Open carrying in Richmond. Good times.

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Aug 23, 2006
Richmond, VA
I sometimes OC when it's more convenient and made a point of OCing this weekend because of the awareness event.

I have never had any reactions one way or the other while OCing and didn't expect this weekend to be any different.

We had some friends come in from Chicago and Columbus to shoot, so we went over some of the differences in gun laws in our respective states and they realized how much less restrictive VA is. They were surprised to learn that you must OC in VA if the establishment serves alcohol for on-premises consumption.

We got a late start Saturday morning due to a late night Friday so we headed out for a bite to eat around 11:30 AM. We decided on Fuddruckers as it had been awhile since any of us had been there.

In the spirit of OC day and in accordance with VA law, I made sure my shirt was tucked in so my sidearm was plainly visible. We walked in and our friends placed their order and moved to the side. I stepped up to the counter and had a short but comical exchange with the general manager at the register(according to his name tag).

Him (before I had a chance to order): Is that real?
Me: What?
Him: That's not a real gun, is it?
Me: Oh, yes.
Him (after 2 or so seconds of processing): Oh... OK.
Me: I'll have a Chipotle burger... etc. etc.

We had a nice meal and no police were called, no disapproving looks, no one was asked to leave, etc.

What struck me though, is that OCing there is obviously not that common or he wouldn't have even mentioned it. That being the case, I invite other Richmonders to OC at the Fuddruckers at Parham and Broad. Good food, good atmosphere, and the mgmt is not opposed to the idea of patrons carrying guns.
I'm from Norfolk. My good friend OC's all the time (he has a CCW permit, just prefers OC) and I always wait for the chance to lay it on him that he should be CC'ing... but I never get the chance, because I've never heard anyone give him a hard time. I guess I hope it stays that way... I prefer to conceal, as I don't want to sacrifice initiative, but I haven't seen it go the other direction.
Good OC story. Being from Richmond, I've never open carried once myself though I keep planning on it. Thing is, other than that Fuddruckers location, do you generally get a good or at least indifferent reaction when you open carry? I firmly believe in exercising my rights but I would also rather avoid making a scene if I can. I'm just not sure at this point how friendly Richmond is to it overall, and I haven't yet noticed anyone else open carrying.
I generally only travel from home to work, but have OC'd at Walmart/Food-Lion/gas stations regularly from Rt1 and Parham to the VA Center commons mall area and never have any reactions at all, good or bad. The majority of people are oblivious even if OCing.

I've also OC'd at the VCDL meetings at the Tuckahoe library and that always goes without issue as well...of course there are 20+ other guys there OCing at the time...

I don't think you'll have any trouble. will probably have more folks that know what places are and aren't gun friendly in town. Also, the VCDL maintains a Gun-Owner unfriendly list here:
That amazes me. OC in town here would likely get a few looks and maybe a call to the police. I've never seen anyone OC anywhere but in the country. We are a very gun-friendly state but I keep my firearm out of sight unless I'm hiking in the country in which case it's more comfortable to OC.

I can't imagine walking into Costco or Winco wearing a visible sidearm unless I was dressed up like a cowboy or in some sort of uniform.
I only went out twice this weekend, once to the grocery store and once into a gas station... both times I OCed in the spirit of the weekend, even though I'd never done so before in my life. Didn't get a reaction from anybody.

At the grocery store, I stood and chatted with the guys running the checkout for a bit. At the gas station, there was a guy behind me in line for several minutes, and I find it hard to believe that he didn't notice.

I don't think I'll make a habit out of OCing, really. Though I think I need something more attractive if I do it on a regular basis.. maybe a stainless 1911. Nothing like an excuse to get another gun. :D
Despite the (well deserved) reputation Texas enjoys, we don't have open carry here. If we ever get open carry (OC to you cool guys), I'm getting me a GP100 with a six inch barrel and taking it everywhere. What my wife will think about this, I can't guess.
I OC'd most of the day, unfortunately due to fuel prices and having a ton of stuff to do at home I never left my neighborhood. :(
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