How Many Of You Open Carry?


Do I need to invest in a shiny, black, patent-leather holster to match my evening attire: sandals and a spaghetti-strap, low cut, little black number? Maybe an ankle or peek-a-boo thigh-high carrier? Where would I hide the bug? Don't answer that!!! :haha:

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Right Not Exercised is a Right Eventually Lost

I support and practice discretion, common sense and freedom-of-choice. Most days, I carry concealed because I'm doing business and prefer to be discrete. On other days when not doing business, I will occasionally Open Carry while in posession of my appropriate documentation for my State.

What I've found is that in most instances, most people don't even notice. They are in Condition White - i.e. not a clue. When I do open carry, I practice situational awareness and dress nicely so as to not upset the sheep. I might carry my coffee in my strong side hand so it's obvious to anyone who might get nervous that I'm not looking to be a threat. I've also trained in sidearm retention and combatives for good measure.

I do believe that Open Carry is not necessarily a tactical disadvantage. Open Carry does give us an opportunity from time to time to educate others that the legal carry of firearms is not a bad thing and we are not Bad Guys. Those that have noticed my sidearm have also noticed a nicely-dressed, well-behaved, peaceable courteous and friendly guy who's just going about his business. I've had a few occasions for nice conversations that seemed to have opened the minds of the other person. So overall, excercising the option has been a good thing. I've never had any crazies from the DSPRK (Democratic Socialist People's Republic of Californistan) hassle me -- but I did have the opportunity to alert them that Open Carry is legal in our state if the bearer has the correct documentation. Never had a 'Man With a G..G...G...G...GUN' police episode. Had coffee and conversation with a local LEO who mostly just discussed gun preferences, local ranges, IDPA etc. after ascertaining I had my 'blue card' with me. Nice guy, no hassle.

When I travel to Arizona, I see a lot of Open Carry - as the custom is well-entrenched and regularly applied by locals and others passing thru. When I travel to Utah, I occasionally see Open Carry there as I sometimes do in the state of Nevada. I believe that if one is going to exercise the option of Open Carry, he should remember he is an unofficial Second Amendment Ambassador and should conduct himself or herself with courtesy.

So bottom line: OC is an option. Use common sense. Carry concealed where you must, carry open where you can and if you feel like it's appropriate that particular day.
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Patriot 1st
I'm in Texas, so no open carry yet, but hopefully soon, but I still open carry on my property every day. My next door neighbor is a sheriff's deputy, and retired 1st Cav Soldier and he thinks nothing would be greater than to see us all openly wearing our arms again. I keep hearing about "tactical advantage" and that's fine if you're only one in a hundred, but our goal is to get all carriers to carry openly, to create a wall of resistance to those who would do us harm. most criminals are cowards who avoid confrontation, and to see even just a couple armed citizens in the way of their goals is enough to turn the tide.


New member
I am never without my weapon. I agree with the majority. Why advertise and give up your advantage?

There are two assumptions that I would like to address in the last sentence.

Generally, those who carry their firearm exposed are not 'advertising'. If you take some time to read the accounts of open carriers, you will see that most are not doing so to attract attention. They carry in this manner for comfort, access, and to comply with the law. Even when these advocates do carry exposed, there is usually little fanfare or concern... in fact, this is one of the primary reasons open carriers blog about their experiences- if they didnt tell anyone, few if any, would notice.

What advantage do you surrender when your defensive measures are exposed? I can think of just one. And that is the opportunity to feign weakness in a confrontation. If we look like all the other sheep, we are as vulnerable as the rest of them until we must bite like a wolf... But if we look like a wolf, other wolves are in the predicament of having to size us up, calculate the risk, and decide whether to move on or take a hardened target. When one advantage is lost, another is gained... So when you carry exposed- yes, you lose 'the element of surprise'- in that same moment you gain the advantage of deterrence. Dont get me wrong- I dont advocate one carry method to the exclusion of the other- both are valid exersizes of the 2nd. I would hope that we could agree that both methods of carry have merit in a nation founded on the right to self-determination.


New member
"Hey, I am just glad you all are carrying. I don't care how you do it. Do what makes you comfortable and don't worry about with others think. :D

The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you."

David, thanks. I agree. Whatever works best for us individually is the thing to do.

Even though open carry is unrestricted in Alabama (while on foot!), I choose to carry concealed 95% of the time, for the good reasons others have listed in this discussion. When concealed carry is unconvenient, why not carry openly?!


New member
I agree very strongly with CitaDel and defender829 they both have given very common sense and intelligent answers.

Big Gay Al

New member
Our NM CCW instructor told us that the law is very strict here on open carry vs. concealed...that you must be one or the other. If your gun is completely revealed, that's legal. Completely concealed, that's legal. But if, as in the above example, you're concealed but the wind blows your jacket open, or someone recognizes that it's a gun in your back pocket, you can be popped for brandishing.
Personally, I think your CCW instructor is blowing wind up your skirt. In most states where OC is legal, that usually relieves you of the burden of having to be 100% concealed, 100% of the time. You might also check your state laws to see if there is a definition of brandishing. In most cases that involves having the gun OUT of the holster.

Big Gay Al

New member
It is legal here but I never carry open. I'd rather people NOT know that I have a gun.
Really? I've heard from others that OC in FL is not legal. Except maybe on your own property. In fact, says it's not legal.

Big Gay Al

New member
Open carry is subject to limitations by the local municipalities while concealed carry is only limited by the state.
In which state? Not in Michigan, state pre-emption prohibits localities from enacting any law stronger than the state.

Big Gay Al

New member
I open carry about 95% of the time. Instances where I don't are like meeting a new girlfriend for the first time at the daycare that she owns. Just thought the whole situation added up to good reason to conceal - new girlfriend, didn't want kids there to make a deal about it. As soon as we left the daycare, I exposed myself and I must say things have taken a much positive turn ever since! :kiss3:

I open carry because:

#1 The "element of surprise" has historically been an offensive strategic advantage. Visible detterence has historically been a defensive strategic advantage. I would rather deter something from happening to me than defend myself against something in the process of happening.

#2 Public example and education that it is perfectly acceptable for an American citizen to possess the means to protect themselves.

#3 It's just easier. I don't have to make any wardrobe adjustments to fit any particular method of carry. I just carry. If a shirt is tucked in, it's open. If I get cold and throw a coat on, it's concealed. I just don't waste any time or effort on it.
That sounds a lot like my point of view on the subject. :biggrin:


Really? I've heard from others that OC in FL is not legal. Except maybe on your own property. In fact, says it's not legal.

I think Luke posted this back when he lived in Nevada.


New member
I spent the first 11 years of my LEO career as a uniformed officer for various departments. Gee I open carried every day and didn't realize I had lost the "tactical advantage".

IOpen carry is legal in Idaho while I don't normally open carry I will if I'm heqaded to one of the few places I frequent.

I live pretty rural, 143 miles into town and 43 miles to the highway etc. So if I'm just headed to the feed store for grain I don't bother to carry concealed. Same with the once or twice a month trip into town for groceries.

Like everything else it's situational. I only get the mail once a month. A few years ago I noticed they had a no guns poster up in the post office so I put mine in the console of the pickup and went in to get the mail. The postmistress noticed my empty holster a teased me unnmercifully about losing my gun. I pointed out the poster. Her response? "Oh that's not meant for you".

Like I said, it's situational. Odviously my situation is radically different than most.



Patriot 1st
One of the reasons for the push to open carry, is to change the perception of people who carry guns.
At first the sheeple will react to seeing openly worn firearms, but as they see more and more carriers NOT causing problems, NOT committing crimes, NOT having shootouts in the street, the perceptions will change.
And then we can start getting back to the way this country USED to be


Picture Rocks, Arizona
Openly 'Heeled'

I carry a 1911-A1 .45acp 'bout 90% 'Openly'... 'n either that or a 9mm Makarov 'CC'. All this 'tactical advantage' stuff is silly. I wear a gunbelt with the holster at 10 O'Clock (X-draw). I have no problem accessing the weapon from any position. BG's do not generally shoot armed people... 'cept cops... 'n that's because the cop is trying to arrest them for something. BG's know what a cop will prob'ly do. They dunno what Joe Cowboy will do... but they KNOW he ain't gonna just stand there 'n whistle Dixie.

I've carried in that manner before all this 'OC/CC' stuff was ever heard of. You were either heeled or not. Generally... it was on yer hip for the world to see or in your truck. 'Never heard of anybody so heeled come to grief. Arizona's a gun/weapon culture. 'Been that way since the Spanish Grandee's... 'fore the pilgrim's landed. I've been carryin' 'open' here beginnin' in 1966 w/o incident.

I purpose carry... 'n it's not to educate anybody 'bout anything. It's for self defense. Not only against the potential BG... but there's wild critters that might have ideas... For that, it's a mind changer. I don't worry 'bout Level II retention 'n all that junk. "Retention isn't even a requirement. I use a thumb break or a strip of rawhide on the hammer simply to keep the gun from fallin' out.

The only people who go wide eyed are the noobs 'n first time snowbirds. LEO's don't care. 'Long as you don't fiddle with it... or 'brandish' (take it out of the holster) yer good to go. Same with long arms. What's NOT practiced here is hoplophobic paranoia.

The Arizona Constitution reads: Art 2 Sec 26 "The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves or the state shall not be impared." 'Been that way since it was a Territory. To deny citizens their individual right to self defense is a civil rights violation and actual tyranny in practice. Rights are not granted by government. Pre-existing rights are recognized as such and protected/defended. 'S'posed to be anyway.

Rights require no license or permit to exercise. Rights can be (and are) denied by government in several ways. The RTKBA has been denied for so long in some states (for generations)... it's endemic. The 'people' don't even know any better. Worse... they will not demand restoration. You get the government you deserve.
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Dedicated Infidel
Hey, Reb . . . you have a permit to carry? Open Carry in AZ requires no permit. I take it you never carry concealed?
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