Question of the Day: Open Carry Etiquette Rules Please


“Clearly, with Texans and their affinity for guns, there is one area sorely lacking when it comes to possession and the carrying of guns,” former Texas State Rep. Carl Parker writes at The Examiner in southeast Texas. “We are in need of the equivalent of Emily Post, a writer on social etiquette … Many of us are certainly in a quandary about protocol and manners when it comes to when, where and how we should wear our weapons or have them on open display.” Help the man out, woudja? 


  1. avatar PeterK says:

    Be respectful and courteous. For most of us this is business as usual. :p

    Obviously some people will make a big deal of you carrying a weapon. Ensure them that it’s not your greatest weapon (that is your mind), and stay civil. Always stay civil.

    1. avatar Joe Liberty says:

      Unless someone asks why you’re carrying a gun.
      Then you get to be snarky…er… uh… “snappy”

  2. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

    Massad Ayoob has written some good articles about open carry. I remember that he suggested that you may want to wear a darker shirt it help hide the pistol, keep it on your strong side so it’s easier to guard, and you may want to carry in the 4:30 position so the pistol is more behind your back then on your side.

    I would suggest: get in the habit of not touching or fondling your firearm while it’s on your hip.

  3. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    Geez, just because OC is new to Texas doesn’t mean Texans are idiots. Emily Post? Really?

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      He isn’t serious, Danny. He starts off couching his article in terms of etiquette, even asking whether dual holsters Old West style would be considered bad form.
      Except, he isn’t actually interested in OC manners. It’s just a foil for his snotty little anti-OC temper tantrum.

      He asks, supposedly seeking guidance, whether it’s OK for a professor just to set his GLOCK on the desk before him as he gives his lecture. Open carry and campus carry are two separate issues. Open carry on campus is illegal, even with a license, even outside of the school special no-guns carve out zones.

      He goes on to ask “In view of the fact that it is now lawful in Texas to openly display your weapons, would it be OK when encountering a rude driver to simply pull out your .44 Magnum and waive it out the window rather than giving the traditional sign of protest concerning rude behavior on the parkway?” Uh…no, that’s called assault with a deadly weapon, and has nothing to do with licensed open carry.

      This guy’s held a law license for nearly six decades. He served in the Texas state House and Senate for over three decades. He knows all this. One doesn’t need an etiquette guide to navigate the scenarios he’s described. You only need the Texas Penal Code.

      But, hey, if he still needs a behavioral guide, how about the DBAD Rule? Too bad he’s already broken it.

      1. avatar Rambeast says:

        “It’s just a foil for his snotty little anti-OC temper tantrum.”

        Nailed it.

      2. avatar mark s. says:

        Very well said , I have nothing to add , simple and concisely put .
        If I lived in Texas , and my youngest daughter does , I would be happy to see a young lady like the one in this photo , in my classroom / restaurant / store / apartment / house / garage / or bedroom .
        If I was single .
        Something very appealing about this to me , but I am a 57 year old man .

  4. avatar Aaron says:

    took me a minute to notice she was open carrying a gun!

    1. avatar Dave says:

      What gun?

    2. avatar Ditto says:

      Yeah, it took me awhile to see it. But when I did, I noticed that the young lady in the picture needs either a sturdier belt or a smaller gun. If she walks around long enough like that her shorts are gonna fall off. 🙂

      1. avatar McCann says:

        You will not ruin this for me.

      2. avatar alanstorm says:

        “If she walks around long enough like that her shorts are gonna fall off.”
        Not seeing the problem here.

      3. You say this like it’s a BAD thing.

      4. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Off? Oh, darn! What would become of her panties?

        1. avatar Dustin says:

          Who uses those anymore?

      5. avatar Roymond says:

        Anyone make a holster for a thong?

  5. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Former Representative Parker is a tool…

    “…. For example, I am certain college professors would like to know whether or not it would be proper gun etiquette when teaching their class to place their Glock in open sight on the desk as they begin their lecture. ”

    Idiot. Placing your glock on your desk no longer qualifies as ‘carry.’

    I think I am understanding why there is a “Former” in his honorific.

    1. avatar Five says:

      Not to mention, Open Carry won’t be allowed on college campus, only concealed carry. So a professor that pulls out their Glock in class would be in violation of the law, unless there was a legally justifiable reason for the threat of deadly force (or use of deadly force should he fire it).

    2. avatar PeterK says:

      Ha! Here’s another gem:

      “Sadly, though, I fear this idea of mine will go the way of several of my other ideas such as offering CAT-scan services in connection with gaining access to airplanes so that you could look out for your medical problems at the same time you are enduring security checks to get on an airplane.

      Yes. I would say both of these things have equal merit. :p

  6. avatar ThomasR says:

    Much ado about nothing.

    After OC’ing for about eight years, (much if it in down town Albuquerque,) I can say that 99% of citizens and police have just accepted an, OC weapon with a calm acceptance.

    Who would have thunk it?

  7. avatar pwrserge says:

    There are really only two rules.

    1. Keep the weapon holstered.
    2. Failing #1, Keep your finger off the bang switch.

    Nobody cares what or how you carry. A gun can be a fashion statement, but like a good watch, it’s supposed to be subtle. Drawing attention to your firearm is about as obnoxious as drawing attention to your Tissot or Rolex. OTOH, a subtle and classy shoulder holster goes very nicely with a trendy suit or sports jacket. A nice moderately blinged out firearm (like a Legion P229 or a Wilson Combat 1911) will add a bit of class to the outfit. (Oh, and if you can afford a $3000 suit, you can afford a $100 shoulder holster and pretty gun to go with it.)

    Sadly, I don’t have the option to open carry except at home which limits me to the previously demonstrated PPK/S in an IWB holster. Hopefully, the more states allow open carry, the more the people’s Komisariat can be persuaded to allow the practice. If there are no problems with it in Dallas or Houston, it would be hard for the Chiraq people’s congress to continue opposing the practice in the rest of the state.

    1. avatar Max says:

      >”Nobody cares what or how you carry”

      Sure… as long as you don’t care about advancing the cause of nationwide normalization of OC… because rolling around in all-back tactical gear in the middle of a downtown shopping area (while legal it may be) gives the anit-gun groups more ammunition to sway those undecided about guns.

      Too many “OC-at-all-costs/wannabe tough-guys” are heading out wearing tactiCOOL gear trying to look tough and get involved in arguments so that they can feel righteous and strong. But in doing so, they look like fools and idiots to many as they aren’t dressed in “normal” clothing (the kind of things that people wear on a daily basis).

      If your goal is to be an IRL-internet-badass, then you don’t care about how you look (or what harm you are doing to the larger cause) because you are too busy “winning the battle and losing the war”.

      If your goal is to normalize OC/CC and want to “win the battle and the war”, then you dress in regular clothing, carry a handgun, shave (tactical beards don’t make you look tough or more manly), and otherwise carry out your day in a “I’m doing all sorts of normal stuff and I happen to have a pistol with me” manor; the firearm should be more of an accessory and not a part of your clothing or used to project how you identify as an IRL-internet-tough-guy.

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        Way to completely miss my point. The “tacti-cool” crowd did a lot of good by bringing attention to the issue. How many years has open carry been pushed in Texas? Why didn’t it sail through when Bush was governor? What changed?

        I’ll answer the question for you. A lot more people were made aware of the issue by the actions of a few guys pointing out the sheer absurdity of the law. If the Texas gun community had persisted in using your tactics, you’d still be ranting about how you’d ge OC passed “next session”.

        Never underestimate the power of obnoxious political activism. Another pointed example is the “Gay Pride” movement. How far did they get before you had gigantic parades down Main Street with 300lb Bears in mankinis?

      2. avatar Charles Ray says:

        Wow, I didn’t realize my beard was “tactical”. I just thought it was a beard. I also didn’t realize I had to follow your orders and shave. Oh, wait, I don’t.

        1. avatar C.Rogers says:

          ….shall not be infringed unless you go too long without shaving or wear cargo pants.

      3. avatar Robert Alexander says:

        I agree. We must win the battle and win the war first. Let’s get some priorities.

    2. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

      3. Get a good quality GUN belt, not a regular dress or casual belt.
      4. Get a good quality holster with retention level of your choosing.
      5. Wear whatever you are comfortable wearing, it will show if you are uncomfortable.
      6. Don’t have your hand on the gun unless you need to draw in self defense.
      7. Be civil, there are a lot of jackasses out there, don’t be one of them.

    3. avatar William Burke says:

      She’s dressed for a Texas Barbecue. “Don’t expose your private parts around children” is about the only relvant rule.

      I mean, does it look as if she’s going to a Hillary Clinton speech?

  8. avatar mike says:

    Never unholster for a curious stranger.

  9. avatar Jay In Florida says:

    Now if your all saying I should leave my polished nickel plate gold trigger and hammered 1911 at home?? I’d agree with you but. It sure looks good when whore with a nice suit.

    1. avatar Bob Wall says:

      “Whore”? Pimp, maybe… 🙂

    2. avatar Five says:

      “whore with a nice suit.”
      Freudian slip?

    3. avatar binder says:

      Hay, everyone calls my high polish CZ75 the pimp gun. But you have to love it when they break out the sunglasses when I’m on the line

      But the gold with the chrome is a bit tacky unless you have the mother of grips.

    4. avatar Jay in Florida says:

      When wore/ worn not whore LOL. Sorry i wont let me edit.

  10. avatar Spaceman Brown says:

    Carry handguns in a quality retention holster, carry long guns on a quality sling, train extensively to retain both. Don’t be an asshole, don’t finger-fuck your gun. This isn’t rocket surgery.

  11. avatar defensor fortismo says:

    Etiquette? How about the matthis schoo of thought? Be polite, be professional, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    1. avatar Joelt1 says:

      You beat me to it…

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    An Emily Post for gun etiquette? Geez, the whole damn country has turned into a national hen party.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Geez, the whole damn country has turned into a national hen party.”

      Make that:

      Geez, the whole damn country has turned into a national hen-pecked party.


  13. avatar Phil LA says:

    I would buy her dinner and open the doors.

  14. avatar CJ Minnesota says:

    My favorite quote:

    “My question for the gun-behavior adviser and expert now concerns behavior while driving in Houston. Currently, when a rude driver almost hits you, cuts you off or races in front of you, the best you can do is a one-finger salute. In view of the fact that it is now lawful in Texas to openly display your weapons, would it be OK when encountering a rude driver to simply pull out your .44 Magnum and waive it out the window rather than giving the traditional sign of protest concerning rude behavior on the parkway?”

    Really? This is someone who practices law AND was involved in the law making process? This person is an idiot.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Actually, we call it “projection”. That moron assumes that everyone else is as unhinged as he is and that is why (somewhat rationally I might add) he opposes armed people in public.

  15. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:

    Here’s a tip for the OFWG’s ( I are one , BTW) — do not open carry while wearing a tank-top and Daisy Dukes.

    1. avatar Ian says:

      Unless you are posing for your “The People of Walmart” photo shoot.

      1. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:


  16. avatar Joe R. says:

    “Open carry etiquette rules please . . .”

    OPEN CARRY RULES!!! there fixed ya

    go with Safariland drop-leg on padded combat belt everywhere until people finally give up and stop b_tching like little girls.

  17. avatar Ditto says:

    Is there a gun in that picture?

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      My college ROTC friends would note the “stand-out frontal battery”.

      And yes, there’s a gun, too.

  18. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    My advice: carry anywhere, any time you want. Be respectful, polite, and friendly — just like you would be if you were not carrying an openly visible handgun.

    Oh, and please, if at all practical/feasible, purchase and use a retention holster when carrying an openly visible handgun.

    Carry on.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      If you see a threat in THAT, you have been brought up by sheltered imbeciles with a distorted sense of social graces. Wise up or die off, because you are modern-day dinosaurs.

      And you know what happened to the dinosaurs.

  19. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You should always wear a baseball cap, snug fitting tank top, short low ride denim shorts, carry a Gadsden flag and proudly display your full size Ruger pistol on your hip. And God bless America, where else could you see that?

  20. avatar Enuz says:

    Don’t open carry with a shoulder rig. I know, it serves those bastards behind you in line right for riding up your ass, but the entire reason to put up with the crossdraw and horrific barrel-position of em is to make it easier to conceal. You drop that, and you’re just making a bad decision.

  21. avatar DanDelaware says:

    I thought it was funny. Snarky, but funny.

  22. Gun? There’s a gun involved here?

  23. avatar Ted Unlis says:

    Once the new wears off, most folks who carried a concealed handgun for self defense before 1-1-16 and opt to test the waters of open carry in Texas will tire of the “you’re a [email protected]$$” looks from friends, neighbors, and other folks in their community which will be enough of a nudge for them to regain their common sense and revert back to concealed carry.

    While there are limited circumstances and situations where open carry might be appropriate, mostly it’s just plain old dumb to carry an exposed handgun for defensive purposes. Of course the open carry obsessed afflicted with chronic [email protected]$$ are probably immune to “you’re a [email protected]$$” stares and will more likely revel in their new means to be the center of attention.

    So, to beat on this dead horse one more time; there’s always been a small percentage of folks that carry handguns who are hopeless [email protected]$$es, they’ve been armed in our midst all along, we just couldn’t see them, but starting on New Years Day here in Texas, open carry will make them easy to spot.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email