Open carry question


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RTR_RTR
February 13, 2013, 05:11 AM
I'm sure this varies by state (and I apology if that makes this question overly difficult), but I just realized I don't know the legal dividing line between open carry and concealed carry (I don't carry a firearm, so please don't berate!).

So there are the extremes

IWB holster <---------------------> Hip holster
------------------Middle Ground----------------

In that middle ground, where is the cut off between the two?

Fanny pack? What if the fanny pack is mesh? In a gun bag carried by hand?

I only transport guns by car to and from the range, so I've never really thought about it beyond what I needed to know. If the state is required to provide any sort of meaningful answer, I'm in Louisiana

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Deus Machina
February 13, 2013, 05:25 AM
It's not hardware-based.

Concealed carry: gun is hidden.
Open carry: gun is visible.

The only middle ground is if your gun is peeking or printing. In which case, you're doing either of them wrong.

dab102999
February 13, 2013, 05:39 AM
Ya this is very state specific. In michigan if any on the gun is not seen it is concealed...i.e. hip carry outside pants but jacket or shirt covers heel of gun now it is concealed.

Sam1911
February 13, 2013, 06:48 AM
It's pretty state-specific. In many states there is no legal dividing line because there is no prohibition against open carry. Since it isn't illegal, they have no need to put into black letter law what counts as one vs. another. In others, the law will say something to the effect of the gun not being identifiable as such.

For a general definition, if you can see that the object carried is clearly a gun, with a casual observation, then it isn't concealed.

SouthernBoy
February 13, 2013, 07:44 AM
In my state, the defining terminology is "hidden from common observation" for concealed. If the item is identifiable and is on or about one's person, it is considered to be carried openly.

Example. If one sees a holster but not something identifiable as a firearm, they are not carrying a firearm. If one sees the grip of a firearm which is identifiable as a firearm grip, then they are carrying a firearm. Since open carry is the normal (i.e. standard) or default mode of carry in my state, if the gun is visible, you needn't worry about it. If it is hidden from common observation and you are not in your vehicle where you have placed your gun in a console or glove box, then you must have a permit if it is on or about your person and you are not on your own property or that of someone else where you have permission to carry a concealed handgun.

Lex Luthier
February 13, 2013, 07:50 AM
I would prefer a simple balance. Carry if you're licensed and responsible, and so what if someone reads your grip through your t-shirt. If you're making a discernible effort, leave it alone.

Sav .250
February 13, 2013, 09:46 AM
The posters are correct. But you could have looked this up for your self. Nothing like getting the facts.

d-dogg
February 13, 2013, 09:51 AM
Some states with OC laws are very confusing. 30+ years ago when I lived in MS, you could OC, but the gun could not be concealed in whole or in part according to the law. Several local sheriff's deputies told me that in a holster is partially concealed.

Check your local laws yourself and you will know for sure.

Tirod
February 13, 2013, 12:05 PM
Open carry laws in states that have the provision are frequently trumped by the local jurisdiction - the town or county may have outlawed it themself.

Then you get into transportation - some have laws that specify a gun being taken by motor vehicle be unloaded, cased, and the ammo locked into a separate container. But you could carry concealed all day long, loaded on safe.

Then there is "officer discretion," which means you are asking them to judge on the spot what a "partially concealed" weapon might be. Getting into a contest of status with an LEO at that point would be diminishing your chances of a positive determination.

The circumstances of exactly where you are standing, who has stopped you, and why are too variable to even begin to answer things. And if you are two small statured Asian women driving a truck that looks like a policeman gone rogue, expect no mercy. :uhoh:

There is no one right answer.

Airbrush Artist
February 13, 2013, 12:09 PM
Common Sense for Me -Personally.Its far Better to Conceal---ALWAYS...Its kinda like what that great Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes said.."When You pass a Football 3 Things can happen and 2 of them are BAD"

RTR_RTR
February 13, 2013, 12:13 PM
Thank you all for the info! I had searched a bit and wasn't able to come up with a straight answer (which now makes sense and wasn't just due to bad google-fu). I don't plan to push the boundaries of the two (despite not carrying, I'm of the mindset that completely concealed would be the way to go regardless of other ways the law may allow). This was just something I suddenly realized I didn't know, and it seemed like something I should!

Thank you again

SouthernBoy
February 13, 2013, 05:15 PM
Open carry laws in states that have the provision are frequently trumped by the local jurisdiction - the town or county may have outlawed it themself.

Then you get into transportation - some have laws that specify a gun being taken by motor vehicle be unloaded, cased, and the ammo locked into a separate container. But you could carry concealed all day long, loaded on safe.

Then there is "officer discretion," which means you are asking them to judge on the spot what a "partially concealed" weapon might be. Getting into a contest of status with an LEO at that point would be diminishing your chances of a positive determination.

The circumstances of exactly where you are standing, who has stopped you, and why are too variable to even begin to answer things. And if you are two small statured Asian women driving a truck that looks like a policeman gone rogue, expect no mercy.

There is no one right answer.


Thank God we don't have to worry about any of this in Virginia. There are no laws concerning open carry here which means you can open carry. And locales cannot supersede state law.

SouthernBoy
February 13, 2013, 05:17 PM
Common Sense for Me -Personally.Its far Better to Conceal---ALWAYS...Its kinda like what that great Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes said.."When You pass a Football 3 Things can happen and 2 of them are BAD"

Please qualify this by saying it is your opinion.

aeriedad
February 13, 2013, 05:41 PM
Please qualify this by saying it is your opinion.
What word immediately precedes the words you bolded?

Fuller Malarky
February 14, 2013, 02:53 PM
Common Sense for Me -Personally.Its far Better to Conceal---ALWAYS...Its kinda like what that great Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes said.."When You pass a Football 3 Things can happen and 2 of them are BAD"~Airbrush Artist


Your post is somewhat ambiguous. Maybe you could clarify what you mean so some don't interpret it to be some kind of unsubstantiated fear mongering regarding the safety or wisdom of open carry.
Thanks.

brickeyee
February 14, 2013, 03:36 PM
Thank God we don't have to worry about any of this in Virginia. There are no laws concerning open carry here which means you can open carry. And locales cannot supersede state law.

Sort of true.

While there are no statute laws restricting open carry, there is case law.
There may not even be any appellate law that would make the case law even partially binding outside the individual court circuits.

There was a case in one of the circuits (likely in NoVA) that held a freedom arms mini-revolver mounted in its belt buckle carrier WAS concealed since it was not "readily apparent" it was an actual gun.

Just like there are cases that a sheath knife hanging from a belt is not concealed, but if it is carried parallel to the belt it IS concealed.

It can be expensive to establish widespread binding case law for misdemeanors in VA since the case must be appealed at least through the appeals level for it to bind a portion of the circuits, and all the way to the State Supreme court to bind ALL the circuits (IIRC).

It means minor violations are never pursued far enough.
It becomes worth just paying the fine and moving on.

I had a friend that had returned from sandbox duty as a contractor who was charged in Vienna with carrying a conceled knife.

He had one of those decorative Arab knives in its scabbard and his "tablecloth and fan-belt" on his head going to a party.

I recommended an attorney to him, and then went to court to watch in Fairfax.

The attorney (now retired) made a real fool of the Vienna town officer on the stand.

She said she "knew he had a knife after seeing the scabbard and the the handle."

The attorney had her repeat the testimony and the judge threw the whole thing out right then without any further prompting saying "You cannot see a concealed item. Dismissed."

It cost him $500 but preserved his security clearance.

gamestalker
February 14, 2013, 03:46 PM
Very specific to each state. In Arizona prior to our fairly recent change allowing conceal carry without a permit, we were only legal to carry open without a permit. The definition of open was that, at least 1" of the holster / scabord must be visible, or enough of either the firearm or holster visible that it would be easily identifiable as a weapon.

But as I said above, we now can carry in any manner we desire, on our person, in our car without limitation. I just love Arizona and feel so comfortable carrying here.

GS

Airbrush Artist
February 14, 2013, 07:30 PM
Sure, Conceal provides advantage more so than Open Carry for any number of reasons,for example if you find yourself in a resturant ,store, or any public area the stealth of your firearm stops a criminal from focusing on you,rest assured if he knows your armed and sees it It puts the focus on You and the situation escalates immediately and that eliminates your element of surprise, also it can take away the opportunity for the criminal a way out if robbery is his motive,remember YOU as a Armed Civilian have 3 conditions to realize,before you act, to defend Yourself #1 Did I create the situation #2 Are You in danger of Death or Bodily harm as well as Others and no means of escape #3 Am I certain I have no way out other than Deadly Force.These are Our conditions to defend ourselves and others.You do not want to be in court with a prosecutor trying to prove rebuttable assumption claims against you and one more would be if he comes up behind you and you are unaware He could grab you firearm...AND THIS IS "MY"opinion and why I ALWAYS Conceal My firearm..

Ramone
February 14, 2013, 08:33 PM
a little off the original topic, but some states have very different interpretations of very similar terms, e.g., in Florida, like many states a pistol carried in a vehicle (by a non CWL holder) must be "Securely Cased", but I believe FL is the only state that accepts a holster with a snap as a 'secure case'.

SouthernBoy
February 17, 2013, 07:27 PM
What word immediately precedes the words you bolded?

None. There is no word that immediate precedes the words I bolded. Ther is, however, a period which precedes those words. The makes the word which precedes the period a descriptor of the sentence in which it resides.

If your intent was to say that what I had bolded was an opinion you held then I would not have commented on your post. If that is indeed what you intended then good for you.

SouthernBoy
February 17, 2013, 07:34 PM
Sort of true.

While there are no statute laws restricting open carry, there is case law.
There may not even be any appellate law that would make the case law even partially binding outside the individual court circuits.

There was a case in one of the circuits (likely in NoVA) that held a freedom arms mini-revolver mounted in its belt buckle carrier WAS concealed since it was not "readily apparent" it was an actual gun.

Just like there are cases that a sheath knife hanging from a belt is not concealed, but if it is carried parallel to the belt it IS concealed.

It can be expensive to establish widespread binding case law for misdemeanors in VA since the case must be appealed at least through the appeals level for it to bind a portion of the circuits, and all the way to the State Supreme court to bind ALL the circuits (IIRC).

It means minor violations are never pursued far enough.
It becomes worth just paying the fine and moving on.

I had a friend that had returned from sandbox duty as a contractor who was charged in Vienna with carrying a conceled knife.

He had one of those decorative Arab knives in its scabbard and his "tablecloth and fan-belt" on his head going to a party.

I recommended an attorney to him, and then went to court to watch in Fairfax.

The attorney (now retired) made a real fool of the Vienna town officer on the stand.

She said she "knew he had a knife after seeing the scabbard and the the handle."

The attorney had her repeat the testimony and the judge threw the whole thing out right then without any further prompting saying "You cannot see a concealed item. Dismissed."

It cost him $500 but preserved his security clearance.

Laws against the carrying of certain knives are a bit more confusing in my opinion. I am not up on them since I don't carry a sheathed knife. As for handguns, open carry is the normal mode of carry here (i.e., standard or default mode) and as such, there is nothing in the statutes which address this. As for case law, there is little there and what I have seen tends to favor the carried since it generally involves officers who have arrested someone who is doing nothing illegal. And that is rare.

We have it pretty good here in that there are few restrictions as on our carry and few places where we cannot carry. Anything outside of that would be issues of private property, such as businesses. And where I live, about 35 miles from DC, there are very few businesses that I have seen with gun buster signs.

aeriedad
February 17, 2013, 08:19 PM
None. There is no word that immediate precedes the words I bolded. Ther is, however, a period which precedes those words. The makes the word which precedes the period a descriptor of the sentence in which it resides.

If your intent was to say that what I had bolded was an opinion you held then I would not have commented on your post. If that is indeed what you intended then good for you.

It wasn't my post that you commented on.* It was Airbrush Artist's (Post #10), and I had no problem understanding his post was his personal opinion--because he used the word, "Personally." So what if he didn't punctuate his post according to your academic standards...it's the Internet.

I love the irony...you mistake someone's opinion as a statement of fact, but then someone else notes that maybe you could have figured out it was indeed an opinion, and then you can't even keep your own facts straight about who it is you disagree with.* Instead you get hyper-technical about punctuation in an Internet discussion because that somehow masks your failure to recognize an opinion as such. (Oh, and you might want to proofread your post #20.)

BTW, to the OP...You might find http://www.handgunlaw.us a valuable resource for questions like this.

* Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition. Twice.

Sam1911
February 17, 2013, 09:00 PM
If the OP isn't well enough answered by now, a few more rounds of snark and bile probably won't help him figure it out.

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