Grocery Store Open Carry
Courtesy Cackiness @Twitter
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Not far behind the intensity generated by well-worn topics like 9mm vs. .45 ACP and GLOCK vs. 1911 is the always controversial question about the advisability of open carry. Lots of experienced gun gurus you know and respect advise against it. From a practical standpoint, aside from the loss of the element of surprise when you carry openly, they argue that any advantage in quick deployment that open carry may give you is minimal.

Others would argue that most people who carry a gun suck at deploying the firearm quickly and smoothly and there’s a huge difference between the two carry systems for the average armed self-defender. But ease and speed of deployment isn’t the topic here. One aspect that lots of experts fail to address is an another mission critical aspect to open carry…deterrence.

The first person I ever saw openly carrying a firearm was an African American gas station owner in Atlanta. As a ballistically sheltered northerner I was taken aback by the stainless steel Smith & Wesson 686 holstered on his hip. When I asked him about the gun he had a simple explanation. “It shows the bad guys I mean business.”

Lots of people argue that if you carry openly, you might as well wear a “Shoot Me First” T-shirt. Again, I’m not here to quibble. There aren’t any stats backing up the assertion that showing a gun puts you first in the firing line and I don’t have any relevant experience in that particular area, so I’ll concede the point.

But there’s no ignoring that gas station owner — and thousands more like him — at the sharp end of this debate. The business owner decided that open carry is in and of itself a form of self-defense. Bad guys see a gun, calculate their odds of success versus the downside of corporal ventilation and decide to look for easier, more likely unarmed prey.

Open carry isn’t just about getting to your gun more quickly. It’s also about increasing the probability that you won’t have to use it.

Another frequently overlooked point: the more people open carrying in a given location, the more effective the deterrent. If a bad guy or guys see more than one person carrying a firearm, they know that any attempt to victimize the gun owners or nearby citizens will trigger a serious response. Which most miscreants will avoid if given the opportunity.

Open carry
Dan Z for TTAG

Obviously, this deterrence multiplier doesn’t apply [so much] to gangbanger versus gangbanger confrontations. And a drug-crazed criminal or spree killer might not have the presence of mind or capacity to worry about the possibility of being confronted by multiple armed defenders. But the chances are they’ll look for a softer target. And spree killers seem to have this thing for gun-free zones.

It must also be said that this multiple open carry deterrent effect is almost entirely theoretical. Estimates vary, but less than than five percent of Americans carry a concealed weapon. Period. The number who open carry is a small fraction of that fraction.

Which brings us back to question of open carry as a personal deterrent. That’s a tough one. Again, there are no stats on open carry’s inhibitory impact on crime nor any reliable method for creating the data (how do you measure crime that doesn’t happen?). Gun owners have to judge the advisability of open carrying based on guesswork. Or, if you prefer, common sense.

Common sense says that people who see a man with a gun understand that the man is willing to use it. And there’s the rub. A lot of this depends on where you live. If you’re in a rural area, that’s one thing. If you live in an urban or suburban area, well, you can bank on being an outlier.

You may have the legal right to carry openly where you live, but that doesn’t mean it might not yank some delicate soul’s chain. Which could prompt a call to local law enforcement…with all of the inconvenient, uncomfortable results that can follow from that. That’s where a lot of people’s desire to carry in plain sight — for whatever reason — flounders on the rocks of real world practicality.

That’s a damned shame. Because those of us who believe in open carry deterrence should have a choice.

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92 COMMENTS

  1. Anecdotally I feel like both the “shoot me first” and “deterrence” positions are null.

    In reality most people, normies and perps alike, won’t notice you carrying unless it’s pointed out to them.

    People are largely oblivious to their surroundings and often believe everyone else is just like them in every way.

    • For the average twit with his or her face planted in their phone, yes, they are generally oblivious. However, those who have nefarious plans likely are paying attention to their surroundings and what they many encounter.

      • +1

        Off the top of my head I can think of four occasions where a shady character happened to approached me while I was openly carrying a handgun on my belt–in all four instances those shady characters noticed my handgun within two seconds and immediately changed their trajectory.

        Thus I believe that many predators do notice whether or not their target is armed.

        What I am very happy to debate is whether or not being openly armed deters predators who are rotten to the core. My opinion is that openly armed citizens only deter “mild-mannered” criminals.

        • I’ve twice been in situations where a bad guy was coming after me but changed trajectory fifteen or twenty feet away due to seeing the .357 on my hip. That sight led to a 2×4 with nails in it being dropped in one case and a branch being tossed away in the other. So the sight of an armed citizen can deter even those intending to do harm.

    • “In reality most people, normies and perps alike, won’t notice you carrying unless it’s pointed out to them.”

      Also true of the drugged up.

      They’re not the issue. The professional “robbery boy” is. They tend to know their business otherwise they’re locked up or dead.

    • generally speaking it’s a bad idea…first of all, it upsets people…secondly it makes you a target…and third it provides an opportunity for someone who wants that gun to find a way to get it from you…having a staff walking around openly armed in a gun shop, for example makes sense but few other scenarios do…just drop your shirt down over the damn thing and save yourself the hassle…..

  2. I’m sitting in a supermarket parking lot in Munster,Indiana waiting on my family listening to football. Around here the clueless freak out over open carry. NE Indiana no advantage whatsoever!!!

  3. In some places concealed carry requires a permit but open does not. An individual who normally feels their environment to be low risk may tool up for short periods of time when circumstances have changed. Post hurricane and natural disaster looting is a real thing.

      • Recall when Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped the super-max in Dannemora NY?
        Everyone around here were carrying concealed or open and no one cared.

  4. I’m all for open carry and not worried about having to have an “element of surprise”. As Shire-man noted, most won’t notice anyway and open carry is legal where I live.

  5. I’m for concealed, but you do you. I know a guy that OCs a Desert Eagle. He’s a big dude, but… seriously?

    • I know quite a few folks who refuse to go with concealed because they refuse to be treated like felons just to exercise an inalienable right.

    • can’t escape the suspicion some of those who do this are just showing off…the “I’m doing this because I can” mindset…reminiscent of the guy walking around a walmart with an AR-15….

  6. Open carry has its place. For me it’s no thanks most of the time. People do notice. Ask me how I know. I don’t want the attention.

  7. Some places don’t allow firearms open or concealed. When concealed they are concealed and what they don’t know doesn’t hurt them. Problem here with open carry is in any gun free/no firearms allowed area a person will quickly be spotted and most likely have a problem with management, security etc
    However, carrying concealed is more convenient considering if a person is carrying open and forgets and enters a gun free zone, then there could be problems.
    It has been my experience here that most people don’t pay attention to open carriers.

  8. When I first started carrying, more than three decades ago, I carried open. I was in a home improvement store when I was approached by a local PD uniformed officer. Apparently a manager had called. The officer and I engaged in a conversation that started by him asking why I was carrying. My answer was to ask him why he carried. After a short conversation I was informed that my presence had made several employees uncomfortable and that management was interested in me completing my shopping experience and departing the premises as quickly as possible even though I was well within my rights and there were no signs posted prohibiting firearms on the property. On a separate occasion, that same year, I was Christmas shopping at a chain sporting goods store and was approached by someone identifying themselves as the store manager and asked to complete my shopping and depart premises, again there was no signage displayed prohibiting firearms which I promptly pointed out to this individual. In both situations I promptly left my potential purchases sitting in the aisle where I was approached and departed the business after explaining to the employees that I would not be continuing my shopping experience and would not be doing any future business with their establishments. I further informed them that as an active duty military member that I would be telling friends, neighbors, coworkers and anyone else who would listen of my experience with these businesses and their practices. Shortly thereafter, I applied for and received concealed handgun permit (CHP) and maintained one since. As a side not, I will not enter any business or property that is posted with signage prohibiting firearms on the premises.

    • I was open carrying in a mall once and got approached by a security officer. She said someone had reported a gun, then noted that mine was held with a restraining strap, and added I was perfectly legal, just to avoid a few certain stores. We then spent about five minutes talking about being armed and how she was uncomfortable as security being armed only with a police baton.

  9. Thunderin’ Jayzus! This article is so 2008. Is this a reprint? Go to PAFOA.org and dig up all the 2008 to 2010 OC posts.

    All of the instances I am aware of where an OCer was targeted involved people who knew the OCer at least casually, and planned in advance to steal the gun. Stealing the gun was the crime goal.

    I am not aware of single instance where the OCer was attacked first during the prelude to or at the initiation of another crime.

    There were several situations where OCers were completely not noticed by bad guys until the bad guy began their crime and the OCer engaged.

    There was one particularly memorable occurrence, possibly in GA but may have been some other southeastern state. A bad guy initiates a robbery in a store full of customers and completely misses a guy OCing a Colt Dragoon in a cowboy holster. The OCer engages and a shoot out and chase through the store ensues. The Dragoon suffers a breakage at some point requiring the OCer to do something unusual to fire the gun. Can’t remember the details. It was during my OC days more than a decade ago. I think the bad guy eventually ran off empty handed and no one was hurt.

    I stopped OCing because I didn’t want to talk to people when I was recovering from my heart surgery. Also there was a long, multiple week period when I wasn’t strong enough to wear regular pants or a belt, let alone carry a gun.

    When I was OCing I talked to way more curious people and people concerned for my safety than cops or antis. Only had one instance of being detained for about 45 minutes and ended up suing the city and PD. They paid for my Tok and my AA .22 conversion kit for the G23.

  10. I have recently developed a significant concern with open carry: a citizen who hates firearms calls police and falsely accuses me of brandishing or even drawing on him/her.

    Think about that actually happening to you. The fact that you are indeed armed lends some credence to the accuser’s accusation. Then what do you say when police contact you, potentially guns drawn? Many people say that we should not provide any statement without an attorney. And that results in police immediately arresting you. Or you can refute the accusation (employing the old “her word against my word” shtick) right then and there with police–potentially without any record of what you actually said and without advice of an attorney.

    Historically I have carried a handgun openly on my belt in many places. Lately, as political vitriol has been heating up beyond imagination, I find myself going concealed and ensuring that a criminal accusation never happens to begin with. Remember the mantra, “The only fight that we are guaranteed to win is the fight that never happens.” And while we have traditionally applied that mantra to criminal attacks, I believe it is prudent to apply that mantra to lawfare as well, where “lawfare” in this case means a political enemy wrongly using the justice system to sanction you for having the “wrong” politics (e.g. owning and carrying firearms).

    • Open carry is not “brandishing” in state where open carry is legal… If you are “accused” of drawing a firearm there had better be witnesses or photographic evidence (at least that’s how it works in FL)

      • MaddMaxx,

        I was not referring to situations where a political activist claims that simple open-carry is brandishing. I was referring to a situation where some political activist sees the open carrier who is NOT brandishing and falsely tells police that the open carrier brandished (e.g. somehow managed to point to or handle their firearm in conjunction with voicing a veiled threat).

        If the armed person was carrying concealed, the activist would have no idea and would not make the false claim–or if he/she did would have no ability to provide corroborating details such as where the armed person carries (left hip, right hip, appendix, small-of-back, pocket, etc.) and what the armed person carries (size, color, pistol versus revolver). Since the armed person is carrying openly, however, the activist can state where the armed person is carrying his/her handgun and even tell police what color it is. Those two details which accurately match the armed person give police a justifiable reason to contact the armed person at best and arrest the armed person at worst.

    • “…a citizen who hates firearms calls police and falsely accuses me of brandishing or even drawing on him/her.”

      There’s a way to stop that bullshit real fast –

      Use a bodycam like the cops use. That way, if they do lie like that, you can demand the responding cops arrest the liar. Tell them you are eager to sign a complaint.

      Instead of them thinking they will ‘teach you a lesson”, you be the one teaching them the lesson, a real-deal felony conviction… 🙂

      • Geoff,

        I hear what you are saying about wearing a body camera. I have doubts how well that would actually work in practice.

        First of all, you would have to wear that body camera all the time when openly carrying in public. That alone could be difficult. Second, you would have to keep its battery charged all the time which could also be difficult (realistically speaking). Third, your body camera would only show what other people in front of you are doing. It would not show what you are doing with your hands at your side or what other people are doing at your sides and back.

        Your camera only facing forward may or may not be able to exonerate you from a political activist’s claim that you brandished, at least when cops show up to arrest you. The totality of your spoken words and actions that your video captures would likely exonerate you when a prosecutor or jury extensively reviews the video recording–which means that you are jammed-up legally in the mean time. And at that point your video may not be compelling enough evidence to jam-up the activist who falsely accused you.

        And that last sentence brings up another point: your local prosecutor may not have enough resources or the ambition to prosecute your false accuser. Or worse your local prosecutor may approve of your false accuser’s actions and simply refuse to prosecute your false accuser.

        The summary: I see significant legal jeopardy to open carry which concealed carry eliminates. The fact that your legal jeopardy comes from totally false accusations does not eliminate the significant legal hassle and expense that you would incur–which is the entire objective of your political activist false accuser.

    • The flip side of this is the political argument that the kind of abuse you cite won’t stop without active work on our part to make it stop by normalizing OC. If you have to do it in the closet, is it really a right?

      In that regard some of the CC arguments are kinda like high school kids back in the day smoking a joint in secret while chuckling that they’re getting one over on “the man”. LOL, wut?

      I’m not really taking a side, just pointing it out.

      “Then what do you say when police contact you, potentially guns drawn?”

      Probably something along the lines of “Well officer, what evidence do you have beyond a phone call from a hysterical person who has undermined their own credibility via said hysterical phone call? I’ll answer your questions once you answer mine to my satisfaction.”

      The simple fact is that this is either going to work or you were going to get arrested either way because they made that decision before they contacted you.

      So, the real question in this situation is do you have the courage of your conviction or do you prize convenience over liberty?

      Again, I’m not taking a side on that. It’s a personal question that only you, dear reader, can answer for yourself.

      It is worth noting however, that one of the reasons Lefty activists move the ball as much as they manage to is because they always prioritize the goal over their own personal convenience. Getting arrested “for the cause” is a badge of honor for them, as is getting fired. They LOVE civil disobedience, especially when it leads to lawfare.

      The case in point that comes to mind right away is the Taco Bell employee who wore the BLM mask. When told that he had to remove it or change masks to something that didn’t promote a political topic at work, he told them no. Taco Bell fired him.

      In the end, his video on the subject went viral, he got his job back and Taco Bell ended up on the wrong end of a lawsuit that they ended up settling for a pile of cash.

      That’s dedication and it got him a hatrick.

      Politically, the question is if our side has such a thing or if we’re just going to hope we win in court forever. We used to know this. Old timers point out all the time that CC in many instances came out of OC protests.

      • strych9,

        All of your points have merit.

        I seriously doubt that prolific open carry would ever normalize it to political activists who oppose it. I compare this to other entrenched worldviews. Imagine that many government properties start erecting nativity scenes close to Christmas: will that normalize Christianity and convince committed atheists to embrace Christianity and stop opposing nativity scenes on government property? I don’t envision that happening.

        Or apply the same notion to people who firmly believe that homo$exual relationships are natural and wonderful. Would prolific displays which state that only hetero$exual relationships are natural and wonderful normalize that and convince committed homo$exuals to abandon that mindset and only support heter$exual relationships? I don’t envision that, either.

        • Activists going to activist. They’re not your target audience, so ignore them unless you’re actively fighting them. You’re looking for a form of “cultural hegemony”. If you have such a thing then what the activists think doesn’t matter. They can be kept on the fringe and serve an actual purpose, which if nothing else, is keeping yourself sharp since being relegated to the fringe will make them inventive.

          “…will that normalize Christianity and convince committed atheists to embrace Christianity and stop opposing nativity scenes on government property?”

          Hilariously, they ARE normalized to Christianity. Pretty much everyone born in the West is. Will they stop opposing nativity scenes on .gov property? No, but do you really want them to?

          I don’t, for several reasons, none of which involve me generally agreeing with them. I consider them like Geoff’s old troll-friend who never posted about anything except certain medical prophylaxis. Silencing such people is, IMHO, unwarranted and generally unwise as even some of the crazier ones occasionally make a point worth considering.

          As for the gay thing, again, I doubt they’ll give you what you want. Then again, there’s definitely something more complicated in actually “being gay” than just “choice” too. Sure, you can engage in social policy that makes acting out on it more common but you will never eliminate it by running hard in the other direction, even Islam executing people over it right and left doesn’t do that. That should tell us that something deeper is going on there and that should grab our attention just for the fact that it’s deeper than most public policy conversations would suggest.

          And again, you have to ask, if you could do such a thing, stigmatize it to the point that it literally disappeared, would you want to? I suspect not, though in this case for entirely different reasons than the nativity scene issue which is mostly a political thing in the way I interpreted your comment.

          There’s a rather long epigenetic and social psychological explanation behind my reasoning there which isn’t really worth going over. Suffice to say, IMHO, to actively select against this would probably be a very bad idea because the root causes are beneficial even if they occasionally are overexpressed in individuals who become obnoxious activists. *Artificial* selection against it can’t really produce a benefit to individuals or society but it can do harm. We’re simply not knowledgeable enough to start screwing with things like this past applying a reasonable level of social stigma to egregious public behavior.

          [I should note that I consider what you’ve brought up here to be an entirely different conversation that the trans thing and also entirely different from the K-12 school conversation that’s adjacent to this. Both of those situations are, uh, batshit crazy IMHO. That’s Marcuse’s Repressive Tolerance on full display and it’s more dangerous than *repression* and simultaneously more disgusting than, say, Iran’s way of dealing with privately gay people who happen to get outed and given a date with a crane or forced to go trans.]

          Blah, blah, blah, Chesterton’s Fence, blah, blah…

        • strych9,

          Again, your bring up all good points as I have come to expect from you.

          It still leaves us with my initial concern that activists will call police and falsely tell them that an open carrier brandished (or similar) and cause a significant amount of disruption at best and legal jeopardy at worst for the open carrier. And I don’t envision that said activists will stop calling police even if open carry becomes far more commonplace.

          Remember, activists view People of the Gun as evil-incarnate and now matter how commonplace open carry may become, said activists will still consider us evil and want to punish us for it.

        • strych9,

          Maybe a parallel example will emphasize my concern. Imagine that you put a huge “guns are good and fantastic” banner on the sides and back of your car that is impossible to not notice–especially to civilian disarmament activists. It would be exceedingly easy for said activists to call police and falsely accuse you of road-rage including trying to run the activist off of the road. What are police supposed to do? Refuse to contact you? Nope. They will pull you over and potentially even conduct a “felony stop”. Whether or not police promptly send you on your way is anyone’s guess.

          And in that scenario, what good for general society comes out of it? Will society somehow start embracing firearm ownership and force politicians to rescind firearm laws because of many “guns are good and fantastic” banners on cars? Doubtful. Thus, if there is almost no probability of an up-side to displaying those banners and a significant down-side, why display the banners?

        • “It still leaves us with my initial concern that activists will call police and falsely tell them that an open carrier brandished (or similar) and cause a significant amount of disruption at best and legal jeopardy at worst for the open carrier.”

          I’m not suggesting the concern is unwarranted. Worse abuses of LE response happen for lesser reasons. It’s called “SWATing” and it has gotten people killed.

          However, what I am saying is that if you allow that kind of bullying to be effective then you will get more of it. It will not stop if everyone one stops OCing. It will move to other things.

          This is the case, quite specifically, because you’re right. They hate you and desire that you be punished. That’s not going to change because you use a IWB holster. It’s not going to change, ever. There’s nothing you’re going to do to appease them.

          This is the kind of thing that doesn’t bother the Left, at all because for them might makes right. It does bother the Right, which is both admirable and also laughably naive.

      • The lefty activists that goes to jail very likely has a support system backing him up. Most individual gun owners do not.

        Making a statement that means losing your job and legal fees means nothing to the lefty that has no job but being an activist.

        • So, you’re conceding defeat, then? Whether you realize it or not, that is what you’re saying. It may not happen tomorrow or next year but over time you’re openly admitting that a war of attrition is one you not only will lose, but have no interest in even trying to win.

          The alternative is that you can build parallel systems that support your side and thereby level the playing field. That’s exactly what The Daily Wire did with Gina Carano. How the actual fuck is this a novel concept on the Right?

          When you get the shit kicked out of you, you hit the gym and start learning to fight.

          Conservatives know this and even say it all the time, yet in the area of political fights they choose to eschew the gym and just whine about how unfair the Left’s advantages are.

  11. Carry what you want how you want. In this place atleast, open is just as legal as concealed. However, many businesses make it quite clear that open carry is not accepted. Anyone that open carries around here should do so expecting pushback. So have your 9mm and .45acp. Carry you 1911’s and Glocks. I couldn’t care less. I’ll likely never own a Glock though but that’s me. But as it is my desire to see more law abiding citizens with the protection of a firearm ON THEIR PERSON, such activity needs to be accompanied by wisdom. This is just like everything else in life. Just because you CAN do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that you MUST do that thing.

  12. For reference I recently heard of an actual “shoot me first” event. A man had a handgun visible on his hip and entered a convenience store in a bad part of a city with an extremely high violent crime rate. Last thing he clearly remembers is a young man asking him if he was a cop and answering no. The reason that he doesn’t remember anything after that is because the young man’s accomplice shot him in the head from behind upon hearing that he was not a cop. (It is a miracle that he survived.) And the accomplice shot him so that he and his buddy could rob him of his handgun.

    • Meanwhile there are law-abiding citizens in Oregon whose lawfully purchased guns are still being held by dealers because the Oregon State Police is sitting on their background checks for month after many months.

  13. I have no interest in it unless I’m in certain rural and private property areas. If I had to, I would only do it with an active retention holster.

    Edit: Racer88, I agree.

    • Between the anecdote that I cited above and the two handgun thefts from holsters that Darkman cited in the video above–coupled with our nation’s accelerated descent into darkness–I believe that it is no longer a good idea to carry openly in many regions of our nation.

      Open carry may have been a net gain 30 years ago or probably even 10 years ago. These days, I have my doubts. There are just way too many bitter people who believe that they are entitled to do whatever they want to other people.

    • One instructor recommended carrying for cross-draw if carrying openly because it makes it nearly impossible for someone to grab your gun from behind. I tried that and found I could actually draw more quickly that way so I went with it for years.

      • Roymond,

        Ooh, I like that suggestion of carrying cross-draw to significantly reduce the ability of someone to sneak up behind you and steal your handgun (when carrying your handgun openly and not concealed).

        For reference I have a nice retention holster that I can use for open carry on my “strong side” rather than cross-draw. (It has an actual lock and requires that I push a button of sorts before I can pull my handgun up and out of that holster.) Nevertheless, many have claimed that criminals practice pressing that button when attempting to snatch your handgun from behind, thus negating its benefit if true. Going with cross-draw and a non-retention holster seems like it may be a better solution.

  14. Some places outside of America, like here in Maryland, a concealed permit used to allow open carry, now in the reaction to Bruen law they require concealed carry and will only excuse “printing” if it is “accidental and incidental.” There have been no known trials yet so we don’t know how “accidental AND incidental” will be determined by the regime.

    • I think it’s Wyoming that has a law where a gun is only considered concealed if that is the intent, so if you’re open-carrying and your jacket happens to blow in a breeze and cover your gun, or if you turn or some other body movement that causes your jacket to cover your gun it isn’t considered concealed.
      That’s how all the laws (if we’re going to have such things) should be.

  15. The author of this piece, and many others, often make a point about the differences between Urban and Rural, without really knowing what constitutes Urban ( if it ain’t Urban it’s Rural, so no need to define Rural) The US Census Dept. defines Urban as:

    “For the 2020 Census, an urban area will comprise a densely settled core of census blocks that meet minimum housing unit density and/or population density requirements. This includes adjacent territory containing non-residential urban land uses. To qualify as an urban area, the territory identified according to criteria must encompass at least 2,000 housing units or have a population of at least 5,000.”

    https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/geography/guidance/geo-areas/urban-rural.html

    Since approx. 84% of the US population lives in Urban Census Blocks, any polls, studies, etc. will be heavily skewed towards that population simply due to statistical probabilities and/or bias on the part of the person or organization collecting such data. This results in laws, regulations, and cultural rules designed around the 84%, and generally ignoring the other 16%. I live in a County which has 44 people/sq.mile, not evenly distributed of course, with most of the population living in a handful of small towns that barely qualify as Urban for Census purposes. I don’t live in any of them, although I do “go into town” about twice a month for supplies, etc. I go armed OWB, and sometimes it’s concealed by a jacket or shirt, sometimes not. I don’t really care, and I’ve yet to be hassled about it in the last 25 years. And I’ve never had a permit in my nearly 80years on this planet.

      • Can’t say I disagree in theory, but that would mean many more politicians on the public payroll. I’d probably not like that.

    • This is part of what I’m talking about. Most people don’t have access to many of the things this website advertises. Many do but the majority don’t have enough land to take advantage of things. The focus of TTAG is often hunting and that is perfectly fine. But this becomes too much of a niche area when the changes within society since 2020 get considered. Most people don’t hunt and few even have someone in their lives that have. It is important for the readers of this website (not just the regulars) to be given clear information. Pointing out that NICS data does not translate to a 1:1 ratio is good. Making sure people understand that this same NICS data generally wont include purchases made by those with concealed carry permits is also part of that. But far too many in the general population are convinced that AR15’s are assault rifles. So with that in mind, there are other more obscure areas that should NOT be just assumed. Like the idea of the proverbial ‘hunting rifle’. The biggest portion of the population has little to no clue what that is. It is incumbent upon this website and it’s regular commentors to not just ignore that. Otherwise this really is just an echo chamber blending in with all the other noise out there.

      @gunnygene
      I’m not saying this about you but this is a response to your post. This is about TTAG in general.

      • I understood you perfectly. 🙂 And agree with your assessment. Just so you know, I live on/in 30 acres of forest in MS, surrounded by several thousand acres owned by neighbors. That said, I’ve also lived in some of the biggest cities in the country – LA, SF, Seattle, Memphis, Norfolk, and a few others, but left all that urban nonsense behind when I retired here. 🙂

        • You mean you lived in Norfolk VA? The asshole of the world.

          I live in the city next to it, it is (Norfolk) run by Communists disguised as Democrats and loaded with BLM and Antifa and queers.

  16. An attorney I knew who carried said his research suggested that in the two counties where he practiced, for every open carrier there were at least a dozen concealed carriers. This was a point he made to sure bring up in criminal cases just to be sure the criminal was made aware that just because they might not see a gun it didn’t mean there weren’t any armed citizens ready and willing to stop a crime.

  17. Where there’s pilgrims who may faint at the sight of a sidearm carry concealed. Where there are not such pilgrims carry as you wish.

  18. I noticed that none of the anti open carry people who have “heard of a story” have provided a link to the story.
    I hear it all the time…”Open carry makes you a target” or “You get shot first in a robbery”. Never any evidence. Please show links to a news story where a LEGALLY ARMED OPEN CARRIER WITH A HOLSTER and not a cop, was the first target during a robbery.

    • There is all kinds of evidence that open carrying in Walmart can result in that company going crazy. Even to the point of no longer selling certain types of firearms and removing ammo from the shelves. TTAG had articles about this. Other stories of open carrying just walking down the street resulting in random people going nuts and 3 or 4 cop cars showing up.

      It’s not always about the bad guys.

  19. The problem with open carry, most of the folks I’ve seen doing it are obese or geriatric, or both. Combine that with their shitty nylon or leather holster, they are begging for trouble. All the ones I’ve seen that meet all these criteria had zero situational awareness. They would absolutely benefit from a level II or III holster, but they’ll never spend the money.

  20. I see a lot of gun shop employees open carrying these days. There don’t seem to be a lot of criminals waltzing in the door of gun shops.and “targeting first” the employees inside before waltzing back out with handfuls of liberated weapons to take home and redistribute amongst their peers

    • Every employee in a gun and pawn store in my town open carries, yet some fool actual tried–unsuccessfully to be sure–to rob the place. I assume he was crazy, too doped up to notice, or simply was looking for a way out/ a nice warm cell to wait out winter.

  21. doesn’t mean it might not yank some delicate soul’s chain. Which could prompt a call to local law enforcement…

    First, FUCK the “delicate souls” FEEELZ… Second, if you are concerned about dealing with the cops then you probably should not be carrying anything either open or concealed because IF you ever need to use it there will be more than a little uncomfortable contact with law enforcement…

    • 20 years ago I had a masshole call the cops on me while open carrying when in NH. Cop was pretty cool about it. He went straight to the Karen, chewed him out for wasting his time for what was a perfectly legal behavior on my part, then came over to me and let me know the score. Things might have been a lot different in another state.

    • In California a decade ago, there were a number of instances where people congregated to participate in an unloaded open carry demonstration, which legal at the time (that is, after Gov. Raygun outlawed open loaded carry in 1968). Most of those situations resulted in a police response with weapons drawn, searches to make sure that the citizens were carrying unloaded and acting within their rights, and strong “suggestions” that they really shouldn’t do this any more. The complaining Karens, though, had political power, and their complaints to politicians resulted in the practice being outlawed within a year. Open unloaded carry of long guns followed within a year. Now the only way to carry is concealed, and post-Bruen, the State and the Ca AG are enacting laws and regulations to make it nearly impossible to even take the 16 hour CCW classes, much less legally carry if a license is ultimately issued. In the large urban areas in the south, getting through the process under the old law was a year to a year and a half process, now it will be considerably longer. Of course lawsuits are pending, but those will take years to complete.

  22. I carry for comfort; I’m not concerned what anyone thinks. If it’s visible, oh well. No one in North Dakota gives a shit anyway.

  23. While there is a narrow, very narrow reason for open carry, in my opinion, and yes opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one, the positives for open carry are by FAR outweighed by the negatives. Concealed carry is by far preferred.

    I note how the author discounted speed of presentation. That aspect if of critical importance and shouldn’t be ignored for another discussion when the discussion is the pros of open carry.

    On a side note, why should I lesson the my chances of smoking some dirt bag by open carrying?? <====== that’s a joke.

  24. One other advantage of open carry is that people who do it are likely carrying a larger platform than they would otherwise. Something that’s easier to shoot for them, has more capacity and is of a heavier caliber than they would otherwise. Not everyone in this world can shoot a J-Frame like a god, nor can everyone conceal carry an N-Frame Smith or a Desert Eagle like some would have you believe. It really does give you more options for carry. For some people it may be the hand gun they have too, or even the long gun they have.

    • I comfortably carried a model 29 with a 6/12 barrel in a shoulder holster…even when I was out hunting…even experimented with sub-gun rigs without people noticing while on duty…you can conceal damn near anything if you want to…..

  25. I have no problem with either open or concealed carry and like anything else there are pros and cons. I carry concealed most of the time primarily because I know firearms make a lot of people nervous (a case for open carry with regards to those who intend to commit a crime and it may serve as a deterrent). I use a slide holster and it really doesn’t take much time at all to get it out of the holster even if it is covered by a shirt or jacket. I think if you were to review live video events you would see that a “fast” draw is seldom needed or used in real live events.
    We don’t live in the wild west and in most cases the perps have their guns out before the victims. In some cases this is an advantage to the victim because they see the bad guys coming armed which gives a victim time to react. In other cases, they may not pull a firearm on you until after they have entered a store or whatever in which case you may or may not have the advantage when drawing your firearm from a holster. So, I am kind of 50/50 on one being better than the other because all of these cases are situational and depending on how the perp behaves probably is going to dictate how you are going to be able to respond in an effective manner without getting yourself killed.

  26. IDC how someone carries a sidearm. So long as they are self aware and aware of their surroundings.
    My choices depend on what I have planned for the day. Around the homestead and in the small towns out here, open carry is not an issue. When I have to go into more densely populated areas I usually switch out to concealed carry. I do prefer to wear a separate gun belt or an open carry holster on my belt. Never was comfortable hiding the fact I’m armed. Always made me feal I was doing something a little shady. Today, with the easily frightened sheeple in most cities, I’ve gotten a little more comfortable with carrying concealed.
    A weapon is a tool just as a cell phone, or knife are tools. One of my nephews made a remark yesterday when I pulled out a multi-tool and opened a stuck chain clasp on his trailer that I was like the boy scout and always prepared. Just old habit to have the basic tools needed to deal with whatever life throws at me. Either enough to get to better tools, or keep things together until the appropriate proffessional can be summoned.

  27. The man in the grocery store looks like a complete dirt bag. He ABSOLUTELY should not be open carrying looking like that.

    • Wow pretty judgmental dude. I’ll have you know that man’s a pastor at my local church and a proud family man!

  28. Open carrying is like wearing a diamond necklace, a Rolex and a fat diamond ring. It calls undue attention to the wearer. Attention unwanted by most I would think.

    I prefer the grey man look, with weapons concealed, and average guy dress. It has served me well.

  29. I swear, these articles are written by the ghost of Aldous Huxley.

    One day, a collection will be published, “The Perennial Argument”.

    ==

    Jokes aside, depends on the area and the situation, as it always has. There is no single weapon or equipment selection that covers everything. You select gun(s) and gear based on what you’re doing which comes down to a bunch of variables that other people really don’t know, only you do and sometimes you’re gonna be guessing too.

    The big argument that actually makes sense is rather more political. It has to do with “normalizing guns” vs. keeping them concealed to avoid being bothered. Both sides of that argument come with valid points depending on circumstance. In that regard it’s kinda like various IWB positions. Each has advantages and disadvantages and selection kinda requires knowing a lot more than we generally can about the person, situation and other factors as well as what is prioritized.

    So, six of one, half a dozen of another. What other people do ain’t really your business unless you’re paying for it, and since you’re not…

  30. I drag my gunm behind me with 80lb braided nylon fishing string.
    I also play Stevie Nick’s songs on my blue tooth speaker

  31. If they were to pass laws allowing OC, everyone does it, normalize it, it becomes as normal as all those without SA staring into their phones and no one cares.
    Sure, will still get that Karen who freaks out but if everyone is OC no one will care what she thinks. Just point out to her more people are killed on road ways by distracted drivers staring into their phones while driving.

  32. The first person I ever saw openly carrying a firearm was an African American gas station owner in Atlanta. As a ballistically sheltered northerner I was taken aback by the stainless steel Smith & Wesson 686 holstered on his hip. When I asked him about the gun he had a simple explanation. “It shows the bad guys I mean business.”

    Lots of people argue that if you carry openly, you might as well wear a “Shoot Me First” T-shirt. Again, I’m not here to quibble. There aren’t any stats backing up the assertion that showing a gun puts you first in the firing line and I don’t have any relevant experience in that particular area, so I’ll concede the point.

    When you are a gas station owner in Atlanta, you are already on the “shoot me first” list, so it hardly matters whether you carry openly or concealed.

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