Today I open carried for the first time


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Sergei Mosin
December 12, 2012, 10:59 PM
Have given a lot of thought to open carry in recent months. Sort of went back and forth on it - philosophically I have no objection to it, but some of its proponents seem to do it for the attention, which isn't what I want. It's legal here, but it's out of the ordinary and I live in town, where it might disturb people. I don't want to disturb people - just not my style.

But this week I received a very nice OWB rig from Simply Rugged in which to carry my GP100, and while I intended that rig primarily for woods/trail/hiking duty, I was itching to wear it, and it wasn't cold enough to need a coat today. So I put it on and away I went.

Visited Cabela's, the grocery store, and the local Chinese restaurant, and I am pleased to report that there was no panic, no MWAG calls, and I'm not sure anyone even noticed. Which was nice.

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wgp
December 12, 2012, 11:11 PM
Cabelas in Kansas has a sign at the door that is a bit vague but indicates open carry is not permitted in the store, only carry by persons "who intend to keep their weapon concealed." We are having other businesses post their property as open carry prohibited, concealed carry allowed.

Sergei Mosin
December 12, 2012, 11:56 PM
The Cabela's here used to have a similar sign, but it disappeared some time ago. My understanding is that their corporate policy is to adhere to local laws with no additional restrictions, so you might visit with their manager and/or write a letter to corporate HQ.

HEAVY METAL 1
December 13, 2012, 12:30 AM
Concealed carry is ok w/ them. It is on their website.

Apachedriver
December 13, 2012, 12:40 AM
From Cabelas website under FAQ's:

Carry Concealed Firearm Policy (Retail Stores)
What is your store policy for concealed-carry firearms?
If you have a concealed carry permit and it is valid within the state where the store is located, Cabela's honors your right to carry as long as it is completely concealed.

States with open carry provisions will be allowed as long as the firearm remains in the holster.
Law enforcement officials, state and federal authorized personnel (e.g. FBI officials, armored truck drivers, ATF officials) are permitted to carry weapons openly in the store.

2wheels
December 13, 2012, 09:58 AM
Yup, generally nobody even seems to notice the few times I OC.

The few people who have noticed obviously haven't cared enough to call the cops.

As much as people argue over it online, in the real world it just isn't that big of a deal. And if someone does freak out, as long as you keep a cool head you'll be just fine. My buddy had the cops called on him once for OCing, in the end it was the anti-gun woman who almost got cited for making a false police report.

mljdeckard
December 13, 2012, 10:31 AM
I think there are two sides to the idea.

We as a gun community have the responsibility to change people's perceptions about our rights. We should not be ashamed of our rights. We should hold our rights with the same regard that Rosa Parks held hers. We don't have to explain why we exercise our rights.

However, the other side of the coin, is that we shouldn't be stupid about it either. I can legally open-carry anywhere I can carry concealed. In Utah this includes my kids' school. DOESN'T MAKE IT A GOOD IDEA. I won't win any friends or make a positive difference by wearing a gun to school. I can walk down 400 South in Salt Lake, past all the coffee shops. Not a great idea. There are a lot of people who are completely oblivious to our gun laws. While we have pretty much rolled everything we wanted to through the legislation (constitutional carry is next,) there were a lot of people who just had no reason to care or show up and complain. I don't want to give them a reason if they didn't already have one.

My general guideline is that if I am gearing up to do outdoor activities, hunting or riding the ATV, I put on whatever holster and gun I am taking. If I stop for gas or whatever, I don't bother to change. Of course, I am already on the outskirts of the terra-formed zone already, no one really cares. One time, on the opening morning of the deer hunt in Monticello, in the SE corner of Utah, I went into a convenience store with it on my belt, and one guy said; "I hope he has a permit for that." I am guessing he was from out of town, and I didn't even look at him. that is the only comment I have ever had.

md2lgyk
December 13, 2012, 10:38 AM
Though OC is legal here in WV, I've never seen anybody doing it. I've been debating whether or not to give it a try. But I live in the Eastern Panhandle - too many MD and VA transplants here who might not "get it."

coolluke01
December 13, 2012, 12:09 PM
I OC'd once when Starbucks was being boycotted over their policy.

For me, I don't OC because I don't like to draw attention to myself. I should say, that I don't think I should want to draw attention to myself. I'm by no means a wall flower. For me, I can see how I may want to OC for the attention, so I don't on purpose.

I also have an issue with causing a stir or eliciting a negative response from people. I don't think everyone that is upset by the sight of a gun in public calls the cops. We may be doing damage for our PR that we don't realize.

Now, many will say that we need to OC to retain our right. That's BS. OC has been legal in MN for a very long time. No one really realizes it though. This law is not in danger in the slightest and OC'ing is just going to draw negative attention to it.

Someday I may OC a pretty gun. My SS GP100 with a nice holster might be an option, but I really see no benefit over CC my Glock 26.

mgmorden
December 13, 2012, 12:51 PM
I kinda wish SC had open carry but only as a failsafe. I am absolutely paranoid about my jacket or shirt getting caught in the wind or just shifting so that my gun (carried IWB) is visible either briefly or until I adjust.

In open carry states that's generally not a problem as if the weapon becomes visible then you're basically open carrying (even if for a few seconds) until it becomes concealed again. Here if someone catches a brief glimpse of the weapon then you're breaking the law (granted, most cops around here seem fairly gun friendly, but still).

This concern is still why my LCP has always remained my go-to carry gun, usually pocket carried.

krupparms
December 13, 2012, 01:31 PM
As I advocate OC, I carry every day that way. I have had police stop me, but that was because they were unsure of the law! Most citizens who stop me ask if it's leagle. When I tell them it is leagle most give a thumbs-up &say they will do the same. Some ask about registration &I let them know they don't have to here. I have only had one negative response &after talking with them they changed their mind. Some see OC as negative but I see it as an chance to let people see that open carry is leagle &NO ONE IS being hurt by it. JMO.

dbp
December 13, 2012, 01:36 PM
I kinda wish SC had open carry but only as a failsafe. I am absolutely paranoid about my jacket or shirt getting caught in the wind or just shifting so that my gun (carried IWB) is visible either briefly or until I adjust.

In open carry states that's generally not a problem as if the weapon becomes visible then you're basically open carrying (even if for a few seconds) until it becomes concealed again. Here if someone catches a brief glimpse of the weapon then you're breaking the law (granted, most cops around here seem fairly gun friendly, but still).

This concern is still why my LCP has always remained my go-to carry gun, usually pocket carried.
I am also in SC and was wondering if the scenario that you put forth about someone getting a glimpse of your gun would constitute a violation of SC gun laws. Have any of you other guys in SC had this happen or heard of this situation with others? If so, what was the outcome?

beatledog7
December 13, 2012, 02:18 PM
The only place where OC is common where I circulate (VA) is in gun stores, and then only with the employees. Seems they pretty much all OC pretty much all the time, which makes sense given the nature of their employer's business and their role in it.

I've done it a few times with barely a second glance from anyone. I even OC'd a 5-1/2" Redhawk on my hip once (remember Starbucks appreciation day?). The only person who indicated in any way that she noticed was the cashier, who smiled and said she'd seen a lot of people carrying guns that day and that she thought it was awesome.

Skribs
December 13, 2012, 02:28 PM
I partly wonder if the reason you don't see it a lot is because you're not looking for it. I'm not looking at the hips of most guys I walk by, for example. I've seen it once or twice where I live, but not very often.

Personally, I'm in the boat behind the OP, in that I've wrestled with the idea, but haven't OC'd yet, although for different reasons. I've come to the realization that OWB is significantly more comfortable than IWB, and when I stop wearing a jacket, I'll be OCing.

Clipper
December 13, 2012, 02:55 PM
For about the last 4 years, the only time I CC is when I'm wearing a coat. I look at it as a educational experience for the general public. They see an average guy OCing, and doing the same average stuff they do. I think it's a positive thing for the gun community for them to see it. I've never had a negative experience with it, and several very positive ones.

NavyLCDR
December 13, 2012, 03:03 PM
I open carry all the time. I have open carried in places like downtown Seattle, SEA-TAC International Airport, and on school property when picking up or dropping off my daughter. On most days I have no encounters at all relating to my gun. When I do have encounters, 95% are positive. Of the 5% that are negative, all but one of those have been from concealed carry only snobs who just can't resist the urge to tell me they carry their gun concealed and I should too.

I open carry because if the criminal sees my gun and decides that it is just easier to wait 5 minutes for me to leave, or go down the street one block and choose one of the remaining 99.5% of the population without the visible means to kill them to attack, then I have spared myself and my family the trauma of a criminal attack, self defense shooting and possible court case. Of course, I will never know if my goal has been accomplished because I doubt any criminal will come up to me and tell me they are passing on me as a victim.

Skribs
December 13, 2012, 04:39 PM
Of course, I will never know if my goal has been accomplished because I doubt any criminal will come up to me and tell me they are passing on me as a victim.

Really? Why is that?

/sarcasm

BlindJustice
December 13, 2012, 06:16 PM
I had permission from my Dad, carried open S&W Model 18 4" bbl on
the family farm 320 acres in central wash. state. in my teens in the
'60s - cottontail rabbits and rattlesnakes mostly

Always took it off & put it in the glovebox when
driving to town

R-

BYJO4
December 13, 2012, 09:07 PM
I don't care for open carry as I don't want to call attention to myself nor do I want to arouse more ill feelings from those who don't want any type of carry.

Delford
December 13, 2012, 09:59 PM
NC is an open carry state but in its largest city, Charlotte, it wouldn't be a good practice in the downtown area because of other security concerns. I have seen it in the suburbs in a casual restaurant and people showed little concern. Any holstered gun in view on a casually dressed citizen isn't a precursor to a robbery, whereas a poorly dressed person with a gun in his belt might draw some serious attention.

Judging from the attendance at my CC class and the continued high attendance at subsequent classes I'd say there are a lot of folks in Charlotte carrying concealed, many of them females living in transitional areas between high crime and normal neighborhoods. Open carry in some areas of the city might be an invitation for others to try and take it away.

smalls
December 14, 2012, 12:13 AM
I occasionally open carry. I try to dress a little nicer than wearing a t shirt when I do, because frankly, I don't look like your average law abiding guy. I've never had any negative comments, but I do get stared down a little. That's mostly why I don't very often. I can't stand people stating at me, and having to bite my tongue, and not tell them to "take a picture".

I really only see the "open carry groups" OC around here, and I've never seen it inside Detroit limits.

NavyLCDR
December 14, 2012, 12:49 AM
nor do I want to arouse more ill feelings from those who don't want any type of carry.

Can I ask how can we expect anybody to change their opinion about people carrying guns if the people carrying the guns feel the need to hide them? How can we expect them to have ANY chance of changing their opinion if the only image they see of guns is what the anti-gun groups and media show them? They never get to see the image of the average, law abiding Joe Citizen carrying a gun in normal everyday life for self protection.

The anti-gun groups are not afraid to stand up and scream from the soapbox about the evils of guns to anyone within earshot...and our response is to hide our guns and quietly comply?

coolluke01
December 14, 2012, 01:35 AM
I know we have gotten into this before. I don't disagree with you, but I don't think this is always the best approach for RCABA PR.

We always go back to Rosa Parks. Her stand didn't change the public perception, it helped bring about change in the laws. Mainly by showing how foolish they were.

The laws are on our sides, for the most part. The battle now is for the public perception. Every person is different. Some may be influenced by seeing a person OC'ing who is courteous and respectful. But I see the most change when the raw numbers are revealed. This is the same thing that happened when the public perception of race started to change. People started to see their fellow man as a fellow man. Duh!! When people see that crime rates drop when citizens are allowed to carry guns... Duh!!

Skribs
December 14, 2012, 01:47 AM
Coolluke, only antis and pros are paying attention. The fencers aren't paying attention to stats, and if the only guns they see are on cops, in movies, or in the news report following a shooting...

coolluke01
December 14, 2012, 01:54 AM
That's hardly true at all. The fencers, as you refer to them, are the only ones that you have any real chance of turning. And they are the ones that can be convinced with logic. They hear the drones go on and on all the time about how blood will run in the street if everyone carries, but when given the facts they have to look at this through the light of reality and truth.

Education, true education, will persuade the public opinion. Being a good example of what a responsible gun owner looks like is very good too. So, keep it up!

Skribs
December 14, 2012, 02:14 AM
Going to the Rosa Parks story, my Mom told me about the first time her mother met a black woman. After the black woman left, my grandma goes "well, she was just a regular person." That's why I think exposure is what will convince people that gun owners aren't nuts.

coolluke01
December 14, 2012, 12:18 PM
That's wasn't exposure that changed her mind. It was experience! Just seeing something won't change our bias, we need a reality check to correct improper thinking.
OC does bring about more opportunity to educate, but seeing more guns will not change a persons ignorance. Some may do more research on their own when they see someone walking around with a gun, but that would be an exception and not the rule. Even then, it was learning that changed the mind not shear exposure.

krupparms
December 14, 2012, 01:29 PM
People seeing me carry makes them question the propaganda put out by the anti -gun groups. They see a responsible citizen going about their business. And THEY ASK QUESTIONS &FIND OUT THE TRUTH! I see this as a positive thing, as the people do not know the truth about what the law's say! Even the one time I got a negative reaction, I was able to discuss it &the person changed their mind. That is education right there. Most do not take time to check these things out. No time, they get most of their information from TV. & other propaganda put out by the other side. We should try to counter their propaganda :as often as we can. JMO. ;)

NavyLCDR
December 14, 2012, 01:35 PM
That's wasn't exposure that changed her mind. It was experience! Just seeing something won't change our bias, we need a reality check to correct improper thinking.
OC does bring about more opportunity to educate, but seeing more guns will not change a persons ignorance. Some may do more research on their own when they see someone walking around with a gun, but that would be an exception and not the rule. Even then, it was learning that changed the mind not shear exposure.

Remember the movie "The Truman Show" from 1998? The character, Truman Burbank had no idea that a real world existed outside the TV studio until he was exposed to it. The public is not going to have any idea about the reality of firearms if the only exposure they get to firearms is from the anti-gun groups and anti-gun media. The anti-gun groups are not afraid of shoving their propaganda at every passerby. It's time we started allowing those same passersby to see guns carried by responsible people in every day life.

It may not CAUSE them to change their opinions. But at least it might ENABLE them to do so.

Skribs
December 14, 2012, 03:06 PM
They won't get that experience without exposure.

Theholybull
December 14, 2012, 06:18 PM
I carried a bond arms derringer holstered in the small of my back with only the rosewood grip sticking out while delivering pizzas for years. If I wore an over shirt it was concealed, if not whatever. I wasnt carrying it on my hip like some Pinkerton agent but it was there. You got a good shot if you were checking out my ass. I will say, when I open carried tips seemed to be larger than when the gun was concealed. People are honestly kinder as well. The most common response was an inquiry as to what kind of gun it was.

coolluke01
December 14, 2012, 08:50 PM
Remember the movie "The Truman Show" from 1998?
Oooh! great reference! This would only be true though if people didn't know of the existence of guns. He also didn't know if he liked the outside world until he experienced it. Hollywood makes us believe that anything new or untested is better than the same old life you have now. But I digress. I understand your main point however. You are hoping to "expose" people to an non waco, gun carrying, upstanding, human! For the most part then we agree. I just believe education is a more appropriate term than expose.

They won't get that experience without exposure.
In general people do not respond well to being exposed to something. It's raw and they are not in control. People lear best when they initiate it and have a safe and secure feeling. Being exposed to something has a bad ring to it. There are far better more subtle and effective ways to educate people. It would take the right person to OC and be the face of the gun culture. Good luck with that, I hope you feel the true weight of responsibility that is on you. I know, we all have the same responsibility to be upstanding gun owners, but when you OC you make yourself more public.

NavyLCDR
December 15, 2012, 12:31 PM
In general people do not respond well to being exposed to something. It's raw and they are not in control. People lear best when they initiate it and have a safe and secure feeling. Being exposed to something has a bad ring to it. There are far better more subtle and effective ways to educate people. It would take the right person to OC and be the face of the gun culture. Good luck with that, I hope you feel the true weight of responsibility that is on you. I know, we all have the same responsibility to be upstanding gun owners, but when you OC you make yourself more public.

You would be surprised how many times someone has come up to me asked, "Is that legal?" followed by an educational discussion. Funny, isn't it? If it wasn't legal, then they just approached and talked to a guy illegally carrying a gun! Contrary to some people's unfounded opinion, I don't shove my gun in anyone's face. I wear it on my belt, dress "traditionally" (my daughter hates the word normal), and go about my business showing the common respect and courtesy to others that I grew up with. Seems to work fairly well in my area.

Wanderling
December 15, 2012, 02:05 PM
In general people do not respond well to being exposed to something. It's raw and they are not in control. People lear best when they initiate it and have a safe and secure feeling. Being exposed to something has a bad ring to it. There are far better more subtle and effective ways to educate people. It would take the right person to OC and be the face of the gun culture. Good luck with that, I hope you feel the true weight of responsibility that is on you. I know, we all have the same responsibility to be upstanding gun owners, but when you OC you make yourself more public.

Precisely.

If you OC and nobody seems to object / notice, it simply means that they don't want to draw your attention, as you are obviously a "different" person (since you are doing what is not typically done in public) and you are armed. Not because they don't care or don't notice. This definitely won't make them feel better about guns.

I assume it is also very dependent on the locality. People in a rural area would probably be more conservative and accustomed to guns than someone in a metropolitan center.

Having a right is great, but it doesn't mean that you are always making a right choice when you decide to exercise it. According to Michigan Supreme Court, I have a right to swear in public, even in front of other people's children. Should I do it ? Not really.

You would be surprised how many times someone has come up to me asked, "Is that legal?" followed by an educational discussion. Funny, isn't it? If it wasn't legal, then they just approached and talked to a guy illegally carrying a gun! Contrary to some people's unfounded opinion, I don't shove my gun in anyone's face. I wear it on my belt, dress "traditionally" (my daughter hates the word normal), and go about my business showing the common respect and courtesy to others that I grew up with. Seems to work fairly well in my area.

So these people are morons. That's a reflection on them, not you or what you are doing.

How many people quietly freaked out ?

How many decided to just stay out of this (i.e. they won't call the police since they are not sure you're a threat, and don't want to get in the middle of this). This is probably the majority.

How many had called the police and were informed of the law ?

Finally, it may depend on your locality. When a guy tried to open carry a rifle through downtown Birmingham (a posh Detroit suburb) he was very quickly apprehended. He was definitely in the right and may end up winning the case. He was also definitely trying to draw attention to himself, and he is not making any new pro-2A converts. Quite the opposite.

NavyLCDR
December 15, 2012, 05:01 PM
Precisely.

If you OC and nobody seems to object / notice, it simply means that they don't want to draw your attention, as you are obviously a "different" person (since you are doing what is not typically done in public) and you are armed. Not because they don't care or don't notice. This definitely won't make them feel better about guns.

How do you know the majority of people who don't seem to notice or care actually just don't care or thinks it great to see someone exercising their right to carry a firearm?

I assume it is also very dependent on the locality. People in a rural area would probably be more conservative and accustomed to guns than someone in a metropolitan center.

Having a right is great, but it doesn't mean that you are always making a right choice when you decide to exercise it. According to Michigan Supreme Court, I have a right to swear in public, even in front of other people's children. Should I do it ? Not really.

And historically most of the anti-open carry comments come from people who either have never seen it in normal, everyday life or choose to believe the concealed carry only element of surprise theories. Most of the members on this forum who support permits and background checks and government regulation of firearms come from already restrictive states and have not experienced living in a free state where the lack of gun restrictions cause no problems at all.

How many people quietly freaked out ?

How many decided to just stay out of this (i.e. they won't call the police since they are not sure you're a threat, and don't want to get in the middle of this). This is probably the majority.

And how many people quietly support the guy open carrying? How many of them know deep down inside that they are helpless should a criminal decide to pick them as a target and are relying upon the "won't happen to me" theory? How many of them are just too afraid to take steps to protect themselves and quietly admire the person who is? How do you know that the anti-gun crowd is the majority?

How many had called the police and were informed of the law ?

Then they received a little bit of education, didn't they?


Finally, it may depend on your locality. When a guy tried to open carry a rifle through downtown Birmingham (a posh Detroit suburb) he was very quickly apprehended. He was definitely in the right and may end up winning the case. He was also definitely trying to draw attention to himself, and he is not making any new pro-2A converts. Quite the opposite.

Most of the big cases that have went to the supreme court, such as Terry v. Ohio, which have resulted in big decisions that protect our rights have been brought by criminals trying to get out of a conviction. Was the civil rights movement success won by blacks who quietly stayed in the "separate but equal" bathrooms, drinking fountains, back of the bus, churches and schools? Or was it a success won by those that were "definitely trying to draw attention" to themselves? If we don't actively fight for our Second Amendment rights they will slowly be legislated away with "reasonable regulations".

I would rather the exercise of the 2nd Amendment be demonstrated by 100 people quietly open carrying their handguns in everyday life, regardless of how many people it causes to be uncomfortable, than by 10,000 people carrying their guns hidden or by 1 guy who does, literally, shove his gun in peoples' faces. Progress is seldom made when everyone is comfortable and feels warm and fuzzy inside. Progress is normally made when a need arises and someone else is willing to do the work to provide the solution.

The American public is going to be forced to acknowledge that the government cannot provide for and protect them. But we can quietly demonstrate to the public that it is possible for us to protect ourselves.

smalls
December 15, 2012, 05:48 PM
The American public is going to be forced to acknowledge that the government cannot provide for and protect them. But we can quietly demonstrate to the public that it is possible for us to protect ourselves.

QFT! Great post, Navy.

Certaindeaf
December 16, 2012, 03:31 PM
I don't even let neighbors see me stow a cased rifle in the trunk of the car let alone do a full parade around town. If I'm out of town I don't care who see's what.

Rezin
December 17, 2012, 01:21 PM
Open carry is legal in PA, but I live in eastern PA, where is is highly discouraged. I have never OC'd.... Not sure if I'd like it, but id like the opportunity.

NavyLCDR
December 17, 2012, 01:52 PM
but I live in eastern PA, where is is highly discouraged

Highly discouraged by whom?

2wheels
December 17, 2012, 04:30 PM
Highly discouraged by whom?
Well at least in Philly, the cops are known for not being OC friendly. The attitude may be similar in surrounding areas.

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