The realities of Open Carry

The realities of Open Carry

This is a discussion on The realities of Open Carry within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am new to this forum and I honestly did not know that so many people open carry. I guess in the area I am ...

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Thread: The realities of Open Carry

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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    The realities of Open Carry

    I am new to this forum and I honestly did not know that so many people open carry. I guess in the area I am from, you never see it. I am a police officer and I never open carry when I am off duty. The reason why I do not open carry is because I want a tactical advantage. I do not want a potential suspect to know that I am a cop until it is too late for him. I also do not want to be the first person shot in a robbery. Mainly because I am the person trained to eliminate the threat. That is my perspective from an off duty officers view. However, I do believe the overall crime rate would go down if more good civilians were to open carry. It would deter many criminals from robbing a business or snatching a ladies purse if they saw a man next to her with a gun. I am just curious if the common civilian is worried about the same things an off duty cop is worried about. I also wonder if other police officers feel the same way. I do not want this to be a debate about whether open carry should be allowed but more of a discussion of why you choose to open carry over concealed carry. I was also curious if people worry about what other civilians think when they see someone with a gun. Do you feel that it makes the people around you nervous?(This does not apply to states/counties that allow open carry but do not allow concealed carry.)


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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I personally want to keep the tactical advantage the element of surprise affords. I think many people who open carry do so with the belief that it educates the public or that it presses a political point and preserves a right that needs to be exercised. These reasons may be legitimate enough but are not on my agenda when I carry a gun. My only purpose for carrying is defense of myself and my loved ones.

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    Ignorance is bliss, thus the intent (purpose?) of CC.

    Here in FL, open carry is currently so restrictive as to be useless for common self defense. With my body, CC isn't really practical, neither IWB nor OWB works well enough for me to feel truely "concealed." I could wear an over-shirt, but that's not gonna happen in the S. FL heat. Open carry would solve my dilemma. I'm not implying I'd strap on my John Wayne western rig and strut around, but more something of an open-but-covered carry, covering the firearm from blatant view but not truely concealed. If it inadvertantly shows or isn't 100% concealed, legal OC and my CWFL would cover both aspects.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmhawth View Post
    I personally want to keep the tactical advantage the element of surprise affords. I think many people who open carry do so with the belief that it educates the public or that it presses a political point and preserves a right that needs to be exercised. These reasons may be legitemate enough but are not on my agenda when I carry a gun. My only purpose for carrying is defense of myself and my loved ones.
    I respect that people have the right to bear arms and they want to promote it. I still feel the same way as you do. I like the tactical and the surprise effect. There are however some big advantages to open carry for some people. Say you are walking through a mall parking lot and there is a bad guy with a knife following you. If he sees a Model 686 hanging from your hip, then he is probably going to look down at his knife and find a new target. Lol

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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Ignorance is bliss, thus the intent (purpose?) of CC.

    Here in FL, open carry is currently so restrictive as to be useless for common self defense. With my body, CC isn't really practical, neither IWB nor OWB works well enough for me to feel truely "concealed." I could wear an over-shirt, but that's not gonna happen in the S. FL heat. Open carry would solve my dilemma. I'm not implying I'd strap on my John Wayne western rig and strut around, but more something of an open-but-covered carry, covering the firearm from blatant view but not truely concealed. If it inadvertantly shows or isn't 100% concealed, legal OC and my CWFL would cover both aspects.
    Some good points listed. Have you ever considered getting a thin 3" 1911 model and carrying it offset to the left or right side of your back with an OWB holster. That works more if you are a heavier build. If you are a smaller guy and live in the heat, it can be very difficult to cc.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trev869 View Post
    I respect that people have the right to bear arms and they want to promote it. I still feel the same way as you do. I like the tactical and the surprise effect. There are however some big advantages to open carry for some people. Say you are walking through a mall parking lot and there is a bad guy with a knife following you. If he sees a Model 686 hanging from your hip, then he is probably going to look down at his knife and find a new target. Lol
    Agreed. A visible Model 686 can be a pretty convincing warning.

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    All well & good so far but, please don't turn this thread into an "Open" VS Concealed Carry thread with members all getting bent out of shape at other members for voicing their respective opinions.

    Please keep in mind that Defensive Carry is primarily a Concealed Carry forum...(see our forum header at the top of every forum page) & so members that want to denigrate or slam concealed carry while espousing the merits of Open carry should do so over at OpenCarry.com & should refrain from doing that here.

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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    All well & good so far but, please don't turn this thread into an "Open" VS Concealed Carry thread with members all getting bent out of shape at other members for voicing their respective opinions.

    Please keep in mind that Defensive Carry is primarily a Concealed Carry forum...(see our forum header at the top of every forum page) & so members that want to denigrate or slam concealed carry while espousing the merits of Open carry should do so over at OpenCarry.com & should refrain from doing that here.
    Oh don't worry if that begins, I will delete the post myself. I think both have their purpose and was just curious as to why people carry the way they do.

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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Lol, I forgot where I am at. I'm not sure if a regular user can delete his own thread or not. Well you get what I was implying.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trev869 View Post
    Oh don't worry if that begins, I will delete the post myself. I think both have their purpose and was just curious as to why people carry the way they do.
    It's an interesting topic and there really shouldn't be a reason why it couldn't be discussed without hostility. Sadly, I guess that hasn't always been the case on the forum. I'm with you trev. I think both have their purpose and I have made my choice for reasons that make sense for me.

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    Member Array Illusive Man's Avatar
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    I also feel that the BG not knowing that I'm carrying gives me a tactical advantage, but I do wee it from both sides. I see open carry as being more of a detterent to those seeking to commit crimes.

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    [QUOTE=trev869;1829263]I am new to this forum and I honestly did not know that so many people open carry. I guess in the area I am from, you never see it. I am a police officer and I never open carry when I am off duty. The reason why I do not open carry is because I want a tactical advantage.
    I do not want a potential suspect to know that I am a cop until it is too late for him.
    Just because you OC a gun does not mean you are a cop.
    I also do not want to be the first person shot in a robbery.
    Show even one example of this type of situation before feeding the myth. Later in the post you say yourself that OC is a deterrent, so why would you be shot first?

    Mainly because I am the person trained to eliminate the threat. That is my perspective from an off duty officers view. However, I do believe the overall crime rate would go down if more good civilians were to open carry. It would deter many criminals from robbing a business or snatching a ladies purse if they saw a man next to her with a gun. I am just curious if the common civilian is worried about the same things an off duty cop is worried about.
    It doesn't have to be a man OCing, she could be too, I would assume that would be just as much a deterrent.
    I also wonder if other police officers feel the same way.
    --I'm sure some do, but I do not. I do OC and CC off duty, but I choose to OC much more often. I still wear my badge, but not visibly.

    I do not want this to be a debate about whether open carry should be allowed but more of a discussion of why you choose to open carry over concealed carry. I was also curious if people worry about what other civilians think when they see someone with a gun. Do you feel that it makes the people around you nervous?(This does not apply to states/counties that allow open carry but do not allow concealed carry.)
    I will not say either OC or CC are better than the other, they are both good options that each have pros and cons. Some prefer one, while others prefer the other. There are times when full concealment are a necessity, and other times when the ease and comfort of OC are preferred.

    To each their own.
    Last edited by sigmanluke; December 17th, 2010 at 10:09 AM. Reason: more
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    I primarily CC, but every so often I will OC when running errands. Why? Well AZ is probably one of the best states in the nation to live in for gun laws with Constitutional Carry, but even here OC is moderately rare (at least in the Phoenix area). With all the law changes and the influx of Californians to AZ some folks have never seen a regular citizen shopping at Wal-Mart while carrying. So it's occasionally beneficial to OC to bring awareness to the general public and to exercise a right. I have a couple of observations about OC though:
    1. I keep a sharp eye out when OC, and the vast majority of people never notice. Even carrying a stainless 1911! They don't see what they are not looking for. I keep a sharp eye on people's line of sight and their reaction and most people never notice, even if I have a conversation with them.
    2. Some who notice don't bat an eye.
    3. Every so often someone will have a scared reaction or a nervous one. This is a great opportunity to reassure them that your average armed citizen is a good person with no malicious intent. I use these opportunities to educate and build goodwill.


    So while I CC 98% of the time, every so often OC has its advantages.

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    Member Array loboleather's Avatar
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    Retired cop here. I live in Colorado, where open carry has always been lawful behavior. I recall responding to countless "man with a gun" complaints, usually involving nothing more than a concerned (if uninformed) citizen spotting another citizen with a firearm in a settled community. These complaints have to be responded to and investigated, of course, but frequently result in andrenaline-pumped responses based upon precautionary tactics and worst-case scenario protocols.

    While I fully support the right of every law-abiding citizen to keep and bear arms, I suggest that caution and concern for the sensibilities of ones' neighbors are called for. Unnecessarily arousing your neighbors' anxieties is not the most courteous thing to do. And, the on-duty coppers usually have plenty of other duties to attend to, rather than wasting valuable time on unnecessary "MWAG" complaints.

    I am now a full-time holster maker. My production shop is in a commercial building with dozens of other tenants, and most of them know who I am and what I do. Even at that, if I am coming or going from the building or walking through the parking lot with a holstered handgun in plain sight, I can expect to receive some concerned looks and the occasional unfriendly comment. Such is the nature of life in modern America, even in a "gun-friendly" state like Colorado.

    Your experiences and methods may vary. I will keep my hardware concealed so that I don't offend my neighbors unnecessarily, and I won't be the cause for "MWAG" calls to the busy members of our local police department (many of them were still in grade school when I retired, don't know me from Adam, and just might approach me with pistols drawn and aimed; not good for an old man's bodily functions).

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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sigmanluke;1829317]
    Quote Originally Posted by trev869 View Post
    I am new to this forum and I honestly did not know that so many people open carry. I guess in the area I am from, you never see it. I am a police officer and I never open carry when I am off duty. The reason why I do not open carry is because I want a tactical advantage.
    Just because you OC a gun does not mean you are a cop.

    Show even one example of this type of situation before feeding the myth. Later in the post you say yourself that OC is a deterrent, so why would you be shot first?


    It doesn't have to be a man OCing, she could be too, I would assume that would be just as much a deterrent.

    --I'm sure some do, but I do not. I do OC and CC off duty, but I choose to OC much more often. I still wear my badge, but not visibly.



    I will not say either OC or CC are better than the other, they are both good options that each have pros and cons. Some prefer one, while others prefer the other. There are times when full concealment are a necessity, and other times when the ease and comfort of OC are preferred.

    To each their own.
    I did not say that carrying openly means you are a cop. It is a presumption that a lot of people make including sometimes the bad guy. Also there is no reason to provide a scenario for the one you called a myth. It is general tactics that could be implemented by an attacker. If any capable minded person where to walk into a gas station to commit a robbery and they see someone with a gun on their hip, there is a good chance he will target his attention on that subject. Whether he assumes you are a cop or not is irrelevant if his sights are on you before you have the chance to react in a tactical manner. The deterrent I mentioned was in regards to an attacker that is not carrying a handgun or one that feels he can find an easier target than someone that is armed. This was not meant for the robbery scenario. I can see the pros and cons of both methods of carry.

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