CCW etiquette/legalities


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StandOnGuard
November 21, 2004, 09:49 AM
In states where CCW is an option, how common is it for folks to carry? How legal/socially acceptable is it to identify yourself as a person carrying (I don't mean actually displaying your gun)?

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Tamara
November 21, 2004, 09:53 AM
It varies widely from locale to locale. When I lived in a trendy, artsy neighbourhood in Atlanta, it would probably have caused coronaries amongst my fellow customers at the coffehouse, used book store, or gallery, while at work in a suburb twenty some-odd miles north of there, I could jog across the main street of town to go fetch a pack of smokes without bothering to put a covering garment on, and nobody said "boo" about the Glock on my hip.

As far as how common it is? Well, my viewpoint is skewed since most all of my friends and acquaintances carry whenever they're able, but that's just the circles I run in. I'd say that in the South, a pistol in a purse or a .38 under a front seat are a lot more common than permit numbers would indicate.

Baba Louie
November 21, 2004, 10:01 AM
How legal/socially acceptable is it to identify yourself as a person carrying (I don't mean actually displaying your gun)? Concealed means concealed, as in no one needs to know, so they do not blab something stupid out loud at an inappropriate moment. If your state requires you to so inform an LEO upon interaction with same, do so. Maybe your attorney could/should know, probably your immediate family, and they should all know about keeping a closed mouth on the subject.

rangerbill
November 21, 2004, 11:17 AM
i carry mine everywhere...except work unfortunatly. but even to run to the corner store. after all something like 76% of violet crime happens within 5 miles from home.

plus theres a legal bonus. suppose you had to defend yourself and end up in court for some reason, possibly civil. the lawyer asks "do you take your gun each time you leave home?" you say "no" then starts the line on questioning as to why you brought your gun on this particular occaision. point being to say you expected trouble or planned the action some way.

Zonamo
November 21, 2004, 11:24 AM
Just based on personal experience, it seems like it is much less acceptable here in Arizona to openly carry ever since they passed the concealed carry laws. Even though I am probably now more aware about it than I used to be, I see it less than I did years ago.

I remember a friend joking a long time ago about all the calls the County Sherrif would get in the winter around here from frantic people not used to local custom.

Snowbird: Hello? Is this the Sherrif's Department? There's a man with a gun on the street!

Dispatcher: And what is he doing ma'am?

Snowbird: He's walking down the street!...With a gun!

Dispatcher: And?

Snowbird: A....gun!

Dispatcher: You're not from around here, are you ma'am?

Lobotomy Boy
November 21, 2004, 11:37 AM
Ranger Bill wrote:

"After all something like 76% of violent crime happens within 5 miles from home."

Dang, remind me to steer clear of your home.

Sorry, I get what you're saying, but I just couldn't resist the joke.

pax
November 21, 2004, 12:33 PM
Like so much of American life these days, the answer to your question depends on whether the locale is in the city or in the country.

I can't find more recent data, but as of 1993 approximately 4% of Washington state residents possessed a permit to carry a concealed pistol. The number of permits issued has gone up since then, but so has the population; I'm pretty sure the percentage of residents licensed to carry has remained fairly constant.

That 4% isn't uniform across the state, of course. In Seattle, the social climate is very liberal, and fairly anti-gun. Whereas in Eastern Washington, all those little burgs with miles of empty highway between them, it is unusual for a household not to have guns in it. Down here in Lewis county -- arguably the most conservative area on the wet side of the mountains -- most of my neighbors own guns. I don't know how many of them have CPLs (our version of a CCW), but I'd venture to guess as many as 1 out of every 4 adults or perhaps a bit more.

Of those with permits, most do not carry on a regular basis.

Apart from women I know through the range, I am the only woman I know who regularly carries.

But this is deceiving, too, because -- except for folks I know through the range -- most people I know, don't know I carry. Why should I know whether they do or not? Concealed is concealed, right?

Up at the dojo last week, my buddy and I showed up near the end of a class wearing street clothes. We'd just come from a handgun retention class and so were too late to put on gis and work out, but we wanted to talk to the sensei after class (and Sensei always encourages people to come watch if they can't work out). Sensei saw us, waved, and kept doing what he was doing, while we settled down on a bench to watch. Perhaps ten minutes later, Sensei asked Buddy if he'd join them on the mat to demonstrate something. Buddy nodded, removed his jacket, took his car keys out of his pocket and looked a little embarrassed as he tried to 'sneak' his holstered gun under his jacket without displaying it to the room. The other woman on the bench laughed aloud and said, "Good grief, like we've never seen a gun before!" -- and Sensei added, "Yeah, and didn't you guys just come from the range anyway?" No one surprised, no one blinked, no social issue there.

Of course, you're going to say that's at a martial-arts place, and yeah, that's true. But it's fairly typical of the response you get around here. I think carrying a gun around here is like wearing overalls to church; it's unusual, but nothing to get excited about.

Pretty sure that's not the case in Seattle.

pax

sm
November 21, 2004, 12:58 PM
As Tamara and pax pointed out - so much depends on locale and specific wording of statues.

I'm in Central AR. I carry as much as can. I park off Campus as we cannot have CCW on College Campus. I have to be and out of buildings that do not allow , such as Fed, State gummit ,and hosptials.

Now a lot of folks find it is " too much of a hassle" and to my my surprise some have let their CCW laspe. This seems to occur with men, women...and some are not moms..."I'm carrying ". Makes me wonder if the maternal instinct plays a part in decision.

I know some folks , male and female, carry and have for years, they don't worry about about NOT having a permisson slip. Granted many come to the big city from smaller towns, farming and such, where a 30-30 in the gun rack and a pistol in the glove box is "what one has always done".

I recently had the most profound thing happen to me. I was with a "friend" , who used to teach handgunning, assist with CCW , and still does some smithin'. We were moving some stuff with my truck and had to go through some bad areas. I asked if he had his CCW, he didn't so I handed him a snubby, he refused it! He then proceeded to chew ME out for CCW-ing!

He also informed me that when it is his time to "go" it is his time to "go". He doesn't even have a spare for his truck, and he has to go through some bad areas - at night. When I went to pick him up in a bad area because he blew a tire...I had a 1911 and an BUG...and I was not comfortable with the area.

Sad to say, I don't know what happened, he doesn't want to talk about it ( I tried) so I have one less "friend" I can trust and be around.

*shrug*

Standing Wolf
November 21, 2004, 01:06 PM
In states where CCW is an option, how common is it for folks to carry? How legal/socially acceptable is it to identify yourself as a person carrying (I don't mean actually displaying your gun)?

Actually carrying is nowhere near common enough anywhere in the United States. I carry whenever I leave the house; I have a hunch, however, that's the exception rather than the rule.

I'm not the least bit shy about letting friends and neighbors know I exercise my Second Amendment civil rights; then again, I live in Colorado, where open carry is legal—Denver excepted, to be sure—and a great many households include firearms. I don't advertise the fact that I'm carrying concealed when I carry that way, but if a reasonable person were to ask, I'm sure I'd mention it. Again, I'd guess my attitudes are the exception rather than the rule.

psyopspec
November 21, 2004, 03:11 PM
do not blab something stupid out loud at an inappropriate moment

Choosing who I discuss guns and ccw with has admittedly gotten me some odd looks. But it's also caused friends to become gunowners and a few to take up legal ccw. Just preaching to the choir on boards like this won't do anything to help the cause. That's why I accept the risk of telling a few others, because if I don't help to perpetuate the right I don't feel I deserve it.

To answer the questions at hand:
How common: Not uncommon. ND doesn't release statistics, but in my social circle only about 20% carry.
How legal/socially acceptable: I've never heard of anyone calling the cops for a simple 'man with a gun' in this state. Socially I would say people are mildly against it, but the majority of friends that I've broached the topic with are accepting after discussing it with me. Most find out I ccw when I disarm before going into a prohibited area and they happen to be with me.

Warren
November 21, 2004, 03:35 PM
I find it really easy to not talk about.

The only realspace folks who know I carry are the gun shop guys, one member here at THR and my family.

I see no upside and plenty of downside in letting anyone else know.

Lobotomy Boy
November 21, 2004, 06:39 PM
I suspect that there are quite a few people who regularly carry, but do so without a permit and don't let anyone, even their closest acquaintances know they carry. These people aren't posting that fact on the Internet, either.

mountainclmbr
November 21, 2004, 07:14 PM
I carry everywhere except work where it is against company policy. I carry at home until I go to bed. Not many people know, just my wife and one of my brothers. I don't announce that I am carrying, no one can see so why bring it up?

You never know when you may need to protect yourself. I have mountain lions in my yard occasionally and had a bear try to break in my house this fall. I also had a home invasion when I lived in Florida. The BG was charging me after breaking in my door, but quickly changed his mind when he saw I was bringing my revolver up on him. Most use of a firearm in defense against crimminal attack is like my situation and does not have any shots fired. I believe CCW people basically are refusing to be an easy victim.

Hawkmoon
November 21, 2004, 09:11 PM
In states where CCW is an option, how common is it for folks to carry? How legal/socially acceptable is it to identify yourself as a person carrying (I don't mean actually displaying your gun)?
CCW is legal where I live. I have no idea how common it is. I live in a "blue" state that went heavily for Kerry, so I'll guess that concealed carry probably isn't very common ... except among the gang bangers.

For the same "blue state" reason, those who carry probably don't advertise the fact. I have two friends in this state who know that I carry -- one of them also carries, the other doesn't but has no problem with it. Aside from that, the friends whom I trust with this info are in other states.

txgho1911
November 21, 2004, 09:33 PM
GFs and SOs may not allways follow a rule of using good judgment. Educating my GF in what I carry, how I carry, why I carry, has been an adventure.
I have spent hours on end learning every corner of my states laws and other states laws I have buisiness in.
Discovered many things in these laws that do not make sense even if I lean as far left as I can imagine as reasonable.
Explanation occurs everytime she discovers I am packing while at church or at the store.
1. It is legal with no law denying our rights in doing so.
2. Nobody ever knows when or who or why BG is a BG.
3. I will never regret not ever having to use every tool at my disposal in protecting me and my family.

Old Dog
November 21, 2004, 11:09 PM
Very common in the great state of Washington. Depending on where I am, I pretty much automatically presume those I encounter (who appear to be of legal age and above) are quite possibly packing ... As far as the etiquette of confiding that one packs ... one doesn't tend to disclose this to someone not a close friend ...

Pax's response indicated that here in Washington State, as of 1993, approximately 4% of the populace had CPLs ... However, prior to the turn of the (new) century, and again, post-9/11, there was considerable publicity in my area (Puget Sound, which includes Seattle-Tacoma) by the media regarding the substantial spike in applications for CPLs. I'm starting to believe that the numbers are in fact increasing in the state. It certainly seems as though the (alleged) threat of local terrorism coupled with the death of the AWB and the associated media coverage of these events has put forth the concept of not only arming one's self, but also carrying firearms, to many of our citizens -- who seem to be heeding the call ...

gigmike
November 22, 2004, 10:44 AM
I carry about 80% of the time. My daily routine varies with my job so it doesn't always work out that I can carry, I don't like leaving my pistol in the car so I leave it at home if it has to come off at some point of the day. When I mountain bike it goes in a fanny pack, when I go on errands it is on my hip, pretty much a habit at this point. As far as who I knows I carry, my parents, wife and a couple guys I shoot with. The key for me is that no one needs to know. I have a friend who is "gun neutral" who I think suspects, I'll leave him to his guessing. If he asks I'll tell him, just out of respect. If someone I didn't know well were to volunteer that they carry, then I'd go to condition yellow real fast.

MikeB
November 22, 2004, 11:10 AM
I'm very rarely unarmed. In PA we don't really have any silly rules about where you can carry. Basically just the federal restrictions and state courthouses. The latter are required to check your firearm as well. Signs here don't mean anything either, they actually have to find you carrying and then ask you to leave at which time you must refuse for any charges to stick.

As for others knowing and what not. I'm generally not too shy about it, while I don't run around announcing that I carry I will certainly acknowlegde it or talk about it when the topic comes up. I look at it as just one more way to counteract the anti-gun BS. I've also been amazed at the number of people in my area that are armed more often than not. I've met dozens of others who after knowing them for a while or due to the topic of conversation have also acknowledged carrying. I've met quite a few friends this way.

Mikul
November 22, 2004, 02:54 PM
I'll talk about it if the topic comes up. I stopped in some granola-type tea house while visiting North Carolina. Everyone in the place seemed to enjoy dating women, but I was the only male. I was sitting at the bar drinking some bizarre tea concoction that I had ordered when the woman next to me gets into a hissy fit about guns (it was a progression of her anti-Bush tirade). The bar-chick and a few other customers are agreeing with her. I am, conspicuously, keeping my mouth shut. Not being one to accept dissent in her ranks, she asks me directly: "You don't need to carry a gun to defend yourself, do you?" "Until I can think of a better way to defend myself, I do." You know, there was no reaction from ANY of them. I was actually disappointed. "What do you need to carry a gun around with you for?" "Look, I just came in here for a cup of tea." "So, why do you feel the need to bring a gun?" "Because not everybody I'm going to meet tonight is just out for a cup of tea." They seemed to think that was reasonable. Either that or I pulled some kind of accidental Jedi mind trick on them.

Sometimes, the discussions are more interesting, but I was impressed at how well that conversation went at a place like that. Be polite. Don't lecture, and don't bring it up unless they do. Generally things will go better than you expect.

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