Should I open carry? 18 years old

This is a discussion on Should I open carry? 18 years old within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Most of the negative responses are from people who never lived in Arizona I guess. I never open carried in AZ, but a lot of ...

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Thread: Should I open carry? 18 years old

  1. #31
    Member Array nmbr5ml's Avatar
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    Most of the negative responses are from people who never lived in Arizona I guess. I never open carried in AZ, but a lot of people do. It isn't unusual and doesn't attract a whole lot of attention. You'll get kicked out of your share of businesses but if you don't mind that then go for it. I will caution that even though a lot of people open carry in Tucson, it isn't popular and almost any business there will kick you out, even if they don't have a sign. Rural areas, no one cares, although the problem there is cops who don't know the law and may arrest or cite you, forcing you to appear in court.

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array 1MoreGoodGuy's Avatar
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    You've already gotten some good advice and you seem to want to be a responsible person who freely exercises his Right to open carry, so be an example others can look up to...Good for you!
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  4. #33
    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    You have already received better information then I could offer, and it sounds like you're the kind of young man who will listen to the advice he asks for.

    I'll only add that from my perspective, as someone who has worked in law enforcement in Arizona (Yuma, Nogales, Tucson & Phoenix), that if you're who you say you are, and dress and act like a mature adult, you'll not have any problems. I saw lots of people open carry out there, and yes, even some that weren't always dressed nice, "clean cut" and acting like grown adults, but it's part of the culture, and people just look past it.

    You didn't say specifically where in AZ you'd start out, guessing Sierra Vista/Nogales/Casa Grande, or thereabouts based on what you did say. All of those places are pretty used to people carrying.

    I don't mean to sound racist, I really don't, but I'll add that if you OC in those areas that are highly patrolled by US Border Patrol, and you are hispanic, or like me, are sometimes mistaken for being hispanic, you'll probably get to know a bunch of Border Patrol Agents, as part of your OC. Most of these guys are really good guys, but you'll run into someone who tests your patience eventually. Be patient, take your time, be ready to do it before you do, and you'll be fine.

    Also, get you a good pistol safe to secure in your trunk (bolt/chain) for those times that you aren't comfortable carrying someplace, and don't want to hassle with going home to off load. If you don't do this, you'll be tempted to conceal carry, and that'll get you jammed up. I'll sometimes lock my primary carry weapon up, before I go into someplace I don't like to carry it, but I try to anticipate that move, and do it before I actually get to the parking lot of my destination. Just less chance of someone seeing you take off the weapon and lock it up.

    Good luck with it, and be safe.
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    " But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.

  5. #34
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    I wish you nothing but luck. If you are mature enough to open carry, then you have the law of land standing up for you. I'd be more concerned with you friends? Can you vouch for their maturity?

  6. #35
    Member Array nmbr5ml's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention... If you don't already have one, find a copy of "The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide." I just googled it and it's on edition 25; current as of 2012. This is the most useful wealth of information a gun owner in AZ can have. It gives easily digestible tutorials of all the laws that apply to owning, buying, selling, carrying, using and shooting firearms. It also gives you the letter of the law in excerpts from the applicable statutes. Just check it out on google or check at a local gun store. They're sure to have it. A must own for any AZ gun owner IMO.

    Also, a story to illustrate what I said about open carrying not being terribly popular in Tucson: I was stationed at the AF base, and a number of guys I knew open carried handguns around town, once they learned it was legal to do so. One of them, I think he was 19 or 20 at the time, went to the LUCKY WISHBONE carrying one of those Taurus (Beretta 92) copies openly on his hip. On his way out, a carload of what he guessed to be illegal immigrants backed into his car, chipping a piece off his bumper and bending his license plate in two. As he stood there giving the universal "WTH" gesture, they politely smiled and drove away. Well being illegal immigrants and leaving the scene of an accident didn't stop them from calling 911 on a cell phone and reporting this guy with the gun on his hip, along with a description of him and his vehicle. Of course they also claimed that he was waving the gun and threatened them. The police caught up with him a short distance down the road (He drove a Chevy Corsica with a custom paint job and like 20 inch wheels, seriously.) and arrested him. At the station, the cop told him they had no victim/witness and he probably wouldn't be charged. After a couple hours they put him back in a cop car and BOOKED HIM INTO JAIL. He was told his charges were Felony Disorderly Conduct and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. Our unit First Sergeant had to get him out of jail. He had to go back to court once more, where he was told no charges were being filed, again, because they never found the victims or a witness. So it worked out for him but yes, it's safe to say open carrying led to a lot of grief for him. I think he tried for about 2 years to get his handgun back and gave up. Just food for thought. Certainly seemed like, at least some, of the cops in the Tucson area frowned on people openly carrying guns.

  7. #36
    Senior Member Array Jemsaal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgoodUSERname View Post
    I am 18 years old living in Arizona where the law permits open carry without a permit for residents of 18 and over, assuming their background is in check of course. My father and I take part in recreational shooting frequently and I am familiar with firearms enough to feel comfortable handling/operating them. I am a responsible individual, I keep my distance from alcohol, I have never done or never will do drugs, and I choose my peers wisely. I understand I will set an an example for ALL firearm enthusiasts when carrying a firearm and with that said I will not act stupid with my firearm. Meaning I will not show off my firearm, will not act or feel like I am more significant than others, or misbehave with my firearm. I've been interested in open carrying a firearm since I was 15 but now that I'm 18 I'm debating on the topic. I would much prefer conceal carry for obvious reasons but that will have to wait another three years. I want to carry for the one reason, to protect myself and those around me, but with all the talk I come across the internet about "anti-open carry" it has really brought me to thinking and debating. Another thing I should mention though, I live in a calm, quiet neighborhood and do not plan on OC within my neighborhood, I do however would like to OC within city limits as long as the laws permit me to. (I'm aware of the facilities/locations I can not take a firearm to)
    I would love to hear opinions on those who experience open carry or those who object open carry. If You'll think I should OC please offer advice or any recommendations and if you oppose please explain. I am open to all opinions and I will respect your opinions, just avoid bashing please.
    -Much thanks in advance!
    I'm up in the middle of the state and to tell you the truth, open carry just isn't a big deal around here. I usually see 2 or 3 people open carrying every time I go into wally-world to pick up ammo.

    Just a couple things for you to consider since I don't know you. How old do you look? It doesn't affect your legal status one bit, but my best friend, at eighteen, looked like he was fourteen still. If he open carried here, now, while eighteen, I'd imagine he'd get stopped by the police pretty much every time he was in public.

    How mature are you, and what is your proclivity when it comes to confrontation? Can you talk your way out of it? Also, do you have the life experience to deal with intense pressure situations, and make the right choices?

    If you're being honest with yourself and can answer those in the affirmative, I'd say sure, go for it. But only you can really make those choices. Then again, if you've grown up around weapons and have been in plenty of situations where you've had to make quick decisions with large consequences and you're comfortable doing that, then my answer is, "why aren't you carrying already?"

  8. #37
    Member Array BelaOkmyx's Avatar
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    It all depends on what is the norm in the place you are at. You never want to be the only one carrying openly, because that makes you a target. Also, you are 18, and if a cop sees you if he has any questions as to your age or motivation, he can and will disarm you as he approaches you. Perhaps roughly. Perhaps with his weapon drawn and pointed at you. This is the kind of encounter you don't want to waste any good luck on.

    Also keep this in mind when you don't have a permit to carry concealed: if you get a bad reaction someplace you don't have the option of concealing it. I live in a state where I can technically open carry and if I did that and anyone complained or expressed fear, I would quickly conceal my weapon. You can't do that without a permit. You would have to leave (with the weapon still visible) or remain there and endure the heat. Possible escalation?

    I'd recommend you only open carry at the range or in the field, someplace where it is normal and expected. At least until you get your carry permit and can tuck it away if it seems like a wise thing to do in the time and place.
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  9. #38
    Member Array nmbr5ml's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelaOkmyx View Post
    It all depends on what is the norm in the place you are at. You never want to be the only one carrying openly, because that makes you a target. Also, you are 18, and if a cop sees you if he has any questions as to your age or motivation, he can and will disarm you as he approaches you. Perhaps roughly. Perhaps with his weapon drawn and pointed at you. This is the kind of encounter you don't want to waste any good luck on.

    Also keep this in mind when you don't have a permit to carry concealed: if you get a bad reaction someplace you don't have the option of concealing it. I live in a state where I can technically open carry and if I did that and anyone complained or expressed fear, I would quickly conceal my weapon. You can't do that without a permit. You would have to leave (with the weapon still visible) or remain there and endure the heat. Possible escalation?

    I'd recommend you only open carry at the range or in the field, someplace where it is normal and expected. At least until you get your carry permit and can tuck it away if it seems like a wise thing to do in the time and place.
    Just to clarify, open carry in Connecticut and open carry in Arizona are not the same. You can technically open carry as you said. In Arizona, people do open carry. You will see it everywhere you go, from downtown Phoenix to the middle of the desert. I'd guess it's slightly less prevalent now that you can carry concealed without a permit (if you're over 21) but no one will be shocked by it unless they just arrived in the state that day. There are businesses that will post signs and/or ask you to check the gun in or remove it if they see it, but anywhere else, no one is going to freak. Nebraska, where I currently live, is another example of a place where you can, technically, open carry, but no one does it and if you did, people would freak.

    You're spot on as far as law enforcement though because that is completely unpredictable. My experience in Arizona was that the cops never really cared but I've heard stories where they freaked. I think anywhere you go, if you deal with law enforcement you need to be prepared for the fact that they may freak if they see/you tell them that you're carrying a gun.

  10. #39
    Member Array WarMachine's Avatar
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    The areas that you want to OC in are other people/young people OC'n? If so then try carrying in those areas as well. Try it on a day where you don't have anything to do like shopping, etc so that way IF you feel uncomfortable you can just return to your car and go back home.

    If you OC on a day where you have things to do like shopping, etc and you don't feel comfortable then you have to return to your car and hide the gun somewhere in the car and that's drawing to much unwanted attention to you, your gun, and car. So it's better to try it when you have nothing to do.
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  11. #40
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    You sound like you've got your head straight on your shoulders, and you've done your homework on local laws. If it were me facing the choice of open carrying or not carrying at all, I'd open carry all day.

    Most people won't even notice. The majority of those that do will probably say nothing or not act noticeably different. The, hopefully, rare occasion you may find yourself under scrutiny is worth the protection; at least in my honest opinion.

    You're the one who ultimately will have to live with the skepticism, posturing, and extra concern that may come your way due to your age, but if you remain calm, act like the adult you are supposed to be, and don't fall into the ego-with-a-gun trap then you should be okay. Exercise discretion when carrying in some areas, perhaps, but again I'd rather carry openly and be scorned then not be able to carry at all.
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  12. #41
    Member Array AK_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarMachine View Post
    The areas that you want to OC in are other people/young people OC'n? If so then try carrying in those areas as well. Try it on a day where you don't have anything to do like shopping, etc so that way IF you feel uncomfortable you can just return to your car and go back home.

    If you OC on a day where you have things to do like shopping, etc and you don't feel comfortable then you have to return to your car and hide the gun somewhere in the car and that's drawing to much unwanted attention to you, your gun, and car. So it's better to try it when you have nothing to do.
    This is good advice, and similar to how I first tried OCing. Early morning run to a large store where it's mostly empty, or somewhere I could return to my car and disarm if I felt too uncomfortable. I think you'll be comforted by how quickly it should pass and feel normal to you. Your mileage may vary of course though.

  13. #42
    Member Array IBGoodToGo's Avatar
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    I wish you a lot of luck. My Family was not a 'gun family'. I got a 38 for my 18th birthday. I had to have a parents note to take it to the range. I thought Law Enforcement might be in my future. When I understood the politics I passed. Some (not many) 18 year olds can handle it. SA Situation Awareness is your best friend. One little mistake can lead to trouble, trouble that will follow you through out your live. Keep your wits about you ALWAYS!

  14. #43
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    I think for 18 yrs old you have done a very good job of weighing your options and have done your homework. In the end, only you can decide if you are responsible and mature enough to OC. If you are willing to be patient with LEO's, the general public, people who dont believe in gun ownership etc, and you are doing so legally then I see no reason you shouldnt. Just remember, just because you can OC, does not mean you always should. You may find yourself in situations where OC may cause you mnore problems than its worth Also, make you sure you know the laws of OC and where you can can and cannot OC, especially special events. ( Here in indiana, it is agianst state law to carry at the state fair, even the the state fairgrounds have no such restriction.

  15. #44
    Member Array DSRTEAGLE357's Avatar
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    i think if i was you . i would join the marines
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    " A free people ought not only to be armed & disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms & ammo to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them including their own government"
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  16. #45
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    Re: Should I open carry? 18 years old

    I can't stand seeing my CCW brothers bashing another about open carrying! Come on guys we are all on the same side. Your belly aching sounds like Brady Campaign ignorance.

    Ok now that I'm not with my United we stand speach...

    Before I got my CCW permit here in Montana I open carried for the month and a half before it came in the mail. I still open carry a little like when I'm going on long road trips. As a Montanan it's my right to open carry.

    If you open carry you have to work extra hard to keep up your awareness. You also have to be ready educate people. Even in Montana there are a lot of hoplophobic people.

    If you open carry you MUST conduct your self as a polite educated respectful member of society. Go out of your way to hold a door open, give a little bigger tip, smile and remember you represent all of us!

    Here we can get a ccw at 18. I could be wrong but there isn't a limit on open carry.

    I believe maybe not every 18 year old is responsible enough to open carry. However there are lots that are! Especially if the kid has been home schooled or has been involved in competitive shooting since he or SHE was little.

    Personally I prefer concealed carry. But I unlike a lot of people I won't bash a guy and say he's over the compensating for a small penis. I support their choice!

    In God and Glock we Trust

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