Are You Crazy If You Open Carry?

Are You Crazy If You Open Carry?
Are You Crazy If You Open Carry?

I realize open carrying is your right. And by all means, if you want to exercise that right you should do it. In fact, I’m lucky enough to live in the great state of Virginia where open carry is legal and people do it all the time.

Personally though, you’ll never catch me open carrying. You see, I’m a very practical sort of guy. The only reason I carry a gun and spend hours at the range is for personal protection purposes. I’m not a competition shooter and I don’t own a tricked-out $3,000 1911. My firearm of choice is a Glock 19. (Yes it may be ugly, but if I pull the trigger I know it will go boom.)

My point is, when it comes to carrying a gun I’m doing it for practical personal protection reasons and open carry isn’t “practical” in my eyes. Now, I know that half of you just screamed at your computer “this guy’s an idiot, of course it’s practical,” so let me explain.

First off, when I carry a gun I carry it concealed for a reason.

I don’t want anyone else to know I have a gun. I don’t want to be standing in a 7-11 one day and have some criminal run in and shoot me first because he sees that I have a gun on my hip, therefore I’m his biggest threat.

Also, I don’t want to be standing in line at Walmart and have to worry about some dirt bag grabbing my gun from behind. You see, when you open carry you have to be very aware of where your “gun side” is at all times. Law enforcement officers are well- trained in this, but I’ve seen the “average Joe” open carry and far too many of them have no awareness when it comes to their gun. (Plus, if you open carry you’d better have a retention device on your holster, but this still doesn’t mean someone can’t try and take it.)

Of course, in general, I just don’t want to make a spectacle and draw attention to myself. When I’m out and about running errands I want to blend in with everyone else. If I’m ever face to face with a criminal who’s about to take my life or someone near me I want him to look at me and think I’m some harmless guy in jeans and a t-shirt. (I don’t want him to know that if the situation calls for it he’s about to see the business end of my Glock.)

Plus, we all know…

That many cops and other law enforcement officials don’t know state laws when it comes to open carry. And as fun as it is wasting half my day while some cop hassles me, I’ll pass.

But perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “There’s got to be some good reason to open carry,” right? Well, as I stated at the beginning of this article it’s your right to open carry. So if you choose, go ahead and get together with your fellow friends and have “open carry night” at the local Denny’s.

Another reason to open carry is that it is faster to come out of the holster. I realize that when you carry concealed you have to lift up your concealment garment with your opposite hand to be able to draw the gun. However, if you “dry fire” practice coming out of the holster with your concealment clothing on you should soon be able to draw very quickly. And in my opinion, carrying open for a faster draw does not outweigh the benefits of carrying concealed.

Well, there you have it. I know that open carry vs. concealed carry will always be a personal preference so let the hate mail begin.

About the Author:

Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor, a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor and an Eagle Scout. Jason believes there are few things in life as important as being able to protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s why he’s giving away a free report titled, “Insider Secrets of Buying Your First Concealed Carry Firearm” at

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Spencer Bennett

“The carrying of arms in a quiet, peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a breach of the peace.” (Wharton’s Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th Ed., Vol.2:Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197)


four score and seven years ago blah, blah blah.  Dogmatic quoting doesn’t address the points this guy made.  He acknowledged the legal right at the get go.


Jason, I agree with you 100%.It is our right to open carry and if you chose by all means do. I am 60 yrs. old and disabeled. I do not need some clown going after my gun. I have it and if needs be he will see it up close and personal. I don’t need to say hay look at me I carry a gun. No one needs to know.


65 (almost 66) and disabled. Can’t agree with you more.


I agree wholeheartedly.  Too many people gawk and shy away when I open carry.  It is better for me to be the only person who knows I am armed.

Stephen J Natale

OC or CC, It’s just a preference. But to keep OC as an available option it needs to be practiced. The reality is if you hide your guns for too long and people “forget” that you can OC then thats when “guns are scary syndrome” sets in. Thats unfortunately the first step to loosing the ability to OC.


When I carrying concealed I don’t want to be hassled by the cops if it prints, becomes accidentally exposed, or I decide to take my jacket off.  I’m so lucky to have those that have pushed for their right to open carry here in Virginia.


When I carrying concealed I don’t want to be hassled by the cops if it prints, becomes accidentally exposed, or I decide to take my jacket off.  I’m so lucky to have those that have pushed for their right to open carry here in Virginia.


Open carry removes my advantage. I prefer to remain seen as no threat.


No threat equals potential victim to a bad guy.

Dave Nomis

I am one of the 50% that Totally Agrees with your position!


Well said, Jason. Tennessee has the right to carry – open or concealed. Everybody -LEO or otherwise, says conceal is the way to go for the very reason of the inconspicuous element of surprise. Nobody likes to have to stand around and explain the “why” of OC or having to be dressed down by a wary LEO. 


No one should have to explain the “why” of OC or be dressed down by a wary LEO who, by the way, is also open carrying. Where LEOs are used to it, it doesn’t happen unless in conjunction with some other suspicious activity.


In recent months, open carry advocates did just that throughout CA. All that did was get the majority, anti gun legislators to pass a law banning open carry in CA. And our relected Gov. Jerry Brown will sign that law in the blink of an eye.

So, what was accomplished by having organized open carry get togethers at Starbucks?


What was accomplished is that now, in California counties where a concealed carry permit is vitually impossible to get, the necessary legal position to sue based on deprivation of the right of self-defense will be in place. Read the judge’s decision in Peruta v. San Diego. She specifically cited the legality of unloaded open carry as being a deciding factor against Peruta.


Yawn…..Both have their pros and cons with open carry being better in general because of the huge deterrent effect. A right unexercised is a right lost.

Mike C

Open carry and concealed carry are both covered under the 2nd Amendment. It is the same right. We need to stop dividing this right into concealed and open carry. It is a personal preference. I do both here in Seattle. Have even been threatened by SPD. Once in my own yard for having a gun on. That does not stop me from exercising my legal right. If we allow a division in this right, then local, state and fed. govts. will do the same and outlaw one or the other. 


Exactly Mike! Those who say they support the Second Amendment but are against open carry are allowing their own personal preferences to color their position. I’ve never hunted, but I was against the EPA’s effort to ban lead ammo on principal.


Amen to you Rich.
I don’t hunt either, but I support hunting rights every way I can.    Either we all stick  together as gun owners and gun users or we can all watch our 2A. rights fade away.


I sometimes OC just because it may be easier. I live in an area where while uncommon to see it, it’s accepted as ok. NEVER have I had someone freak out.


I am 51 and have open carried since I was 18.  I have NEVER had anyone ever try to take my weapon from me.  I also know for fact that on one occasion the very fact that I had a sidearm on deterred a robbery from happening as in a witness just after the fact said they saw two armed men leaving the store in a hurry after seeing me, an armed citizen at the register.  Thus two of your reasons for not to open care are negated.  I have had on many occasions people come up to me and tell me that they feel very pleased to have an armed citizen in the area!


One the rare occasion I am not armed people who know me always ask, and this includes people who work at places I shop, why I am not armed, and actually tell me they prefer to see me armed and feel safer when I am around!


On the rare occasion I am not armed people who know me always ask, and
this includes people who work at places I shop, why I am not armed, and
actually tell me they prefer to see me armed and feel safer when I am


@Castlebailbonds it accomplished showing who believes in the constitution and who doesn’t! Now we know exactly where California wants to go. I say we cut SoCal loose and let them join Mexico.

Paul L Fisher

The ‘open carriers get shot 1st’ is a non-starter. Most of the time, the person knocking over the 7-11 isn’t a cold blooded murderer. He wants some cash for his crack habit and then leave. Most likely, if he sees an OC’er, he will either wait until I leave or go to the White Hen pantry down the street.

Secondly, in WI it is illegal to conceal carry, so my choices are to be unarmed or open carry.

Thirdly, I don’t open carry to show off.

With friends like the author, who needs enemies?


Criminals look for soft,easy targets.  When the bad guy sees you have a weapon he will look for another victim.  It is that simple.


Yes, criminals do have common sense.  They don’t like getting shot at either, so they will tend to leave people carrying guns alone.  Of course, they won’t know you are carrying a gun if you are hiding it.


Yes, criminals do have common sense.  They don’t like getting shot at either, so they will tend to leave people carrying guns alone.  Of course, they won’t know you are carrying a gun if you are hiding it.


If what you say were true then a criminal would never try to take a handgun out of a police officer’s holster. However statistics show that the majority of police that were killed were shot by someone using the cop’s gun. I’ve read in numerous places that criminals in prison, practice taking the handgun out of the cops holster. The proof of that are the special retention straps on police holsters.

I used to have a job with an electrical protection company for 4 years where I had to open carry whenever I left the office. Now I carry concealed all the time because it gives me an edge. If the crook doesn’t know I am armed then if I have to draw my gun if my life is at risk it will be a surprise for the bad guy and maybe something he hadn’t planned for.

It is also good for the community if people carry concealed. That way, if permits to carry are readily available to honest people, the bad guys know that there are people who are armed but they don’t know which ones, that way they are leery of everyone. This was proved shortly after Florida passed a “Shall issue” law. The car jackers focused on jar jacking cars leaving the airport that were rental cars. They could be pretty sure that someone in a rental car was not armed but they didn’t want to take a chance with a Florida citizen who very well migt be armed.

John Havercroft

I notice how you must resort to comparing apples to oranges.  First, there are no absolutes in life.  Wearing a gun openly is not going to ward off every person with evil desires.  Wearing a gun concealed is not going to guarantee that it can stop every attack.  They are only ways to increase odds.  Odds are increased that the criminal is just not going to mess with you if he KNOWS you have the ability to kill him, and you have the confidence to wear the gun in the open in the first place.

Second, did you even stop to consider that the reason cops and prison guards get their guns taken from them and killed with them is to enable the escape of the criminal?  Or out of hatred for the uniform because they do have the power to arrest the perpetrator?  That situation is completely inapplicable to Joe Citizen carrying on the street.  Again, your theory simply lends evidence to the fact that criminals do not want to get caught and once they are caught they want to escape.

When a criminal is dealing with a cop, the cop is more than likely going to find out they are a criminal and arrest them.  That situation does not exist with Joe Citizen.  The criminal doesn’t know me from Adam and has no reason to believe that I know them from Adam.  So, in all likelihood, the easiest way for the criminal to avoid getting caught is simply to leave me alone, because it is much easier to avoid attention if there isn’t a gun fight involved.  Especially when the next guy to come along in a couple minutes is 99% likely to not be visibly carrying a gun.

Also you say it is also good for the community if people carry concealed.  It is good for the community if people carry guns.  Why do you insist on limiting that to concealed carry?  Yes, the ability to carry concealed is important, because it leaves the possibility that someone might have a hidden gun open.  But if, as you say, if criminals are so unafraid of getting shot at that they will attack an open carrier… then why would just the possibility of someone carrying a gun deter them at all?  Again, you are only supporting the fact that criminals don’t want to get shot or caught.


Your reply is problematic on several social levels. I will address them with the hopes that you will sit back, pontificate, and reach a superior conclusion to the less than well thought out one you have above. To do so, I will counterpoint your comments in listed order of your post to highlight the missing, valuable metrics you are not considering:

#1. -Police getting their firearm taken by a criminal-

The problem with your assessment here is that you neglect to recognize that confrontation (Whether it be by arrest or consensual encounter engaged by the officer) is what typically leads to said fights. Almost exclusively, as a matter of record, these altercations in which a perpetrator grabs at an officers sidearm are done during the course of arrest or investigation.

The presence of law enforcement immediately stimulates as a matter of psychology, the “fight or flight” mechanism in the criminals mind, raising their adrenal gland production, and forcing them to make decisions that may be irrational.

This is due to the end product of  arrest, and detainment, on behalf of the officers.

Criminals witnessing an armed citizen who bears no interest in detaining and/or arresting them, simply presents an inopportune target with a high level of risk involved. Move on to a softer, more pliable target.

There are plenty of unarmed women, elderly people, teenagers, and meek men to bother with the prospect of being shot for the $15 in someones wallet who clearly has a sidearm on them.

Sorry, but that is the truth.

#2. -Concealed Carry Gives Me An Edge-

There may be limited situations wherein a criminal intent on malicious activity does not observe you reaching for your firearm during commission of a crime. However, for a criminal already tremoring, high on whatever drugs they have recently taken, or simply under stress and edgy, fumbling and bumbling with your clothes may not be the best idea you will make in your life while both you and said criminal are under duress.

Let’s engage using a comparative method that parallels nicely with the scenario of fantasy that most CC’ers equate to reality.

How many times have you seen an article about how an officer shot someone who was “reaching for something”?

Good, I think we have all seen them.

Please note that whatever the individual was reaching for, was not presented in time, to prevent from being shot dead.

This parallels nicely with the fantasy that a CC’er sitting in open view of an armed criminal during the commission of a crime, will be able to retrieve and present their firearm in a timely and precise fashion, within a time period necessary to avoid being shot. If the CC’er is behind cover and not visible anyways, then any sort of merit that the firearms hidden state had anything to do with anything, was completely erased.

For those who have been under fire, or found themselves in life-changing moments of mortal peril, they know that the perception of time is heightened and that the ability to draw in contrast to the perpetrators ability to put rounds in your face and chest will happen in what seems like an eternity.

Reevaluate the wisdom of pulling a firearm from below clothing in the presence of an armed criminal who merely has to make one simple mechanical motion to bring you on target, while said criminal has already realized the gravity of his situation and the consequences of his actions.

Think wisely about that.

#3. -It is wise to conceal because then a criminal never knows who is carrying-

Wow is this a warped perspective on social reality, that is constantly iterated and reiterated by CC proponents. By the way, they are teaching the class if you’re interested. Only $49.95, and you get a free shirt!

The truth is that the lack of presence of firearms in society does nothing whatsoever to augment the idea that citizens have awakened to their own individual responsibility to protect themselves.

A firearm hidden is as valid in changing the mindset of criminals as not having one at all. Even in high volume CCW issuance states, crime is still relatively high. That is because criminals have learned that “most” people are not “packing”, therefore the probability of retaliation by their victim is pretty low when it comes to firearm usage.

I offer you two examples, and you figure out which one is more beneficial to society.

A.) A state restricts firearm carry to concealed, despite it being a violation of constitutionally recognized rights. Due to the difficulty in obtaining said CCW, whether it be the funds to obtain it, the oft whimsical training requirements, or the simple presence of a process at all in our lazy society, very few individuals per capita actually carry in this state. 

In said state, a criminal finds himself hungry, and in need of some pocket change. He heads down to the local convenience store.

By the pumps, walking towards the store, he notices a man with jeans, a black shirt, and a cowboy hat on pumping fuel into his truck.

He passes several patrons walking into the store. He pretends to wait for a few minutes looking in the aisles at various items

Eventually there are only 3 people left in the store, not including the two clerks, behind the counter.

The criminal makes his move when the patrons move to the front counter, by drawing a handgun from his waistband, and ordering the clerks hands in the air, and the patrons to the ground.

Maybe he gets unlucky, and there happened to be a OC’er/CC’er in the bathroom. Maybe not. But in this state, because there is a 1:400,000 chance that somebody may be carrying, his gambling odds are good.


B.) A state embraces both forms of carry, and true constitutional carry. The citizenry has elected to practice their right to defend themselves, and therefore citizens both openly or concealed carrying have engaged in this activity.

In said state, a criminal finds himself hungry, and in need of some pocket change. He heads down to the local convenience store.

By the pumps, walking towards the store, he notices a man with jeans, a black shirt, and a cowboy hat pumping fuel into his truck. He notices on the mans right hip is the clear “L” shape of a firearm in a holster.

He passes several patrons walking into the store, and notices 2 out of 5 of them carrying pistols on their hips. He, obviously being mentally ill at this point, continues his dedication to his criminal cause. He waits for a few minutes while the remaining patrons thin out.

Eventually, there are only 3 people left in the store, not including the two clerks, behind the counter.

The criminal prepares to make his move and approaches the front counter where all present in the store are visible.

As he goes to reach for his pistol, he notices black belts on the clerks, and as one rotates, a glaringly obvious 1911 is on his hip. The other clerk is eying him intently, and says, “Is there something I can do for you sir?”.

Now be honest with yourself, and answer truthfully.

Which is the better model for society?

Choice “A” is exactly as most states have it now.
Choice “B” is where freedom loving Americans and proponents for carry would like it to be.


Have a great day!


I weep to see anyone write this much and not get paid for it.


Any carjackers who think they are safe choosing victims in rental cars exiting the airports may be in for an unpleasant surprise.  I plan on flying down to FL this Fall. 

I will have removed my sidearm from my luggage before leaving the rental car parking lot —– with my non-resident FL CCW permit in my wallet, and my sidearm in my holster. 

chocolate dirty harry

Cops usually become victim to gun grabs not because the crook wants to steal their gun but to escape. The gun grab is always a by product of the attack. For example a prisoner in a courtroom with nothing to lose grabs a bailiff’s gun in an effort to escape. Another example is a cop trying to subdue a suspect and the suspect grabs the officer’s gun to avoid arrest. An open carrier tends to run away from scenarios like this. Cops are trained to neutralize/contain the threat where an open carrier would just shoot to kill. There was an incident where an open carrier became victim to a gun grab and was murdered with his own weapon. The 16 year old punk stole the guy’s gun and the guy stupidly chased him.

Thor Burfine

I like the idea because of the wind .
No mater how hard you work at keeping it concealed, sometimes the wind just does her thing and exposes you.

In many States this can land you in jail for failure to conceal.

Thor Burfine

I like the idea because of the wind .
No mater how hard you work at keeping it concealed, sometimes the wind just does her thing and exposes you.

In many States this can land you in jail for failure to conceal.


Why is it always some former Fed, LEO and/or Instructor spouting about how bad it is to Open Carry?  As long as one carries in a safe manner, it shouldn’t matter if they CC or OC. I carry for my comfort, I don’t care about your feelings when I carry.


Amazing, isn’t it? Here in Florida, the Florida Sheriffs Association lobbied relentlessly against open carry, saying they fervently supported concealed carry. Yet, back in 1987 when the concealed carry bill was being proposed, that same agency lobbied relentlessly against it, and publicly stated they preferred open carry as at least their officers would know who was armed and who wasn’t.

Bob F

The irony! The cops may be better trained than the avg. joe, but still don’t always know who is CC, esp illegally (example, crotch carry of a SNS by a convicted felon with the baggy pants). 

John Havercroft

Criminals aren’t dumb.  Especially the hardened career criminals.  They didn’t become hardened career criminals by doing dumb things.  A criminal has 1 goal: to get what they want in the easiest manner possible with the least chance of getting caught, with the least legal consequences for their actions, and with the least chance of getting shot at.

What percentage of the US population open carries, besides those that are job related?  Maybe 1/2 of 1%.  So, if I am a criminal, and I am after what most street criminals are after – an easy $$$ or credit card, then why in the world would I attack the guy that I KNEW was carrying a gun?  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just walk down the street one block and attack the guy not visibly carrying a gun, or wait two minutes for the guy with the gun to leave, or go to the next convenience store down the street where there isn’t a visible gun present?

The facts of REALITY are that gun grabs are extremely rare or at least we don’t hear about them.  Don’t you think with the strong anti-gun sentiments and media that if gun grabs did happen, from Joe Citizen, the media wouldn’t blast it on every news show an in every paper spinning it to scream for more gun control?  And the Joe Citizen open carrying being shot first has never been recorded.  If I am standing in a bank, amongst the other customers, and a bank robber or two bursts through the door, does it really pass any common sense check at all for them to take the time to examine every customer’s belt line looking for a gun?  I am much less likely to be detected drawing my gun than the person is who has to mess with his concealment method first to get to his gun.

The principal objective of open carry is called deterrence.  The “element of surprise” does nothing to deter a criminal action.  In order to deter an action, the actor must KNOW that the consequences of his actions are going to far outweigh the benefits of such action.  First, there is the chance of the criminal getting shot at.  Second, there is the increased likelihood of the crime being detected once firearms become involved.  Third, there is the increased legal consequence of committing a crime involving a firearm.  It doesn’t take any rocket science level of intelligence at all to see that messing with an armed citizen is just plain stupid, when there are so many targets available not visibly armed.

It’s just plain too easy for a criminal to avoid the open carrier and move on to the 99.5% of the population that is not visibly hardened by carrying a gun.  I would rather deter the crime from happening to me or my family by openly carrying the firearm rather then rely on the “element of surprise” to save me after the crime has already begun.


Very well said my friend!


Ditto John! Excellent.

Big Dawg

I totally agree with you John. The sole purpose for open carry is Deterrence. Put yourself in the place of a bad guy; would you challenge a guy/women displaying a gun? Absolutely not. I live in CA. Horrible state gun laws. As a result of that, the crime rate is astronomical, especially gun fights. I am sure you are all aware of the problems that occurred last weekend on the whole east coast. Don’t be a victim. My 2 cents


“Would you challenge a guy/women displaying a gun?”

– No. I also wouldn’t challenge an UNARMED person with a gun. This must mean I DO NOT know how the criminal mind works, and that I should proceed with caution when testing theories that could mean life or death for me, or the people around me.


Remember. It’s not always 1 bad guy. It is most times 2 or more. They feed off each other and push each other to act. Would 2 or more bad guys take on someone they know has a gun ? Of course they would. They are not going to walk up and say hello. They are sneeks. Once they get your gun the record shows you are more then likely going to get shot with it and it’s one more gun in the hands of some low life. The news does not report gun take aways just like they don’t report so and so had a gun stolen from their home. That 99% must be doing something right. But if you want to it’s your right.


“Once they get your gun the record shows you are more than likely going to get shot with it”
The ONLY incident I’ve ever heard about where a criminal robbed someone of his gun (at gunpoint, BTW) the citizen was not shot.

Show us all the news reports of your scenario happening.  If it were really so common, there must be thousands of incidents, given the hundreds of thousands of people who OC every day.
You can’t because it doesn’t.


very very well said; i concur.

Lonny Taylor

Wchristepher I was reading an art. in nra & it stated that Iforgot the percntage rate but it was high  about cuicide thought I,d put that in they,re using to try to pass some gun laws but not telling the truth about it


Well, it it’s in NRA then it has to be true and objective.

Jay Kay

Buy a retention holster. level 3. It’s not hard. And don’t wear it around town to your local gas station.


I retired from CCI, a California state prison, where I had inmates working for me that were from the minimum yard.  I once asked one of them If they could have one wish what would it be.  I was thinking that it would be early parole or something good.  His answer was “GUNS”.  When I asked him why guns his reply was: “If I have guns then I can get anything else I want.”  There is the mentality of a convicted felon. 


What point are you trying to make? If it’s that a bad guy will indeed confront an open carrier in order to get his firearm, I’d say that since he could acquire one for $100 on the street or steal one from an unoccupied dwelling, why would he possibly put his life on the line?


I think he’s simply making the point that it’s what the criminals want, not whether they will take it from an armed person, you read too much into it. Many studies also show that in areas with high gun ownership, there is less violent crime because when asked about that, the people in prison said they don’t want to get shot. I have mixed feelings about open carry. I like the element of surprise from concealed carry, but it’s more comfortable and easier to draw with open carry. I might open carry when going to the range or up to the mountains, where I open carry anyway. Don’t know, it’s kind of a sticky thing with no clear best answer.


The element of surprise is only useful if you are the first to act or on the offensive. In a defensive situation, you are reacting (therefore not first to react) to an attack. The element of surprise doesn’t help you there.

Example: Walking down the sidewalk and you are targeted for robbery.


“many studies” — sounds legit. Care to cite any?

Roy Payne

I agree. I open carry to & from the range or for a hike in the nearby woods. But at work and when I’m out & about, concealed all the way.


I’m a passionate Concealed Carrier.

My problem is this: I’ve never seen someone open carrying who meets these criteria:

a) Is attractive.

b) Is not overweight to some degree.

c) Is well dressed.

I’m not trying to pick a fight, I just wish I could meet ONE good lookin’ dude who carried openly, who was also wearing $280 designer jeans. When I see that… when I see someone OCing who doesn’t look like an un-made bed, I’ll be very happy.

Until then, Open or Concealed- as long as you’ve got a gun, you’re okay in my book.


And what do your personal preferences have to do with my rights?
Do you demand that someone writing her Congressman comply with those standards? How about worshipping? Voting?

Bob b

I saw a fat guy pull a full size .45 out from his t-shirt neck, quick as a whip, (demo video for chest band holsters), and thought “holy shit, I wonder how many other fat dudes have Colt .45’s under their man boobs. You never know who has what! 

Wchristepher, retired LEO

as long as the ‘fat or skinny’ person is fully able to respect their responsiblity, I dont have a issue with them carrying open or concealed.
being trained well, and well practiced is far more important to me,
than the persons size.
its the centre mass shot placement that will kill you.
not my 40inch waistline 🙂 

Wchristepher, retired LEO

as long as the ‘fat or skinny’ person is fully able to respect their responsiblity, I dont have a issue with them carrying open or concealed.
being trained well, and well practiced is far more important to me,
than the persons size.
its the centre mass shot placement that will kill you.
not my 40inch waistline 🙂 


I Have four under mine


A few years ago, after moving (finally) out of the gulag of Illinois, I encountered the person who reminded me that I had re-entered civilization. She was a gorgeous brunette, open carrying a nice Kimber. Got my CCDW the next week. Wish I could find her to thank her. Oh, her jeans may not have been “designer”, But I’ve never seen a pair of levis that looked better!

I only open carry on the job, as I’m frequently around large sums of cash (30 to 150K), but I would never put someone down for doing so.


Write me a check for 300 dollars and I’ll buy an expensive pair of jeans and model them for you, haha.

Jay Kay

I am ( in my opinion) A decent looking guy, with a fit build, and I usually always at least tuck in my shirt, I don’t usually wear Tees…


Speaking of deterrance, there was a local incident where a robber entered a bank and saw an open carrier and promptly turned around and walked out. I know this is anecdotal, but it did happen in near my hometown. All the tellers were very grateful to the open carrier that particular day.


Wow!!! in my state we can’t open or conceal carry in a bank. Looks like the bank is out of luck


I agree 100%.

Herman Vogel

LMAO, you don’t keep up with the times do you? within ONE year of Texas becoming a Concealed handgun state,,,crime DROPPED. Why, because the Peckerwoods DIDN’T know who was or wasn’t carrying. Open carry tells them which one to shoot FIRST, then the rest are easy prey. They push me aside and walk on in,,,then their asses are MINE. You can’t do that while open carrying.

Roy Payne

100% agree.


I do agree with your sentiments.  The element of surprise is always good.

With that said, I do applaud the people who go the extra step and carry open, subjecting themselves to being detained by officers ignorant of the law, and waling through public venues with a firearm in a peaceful manner.

I had to go visit my son’s school recently because he was talking about his “cap” gun he received as a gift.  Apparently, just mentioning the word gun now days sends people in a tizzy.  So imagine, the sight of a gun now days causes panic.  Mentioning it one generation later will generate the same level of panic.

We need to do something to change the viewpoint of firearms as weapons of death and maniacs to that of a tool that can be use for peaceful purposes as well.  Or, one day, when saying the “word” gun creates a panic, there will be no one left to support the second amendment.


The “element of suprise” is overrated.
If you have to suprise a bad guy with your pistol, there’s already a crime in progress and you’re reacting.
By OCing, bad guys choose not to attack me in the first place.


Although I too would choice to carry concealed at all times, I do support open carry laws.  Mainly, for the protection it would offer me if I had accidentally revealed my weapon, such as when i ride my motorcycle.  I wouldn’t have to worry about being arrested and having my CHL revoked if the wind blew my cover up over my weapon.


I open carry everyday. I put my weapon on when I get out of bed, and I take it off when I get into bed. 98% of the time nobody even notices. Because I am a “nice, polite kinda guy” people feel comfortable around me. If they see my weapon, this does not change. 


Shouldn’t you go back to OCDO, John?  😉

T bar K

IMO I prefer the Concealed carry for the same reasons above ,but I dont like being hasseled if i print thru my clothes , Alot of the folks at church carry as well as I do an its not an issue but I do find people in general out on the town tend to eye my pocket when i have my EDC gun in it even when i use a pocket holster I usualy just ignor them , in 5 years though i have never had an issue either way in Tx , as long as i have it concealed , I OC in my yard when i am mowing or moving stuff around an get lots of looks from cars going by but still no other issues ,t


Who ever said that you had to stand around at a 7-Eleven to open carry?  It is worth mentioning that 7-Eleven’s lobbyist fought us this year in the Florida legislature on our Open Carry bill.

Why on earth would you concealed carry in the woods?  Or while clearing brush on your own land? or in your car? or at a friends house while eating dinner?  I’d take off my coat if I could but that’s all illegal here still because people think that Open Carry means parading around downtown with a .45 exposed.


Hi Sean! Long time no talk to. I open carry when I go fishing, as allowed by law. But you already knew that!

old man

I am also an old man and have open carryed here in Ga for many years. My carry is a 9mm keltec and most people do not even see it. Holster is a through the belt with snap strap. I feel better with this setup as it will be hard for someone to grab it. It gets very hot and humid here, so a t shirt is the best way to stay cool. I don’t OC so people can see it.


It is a personal decision as to OC or CC.  but….. I disagree on a couple of your reasons for not open carry. Most people even bad guys will avoid you if they know you have a gun, which in turn may make them not rob that 7-11, of course there are those who don’t care, they take what they want no matter the risk.  As far as LE even if you have a concealed carry license they don’t all know the laws and may still hassle you.  As an CHL instructor I tell people that they need to practice as often as possible and never forget you are carrying a gun.(you may get used to it but you never forget) I believe that be my stance either way OC or CC.
I wish my State had open carry but they do not.


I guess it comes down to preference.  Here in TX, one of I think 6 states that explicitly prohibit open carry, I’d like to see that law removed.  It should be my choice.  Of course the image of TX as being wild west, as soon as anyone suggests Open Carry be legalized, the media will say we’re gonna have gunfights on the streets of Tombstone (nevermind Tombstone is in AZ where OC is legal, and no, they don’t have gunfights beyond the re-enactments there).

Point I like – if someone comes to you and says guns are bad, killing will go up, blah blah, ask them if “right now” they are likely to rob a 7-11 or go murder someone.  Of course they will say no.  So then ask them if they had a gun on their person, would they then sudenly become a murderer or a thief?  Would they have this unimaginable urge to stick up a 7-11?  Of course they will say no.  So your response is that their character rules, and the possession of a gun is IMMATERIAL.  It makes no difference if they held a gun or not – they would not rob or murder.  Therefore it can’t be the gun at fault.  So what is all the hoopla about gun ownership?


7 states. But who’s counting?


@ John H. – I don’t know about you but my reason for carrying isn’t to deter crime but to protect my life.  If I am a potential target because of my exposed firearm then it’s better left concealed.  Wouldn’t you agree?  I think higher numbers of dead bad guys would do more for detering crime than lots of people with shiny guns on their hips and bullseyes on their backs.


I am John H.  Just logged on differently.  There is no real world evidence that points to open carry causing Joe Citizen to become a target.  That scenario is played out over and over again in the imaginations of those attempting to justify their prejudice against open carry.  It just doesn’t happen in reality.

I carry my gun for protection of myself and my family from the criminal.  If the criminal sees my gun and moves on then I have protected myself and my family from two things.  I have protected myself and them from attact by the criminal.  AND, in addition, I have protected myself and them from the trauma of seing someone shot and from the possible expense of the case going to civil court, more than likely.

If the criminal does not see my gun and decides to attack anyway, then I have the advantage of a faster draw time with much less movement required.

The scenario of the criminal seeing Joe Citizen open carrying and planning an elaborate plan to attack him anyway just doesn’t play out in reality.  Show me one instance where it has.  That challenge has been issued for years now.

As far as the extra hassle by the police and public due to seeing the gun….that is never going to change until they see normal Americans doing normal American activities while carrying a firearm in a normal manner.  If we insist on hiding away our guns like they are something evil, the only image of the gun and the person carrying it the public is going to see is the image presented to them by the anti-gun media and groups like the Brady Bunch.


By carrying concealed, you are projecting that you are just another of the unarmed potential victims. Since by open carrying you are less likely to be approached at all by a bad guy, it seems to me that your life is better protected by projecting that you are prepared.


I have been carrying for 4 years The same pistol, same holster (Cross breed) and the same place (near appendix). My pistol 1911 officer 45 cal. It is rquipped with a crimson trace laser and is far superior to dry fireing and easier on the pistol. I practice daily in my Hangar from bad breath distance to 40 ft.always moving and I am still on the original batteries.
I live fire monthly and the result is impressive.
By the way I am 82 years old.


when i open carry it shows the sheeple that guns dont kill

Tom G

Here in Alaska, all types of carry are legal including walking around with a pistol or revolver in your hand. How a person carries is personal choice. To some the element of surprise it what matters, to others it is the deterrence factor. The important thing is that any way you choose to carry is a serious matter and you should take the time to learn the laws and rules of your area, and practice.


I coceal my weapon unless I am in the woods,then I want all who walk in my camp to know I have a firearm.

Chris D. Bergen

“I don’t want anyone else to know I have a gun. I don’t want to be standing in a 7-11 one day and have some criminal run in and shoot me first because he sees that I have a gun on my hip, therefore I’m his biggest threat.”

Has this ever actually happened or is it someones imagination at work?  In the REAL world, the criminal running in either isn’t worried about you being there (which is scary), or simply doesn’t realize that you are there.

In either case it makes no difference that you are Open Carrying, but the split second delay could make the difference between surviving or not.


Hell no, you aren’t crazy if you OC, and you don’t have a target painted on your back, as some will say.

The Criminal ALWAYS has the element of surprise. Hiding your gun won’t give it back to you. 


And if the criminal has already surprised you, chances are they are watching for the person to reach for a gun anyway!  That’s why it is best to just deter the criminal to begin with, rather than see “who surprises whom faster”.



I think you are missing a point about the OC movement *entirely*. The role of OC is often political in addition to self-defense – demonstrating a right to carry and, ideally, being good ambassadors to the *entire* carry community at large, both open and concealed.

Open carry done properly sparks discussion about personal rights and freedoms. I know as a spook downrange that CC is the way to be but back here in the States we are still fighting daily for freedoms we thought were guaranteed to us.

Chris D. Bergen

In the end it may actually do some good, if Open Carry is against the law, then “shall” issue concealed permits must be offered.  Otherwise Cali sets itself up for a 2nd amendment violation fight, just as Illinois is facing.


“I don’t want to be standing in a 7-11 one day and have some criminal run
in and shoot me first because he sees that I have a gun on my hip,
therefore I’m his biggest threat.”

How many times has this happened? I haven’t been able to find a documented or undocumented incident. Criminals are cowards. If they see an armed citizen they won’t attack. They go for easy prey not hardened targets.

“Also, I don’t want to be standing in line at Walmart and have to worry about some dirt bag grabbing my gun from behind.”

How many times has this happened? I haven’t been able to find a documented or undocumented incident. It happens to cops not because they have a gun, but because they are cops.

Of course, in general, I just don’t want to make a spectacle and draw attention to myself.”

Open carry is only a spectacle to those people who can not comprehend the concepts of life, liberty, property, rule of law, et cetera.

“Well, there you have it. I know that open carry vs. concealed carry
will always be a personal preference so let the hate mail begin.”

It’s a false dichotomy. The best armed option is the little discussed third option that I prefer: open and concealed carry. It combines the “HELL NO” message of open carry and the “SURPRISE” message of concealed carry.


Just shaking my head…   I Wisconsin, the only legal option is to Open Carry.   When we get Concealed carry,  as we will shortly,  I will still open carry and concealed carry when it is more appropriate.  Point is,  Open carry is just as legitimate as Concealed carry.  It will be more so in the future.    I work in the yard with my gun strapped on.   I shop with it and I fish with it.  Soon, In Wisconsin,  I will also drive with it.   It doesn’t matter how you carry, just that you do.   Criminals already carry concealed.  John Havercroft is right!


I prefer that you exercise free speech with an alternative word. The people worry enough about “crazy” persons, especially those who still retain their right to bear arms. Persons who choose to OC, do so because they choose to or might be restricted to that method or nothing. I presume they are capable of making a well informed decision and do not understand a need to label them with a negative adjective.


Q. Are you crazy if you open carry?
A. No.

It has never been shown that a person’s decision to carry a firearm concealed or open has been related to a psychological disorder.

Seriously, the reason one carries open or concealed comes from their own personal culmination of life experiences.  There is no right or wrong, unless prohibited by law (like it or not).

The litany of “what if?”s drags subjects like this into the ridiculous.  I will not bore you with my decision and why I made it, I did and I am comfortable with it.

NRA Instructor
CCW Instructor
Former LEO


Your concerns regarding retention are valid. A method to mitigate that and other issues is to attend training and practice techniques. Your safety is your responsibility; having a weapon and being able to use it effectively are distinctly different. The resources you spend on defense training are repaid when you effectively survive an encounter and ares most effective anytime your skills permit you to avoid an encounter.


I carry concealed, mainly because my state as an “armed to the terror of the public” statute, that makes OC dangerous for average citizens on the street. I have open carried on a job in a BAD neighborhood, where I wanted people to know I was armed. But I was on private property, seldom on the street except to get t my truck. I like the idea that a crook has to keep guessing. If he sees a few OC’s, he knows there are some other CCW’s, but which ones?  

I agree with writer, if one open carries, do it in a secure manner. I do it crossdraw, against my left abdomen. Always partly in my sight, hard to reach by someone else.I ccw the same way in winter, under vest or coat. Pocket carry in hot weather.

Most armed, most free.


My primary reason for OCing is comfort. I don’t do it all the time, but enough. I once had someone touch the firearm but they weren’t trying to take it, they were just ignorant and probably drunk. At the time I was in uniform as an armed security officer, working in a bar/dancehall.  

Most places I go, most people never even see the firearm. People are sheep-like, doing their own thing and unconcerned about their environment.

Some that do see the firearm think you are a cop.

As far as the running 7-11 robber, most thieves aren’t looking for a murder charge. If they see your gun, they will not come in at all. The ones inclined to kill are just as likely to shoot you before they even announce the robbery. And they are likely to swarm you in force, cover you, and put you on the floor before you can properly react.

There should be no difference between open and concealed carry. Articles like this serve to divide us when we should be united.


I Open Carry, and its a proven crime deturant. With his line of thinking LEO”s would constantly be shot at all convience stores and their weapons would constanly be taken away from them, by the guy SNEAKING up from behind gun grabbing. Thugs dont want a gun fight, they want a easy target to prey on. Go ahead and hide your weapon, so you can have that ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, when and if you ever need it, myself I will open carry to detur that situation, and when I leave, and the thug decides to rob you or somebody else….you will be ready.

I must be level 6 Crazy!

I CC at work, but on the weekends I OC.  It’s not a “hey, look at me” display, it is because it is more comfortable.  Do I need to be more aware of my surroundings when I OC?  SURE!  is that a bad thing?  I think not!  I think all people, gun owners or not, need to be a little more situationally aware.  90% of the time that I am OC’ing, people don’t even see it, where is their awareness? 

When I am “caught” OC’ing it is usually a great encounter.  A place to help educate the people about the state laws and 2A movements and breakthroughs over the years.  I also enjoy my “local OC night” at Denny’s, but it’s actually at Starbucks, who recently stood up against those who were trying to keep out guns out of their establishments.

Don’t judge me because I OC, don’t judge me for CC, don’t judge.  We are all here for one common goal, why start drawing lines in the sand and hurting the cause more. 


I open carry sometimes for one reason only(I have to say most of the time I dont) When traveling to Cody Wy. I do it just to densensitize the “gun haters” in that town. The LEO folks are fine with  it, Wy is a very gun friendly state but that said, if you open carry in a responsible way, and you dont come across as a nut. I think it helps. But if you choose to do this you ALWAYS have a holster with level 3 retention. Not your concealed carry holster with no thumb break. Just my view.


As a CCW in a low population OC state, we now number in excess of 80,000, including many lawmakers and judges. The attacks on law abiding private citizens are nowhere near in the past (drug conflicts to the exception). The Las Cruces NM bowling lanes massacre was a wake up call similar to the Texas Luby’s.. Element of surprise seems to be effective and with less hassle from the uneducated. As a CCW for most of my life, admittedly illegally at times (misdeamer), o challenged by an attack once, end result satifactory. appreciation for OC on others, is in order. Kudos for the time and money resources to prove the point of the 2nd..


Well said. i believe in the element of surprise if needed. Plus when i’m with my family I don’t want to draw attention to myself or family until the last resort result. Keep a low profile conduct business as usual.


But if you OC, you don’t need to suprise the criminal. He won’t attack you in the first place.
As for drawing attention, most people don’t notice. Even in the summer, wearing a white shirt & tan shorts, in a state where ONLY OC is legal, people don’t notice.