Advice Needed - Outdoor Carry


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swilcoxaz
January 3, 2006, 11:23 PM
I need a bit of advice for an upcoming project. I will be conducting an environmental survey from Tucson, AZ to the Mexican border for the next few weeks.

The area I'll be working in is known as "Cocaine Alley" and "OTM Alley" - meaning Other Than Mexican Alley - because of the large number of non-Mexican illegal aliens historically apprehended in the area. Sounds fun, huh?

In addition, there is a group known as "the Minutemen", a group of armed civilians who patrol the border trying to aprehend Illegals trying to cross the border. They take it pretty seriously too. The border patrol maintains a large presence as well.

There will be a crew of three, two males and a female, walking along the route of a proposed pipeline from Tucson to the Mexican border. I don't know which sounds more menacing - the illegals, the drug runners, or the minutemen. :eek:

My question is this: I am an Arizona Resident and have a CCW. In any case, to avoid any potential conflicts, would it be more prudent to wear my sidearm exposed or concealed? Would an exposed weapon be more likely to avoid or provoke trouble? We plan on minding our own business and hope to keep it that way. Thanks for your input.

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AFhack
January 3, 2006, 11:26 PM
I'd carry openly in that area of the country... but only you can determine if it's right for you or not.


BTW - I was under the impression that the minute men were an unarmed group?

mbs357
January 3, 2006, 11:29 PM
I was under the impression that while the Minute Men weren't issued weapons they could carry concealed if they had a permit.
And maybe they could carry rifles they owned with them.

GoBrush
January 3, 2006, 11:32 PM
CARRY CONCEALED! Not even a question in my book

No need for anyone to know unless approached by official border patrol or other local LEO.

No reason to advertise;)

Be safe and take lots of water!

swilcoxaz
January 3, 2006, 11:38 PM
Open carry is legal and common in Arizona. As I understand it, mbs357 is correct, the minutemen can be armed, just like anyone else.

I can see both sides, open and concealed... keep the advice coming!


Here is a link to info on the area, if anyone cares to take a look:

http://www.desertinvasion.us/invasio...on_sasabe.html

AFhack
January 3, 2006, 11:41 PM
I was under the impression that while the Minute Men weren't issued weapons they could carry concealed if they had a permit.
And maybe they could carry rifles they owned with them.

you're right mbs - just did some more research - and they can and do carry in accordance with local laws. So in Arizona and New Mexico they're pretty much able to carry anything they legally can (both are open carry states). Sorry I misrepresented that earlier.


I still think I'd open carry in the OP's area of concern. I've lived in Southern New Mexico (Alamogordo) for over 8 years now and I can't think of a valid reason to carry concealed here.... it's very rural, crime rates are low, and valid natural threats that might require handgun use (coyote, snake, runaway horse with one of your feet still in the stirrup) usually require a draw faster than concealed carry allow.

Now, if I were in a bigger city, or in and out of populated areas a lot more frequently, or even just in an area that wasn't used to seeing guns on people's hips, then I'd probably agree that concealed is the way to go.

RangerHAAF
January 3, 2006, 11:51 PM
My personal opinion would be to carry openly, so there's no surprises for anyone; LE, civilians, illegal aliens or drug runners.

Bob F.
January 4, 2006, 12:01 AM
Both: Open may keep someone from "messing" with you or someone could get the drop on you before you're aware of them and rob you of your weapon, or worse. So carry a concealed BUG! And water, and matches, and a first aide kit, and comm, and........................

Stay safe.
Bob

PS: Sunscreen!

Ala Dan
January 4, 2006, 12:08 AM
I too, think I would exercise the great state of Arizona's right to carry openly
law. Could discourage some potential problems.:uhoh: :D

taliv
January 4, 2006, 12:51 AM
I don't know which sounds more menacing - the illegals, the drug runners, or the minutemen.


if you can't make this distinction, maybe ccw isn't such a hot idea for you

Standing Wolf
January 4, 2006, 12:55 AM
I'd carry openly, if only because it's a lot easier to carry more gun more comfortably in a hip holster.

Lumping the Minutemen in with the illegal aliens and drug donkeys is insulting. The Minutemen are on America's side.

GoBrush
January 4, 2006, 12:58 AM
My personal opinion would be to carry openly, so there's no surprises for anyone; LE, civilians, illegal aliens or drug runners.

Ranger not quite following you here please explain. You dont want to surprise illegal aliens or drug runners????????

Arizona or not you have a CCW for a reason exersise that right! If Arizona open carry is such a great idea why not walk in down town Phoenix open carry?

What makes the middle of the desert any different? Someone please inlighten me here cause I would really like to know the rational.

I just dont get it?:confused:

swilcoxaz
January 4, 2006, 01:15 AM
Taliv and Standing Wolf - I wasn't lumping minutemen with drug donkeys and illegals. I meant that we'll be walking across open desert wearing backpacks, which might get a bit of attention from them - particularly while heading north.

The debate in my head is whether open carry would discourge or attract trouble from anyone, including border patrol and minutemen.

Lone Tundra Wolf
January 4, 2006, 01:28 AM
No matter how you carry.... make sure you stay on the U. S. Side of the border....or they will have a field day with you.

taliv
January 4, 2006, 01:29 AM
oh, i see. you meant you thought the minutemen might mistake you for illegals. my mistake

if it were me, i'd go concealed if i'm just carrying a pistol. i'd have a rifle in the truck or slung if possible (i.e. you're not carrying too much other stuff)

swilcoxaz
January 4, 2006, 03:14 AM
Taliv, yeah. Considering that my two crew members are Native American, and could easily be mistaken for Hispanic, that is a concern. I'm sure security along the border is heightened this time of year, as many Mexicans return home for Christmas and are making their way back up about now.

The other group to be concerned about is a group of volunteers who leave water for the people crossing the desert (although they're not as active in the winter). Understandably, they are at odds with the minutemen. So, we'll be entering an area where tensions are high and there are several groups who don't exactly get along. We'll be the strangers in the middle of it all.

A long gun wouln't exactly fit our situation. My choices in sidearms are a Springfield 1911-A1 or Beretta 92FS and for backup a .38 snubbie or CZ75 Compact. Is this a good time for a .45 vs. 9mm debate? ;)

SilentStalker
January 4, 2006, 03:22 AM
My opinion, carry both. Both circumstances have their plus sides and minus sides which have all been listed. However, IMO if you can carry concealed and open at the same time then you get the best of both worlds LOL, as long as you can put up with the extra weight.

Nathan67
January 4, 2006, 04:00 AM
Someone please inlighten me here ok, you are enlightened

Black Majik
January 4, 2006, 04:14 AM
If you do decide to carry openly, be sure to have a concealed back up gun!

carebear
January 4, 2006, 05:48 AM
Open carry and "official looking" clothing, and obvious radios, could lead all involved to steer clear of you.

The bad guys will hopefully think your are BP or "immigre" or at least just "armed and dangerous" and give you a wide berth and the good guys should give you the benefit of the doubt the more "official and American" you appear.

GoBrush,

I know there are people who open carry in downtown Phoenix. Do a search on open carry on the forums and you'll get both sides arguments for and against.

lawson
January 4, 2006, 06:25 AM
while trekking through the desert, open carry is going to be a lot more comfortable. while hunting, hiking, or whatever i'm doing in the desert, i always carry my .357 on my hip. i usually carry a snubbie concealed on my ankle, in a holster that laces to my boots for extra stability.

i open carry every now and then in town even, though my hip holster is often concealed by a jacket during winter. i feel it's important to exercise the right to carry openly, as well as the right to carry concealed.

Cosmoline
January 4, 2006, 06:37 AM
First of all, don't believe any of the nonsense you hear about the minutemen from the mainstream news sources. There's a concerted effort to cast them as vigillantes by a lot of people who have a lot of $$$ to gain by continuing the status quo, from walmart and the agribusinesses to the Bush administration.

As far as what to carry. If at all possible, openly carry a RIFLE in .223 or better. A handgun will have limited utility if you're in a real firefight in that open country.

Mad Chemist
January 4, 2006, 07:22 AM
oh, i see. you meant you thought the minutemen might mistake you for illegals. my mistake

if it were me, i'd go concealed if i'm just carrying a pistol. i'd have a rifle in the truck or slung if possible (i.e. you're not carrying too much other stuff)

+1 At least one member of your group needs to be able to "reach out and touch someone" if necessary. Coyotes aren't just smugglers, they're thieves and murderers as well.
Happy Trails.
JH

xring44
January 4, 2006, 08:00 AM
I think the prudent thing to do would be contact the Border Patrol, inform them of your job, your arrival date, your indian workers, ask them to pass along the imformation to the minutemen and go well heeled.

Janitor
January 4, 2006, 09:16 AM
I don't believe the Minutemen will try and aprehend or detain anyone. AFIK, if they suspect you of being an illegal, they'll radio your position in to the BP. They are very much the good guys and any of them that are carrying, are doing so for the same reasons you want to.

Out in the 'whoop' where you'll be, I'd have zero reservations about carrying open. It will be much more comfortable, and allow you to carry about as much sidearm as you'd like. Plus, as has been pointed out already, deployment is much easier/quicker from an open OWB holster than from a tuckable.

I saw your choices, and you'll need to make your own from that. Myself, I'd like to be carrying a nice 4" .44 magnum N frame.

Then, as others have mentioned - a BUG behind it. It's just tactically smoother.
-

armoredman
January 4, 2006, 12:20 PM
... CZ75 Compact.... ;)
A fellow CZ'er in Tucson? Brother!
Seriously, the illegal problems and drug runners flowing around would make me carry a serious rifle as well. I understand the nature of your business might preclude most rifles, maybe one of the KelTec folding ones in a backpack slot where you can get to it? Just a thought - carry the Springfield open, and the CZ concealed. Always have a spare firearm that far out of the way. Are the other two bringing anything, or is personal protection of all three up to you? I would check with them, and see if they plan on bringing a carbine or two.

Cosmoline
January 4, 2006, 12:28 PM
I think the prudent thing to do would be contact the Border Patrol, inform them of your job, your arrival date, your indian workers, ask them to pass along the imformation to the minutemen and go well heeled.

Keep in mind the Border Patrol won't pass squat on to the minutemen. They hate them and would like to arrest them. Since the minutemen don't actually pose a threat, there's no need to be concerned about them.

Nickotym
January 4, 2006, 12:37 PM
Didn't read all the posts, but I think I would contact both the BP and the Minutemen to let them know you will be working in the area. I would carry concealed to avoid looking like a threat to drugrunners or coyotes.

NineseveN
January 4, 2006, 12:45 PM
If you do decide to carry openly, be sure to have a concealed back up gun!

+1

OC is cool, but it kinda requires a backup piece just in case. Just MHO.

swilcoxaz
January 4, 2006, 01:05 PM
Well, I spoke with the BP this morning. They indicate no particular dangers at the present time although traffic is expected to increase following Christmas.

The Minutemen do not operate in that area but if they did, they would not be of concern.

The agent indicated that they have a large presence down there and that should we encounter any trouble a phone call to Tucson will get an agent there fairly quickly. The agent recommended carrying weapons, no preference for open or concealed carry. Just excercize caution and all should go well.

As for my logistics, I plan on never being more than a mile from the vehicle at any given time, and will follow the great advice given here.

Double Maduro
January 4, 2006, 05:32 PM
swilcoxaz,

I think that if I were going to camp in this area, I would probably post a guard at night. I would keep my eyes open during the day and I would disable my vehicle when I was away from it. I would also make sure that each member of the team had a set of keys. If there is only one set, they will be with the person that gets lost.

I would make sure that the other members of the team know where the weapon is and how too, and when too, use it.

If I was someone sneaking across the border, for whatever reason, I would love to find an unattended vehicle. It would save a lot of walking.

The next best thing would be to find 3 campers snoring away. I would have everything you had with you, including your weapon and your truck. I would probably leave the 3 of you in your skivvies and tell you where to get your clothes, several miles away. However, some others may just rape the female member of your group and then kill you all.

Use caution.

Be safe.

DM

swilcoxaz
January 4, 2006, 06:15 PM
Good points, re the vehicle. Thankfully, we won't be camping and will only be there during daylight. Land surveyors have already been out there and have marked the line. Our job is to follow their stakes. So far, they haven't reported anything going on out there - keeping fingers crossed that it remains that way.

gt3944
January 4, 2006, 06:22 PM
CONCEALED, and you might want to read up on the gang activity in that area..thats were all the deported gang members come back through...specially salbatrucha gang..the worst..there was a news special on that a while back on one of the spanish channels...

CraigJS
January 4, 2006, 08:23 PM
How about clothing that somewhat ID's who or what you are.. Tee shirts/wind breakers with some type of logo/company name etc. Light colored/brite colored so it's seen easily. May help the MM and border patrol to ID you as "good" guys, and Coyotes/smugglers to see and avoid you.. Open carry would be quicker if needed, a bug wouldn't be a bad idea, as also one of you carrying a long arm.
Random thoughts.. CraigJS

gremlin_bros
January 4, 2006, 08:40 PM
i have to agree with the idea of somebody carrying a rifle in the party. if it goes bad and lets face Mr. Murphy is out there you may need to play at&t (reach out and touch someone) doubtful but could happen as for the oc or cc issue i say both just in case. or even have one person with rifle one oc and the third cc this covers all basses just to be safe.
as for the mm group contact them let them know so they can pass it along to their people in the field.just to be safe

swilcoxaz
January 4, 2006, 10:15 PM
I posted this same question on another forum and those guys would have me carring nothing short of bazookas and rocket lauchers! It quickly turned into a political discussion on illegal immigration. I've just gotta say thanks to all of you for not going down that road.

Thanks again for sticking to the subject and, as always, offering up so great practical advice.

Fortunately, our company is firearm friendly and they understand the need in these situations.

swilcoxaz
January 4, 2006, 10:23 PM
A fellow CZ'er in Tucson? Brother!
Seriously, the illegal problems and drug runners flowing around would make me carry a serious rifle as well. I understand the nature of your business might preclude most rifles, maybe one of the KelTec folding ones in a backpack slot where you can get to it? Just a thought - carry the Springfield open, and the CZ concealed. Always have a spare firearm that far out of the way. Are the other two bringing anything, or is personal protection of all three up to you? I would check with them, and see if they plan on bringing a carbine or two.

Phoenix, actually, but we'll be staying in Tucson during the project. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I don't own a rifle. I've had some in the past... Mini-14, CAR, Win 94, Marlin 94, etc. but at the moment I only have two revolvers and three autos.

My good friend is on the crew and I'll probably end up putting the Beretta on his hip with the .45 on mine and the CZ in my pack. I'm thinking of getting a Win 94 but don't know if I can swing it before the project starts.

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