What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Open Carry Shirts


The UK’s Daily Mail doesn’t actually “tsk, tsk” in its report of Nitelife Promotions’ realistic shoulder rig shirts. But if you listen closely, you can almost hear them marveling at the idiot, gun-crazed Yanks across the pond. We resemble that remark. But open carry advocates that we are, even we would think twice about donning one of these and strolling down, say, 8th Avenue in New York . . .

Apparently the people who run Nitelife and sell their Open Carry line of casual wear see the potential problem, too. According to the Mail’s story, Open Carry posts this warning on their Lycos-era web site, though we’re damned if we can find it.


Whether it’s there or not, you’ve been warned. Wear what you want. Just be prepared for the very real potential for pearl clutching and, depending on your location, leather clearing.


  1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Wait…whut?!? Is this a one-way ticket to the morgue?

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      “You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant….”

      “But if 3 of us walks in and sings a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walk out, then we’ll have a ‘movement’….”

  2. avatar JWM says:

    Reminds me of the shoulder holster wallet craze. Try reaching for your ID when a cop interacts with you wearing one of those.

    1. avatar Amok! says:

      It comes with an open carry badge. The related sash is extra.

  3. avatar MotoJB says:

    LOL, added to the list of some of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen…

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I don’t know MotoJB … this could be a great way to desensitize hysterical people and possibly even start the ball rolling in California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii, Cook County Illinois, etc. The beauty of it is the First Amendment would preclude Big Brother from banning those shirts.

      1. avatar Troybilt says:

        Just as the 2A stop them from banning firearms?

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Good point. Well, at least we already have precedent on our side in a case like this.

          And if the courts did allow a law to stand which outlawed t-shirts, that would really help us enlighten people as to the level of hysteria involved.

  4. avatar BlueBronco says:

    Officer: “Put the gun down, or I will shoot you in the head . . . do it NOW!”

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      If the gun is holstered, why would the cop order you to puts hands on it and UN-holster it?

      Makes no sense from this former LEO.

      1. avatar slicer87 says:

        Sadly some would, many current Leo’s are poorly trained and can’t keep their cool.

        1. avatar Jordan says:

          “Watch this officer. Abra-cadabra.” (as I remove my shirt while keeping my hands away from my “gun”)
          Lays shirt flat on ground. “and the gun has magically vanished.”

          Officer- “How did you do that!?! Where is the gun!?!”

          “I’m a magician. Oh, what’s that behind your ear?”

      2. avatar BlueBronco says:

        @JR in NC: Try open carrying in a state that don’t allow it like Florida, Tampa or West Palm Beach for example and get back to me on that.Also review the case in NJ recently where the cop melted down over a gun in a glove box and mag dumped on the guy. That said, JR, NC is the most FUBAR state in the south regarding gun laws.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          Meh; even in an anti-OC state, I don’t think too many cops are going to tell you to put hands on a holstered firearm.

          More likely, they will take control of you first, then the gun, themselves.

          As for NC’s laws…not sure why that is relevant to this discussion. But, hey, for those that don’t know….

          We have unlicensed OC, shall issue permitted CC, restaurant carry, state pre-emption and both Constitutional Carry and School Carry under consideration and with momentum.

          Could be better, but moving in the right direction. Last couple of years saw some big improvements here. Also GRNC is strong here and gets results.

          So, if you define that as FUBAR, more power to you. Again, not really sure what your “dig” has to do with this dumb t-shirt.

        2. avatar Jim Brown says:

          FUBAR ??? I live in new york and believe that would apply to my state that I hate.
          I would trade gun laws with North Carolina every day of the week and twice on sunday !!!

  5. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    I would rather wear a “Concealed Carry” shirt everywhere I go…

    I have them in polo, golf, t-s, Hawaiian, dress short sleeve, dress long sleeve, French cuffed, and even a dated Nehru.

    I have these shirts to go with whatever outfits my fashionista grandchildren pick out for me.

  6. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    All the hassle, none of the benefits, where do I sign up for that kind of awesome.

  7. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    People can wear these if they want, I won’t. These would be just fine if 1/2 the population didn’t wet their panties at the first glimpse of a holstered weapon, but maybe seeing a few hundred people wearing these would make them freak out a little less.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Only place I can see for them is organized OC demonstrations, particularly in TX. One person, alone, sounds like SBC!

  8. avatar Vhyrus says:

    This is as bad, if not worse, than the fake gun in a holster thing we saw a few weeks ago.

  9. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    This is the stuff that adolescent fanboyz, gamers, manga enthusiasts, etc. might be attracted to. Mature, rational adults; not so much (I hope). The marketers/manufacturers will probably make a bundle. God bless capitalism and innovation. Let’s hear it for the bleeding edge of bleeding.

  10. avatar JWM says:

    Cell phone shaped like a gun. Another great idea.

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      When I was OCing my glock 19 I had a floor assistant at Lowe’s tell me I had a cool looking cell phone. He freaked when I told him it was no phone. He was a new hire, all the other employees were quite used to seeing OC in that store.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Do they make one for appendix carry?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      That would be fantastic — especially when you tuck-in the shirt!

  12. avatar ThomasR says:

    Oh now.

    I’ve OC’d the real thing, a Glock 30, and now a full length Kimber 1911 for the last seven years in down town Albuquerque. The metro area includes about five hundred thousand people.

    Across the street from the university. Around university students and faculty.

    Around cops and regular citizens.

    Not a peep, not a swatting, not a panicked call or the emptying of a public venue when I come in the door.

    Personally, there is more panic among the POTG at the idea of OC than the reality (at least while OC’ing a pistol.)

    1. avatar Ben says:


    2. avatar Pascal says:

      Come to CT where while OC is legal, see how long you go before being busted for disturbing the peace. Oh, you will not go to jail and the judge will throw out the charge, but there are many PD and prosecutors happy for you to go through the trouble and expense of the courts.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Nice thing about Alabama OC. By law, the mere presence of a holstered handgun is not grounds for disturbing the peace. Period.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        @Pascal, the same goes in MA (OC is not illegal here), except that maybe — maybe — there wouldn’t be an arrest, just a stern talking-to by the gendarmes.

      3. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Wherever there was a danger of that happening in Ohio, we open carried again and again, in force where possible, until the local departments trained their officers and dispatchers. We still do open carry walks in the few places that now and then might bother lawful open carriers. It sucks but it has to be done if people really want to be free to exercise their right.

        (This should not be construed to be a negative comment on CT residents’ choice to do this or not. I’m only offering up the experience from Ohio.)

      4. avatar ThomasR says:

        So it’s legal Pascal to OC in your,area and you still allow this type of behavior from your “representatives”?

        Then I would suggest you get together with your local OC groups, line up a civil rights lawyer though one of the big gun rights groups, put together a court fund, then stage an OC rally and if one or more of you get arrested, sue their pants off. Do that a few times, the local tyrants would get the message.

        Otherwise, it sounds like your just making excuses for not practicing the most important natural and civil G-d given right.

  13. avatar Publius Syrus says:

    Why not carry an airgun, a big scary black one, with the orange tip painted over,
    super-glued to your forehead? Makes as much sense, and you can shoot it too.

  14. avatar Cameron S. says:

    I’d rather wear a black T-shirt that reads “I have a gun.” In large white letters.

    Same effect, less possibility for problems to arise.

  15. avatar Gearmoe says:

    A day long ago we could stroll about with firearms and not be seen as a threat. Maybe someday the fear we currently are under will diminish and once again we can return to such a time. But for now open carry, especially in such a manner, is likely something to think about ahead of time.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      They need to come out with the 1776 version then, with a brace of flintlock hand cannons tucked into your trousers.

  16. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    Any cop who even touches his weapon in response to this shirt should spend a few years in prison for armed assault.

    1. avatar JackieO says:

      Cold comfort when you’re room temperature.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        How many people with a HOLSTERED OC handgun are shot by cops?

        Cops gotta imagine that’s a hard one to sell “jeopardy” to the jury (his murder trial jury), dontcha think?

        1. avatar Jake Tallman says:

          What murder trial? These are cops were taling about. There would be an internal investigate and a few months paid leave for the cop, then he/she would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Best thing about this one is what happens when the cop who killed you claims you drew it.

        3. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “What murder trial? These are cops were taling about. There would be an internal investigate and a few months paid leave for the cop, then he/she would be cleared of any wrongdoing.”

          Couple of cops in Albuquerque might disagree with such a blanket statement as but one example.

          It’s going to be a VERY hard sell that you were in jeopardy if the gun is holstered and it is found in the investigation that the “gun” could NOT be unholstered. What you are describing, the unfairness in police prosecutions, depends on at least a LITTLE bit of ambiguity in the story so the cop’s version can be clung to.

  17. avatar Hannibal says:

    It’s all about context. This could be funny at the range. But it’s not the kind of shirt I’d wear anywhere else.

    But then again I’m not always seeking attention…

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Might be fun to send what to Shannon Watts. She’s a big fan of living in a fake, fantasy world.

  18. avatar Carson says:

    The only time I can think this would even remotely be a good idea is if you could get a whole bunch of people to wear them for a campus protest of “gun free” zones. But even then prepare to feel the wrath of the state sponsored higher education system and their distain for free speech that doesn’t follow your views.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Yeah, I was thinking that these shirts could be useful for protests in places where laws or rules prohibit them from exercising their right. It’s not that far off from the empty holster protests except that the shirts might be more effective.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Guys, all that is good theory, but don’t even dream of giving one to your grade-schoolers. If they wet their pants when a pop-tart turns out a certain way, just imagine …

  19. avatar Anonymous says:

    Someone gets shot and the statists ban this kind of shirt?

  20. avatar Gunr says:

    Some folks will do anything to make a legal buck. I can smell a lawsuit over this by a grieving widow after her husband scratches an itch under the “gun” when confronted by a cop.
    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad Idea!

  21. avatar AnonInWA says:

    “Open Carry posts this warning on their Lycos-era web site, though we’re damned if we can find it.”


  22. avatar Custodian says:

    As a former subject of a former British Commonwealth, do you Americans actually give a “gosh darn” about what some unarmed, cravenly Brit (Welsh, Scot, Irish) thinks about you?

    I wouldn’t.

    God save the United States and its citizens.

    1. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Thank you.

  23. avatar tripp says:

    Still, I think I might find a way of incorporating this into my next ComicCon cosplay.

  24. avatar Sian says:

    Can Open Carry Tarrant County just use these instead of fondling their rifles in front of legislators?

    Small steps.

  25. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Best comment: Brian Williams invented these in 1987.

  26. avatar AllAmerican says:

    Honestly that’s just f***ing gay.

  27. avatar ghost says:

    Sometimes, just because you can don’t mean you should.

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      Boy, I’m thinking your post got WAY lost!

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  29. avatar dan says:

    a ‘bulls eye’ on the front , would compliment this t shirt….imho

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