Open Carry - Your thoughts


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owsi26
October 13, 2005, 11:40 AM
I would like to share my open carry journey experiences. I would like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

I became disabled 10 years ago, which was (is) bad news but in regards to carrying, it opened up possiblities for me. Due to company laws we were forbidden to carry on our person, have a firearm on company property and in our company vehicles. I worked in very remote areas totally alone and I felt very vulnerable.

Once I wasn't working I started carrying concealed. I live in a hot climate and I soon grew tired of trying to figure out what firearm to carry that day based on what I was wearing, doing, etc. I began helping stranded motorists and even though I was carrying, I was carrying in an ankle holster and that made me worry. Approaching a vehicle, I realized that by the time that I was able to draw my weapon from an ankle holster, I would be dead.

I wasn't keen on wearing a shirt out with jeans, for a number of reasons. I tired other ways of carrying concealed and finally got fed up with doing so. It is legal in Georgia to carry openly with a firearms permit but I was worried about doing so from the standpoint of law enforcement and the public. I called the local sheriff and chief of police and told them who I was and that I wanted to carry openly. I asked their thoughts. They both were fine with it so I started carrying openly.

Immediately I got reactions! From "He's got a gun!" to "Don't shoot me!, to "Are you a cop?", "I didn't do it!" and other comments that really bothered me. I didn't want to scare people but darn it, it was legal to carry openly and I was going to exercise my right to do so. I needed a way to calm the nerves of the public.

I researched badge laws and decided to wear a gold "Concealed Carry Permit" badge that I bought years ago. That helped but those that read the badge were confused. (Of course!) I was also looking into becoming a private detective and discovered I could be one by just decided to be one as long as I didn't say I was a licensed private detective.

I began wearing a "private detective" badge and the public seemed happy so I was happy. I also took a course, read books, etc. and started working cases. I still do work now and then but it is more of a hobby and a way of legitimately carrying openly than a job. My medical problems prevent me from doing much of anything but the open carry situation was solved - I thought.

One day I went into Walmart. The greeter said hi to me and I said hi back. A few minutes later I heard a voice behind me saying "Excuse me sir." and it was Walmart Security. He then saw my badge and apologized for bothering me. The greeter didn't see my badge (worn on my belt, in front) but did see the gun from behind and freaked out.

How to solve this problem? I began wearing cuffs on my belt in the back and all was okay, until one night. I pulled over to help a woman who was stranded with her kids on the side of the road from a broken transmission. I saw blue lights behind me and two patrol cars. I had met the first officer before and he made it clear he didn't like me wearing a badge and cuffs. He wanted me to carry concealed. I told him (nicely) my safety comes before his concerns.

He walked past me, without speaking, and went to talk to the woman. He gave me a hard time again and told me to carry concealed. They then left (without offering help to this woman) and I asked the woman what the officer said. He asked her if I had identified myself as a law enforcement officer. (I didn't, of course.) In other words, he wanted to arrest me for impersonating an officer! I since began telling everyone, that I helped, that I wasn't a law enforcement officer.

My health has prevented me from getting out for months but I'm now getting a bit better and I want to start carrying openly again. Once it gets cooler and I can wear a jacket, I will carry in a shoulder holster or in a belt holster. The officer is gone. His ego got the best of him and ended up costing him his job.

Sorry for the long post. I would be most interested in hearing from any of you who have carried openly and for those who haven't, I would like to hear your thoughts, suggestions, etc. There is a fine line between calming the public and appearing to be a cop. I have a good excuse with the P.I. stuff (for carrying openly) but when I'm not working, I feel bad wearing the badge. I bought a badge that says "Firearms Permit" with my permit number on the bottom. I'm considering this as an option.

Your thoughts, suggestions, experiences?

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belton-deer-hunter
October 13, 2005, 11:46 AM
well i ahve to say that i am in favor of open carry if a robber walks into a bank and sees three of four or enen more people with a gun on them they are going to think twice before robbing i mean if a mugger thinks you have a gun they will deffintly think twice before robbing you

crazyXgerman
October 13, 2005, 11:50 AM
i am saying this respectfully: i think you worry too much about what other people think. ;)

dasmi
October 13, 2005, 11:52 AM
I would never, ever wear a badge. It infers that I am law enforcement, and I AM NOT. I don't want people expecting to me jump in and help at the first sign of trouble. I openly carried in Arizona for a weekend, and no one said a word. No one looked at me funny. No one cared.

GhostRider66
October 13, 2005, 01:36 PM
It infers that I am law enforcement, and I AM NOT.

I believe you meant to say "implies". "Infer" is what the people would be doing when they see the badge which is exactly the point at hand. The question then becomes, are you trying to imply that you are law enforcement or because people infer that fact, it is somehow your fault. I personally would rather put up with the odd looks and comments rather than attempt to obfuscate the situation at all with anything else that might get you in trouble with law enforcement who may not understand the difference between "implied" and "inferred". I carried openly when I lived in New Mexico and for the most part reactions (if any) were highly dependent on my appearance and demeanor at any given time.

Vern Humphrey
October 13, 2005, 02:34 PM
I would not wear a badge. Too much chance of being accused of what that one cop tried to accuse you of.

If someone made a remark about the gun, I'd say "I have a permit."

If a cop made a remark, I'd say, "The sheriff and I talked this over, and he agrees with me."

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 03:01 PM
If it is legal it is legal. The only reason people give odd looks is because for so long people have assosiated gun's with criminal's or cop's. And it click's that you don't look like a cop so you must be a criminal. Many people just arn't used to seeing a gun on someones hip other then a police officer, to them anyone else with a gun is a danger or plan's on doing something illegal with it.

Give them time, encourage more people who are responsible and own weapon's to do it, and tell supercop to talk to his chief about the conversation. Most cop's are great guy's, but supercop's like that, that get a power rush from a badge, are idiot's and you handled it wonderfuly IMO.

txgho1911
October 13, 2005, 03:18 PM
With current of conflicting state and local laws running over the 2nd and state constitutions I carry openly only out of my workplace and when I am alone.
If someone has a problem with how I carry I will tell them it is legal and ask if they want to know how. I am very patient when explaining to folks things that are twisted and wrenched in the media or by LEO's ordered to harrass without knowledge of state law.
opencarry.org may have some info you would be interested in.

No_Brakes23
October 13, 2005, 03:31 PM
Open Carry beats the hell out of no carry.

You don't have to worry about being "made" or be concerned that you might be "printing."

My reply to the whole "If yer in a bank an tha robberz see you, they're gonna shoot you first," argument is that I believe most bank robbers will just wait till you leave or rob the bank so serreptitiously that you don't even notice.

The only time I have Open Carried was in Yuma, AZ, and just like dasmi said, no one there gives a rodent's posterior about it. I think a couple kids in Wal-Mart went wide-eyed, but when their parents saw, they didn't register any surprise or concern on their faces.

For the OP's place, I would just keep carrying openly and explaining it to folks. No sense being "in the closet" about it, so to speak.

And definitely ditch the badge.

Amadeus
October 13, 2005, 03:36 PM
Be patient with those who don't carry. Help educate them through rational and polite discussion. Demonstrate that those who carry guns are law-abiding, respectful and well spoken individuals. In the meantime, lose the badge and cuffs. It makes it look like you're playing your own game of cops and robbers.

Andrew Rothman
October 13, 2005, 03:41 PM
Ditch the badge.

There are plenty of ways to dress neatly and carry concealed. I doubt you've truly exhausted the options.

If you choose to carry openly, do it with confidence and equinamity. Use it as an opportunity to educate. In time, perhaps people will learn not to freak when they see an armed, non-law-enforcement citizen.

Standing Wolf
October 13, 2005, 04:04 PM
I carry openly about a third of the time in Colorado. During the past six months or so, a grand total of one person has mentioned my gun—other than my fellow bullseye shooters at the range, of course. She was merely curious whether I might be a cop.

I carried openly a week on vacation in September. One person appeared to notice my gun, but didn't ask about it. Nobody else even noticed. Curiously, the gun I was carrying was my pre-agreement Smith & Wesson model 629 in a hip holster.

I've found open carry is the most comfortable way to carry the most gun. I'm certainly not about to pretend to be a cop or carry a cute little badge. If and/or when anybody asks, I'll explain I'm a law-abiding American citizen keeping and bearing arms in full compliance with state and federal law.

Lennyjoe
October 13, 2005, 09:03 PM
No thought about it. I open carry when I want to and I haven't had a bad comment yet. Couple of questions on the model of gun but thats about it.

I wouldn't display any kind of badge either.

M99M12
October 13, 2005, 09:21 PM
I love Vermont:neener:

Gannet
October 13, 2005, 10:49 PM
I'd ditch the badge. I'd try to be very polite and patient with those who freak, but I'd also be firm.

Perhaps have some business cards printed. White, with nothing on them other than this:

The Bill of Rights, Amendment II
...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Present one of those, with a nice smile, to anyone who asks what you are doing carrying a gun.

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 10:53 PM
I checked SC (since I will be living there in less then a year) and they have no open carry period. That annoy's me.

SC, TX, state's that you figure for pretty conservative have no open carry, thatj ust seem's odd to me.

bamawrx
October 13, 2005, 10:58 PM
What in the heck are you doing helping people on the side of the road? Is this some kind of regular thing for you? I know we want to help out when people are in need, but you really need to think about this more. Your not a cop or superman, so if someone needs help why not offer to call someone on your phone and let that be it. If you are concerned about your safety then leave strangers alone.

I'm also with the others that say ditch the badge and cuffs. Carry open or concealed as you wish, but use your head to avoid problems. Everyone on this board that CCW's has made changes to their lifestyle to facilitate it. I changed some of my pants, shirts, coats, etc all to provide for CCW in any given circumstance and environment.

Its supposed to be comforting not comfortable to have a gun. And while I fully support your decision to go open carry you may find that its handy to keep a shirt or something in the car to slap on to avoid "conversations". Good luck.

mcooper
October 13, 2005, 11:07 PM
Open carry, don't worry about the badge.

In Ms open carry is legal 18years old and up. you have to be 21 to apply for the CCW permit. Since I'm 19 it's open carry or no carry. Though, as of yet, I haven't walked into walmart carrying.

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 11:11 PM
Bam?

Who said about helping people on the side of the road? Im not being sarcastic, I just missed that post and looked over agian and can't seem to pick it out so if you could please point it out.

Aside from that. Who care's if you help someone? If anything helping someone is a GOOD thing and aside from helping someone, wouldn't exactly hurt "Man with concealed carry permit save's rape victem" It isn't the thing to politisize but wouldn't hurt.

And offer them your phone or call the police? If I see a woman being beaten in an ally, I am not going to call the police, if I have a gun Im going to pull it. Someone you love is in trouble which would you prefer someone does offera phone and pulls a gun and says freeze.

EDIT- Naturaly, now I remember and catch it. If it was in reference to helping someone on the side of the road in the opening post with supercop. What's the problem with that?

And yeah, I'd get rid of the badge.

Black Majik
October 13, 2005, 11:13 PM
I opened carried on a trip to Arizona last summer, and for the most part got the same attention as everyone else.

I only got two responses, both kids, one telling his gf at wendy's that I was out to shoot zombies, and the other some kid told me cool gun.

Thats bout it. I didn't get the weird remarks (except that zombie comment), and i didn't feel comfortable from carrying openly. I still paid attention to my surroundings, and I honestly felt safer carrying, once I passed the border back into CA, the weight was off my hip and I felt like I could fly!

Ditch that badge.

bamawrx
October 13, 2005, 11:18 PM
Some things just aren't our problem to fix. If its a set up, or the poor motorist calls the cops on him for having a gun, etc. Its just not HIS problem and he can't win. He has already dodged a bullet once (no pun intended) with his road side heroics. I say give it a rest, or cover up, or better yet use the cel to call the cops or road side assistance.

If you see someone getting raped or whatever, well then do something. But thats not what we are talking about.

45SemiAuto
October 13, 2005, 11:33 PM
Concealed only unless hunting.I'd never drop a card in a High stakes poker game.

Oldnamvet
October 13, 2005, 11:43 PM
In Michigan open carry (other than in the field hunting) is considered "brandishing". They will prosecute you and take away your CCW.:cuss:

Hawkmoon
October 13, 2005, 11:44 PM
Some things just aren't our problem to fix. If its a set up, or the poor motorist calls the cops on him for having a gun, etc. Its just not HIS problem and he can't win. He has already dodged a bullet once (no pun intended) with his road side heroics. I say give it a rest, or cover up, or better yet use the cel to call the cops or road side assistance.
So, if your wife/mother/sister/girlfriend/fiancee broke down on a rural road (or a superhighway, take your pick), sat there for hours with a dead cell phone or no signal, then finally made it home after having to hike several miles, and started kvetching because nobody stopped to help, you'd tell the b*tch to shut up, people aren't supposed to stop and help other people.

Correct?

My grandmother was right. Chivalry is dead.

bamawrx
October 14, 2005, 11:12 AM
hawkmoon,

I would help if you took the time to read the post. I said "call the cops, or call roadside assist" that would be the right thing to do. So how again is my "b'tch" going to be stuck given those circumstances?

Walking up to a broken down car with a open hog leg strapped on is just stupid and asking for trouble.

My grandmother was right too. Common sense is dead.

Rickstir
October 14, 2005, 02:11 PM
As I read this I thought the next paragraph was going to be, I needed a car so I bought a Crown Victoria. Then you would get a chill so I bought a tactical vest. Good Lord man, you are a civilian, dress like it. Ditch the badge and cuffs unless you are on a hot date. IF I was an LEO I would have given you the buisness too.

I have carried open in my rural county in MO for 10 years, everywhere except the county buildings. I carry concealed too, but if I am working on my farm I carry open and if I have to run to town I don't bother to conceal.

Amish_Bill
October 14, 2005, 03:01 PM
Not stop to help someone in need? What kind of self-centered "not my problem" person are you suggesting I should be?

I'll almost always stop if I'm in a position to offer aid. Someday I may walk into the proverbial "bad situation" and being armed will help (hopefully) save my bacon. Until then, I'm not going to let a little fear prevent me from helping.

So far my luck has been pretty good - a 70 mile ride to a Marine on leave who needed to go to a place I was passing by anyway and several people who just needed a phone or a tow out of the middle of the street or similar small assists that meant little to me but were immensely helpful to them.

Back to the topic, open carry is one of the things I enjoy about my visits to TN. It's a serious adrenaline/paranoia rush the first few times you do it, but after a while it's not much different than having a PDA or leatherman on your belt.

Just don't look scrungy - use a nice holster and keep it well maintained.

longtab
October 14, 2005, 03:28 PM
I like states with open carry laws. But I do have a CCW and now live in a state with reciprocity (I'm military). Most states' laws state that if someone freaks out from seeing you with a firearm you are in the wrong. So for that reason alone I don't open carry, and when I carry concealed it IS concealed. Ive seen some guys with CCW's "flaunt" their pistol in the restaurant, or bank, or grocery store by flinging asisde a shirt or jacket ensuring everyone gets a gander. My 2¢.

MaMa PyCb
October 14, 2005, 04:44 PM
Ummm, if its Legal to open carry in your state, then it legal, no matter how unconfortable it makes other people. Why bother trying to look like a cop if you are not? You have a right to carry and the other people have a right to leave if it makes them unconfortable. If your state has CCW then getting and carring concield would be the way to go if you worried about what other people think. Honestly LOOKing like a cop is a bit of deception, and I think thats wrong. Put it to you this way, if a woman in a bar looks like a hooker, is saying to you things a hooker would say, and grabing your crotch, you would think shes a hooker right? But when you ask what the going rates are she gets all offened and says " just because I Dress this way dose not mean im that way." and you get sued to the end of time, wouldnt you think that was a bit of a trap?

LaVere
October 14, 2005, 04:46 PM
In Michigan open carry (other than in the field hunting) is considered "brandishing". They will prosecute you and take away your CCW.:cuss:


Open carry is NOT brandishing in Michigan. See state law


Opinion No. 7101

February 6, 2002

Attorny General Jennifer Grandholm full letter on this.
233 F3d 379, 380 (CA 6, 2000), the
court recognized that in federal sentencing guidelines, "brandishing" a
weapon is defined to mean "that the weapon was pointed or waved about,
or displayed in a threatening manner."

http://lavere.net/WordPress

Control Group
October 14, 2005, 05:04 PM
Opinion No. 7101

February 6, 2002

Attorny General Jennifer Grandholm full letter on this.
233 F3d 379, 380 (CA 6, 2000), the
court recognized that in federal sentencing guidelines, "brandishing" a
weapon is defined to mean "that the weapon was pointed or waved about,
or displayed in a threatening manner."
(emphasis, obviously, added)

There's an awful lot of room for prosecutorial discretion in that last phrase. Who defines "threatening?" To an awful lot of blissninnies, the very existence of guns is threatening.

It could very well be that the standard is "if someone feels threatened, it was displayed in a threatening manner," which means you're pretty much screwed.

It also could very well be that the standard is "if 12 members of the jury decide that they would have felt threatened."

The point is, the text of the law quoted above doesn't give you any practical information on the legality of open carrying. You'd have to know the relevant case law to actually make an informed decision about it.

(All that being said, I didn't follow the link, so there might be clarification of this very ambiguity there, in which case: my apologies for spouting off without doing the appropriate research)

LaVere
October 15, 2005, 10:44 AM
(emphasis, obviously, added)

There's an awful lot of room for prosecutorial discretion in that last phrase. Who defines "threatening?" To an awful lot of blissninnies, the very existence of guns is threatening.

It could very well be that the standard is "if someone feels threatened, it was displayed in a threatening manner," which means you're pretty much screwed.

It also could very well be that the standard is "if 12 members of the jury decide that they would have felt threatened."

The point is, the text of the law quoted above doesn't give you any practical information on the legality of open carrying. You'd have to know the relevant case law to actually make an informed decision about it.




(All that being said, I didn't follow the link, so there might be clarification of this very ambiguity there, in which case: my apologies for spouting off without doing the appropriate research)



Thank you for your responce. My point is we do have open carry as listed in other parts of the law. The other man said open carry is brandishing.
I just wanted to show in ( Michigan ) the definition of what open carry realy is according to the Attorney General and Now our governor.

Best to all
Gordon

fb
October 15, 2005, 03:14 PM
Man, I hope this michigan question is settled one day.
I would carry open at times but have no intention of makeing a great to- do about it.
I dont think we really have RKBA unless a gun can be carried openly or concealed legally.
The "brandishing" thing is clearly defined I think. Are you waveing the damm thing around and pointing it? Well, then you are brandishing it.
I can understand getting hassled walking down the street in Detroit, and for a while at least, having people stare. As long as the pistol is in a holster,its hard to say thats brandishing.
Question needs to be settled, maybe we need some organizing.

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