Question of the Day: Do You Open Carry? (Or Would You If You Could?)

It’s been almost a year since I started open carrying in Austin. The number of people complaining? Zero. O.K., sure. The fact that I’m carrying a gun may have something to do with it. (Note: I’m a polite and friendly guy when I’m off-line.) The number of suspicious, not to say dirty looks I’ve received? Dozens. In most liberal-oriented places (e.g. The Steeping Room), I throw my shirt over my Cabot and carry concealed. I do so to avoid the anticipated anti-gun antipathy. Call me Courage the Cowardly Gun Blogger, but I just don’t want to deal with it.

That’s the thing about legal open carry: it’s a choice. You can do it, but you don’t have to. There are are times when I want it known that I’m carrying, when my openly displayed gat is literal proof of my gun rights and/or a deterrent against criminal predation. And there are times when I reckon concealed carry discretion is the better part of valor and/or my preferred tactic for armed self-defense.

This year looks like the year Florida will finally legalizes open carry, increasing the number of potential open carriers by an astronomical amount. In the run-up to this Gunshine State gun rights restoration, I’d like to know more about our Armed Intelligentsia’s experience with open carry. Why do you do it? When do you do it? When don’t you do it? If you live in a state that bans open carry, would you if it didn’t? Why and when?



  1. avatar Sean in Tampa says:

    Florida Carry is going all the way this year!

    1. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      R. F. You may find yourself in the company of some decent Texas women if you refrain from hanging out in tea rooms catering to vegans and vegetarians. Just a thought.

  2. avatar WilliamB says:

    I can open carry. I have a Texas CHL, which on its next (and last) renewal will be an LTC. Regardless of its title, I choose to not open carry. Why? I don’t want people I work with to know I carry a gun. I don’t want to get sucker punched by someone who jumped from behind a parked car in the Target parking lot, in order to get my gun. Last, I don’t want an overly nervous police officer to stop me in front of Kroger and ask to see my license, since I often wear an Army field jacket in cold weather.

    1. avatar onezero says:

      Agree. I want the fact that I carry to be a surprise. Plus, the majority of the people I see open carrying, have zero situational awareness.

      1. avatar NineShooter says:

        This, this, a million times this.

        My state requires open carry when hunting. That’s right; when in the field armed with an obvious long gun, they don’t want anyone to be able to “hide” a weapon. This is beyond stupid, and I’m working to change it, but in the meantime, if I’m hunting, it’s the only way to legally carry and handgun for protection, and that is the ONLY time I open carry.

      2. I agree. There is no reason to open carry unless you work in a retail type establishment where it acts as a deterrent. It’s not tactical and it can be awkward.

        1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          What’s awkward about wearing a holster?

        2. avatar Don't Matter says:

          Actually, it’s not. It’s obvious you don’t open carry, or have any idea of its affects in society, such as being a deterrent.

          I open carry in 4 states that I travel thru, and I’ll have you know, that law enforcement actually PRAISES AND ENCOURAGES open carry, because it makes their job easier. How do I know? Because Ive been thanked and commended by Law Enforcement more than once.

          This isn’t the article for you. May I suggest a Martha Stewart blog?

        3. avatar Jeannette says:

          Open carry is only valid in a retail surrounding? People get mugged and robbed daily by just walking down the street. Some have been robbed just by checking the mail. You’re statement is totally ridiculous.

      3. avatar Jason says:

        I bet I could get to mine before you could get to yours

      4. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        How does what other people do affect your carry decision?

    2. avatar bLoving says:

      William, don’t give your discretion a second thought. Texas has had open carry since the first of the year and as of three days ago I’ve seen a grand total of twenty open carriers in my vicinity (and I work in a gun shop!).
      So yeah, I’d say we’re due for a (short) article on January 1st how the libs hand wringing over Texans open carrying everywhere and scaring all the children was like all their other claims, a bunch of bigoted hogwash.

    3. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      Littlewillieb, So much stupidity between you and one0! If I live to be 300, I’ll never understand! Couple concrete commandos you two!

  3. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    I open carry and I’ve seen many people, men and women, black and white, gay and straight, open carry while shopping or eating in a restaurant with their children. Life is better in Kentucky and Tennessee than other states.
    No permit required to open carry and no permit required to travel with a gun in your vehicle glove box.

    1. avatar Christian in KS says:

      Except in Kansas. I’d say Kansas is the most gun friendly state in the country.

      1. avatar Timothy says:

        I’d put Utah up there with, if not ahead of Kansas. Legal to carry on campus. Carrying in a “gun free” zone doesn’t carry legal consequences unless you remain after being asked to leave (trespassing). Utah’s conceal license is recognized in more states than any other. No permit required to open carry. The culture here is really gun friendly too.

        1. avatar Swilson says:

          I would say any of the states that have Consitutional Carry are the most gun friendly. They are the top tier regarding gun friendliness and freedoms.

          Unfortunately that leaves Utah out. That’s not to say that, in general, the state authorities and population is not gun friendly, just not gun friendly enough. Kind of knocks it down into a 2nd tier gun friendly state: Shall (and actually do) issue. Don’t worry, I’m in NC and it is 2nd tier too.

        2. avatar Timothy says:

          Constitutional Carry is better than Shall Issue. But that’s not the only gun right out there.

          I’d like to point out that many Constitutional Carry states don’t allow Campus Carry and many Constitutional Carry states legally enforce “gun free” zones. Beyond which Utah’s license is the absolute best in terms of reciprocity and in allowing none residents to get our carry. I won’t argue that we’re perfect, but if I lived someplace with Constitutional Carry, I’d still get Utah’s conceal carry license to be good in more states.

          If you choose to put all weight behind one thing, then you’re welcome to. I don’t.

        3. avatar Timothy says:

          In fact, I worry about Utah considering Constitutional Carry. If Utah does away with it’s conceal carry permit, I think our reciprocity will disappear. Hopefully if we pass the Constitutional Carry rolling around our legislature, we’ll still allow people to obtain the permits that are good in so many states.

        4. avatar Poco Loco says:

          When Az. legalized CC in 2010, we kept our permitting process too.
          Thus we have no permit needed open and CC plus a permit for reciprocity.

          One thing is, CC follows our OC law so no carry in bars, and no campus carry yet. Bill was introduced this past session and will pass within 2 is my guess.

        5. avatar Timothy says:

          I like Utah’s ability to carry in bars. It’s against the law to be over the legal limit of .08 BAC and in possession of a firearm here much like it is to be on control of a vehicle. But there is no law against driving to and from a bar for designated drivers and those staying sober, there should be no law against carrying to and from a bar for those staying sober either.

      2. avatar PavePusher says:

        Sorry, but you’re a little too new to Constitutional Carry to have any bragging rights yet.

    2. avatar Poco Loco says:

      Same here in Arizona.

      The usual reason I will open carry is either it’s hot as hell, or carrying a big sidearm that day.

      Funny part is here in “liberal” Tucson, I can’t remember a dirty look, not even from cops. That’s with zero permitting required also, unlike Texas.

      I have had a lot of good conversations and been able to pass on good knowledge, never a hassle.

      1. avatar Mort says:

        I like the system in Tucson. …in Arizona…. You have your Constitutional rights, which are (for the most part) respected and accepted… people are just used to it here… but then you also have the choice to be responsible, papered with a CCW, and with that responsibility comes some perks (e.g., simple FFL form and “bypass” of background checks, trust in private sales between people, and certain locations that non-CCW holders can’t go, like alcohol establishments….). It’s kind of like having “enhanced” rights, in exchange for a contract that accepts one’s responsibilities and duties in a law-abiding civilized society.

        I could gripe about this n that… but truth is, we have it good here. It is always nice to have the option (read: freedom) to open carry if the situation or environment calls for it. Can’t complain.

        When I lived in Florida, I would fly out with my pistol to visit my girlfriend, and open carry… mid-nineties. It was perfectly acceptable then, too. Wasn’t a major reason I moved to Tucson, but it certainly was a noticeable Pro in he Pro/Cons list when I was deciding.

        I’ve just been to visit my kid in San Diego… the weather turned foul and I got caught in crappy freezing rain & wind on he way home… soaked to the bone, I pulled the bike in for the night– I am typing this in some seedy dive motel west of Yuma… still in Cali. Drives me absolutely nuts that I am an evil childhatig bloodthirsty killer here, and a normal CCW carry an hour or to the east.

        It is just wrong. Dead wrong. Cannot wait for National Reciprocity. Every time I visit my kid or family to the west… just, so wrong.

        Be safe..

    3. avatar Travis Ledbetter says:

      I’m pretty sure you are mistaken about open carry in Tennessee. You aren’t allowed to open carry without a permit.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    Absolutely. Not being size limited in my sidearm would be huge for me. Right now, I’m limited to my P229 due to the fact that it’s the largest handgun that I can conceal per the letter of Illinois law. Going to a single platform for competition, daily carry, and SHTF use would be awesome. In that situation, every handgun I own other than my G34 would be collecting dust in my safe except for the occasional range trip. Given Illinois… I’m not holding my breath.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      Just curious…what part of current law prevents carry of your G34 right now? Is it a max barrel-length thing, or something else?

      1. avatar Chief Master says:

        I think it’s printing.

        1. avatar NineShooter says:


          I read that…differently.

        2. avatar Ladd Boid says:

          Printing technically isn’t an offense in IL. The law simply says concealed or partially concealed. That’s not to say some LEO won’t cite you anyway.

  5. avatar Andy says:

    I live on the boarder in South Carolina. No open carry. I work in North Carolina which allows open carry. So on my lunch break or when running errands, sometimes I’ll be a little lazy and use an OWB holster with a tucked in shirt. No negative comments, a few people will ask what model I’m carrying, most are too absorbed in their phones to even notice.

  6. avatar Swilson says:

    There is really only one situation where I open carry and that is when we are coming back from the farm after a range or hunting session. Typically, on the way home I stop for a cup of coffee or to do any grocery shopping for the weekend, and that’s how I’m rigged up. Eastern NC never really seems to have a problem with it, although I’ve gotten a few looks from time to time (Greenville is a college town after all, with plenty of liberal academic types). It’s more so out of convenience than an attempt to normalize firearms or out of an adherence to OC.

    Pretty much everywhere else, I CC. Whether OC or CC it’s nobody’s business whether or not I’m packing, but I’d rather avoid the potential for an unpleasant interaction, regardless. I’m also a little paranoid: I don’t think most criminals see someone with a gun and immediately think, “Whoa don’t Fvck with that guy.” I think it’s more along the lines of “Whoa, what vehicle is he driving, where does he live? Bet there’s some guns to be stolen.”

    1. avatar Jim Bullock says:

      “It’s more so out of convenience than an attempt to normalize firearms or out of an adherence to OC.”

      OC for convenience while going about yr life *is* normalizing firearms. They’re not fetish objects, and most of the time not political statements. (More’s the pity that the relentless anti’s have entirely politicized guns: their existence, having them, carrying them, etc.) A gun is just a thing. A gun is a tool for hunting, gear for shooting for fun, or a piece of emergency gear, like a first aid kit or fire extinguisher.

      Treating guns as things like they are “normalizes” them, which knocks the foundations from under the anti’s entire edifice of hand-wringing and confusion.

      1. avatar Swilson says:

        I agree with you on treating guns as what they are; I’m on TTAG nearly everyday so you are speaking to the choir. By convenience, I meant that I am OC’ing on the farm and don’t want to be bothered with bringing my CC rig along to change to once I leave the farm.

        Now if it happens to normalize guns for some people, then that’s great too, it’s just not my reason for doing so.

    2. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      Personally I think you logic is a crock of shite!!

    3. avatar Roymond says:

      “I don’t think most criminals see someone with a gun and immediately think, “Whoa don’t Fvck with that guy.” I think it’s more along the lines of “Whoa, what vehicle is he driving, where does he live? Bet there’s some guns to be stolen.””

      My insurance agent recommended against putting on NRA license plate frames for that very reason.

  7. avatar Tile floor says:

    I work as police so every day I work I have the whole set up, I choose to conceal carry on my personal time. Just prefer doing so, have no personal issue with anyone choosing to open carry

  8. avatar Robb says:

    Nope to OC. Company policy, allegedly, forbids it. Also, I work in healthcare which, generally speaking, frowns upon gun use/ownership.

    Don’t OC ‘in the real world’ simply because I don’t want anyone knowing I’m armed.

  9. avatar Chad says:

    I open carry when working on the farm, just a lot more comfortable when doing real work and able to carry a larger gun. Surprisingly I’ve run into many folks who see me and stop by and haven’t batted an eye, new neighbor even invited me over to his house first time meeting me while I was open carrying. I don’t often see folks open carry around here, but it is rural MO, everyone has guns.

    1. avatar CJ in KC says:

      I’m in Missouri too but not rural. No way am I going to carry openly even though I am allowed. I don’t trust the evil gun haters. “Officer, that man over there just pulled his gun on me” is the first thing that comes to mind. Not likely going to happen when I’m carrying concealed because, well, it’s concealed.

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        That’s more my concern with open carrying, is somebody maliciously reporting me. Any contact with the police carries potential for trouble, of whatever kind. Having them show up, amped up, believing they’re responding to someone threatening others with a firearm, ratchets up the stress level.

        I don’t think somebody would pull that stunt completely out of the blue, like while I’m just shopping or sitting at a restaurant table eating completely minding my own business. Somebody might, though, if there were some kind of frictional encounter between us. Maybe someone’s being a jerk, so you give them a dirty look? Or maybe they’re driving too fast through a parking lot, so you shake your head at them? Now they have some kind of trivial beef with you, even though they were originally in the wrong. Seeing you open carrying might be their opening to call the police and make up a story.

        I don’t go looking for people to engage in controversies, but if someone’s being an absolute jackass out there, I’ll throw them a little nonverbal, certainly nonviolent, push back. These people are social bullies who get their way by intimidating good people into conceding because “it’s not worth it.” Like most bullies, they whine and cry when someone finally stands up to them. I just don’t want them to be able to whine and cry to the police with a phony story about my self-defense sidearm.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          “I don’t think somebody would pull that stunt completely out of the blue, like while I’m just shopping or sitting at a restaurant table eating completely minding my own business.”

          Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to the now-deceased man who was looking at pellet rifles at WalMart. A shopper called police and led them to believe that there was a man with a rifle about to embark on a killing spree in WalMart. Police arrived and promptly shot and killed that shopper.

          WalMart surveillance video makes it absolutely clear that no such thing was taking place. That caller should go to prison for Second Degree murder.

        2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

          That has nothing to do with wearing a holstered handgun.

  10. avatar Ben says:

    I open carry every chance I get in East LA (East Lower Alabama). Most people don’t even give it a second look. And if they do, they usually ask what it is, or if I’m a police officer (I’m not, just a law abiding citizen).

    1. avatar Gman says:

      Has AL fixed it’s motor vehicle restriction yet? When I was there for work 2 years ago one had to have a permit in order to transport a handgun in a vehicle. There were no exceptions.

      1. Nope it’s still stupid in Alabama. W/o a CCW permit it must be locked in a compartment out of reach of driver or passengers. Container must be affixed to the vehicle. (from the CCW App)

      2. avatar Ben says:

        They ‘fixed’ it in 2013 so that you can transport a pistol separate from the passengers without a permit. That racist law that says you can’t carry in a vehicle without a permit is still on the books, though. Sheriff’s association keeps that one there for the money they get for permits. Nobody in states around us has a problem with people carrying pistols in their vehicles without permits, but in Alabama, they seem to think that every time they pull somebody over, a cop or deputy will be killed without that racist law… Maybe someday, we’ll get rid of it.

    2. avatar Vanbulance says:

      Dothan, Abbeville, Eufaula, or Enterprise?

      -An escaped former inmate, er, resident

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Enterprise and Dothan areas…

        1. avatar TexanHawk says:

          That’s UCLA.

  11. avatar Vhyrus says:

    I Oc, have for about a year now. No real problems and it has led to a few interesting conversations.

  12. Be the gray man.

    If you’re going to a place where basically everybody is open carrying and you’re not….. or basically everyone isn’t and you are…… sore thumb time.

    Personally, I’ve always been of the mind to keep ’em guessing. I’m in Sowf Flori-Duh and if/when we do get O/C, I’ll still be the same,

    1. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      So basically what you’re saying is ” I’m not going to put pressure on my legislators because it’s not gonna effect me “.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Float with the wind and go along to get along. Well, until it’s too late. Then…. wait, it’s too late, then.

  13. avatar Joatmon says:

    I have on occasion but I can count them on one hand. I’m all for it because you’re exercising a right but it’s not always right.
    99% of the time, I’m concealed. It’s just better for me. The other times, I have not heard a word. I have been stared at but no one said anything.
    When? Winter time. I have a few layers on and find it easier to carry OWB. Always a retention holster of some kind and I’m partial to a thumb break.
    When don’t I? I would have to say in a crowded or confined setting. To many things/variables for me personally.

  14. avatar Topher in Texas says:

    I OC in my truck or on the motorcycle for ease of access should the need arise.

    Otherwise I carry OWB with a shirt pulled over it. I print really clearly but don’t care, if anyone ever notices it’s usually other POTG.

  15. avatar gargoil says:

    no, i see it as a tactical DISadvantage. as a bad guy, they do not care if people see their weapons in fact they want people to see theirs so they can get what they want. so my only advantage would be for him to NOT know i have a weapon and use the element of surprise rather than a duel. It’s not a smart decision to draw once you already have a gun pointed at you, so once they see you have a weapon, you become a primary target, even more so than before.
    If there are 2 people in front of a derange shooter; one is open carrying and one is not, whom do you think he will target first? exactly.

    1. avatar Dev says:

      The vast majority of muggings, carjackings, etc. are crimes of opportunity. The criminal sees an easy target and strikes. An armed target is not an easy target; it is not a disadvantage of any sort to be open carrying unless you are looking to get into a fight or in a very bad situation / location and severely outnumbered.

    2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      If somebody is already shooting at you you’re having a shitty day regardless of your method of carry, cupcake.

  16. avatar Swarf says:

    I don’t hang a sign on my rear view mirror saying whether or not my car alarm is activated.

    I don’t put a sign on my yard telling burglars the details of my home security system or lack thereof. Whether it’s armed. The last time the dog was bathed in gasoline.

    And I sure as shit don’t advertise my carry status.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I won’t say whether your approach is right or wrong, but I would point out that ADT gives their customers signs and window stickers to let would-be thieves know that a security system is in place. Apparently the company believes it has some deterrent value.

      1. avatar tdiinva (now in Wisconsin} says:

        It also gives thieves the idea that you have something valuable to protect. Alarm systems can be disabled. I prefer to let the bad guys know that I have an alarm when it goes off.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          I’d love to see some stats on that… thieves more likely to rob a place that has a sign than not…

          I can see the point of wanting your place broken into before the alarm lets the criminals know you have an alarm system (/sarc). Kinda like a concealed carrier gets to have a criminal commit an act rather than walk away when he sees an openly carried, opposing firearm.

        2. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          Serious thieves know how to doable alarm systems. Alarm systems either come in via phone line or now cell system. A fault does not get an immediate response beyond a phone call. That gives the thieves enough time to get in and get out. When they break in the security provider gets an unambiguous alert and do do the thieves. They won’t be hanging around.

      2. avatar Swarf says:

        ADT believes signs in people’s yards are good advertising for ADT.

        They know damn well it’s not a deterrent to a skilled criminal.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          Do you believe most criminals are skilled?

          I know they exist, but most criminals are lazy idiots.

  17. avatar Justin says:

    I’ve open carried before and seen quite a few people do so as well. Most of the time nobody even notices the firearm on my hip. I’ve only had one person comment on it in a negative way and that was after I asked her to please control her child so he wouldn’t keep making a grab for my pistol while we were in the check out line.

    My one real pet peeve is holster choice. I’ve seen far too many people with zero retention holster (think UTG one size fits none holsters) walking around thinking they are cool or whatever. If you are going to open carry do everyone a favor and get a decent holster I’m not talking about a level 3 retention holster just something that won’t vomit out your firearm if you sit down.

  18. avatar HES says:

    I live in Florida and eagerly await the passage of the open carry bill. As to the question of woukd I open carry, probably not. Why? Florida when it comes to clothing is pretty darn casual. No one tucks their shirts in down here unless you’re wearing business casual or a suit. So in that case it really doesn’t make sense to open carry. However were fashion trends to change or i have occasion to dress up then in those instances I would find open carry to be a blessing.

    1. avatar Craig says:

      I too live in the Sunshine State and eagerly await OC, if for no other reason than it will give the middle finger to the satists pols and anti-liberty cops (primarily on the left coast, but you never know where you’ll run into one). Plus it’s HOT here about 80% of the year and sweating all over your gat is a recipe for rust (even with a plastic-fantastic). I’m hoping that it eventually will lead to Constitutional Carry and we can stop playing these little ‘games’ over rights. One small step at a time I guess, but the process grows wearisome. We just need to get it DONE before we lose the governorship to another anti-liberty clown.
      There is a court case pending before the state SC that asks the binary question “if CCL is a privileged granted by the state, then why is OC being restricted under the RKBA?” (we can only OC during hunting, fishing and target practice) It’s been in the SC for what feels like forever. I’m guessing the libs there are waiting to see what next year’s legislature is going to do before they try to do what happened in CA and say BOTH are privileges.

  19. avatar Gary Adams says:

    I open or concealed carry based on weather, what I’ll be doing, etc. The whole “I don’t want anyone to know I am carrying” is laughable, and the “I don’t want anyone jumping from behind a car to take my gun” is downright ludicrous.
    Carry or not, if you aren’t situationally aware enough to see someone behind a car while carrying, perhaps you’d better not carry period, since they’ll jump you and rob you before your silly ass can clear leather/kydex anyway.

    As for the argument about being the first victim because you’re carrying, that’s pretty silly too. Criminals choose their trade based on the inability to play well with society and laziness, so they sure as hell aren’t looking to get into gunfights over the $56.00 in the till at the stop-n-rob… if you happen to be the unlikely victim of a trained attacker hell bent on whatever, who is looking to take out gun carrying people first before they foil his nefarious plot, then wow, lightning struck you. Bummer. But if you live in fear of that perhaps a “safe space” is better for you.
    The bottom line, carry however, but carry always, but only if you are physically and mentally capable of using what you carry in a purposeful manner.

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      I always figured if I’m in a location that gets hit by someone with the tactical awareness to target armed people first, I’m probably already on the losing end of that fight.

    2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      Nailed it!

      Thank you for saving me the trouble of posting nearly this exact thing… The bogeyman jumping out from behind a car literally made me laugh loudly enough for my wife to throw me a sideways look.

    3. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      +++ Thank you Gary Adams, very well stated!!

    4. avatar SWAMPDADDY says:

      Hear, hear! SA is the key to many activities, especially ANY activity involving your mortality.

    5. avatar Jay says:

      This is exactly my thinking. I live in Virginia where open carry is legal. My decision to oc/cc depends on the weather, where I’m going, how I’m dressed, and what activities I’ll be engaged in. In all the years I’ve been OCing I’ve had only 2 negative responses. Usually I get the “Are you a police officer?”, “how do I do that?”, or “what are you carrying?”.

  20. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    I prefer to remain concealed. I just don’t want to show all my cards to potential ne’er do wells.

    Many folks in Utah choose to open carry. When I’m camp-hosting it’s actually a bit comforting.

  21. avatar NonAggressor says:

    I’ve open carried three or four times in California, back when it was legal. Level 2 retention holster, unloaded, magazines on weak side. Pamphlets on legality and freedom in back pocket.

    In Temecula, not even a second look at the Sig on my hip. Action closed on empty magazine. Duct tape over the serial. No ID carried. No stops by LE.

    In Clairemont Mesa, a few raised eyebrows but no worries. Action closed on empty magwell. Duct tape over the serial. No ID carried. No stops by LE.

    In Pacific Beach, we had heavy police escort and a threat that someone “should take the gun and kill someone with it just to prove a point.” Action open on empty magwell. Duct tape over the serial. No ID carried. Multiple stops by LE, always being shadowed. Requests to inspect the firearm despite it being extremely obviously unloaded. Requests for ID were denied, as CA law allows one to refuse requests and does not require ID when not driving. We were treated like criminals for acting within our rights according to law.

    Open carrying in CA was always about making others aware of their rights rather than self-defense. Would I still be going to OC events in CA? Yes. Would I OC at anything other than events? No. Too hard to avoid prohibited zones, and too easy to get sent to jail. You’re always walking a tightrope dependent on the mood of the police.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Curious about the duct tape. Is this so cops (if they stop you) can’t write down the S/N of your gun without getting a search warrant to remove the tape? It’s an unusual comment to me – just wondering the purpose.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        I have the same question as Defens.

        I know that California law required your handgun to be unloaded if you carried it openly. Police probably had implicit or explicit “authority” (albeit unconstitutional) to verify that your handgun was unloaded … but that was the extent of their “authority”. And here comes the rub: police do not need a search warrant to see anything that is openly visible in connection with a valid police action. If a valid police action included a demand to verify that a handgun was unloaded and the manufacturer and serial number were openly visible while verifying that the handgun was unloaded, they would be good to go. But, if the manufacturer and serial number was not openly visible while verifying that that the handgun was unloaded, police would need a search warrant to remove the duct tape.

        At least that is my best guess.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          There is a statute. They’ve renumbered everything, but in the past it was known as an “e check” (because of the subdivision of the Penal Code that permitted it). Open loaded carrying was banned by Governor Reagan in 1968. Open unloaded carry was banned for the reasons described in the original post–soccer moms would see an open carrier and immediately call 911 crying about a Man With Gun!!! Large, and harassing police responses were the norm, It took only afew short months for the Legislature to ban the practice. And yes, it was most ly political. The fact is that there are not a whole lot of places in the urban areas that are not within 1000 feet of a school zone, so as a practical matter, one can not cross town with a loaded handgun without a CCW (or with an unloaded gun in a locked container). Open carry is still permitted in unincorporated areas, i.e., out in the many forests and deserts we have in the state, and of course of private property.

        2. avatar NonAggressor says:

          Precisely. My firearm was legally acquired and I always had the documentation back in the car- if it came to that.

          I wasn’t about to traipse around showing my S/N to everyone and especially not to the police, who were extremely hostile to open carry in California and did everything they could to harass OCers.

    2. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      NonAggressor= Maroon!!!

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:


      2. avatar NonAggressor says:

        I echo Danny’s response.

        If I’m a “maroon,” I’d like to know why you think so.

  22. avatar Rick says:

    I CC at my current place of employment, depending on what slacks I wear that day. If the correct size, I have to OC, otherwise it’s CC. At my former place of employment I would occasionally OC but never got a negative comment. I did get the occasional how long have city employees been allowed to carry? What are you carrying? What’s your favorite holster? Still with all the positive feedback I’m more partial to CC. I used to be in a small city just outside Springfield, now I live and work in a small city just outside Jefferson City.

  23. avatar mercutio says:

    I live in Hawai’i which is technically a “may issue” state but is, in reality, a “no way in hell, haoli!” state. Besides it’s hard to carry concealed wearing a swimsuit and sleeveless T

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      NAA Mini Mag and DEEP concealment….

  24. avatar Joe R. says:

    Gaging others’ reaction to you OC is tough. On the other side of the coin I have been naked (NC) and have seen someone walking in to a QT (gas/convenience store here in OK) with an OC rig and a nice pistol. Being ‘gun-friendly’ my immediate reaction was a desire to say “hey, nice [gun] (/holster/carry method, etc.)” but held my tongue and let it go. I don’t know what the expression my face reflected in resolving that inner conflict but I can’t swear it wouldn’t double as possible distaste.

    I think OC is ‘cool’ if you wear it like your tie/belt/shoes etc. If it’s something you won’t leave home without it should be old-hat, and that’s what makes your carry ‘cool’ IMHO.

    1. avatar eremeya says:

      Since OK oked open carry a couple years ago I have only seen two non leos oc’ing, one was leaving the gun range and the other was walking in to Sam’s.

      I’ve cc’d at my work for a little over a year with only positive comments coming from my coworkers (once they found out I was carrying) and have only oc’d twice, once walking to my home from the car and the other in a nature preserve out away from anyone. I have no issues with oc I’m just not really comfortable doing it myself.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        And the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get. I hear that quite a lot, and I was uncomfortable at first, too, thinking everyone was staring at me. Reality is, nobody really cares. And the ones that do need to be educated a little.

  25. avatar Gman says:

    I open carry more than conceal. In VA it’s no big deal. Number of dirty looks, 1. A young college girl; gee now there’s a surprise. Number of positive conversations and question/answer periods, too numerous to count. Cops seem to like seeing OCers also; always a smile.

  26. avatar MLee says:

    I carry IWB appendix. Most of the time a shirt is covering or a coat is partially zipped up. If I leave my coat unzipped, you can see it although mostly obscured. One thing I have noticed though, I carry a Sig P229 elite with the Rosewood grips and it really looks elegant. Of those who do see it, every encounter has been positive, even from the women.
    Maybe it’s the opposite of a black scary rifle. If you have the same thing in elegant wood, suddenly it’s OK, although I love black scary rifles.
    I’d say about 90% of the people who see it ask what make and model of weapon it is. Of course, I only carry with my coat unzipped about 10% of the time. I ALWAYS have my weapon on me, so 90% of the time it’s totally concealed.

  27. avatar unknown says:

    Can open carry in my state no permit whatsoever & my CCW is good in a total of 40 states, waiting for the other 10 when DT gets it done (hopefully). Open carry on my property & in surrounding area, concealed otherwise. No one blinks an eye on open carry in my area, not even at po. Also, ‘no weapons signs’ are virtually banned in the entire county; it’s a very good place to be.

  28. avatar Aldo says:

    I OC’d today while running errands and having breakfast in town. No issues whatsoever.

  29. avatar strych9 says:

    “I’d like to know more about our Armed Intelligentsia’s experience with open carry. Why do you do it? When do you do it? When don’t you do it?”

    I started OCing when 11 years ago when I was 21 and didn’t have a CCW permit. I still OC from time to time depending on the circumstances.

    Why: Because OC and CC both have advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of OC are that it’s faster and less likely to snag your heater on your clothing.

    When: When I wander around in places where there are things that might try to eat me, are not deterred by brandishing and are quick I keep my head on a swivel and OC because that extra quarter to half second for CC might get me eaten. That minor snag might not be a huge problem against a guy 10 feet away with a bat who’s demanding money and thinking I’m just gonna hand it over but it can easily be the difference between life and death with a mountain lion. That said, generally speaking in these circumstances my primary isn’t a sidearm it’s a rifle and that’s not exactly easy to conceal so why bother covering up the pistol? Also, some times when I don’t have the clothing clean or don’t feel like finding something to cover up my pistol.

    When I don’t: When I have to travel to some place like Boulder or Denver. Boulder is just a pain the ass with everyone asking you to leave the store or calling the 5-0 to harass you. In Denver you need a license to OC and I ain’t got one.

  30. avatar Solo Phil says:

    I would if I could.

  31. avatar ThomasR says:

    OC’d for the last 8 years here in NM. I started because I could do so without a license. (That whole right versus a privilege thing). Even if we go constitutional carry, I would continue to OC because it is a visible deterrence, as well as visibly practicing a right denied over six billion people around the world.

    No problems with the citizenry or the police. Most don’t notice. Those that do just go on about thier business with no more than a second glance.

    As for that whole rather hysterical belief that an OC’er will be targeted for his gun, or be shot first by a mass murderer? Just Google “OC’er gets mugged” and the one OC’er that was mugged for his gun is referenced twenty or thirty times. That is how rare it is.

    The rest of the time, it is all about situational awareness. Getting into and out of a car, in and out of buildings and stores. The transition zones is where the predators hangout. Just look around in these zones and look for the predator on the hunt. If you have even an ounce of awareness, the predator essentially has a flashing light on their head, with a bull horn screaming, “danger Will Robinson, danger!”

    I’ve been looked over by a couple of predators on the hunt over the years. They see me looking at them, they see that I am aware and have the OC ability to defend myself, and they suddenly remember they need to be somewhere else.

  32. avatar Defens says:

    I OC around our property, and when out hiking, foraging for mushrooms or berries, hunting, etc. Usually the gun (S&W 329PD with Delta Point red dot) is halfways hidden anyway, among backpack waistbelts, etc. I stay OC’d when I stop by a store or buy gas to or from the woods.

    When I go to town for a shopping run locally, I’m usually CC, with an XDs (.45) in my pocket and a spare mag. When I head to the big city, Seattle or Bellevue, I step up in capacity to a compact XD, or double-stack Para Ordnance, both CC.

  33. avatar notalima says:

    When hiking or around the property I do. Other places, I have a CCW.

  34. avatar Troybilt says:

    I have open carried in Ohio every day, everywhere I go for the past 5 years now. I have had zero problems.

  35. avatar TexanHawk says:

    I am, obviously, a Texan; at least I have been off and on since 1983 (military) and now live here permanently since 2005. I greatly appreciate that Texas changed the law to allow for Open and Campus Carry. Constitutional Carry is next! I am glad I no longer have to worry about inadvertently letting my pistol show when out in public. However, when it comes to open carry, I choose not to. I choose to be stealthy. I choose to remain innocuous. I choose to not have to respond to the confrontations of the vocal antis. I choose to be the sheepdog amongst the lambs while keeping the wolves relatively unaware.

    1. avatar Timothy says:

      Wait, you’re a Texan? Name one indicator. lol, jk. I love places that allow open carry and always feel more comfortable around folk making that choice. I rarely open carry though, preferring the safety provided by anonymity.

  36. avatar Gilbert says:

    Would not open carry ever.
    My state has allowed open carry for years.
    I don’t want anyone know I’m carrying.
    Nobody’s business and potentially make yourself the first “problem” a criminal would take care of.

  37. avatar Timothy says:

    Like many here, I would choose to open carry on my way to and from the range, or if I’m going camping someplace relatively wildernessy. But I live on a military base where carry is prohibited unless transporting on/off base. It’s just not worth the hassle driving through the gate with a pistol on my hip. In general, I prefer to conceal carry. As many here have pointed out, if a bad guy wants to rob a store, they’ll target the lone guy with an obvious gun first. I conceal carry everywhere legal though.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      You (and a few others) sure give criminals a lot of credit for their careful planning, keen situational awareness and thoroughly rehearsed tactics.

      The reality is they tend to be stupid, lazy and cowardly, choosing targets of opportunity that appear to be easy prey. The sight of the potential for armed resistance tends to cause them to change their plans rather abruptly. Youtube is full of security camera footage of thugs who turn tail and run at the first sight of a gun.

      1. avatar Ben says:


  38. avatar peirsonb says:

    I open carry whenever I can, which really isn’t all that often. My employer is more than a little gun friendly and I’m not going to wreck a good thing. Especially if a hoplophobic customer were to visit.

  39. avatar Derek says:

    I typically only oc when hunting or hiking, it’s a matter of convenience for me. I want to be able to draw effectively when backpacks or clothing would impede an iwb draw. I also oc to and from the range depending on what I am doing there that day. When oc I always use an active retention holster.

  40. avatar Bob R says:

    If open was legal I would still carry concealed. The only reason I can see to carry openly is due to wanting a bigger gun than can be concealed or if you want to avoid the trouble of concealing (dealing with getting the right holster, avoiding printing…).

  41. avatar Tym O'Byrne says:

    I can and do when working my back 4o, when in public even though i can id rather not, so when going to WallyWorld or wherever i conceal carry. I dont want to give the bad guys any advantage.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      “Give the bad guy an advantage?” That ‘advantage’ that he knows he’s going to have a deadly fight on his hands instead of being able to control a bunch of willing sheep? That kind of advantage? So you’re saying that you DON’T want him to leave you alone; you’d rather he try something because he doesn’t know that you’re carrying?

  42. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I would love to have the option. If it ever becomes an option in Illinois, I can foresee carrying concealed under a suit coat or jacket, with the option to take the coat or jacket off if I want.

    My job involves handling large quantities of other people’s cash. It wouldn’t be difficult to justify being armed, even among those who are generally skeptical of the utility of armed citizens.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      As long as it’s all about other people’s money. Not about your LIFE… then they’ll be amicable to the idea of carrying a gun? Sounds like somebody needs some schooling.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        I don’t think it’s that simple. Most people understand that someone like me is a target, and that my life might be threatened because I’m carrying cash, regardless who its rightful owner is.

  43. avatar Harley says:

    I have open carried on business property for 35 years. I have been open carry in Texas since Jan 1 of this year every day, every where I go. So does the wife except she cant carry at her work. She works in a school.

    I have always hated concealed carry. I dont like hiding things or doing things that make me feel guilty of wrong doing. Concealed carry makes me feel like a criminal.

    No negitive comments. No attempts made on us at all. A lot of questions from others as to how they can do the same. Thumbs up. A big wave. A yeehaw thrown in at times with big smiles.

    And I see others carry open here and there going along mostly unnoticed by anyone. I dont see it as tacticle up or down. Just a proper way to carry.

  44. avatar mk10108 says:


    I. Not allowed in CA, and if it was I would not.
    2. My gun is my business, not yours.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Sounds like it’s california’s business to tell you to hide that thing. You may THINK you’re in control… remember, you’re in california, where they tell you what to do with everything. Just because you agree with them doesn’t mean you’re in control.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Being in California, I can tell you it isn’t so much the State telling us what we can and cannot do, it is all of the hysterical soccer moms who call the cops any time they see someone carrying a firearms who is not obviously a cop. Who needs the hassle?

        Now we can carry out in the woods, and I OC when I am at the BLM range (no, not that BLM, the Bureau of Land Management) because it is an undeveloped range and I don’t want to drop my guns in the dirt and rocks while reloading mags. would I? Maybe, it wouldn’t raise too many eyebrows up here in Far Northern Cal (which is mostly conservative), but I don’t need to draw attention to myself. But it doesn’t matter; it will NEVER happen unless Mr. Nichols succeeds in convincing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that THE right protected by the Second Amendment is the right to carry openly, and that any restrictions on that right are unconstitutional. This is the issue that the same court intentionally dodged in order to rule against Mr. Peruta. (The Court, ignoring the issue Plaintiff raised, concluded there was no right to concealed carry, ignoring the fact that the State bans open carry in all urban areas, such that concealed carry is the only way, under current law, to exercise the right.) Mr. Nichols’ case will be argued in February I believe, with a decision sometime after that, hopefully within my lifetime. Meanwhile, Mr. Peruta has or will shortly be filing a Petition for Certiorari with the Supreme Court in anticipation tht Trump will be appointing a conservative and pro-2A justice.

  45. avatar tdiinva (now in Wisconsin} says:

    I used to open carry in Fort Collins-Loveland. My Virginia permit was not honored. Never had a problem and got a thumbs up from a LEO. Colorado honors my Wisconsin permit so I will probably carry concealed then next time I go back.

    I generally limit my open carry to the field and in places where my permit is not recognized and open carry is legal.

  46. avatar Brian says:

    Florida is a little odd: our CCW allows edged, impact, and electronic weapons in addition to firearms. It will be interesting to see if that distinction survives this legislative session.

    Because sometimes I want a snicker-snee in addition to my life preserver, and a knife has uses beyond self-defense. Not to mention that some lower forms of humanoid life seem to be terrified of big blades.

    But I’ll probably always keep my pistol concealed in everyday carry scenarios, unless hunting, camping, or hiking.

  47. avatar Stu in AZ says:

    I’d consider open carrying if it weren’t for the blood in the streets that’d inevitably flow from people getting into arguments.

    No wait, hold on… that was that Tarantino-esque dream I had a few nights ago! Oh my gosh, I totally had that confused with reality for a second there.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Yeah, that’s the liberals arguing against it in Florida. Surrounded by open carry states that are doing just fine, but Florida, if they allow open carry, will be different… Yeah.

  48. avatar Matt Richardson says:

    I OC daily here in NC. I have since I moved out of CA which banned OC some years back (I OC’d there on rare occasions prior to the ban.) I will occasionally throw my shirt or coat over my OWB holster given a few rare circumstances but I never fuss too much about printing. From what I have observed most people don’t even notice an openly carried firearm, a printed one would only stand out to people who are specifically looking for it.

    Once in a great while I’ll get an odd look or a surprised “Oh!” like the one I just got from my post-woman a couple days ago who has been delivering to my door for some time and always failed to notice the PPQ on my hip. More often than not I get smiles, nods, and even thanks for being willing to carry a firearm in public.

    I was raised by cops and was taught from a very young age to not be a dumb jackass and to pay attention to my surroundings. Somebody in a previous post mentioned transition zones, those are the sketchy spots. Otherwise, be just as aware of your surroundings when OC’ing as CC’ing and all is well. I’m about as anxious about some scary guy trying to yank the pistol out of my holster as I am about winning the lottery or being hit by lightning.

    Frankly, most of you guys who think your deep-conceal, super undercover, carry pieces don’t stand out to the rest of us who know what to look for and are already checking are fooling yourselves. Most of you may as well open carry anyway.

  49. avatar Kelly says:

    I live in Chicago and new to firearms. I want to have the flexibility to do what I want to do with my life and my security. I want not so much to open carry but to be in a community that understands this constitutional freedom and is tolerant and accepting of those who own and carry guns for personal defense. Laws and attitudes can change. Until the last few years, it was illegal to have a gun at home.

  50. avatar Tom Moscone says:

    I would only carry concealed for myself and also I prefer that to be the law for everyone (except on-duty uniformed law enforcement and security).

    The reason I would only carry concealed for myself, even if open carry is allowed, is that I don’t want to be the first target for anyone looking to initiate a violent confrontation.

    The reason that I prefer concealed carry being the law of the land is that it makes the mere “brandishing” of a weapon a big step towards a lawful use of force response. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that in concealed-only states, if a person approaches you while flashing a gun (or even a knife) in his waistband, as long as you don’t have an obvious way to escape unharmed, the courts will find that you felt a realistic threat to your life or great bodily harm and were justified in immediately drawing your own weapon and shooting the aggressor. In open carry states you have to wait until they display a different sign of violent intent towards you above approaching you while brandishing a weapon… how does that work out?

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      I would only carry concealed for myself and also I prefer that to be the law for everyone…

      You fuckin’ wot, m8? You’re no POTG

      1. avatar Swilson says:


        Tell him.

    2. avatar Ben says:

      With 90% of states allowing open carry (or not prohibiting it), there have got to be some stats on being the so-called ‘first target’, as you say. I’d love to see them. Criminals are much more likely to just buy their soda and leave rather than just start shooting at people with opposing firearms. IF they even SEE the firearm on my hip, they’re more likely to take that as a sign that they’re going to get into a firefight, and most of these scumbags aren’t looking for that. They’re looking to intimidate their prey and get some money. The last thing they’re looking for is a gun battle. So… they leave, and I never even knew anything was amiss. Where do they go? To some more inviting place where some concealed carrier is happily shopping. And they try something. And YOU, the concealed carrier, is involved, whether you want to be or not. Pretty sure that’s more likely how it’s going to work.

      And WHAT is that crap you’re spouting about open carry states having different rules for self defense? Really? No, there is no difference at all. And your wish to infringe on others’ gun rights tells me the truth… troll…

    3. avatar strych9 says:

      “The reason I would only carry concealed for myself, even if open carry is allowed, is that I don’t want to be the first target for anyone looking to initiate a violent confrontation.”


    4. avatar Ben says:

      Yes, you’re wrong.

    5. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      You are over-thinking the situation.

      The only question you have to answer is, “Does an attacker have the ability and intent, right now, to cause serious injury or death?” If a reasonable person in your situation would answer “yes”, then you are legally justified to used force to defend yourself. (Unless you live in a “duty to retreat” state: check with a competent attorney in your state.)

      Your attacker, even if he/she is carrying concealed, could simply say, “I have a gun in my pocket … give me your wallet or I will shoot you!” Or, your attacker could flash a gun (whether in hand or tucked in his/her waistband) and say, “Give me your wallet!” A reasonable person would perceive an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm in both scenarios.

      Are you concerned about vindictive gun-grabbers finding a way to attack you and forego prosecution? Gun-grabbers can try that right now with a concealed carrier: all they have to do is tell the cops that the concealed carrier threatened them quietly and the threat was entirely verbal.

    6. avatar Tom Moscone says:

      Jesus Christ I would never have thought that some of you gun enthusiasts are TRIGGERED more easily than a transexual muslim at a Ted Nugent concert.

      All I did was post my honest personal PRO-GUN, PRO-CARRY opinions and current thoughts, WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WHEN I HEAR NEW COMPELLING INFORMATION, and I have since been accused of being (1) a troll and (2) a paid shill troll, by multiple commenters.

      Based on the information that I have now, although I am a firm supporter of the 2nd Amendment for all its justifications, I believe that open carry is fundamentally more dangerous than concealed carry, and for that reason I prefer concealment. I believe that it makes the open carrier a target and I believe that open carriers make deadly-force situations harder to manage effectively for police officers or even good samaritans. I am not the sort of “sheepdog” person that is going go out on a limb to try to stop a robbery or assault of an unknown third party, I am only going to be using deadly force to protect my own self or loved ones, but I want to make it as easy as possible for other better samaritans to take action (without shooting me), and one way I do that is by concealing. That is my humble opinion and that is all.

      I will end with one piece of advice: when you are examining yourself and your own life, try to answer whether you are fetishizing anything too much, whether its something sexual, or whether its the guns that you collect, or whether its that you’re fetishizing the 2nd amendment right to bear arms. Just because there is a right to bear arms doesn’t means that there cannot be rules, etiquette, and best practices. And no I’m not fetish-shaming you so don’t get triggered again.


      1. avatar Ben says:

        The problem I see is you wanting the government to step in and do your bidding and infringing because of your unfounded opinion. You have nothing to back up that opinion except your personal emotion.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          No leftward leaning rags listed there… nor politically appointed law enforcement officers… I won’t waste my time.

      2. avatar ACP_arms says:

        You got called a troll because you said that you’d like open carry to be illegal, using the state to force your opinion, that does not go over well with most on this website.

        I’ve yet to see anything that says you are more likely to be shot by robber because you are OC’inng. And I’ve to see anything that says you are less likely to be shot by a robber if you CC’ing.

    7. avatar Roymond says:

      “In open carry states you have to wait until they display a different sign of violent intent towards you above approaching you while brandishing a weapon… how does that work out?”

      Um, what? Every course I’ve taken in Oregon has said the level of threat for self defense has nothing to do with how you’re carrying.

  51. avatar Johnny B says:

    I’m a relatively recent Iowan, a refugee from the nonsense that is Chicago. Our permit is a permit to carry; concealment is not specified nor required.

    The instructors who taught the requisite class emphasised that while completely legal, open carry was a tactical mistake and invited hassle in this relatively “blue” area of the state (Davenport/QC area).

    Perhaps because of my nearly 30 years in Chicago, I’ve been conditioned to think similarly, even prior to moving. Oddly enough, I open carried around my house in Chicago frequently, mostly for comfort, but do not even know for certain where my paddle holsters are at the moment.

    I’ve seen only one open carrier in the year that I’ve been here, at my place of employment which is a posted gun-free zone. No one else noticed, so I let him be.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Yep, absolutely conditioned…

      1. avatar Johnny B says:

        I hope that doesn’t come off as anti-open carry. It certainly doesn’t bother me to see someone with a holstered firearm, and their decision is their business.

        I’m not comfortable advertising the fact that I’m armed. That is almost certainly borne from my ballistic upbringing in hostile territory, but the protocol has served me well.

  52. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    I’ve been OCing for six years. I’ve never had one negative encounter, not even from cops.

  53. I don’t always open carry, but when I do, it’s usually on the weekend and I am always with someone whether they OC or not.
    I OC to encourage other people to get into firearms.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      My three primary reasons to open carry:

      1. Deterrent for criminals. Hidden guns won’t influence a criminal in his intent to commit a crime.
      2. Conversation starter. Hidden guns never get talked about. I’ve had many conversations about guns, gun laws, etc, from people walking up and chatting.
      3. It normalizes law abiding citizens with guns. The more people see open carry, the more they understand that law abiding citizens aren’t the ones doing crimes with or without guns. If people can’t see it, they don’t know it’s there, and nothing will change.

      1. avatar Johnny B says:

        One could argue that a visible handgun is not a deterrence. It’s been noted several times that most people do not notice a holstered firearm, and crimes are committed in front of uniformed police officers, sometimes directed at them.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          So in those cases, there would be zero difference from concealed carry. IF a criminal sees it and leaves, great. If he doesn’t see it and continues on his criminal ways, that’s fine, too; it’s even easier to draw than a hidden gun.

        2. avatar Roymond says:

          For me open carry has been a deterrent three times — twice when someone began to attack me and then noticed the weapon, and once when I was coming out of a grocery store and there was a fight starting in the parking lot; someone in that group saw my gun and pointed it out, and everyone got suddenly peaceful.

      2. If that was in order of importance then I agree with all three except not in that order in my case.
        We don’t need an equivalent of a gay pride parade but when it is more socially acceptable to see someone other than law enforcement open carrying, we will see more people “coming out”. But some of us have to be the first.

        1. avatar Ben says:

          Nope, they’re in no particular order of importance. They kind of shift around for me, actually. And I have other reasons, just these three are the top ones.

  54. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Concealed but not very thoroughly. I don’t want to be noticed or spoken to. I don’t enjoy meeting new people. I am not trying to change the world. Kudos to those of you who are though.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Fair enough ActionPhysicalMan!

    2. Everyone is trying to change the world. To what degree is your personal choice. The world in your immediate vicinity is still part of the world at large. Make it better for yourself and if others benefit? Kumbaya motherfuckers!

  55. avatar Son of Alan says:

    I would love to have the option of open carry in California, I have CCW, but the way the current laws are set up: If you cross you threshold with a pistol not in a locked case or a rifle in case, you’re in violation of the law. I would be nice to have to open carry option, the ability in some cases to ‘brandish’ without brandishing.

  56. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I carry concealed most of the time and openly occasionally.

    What are my considerations for open carry?

    When concealing is impossible:
    It is impossible to conceal a huge .44 Magnum revolver and still be able to draw quickly when camping or hiking. So I carry it openly on a chest rig.

    When concealing is inconvenient:
    If I want to look nice with a tucked in shirt and shorts, or even nicer with a tucked in shirt and dress pants, I carry openly because I refuse to carry a sub-compact pistol in a pocket holster.

    When I am an ambassador for firearm ownership:
    I dress nicely and go out of my way to be polite and pleasant.

    What responses have I noticed in other people? The overwhelming majority of people — like 99% — never even recognize the firearm in my holster. Those that do notice, almost all are simply curious and ask questions. A few will ask if I am a police officer. Some will ask about make/model/caliber. Others will ask why I am armed. Some will inquire about legality.

    I have only experienced two negative reactions. In one instance I was holding my young child in my arms and made a concerted effort to hold the door open for another patron exiting the hardware store that I just visited. The other patron refused to pass me and go through the door. The other instance occurred during a long march as part of a rally at my state capital. We passed several people eating lunches outside next to the sidewalk and one of them swore at us.

    The only reason that I do not carry openly virtually everywhere is because I live within a few miles of an ultra-liberal enclave and operate a small business that only serves my immediate very-local and very small community. I believe that I would lose 75% of my customers if they discovered that I carried a handgun openly all throughout our small community. I have already done a lot and sacrificed a LOT for other causes. I am not willing to close down my business.

  57. avatar baserock love says:

    I can open carry and I don’t. I was considering putting a neon sign over my head that says i’m armed and carry an expensive gun that could be fenced for 500 bucks or a bag of crack that you could grab and run off leaving me with pretty much no options to stop you but then i realized like open carry, that’s a really stupid idea.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      What fantasy land are you living in, again?

    2. Guess a $7,000 Rolex on your wrist is a stupid thing too.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        Yes, but for entirely different reasons 🙂

  58. avatar Kendahl says:

    Law absolutely controls carry whether open or concealed. Culture has a strong influence. You need both on your side to carry openly without hassle. If the culture isn’t gun friendly, concealed carry still works. What they don’t know won’t upset them. I prefer concealed carry if only to surprise the bad guys. The only difference culture makes is how deeply I need to conceal.

    A state with constitutional carry isn’t necessarily the most gun friendly. As long as a required permit is easy to get, signs have no legal force, the list of prohibited places is short and the culture supports self defense, I would call it friendly.

  59. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    I’m most excited by not having to worry about printing or peeking.

    Living in South Florida, the bluest part of the State politically I can’t wait to watch this play out. Florida has State level preemption laws but that isn’t going to stop anyone down here from trying.

  60. avatar Cam says:

    Yes, ans until I don’t have to pay and go through a hassle and pay a fee to get a conceal carry license I will continue to.

  61. avatar Kapeltam says:

    I open carry on occasion. Mostly when the weather is warmer here in Wisconsin. As someone said above, a good retention holster adds a piece of mind to it.

  62. avatar Bill says:

    While I would never open carry outside a few specific situations, I think it should be legal and be an option. Sadly, I’m behind the Blue Bloomberg Wall, so it doesn’t matter whether I would or would not.

  63. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    I don’t OC simply because:

    1) My CC is comfortable for both my double stack in winter and single stack in summer (thank you SG Holsters)

    2) I haven’t researched a OWB holster with retention yet.

    3) To practice drawing with a OWB holster will require me to go to a farther range that allows it. Also costs more $$$.

    4) Despite all the BS opinions about OC in general, I’d rather not make myself an overt target for stupid people “just because”. I would only OC to use a bigger gat loadout (ie. a bigger holster to accommodate a laser or flashlight for example) for comfort.

    5) I would also need more pants and a dedicated gun belt for OC. More $$$

    1. avatar Ben says:

      So your current range allows you to practice drawing from concealment, but won’t allow you to draw from an open carry holster? Interesting…

      1. avatar tjlarson2k says:

        Ah nope, current range doesn’t allow me to draw from any holster. Also, I would want to practice drawing from a OWB retention holster, which my IWB technically isn’t.

  64. avatar Aerindel says:

    CC stands for cowards and criminals.

    I’m not either so I open carry.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      I wouldn’t go that far… it seems like a lot of CC guys badmouth OC people, but I rarely see it go the other way. If they want to conceal, I say go for it. But when they turn around and say they want OC to be illegal, and spout their anti-OC emotional views, I have to argue with them. I won’t start it with insults to concealed carriers, though.

  65. avatar Mad Max says:

    Open carry is legal in my area (PA) but I concealed carry because of Op Sec and because open carry scares the sheeple. No need to draw attention by scaring the sheeple.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      If the sheeple saw open carry from time to time, they’d get used to it. We shouldn’t cower and hide because of the reaction we think we’ll get from liberals. When they see that law abiding people carry guns, and blood doesn’t run in the streets, they’ll begin to understand.

  66. avatar former water walker says:

    I would if I could but I CAN’T. Illinois sucks?

  67. avatar JJVP says:

    I do OC occasionally, maybe 10% of the time. It just depends where I going and how I feel about it that particular day. Even though OC is new to TX, I have not encountered any issues when I do. Even OC’ed pass 3 cops once, and all I got was a friendly nod. No one has given me a crossed look, no one has ran off shouting “OMG, he’s got a gun”. Have not been SWAT’ed, nor have I been asked to leave the store or to cover my gun. Can’t say about other parts of Texas, but here in League City and south side of Harris county, it is a non -issue.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      Good news. Glad to hear it. Keep it up!

    2. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      Likewise in the DFW area.

  68. avatar Joker says:

    Being from Vermont we have Constitutional carry. I open carry between VT and NH everyday. Only ever had a few people give me crap. I have carried in VT legally since I was 18. Could of when I was 16. No body cares. Check VT laws

  69. avatar Nitehawk says:

    Considering all of the people who were open carrying rifles to promote open carry in Texas before the law was passed, I very seldom see anyone open carry in Houston.
    The fact is the open carry of rifles in Texas has been legal for a long time. Personally, I thought parading around with “sport rifles” in groups was the wrong way to promote open carry of hand guns.
    I am glad to have the option to open carry where the law allows. And when I do open carry I have a level 2 rention holster. When I do to decide carry, I am careful to not intentionally draw attention to myself, and for me my awareness of my surroundings is increased.

  70. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    I usually carry concealed, but I open carry when riding my motorcycle.

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I carry when I want and how I want because it’s my right to do so for personal protection. People are making this way too complicated. Just carry, or don’t.

  71. avatar GonHtn says:

    I have no strong opinions as the the best way to carry. I carry concealed, simply because if I need to deploy it, I want my weapon to be a complete surprise to the recipient of the contents. My concern has always been that open carry alerts potential aggressors as to who to shoot first, while slowing my presentation by….1/2 second? Before I’m attacked as others here have been for that view, know 2 things. First, that how you choose to carry is your business alone. Second, 40 years as a uniformed police officer who had weapon retention concerns wherever I went was enough. I Know how to conceal my weapon(s) much better than almost anyone knows how to spot them. Situational awareness is still required, but I can dial my paranoia level back a few notches.

  72. avatar Roymond says:

    I will never carry concealed until the government stops insisting that in order to do so I must not only pay to be able to exercise my inalienable right but be treated like a criminal as well.

    I pray for constitutional carry because then I would be able to carry as I pleased, including flipping my jacket over my sidearm when it seemed appropriate without having to deal with statist “Papers, please” oppression.

  73. avatar Phillip H says:

    Open carried in 4 states, (AL,MS, CO, and FL- Florida was only while riding a motorcycle because there’s a sneaky little loophole)

    I’ve done so for the last 6 years fairly regularly without much of an issue, but the most surprising thing is that I caught more flak for it in the red South than I have in the traditionally purple Colorado. I’d get a lecture or stern looks or the cops called on me at least once a week along the gulf, but here in CO, I’ve had two business managers politely ask me to cover up in 2.5 years, and zero negative interactions with passers-by.

    I do it primarily for comfort, and secondarily for advocacy, I enjoy talking to folks about it and I especially want to be an example of what it looks like to carry openly without making a scene.

    1. avatar Ben says:

      What loophole would that be?

  74. avatar Charles says:

    I live in rural Texas, about 45 minutes South of Austin. In the last year I have seen ONE person open carry. ONE. Lots of CC holders in this town too. I prefer the “surprise – wrong old man” that CC allows me. HOWEVER – I do open carry around my house, on the lawn mower, etc. I will probably open carry this summer because I found a local leather worker who does reasonably priced work. I want a flapped leather holster for my 1911. Will see how his work turns out.

    Must say I am amazed that TTAG hasn’t been hassled in Liberalville. I know a woman who is licensed and had her firearm confiscated twice in Austin and had to go to court to get it back. Both times she was stopped for speeding, followed protocol and announced she was armed, as per law. Cop took her firearm both times because – Austin.

  75. avatar Dave Janson says:

    I don’t open carry. I have absolutely no faith in my weapon-retention abilities.

  76. avatar Stuki Moi says:

    If I’m a nudist, doesn’t bans on open carry violate some of my rights?

    I wonder if there is any overlap at all, between the set of POTG, and the set of nudists…

  77. avatar Guardiano says:

    I live in PA, where permitless open carry is the best-kept secret…from Pennsylvanians. As a transplant from the People’s Republic of New York, I have had to explain to numerous born-and-raised Pennsylvanians that yes, you can open carry without a permit. That being said, I see open carriers every now and again.

    To answer the question, I open carry only when I’m out hiking. Otherwise, I don’t feel the need to draw attention to myself, and my Steyr S40-A1 rides comfortably over my right buttcheek in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

  78. avatar Bruce says:

    I open carry every day. Much more often than concealed. Never any dirty comments (not that I would care), the occasional look of shock (not that I would care), and many times some questions about what I’m carrying and sometimes good conversations. I’ll conceal when prudent (like at the company Christmas party) but not often.

  79. avatar BB says:

    Nope. Would rather stay concealed. No reason to advertise.

  80. avatar Joel IV says:

    I would periodically carry openly in public if we adopt Constitutional Carry in Texas. I will not get a carry “permit” so I just carry concealed.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Probably not a good idea to say in public that you carry illegally.

  81. avatar BigDaddyNY says:

    I live in northern NY and have an unrestricted pistol permit, which means conceal carry only in NY. Last summer a group of us took a motorcycle trip over to VT and NH. (I also have a NH non resident permit). Having lived in NY all my adult life, it was a bizarre feeling to cross lake champlain on the ferry from NY to VT and when we got to the other side, tuck our shirts in and leave our guns exposed. rode around VT and NH for 5 days. Open carried the whole time. Never did we got one odd look. Even got stopped in a state trooper roadblock. They were more interested in the inspection sticker on our bikes. They never said a word about the guns. Boarding the ferry to come back to NY, shirts out, guns covered. stupid.

    1. avatar Fred Frendly says:

      Ahh, the Peoples Republic of NY. When I left Plattsburgh, Mario Cuomo was the overlord. Now a Cuomo is still the overlord. Nothing much changes in the Adirondacks, the same drunks still wearing the same flannel shirts still sitting at the same spot at Bobbys Big Brother bar, or the Monopole, no doubt.

  82. avatar Neil Parker says:

    As a proud, native Texan, I’m fine with open carry but like many others, I choose not to. I have seen a total of one person openly carrying and he was on a Harley and it is easier to ride OWB vs. IWB.

    Should I need to use it, I want the fact that I have a weapon to be a surprise like many others have commented here. I don’t need to prove a point or exercise my 2nd amendment rights more than I already am.

    I also have to agree with one comment about being situationaly aware when carrying either way. Most folks probably aren’t doing their do-diligence with training and being aware enough to effectively react. I’d like to be 100% wrong but I feel as though I’m not.

  83. avatar Mike Keeney says:

    I OC all the time in Nevada. Never had much of a problem. I started doing it about 7 years ago as an experiment to see if people would call the cops on me, usher their children away or harass me. Truth is, nobody cared about me and my big ol’ 45 on my side. Well that’s not exactly true. Several cops made it a point to make contact with me, to thank me for open carrying my gun.

  84. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    No, I don’t OC, and honestly as shitty as it sounds I probably won’t ever unless it’s the norm.

    It’s for the simple fact that I don’t like extra attention. I know most people probably won’t notice and those that do probably mean me no sort of discord, be it civil or violent. Nevertheless, I prefer to go about my business without anyone else being involved in it unless I want them to be or require them to be.

    All things being equal, I’d prefer to OC. I’d prefer to OC my Beretta 92FS in a nice, custom, button snap leather holster. It’s whole helluva lot comfier than AIWB CC’ing my Shield. I get a gun that fits my hands better, that I am more accurate with, that holds 18+1 rounds and that I quite frankly feel is the best 9mm handgun ever made. Plus it’s not stretching the pant line or digging into my side or stomach.

    But I won’t, because it’s not worth it to me.

    Edit: FWIW I do live in South Texas, as an FYI. I have noticed two people OC’ing in public since 1/1. I’m 100% behind the ability to OC and I laud those who do do it if they’re doing it respectably, I just choose not to.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      You just listed a bunch of reasons why you should OC.

    2. avatar Bruce says:

      Mmmtacos, if you get past the concern of attention and OC more, as other people increasingly do it too, it will become the norm you’d like. The first time I tried it, yeah, I had curiosities how people would react. I got over that to the point it feels completely normal and I feel naked if I’m not carrying. Have yet to have a negative expeience (shocked looks don’t count), have had several good conversations from it, and it has come in useful in possibly diffusing a situation on the street one time simply by having that hip turned toward the person in question (never had to come anywhere near touching it that time – that fact it was OC was, in my estimation, the deterrent). Go for it if it’s available to you. The more you do, the more comfortable you might be.

  85. avatar Reverend1 says:

    I live in Cadiz KY and OC 16/7. Sheriff here says he prefers seeing OC as much as CC.

  86. avatar Charley says:

    I can open carry in my state. I carry concealed because I think open carry attracts too much attention and usually not the kind I want.

  87. avatar justaman says:

    I find no upside to open carry,at least not in the large city I live in. although legal I do not have the time in my day to be constantly harassed by police who will go out of their way to make life very uncomfortable. Concealed works for me. I am not one to make political statements, I just want to keep my self and family safe. Advertising my weapon would only make me a target for robbery as the weapon itself would be plunder enough for a criminal.

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      Police harassment for lawful activity? Where do you live?

      1. avatar Fred Frendly says:

        He obviously lives in one of the 57 states.

  88. avatar Reverend1 says:

    If you’re not ashamed to own it, don’t be ashamed to open carry it.

    Concealed carry: where you HIDE the exercise of your right to carry arms.

  89. avatar Gunr says:

    Why draw attention to yourself? The less other folks know about what you may have on your person, the better!

  90. avatar Ryan says:

    I almost never open carry. The only times that I do are when I’m afield hunting (obviously) and when I’m just too damned tired after a match to care about covering it up.

    I’m of the opinion that a visible gun just makes you the first person the psychopath shoots. Alternatively, the asshole that planned to mug you will just get you from behind. I value the element of surprise when carrying. Then there’s the added hassle of dealing with those uncomfortable with guns;I’d rather not deal with it.

  91. avatar Reverend1 says:

    Mostly all BS. Big babies now days. Pussies hiding their guns.

    If you’re not ashamed to own it, don’t be ashamed to open carry it.

    Concealed carry: where you HIDE the exercise of your right to carry arms.

  92. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yep. Open carry the lever gun on my back while motorcycling to the range. Awesomeness.

  93. avatar NoNeed says:

    I feel zero need to advertise. No stickers on my truck, nothing. Why tip your hand, dumb.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      I like to advertise american awesomeness. It’s awesome to be an american.

  94. avatar Tom S. says:

    I will still conceal carry most of the time but it will be nice to have the option to open carry when I’m hiking in the woods or riding my horse for instance. Maybe even going to the General Store in my small town. But obviously not going to the movies or the mall where Hoplophobes might freak out or where an establishment might ask me to leave if they knew I was carrying. Right now in Florida if you are concealed carrying even if there’s a sign saying no guns you can just ignore it. But if they know you’re carrying and they ask you to leave and then you refuse you can be trespassed

  95. avatar Fred Frendly says:

    Nope. When playing poker, do you hold your cards facing the other players?

    1. Bad analogy. Once you are seated around the poker table, you are in the contest. Condition orange.
      Just going about your daily activities, you are not being challenged constantly. Condition yellow.
      Open carrying is not an invitation to a confrontation. There is no game in progress.
      Aces in the hole may get called. Aces on the table induce a fold.

  96. avatar RogerV says:

    I don’t open carry but the right to protects us from the “no printing” requirements that were in place. While its true that common sense should have prevailed it seems there are just those that keep to the “Letter of the Law” and look for any opportunity to take away our right to carry. I don’t open carry because as others have said I don’t want to be the first target for a bad guy and I don’t want to make people nervous. Just easier on everybody.

  97. avatar Jeannette says:

    Open carry is legal here without permit in Nevada. I have been open carrying for 4 years and I have had no issues. Of course some business have asked me to leave but I’m ok with spending my money at pro 2A establishments. I often get alot of “thank you” and “I feel alot safer seeing you carry”. I also get alot of approval from the local law enforcement here also.

    1. “Of course some business have asked me to leave but I’m ok with spending my money at pro 2A establishments.”

      Good way to flush them out.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        That’s a fact…

  98. avatar Eric says:

    I open carry less than 5% of the time, and I’ve never done so in a store. When I do OC, it has either to do with getting the metal off my skin or exercising my right.

    In the near year since it’s been allowed, I’ve seen no one else do so, and only my postman, a fellow CHL guy, has noticed.

    I understand why people don’t want to OC; I just don’t like them preaching that their logic is sound, when what they really have is a stunning lack of awareness.

    And I concur.

    I’ve never lived in a state with such a high percentage of people oblivious to their surroundings.

    Guns can protect you, but not nearly as much a guns plus vigilance.

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