Benefits to Open Carry?
I live in Springfield, MO, where it is technically legal to open carry. What is my incentive to do so? Don't get me wrong: if I had my choice, we could all open carry, and devil take the hindmost! But what do I gain? Making the 'sheep' nervous? Unwanted/undeserved LEO attention? Because I can? I carry openly on my property and in my car--why anywhere else? Just asking!
Typically faster draw, no cover garment in the way. Don't have to dress around your gun.
If you open carry in other scenarios then ask yourself why you stop when you leave.
Technically legal? It either is or it isn't.
Aside from the never-ending and hotly debated discussion of tactical advantages/disadvantages (feel free to do a search on this site) there are a couple of things you MUST keep in mind when OCing:
1. Sooner or later, the police will make contact with you. Maybe the cop is a cowboy or maybe he's a professional doing his job; you won't know until you're in it. Right or wrong, legal or illegal, it doesn't matter; you're going to be delayed somehow in some way so have a patient, polite attitude at the ready.
2. You will be surprised at how many people notice you, and how many don't; but you need to ALWAYS conduct yourself as an ambassador of firearms owners everywhere because, like it or not, you publicly represent ALL gun owners when you OC. If you're not in the mood or don't have the time to deal with being a rep, then cover up until you do.
Lots of benefits to OC. Faster draw. Dress normal or properly. I don't have to dress like a slob with my shirt untucked. Don't have to wear jackets in the summer or a man purse. And, people tend to be a little more polite on the few occasions they notice. I've been doing it for years and have interacted with police on a number of occasions; I've never been stopped for it or delayed because of it.
Lets see if I can count the Pros:
- Deterrent to crime.
- Helps raise awareness to the cause that normal citizens can carry firearms, openly or concealed.
- Faster draw time.
- Easier to dress in whatever clothes you want, especially during Summer.
And here are the typical cons associated with it:
- Could be targeted by a criminal.
- Could be harassed by law enforcement.
- Could cause panic or confrontations with anti-gun citizens.
I'm unaware of what the laws are in MO, but in MI, whenever you have a (loaded or unloaded) handgun in your car, and it's out in the open, it's still considered "concealed", period. There is a way to legally transport a unloaded gun so that it is not considered "concealed". However, I'm assuming that you are carrying it open and loaded in your vehicle. If that's the case, at least here in MI, you'd better have your CPL.
Originally Posted by hrufrdr1
Some states allow a gun in the car without a permit.
Originally Posted by MotorCityGun
Originally Posted by Harryball
^^^ adric22 +10
add to Pros:
yes it does raise awareness to the cause that normal citizens can carry firearms, openly or concealed <and might put some of the anti's at ease seeing it more often then not
add to Cons:
Could be harassed by law enforcement < well not so much harassed as much as = < how will they know if you are not suppose to be in possession of a firearm or not, do you have a criminal record so you are not allowed to even own a gun as so much as carry one, unless they stop and check you out?? now even the BG`s might be carrying more often out of convenience
not OP`ing and CCW`ing instead gives me the element of surprise which could make that split second difference
yes a criminal could hit you up by surprise just to get a new gun to use
Don't get me wrong I too would OC, at times, if I could. It is a slippery slope to climb, their are as many Pros as there are Cons and you can go either way sometimes when you take it all into consideration.
In some instances, OC may make you a poorer choice by some dirtbags...thinking that there are easier targets.
Originally Posted by SamF
I'll take those pro's and deal with those con's any day of the week.
Originally Posted by adric22
When I worked at a gun shop/indoor range in Columbia MO I open carried all summer, never had a problem with LEO, in fact had a couple very pleasant conversations with MOHP troopers. I did have one CPD officer working night security at a grocery do an "LEO bump", came up and asked if I knew my pistol "was cocked back" to see my reaction to him and I explained it was a 1911 and designed to be carried that way. We talked guns for a few minutes and he went back to flirting with the night accountant.
I had way more people ask me about Missouri gun laws, and "can I carry that way" and I invited several to come by the range and I would be happy to give them some instruction and actually ended up selling his & hers pistols to an older couple that were initially hostile when they approached me, as has been said, be prepared to be an ambassador when inquiring people approach.
I was in a stop-n-rob next to the shop that I frequented and a black guy asked the cashier "What would happen if I came in here carrying my pistol that way"? She answered "As long as you acted like a decent civilized human being like him; nothing"!
I found Columbia MO to be pretty hospitable to OC, you'll have to ascertain the attitude of Springfield area LEO.
Your incentive should be educating the public. You and I have a mission, and that's to extend the meaning of the 2nd amendment to the rest of the American public and especially those whom have lost sight of it. If you carry a gun to make others nervous, then you're going about it the wrong way. Granted....your actions may make others uncomfortable. You need to think who you're living for and who's worth dying for. Nothing else really matters. Incentives I get at work. What I do to preserve myself and loved ones I don't demand any compensation or "incentives". Look inward before you look outward. Here lie your answers. Don't worry, most of the public sees things the wrong way. After all, that's the way things work now. Too bad.
Implying any kind of link between CC and cowardice is arrogant and insulting. There's a variety of reasons why people choose CC that have nothing to do with the fear of confrontation. One of my reasons is that I often take my wife to medical appointments in hospitals, many of which have posted no guns (not enforceable by law, but sufficient grounds to be trespassed from the property).
Mostly I CC because I'm on a schedule and can't afford being delayed by panicky sheep or inquisitive LE. The rest of the time I CC because my IWB holster was already attached to my pants from yesterday. I take OC seriously for the reason I stated: being visibly armed makes you a representative of ALL gun owners. If I'm not mentally prepared to be a good representative, or I can't afford to spare the time for questions (which I'm pleased to say has never happened while OCing) then I won't do it.
OCers are a minority in the world of gun owners; they're also the highest profile target for gun grabbers. As an OCer, you need the support of the rest of the gun community and it's probably a good idea to NOT alienate them with implications of cowardice.