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The girlfriend wanted to go to the fair. I wasn't very keen on the idea. Even though it is within walking distance from where I live, the neighborhood gets increasingly seedy in that direction and the area surrounding the fairgrounds is not well lit.

I tried to raise some friends to go along, but nobody else could make it.
I checked around online and couldn't find any official information on CCW in the fairgrounds. I assumed that they would have some kind of posting at the entrance, but expected this to not be a legal posting.

Due to the walk, not to mention the fact that I live in one of the consistently most violent cities in the U.S., I elected to CCW my Glock 23 (Supertuck holster) figuring that if they had a legal sign posted we would just have to turn around and walk home.

When we got to the entrance, they had a cheesy sign reading "No weapons of any kind allowed". -not legal, so I paid the entrance fee and followed my girlfriend through the entrance. I figured worse case, I'd be asked to leave or possibly receive a trespassing violation. In this city, that's a acceptable risk to the alternative.

There was a Sheriff's deputy standing opposite of the ticket taker who was, I assume looking for weapons as he was giving everyone in front of me the up and down. I will say that I have noticed that at every major public event in this city, I notice that the Sheriffs Dept has officers posted at entrances specifically looking for weapons. I can appreciate that.

I walked within 2 feet of the LEO, gave him a nod and continued into the fair. We walked around for a bit and I was surprised at the amount of LEOs. Keep in mind, I wasn't CCWing because I was concerned for our safety at the actual fair, it was the walk to and from (as is so often the case) that was my concern.

We ended up watching a BMX demo which was kind of cool. I felt a little sorry for the pro riders. Most of them were knocking on 40 and relegated to the life of county fairs for rather non enthusiastic audiences. Actually, I feel a little sorry for anyone working the carney life these days. It all feels out dated and desperately beyond nostalgia for another time. I imagine every place you go must seem like a hole since all you see are fairgrounds. As I toured for years in rock bands, I can understand this sentiment as you tend to be relegated to a certain part of town, seedy hotels and fears of your van being broken into. You ask me about a city and I don't think of the tourist attractions, I think about the crack head neighborhood, the guy who ripped you off and the puddle of urine on the bathroom floor. The carney perspective, I imagine, is much like this.

Anyway, my girlfriend sat on the bleachers and I elected to stand up beside her. As the demo began, I noticed 4 or 5 LEOS standing about 10 feet behind me also watching. A few minutes later, there was no less than a dozen LEOs gathered to watch. I have to admit, I was feeling self conscious at this point. I was not breaking the law, but became well aware that being outted by a LEO in this circumstance was not going to be a comfortable situation for anyone.
The total crowd gathered was less than 40 (including the dozen or so LEOs who were standing directly behind me in 2 groups). I should also point out, that my girlfriend and myself stood out a little in this crowd. I'm not implying that we were doing anything to attract attention ourselves, nor were we dressed outlandishly, etc. Just that we didn't fit the demographic of anyone else in attendance at this particular event we were watching.
Alas, the show ended and we moved on.

We strolled around the fairgrounds twice and were both fairly bored. I noticed that these days the shooting gallery games at the fairs use laser sights on the BB guns. Interesting observation. Otherwise, same worn out one liners from the booths as people attempted to hustle us for less than desirable prizes.

We headed out the gate and I felt a little relieved. I've been carrying CCW for 5+ years, but that had to have been the acid test.
 

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Bad neighborhood, good outcome.
It's truly sad when we must fear the law as well as the lawless.
 

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Very well written piece. Your empathy for the performers and workers gives me much to think about. I am galvanized to help a friend who has a family that is facing tough times in this economy. Thank you, John.
 

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Bad neighborhood, good outcome.
It's truly sad when we must fear the law as well as the lawless.
That is the truth for sure.. Sad isn't it,.. Our founding fathers are probably rolling over and over in there graves,.. GRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
 

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I've been in & around the Fair Grounds in Memphis. I wouldn't have CCed my GLOCK. I would have CCed two GLOCKS! Glad you stayed both covert & SAFE.
 

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I carried at the fair for the first time this year as well. It's good that we can now.
 

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I didn't go to our State Fair, but I did visit the County Fair a number of times. I carried each time. No one noticed that I know of. It was well concealed.

There are always lots of LEOs at the fair. They even have a mobile command post in a large trailer there.

Occasionaly I will stop and chat with some of them that I know, either because they are neighbors or because I belong to the local CERT and ARES groups and take part in emergency drills a couple of times a year.
 

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Not trying to thread jack but how is that supertuck working for you. I usually carry my G23 OTB because it's so chunky I thought IWB would be kind of pointless.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No problem on the thread jack :)
At 4:00, my G23 in a Supertuck stays well concealed even with just a T-Shirt. I'm pretty skinny and have a lot of inward curve in my lower spine, so it tends to tuck into my lower back pretty well. At 4:00, the Supertuck pulls the (gun) butt into my body pretty well. Its become my favorite holster since the large leather platform reduces downward pull on the belt.

In the winter time, I'll often use a Fobus OWB.
 

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I am originally from Memphis as well. I am pretty sure I know the fairground you are talking about. It would have been very hard for me not to go armed.
 

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I am originally from Memphis as well. I am pretty sure I know the fairground you are talking about. It would have been very hard for me not to go armed.
I live in Shelby County and work in Memphis but I have to admit, I don't know which fair you are referring to.

Was this the Mid-South Fair that is now held (as of this year) at the Desoto Civic Center or is this the Delta Fair out at the Agri-Center?

Memphis is no longer having a fair at the Memphis Fairgrounds out by the Liberty Bowl anymore so it surely isn't that Fairgrounds.

Which fair did you go to?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mike,
There is indeed a fair in the Liberty Bowl parking lot as we speak. I'm not sure what fair it is, but that's the one I went to.
 

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Mike,
There is indeed a fair in the Liberty Bowl parking lot as we speak. I'm not sure what fair it is, but that's the one I went to.
Amazing. I hadn't heard a single thing about this one. How many stupid fairs do we need around here?

In that case, if you WALKED to that fair, then I would tell you that you would be crazy if you HADN'T carried there! Well done.
 

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I dont know the area, but I made a wrong turn or 2 after leaving Beal Street once, that is the last time I get off the interstate in Memphis w/o a GPS system or something. I had no CCW and about left a couple stains in my pants. There were some scary people, and I use to drive cab, so I have no problem with different demographics, but that was bad.
 

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Maybe you can work out a sign to indicate that your girlfriend needs to provide a little extra cover by standing between you and nosy parties?
 

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I've not been to a county fair in several years. When I have gone I see a lot of sleazeballs that look like they crawl out from under their rock annually just to go to the fair...:rofl:
 

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There have been a few "carney" type events here in Vegas every year or so. The few I have attended, even before I had my permit, have had the dreaded "no firearms" sign on the entrance gates. One of these had an individual with a hand-held metal detector "wanding" all the people entering the area.

So much for my going to the local carney events!
 
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