent criminal doesn’t do the math like so many have done before when the pickings were made easy by well intended busy body do-gooders like yourself who get their panties in a wad over the sight of firearms.

        Furthermore…I find it it very disturbing when I see someone talk about their military service and Forget all about Their Oath to Protect and Defend The Constitution of The United States.

        1. avatar possum says:

          I never saw where he said he wouldn’t protect his country. What I read him say was only people with money, er , I mean training should protect their country.

        2. avatar Debbie W. says:

          Possum…Possum…Possum…There is a difference between The Oath one takes to protect and defend The Constitution of The United States and your far fetched “country” concern. Without the Constitution there is no damn country.

          As clearly noted in my post Gun Control is rooted in racism and genocide therefore Gun Control is in itself an enemy of the Constitution of The United States. The Constitution Mr. MacFarlin swore by oath to protect and defend was clearly lost in the knee jerk haphazard remedies he desires.

        3. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

          In order to be a registered demokkkrat one is required to renounce any and all oaths taken in whatever forum. It’s in the rule book.

    2. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      A couple of neighbors down the road, a Black guy, who immigrated (legally) from Africa over 10 years ago, is usually armed whenever we visit. Some of the stories he’s told me of growing up in his birth country are horrific. He says he fears the Democrats in that they want to subjugate him using similar tribal politics (Marxism) that killed members of his extended family. He is an outstanding father and has a responsible position with a national large-retail chain. Last year he became a US Citizen…he epitomizes what the AntiFa / BLM twits claim to be fighting for.

      1. avatar Yo says:

        Blmantifa wants to bring over the guys that killed his family, so they can finish the job, and take your family out while they are at it.

      2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        I know someone who has a similar story, but he immigrated from Cuba. Recently became a U.S. citizen and absolutely hates Antifa/BLM/Marxism.

        1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

          Invite him to visit TTAG…

        2. avatar Dave G. says:

          “Invite him to visit TTAG…”

          I second that.

        3. avatar Art out West says:

          Unfortunate fact that most immigrants tend to vote for the Marxist Democratic party. Some don’t, but most do.

        4. avatar Phil Wilson says:

          I know a Cuban immigrant who doesn’t have much use for leftists either, it’s a pretty common attitude among those who escaped that hell. Pretty consistent lesson from history that so many people have utterly failed to learn: Killing off the wealthy doesn’t make the poor any better off (if anything things get worse). It does, however, tend to make the leftist leaders very wealthy.

        5. avatar Joel says:

          Strangely enough, I know several first generation Americans of varying racial backgrounds, and none of them are left leaning.

          I would actually have to say almost all of the first generation Americans I know are excellent examples of what it means to be “American”. All of them left poverty and restrictive governments, and have thrived here in the states by working hard, and making the most of the opportunities afforded in a free country.

    3. avatar sparkyinWI says:

      Amen Mike, amen…..

    4. avatar Former democ-Rat Turned Republican After Taking The Red Pill says:

      Yeah I agree, Venezuela will welcome him and others who think alike, with arms WIDE open for sure!

    5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Careful, Justin’s going to follow up by claiming you are a racist because you don’t agree with him. After all, saying “I’m black and I’m scared” was intended to grant himself a moral imperative over anyone (aka white people) who might disagree with him. //sarc//

  2. avatar The NC Taxman says:

    Yeah, not so! The Second Amendment merely says the government cannot restrict your ownership, possession and use of guns. Read that: NO RESTRICTIONS! So long as you are not committing another crime using the weapon, you are free to carry your weapons CCW or open anywhere in the entire USA that you want. End of story. All of us exercise restraint in the use of our weapons, but the government is not allowed to interfere with our possession and ownership of them or the ammo needed to use them. This is why we need organizations like the NRA to protect our Constitutional Rights!

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      This !

    2. avatar possum says:

      Organizations like the NRA to protect Our constitutional rights. . You can’t buy freedom

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        Except when Wayne La Pew Pew needs a new suit or a payment on his mistresses apt. or the property he’s been eyeing in Texas and what ever is left is supposed to go to defense of the 2 nd. .

        1. avatar Lugnut says:

          Barbara Streisand

        2. avatar tommy haltom says:

          speaking the truth. Wayne pee pee is going break the NRA.

  3. avatar Anton Solomyr says:

    >”In obtaining my concealed carry license, I underwent training before being granted the privilege.”

    Free men don’t ask for permission to exercise a right.

    1. avatar gus says:

      if you have to ask for permission, you don’t have “the right” to do it.

      how fucking plain can that be.

      same for all these other illegitimate, unconstitutional gun laws.

    2. avatar L-T says:

      It’s a right, not a privilege.

      1. avatar possum says:

        Yeah heard the same line of shit at the DMV. It’s a privilege not a right

        1. avatar JG says:

          Driving is a privilege, not a right.

          Keeping and bearing arms is a right. No permission necessary.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          Driving on a public road is a privilege.

          You don’t need a license to buy a car and drive it around on your private property. That’s just your property on your property.

    3. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      Slaves and subjects on their knees ask for permission and Justin McFarlin .

  4. avatar Casey says:

    “I carried a firearm on behalf of this country in uniform. But I can’t feel safe carrying my own firearms here at home. Something must change.”

    Complaint: Black man doesn’t feel safe carrying firearm in public because he is afraid the police will shoot him on sight, because the police are evil murderer and need to be defunded and/or abolished.

    Option A: Make it safe for him, and people like him, to carry a firearm in public by… not amplifying please-government-help-me-oppress-other-people messages like this one. Alternatively, making carrying normal so that everyone (cops included) knows there are consequences to playing stupid games.

    Option B: Make it dangerous for everyone else to carry a firearm in public by… demanding the police stop, harass, and shoot anybody with a firearm.

    Racism and statism aside, it’s the hypocrisy of saying you want relief from one thing and then immediately suggesting that the “other side” should suffer it too is what gets me most.

    1. avatar Umm . . . says:

      Option C: Recognize that whites have irrevocably fuct up the US with their silly rationality, fixation on facts, Western Civilization and all its scary freedoms and responsibilities (cf. the Smithsonian article from a few weeks ago). Return to that glittering earthly paradise of peace, progress, and social-justice that your culcha has created. Nobody there has a gun, right? /sarc

      1. avatar 300BlackoutFan says:

        I recognize this was sarcasm..

        However, socialism is one form of cultural appropriation that I would prefer the US *not* adopt…..

        1. avatar California Richard says:

          McFarlin isn’t advocating for socialism. McFarlin is cut from the same cloth as Gen. McCrystal, Gen. McRavin, and Gen. McFullSemiAuto. They think the country should be run as a military junta. The military was their safe space. It made sense to them without all the messy and dangerous liberty you see out in the wild.

    2. avatar chuckers says:

      Comply don’t die. Don’t argue bow up or act like an ass, especially don’t fight. A higher percentage of white men stopped by the police are killed than blacks because there isn’t all this protest crap going on, that is statistics and you can check it. I’ve been stopped many times but never felt scared because I used my brain and obeyed. You act like a punk ass bitch to a cop he’ll treat you like one, sorry that’s a fact.

  5. avatar MyPrettyAR15 says:

    I used to be on the fence when it came to open carry, but you know I live in a state where if I open carried a weapon I would lose my license to carry said weapon despite the fact that open carry is 100% legal and this circumstance could be the result of one single concerned Karen freaking out on a 911 call.

    Justin, if you don’t like the way people live their lives, then live somewhere else. Find a place like mine that lines up with your expectations. No open carry but everyone has a concealed weapon. Now tell what the difference is between 1,000 concealed carry weapons vs 1,000 open carried weapons? Yeah I don’t see a difference either. So I say carry in the manner that carry makes the most sense, open or concealed.

    1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

      “…but you know I live in a state where if I open carried a weapon I would lose my license to carry said weapon despite the fact that open carry is 100% legal…”

      May I ask what state is that?

      Because if that’s true, that a lawsuit begging to get filed…

      1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

        It ain’t Pennsylvania. We took care of that shit 10-12 years ago. And if the cops jack up a law abiding black man for carrying legally here we will all come to his defense with lawyers, guns, and money. Ask Maj Toure. All of us crackas out here in redneck central PA have his back.

        1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

          “And if the cops jack up a law abiding black man for carrying legally here we will all come to his defense with lawyers, guns, and money. Ask Maj Toure.”

          RIP Warren Zevon…

        2. avatar possum says:

          Lawyers are only scary if they rub pot roast on their chest or look like a werewolf

        3. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

          He isn’t claiming to be afraid of being “jacked up”. He’s claims he’s afraid of being shot for legal carrying. The problem is he wants to make that seem like it’s the norm not the exception. Typical bogus claim of persecution. He can carry all he wants, just don’t break the law and, unless something else kills him, he’ll live a long and, well if cowards can, happy life.

          Typical leftist lies, misdirect, misinform, and hype.

      2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        I could see Delaware especially if he was “close” to one of their exclusion zones. Besides that don’t know enough about other states open carry laws.

  6. avatar Shire-man says:

    “I’m finding it hard to burn, loot and murder with all these people carrying guns!” – meth head-pedo-wife beating-felon-social justice warrrior

    1. avatar Roh-Dog says:

      “I’m finding it hard to feloniously assault people, often with deadly force, with all these people carrying guns!“
      —meth head-pedo-wife beating-felon-social justice warrior
      (Adding to, not taking away from your statement. You’re 100% correct!)

    2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      But…but …I though the last president said this?

      ………..”“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said in Philadelphia last night. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

      I’m really not seeing a big issue here. Perhaps if the rioters will stop burning, looting, and harming people…maybe things would be different? dunno..just kinda spit-balling here.

    3. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Look at the BLM and ANTIFA “mostly peaceful protesters”. If they aren’t carrying a gun, either overtly or covertly, they are carrying other weapons or improvised weapons. Bike locks, quick-shakes, or other objects that could be used as clubs such as sign poles, skateboards, or the not so subtle baseball bat.

  7. avatar Paul says:

    Concealed carry isn’t a privilege as this coward says, it’s a right. A driver’s license is a privilege. If freedom scares you, Justin, migrate to North Korea.

    1. avatar JUSTPASSINTHRU says:

      Come to New Jersey (or Maryland my Home State) with your “Right to Carry” and see how long you remain Free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjwGCnfVu-w

  8. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    “Justin McFarlin in I’m a licensed gun owner but I haven’t carried in years.”

    He just said I believe in the 2 nd. amendment But I Don’t.

    Another Leftard being played.

    1. avatar John in FL says:

      Licensed?
      I am, there fore I own.

  9. avatar Elrond says:

    It is clear that some, perhaps only a few, but some groups are trying to intimidate demonstrators by open carrying. Your 2nd A rights do NOT trump someone else’s rights to free speech and assembly without implied threats.

    1. avatar TweetyRex says:

      I see large groups of people assaulting police, throwing rocks and bottles at them, and trying to set them on fire. None of these “peaceful protesters” look intimidated to me.
      When two of my friends and I stand outside my store with AR rifles, they do seem intimidated enough to not loot and burn my store, but they feel free to loot and burn the store down the street. Your basic theory is wrong.

      1. avatar Eric Swalwell says:

        I disagree with you Tweedy and fully agree with Elrond. We should not have to live in fear of speaking our minds at a protest because you have an AR-15 unloaded and slung across your back….. And, if you insist on protesting against us with AR-15’s, then it will be a short protest my friend. The United States government has nuclear weapons. Too many but they are legit. So, keep our families and children safe, and leave your AR-15’s at home. Your veiled threats against 1st ammendment activity won’t be tolerated in America.

        Eric Swalwell 2020

    2. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      And some people are trying to intimidate others by yelling and screaming insults, often through a bullhorn, breaking windows, robbing, stealing, assaulting people, killing people, setting things on fire, throwing things, blocking traffic, dragging people out of cars, verbally and physically costing people enjoying an outdoor meal at a newly reopened restaurants and generally hiding behind the 1st Amendment to justify shitty behavior. Displaying a weapon to deter them seems like a good idea and if it works it is the best outcome for everyone involved. If that fails then shooting them at least protects innocent people and their property.

    3. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      What about their “right” to assault, arson, and murder? Where do those fit in with your narrative?

      You’re a fucking idiot of the first order.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Elrond, either you’re drinking the Kool-Aid or you’re just another troll. In case you have simply been misled, consider that cops are ALWAYS carrying openly, and these lunatics are so terribly intimidated that they are trying to club the cops to death, light them on fire, and blow them up. Intimidation is not a player, self-defense is. And a large part of the intimidation factor from open carry is due to unconstitutional local and state laws attempting to refuse a defined right.

    5. avatar strych9 says:

      Someone’s 2A rights can’t trump someone else’s 1A rights.

      It doesn’t work that way. A person engaged in an action cannot *make* another person feel any particular way about said action nor can they really know what feelings said action may or may not provoke.

      You may attempt to intimidate someone and get laughed at and get your ass kicked. You may intimidate someone simply by your presence. You don’t control what they feel. They, and only they, can control that.

  10. avatar Ron says:

    Nobody cares what you think, Justin.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      By what he is quoted as saying, he doesn’t think rather he Feelz,as leftardism is a mental disease and renders one incapable of thought and reasoning..

  11. avatar seatex says:

    Just look at the number of mass shootings that occurred in gun free areas vs. open/concealed carry areas.
    Point made.

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon

  12. avatar Prndll says:

    This is a difficult article to follow. I think this person is confused.

    1. avatar John in FL says:

      It’s contagious!

  13. avatar Dude says:

    “The reason: I am Black.

    It has become clear to me that open carry and concealed carry are white privileges — permit or not. Despite having a license: I am afraid of being killed by police if I carry a gun in public.”

    100% BS

    We’ve already been over this, but let’s do it again. The NFAC busted this myth for us. The author is either an ignorant fool or he thinks his target audience is stupid. Which is it?

    1. avatar D’Otis Quills, III, Jr. says:

      Man honky pipe down. You don’t know what it is to be black in Amerikkka.

      1. avatar Dude says:

        Yeah, Lebron and Oprah say it’s pretty bad, so I can only imagine what it’s like (to be a billionaire).

    2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Both.

  14. avatar jwm says:

    You have an absolute right to protest. Armed or unarmed is your choice. But once you switch over from protesting to looting and rioting honest citizens who also have the right to carry their firearms have the right to defend themselves and their property.

    Don’t cross the line from protester to rioter. It’s so damned easy to do.

  15. avatar DerryM says:

    Denying Open Carry is a tactic to keep ordinary people from organizing themselves for personal and community self-defense. If you cannot carry a firearm in public “legally”, you put yourself at the mercy of criminals who do not obey the same laws as you. Case in point is the Kyle Rittenhouse matter in Kenosha, WI. The third person KR defended himself against, Gaige Grosskreutz, had a firearm he was prohibited from possessing because of a prior felony conviction, and attempted to shoot KR with it. Had Rittenhouse not been armed, he would have likely been injured or killed.

    So, while I thank and respect Justin McFarlin for his Military Service, I disagree with his opinion that more States should prohibit Open Carry particularly at “protest” events. We are already seeing attempts by the Far-Left to demonize people who attempt to exercise their natural right to self-defense in the face of aggressive violence perpetrated by the ANTIFA/BLM mob. Mr. McFarlin has his perception of who is intimidating and suppressing whom badly confused and using that confusion to make a very ill-advised argument in favor of further infringement on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights.

  16. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I’m black and I’m not scared of anyone who open carries. Because I can too in my free state. I have said it before on TTAG. The only way to fix our problems is to make sure our population is educated on their God Given, Not man given, but god given birth rights as American citizens.

    From May 2020. Here is an example of an educated black man, Who works to educate other people:

    “I want to present myself as an adult black man, fully armed and not a danger,” said Stephen Alexander, 46, of Lansing, who carried a pistol outside the Capitol building during the event. “If you are not a danger to me, I am not dangerous.

    “It’s as simple as that.”

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2020/05/28/we-have-arm-ourselves-michigan-demonstrators-protest-brutality/5275209002/

    1. avatar KenW says:

      I’m Jewish and I also have no problem with someone who open carries. Since I live in Florida only open carry protesters are the ones who open carry so it is novel. So I notice it when I am in a state that allows it.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        When “right wingers” or those perceived as right wing, start to open carry. I notice the riots seem to stop. The 2A was never about hunting. It was always about the open carry of ARMS, not just guns. And open carry has had VERY FEW supporters. Until now.

        You’ve got same really d*cks as cops in Florida. Arresting people who legally open carry and fish at the same time?!?!? Wow?

        btw
        The NRA has not supported open carry.

      2. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

        Go on fishing trips.

        100 percent legal to open carry then…

        1. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

          I have a rod in the back of the truck 100% of the time and I fish a LOT.

        2. avatar KenW says:

          Ever watch Ernie Lee?
          He was known for saying “If you’re too busy to go fishing, you’re just too busy!”

          He and my great aunt were part of the Barn dance in Renfro Valley in Mount Vernon. He as the host and her as one of the guitar players. I met him a few times when younger. A really nice guy.

  17. avatar former water walker says:

    I can’t legally open carry in ILLinois(another fly in the ointment for young Kyle from ILL). And my eyes glaze over when TTAG does open carry posts. That said maybe this black fella needs to man-up…and quit being a DIM.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Difficult to conceal an AR. And at 17, many states won’t allow you a handgun. So, complaints of open carry nonsense are simply stupid. What was the alternative? And if Kyle had followed it, would he have survived?

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        Ummm…don’t go to a nearby state at 17 and expect everything to be hunky dory? And carrying a rifle he couldn’t carry a few miles south?!? FIFY. I support Klye but I recognize he’s a kid with poor impulse control…

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Honest question here FWW:

          You said, “And carrying a rifle he couldn’t carry a few miles south?!?”

          Since he wasn’t a few miles South what does this have to do with what he did? If it’s legal in one jurisdiction and he’s physically in that jurisdiction I’m not seeing how the laws of another jurisdiction have any bearing on the situation regardless of how geographically close that jurisdiction may be…

          Seems like Illinois law applies in Illinois where Kyle was not present so the laws of Illinois are irrelevant… am I missing something here?

      2. avatar Miner49er says:

        “What was the alternative? And if Kyle had followed it, would he have survived?”

        Stay home and work on his GED so could really become a cop rather than playing one on TV?

  18. avatar KenW says:

    I have noticed that these politicians do have one location where they will suppress the right to protest. In front of their own homes. But woe to you if you do try to do the same.

  19. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Amazing. This asshat completely overlooks the guarantee explicitly stated in the 2A and assumes open carry is by default by silence of the law because 41 states correctly interpreted what it says.

  20. avatar CentralVirginian says:

    Apparently USA Today missed the fact that the man holding the rifle in the picture they included from Richmond…is black.

  21. avatar David Bradford says:

    If I am open carrying I am absolutely no threat to you if you choose to protest, a little civil disobedience never hurt anyone. Carry a sign and scream at the top of your lungs. I might be annoyed with your actions and your words but it’s your right to say how you feel, . BUT if you choose to become hostile/violent, unlawfully detain people, start throwing things. lighting fires, destroying or stealing property not your own, threaten me with violence or great bodily harm I will defend myself (and possibly others as well)
    If you’re cool, I’m cool. If not, be prepared for the consequences.

  22. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Sadly there are many on TTAG who agree with this guy. Just go back and read all the comments complaining about open carry, from “gun owners” with 6 or 7 gun safes, and who have their grand dads shotgun. From 2014 thru 2018.

    Just be responsible. And open carry of a long gun while shopping is not being responsible. Also you don’t walk into a police station when you are open carrying.

    The Times and opinions have changed since 2016. And wearing a camera is not a bad idea now in 2020:

    “Open Carrying A Rifle Wearing a Bullet Resistant Vest and a Thigh Holster? Seriously?”

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/open-carrying-rifle-wearing-bullet-resistant-vest-seriously/

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      My personal feeling on OCing a rifle was, and is, that I don’t care about the act personally but that I wish people would have found a way to do it “better”.

      What I found counterproductive was people walking around with the rifle constantly at a low ready. I don’t personally find this alarming but many people do. Because of the reaction that this behavior tends to provoke I’ve always thought that doing so was poor optics politically speaking.

      To many people a slung rifle down your side or on your back *says* something different than the one you have your hands on as if you’re expecting an ambush at any moment.

      It’s one of those things where you quite obviously have the right to do it but it would be nice if people had the wisdom to do it a bit better so it was easier to *sell*. Sort of a manners issue IMHO.

      1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

        “What I found counterproductive was people walking around with the rifle constantly at a low ready. I don’t personally find this alarming but many people do.”

        Same here, and it’s more than a bit frustrating…

      2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        I agree with you. Its very much about good manners. I think its good public relations to limit rifle open carry to planned group event or family picnics. You should always be at sling arms. Or have it slung across your back. The only time you should be at the low ready is patrolling your neighborhood after a riot.

        1. avatar HoundDogDave says:

          I tend to agree, having you hands on the weapon is threatening. Disagree? Situation: your sitting in your vehicle, minding your own business and out of nowhere 2 strangers approach you from either side of the car/truck. They each have a rifle slung over their back. Are you worried? Probably not. Now have 2 strangers who out of nowhere approach you from either side of the car/truck with rifles in low ready. Which one do you decide to shoot first if they raise their weapons? that’s what I would be thinking about.

      3. avatar Umm . . . says:

        I suspect it has a lot more to do with positive control than intimidation. I don’t OC a rifle in town, but I feel the same way about pistols.

        I used to only OC a handgun in wide open spaces. I felt the same way about OC in town that ChrisT laments here in the comments: During normal interaction with others, carrying in a hip holster – especially low (as I need to do) – creates countless situations where someone else’s hands and view can be much closer to it than mine. What does that *say*? “Take me!” Can’t see how it would be any different for a rifle slung across the back. Shoulder slings are for low-threat situations (hiking to a deer stand, marching in formation).

        Then, when moving to another OC-friendly state and awaiting my CC permit, I discovered the M-3 Tanker Holster, and all was right with the world. Puts the pistol right where it always has my full attention no matter what I’m doing; where my eyes and hands can always get there first – just like a tac sling for a rifle.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Try content reading, pillock.

          If that doesn’t help then use a search engine on the terms you [obviously] don’t understand.

        2. avatar Umm . . . says:

          You noted carrying a rifle at low ready may alarm some people. I absolutely agree.

          You seem to regard “a slung rifle down your side or on your back” as a more reasonable alternative.

          “A slung rifle down your side or on your back” near ANYONE (except a trusted friend) is an invitation for someone with better SA of the weapon than the bearer (i.e. everyone) to grab it. If one is going to carry a weapon, positive control is infinitely more important than “optics” or “manners” – most especially among thousands of amped-up strangers at a protest.

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          Again, read what I actually said not what you want it to say.

          Then realize that since I placed no modifier in the sentence that limits the options to just the two options listed that means that the two listed options are a partial list. The entire list consists of methods that 1) use a sling and 2) keep your hands off the gun in terms of maintaining a low ready position but are not limited to the two options presented.

          You can further tell this by my prior use of the sentence “What I found counterproductive was people walking around with the rifle constantly at a low ready”.

          Does that say “…people walking around with a tac sling”? No, it does not. Does it mention double, triple or single point slings? No. It doesn’t say a fucking thing about slings. It says at the low ready.

          There is quite literally NOTHING in what I said that should lead to you to the conclusion that you’ve drawn. You’ve arrived at it because you’ve chosen to infer something I have not said nor have I implied.

          Again, content reading. It’s about what’s there and what’s not. Not what you want to insert or delete.

        4. avatar Umm . . . says:

          I know you didn’t claim back- / side-slinging was the only option. By mentioning “optics”, however, you could only have been discussing a situation with strangers nearby – where it is an invitation to disaster, and should not be an option at all. If I’m still misconstruing your meaning, I apologize.

          I’ve never had much luck hands-off with a front sling, except under really ideal conditions. YMMV.

        5. avatar strych9w says:

          My issue was simply the people wandering around with their hands on rifles in a low ready position where they weren’t even really supporting the rifle with the sling. While I didn’t explicitly say it, I’d have the same problem if they were all running around with a high port carry too.

          Really, they were holding the rifle in a position where they had one hand on the grip and one on the fore-end (or mag well depending on model) like they were about to swing it up to their shoulder. Doing this on public streets or, as pictures from Texas showed, in restaurants/Starbucks just doesn’t look good. I’m not talking about administrative repositioning or resting a hand on the butt while the firearm is slung, I mean some these people literally looked like they were expecting to have to use the rifle right-the-hell-now.

          Past that IMHO there are too many factors to comment on in terms of safety. For instance, if someone has a bolt rifle slung over their shoulder muzzle up (or down) but the rifle is entirely unloaded I don’t see a safety issue with someone taking the rifle from them. One could make the same argument for any semi-auto rifle that’s got an empty chamber and no magazine inserted or has an empty mag inserted.

          I can just see how the behavior that some people exhibited could make people nervous because it’s somewhat similar to dicking around with a pistol. Sure, you might not have any intent but… some people might wonder why your hand is on the gun in a “I’m ready to use this NOW” sort of way, or they might interpret it that you are, in fact, about to use it.

          Since it’s easy to misinterpret and obviously makes some people, whom we’d like to win over, nervous it seems impolite to me. It may not break any safety rules but there’s etiquette to this, and that etiquette becomes a bit more extreme when you’re in public trying to win people over.

        6. avatar Umm . . . says:

          Strych9,
          What probably came across earlier as me jumping to conclusions, was my attempts to understand your position by process of elimination.

          OC elicits binary responses: it deters most would-be criminals, but (for any thinking criminal who remains undeterred) raises the OCer to the top of his threat-assessment list. It therefore seems clear that OCing a rifle in town polarizes options for the bearer as well. I respect the rights of others to go either way, while choosing neither myself.

        7. avatar Miner49er says:

          Just sling it over your shoulder, sling attached to the front sight and top of the butt stock.

          Leave the muzzle down, weapon at about a 45.

          It is indeed, slung over your shoulder but it’s also positioned in a low ready position that you can access quickly.

          And in any case, a long gun is not a wise choice for situations where unknown subjects will be in close proximity.

        8. avatar Umm . . . says:

          Miner,
          I’m not sure if you mean just the shoulder, in which case it’ll slip off without a hand on the weapon. Cross-chest works for me under perfect conditions (2-3lb braced pistol, VERY tight elastic sling, moderate physical activity). Anything heavier or looser, and walking will cause the weapon to flop around without at least one stabilizing hand.

    2. avatar Wiregrass says:

      It takes time for people to become comfortable with it. When I first became seriously interested in guns, I was uncomfortable with the idea. I saw most people doing it as just looking to draw attention to themselves, and really not helping the situation, such as the infamous Chipotle Ninjas. Where I live, you are still very likely to draw unwanted attention.

      However in the context of going about your own business with a holstered side arm I don’t see a problem. Nor do I see a problem open carrying a rifle at 2A rally or in a situation where it might be necessary to demonstrate that you are serious about protecting your property.

    3. avatar hawkeye says:

      I live in farm country that is slowly becoming a bedroom community for a city that’s 50 miles distant. One day ~25 years ago, a buddy and I were out shooting groundhogs. I had parked the truck at the entrance to the hay field, and we loaded up our rifles and hiked up onto a shaded knob so we could glass the edges. I don’t recall whether we shot any that day, but as we were packing up to walk back down to the truck, a deputy’s cruiser pulled in behind my truck, and the deputy got out and waited for us. Turned out to be one of the ones I knew (same church), a good guy. He was a bit embarrassed, and said a lady driving down the road had reported two guys wearing camo and carrying rifles, and as soon as he saw my truck, he knew it was a waste of his time. She was a Karen from the Big City who was new to the area. We jawed about range conditions for a couple minutes, and then he apologized and said he was obligated to follow up. Checked our credentials, called the farmer to confirm our permission, and got a tongue lashing from the farmer’s wife for bothering us. Farmers like good groundhog hunters in this area. I told him we would be a little more discreet whenever in the area so she wouldn’t sic him on us again. He laughed and thanked us, and wished us luck for the next field we were heading to. That farm was a focal point for hunters during deer gun season, so I imagine Karen got an education during that week.

      A little discretion doesn’t hurt, but even then you can’t please everyone. Work with the ones who matter and ignore the rest.

      1. avatar Umm . . . says:

        “obligated to follow up” Crap like this is what turns peaceful citizens against the police. LAW Enforcement has a rightful obligation to act upon reasonable suspicion that a LAW has been violated, and the obligation to leave decent people the fuck alone otherwise. In this case, his rightful obligation would have been to act upon the CERTAINTY that Karen had violated the laws against false reporting, harassment, disturbing the peace, etc.

  23. avatar strych9 says:

    I’m not really sure why he thinks he’d *feel* safer knowing there was a license requirement (which may or may not be followed by any specific individual).

    The most *unsafe* I generally feel on any given day is on the road and, generally, most drivers are licensed… which doesn’t seem to make them better at actually driving.

    1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

      After my little ‘adventure’ 2 years ago, I’m considerably more ‘skittish’ being on 2 wheels in traffic. So now I mostly ride late at night…

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Honestly, on two wheels (motorized in my case) I’m actually more aggressive now than before.

        I’ve always tended to ride in the left lane whenever possible but now I’m generally running 10mph+ over and I’m far more willing to split lanes at speed to avoid people than I would be normally.

        I swear people actually forgot how to drive during the lockdowns and still have not remembered. I get a lot of people in mid-sized lower-high-end sedans and pickups who think that their car/truck is faster than whatever bike I’m riding that day. Very, very strange behavior from these people. ‘Cause, yeah, your F-350/A6/5-Series is gonna outrun my R1… lol. Even the trolls here on TTAG are smarter than that.

  24. avatar MB (the real MB) says:

    I have no idea who Justin McFarlin is or why he’s scared. If he’s uncomfortable being an American with all the rights we have, he’s free to move to the country of his choice, because unlike lots of other countries, Americans can leave at any time, nothing preventing a permanent exit. BTW, thank you for your military service Mr. Justin McFarlin, too bad you didn’t learn to appreciate citizenship while you were there.

  25. avatar OlSarge11B, Amarillo, Tx says:

    I agree to a limited extent to your suggestions. My reluctance is giving the govt anymore authority than they already have, the govt somehow manages to FU everything they touch. I am very concerned with civilians with zero training handling firearms I see carelessness at public ranges every time I go. My experience goes back to the mid 60’s when I took my hunter’s safety course limited to shotgun only, after that my education continued from my good ol Uncle Sam. My uncles instruction included the 1911, M16, M60, 90mm recoilless rifle (a 60’s version of the bazooka), M2 .50 cal and 81mm mortar. From the age of 12 I’ve constantly been involved with firearms from hunting to recreational shooting to include competition. Over the years I’ve paid to attend training class given by Louis Awerbuck, Scott Reitz, Larry Vickers, Ken Hathathorn, Gunsite and others. I prefer gun owners police our own and suggest our fellow enthusiast leave the long guns at home while attending public demonstrations it gives the other side visible talking points to scare non firearm owners against our cause. I have no problem with cancelled carry anywhere with the exception of an airborne aircraft. I would like to see some type of mandatory training requirement for first time firearm buyers no matter how rudimentary; we can exempt those with hunter safety, CCW and ex-military because these people have already received at a minimum rudimentary training.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Mandatory training on a constitutional right is a no go. It is the same as a poll tax on voting.

      1. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

        Why firearm handling safety needs to be taught in public schools, the same way driver’s ed is handled…

      2. avatar strych9 says:

        Your wrong-think has earned you a free ticket to the reeducation camps sensitivity training program, Comrade!

        1. avatar jwm says:

          They’ll find out how costly that free ticket is when they come to deliver it.

          I’m old.

          I’m cranky.

          And I have training and experience. It will be an interesting half hour.

        2. avatar strych9 says:

          You could always pull a Wake Island on them.

          “Send more cops…”

      3. avatar OlSarge11B says:

        A real optimist! I wish I could go thru life blindly without seeing reality. The American people no longer display wide scale responsibility and maturity. We devolved into a society of selfless pajama boys engrossed with our handheld tech gadgets. I hate to think about the number of morons that have purchased firearms in the last 10 years and don’t have a clue.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          It. Don’t. Matter. I’m an old fart vet like you. Likely older. I’m in my 60’s. No right can be taxed or trained for. Period. If a soy boy can’t handle his weapon that’s on him. And like the man said above. If its that important it should be a part of the school curriculum.

        2. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

          @Sarge

          “selfless” or “selfish”? …really changes the meaning of what you wrote.

      4. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Make a 2A education class a requirement for HS graduation. You’ll still get your rights. But at least you’ll be educated about them.

    2. avatar Miner49er says:

      “I would like to see some type of mandatory training requirement for first time firearm buyers no matter how rudimentary; we can exempt those with hunter safety, CCW and ex-military because these people have already received at a minimum rudimentary training.”

      Exactly, and the last three years of high school would be an excellent opportunity for this sort of training, and/or mandatory national service at age 19. Two years in the military or community service work for everyone, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Medical exemptions would apply (bone spurs not allowed).

      1. avatar Ing says:

        For once I almost agree with you. Firearm safety and basic marksmanship along the lines of hunter education should be part of the high school curriculum. And a national service requirement would be a great opportunity for the government to start taking the Second Amendment seriously and training up a well-regulated militia.

  26. avatar rt66paul says:

    Protesters are going to protest, people that carry guns will carry guns. If everyone behaves, no problem. If someone gets out of line(on either side), you should be glad that their are people with guns to stop it.
    Guns keep the peace. 99.999% of legal gun owners would not approve of another gun owners opening fire.
    They police themselves.

  27. avatar Gregory Peter DuPont says:

    McFarlin sounds as though he urinates from the Seated Position In Solidarity With The Rest Of The Pu$$ies… Interesting that he refers to his RKBA as a ” Privilege”.. FWIW, I don’t open carry either (unless I am being paid to do so at one of my security jobs) but I don’t regard the sight or knowledge that one or more people are carrying open or concealed as ” intimidating “.
    As ” extensive as his Military Weapons Training”??? As a former light weapons infantry man and cavalry scout/LRRP guy; I would suggest that he knows not of what he speaks.

  28. avatar Craig in IA says:

    “This country has a long road ahead in the fight for racial justice…”

    Please.

    I submit there is no such thing, there is either justice or not, Justice for blacks and minorities should be no different than for OWGs.

    E pluribus unum. Anyone remember that one? It’s still on our damn money, I just checked and obama wasn’t able do away with it. If anyone wants to complain about racial disparity they can go right to him- he and his henchmen/henchbroads set race relations back further than any so-called white supremacy group could’ve imagined. This hyphenated American BS has got to go.

  29. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Justin, Justin, Justin… You have a slave mentality.

    When Richard J. Daley and his pals tried to burn down Chicago’s Black community in 1919, my great uncles and the other men of the community, newly returned from service with the French army in WWI didn’t carry signs. They carried M1903s, M1917s, and BARs. That’s why I’m here to type this.

    Now, go grab your sack and get your marching orders from Massah Creepy Joe and Miss Malignancy. That cotton isn’t going to pick itself.

  30. avatar Rusty - Always Carry - Chains says:

    His message translates: I am special cause the government trained me and I paid for minimal training so I could get my CCW to help prove how special I am. Everyone else who isn’t special shouldn’t be allowed to exercise their 2nd Amendment guaranteed rights.

    1. avatar OlSarge11B says:

      I rest my case- Thank u Rusty!

  31. avatar possum says:

    I was in the MILITARY, so I know a thing or two. Socks Green. Care and Cleaning: Remove foot before immersing sock into boiling water

  32. avatar Megapoop2000 says:

    LOL

    ……………“It wasn’t nearly as comprehensive as my military weapons training“

    So they didn’t teach you HALO/HAHO during your CC class? You are totally unprepared and shouldn’t leave your house.

  33. avatar Daniel S. says:

    The right to protect yourself and your family, should not be removed for any reason. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own safety, and in order to do so, and how you do so, is not determined by anyone but you. Sadly, in a society filled with people of countless states of psychological stability, we must have some sort of regulation. Should there be a national gun registry, licensing, certification? I don’t believe so. What I do believe we need, is FREE Education provided in our school system. Education that begins at a young age, with firearm basics, and becomes more intense as you grow. It should be part of Health & Physical Ed. class. Why does registry, licensing, and certification make little if any sense? Simply because the criminal, corrupt, and those opposed will violate the laws. Just as they violate the laws regarding murder, rape, child abuse, trafficking, etc.. As part of the education curriculum for firearm use and safety, there should be on hands training with either electronic or blank firing weaponry. We may not be able to ensure that everyone already graduated has the education we might desire, but we can make sure future generations do. For those who are older but new firearm owners, there are multiple places to get essential education on firearms, and also training. Be Responsible, Be Educated, Be Safe, Be Trained. R.E.S.T.

    1. avatar Texican says:

      The problem with the education system is that it is run by the govt. Therefore, it has what the govt. deems necessary for you and your children’s indoctrination. Once the public indoctrination system is converted to private and/or home school then proper firearms handling can be taught. That’s why Democrats fight so fiercely against school vouchers. They don’t want you to know the truth and they dont want you to have a good education.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        A decent cross section of people haven’t gotten a decent education since the late 1950’s.

        It’s freakin’ terrifying.

  34. avatar M60 says:

    ATTENTION : Keyboard Warriors and Mall Ninjas. Your fat asses would be wiped out in quick order once the Po – Leese shows up!

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Good thing I’m neither. I identify as a Grumman Wildcat.

      1. avatar 9x39 says:

        Ah, well you’re a little older than I. I identify as BRRRRRT, or sometimes in moments of gender confusion, as a Tsar Bomba.

  35. avatar Ralph says:

    Justin McFarlin supports the Second Amendment but.

    There’s always a “but” with these bozos.

    1. avatar 9x39 says:

      Infiltrators bearing false witness, whoda thunk?

  36. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

    So the antifa/blm thugs who were carrying guns and blocking traffic are included in this? Can you say double standard boys and girls?

  37. avatar Elmer Fudd says:

    I could understand the argument that open carry at a political rally might be misinterpreted as intimidation. This perception could in turn be exploited to demonize you and deligitimize your cause. However; the idea that the average Elmer Fudd should not be allowed to open carry his trusty shotgun, pistol or semiautomatic rifle because you presume that he is incompetent is absurd and offensive. It has been my experience that as a general rule, people who have been trained by the military are no more competent with a firearm than the average Elmer Fudd. I have in fact trained a number of young students how to shoot prior to their entering the military. One young lady who was a gun virgin progressed from firing a .22 rifle to .223 then .308, 9mm, .45, .338 magnum, .50 BMG and even a Dessert Eagle chambered in .50 AE in a single day. The resulting undamped harmonic oscillations as she emptied a magazine of .50 AE into the X-ring were spectacular. While training to be a an Air Police officer (base security rather than LE) she was the top shooter in her unit.

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” I could understand the argument that open carry at a political rally might be misinterpreted as intimidation. ”

      It’s not my responsibility to ensure that someone else gets the message right. Open carry does not signal that I’m out looking for trouble, and when someone makes false assumptions about my intentions, well, that’s on them, not on me. No one has a reasonable expectation that I should tailor my actions to guarantee their comfort.

      Sadly, the Disarmament Cartel and the snowflakes in the Marxist indoctrination industry has flipped this on it’s head and thrown it back in our faces. Self-censorship is the order of day. “Safe zones” are not about the uncomfortable setting up their own little protected bubble — they’ve made it about everybody else setting up the bubble for them.

      If I’m open carrying, it’s about making sure that they don’t intimidate me, and not about me trying to intimidate them. And, frankly, I really don’t give a rat’s ass if they interpret that wrong.

  38. avatar 1SFGSFC says:

    “I underwent training before being granted the privilege’. I stopped reading after that sentence. Constitutional rights are not privileges!

  39. avatar Marcus Aurelius Tarkus says:

    Pathetic inclusion by TTAG. Maybe it was intended to be provocative. If so, it wildly succeeded.

  40. avatar hawkeye says:

    I went to USAToday’s site and read the full piece. Just more drivel. Here’s the byline, which supplies the explanation:

    “Justin McFarlin is a service-disabled veteran of the war in Iraq, a former U.S. Army officer with over a decade of aerospace and defense experience, and a member of the Everytown for Gun Safety Veterans Advisory Council. Follow him on Twitter: @justinkmcfarlin “

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      One of Bloomberg’s tame Fudds.

      1. avatar Scott says:

        Or perhaps one of Bloomberg’s paid Fudds.

  41. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

    It was an Everytown OpEd in USA Today for crying out loud. Triggered commentors are commenting as if Everytown is going to read the comment section here. That is extremely unlikely. For TTAG, this was click bait.

  42. avatar Richard Briscoe says:

    Nonsense. Utter complete nonsense.

    Intimidation? Try any of BLM’s tactics. Attacking police. Chanting what do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now! It goes on and on.

  43. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

    Does open carry make people afraid to protest or afraid to loot , riot , bully people and burn buildings ?

  44. avatar M says:

    He should audition for a segment on Fox News or run as another RINO congressman.

  45. avatar B. Zerker says:

    You musta thank the Kool-aid Dan. The first sentence of this article, the elements that you outline (permits, training and fees) in order to exercise a “right”, not a “privilege”, are contrary to the mandates of the U.S. Constitution. Article VI, Paragraph 2 dictates the U.S. Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” and that all inferior law (statutes) must be “in pursuance thereof” to be binding. The Second Amendment clearly dictates (to the government[s], fed and states’) that ‘… the right of the people to keep (own, possess) and bear (carry) Arms, shall not be infringed’ by said government[s]. The free and unencumbered exercise of an enumerated right cannot be conditioned by the party clearly ordered by the “supreme law” not to “infringe” upon it. The problem we face is that “they” (the government[s]) have indoctrinated Americans, through a government run school system, into the false belief that the United States is a “democracy” in which the majority rules instead of a Constitutional Republic where the Constitution (the supreme law) rules. Said schools no longer teach that any statute that is “repugnant” to the Constitution’s mandates is “void” (Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137). Look it up.

    1. avatar B. Zerker says:

      “drank to Kool-aid”

  46. avatar Joseph says:

    Being a dumbass has nothing to do with ones race.

  47. avatar burley says:

    It’s not, but it damned well should be used to intimidate and suppress the crimes of rioting, arson and looting.

  48. avatar James Singer says:

    This article is the Biggest bunch of BULLSHIT garbage I’ll read today. You have ZERO understanding of Freedom. Your Crybaby “feelings” don’t fucking matter to me. Conceal carry is a “privilege”? Go Fuck yourself.

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