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I recently conducted a brief experiment with open carry in the Ocean State. During the week my hip held a Glock 19 in a retention holster . . . nothing. No comments. No police interaction. Nada. Even so, as a single father, I decided to pack it in; I couldn’t afford to run the risk of arrest and detention. But I remain an OC advocate. When practiced in sufficient numbers, open carry “normalizes” firearms, extending and defending our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. When practiced in sufficient numbers (which can be a single individual), OC deters violent crime. But OC’s most important advantage lies in its ability to protect armed Americans against unarmed Americans . . .

You’re walking down the street. A stiff wind blows your cover garment away from your body, exposing your gun. A concerned citizen (a.k.a., hoplophobe) sees you’re packing and calls the cops. Next thing you know you’re busted for brandishing. Dollars to donuts you can kiss your gun rights goodbye. Forever.

I know what you’re thinking: concealed means concealed. If there’s an open shirt issue, carry inside-the-waistband. Pocket carry. Hide your gun. It’s your own damn fault if you scare the horses.

Yes, well, shit happens. No matter how well you secret your firearm there’s a chance someone will ID your heater. It happened to me in a cafe. “I see you’re a policeman,” a nearby espresso drinker remarked, eyeing my small, non-sexual bulge in a non-sexual way.

It’s not all about chance encounters. Someone with a grudge (e.g., future ex-wife, disgruntled employee, neighbor) could make your life hell by calling the cops claiming they saw your gun during an argument. “He threatened me!”

There are plenty of arguments against Open Carry, even amongst gun rights advocates. Gun guru and TTAG contributor Rob Pincus, for example, reckons the movement is fueled by bravado. Open Carry did nothing for gun normalization in California. Quite the opposite.

So what? In a state that allows open carry armed Americans are legally protected against charges of brandishing, should someone see their concealed carry firearm and accuse them of being a danger to society. It’s no small thing, at least for those of us who exercise our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. And wish to continue to do so.

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  1. The problem is not one of “tactics” or concealment, but of culture.

    At this point our nation is not culturally mature enough for Open Carry to be a good idea. Note that a lot of right-to-carry laws were supported by voters precisely BECAUSE the gun stays hidden. When an armed person blends into the crowd, everyone can pretend there are only sheeple about.

    If someone Open Carries, then the firearm-and its negative emotional connotations-are in full view of everyone. Not so good for our rights or support thereof, because the logic by the sheep is that if you are openly wearing a gun you’re doing it for a reason unrelated to personal defense. Otherwise you’d hide it, no?

    When we culturally evolve to the point when inanimate objects don’t freak out the population at large, then perhaps open carry can be revisited. Right now the blissninnys are too powerful of a voting block to offend with the radical suggestions that people shouldn’t fear inanimate objects.

    • You have good points. Are you suggesting ONLY open carry should be allowed and concealed carry disallowed? If you are open carrying and wearing a jacket, would you think it a requirement to wear the gun outside the jacket to avoid the appearance of concealed carry?

      If both open and concealed carry are permitted at the same time that seems to blur the matter of the carrier’s intent. It also marks the open carrier as a target for BG’s who may be illegally carrying concealed and determined to commit a criminal act. In other words, if both concealed and open carry are permitted simultaneously, the concealed carrier always has a slight advantage over the open carrier, namely the possibility of surprise ambush against the open carrier. So, if only open carry is permitted, then would you want it to be a crime to carry concealed? Or retain the Permit to Carry Concealed Laws and prohibit concealed carry without the Permit? (Seems a bit like “throwing out the baby with the bath”. but might be the only way to proceed that could sort out a situation in the aftermath of a shoot-out between non-LEO Citizens.)

      I don’t think we are culturally ready for unrestricted open carry, either (at this time), but in the first 150 years( or so) of the US it was a normal part of life, and people freely carried open or concealed as they saw fit. Would be nice if we could return to that level of mutual respect and trust in each other again.

      • I live in a State, (Alaska), where open cary is legal, without a permit, and concealed carry is also legal, without a permit.
        I, personally choose to carry concealed most of the time.
        Not so much to not bother people, but rather to have no issues arise from carrying.

        Having said that, in the City I live in, it is very unusual to go a whole day *without* seeing at least one person carrying a firearm openly.

        When I moved up here for college, I was pulled over by a local LEO – I had a taillight out or something like that.
        As he asked for the usual paperwork, he asked if I had a firearm in the car – I said no. I was under 21 still and didn’t have any long guns in the car. The cop was horrified- he told me to get a good gun and keep it with me. Not for people so much, but out here, you step out of your vehicle and into the food chain. Better have a plan to be on top.

        People are so used to responcible adults carrying firearms that its no longer worthy of much comment up here – everyone has a gun, usualy on them, and we have very few shootings.

        • Love the part about “stepping into the food chain”! An issue far fewer folks in the contiguous 48 have to be prepared for, well, in the very real sense that the local predators down here aren’t literally looking at you as “lunch”.

          I figured Alaska was more gun carry tolerant. In the C-48 is where the problem lies, especially the large population centers.

          Thanks for your input and enjoy living where your gun rights are respected. I am envious!

      • I’ve said this before and I will clarify and say it again. I will choose to CC but would like both to be permissible, if not for the simple protection OC affords someone should their firearm become unconcealed against best intentions.
        If OC is not to be permitted, there needs to be protections in the form of a reduction in liability for failing to conceal – it should be fairly straight forwards to determine the difference between accidental or benevolent disclosure and brandishing. I would even accept a citation for that indiscretion on my part – but its is unacceptable for me to loose my 2A rights on grounds of frivolous circumstances or vindictive significant others.

        • It does seem to me that both OC and CC should be permitted simultaneously because that reflects the greatest level of freedom, and it’s really the only situation that makes sense.

      • “but in the first 150 years( or so) of the US it was a normal part of life, and people freely carried open or concealed as they saw fit. Would be nice if we could return to that level of mutual respect and trust in each other again.”

        In fact, back then carrying concealed was considered dishonest or devious, and it was only done by criminals. Honest people had no reason to hide their firearms.

        • Your point taken. Someone else made the same remark. From some books I read that made references to Gentlemen carrying “pocket pistols” I may have made an erroneous inference. It does seem more consistent with my perception of the manners of the time that people would have regarded carrying a concealed weapon as devious and suspicious.

          Thank-you for your corrective input!

      • We live in a really twisted and deranged society when it is so easy to be kidnapped and caged for breaking a rule (law) even though it was obvious there was no-one harmed and no intent to harm or threaten anyone.

    • My take on it, is that in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter; because each man and woman would be judged based on their actions and not on their accessories or appearance.

      Unfortunately we don’t live there. When it comes to firearms we are a nation divided, and we’re not even divided consistently.Some people are OK with the RKBA as long as the “BA” part is concealed. Others are OK with open and concealed carry, and certain other people don’t want ANYONE except police and military being armed at all. It wasn’t that long ago culturally that Open Carry as we call it today was considered the honorable way to be armed, and “concealed carry” was the domain of thugs and ne’er-do-wells.
      So long as us gun toting Constitutionalists mix company in society with moderates and Brady camp hoplophobes , concealed carry is the best way to go. The best way to fight a bogus Brandishing charge is to not generate the opportunity for one. Someday perhaps our national culture will progress beyond this stage, but we’re not there yet.

      • “My take on it, is that in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter; because each man and woman would be judged based on their actions and not on their accessories or appearance.”

        Yes! I think this statement is exactly right, and is what I hope for.

  2. In a state that allows open carry armed Americans are legally protected against charges of brandishing, should someone see their concealed carry firearm and accuse them of being a danger to society.

    Well, that’s a problem in itself, that needs to be address whether it’s through open carry or not. The offense of “brandishing” is only one of many crimes that involve threats or intimidation, but to my knowledge it’s the only one that can be committed without conscious intent, and that’s ridiculous. When you have a DGU, the courts seemingly have no problem considering the whole context to determine whether you reasonably apprehended that you were threatened. If you want to press charges regarding a threatening e-mail, the courts will determine whether this was a credible threat or protected speech. I see no reason why “brandishing” should be held to such a ridiculous low standard by comparison.

  3. I support OC rights even though I doubt I would do it, at least in the city. Ideally we would have constitutional carry, but we don’t live in ideal times.

    • when is it not appropriate?
      I carry when there is a chance, however small, of needing a firearm. All the while praying I’ll never need it.
      Contradiction in life? I dont think so. I never want to draw a firearm in fear of harm- but if I need to I will.
      Having a firearm helps give me options for non-optimal situations.

      Now, I dont carry into bars- alcohol and guns dont mix well.
      Because of my philisophy of going no-where without my firearm, I dont go to bars anymore. My loss, my choice.
      I dislike and disagree with the idea of “Gun-free” zones. I believe they create helpless victims.
      If someone does not want to carry, hey it’s still a (mostly) free country, and they don’t have to carry. Ever. I just dont want them being able to choose if I can carry.

      • Jake, Where in Alaska do you live that you feel that you need a gun all the time? I have worked there most of my life and have never felt the need to carry a gun, not even in Los Anchorage. In the bush, yes, but not for people but bears. If you feel Alaska is a dangerous place, well don’t come down to the lower 48 you’ll probably pee your pants!

        • Well that’s kind of the thing isn’t it?
          So far, I’ve *never* needed a gun in my day to day life. I’ve drawn (but, thank God, not fired) my Service weapon, but that’s a little diferent.

          I carry my firearm in case my usual policy (yoinked from this very site) of avoiding stupid places, people and things fails.

          I’ve not yet been “afraid” of going anywhere- although there are some parts of Anchorage and Fairbanks I avoid if I don’t have a reason to linger there.

          As for Alaska being a dangerious place, well, its not. BUT- there are stupid people everywhere. There are far fewer car-jackings and home invasions, and fewer armed muggings here, even per capita than outside (live in a “city” of 90K people).
          Having said that, there are car-jackings, there are armed muggings, and there are home-invasions that happen – right alongside Bear maulings and Moose trampelings.
          Black bear killed two dogs in my driveway a few years ago.

          Having been to the lesser 49 before, and having lived there before, Alaska is much safer.
          I could likely go several lifetimes up here without needing a firearm for self-defense. But I might need one. So I have one.
          Just like the cold-weather sleeping bag in the back of my car

          Just like the spare tire I have

          Just like I have Home insurance against flood and fire, and earthquake.

          Better to have and not need, no?

      • Okay Jake. I said OPEN carry only when it is appropriate. I did not say CARRY only when appropriate. I conceal carry everywhere I am permitted by law.

        We actually were discissing this yeaterday, regarding TX Open carry. This was my post and I believe it highlights my feelings in open carry well enough:

        “I am keeping my fingers crossed that we get legal Open carry in TX. It would make things simpler. Also any State that has “printing” laws should repeal them immediately.. However, in those States where open carry is allowed (hopefully TX someday) there is a fine line:

        1) A person who exercises their right to open carry during times of lawlessness, danger or disaster? Smart and prepared. Exactly the type of scenario where open carry is appropriate.

        2) A person who open carries during regular, day to day life for any reason besides activism? Douche bag.

        You might be completely within your rights to do it, and I will fight until I am blue in the face for you to either get or keep that right. It is tyranny to take away open carry from the people or to hold it back from them. Something about the BEARING part of the second ammendment.

        But… you open carry fanatics running around the supermarket open carrying because it is a faster draw and you can carry a full size pistol? A mightier feat of douchebaggery I have seldom seen. And I don’t give a sh1t how many of you open carry fan girls I offend. It’s grand standing, smacks of inadequacy, exposes your weapon to snatch threats that a properly concealed pistol wouldn’t usually face and it makes people who aren’t members of the firearms community uncomfortable. Which alienates some of them into being anti-gun. Great job, you have the right to do that. Still a douche.

        Please please please use open carry when it is appropriate to do so. Have to go into a seriously messed up part of town and want to send a clear message to bangers that you’re closed for business? The pros and cons of that can be argued back and forth, but go for it. In the middle of the woods or other similarly rural/wilderness scenario? Check. Doing open-carry activist work? Okay, but actually work to educate and choose the right opportunities to make it effective. Other scenarios that pass the litmus test of reasonableness? Good to go. Open carry away.

        But if you’re going to GameStop and you’re wearing a 1911 with light in a drop leg holster (I saw it in PA. Said he was just open carrying for the he11 of it when I asked him) then you are a tool.

        Sigh. Now I am prepared for the cult of open carry to tell me what an a$$hole I am.”

        • Sigh, Hal, read my post below to Jim B, in the end I don’t attack people for being against OC, people like you do the attacking, I simply tell the truth about the end results of your choices.

          The end result of getting that license from the state, regardless of the reason, is that you are saying the state is your master and you are the servant,this is fact.

          Attacking the messenger won’t change this basic truth, if you are unhappy with this situation, then change it, but until you will admit that this IS
          an issue as an American, then you will continue to attack people who are free in the way we practice our second amendment rights and say that we are the “the Douchebaggery’.

          Hopefully Hal, you will look at this and perhaps see that we who OC are not a threat. But, maybe not, we will see.

        • Looking at your post again, I see I read what was not there.
          I appologise for my haste- I read “carry when appropiate” not “open carry when appropiate” – and I agree with you there.

          I usually conceal carry so as to not cause issues with folks who dont want to see guns. I’m also in a place where seeing guns is the norm, and so is pretty much taken for granted.
          Usually, for me, the only times I am open carrying is when I am on the way out to the middle of BFA, or back from there- because concealing a 7.5” revolver is a PITA.

          Again, I mis-read your post in my haste to reply and got myself worked up over nothing. Next Time (TM) I will try to read what you write, not what I think you wrote

          Merry Christmas

        • +1 to everything Hal says except for the comment on “activist” OC’ers. They also fall into the misguided tools category. Militant OC activity is just as harmful to our long term gun rights as the douche who is thigh carrying his tacticooled 1911 in a kid’s store. Nothing good comes from a group of non uniformed openly armed people showing up in a public place and atagonizing the public.

        • ThomasR,
          I don’t see you as a threat. Furthermore, if I could snap my fingers and make both open and concealed carry 100% legal in all 50 states, without a permit, I would do it in a HEARTBEAT. I’m not against your right to do it. It would just help everyone out if you exercised just an OUNCE of prudence when deciding when and where you choose to open carry. I agree with you totally that it is a national issue and that open carry must be expanded to all 50 states for a variety of reasons. I believe that OCers are misguided but their hearts are sometimes in the right place, espcially those who participate in activist work. I have seen and heard of some pretty creative activist OCers. However, when you OC out amongst the public, for every one person who says “oh that’s cool I never knew I could do that” there are two people who irrationally say “OMG! OMG! A GUN! IN A STARBUCKS! HOLY SH1T THE WHOLE WORLD HAS GONE MAD!”

          Now, I acknowledge that that type of ignorant attitude towards guns is also a form of douchebaggery (the noun being douche bag). However, that is a net loss for us. Regardless of what you think, just because most Americans are pro-gun doesn’t mean they want to see guns at the seven eleven. You are not doing the firearms community or the pro-second ammendment movement any favors when you grab a big gulp while flashing a Glock all over the place. Hence, my urging to OCers:

          OC when and where it is appropriate, CC when and where it is appropriate.

  4. I OC all the time in WV. Never an issue or question. Only a couple cities grandfathered in, that don’t allow. But I can always carry concealed when I go there.

  5. Don’t scare the chillens! Blah, blah, blah,

    Except for California, where has OC caused greater gun restrictions?None that I’m aware of.

    I’ve OC’d for three years in a large metro area, except for two people in that time that left the restaurant I was in, no other negative experiences; a number of people came up to thank me for practicing my 2nd amendment rights this way.

    No harassment by police, not one instance in that time,

    Until people actually practice OC, people won’t see it as normal or natural, as it is, my experience has been nothing but positive; so quit projecting ones own fears on what you think other people might be thinking or feeling and simply practice our unique American right proudly without the need of other peoples approval.

  6. If you would agree that in ANY situation where a firearm is present, the risk level goes up. OC inherent adds risk to any situation. I like OC and CC, but I recommend CC whenever possible.

    • I wouldn’t agree with the premise that a fire arm increases the risk; for another law abiding citizen a fire arm is not needed; it would only concern a criminal that saw my OC weapon and for that criminal, he or she would want to be someplace else, which has happened; that’s tbe point.

      The psychology of a criminal is that they look for the helpless and the weak, when they see someone who has good situational awareness with the ability to defend themselves and others, they look for a better venue to practice thier trade without getting injured or killed.

      It’s as simple as that. It’s the reason most criminals don’t commit a crime while a cop is present.

      And no, I don’t consider my self to be a cop, but the end result is the same. Deterence.

  7. California was a lost cause to begin with. Californians are so afraid of everything that of course they’d panic when they saw an unloaded gun on someone’s hip.

  8. Open carry is and has always been legal in my state but people have the manners and decency not to do it. At least most people. It shouldn’t even be a question. A gentleman or lady does not try to make others uncomfortable and guns do make many people uncomfortable like it or not. We do not live in a Hollywood version of the Wild West or in Syria. I don’t want to see people walking around with guns on their hips and in fact if I ever do I will be very tempted to tell them what jerks they are and tell them to grow up. What are they going to do? Shoot me? Maybe I can embarrass them enough to act mature but I doubt it. Most of the open carry people are too stupid and uncivilized and proud of being both. It’s all about them.

    These open carry people are a threat to our gun rights. Morons is what they are.

    • It’s interesting how attitudes have changed. Back in the 19th century, it was unthinkable that a civilized person would want to carry concealed. Only someone with some nefarious purpose would want to disguise that they were armed, while a gentleman with no untoward intentions would always wear his sword or pistol openly, because he had nothing to hide. Therefore the restrictions on carrying from that era were all on concealed carry.

    • ” Morons, stupid, uncivilized”? Now, now JimB, no need to resort to adhominem attacks, you obviously don’t understand that when you resort to such tactics, you have lost the debate.

      I have noticed that when I and other proponents of OC talk about this issue it’s based on tactical, strategic and freedom isues, people like you almost always in the end resort to character attacks, very similar to how anti-gun people end attacking all of us gun freedom people, I’m just waiting for the next attack from you saying that I’m trying to be a tough guy compensating for having a small package.

      • Well Thomas R, I resort to character attacks because I have never met an open carry advocate that doesn’t have a serious character flaw. Get it? Why is it you want to scare people? Not only scare them, but are proud of it? Don’t tell me you don’t because I have read plenty of statements from your ilk saying bragging about doing exactly that. Why don’t you grow up? You do damage to gun rights acting like a little kid.

        • Must chime in here . . .

          Keeping and bearing arms is our Constitutionally protected right. What the general public thinks about it is, to my mind, neither here nor there. Just as I have a 1A protected right to say or write what I want even if it scares someone, I have a 2A protected right to keep and bear arms even if it scares someone.

          There is no “good time” to exercise our natural/God-given rights. And even if there was, why should we wait? In fact, by NOT exercising our rights in public, we lose the cultural acceptance of those rights.

          Open carry advocates who exercise their 2a protected right in public are the front line in the campaign to reclaim our gun rights. If I wasn’t a single parent I would open carry anywhere and everywhere I was legally able to do so. When Lola is grown, so I shall. Meanwhile, I admire OCers for their beliefs, bravery and yes Rob Pincus, their bravado.

    • I said it in reply to your childish screed on the AR15 as a hunting rifle and I’ll say it again. If someone wants to open carry in your state of residence, and it is legal, you and all your buddies’ irrational fears mean jack sheiße compared to their rights. What’s the difference if the gun is legally carried inside a coat pocket vs. on the hip anyway? Oh wait, there is none.

      I bet dollars to donuts you’re “that guy” who calls the cops on legal open carriers because you’re too afraid to be in the same super market as one; because of course anyone who open carries is “unmannerly” and “indecent” in your sheepish neck of the woods. Once again; your irrational fear of what people do legally in public < their rights. Learn to accept that not everyone who open carries is looking for trouble.

      • Gee Milsurp, you know all about me do you? Well what the hell do I do for a living then? If you knew you would not say I am afraid of little open carry jerk offs. No I do not call the cops and I don’t get scared all the easily or I wouldn’t do what I do for a living. My problem with the OP crowd is that they are childish and ill mannered and jeopardize our gun rights. Because of these adolescent idiots we have talk of putting a ban on open carry. Great job!

        Oh, BTW, what do you do for a living tough guy?

        • I know not of who in the Open Cary crowd you have met, and can not speak for them.

          Those that I know, who habitually open cary, are for the most part, pretty easy going guys and gals.

          For the most part, those people who OC that I have interactions with, have been polite, and fairly well educated on the topic of gun rights. For the most part, when I have “offical interations” with them, they have been open and inviting – knowing the law and remaining courtious.

          I have met some that were perhaps, rough around the edges, but I, personally, have yet to run into one who was childish and ill-mannered.

          Take any large group – any – and I bet I can find at least one person who is acting like a jerk at that moment.

        • Do you not really understand how open carry can be intimidating to other people? Honestly? Well if you can’t there is no point in talking. I think these open carry people do more damage than good. We HAVE open carry now. Why the hell do they want to push it? So they can be cowboys? So that can say “look at me?” What is it? Leave it alone! Now if your coat blows open and your gun shows there is no crime. These jerks are going to make open carry a crime if they keep pushing it.

          No one carries open in a city on purpose except some sort of weirdo. Sorry but it’s true. It is debatable if even in the Wild West they carried open in major towns. People had manners in the 19th century. We have the legal right to do so (here) but the vast majority of us don’t. We have the right to pick our noses in public but don’t. It is simply a matter of manners which these open carry people do not have. They are all about themselves and their rights with no concern for others. I guess that is the way of the 21st century. Sad.

        • I’m a proud gun owner who supports carriers concealed and open everywhere, but out of choice I actually don’t carry a firearm on me at all; so I definitely don’t have the tough guy disease you speak of.

          “My problem with the OC crowd is that they are childish and ill mannered and jeopardize our gun rights.”

          You’re painting with an incredibly broad brush. I can not speak for everyone who open carries, and neither can you. Everyone I have encountered who does so has been kind, calm, and very mature. Your story may be different, and I respect that. However, you can not possibly rid the country of OCers who are arrogant dicks just as you can not rid the world of arrogant people. There will always be a few bad apples in every orchard and neither you nor I can change that.

          “…all about themselves and their rights with no concern for others.”

          This is the crux of the issue. You expect people to hide their rights out of concern for some altruistic value that in the end hurts the cause of normalizing gun rights in society. The rights of free men and women do not hold their breaths for things like population density, demographics, what city they’re in, and its sheepish residents. If it is legal in your state, you have the right to do it if you so choose, regardless of how out of the ordinary it looks to others.

          As long as he isn’t actively threatening other people with his weapon and thus breaking the law, anyone who claims to be “afraid” of that guy OCing at the coffee shop minding his own business and reading the Sunday paper has to learn to deal with it and recognize it as his legal right to do so.

        • Fine Milsurp, just don’t tell me my beliefs are based on fear then, OK? You know nothing about me. I simply find people that wear guns in the open to be rude. If you are one then you are rude. That’s it.

    • Jim B: Taking in all your posts in this thread on the subject, not just the one I replied to, I am amazed at how much rage you exhibit on this subject.

      Seriously, as I read your posts I sat here shaking my head in astonishment at your apparent anger, and the rudeness you spew as a result. You say, ” if I ever do I will be very tempted to tell them what jerks they are and tell them to grow up,” which indicates to me you have, to this point, not done that. I’m not certain if it’s because you’re a keyboard commando who expends your rage here but wouldn’t actually do it, or if you just haven’t had the opportunity to be a rude prick in real life.

      If you accosted me in the supermarket and spoke to me in person the way you speak here, I wouldn’t shoot you, no. My first reaction would be to request that you remove yourself from my vicinity, probably with something less than my dinner-table manners. If you didn’t comply, I’d simply make a quiet phone call and then be content in letting you follow me until someone else (who also open carries) showed up and also asked you to leave. Conveniently, if you chose to ignore them, they’d have other things on their belt designed to induce compliance.

      My rights are my rights, and my choices are my choices, and neither of them are any of your business.

      • What I find interesting Matt is that Jim B is being everything he attacks OC people for supposedly being; rude, confrontational, childish; that old saying that says when you have one finger pointed at someone you have three pointed back at your self is very true in Jim B’s case.

      • Yes, Matt in FL, you have your rights just like you have the right to pick your nose in public and I have to the right to tell you what an ill mannered idiot you are. Got it? People should act in a civilized manner is all I am saying and wearing guns openly is not acting civilized. You may wish it were because you have some Wild West fantasy but it isn’t. People like you do more harm to gun rights than good so yes, I have a rage directed towards your ilk. Your sort ruin it for all of us. Get it now? No, I am sure you don’t.

        Here it is in a nutshell. I am happy that OC is legal in my state and I want it to stay that way. What I don’t want is idiots running around carrying guns openly just to prove a point. that undoubtedly will lead to debate on the subject and possibly make it illegal which could lead to all sorts of other problems. Get it Matt? I guess I am just an unreasonable asshole in your eyes but whatever. You live int he east so I really don’t care.

        • I can’t open carry in Florida, so I’m not sure why you keep talking about “my ilk” and “my sort.” I’m not real sure why you think everyone who thinks they should be allowed to OC has a “Wild West fantasy.” I have some opinions, but since I don’t know you, I’m not going to make assumptions about what goes on in your head, unlike you seem to be very willing to do with me. You don’t have any idea what my justifications might be, and your blanket assumptions are rude and offensive.

          “I am happy that OC is legal in my state and I want it to stay that way. What I don’t want is idiots running around carrying guns openly just to prove a point.”

          If it’s legal, and it’s a right, then what the hell difference does it make why they’re doing it? Just because it’s not your reason doesn’t make it a wrong reason.

        • OK Matt, I will try to explain again why it is not a good thing to do. It bothers people! Do you get that? It makes people uncomfortable when someone comes walking into the local Starbuck’s wearing a gun. Really? You honestly can’t understand that? I am sorry you live in Florida and you do not have the right to carry open. We have it here as most of the states in the west do but most people have the common courtesy not to do it. It was decided long ago not to do it by common agreement, not in the cities anyway. There was no law required. People had manners way back when. I guess that is just something you can’t understand. You see it is detrimental to gun rights. It only brings unwanted attention and accomplishes nothing. Please tell me Matt from FL what good it does. Tell please. What does it accomplish other than to make the people carrying feel special?

          Like I said before the open carry movement seems to have ended in this state thank God. I guess they are back to play Civil War soldier or whatever. They are a bunch of “look at me” idiots that need something to make them feel special and different and maybe dangerous. as far as I am concerned. Of course that is my opinion which I am entitled to. Sorry you don’t agree but that is how I feel about these…people. But maybe you think it is a great thing to make other feel uncomfortable. Is that it? You get off on making other people afraid?

        • And what sort of emperor are you to decide what behavior is “civilized” and what isn’t? You gotta accept that there will always be idiot open carriers running around no matter what. Just ignore them and live your own life.

        • “But maybe you think it is a great thing to make other feel uncomfortable. Is that it? You get off on making other people afraid?”

          What is it with you? You make some valid points, but you wrap it up by being an insulting asshole. It kinda negates any persuasiveness you had up to that point.

          I’m curious why you think it bothers people so much. You say it makes them uncomfortable. Does it make you uncomfortable? Because in my experience (when I’ve been in open carry states), I haven’t seen discomfort. At worst, the reaction to seeing someone OC has been mild curiosity, but by and large, it’s been completely unnoticed, or if noticed, then completely ignored. I’ve spent some time in an open-carry state, and I carried openly some of the time I was there. The biggest reaction I noticed was a double-take, followed immediately by dismissal. I saw no pointing of fingers, dialing of phones, or clutching of pearls. I experienced zero interaction with law enforcement. Wherever this “discomfort” is that you talk about, I’m just not seeing it.

          As far as your question of “What does it accomplish?” my answer is this: First, it doesn’t have to accomplish anything. I am under no obligation to “show good cause” why I should be able to open carry. (There’s some quote here about needing no more justification to exercise a right than the existence of the right itself.) However, if you want an example of what it does accomplish, I offer this: it’s more comfortable than carrying concealed. I carry concealed all the time, and I’m used to it, but there is no denying that a good belt and a quality OWB holster is much more comfortable. So, there you go… it’s legal (in some jurisdictions) and it’s more comfortable. That’s more than enough justification for me.

        • Yes, you are correct. Open carry makes me uncomfortable because the people doing it are usually, no always very mentally challenged. They are an embarrassment and I hate to be associated with them. Get it? They are not me. I am all for it being legal but I am in favor of people doing what they have done for over 100 years. That is keep the weapons concealed. I will try to explain again. It is the polite thing to do. Get it? No, I am sure you don’t because you are not a gentleman and do not want to be one. See it is a matter of making others feel comfortable. However, what is the use explaining. You don’t get it or don’t care. It’s all about you.

        • Ah, so now we come to the heart of it. All your talk about “people” being uncomfortable and intimidated and bothered was just straw-man bullshit. You are made uncomfortable by people open-carrying around you. Why didn’t you just say so to begin with? Why did you feel it necessary to ally yourself with an invisible army?

          Let’s go back to your original statement, that people shouldn’t open carry because it makes others uncomfortable. Replace “others” with “you” and I ask, Why does it make you uncomfortable when people OC around you? What is it that intimidates you?

          I also want to point out that once again, you’ve failed to make it through a post without being insulting. You say I’m no gentleman, and that’s fine, because your opinion of me matters less than a fart in a hurricane. I would, however, draw your attention to the fact that unlike you, I’ve managed to make it through five or six consecutive posts without impugning someone’s character, questioning their sanity, questioning their motives, or simply saying… let me find it… “Go fvck yourself asswipe.” (For the record, I’m still trying to figure out who that orphaned response was directed to, since I can’t find any instance in any comment in this post calling you an anti-anything, which makes that response not only rude, but completely nonsensical.)

        • Oh yes, and you are not insulting? Get real. I do not like people carrying open because it makes others uncomfortable. Believe me, you or any other person carrying does not intimidate me in the least. I have what is called the most dangerous job in the country, although I do not believe that, but still the likes of you do or anyone else carrying a gun does not intimidate me at all. I think carrying open is bad manners and it does scare people that are not used to guns as you well know. These open carry people actually brag about how they scare people. I have read their brags about scaring old ladies. I don’t know what it is you don’t understand about my position and why you have to resort to calling me a coward and such. A coward is certainly something that anyone that knows me and what I do for living would not call me. But of course you know all about me, right?

        • Ha! that’s rich. Saying people are ungentlemanly when you’ve been nothing but a sailor-mouthed brat this whole thread.
          Open your mind for a second and just contemplate this:

          1. Open carrying normalizes guns in society and helps the gun rights cause. The more people see responsible citizens legally carrying guns on them who are causing no trouble, the less they’ll be worried at the sight of it. The less they’re worried, the more they’ll accept gun ownership as a way of life for free people who exercise their rights because they can. The more accepting they are, the less they’ll believe the antis ludicrous propaganda. See? It works in our favor in the long run despite a few bad apples throwing wrenches in the gears.

          2. If a law abiding citizen open carries as a gun rights advocate and they do so calmly and non aggressively, they’re not at fault for anything. Exercising a right for the sake of the right itself is not a crime. Yes, there are and always will be the callous dicks in society who open carry, but those are just a handful in a country of good people who exercise their rights proudly throughout the nation to spread the word of gun rights activism to a potentially unknowing public.

          3. Just because the community you live in has some decades old tradition of frowning upon legal open carry doesn’t mean every single person does so directly to spite you and your buddies. I can see why you’d think that, probably because many of the open carriers you have met in your community do it just to piss of those of you who “signed the social contract” if you will. But you need to understand that not everyone across the country who practices is like the macho men you’ve met. Walking up to Joe open carrier and insulting him because you assume he’s on a power trip makes you look, quite frankly, like a damn fool on a power trip yourself.

  9. I would like to have the option, at least, to open carry. I would not make use of it the majority of the time, but I’d like to have the option.

    • And I think you should have that option. I never said you shouldn’t. I just don’t like the people flaunting the right for no reason.

      • You have the right not to exercise your other rights, so my comfort level remains unaffected! Wat?! You need to lay off the rock, man.

        • Here, I will try to explain my objection to the OC crowd once again. Please listen. We DO have open carry here in my state. It is legal and always has been. Will it remain legal? Who knows? I can tell you that these OC people going into Starbuck’s armed in a group do not help. What exactly is the purpose of that? They write on forums about how this or that old lady looked scared when she saw my Glock. Is that the purpose? To scare old ladies? What is the purpose? We HAVE the right, why jeopardize that right by acting in childish manner, trying to scare people and saying “look at me. I have the right to wear this gun and you can do nothing about it.” They do nothing for gun rights, just the opposite. There has already been talk of how this sort of thing should not be allowed. Fortunately the OC activists have seemed to have faded away around here. Maybe they rethought their positions or maybe they’re into something else, I don’t know but I certainly haven’t heard from them in quite some time which is good. They were a constant noise for a while. My position is leave well enough alone and do not upset the ship. It is fine how it is, why the hell push it?

        • “My position is leave well enough alone and do not upset the ship. It is fine how it is, why the hell push it?”

          Your “fine how it is” isn’t fine with me, that’s why. That’s OK, we’re allowed to disagree. It’s why this country works.

          OC is legal where you are, and that’s great. But what good does being legal do if you constantly get hassled by the police when you do it? If it’s legal, but nobody does it due to the hassle, then it’s easy for people who really don’t like it (as opposed to being indifferent) to say, “Well, nobody makes use of that right anyway, so what’s the harm in saying you can’t do it anymore? Who’s gonna care? It’s for the children.” Many of the indifferent folks will at that point likely agree that the logic makes sense, and suddenly you’re in the minority, and if you argue strenuously against it, you’re not just in the minority, you’re in the “crazy gun guy minority,” and as a result have very little credibility.

          First they came…

        • I am happy that you feel you have the ability to say who has credibility and who doesn’t. How did that come about? I don’t know of ANYONE being hassled by the police in Washington state for OC. Maybe you can cite these cases. There is no problem with it. These people just want a push a non-issue for some reason and make it into an issue. There is no issue with OC here but these people can’t leave it alone. Well they have been quiet lately so maybe they did learn, unlike you.

  10. It’s funny, I live in liberal infested Washington (though they are mostly in the Seattle area) and yet, we have open carry. In fact, other than Machine Guns being illegal to fire in the state, this state is really gun friendly. I have to say that though I don’t like how the state is ran because we actually give illegals drivers licenses, the gun rights are nice.

    • I’m from Seattle, actually, and the only things I’d change about our gun laws would be to make SBRs/SBSs legal to own. I’d really, really like to SBR a PS-90 someday.

      I really like that we have open carry here, even though I wouldn’t take advantage of it generally speaking, but if I were out hiking somewhere and I started to overheat, it’s nice to know I can take my over shirt off without committing a crime.

      • Carlos, Give Chip Miller at Cascade Arsenal in Snohomish a call and see what he can do. There are AOWs (Any Other Weapons) available and he has some in stock. They may meet your requirements and the BATF tax stamp is a fraction of the cost of other restricted weapons. I think they are cool but can’t think of a real reason to own one!

        The last time I was there he had cut a down Serbu Remington 870 in stock. He may have AOW rifles or access to them, I don’t know. He can order anything legal. The tax stamp for an AOW $1 when they first started restricting them in 1934. Those stamps have become collectors items with stamp collectors. Now I believe they are a whole $5.

        The difference, for those that don’t know, between an AOW shotgun and a short barrelled shotgun is that the the AOW was never a full sized shotgun to begin with. Really that is about it. If the manufacturer gets the receiver and makes it into a short barrelled shotgun it is an AOW. If he gets a full sized shotgun and cuts it down, it is a short barrelled shotgun and needs a $200 stamp and is illegal in some states. Go figure. Yeah, I agree, stupid. Nothing I sweat about though since I can’t figure out what I would do with either.

        Anyway there are AOWs available if you want one. It is a much cheaper way to go. I do admit an original Ithaca Auto & Burglar would be cool to own for collector’s reasons. The Serbu Remington? Like I said, I can’t think what I would use it for and it sure isn’t a collector’s gun, at least not yet. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the $5 tax stamps become collector’s items though. Maybe even the $200 tax stamps when they decided to raise the price of entry.

  11. I always CC but OC is legal in Tennessee. I dont go out of my way to hide it nor am I self concious about printing and if I bend over dont worry if my shirt rides up. That to me is the best part of legal OC, not having worry about “brandishing.”

    There is of course that whole, “shall not be infringed” thing too.

  12. Open carry would be far more convenient but I’ve never considered it because it’s so amusing to calmly talk with folks in the grocery store who would scream like little girls and run for their lives if they knew I was packing.

  13. Arkansas is cc only right now but hopefully will change soon! I would like the option to OC or CC at my choice and discretion.
    That being said I am more apt to CC in someplace like Wal Mart but OC in the local mom and pop grocery store where all the old farmers and country boys wouldn’t be offended or upset by it.
    Just wish we had the option, and it would really help do away with the brandishing crap.
    I have been warned a couple of times in Wally World about “brandishing” because I had to reach up on a higher shelf. So stupid but part of the law right now.

  14. This article is right on. I think the opposition from the cc only crowd has to do with fear of exercising rights in front of boobus americanis and officer 82nd Airborne. I don’t think we should fear.

  15. In Wisconsin we can open carry with no permit, if we want to CC we need to get a permit. At least in the area where I live you don’t see too many people open carry, but every once in a while I do see someone who is. Its not really that big of a deal and no one freaks out as far as I have observed.

  16. Milsurp Collector says: And what sort of emperor are you to decide what behavior is “civilized”

    Well Matt, I am not an emperor or any such thing. It was the way I was raised. I was taught that you did not purposely do things that made other people uncomfortable. That was I was told the sign of being a civilized human being, a gentleman. Maybe you were taught differently. Well not maybe, you were I suppose.

    I think my way is better but then that is how I was raised. You think differently I guess.

    • I’d like to apologize for labeling you as an anti and blowing up on you previously. Final exams are coming up this week I’m a bit stressed out from sleep deprivation. I respect and understand the way you were raised. I too was taught to be a gentleman and I apologize for any disparaging remarks earlier, but I was taught to not go so far as to change my lifestyle to appease the needs of others. I was also raised in the not so friendly state of NJ. I guess we don’t see eye to eye on everything either. I’ll leave you with a great anonymous quote I read recently:

      “Arguing on the internet is a lot like the Special Olympics, no matter who wins, you’re all retarded”

      • Milsurp, Not a problem. We can agree to disagree. Really in the scope of things it is a very small problem and I will say I was a bit harsh too!

  17. A couple of years ago, I was having lunch with coworkers at a fast food joint sitting by the line of people waiting to order. Guy walks by in line packing a stainless auto-loader in a nice leather holster. At the time, I wasn’t a gun enthusiast, and had no idea what the gun laws were in my state, or anywhere else for that matter. My response was not: “OMG! A GUN AT CHIPOTLE! OMG!”. It was more along the lines of: “Huh, I didn’t know that was legal.” The first thing I did when I got back to the office was look up Washington state gun laws, along with those of other states. And now I’m here, reading this blog, and on my way to being an enthusiast.

    Full disclosure, I grew up around guns, which may have tempered my response to the OC incident. I have just never been “in” to guns until recently. To this day, that’s still the only time I’ve seen anyone OC in the greater Seattle area other than at the gun range.

  18. This article pisses me off a little, although I think the writer meant well. I agree that open carry is a good thing. In fact, herein my home state of North Carolina its perfectly legal, and Ive done it many ti mes even though I conceal most of the time. Here is my problem/ question. How is printing, or allowing someone to see your firearm considered brandishing? My state has no print laws, but even in the ones that do, it still would not be brandishing a firearm if someone gets alerted to the fact that your carrying.

    • Printing is not brandishing. But it’s easier to make a false accusation of brandishing stick in a state without open carry laws.


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