Previous Post
Next Post

New Mexico History Museum main foyer (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

I was at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe yesterday, open carrying my Wilson Combat X-TAC 1911. The moment my daughter and I walked in we immediately ran into trouble. She was sipping on a fresh watermelon juice; verboten libation in the surgically clean minimalist museum. A friendly lady of a certain age sold us tickets, described the exhibits and advised Lola to put her drink in a locker. As we approached the designated drink storage space a security guard sitting by the door began whispering into his headset cord. Uh-oh . . .

We headed back to the main museum, looking forward to exploring New Mexico’s vibrant culture and violent history. Another security guard stopped us.

“Excuse me sir,” he said. “Do you mind stepping over here for a moment?”

A Terry stop in a museum. Great.

“My name is [redacted]. I’m the Sergeant here.”

Who knew museum guards had ranks? I felt like saluting. But I didn’t. I introduced myself, shaking his hand.

“I see you’re carrying a gun. May I ask why?”

A part me wanted to say, no, you may not ask. My decision to exercise my natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is no more your business than it’s my business why you aren’t carrying a firearm.

“I checked the doors as I came in,” I said, operating under the assumption that discretion (i.e., ignoring his question) was the better part of valor. “I didn’t see a ‘no guns’  sign. Are firearms prohibited here?”

“I’m not sure,” he answered. “I’ve called my boss. Do you mind waiting over here for a few minutes?”

Lola rolled her eyes.

“Look,” I said. “How about I put my shirt over my gun? Would that be OK?”

Anyone remember the Star Trek episode The Changeling? Aliens reprogram a deep space probe called NOMAD to sterilize imperfection. Nomad mistakes Captain Kirk for its creator. Kirk instructs Nomad to sterilize itself. The logic loop kills the thing.

The same process afflicted the perplexed security guard. Open carry is bad! Concealed carry is OK. An open carrier who then conceals is bad! Or is he OK? Or is he bad? The Sergeant at arms somehow found the nerve/common sense/courage to send us on our way. Judging from our subsequent escorts, he instructed his team to shadow us from a distance and, presumably, monitor us on closed circuit TV.

Looking back, I could have refused to identify myself to the Museum guard. I could have retrieved my iPhone and videoed the encounter. I could have “schooled” the security guard on my gun rights (i.e., take your “why” and shove it). I could have chosen not to cover my firearm. But I decided to walk a gentler path. Did I do the right thing? I’m not sure.

As far as the museum staff was concerned, a cleanly dressed open carrier came into the museum, paid his money, respected the staff, compromised on his carry method, toured the exhibits and went away without tsuris. The next time an open carrier enters the Museum, maybe they’ll leave him or her alone.

Maybe not. Maybe I set a precedent whereby the Museum’s security guards will ask open carriers to cover their weapons, which they are not legally obliged to do. Which could, in fact, lead the gun owner to break the law. [You can open carry in NM without a license; concealed carry requires a license.]

I fully understand and appreciate open carriers who push the outside of the envelope. I reckon Jim Cooley did the gun rights movement a favor when he carried an AR-style rifle into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Gun muggles got the vapors, of course. But nothing happened. No one was harmed in the making of his political point. That lesson will sink in, eventually.

At the same time, open carriers who dress well, speak and act politely and yes, compromise on their right to remain anonymous and/or silent are making headway. They educate nervous fence sitters, proving by example that “regular” people carry guns openly. Which fundamentally alters the gun rights perspective of these initially antagonistic Americans.

It’s not either or. It’s both “aggressive” open carry and “civil” open carry. Which is how I rolled in the Land of Enchantment. And how I’m going to roll in Austin when open carry arrives in the New Year. That said, I face a constant problem with open carry: almost everyone mistakes me for a cop. They don’t believe me when I say no M’am I’m just another armed American. But it’s true. And, hopefully, increasingly common.

Previous Post
Next Post


    • Exactly. Or not.

      Here’s the key point, the guard did not know what the policy was. Which means the museum may simply not have a policy, and so will now do some due diligence about their rights and obligations under the law.

      The carrier going middle ground and covering his weapon was a fine compromise, assuming he’s open carrying to, you know, open carry, rather than running around trying to make a political statement.

      Perhaps there will be signs up next time, but ideally the management will have looked in to the issue, and trained the staff appropriately either way. If there are no signs up, it’s a conscious choice of the museum. In the end, they will learn that while they may be able to ask someone to “cover up”, if they allow them at all, the carrier will not be obliged to comply.

      Seems like civil discourse and a good outcome overall to me, just a matter of how it plays out in the future.

  1. In NY no one thinks to ban guns because so few carry them…..Not desirable obviously, but it’s always interesting to look out at the pro gun states and all the minutiae they Go through.

    • It was similar in Ohio prior to licensing law. Many of us carried concealed, relying on a “prudent man defense” if ever charged. I never had any problems with police over me being armed since prosecutors didn’t seem interested in carrying a concealed handgun as a primary charge and I wasn’t otherwise committing a crime. Since licensing law, we saw many gun buster signs go up. Still, I prefer it the way it is now because there is less ambiguity under the law for those choosing to go armed. I prefer open carry these days and would rather a location post if they intend to deprive me the exercise of my right to bear arms. It will be great if the proposed constitutional carry legislation makes it into Ohio law this session and then our carry laws will be similar to Arizona’s. On a good note, I’ve been noticing more anti-gun signs disappearing in my AO, not nearly to pre-2005 levels but it is getting there.

    • There’s a ‘no concealed weapons’ sign on the front door of the Time Warner Cable store on W 26th st in Manhattan, bummer for all 0 people with the mystical NYC carry permit…

      • The only one I’ve seen in NYC was in the window of the US Army recruitment office (part of the Armed Forces Recruitment Center near Junior’s in Brooklyn). The last place you’d think would be disarmed. They should start calling them the Disarmed Forces, especially in states where civilians can carry, but not those in military uniform.

        • Its a common rule with all military bases stateside. No guns allowed for everybody. Why do you think Ft. Hood was shot up TWICE.

    • Ya but, should the need arise, feel free to cover them while they kill their own kids and then themselves so that they don’t have the ignominy and possible great inhumanity in the way their attacker might do it.

  2. I’ve gotten discounts at fast food restaurants because the cashier mistook me for a law enforcement agent. Plaid button-up shirt, tucked into tactipants, combat boots, Safariland holster (that was before I started making my own Kydex).

    Every time, I’ve said “No, I’m not in law enforcement. This is just how I carry.”

    • Sun Tzu decidedly did not mean backing down and allowing your adversary power over you and your objective. Not at all. He meant be so powerful and prepared that you opponent chooses to back down out of fear of the outcome. Go read him again since you missed the point on that: your interpretation doesn’t fit his entire body of work so your interpretation must be wrong.

      As for Robert…
      “The next time an open carrier enters the Museum, maybe they’ll leave him or her alone.”
      Not likely, more likely they’ll be putting up “no guns” signs any day now.

      Not to castigate you since you had the wife and child along and civil was indeed the right approach by you (pick your battles on terrain and time), but you only heightened their fear: they went from Jeff Cooper’s Code White to Code Red in 60 seconds.
      They have failed to grasp that criminals carry concealed in front of security guards. Or shoot them right off.
      And you did nothing (not that you could really) to disabuse them of that foolish notion.
      At best it was a draw but they prevailed in prohibiting a legal activity with no posted prohibition (not that that is legal for them to do or not: I don’t know). And made you a lawbreaker for concealing without a permit.
      On the plus side though, you provided some excitement and action to what is usually a very boring job (except at a Prophet Mohammed Cartoon Contest).

      • My point was that Robert prevailed without the need to aggressively assert his rights, potentially causing the guard to make a scene. I wouldn’t say that Robert submitted to the guard, more like he out witted him.

        Robert wasn’t out to prove a point about his 2A rights. He was was spending a peaceful day with his daughter. He wasn’t trying to win the entire war that day, just that particular battle.

        I’d say he won.

        • Yeah, I’d like to have seen that guard’s face right at the moment of brain lock.


  3. I used to open carry in Ann Arbor, liberal bastion of Michigan. People always assumed I was a cop.

    • Dirk,

      We need a really nice looking oxford shirt that we can wear while carrying openly in liberal bastions like that. And the shirt has to say something like

      I am NOT a
      police officer.
      I am prepared.

  4. Re the legal point of perhaps “forcing” someone to break the law by asking an unlicensed OCer to cover his or her gun. I’m guessing that a property owner in NM can carry any way he likes on his own property or on property under his control. And that the property owner or person in control can give permission to guests to do so too. So my take would be that the person in control of the property has give me, an unlicensed OCer, permission to carry concealed and I am thus within the law. Anyone from NM know if my “guesses” re the perogatives of property owners are correct?

    • I’m living in New Mexico. From what I understand, A private property owner can allow or not for carrying a weapon, and how it’s carried. But once you leave the property, you have to follow the state law.

      • Thanks–That’s the way it is in Texas, I know. I would ordinarily assume that such would be pretty universally recognized as a property right–but with state governments like NJ and Cali in play, I wouldn’t make that assumption now.

  5. I had LAPD and TSA adamant that I MUST be some sort of LEO, when they found a mag full of 9mm in my carry on. Excitement ensued. I was wearing tactical looking clothing, and showed them concealed carry permits from three states, an NRA instructors card, and other ID. They took the ammo, and the LAPD officer walked me to the baggage check and back through TSA so I could deposit my empty mag in my suitcase (he actually said that he had no problem with me carrying an empty mag, but the TSA idiots needed him to DO something, since he wasn’t planning to detain me.)

    On the walk back, the officer continued with the line of question – “Okay, tell me now, who do you REALLY work for?” I’d already told them several times I’m a geologist – but they were almost insistent that I must work for some alphabet agency. Finally, I just told the LAPD guy, “I’m sorry, I’m really not supposed to talk about it.” Which perfectly satisfied him. Crazy…..

  6. Hey Robert. Post Welcome to New Mexico.

    The problem is Santa Fe. A liberal/progressive blight on the face of New Mexico.

    If you had carried in Albuquerque, you probably would not have had a problem. Although I haven’t tried OC’ing in the museum here in town. I’ll try it next week, if not posted, and give an update.

    Should you have a more hard core rights advocate? Each person has to make that decision at the time, one response doesn’t fit all circumstances,especially when you have children along.

    But in the end, you weren’t asked to give up the gun or to leave the building, you weren’t arrested and you weren’t shot, it’s all good.

    • New Mexico, like Texas, is a little weird about guns, but in the opposite way from Texas: Loose laws, hoplophobic hippies. So while it is perfectly legal to OC in NM, you will get people freaking out weekly, if not daily. I started OCing in the Las Cruces Walmart and paper signs were taped to the doors that week, which I promptly removed myself (If you’re reading this, GM of Wal Mart off Lohman, you found your man). They stopped putting them up and got over it eventually.

      • I OC in NM every week, never a negative comment. I make a point to look non-cop-py while looking as non-aggressive as possible. Super hero or name brand printed t-shirts, hair combed, clean sneakers, hand in hand with my wife or my 2 year old depending on the situation. No tac pants, no combat boots, no NRA cap. Oh, and OC in a Wal-Mart (or any place) that sells alcohol is illegal in NM, so the Lohman manager was perhaps just doing his best to not have someone call the cops on your felony OCing ; )

        • Only if you do not have a permit. Permitted people can carry any way anywhere except for bars and places that serve hard liquor on premises.

        • You may conceal carry your firearm, with a permit, in a Wal-Mart or for example or the Texas Roadhouse across the street on Lohman. You still may not open carry, permitted or not, if alcohol is sold on location. I suspect the western and hunting culture in NM is what has saved you from a visit from the boys in blue to this point. Don’t go on hearsay, look it up for yourself. has a handy PDF with quotes and links to the pertinent laws.

        • “Open Carry is legal and common in New Mexico. Places as listed in the “Places Off Limits” above apply to
          those who open carry. See the “RV/Car Carry Without a Permit” section for carrying in a vehicle.
          30-7-3 of the New Mexico Code states only a person with a valid Concealed Firearms License can carry into
          any establishment that dispenses alcohol. So Open Carry would be prohibited into any place that sells any
          alcohol for consumption off the premises without a valid license. This would be any store that sells alcohol
          like Wal-Mart etc.”
          (emphasis mine)

        • “30-7-3. Unlawful Carrying Of a Firearm in Licensed Liquor Establishments. (Restaurant Carry Legal)

          A. Unlawful carrying of a firearm in an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages consists of
          carrying a loaded or unloaded firearm on any premises licensed by the regulation and licensing department
          for the dispensing of alcoholic beverages EXCEPT:

          (4) by a person carrying a CONCEALED HANDGUN who is in possession of a valid concealed handgun license for that gun pursuant to the Concealed Handgun Carry Act on the premises of:
          (a) a licensed establishment that does not sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises; or
          (b) a restaurant licensed to sell only beer and wine that derives no less than sixty percent of its annual gross receipts from the sale of food for consumption on the premises, unless the restaurant has a sign posted, in a conspicuous location at each public entrance, prohibiting the carrying of firearms, or the person is verbally instructed by the owner or manager that the carrying of a firearm is not permitted in the restaurant;

          B. Whoever commits unlawful carrying of a firearm in an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages is guilty of a fourth degree felony. The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2010.”

          All caps added by me. Just trying to help you out here man, not gonna argue it anymore. It’s absolutely a felony to carry a firearm into any establishment that sells alcohol. The legal EXCEPTION is a concealed firearm, with a CHL, where alcohol is not meant to be consumed on premises (Wal-Mart) or restaurants with no hard liquor and 60% and more food sales.

          You can do what you’d like of course, just trying to make you aware of the consequences. GL and stay safe down there.

        • June 8th, this past Monday I stopped by the Lohman Walmart around 1 am, out front were two LCPD officers (car #827 was one). I had already stowed my weapon in my vehicle but for the hell of it asked what the policy was on open carry there (seeing as apparently everyone says its illegal by statute where alcohol is dispensed). Both officers said “We have no problem with it”.

          Inside I asked the female security guard the same question, “It’s perfectly legal” was the response I recieved. She had approached me looking for a LEO (I stopped by to do some shopping), had to do the whole “No I’m not a cop and I can’t help you with that shoplifter, but the guys you called are out front” thing.

          New Mexico carry laws are a complete mess in my opinion, I completely believe 30-7-3 is the rule currently. The amount of disinformation is amazing.

      • Interesting Vhryus. I’ve OC’d for over 8 years in down town Albuquerque, in the Frontier across from the University, in The Wal-marts that don’t sell alcohol, most places that aren’t posted.

        Nary a query from the cops and most citizens don’t even notice I’m OC’ing and those that do just go on about their business.

        But even before I started OC’ing, when I was CC’ing, most people figured I was an off duty cop or a soldier in regular clothes. And I usually just wear Levi’s, boots and a plaid shirt or business casual. Now, if anyone does makes a comment about me OC’ing, they’ll just say, “off duty cop/soldier?” as a statement/question. (I guess I just have a military bearing).

        • Maybe it’s different up there. In Cruces I had people practically running to get out of the way when I did it at Walmart. We had SWAT called on a guy who’s crime was Ocing with his shirt off downtown. I had a guy run up to me, of all people, frantic cause there was a guy with a pistol in a holster outside the big 5. “He might shoot everyone!”

        • Vhyrus,

          Your experience

          I had a guy run up to me, of all people, frantic cause there was a guy with a pistol in a holster outside the big 5. “He might shoot everyone!”

          sounds like a great reason to carry openly — to simply desensitize people.

    • I’ve open carried in that exact museum before and have never had an issue. But it wasn’t at high tourist time either. I’ll be checking next week to see if the out a prohibited sign up but I seriously doubt it.

  7. “I see you’re carrying a gun. May I ask why?”

    “Because it gets tired when I make it walk.”

  8. The best advice I can offer open carriers when talking to anyone is be an ambassador of good will. You talk to everyone like they are your best friend, your grandma your favorite teacher etc. Be an ambassador.

    I rarely open carry. I don’t want to be noticed and talk to some jerkoff about my gun. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I want to be invisible, not the guy with the hand cannon hanging on his belt.

    Here in the Pacific Northwest (Washington State) much of the year it is coat or light jacket weather. I prefer to IWB appendix carry. With a light coat unzipped, my weapon is virtually concealed and is extremely quick to access. During the summer, like today which is supposed to be 90°, a light shirt untucked is just the thing.

  9. Wanna know what probably was a factor in this encounter?

    Lola rolling her eyes. It’s the ultimate sign of female dismissal.

  10. RF, you acted as an ambassador for gun rights without going Full Embody. Nice job!

    The one time I OCd on the Strip in Las Vegas (I also have a NV CC license), I was stopped by a Metro officer and had a nice, brief and friendly conversation. I think it did some good.

    As far as mall security is concerned, they may only be pseudo-cops but they’re still people. Let them see what a good guy with a gun looks like.

  11. If Robert Farago said that this happened to him, it probably happened to someone else. That said, when you “push the envelope” for no real reason other than to pick a public fight and label yourself a hero, don’t be surprised when the envelope pushes back on everybody else. Sometimes it’s best not to be a douche. Of course, we’re talking Farago here, he of the “drop trousers at the NRA convention” mentality, so that advice is probably wasted.

  12. Why lick boots, because you don’t want to be impolite to people who should be fired from their jobs?

    Yes, I get the good ambassador part, but not to people who are actively engaged in screwing with my rights. Best example I can come up with is a fellow who OC’s everywhere, and whenever buying anything, leaves $5 with the cashier towards the purchase of the person behind him in line. That’s being a good ambassador.

    Obscene action by law violating cops and wannabe rent a cops should be obscenely denounced, on the spot. As in “get the Hell away from me, you cocksucking douchebag!”.

    • Oops, accidentally closed the page and lost the edit function.
      If RF’s case, of somebody who admitted he didn’t know the rules but wanted to inconvenience and detain RF until somebody told him the rules, just bid him farewell, and wish him luck in finding out what the laws and rules are.

    • He had his daughter with him. A fathers first duty is to protect his kids. Not drag them into a potential confrontation that can be easily avoided.

  13. Should have just warn a Taos ski shirt and a magic crystal around your neck wrapped in hemp and no problemo!

  14. As a 23+ year concealed carry licensee, I enjoy reading the thoughts and opinions on open carry on TTAG. But I need to ask one question: Why would you want anyone to see that you’re armed?

    • From reading these forums for a while now I think that some OC folks think that OCing will press the issue and they like to let people know what their rights are and to respect those rights. Personally, I think it does more harm than good. But everyone has a right to their own opinion. I also imagine that in some of the hotter climates CC is difficult and OC is much easier if you want to carry your weapon with you everywhere.

      • If I go to the range I usually have a 9mm in an owb holster. If the weathers the usual for Missouri, it’s very warm so I usually have on a t-shirt. When I finish at the range I usually have a couple of stops to make, so I’m open carrying. Not trying to make a point, not trying to get comments, just trying to do my errands and get home and obeying the law. If I’m going into town for what ever reason, I usually have a shirt or jacket over the owb holster, so it’s sorta hidden but not all the time. Still obeying the law, but not trying to cause a problem. If the police want to stop and talk to me, that’s fine, and we may talk about their gun more than mine.

    • Pros:
      Genuine smile/handshake + holstered gun = good representation
      May be a deterrent (anecdotal evidence)
      Larger gun
      Speed of draw

      MAY attract unwanted criminal attention (anecdotal evidence)
      May attract unwanted police attention
      Gives away element of surprise

      I’d accept the cons for even just the #1 pro. The others are just gravy in my opinion.

      • Much more comfortable as well. And, as the police love to say, if you’ve done nothing wrong you have no reason to hide.

      • I don’t get the loss of the element of surprise factor as a con. When I think of surprise, I think of action overtaking inaction, of the moving dominating the stationary, of the situation suddenly shifting from nothing to something happening. The advantage stems from springing that transition on an unsuspecting other.

        In a DGU, the attacker had the element of surprise. Once the attack is on, it’s on. There’s no real additional transition to take place, so ehay surprise remains? That you have a firearm? There’s no value in that surprise at that late stage, because you’re not imposing action on his inaction, since he’s already acting. If anything, the surprise is that he has miscalculated the situation, for having expected an easy target. Ok, technically, that may be surprising to him, but it’s a paltry surprise that conveys no marginal benefit to the defender. (Having the gun conveys a benefit, to be sure, but that same benefit already comes from CC, too. The “surprise” adds nothing.)

        If anything, for a defender, going CC instead OC, forfeits not some fictitious element of surprise, but rather a very real deterrent effect.

        • Excellent rebuttal of the nonsensical ‘lost element of surprise’ meme.


    • I am not one of those who prctice open carry, nor am I an advocate of it but let me give it a shot:

      1. Because of convenience in accessing said arm
      2. Because there are many states/ organizations/ groups of people who believe it is acceptable to infringe on a person’s right to keep and bear arms
      3. Because you don’t make a statement if you keep sitting at THE BACK of the bus
      and finally my favorite
      4. Because you can

      • Adding to philthegardner’s post:

        5. Because people carried openly for thousands of years before some people decided that it wasn’t a good idea to carry weapons at all. And only begrudgingly allowed concealed carry in the last few decades. Vermont has had carry openly or concealed for 16 yr. olds and above since the country was founded. There doesn’t seem to be any murder/death/kill problem there.

    • Why would I want anyone to see that I am armed? So they will figure I am not the easy target they thought I was and move on. Why would I open-carry, regardless of whether anyone sees me or not? Purely on a personal level (that is, aside from “political statements’ and “conditioning society to accept guns as normal” type concerns): Bigger range of practical carry options, faster access to the weapon. There are good reasons for opting for concealed carry too. It’s all a matter of trade-offs.

    • Why do I OC? Because in NM, I can OC without a permit. So I can beg permission from the state to practice a privilege, or I could go old school, (in the old days, OC was considered the only honorable way to carry a weapon in most places, only a criminal would carry concealed) and carry my weapon as a right, without the need of a permission slip from the state.

      Now, even if we went Constitutional Carry, I would still OC. It’s my public statement to my fellow citizens that I will place my life on the line to protect my people from harm from predators, human or animal.

      • Aye. There would be several reasons for me to continue open carrying even after Ohio returns to constitutional carry; desensitization, deterrence, convenience, etc. Many of us carried concealed in the years before a license was required in Ohio and it seemed like the legislature and public forgot how many of us were armed each and every day. I intend to not let out-of-sight-out-of-mind to be a problem again for Ohio.

        Right now in Ohio there are some places that one will get in trouble for carrying concealed but open carry is just fine. Since there is nothing in the law that requires a handgun to be concealed when carrying under a license then it stands to reason that one would be legally safer to open carry. In those places that require a license to carry, one is still considered legal if they have a valid license even if the handgun is in the open. CHL + OC = the most places one can bear arms in Ohio. OC alone and CC alone reduces that number.

    • @ Rob McManness
      I’m with you. Having a CWP for 37 years, licensed in AZ and WA, I see very little reason to open carry.
      Here’s another personal reason and it’s based off observation. In my opinion, NOT ALL, but many of the OC folks I have ever encountered, came off like douche bags. They are like guys who drive a screaming red Corvette. I know two people who drive screaming red Corvettes and they are both galactic douche bags.
      Both of these guys seem to have an insecurity / inferiority complex that can be measured on a Richter scale.

      So many times I have encountered people in public who are open carrying, but their demeanor is one of who has a stick up their ass. They are the ones you don’t strike up a conversation with. Like the guy next to you on an airline who says one word the entire flight and that was “NO”

      I’m outgoing and approachable and it’s my belief that OCing has too much of a negative stigma to it. I might as well be dressed up like a Mormon Missionary. I could be Elder Mark and wonder “why do people treat me like I have the Parvovirus?” Nobody wants to talk to meeeeeeeeee!

      • In Ohio, open carry is the exercise of the right to bear arms whereas licensed concealed carry is the exercise of a government privilege. Preferring to exercise the right over a privilege is one of the main reasons that I open carry everyday.

      • “Here’s another personal reason and it’s based off observation. In my opinion, NOT ALL, but many of the OC folks I have ever encountered, came off like douche bags. “

        That statement screams of confirmation bias. You stated above that you are, essentially, anti-OC. So, of course you are going to see the select cases that confirm your bias and give them more weight.

        Maybe you just are not noticing the OC folks that are not acting like red Vette driving douches. You have to acknowledge that that is at least possible.

  15. In Texas you can be given verbal notice by a property owner or someone acting on his/her behalf – so even though there weren’t signs posted, had you been in TX you still could have been verbally asked to leave. Additionally, as you were likely not dealing with law enforcement but with private security, you don’t have any of the “none of your business” protections and going that route could have started you down a path with a less desirable outcome. I think you did the right thing.

    Again, the above is based on TX CHL law, so YMMV.

  16. Anti open carry pro guns activists would say you don’t need a gun in the museum! You are an attention-whore, etc. I’d you feel that scared at the museum you shouldn’t have even gone there. Thank god you didn’t carry a long gun!

  17. Maybe, just maybe, after your non hysterical encounter with the museum gaurd he took the time to do a little research and find out that you were, indeed, within your rights to oc. Maybe, just maybe, you opened the eyes of one more person.

    Curious to know if the museum gaurd was armed? Or was he confronting an armed individual with nothing more than a whistle and a cell phone?

    Also, for all you non vets out there. Saluting a sargeant is not a good thing.

    • Saluting a sargeant is not a good thing.

      He works for a living.

      Though who knows how it works when it’s a police sergeant.

    • That’s actually a good point. After my daughters explained to me that they were rolling their eyes at the sheer stupidity of anyone being bothered at just the sight of someone bearing arms in a free society, the eye rolls made me proud. My children, other family members, and good friends told me to never hide my firearm or not bear arms unless I choose. Some pointed out that they, for a variety of reasons, didn’t want the hassle and were happy that I was doing so, as they saw it, in their stead. Now more of those same people open carry their own firearms.

  18. RF went looking for a confrontation, and **surprise** he found one. Including carping about his kid carrying a drink. Let her spill that drink on a classic original Remington painting, or whatever else might be there.

    OC should be for pro-2A rallies, otherwise you’re just a target for all kinds of awful, including a round to the back or a few nights in jail. If you are serious about your own safety, you carry concealed. If you want to be a target or if you crave attention, you’ll carry open.

    • Robert was a one man pro-2A rally that day – only because you and me weren’t there to join him. Shame on us.

      • B**lsh*it. He was being a one-man poke-em-in-the-chest faux-badass looking for trouble, and this was an excuse to write this story to keep this blog going.

        You wanna piss off the progs, do it in numbers, and not at some museum but in front of the courthouse, the sheriff’s office, or on Main Street. I’ll join you.

        • Yup, he should have not gotten all uppity and sat in the back of the bus as he is expected.

        • Loser attitude. It is because of people like you that we are in the mess we are in now.

          Capitulation never works when the issue is “to oppress or not.”

  19. “The next time an open carrier enters the Museum, maybe they’ll leave him or her alone.”

    Right…….because nothing heralds the onset of a new era of freedom like some stooge with a badge demanding “Ausweis, bitte!”

    Nobody’s recommending running the whole belligerent “Am I being detained?!” bit. However, a meek little compromise, making no mention of your rights and just leaving the glorified crossing guards to stalk you in smug self-satisfaction, is a microsurrender.

    You’ve abrased a wafer thin layer of the progress other men have achieved. If they don’t post no-carry signs tomorrow (regardless whether legal), they’ll at least redouble their efforts to harrass the next peaceful, lawful open carrier. They know they won’t call them on their infringement, but certainly will tell everyone how they were hassled at the museum. That’ll chill future exercise of 2A rights. Effecting self-infringement, like self-censorship, is one of the rare examples of government efficiency.

  20. Here’s a timely tip: next time you visit a museum, leave the gun in the car. Your practice of your “right to carry” should be somewhat informed by discretion, common sense and respect for others.

    • “Your practice of your “right to carry” should be somewhat informed by discretion, common sense and respect for others.”

      I’m going to copy this here from a previous open carry discussion that I stated:
      This is the defining characteristic of rights and freedom people. They get to do what they want to do and there is little to nothing you can do about it. Your opinion is your prerogative, however, that’s all it is – an opinion. With rights, you accept the good with the bad (your perceived bad that you don’t like to tolerate but do), and we all benefit from it.

      By allowing to pass other’s perceived offenses to our sensibilities we all maximize each other’s freedoms.
      Keep in mind, if you say certain things to people – you can offend them – even accidentally. If you print certain things about people, you can offend them – even accidentally. If you carry a gun, you’ll eventually offend someone. There are 300 million Americans. They only way to guarantee that we respect each other and offend no one is to make no contact with anyone – which is basically impossible. We can’t go around continually appeasing anyone and everyone’s opinion at any given moment.

      Also, if RF was a federal, state, or local LEO and said “law enforcement” and flashed a badge they would have instantly waived him by with not a care in the world. Why do LEO’s get a free pass for their own defense? Are they not accountable to other people’s common sense, sensibilities, or respect?

      I think we should be fair here.

    • “Discretion, common sense and respect for others”?

      What do I show when I OC my pistol? That I am a law abiding citizen, practicing a unique American right, that has been the definition of a free person for all of recorded history.

      I show, by OC’ing my weapon, a willingness to stand up and say to my fellow citizens, “I am willing to be the immediate first line of defense, the first responder to the immediate threat of bodily harm and death caused by the actions of a human predator (s)”.

      I do this, knowing full well that if I am not injured or killed in the process. that in the current environment of hostility and even hate towards those of us unwilling to bow to the authority of the state, I could be crucified by the apparatus of that state, which would be the old media and the courts.

      Finally, by OC’ing a pistol, I show that I am practicing a traditional American right. That I am honoring the sacrifices that my ancestors had made in giving, “their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” in defense of the freedom that I and my fellow Americans enjoy (despite the best efforts of the freedom haters) that is denied to most of the rest of the world.

      So if others have a problem with my or others in OC’ing a weapon? Then I feel sorry for those people.

  21. Strange…

    I live in Texas and travel to New Mexico frequently. New Mexico has very few restrictions on firearms and open carry is perfectly acceptable. Having said that, the private property laws regarding firearms are very simple. If you see a sign (any sign) forbidding firearms or if the person that owns the property asks you to not carry, you must immediately leave. It’s a fourth degree felony if you refuse.

    I’ve rarely been asked to leave a place of business but I have seen a number of signs indicating that firearms were not welcome. Generally a security guard will ask you to leave or point to the sign. In either case, its best to comply immediately.

  22. Hey Calvin:

    “Yup, he should have not gotten all uppity and sat in the back of the bus as he is expected.”

    B**lsh*t. He was looking for it and found it. Concealed would have been fine if he was serious about self defense.

    Your take on it reeks of “I need attention!”

    And the “place on the bus” thing has nothing to do with carry, it has to do with skin color. Wake up.

    • Nonsense. I open carry every day. It isn’t always attention seeking behavior. RF and his daughter were going to a museum; nothing more. You don’t like it. We get that.Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man. – The Dude.

      Additionally, as I understand it, if someone wanted to carry a backup gun then one of the handguns would have to be openly carried. Doesn’t NM only allow one handgun to be concealed?

      Lastly, does NM allow for concealed carry without a license? No. Well then, RF was simply exercising his right to bear arms rather than just a licensed government privilege. Your issue, succinctly and correctly stated, is that you don’t like when people exercise their right to bear arms. You are starting to sound a bit anti right to bear arms since openly is the only way to exercise the actual right in some states.

      ETA: The issue of skin color is about the right to exist. The issue of open carry when that is the only way to exercise that right is about the right to bear arms. You are decrying the exercise of a right in either case.

  23. The real question is this: had RF been a black male with dreadlocks and baggy pants, would the outcome have been any different?

    • Two blacks did a youtube video, one dressed in business casual and one dressed as a gang banger and they video taped the response of the general public to when each one dropped a real looking fake gun.

      The black in business casual got no panicked response, some people even picked the gun up and gave it back to him. The one dressed as a gang banger, even other blacks, all responded with fear, some of the blacks even ran the other direction in a panic.

      When I was delivering pizza, way back when, white, black or hispanic, not all dressed as gang bangers and thugs tried to mug me, but those that tried, were dressed as such.

      It’s called using ones sense of discrimination and real common sense.

  24. I am a state circuit judge and have semi-open carried (am M9 in a Kydex level 2 security holster) for years. By semi I mean that since I am wearing a robe or a business suit, open I go out to lunch I usually take my coat off. Often I will put my circuit judge badge on.

    I will never forget having lunch in a nice restaurant when a middle aged woman came up to me and said: “I about had a heart attack when I saw your gun then I was relieved when I saw your badge.” All I could think to say was “Do you have some phobia regarding firearms?”

    I can’t tell you how relieved jurors are if they learn that I am armed ( I am also an NRA firearms instructor and teach a class once a month).

    I appreciate the open carriers. The only advice I would give them is to wear at least a level 2 retention holster. I wear one because of the danger of a criminal snatching my Beretta M9. The average person probably does not have that concern but it shows you are a responsible citizen. I know from the real world and from teaching it takes a lot more time to draw from a concealed holster than from open carry and a lot more can go wrong.


    • I mostly disagree about the retention issue… It’s probably prudent for most but not all and not using mechanical retention doesn’t necessarily make one irresponsible, IMHO. Regardless, I want to thank you for open carrying and for supporting those who do. Carry on, your honor. 🙂

    • Judge,
      “The only advice I would give them is to wear at least a level 2 retention holster. I wear one because of the danger of a criminal snatching my Beretta M9.”
      Failure from the git go. I really hope you give better advice in your classes. Wearing a retention holster, because of the danger of having your gun snatched, is nothing more than a panacea and a failure to understand the real need; Situational Awareness. With proper SA comes security and time. As was discussed last week, the motorcycle safety course (MSF) teaches SIPDE. Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. Sure, we are imperfect beings, but SIPDE hasn’t let me down yet, and I don’t feel a need for the false security of a retention holster. It’s like the external safety on a daily carry gun. Unless I’m carrying my 1911 locked, cocked, and ready to rock, there’s no reason to have an external safety to get in the way. It reminds me of another acronym, K.I.S.S..

    • I agree. I always use a Level II retention holster when I open carry. Review of the 1911 example to follow.

  25. Good show. I like how you handled it. It is always funny, though, to hear stories about unarmed, near minimum waged security guards trying to play cop. I typically call them “Uniformed Doormen”, because quite frankly, that is what they do. It is security theater that tends to impress no one that has any real experience with physical security and law enforcement….and many times, it does not impress the bad guys either. If something happens, they tend to be less useful then the patrons of the establishment they supposedly guard….except they have a uniform with a shiny “Special Patrol” badge. On next post, I will tell you how I really feel. 🙂

  26. Can’t honestly say I’d act any differently in that situation. Hard to tell though, because the few times I’ve run into other people while OC’ing (usually conceal in public), there has been no real reaction from them.

    Maybe they didn’t notice the M&P compact in an IWB holster, maybe because it’s because I don’t dress like a bum (ball cap, button down short sleeve shirt, blue jeans and work boots for the most part), maybe the people around here (farm country) just don’t care…or I’m just lucky so far.

    Gotta say though, I think you handled the situation right, instead of going off on the guy and making folks who carry look bad.

  27. “Gun muggles got the vapors, of course. But nothing happened. No one was harmed in the making of his political point. That lesson will sink in, eventually.”

    Except that statists don’t care if no one is harmed. In fact, they love it when people get harmed because it’s fresh blood in which to dance. No, what drives them nuts and gets them seethingly angry is the sight of a free individual unwilling to submit to state control.

    While the security guard was waiting for his overlords, you should have turned to your daughter and begun giving her a thorough lesson on the role of brownshirts in the Nazi regime.

  28. Are guns banned here?

    I don’t know.

    Well then, you are detaining me and admitting that you don’t know your job, or better yet, if guns were banned, you should already know that. I tell you what, if you find out that thay they are, come find me. Until then, have a great day.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here