The Open Carry Argument

The Open Carry Argument
The simple truth is that while surprise is a monumentally superior tactical maneuver, it is exclusively an offensive action, not a defensive one.

I like simple truths. They cut right through BS.

I have become increasingly comfortable with open carry. I am discreet with my gun and am sorry some open carry for attention. I live in Kentucky in a rural county, but I am a white-collar professional. I am also a Pastor...I know that seems peculiar, but I am on the road a lot and, quite honestly, you never know what or who is going to show up on Sunday or any other day not asking but demanding money. I don't open carry at church; I have enough members who are concealed carriers that I am comfortable on Sunday mornings, but I know one local, large church which has a concealed carry member in the lobby during worship because, in this day of GPS and interstates, people pull in your parking lot thinking the church is just a big bank. I carry everyday, travelling is much more peaceful knowing that, if I have car trouble, I don't have to fear who may stop to help or what they may be up to. I've had only 3 comments about my open-carry; all three were positive. Carrying armed is, unfortunately, a necessity in this day and age.
No idea to which similar statement you refer, but I only conceal carry anymore when in my vehicle, due, as I'm sure you already know, to our state's convoluted no-OC while driving law. Otherwise, my discretion is used to display my armed status at all times that I'm armed.

I was asked to cover up my weapon at the first business I was in while OC'ing just last week. After several years of nursing some pretty bad arthritis in my hands and selling all my music gear because of it, they have seemed to calm down to where I could think about playing again, so I jumped on Craig's List and found a distressed seller trying to unload his Les Paul in Tallahassee for an unbelievably great price, as well as a college kid trying to unload a nice little all-tube practice amp about three minutes around the corner from the guitar seller. 'Course, I did have to conceal while I was in FL, but anyway, I swung through Dothan on the way back to stop at the music store on Ross Clark Cir. to pick up a case for the guitar, some strings and a couple of cables. I was in the process of checking out with the counter-help when the owner walked in from somewhere else in the store and asked if I was a cop (LO-freakin'-L!). I mean, I was wearing sandals and cargo shorts with an un-tucked tank-top that only the right side was tucked behind my OWB holster, a doo-rag to keep the loose hairs of my ponytail out of my eyes and a few other trinkets that I wear just to let my freak-flag fly (HA!), so I said, "Pfft! No Sir, I am definitely not a cop!" He said, "Well cover up that gun then." The counter-help handed me my change and my bag of goodies as I said, "No thanks, I'll just find another music store the next time" and I split.

Anyway, the scenario you relate as justification for being discrete (your age and a thug wishing to take advantage of you because of it) could be exacerbated to the extreme if you're concealing and get surprised by the same thug trying to take advantage of you for the same reason. There are certainly no guarantees, but an openly carried weapon has the potential to dissuade that thug from ever attempting to victimize you, because it inherently equalizes the disparity of strength between the two of you. And even if it doesn't dissuade him, getting to your weapon that's openly carried is always easier and faster than from under concealment. Since I came to that understanding a couple of years before our state saw fit to make OC less dangerous (from law enforcement) to law-abiding citizens, I seriously doubt that I made any statement suggesting that the better part of discretion might be found in concealing. I honestly believe that the potential for deterrence while OC'ing eclipses any possible positive of carrying concealed, of which I can think of none to begin with anyway.


Can you site the state convoluted no-OCin while driving law?
Dog: You are doing a lot of woofing about what you will or won't do about open carry. Let me put you in a different situation for a second. I am 78 years old and walk (?) with a cane. I can OC any of my pistols, except one, without them being so obvious or noticeable. The exception is my 1911 .45. It is a monster in comparison and it nearly pulls my pants down. If you see an old man like that, would you, as a young man, hesitate to try and relieve me of my weapon? If you were a thug in training, you might be tempted to take advantage of me. Therefore, I have to use great discretion in when and where I open carry. I think Bluesstringer made a similar statement with the exception of age. I might not OC all the time but rest assured I do carry.

I open carry an fnx45t, that probably dwarfs your 1911, and the majority of people still don't see the firearm.

A for the pants falling down...I'm lucky I still have a butt for now, will probably go to suspenders though since I can cover them up with my untucked outer t-shirt.

Sent from my SM-N920T using USA Carry mobile app
Can you site the state convoluted no-OCin while driving law?


Alabama Code 13A-11-73(b)
(a) Except on land under his or her control or in his or her own abode or his or her own fixed place of business, no person shall carry a pistol in any vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person without a permit issued under Section 13A-11-75(a)(1) or recognized under Section 13A-11-85.

(b) Except as otherwise prohibited by law, a person legally permitted to possess a pistol, but who does not possess a valid concealed weapon permit, may possess an unloaded pistol in his or her motor vehicle if the pistol is locked in a compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the vehicle and out of reach of the driver and any passenger in the vehicle.

It's "convoluted" because it's perfectly legal to OC without a permit while not in a vehicle, but all of a sudden becomes illegal once you enter a vehicle. It forces the law-abiding citizen who prefers OC to get a permission slip to carry a loaded weapon while inside a vehicle, and even after complying with such foolishness, must cover-up on ingress and uncover upon egress of the vehicle.

It's doubly "convoluted" because in our Castle Doctrine and/or Stand Your Ground statutes, your vehicle is looked at by the law as an extension of your home, where it is perfectly legal to carry loaded open or concealed and with or without a permission slip while practicing either method of carry.

Do you question that it's a convoluted law, or were you just looking for the Code section for better understanding?


ETA: Upon further reading statutes and finding no prohibition for OC'ing in a vehicle as long as the OC'er has a permit, I have concluded that I was mistaken about having to cover/uncover upon ingress/egress. It's still a convoluted law for the other reasons specified as far as I'm concerned though. I know that when the law passed in 2013 that the "conventional wisdom" amongst activists who got the ball rolling to change the law concerning OC was that OC would still be prohibited while in a vehicle. I'm not sure what's changed since then, the language of the original passed and signed bill, or the understanding of it by law enforcement, prosecutors and/or the courts, but I can find nothing now that states OC inside a vehicle is illegal as long as one has a valid permission slip.
I open carry an fnx45t, that probably dwarfs your 1911, and the majority of people still don't see the firearm.

A for the pants falling down...I'm lucky I still have a butt for now, will probably go to suspenders though since I can cover them up with my untucked outer t-shirt.

Sent from my SM-N920T using USA Carry mobile app

This is one of the reasons I keep weighted walking lunges in my exercise routine, Chen.
Link Removed

Remember these politicians names, fellow Floridians. Know thy enemy! :biggrin:
All I know is there comes a time in most peoples life where they have to defend themselves. I am not saying that the use of a firearm is necessarily in order but I want that option. I have heard numerous stories in the last few weeks of people using firearms to depend themselves. Most had to pull the trigger unfortunately. I am a supporter of life, however if someone trying to take my life or a believable threat to me or those around me, I would then have no choice but to use force to defend lives.
I open carry in Virginia when I am going about my life for two reasons. Personal protection and to let people get used to seeing people open carry. Personally I feel better when I see someone open carry. It discourages crime and let's me know i'm not alone in my thoughts about this. I CC for work because I have to but I would open carry there if I could.

Bad guys don't open carry and we need to remind people of that. Carrying a firearm is a tremendous responsability and every time "one of us" abuses that it sets us back. Carry and carry responsibly so others will know that we are there to help and not harm.
What about someone taking your weapon taken from you when you open carry? What's the defense?

Learn what situational awareness is and practice it every minute of every day.

Learn and practice firearm retention techniques.

Use a holster with some level of built in active retention.
Actually all of those are good advice for both open can concealed carry.

Now... folks often express concern about open carry leading to having their gun taken from them yet the incidents of this actually happening to people who are not cops are so rare as to be almost non existent. I am not saying that it is impossible for it to happen... nor am I saying we (those who open carry) should not pay attention to the possibility and take steps (see above) to prevent it... I am saying it doesn't happen very often. Please consider that people have been open carrying in Arizona for decades yet we rarely hear about open carry gun grabs from Arizona or anywhere else. And we all know the anti gun media would jump on any chance to sensationalize any gun grab for weeks.
For starters, don't carry in a position where an attacker has easier access to your firearm than you do. (5-7 o'clock)

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I do like having the option of OC or CC. Personally I would rather conceal carry. Would rather no one know I was carrying.
I have always carried, even before it, or I was legally allowed, without incident so far. I never considered that OC would be a deterent, but my eyes have been opened. I must look at the local laws in my area and check the rules. Thanks for the other view point.

That is lucid, intelligent, well thought-out essay on open carry that may fly in some parts of the US. I agree that most criminals never take resistance into consideration when planning or committing their crimes and that maybe, just maybe seeing your gun might deter them. I mean if I was a mugger and I had my chance at a person waling by themselves or a person walking with large dog, I'm going to go after the person by themselves. However, it might also drawl them to you like a magnet. Using the mugging thing again, if I'm desperate and your the only target I have, dog or not, I'm coming after you. Knowing you have a dog allows me to take that into consideration and how best to rid the threat so I can mug you. By openly showing them your gun you are showing them who is a threat and that you should be taken out first. So, while I get your point, I think the element of surprise in cc is a much better option.

Thanks for a great post.

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