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; 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 ...

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Thread: Should I open carry? 18 years old

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    New Member Array AgoodUSERname's Avatar
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    Question Should I open carry? 18 years old

    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!
    Last edited by AgoodUSERname; February 10th, 2013 at 04:47 PM.

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    Depends a lot on where you live. I'm in the East Valley, and I doubt you'd get much attention from anyone for open carrying unless you're dressed like a gang-banger or skater dude, or if you're one of those guys with a baby face (the type who still look 14 when they're 25). Carry your sidearm in a holster that looks moderately professional (e.g., not in a nylon "universal fit" holster). If you look respectable and look like you belong where you are, chances are you'll be OK.

    However, Scottsdale and Tucson are quite different. I know of open carriers who have been subjects of unwanted "scrutiny" in Scottsdale, since that town relies on tourists and snowbirds. Don't want to scare the muppets, you know. And Tucson overall is not a gun-friendly city, and Pima County Sheriff Dupnik is well known as no friend of the Second Amendment. Flagstaff falls into this category as well, probably because it's a university town.
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    Senior Member Array NCSoxFan's Avatar
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    Kudos for weighing all the options on this decision. Ultimately you're the one who has to feel comfortable with the decision and Smitty raised the important point of using your local atmosphere as guide. Good luck.
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    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    I think it really depends on how often people in your area open carry. Is it something that people are used to seeing? Even if not, you'd probably be surprised at how often people don't even notice. There are clearly more advantages to conceal carry, but since that is not an option for you yet it really puts you in a tough spot. If you do decide to open carry just remember, any time an officer talks to you, keep that hand far away from your gun and cooperate fully. Check your laws in your specific city also, just because the state allows it doesn't always mean your city allows it.

    Stay safe.
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    Senior Member Array wishyouwell's Avatar
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    Personally, as long as it's legal, i would carry wherever and whenever i thought needed to protect myself or give myself the piece of mind. I wouldn't compromise my safety etc being afraid of what someone else might think.

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    New Member Array AgoodUSERname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Depends a lot on where you live. I'm in the East Valley, and I doubt you'd get much attention from anyone for open carrying unless you're dressed like a gang-banger or skater dude, or if you're one of those guys with a baby face (the type who still look 14 when they're 25). Carry your sidearm in a holster that looks moderately professional (e.g., not in a nylon "universal fit" holster). If you look respectable and look like you belong where you are, chances are you'll be OK.

    You make a great point and that has crossed my mind before. I do plan on dressing appropriately, no bagging shirts or pants, being clean shaved, tucking in my shirt, etc.
    I have a Fobus G2 holster for my Glock which is what I would use to OC. SO I'm set there.
    I am located 70 miles from Tucson, I do believe you when you say is not a gun friendly city, although I do believe my city is gun friendly.
    Much thanks for the information gasmitty!

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    New Member Array AgoodUSERname's Avatar
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    I see occasional open carry citizens here, being in Arizona and being so close to the border I don't think it will surprise many people.
    Understood on the LEO encounters, last thing I'd want is to appear a threat to the law.
    As for the city laws, I have checked with them and all gun laws that apply to the state apply to the city, hopefully that hasn't changed since I lasted checked.
    much thanks to you Burns! very helpful

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    The image you present will have a lot to do with how much and what type attention you will draw. Not making a judgement here, but most 18 years olds I see would draw too much of the wrong type of attention. In general, if you act like a mature, responsible adult, you'll get treated like a mature, responsible adult.

    Having said that, you know your surroundings and attitudes better than I, so apply caution judiciously. What's legal is legal, but wiser is often better.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    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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    New Member Array AgoodUSERname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Not making a judgement here, but most 18 years olds I see would draw too much of the wrong type of attention.
    I understand where you're coming from and I agree. I believe how I portray myself, regardless of age will make the most difference when open carrying. Meaning wearing appropriate clothes, being clean shaved, and as you said, be mature.

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    That's the attitude I like to see.
    Aceoky likes this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    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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    Senior Member Array Kimberpackn's Avatar
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    Should I open carry? 18 years old

    Unfortunately others your age have left a bad impression as far as maturity goes. Do not mistake me, I am not talking about you as I do not know you. Case in point here just north of Nashville TN I take my family to NCG cinemas (cheaper than regal and allow patrons to carry oc and concealed). A young guy (has to be 21 here) walks into the crowded Friday lobby oc'ing with a dangling, loose holstered sig on his side. As he moves through the crowd he takes no care to protect the dangling sidearm from any potential gun grabbers. He really gave us all a bad name. That's what I am concerned with when young guys carry.
    Last edited by Kimberpackn; February 10th, 2013 at 05:50 PM.
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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Why would you open carry except in situations where it is expected and appropriate? For a testosterone overdosed 18 year old (no fault of your own) I can see the attraction. To a common sense adult, not so smart.

    To me it just tips off those who either object to your gun toting principles, those who may want to target (no pun intended) you for your weapon or those who want to encourage or instigate some kind of armed encounter. Many would see it as some type of macho challenge.

    If I carry in public I am doing it concealed or at the very least not overtly open carry.

    Just my opinion.
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    New Member Array AgoodUSERname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodad View Post
    To me it just tips off those who either object to your gun toting principles, those who may want to target (no pun intended) you for your weapon or those who want to encourage or instigate some kind of armed encounter. Many would see it as some type of macho challenge.

    If I carry in public I am doing it concealed or at the very least not overtly open carry.

    Just my opinion.
    I understand what you mean and I if I had the ability to conceal carry you bet I would but unfortunately I can not due to age restrictions here in Arizona (18 to open carry and 21 to conceal carry) So until I'm 21 I have two choices, Open carry or no carry which is what I'm currently debating on.

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    Good for you. You received a ton of good info. You seem like a mature person. I wish you well.

    Be safe!
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    NEVER point a gun at something you are not prepared to destroy!
    AND for GODS sake, get your finger off the trigger until you are ready to squeeze the trigger!

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    New Member Array AgoodUSERname's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimberpackn View Post
    Unfortunately others your age have left a bad impression at far as maturity goes. Do not mistake me, I am not taking about you as I do not know you.
    Very understandable, It's easy to question a young person who open carries a firearm, even in my eyes. As mentioned in my post I do believe I am responsible enough to carry a firearm If that is what I decide on, although I do realize it takes more than just feeling responsible. I need to know the laws which I have a good understanding of, and I need experience and knowledge of carrying a firearm.

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