Open Carrier Arrested After Scuffle

Open Carry

Sunday afternoon John Garcia and his family were having lunch at Garcia’s Restaurant. Mr. Garcia was open carrying a handgun inside the restaurant. A man now known to be Mr. Christopher Torres, who has an alleged history of “mental issues” walked in to the store.

Mr. Torres observed the firearm on Mr. Garcia’s hip, then announced he was a DEA (Drug Enforcement) Agent, and stated he had evidence that Mr. Garcia was going to rob the restaurant.

Mr. Torres then attacked Mr. Garcia, hitting him and trying to remove the firearm from the holster. The firearm fell to the floor where an uninvolved party picked it up and placed it in the manager’s office.

Other customers restrained Mr. Torres until Albuquerque Police Arrived.

Mr. Torres was arrested for “several felony charges”, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Mr. Garcia (Victim) was also arrested as he took his firearm into a licensed liquor establishment which is a felony in New Mexico.

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Michael McGowan

I live in NY state where there is no open carry. However I am a strong proponent of concealed carry and this exemplifies my position. A simple short sleeved over shirt with long tails could (and I emphasis could, not would) have prevented this incident, but it would not change the fact that Mr Torres is still a nut case. I see no purpose other than to draw unwanted attention to one self by openly displaying your handgun on your side. Even one instance of negative attention is one too many. I’ve always said about my guns, what people don’t know won’t hurt me. Open carry proponents can make all the arguments they want however none of them are logical, they are simply rationalizations for wanting to display the fact they own a gun. I carry and nobody needs to know it except me. I’ve never had anyone try to take from me what they weren’t aware that I had or didn’t have. Use your heads folks. If you’re going to exercise your right to own and carry do it responsibly and sensibly, toss on that over shirt.

Chaplain Ed

Wish I could disagree, but, unfortunately, the human ego needs stroking from time to time and some folks egos largely depend on having, doing or being something that other folks don’t. Sadly, it’s usually due to a very poor self image.

Guess another perspective is… let’s keep the “bad guys” guessing.

Michael McGowan

That’s how I see it. I figure it this way; if a criminal element is set on carrying out a crime in a place where a lawful gun owner (carrier) is also occupying, some contend the crime may be thwarted by the open carry presence of a sidearm. However I contend, that all that will do is make the person carrying openly the first target with a bonus: he gets shot and and the criminal gets an additional weapon at his disposal. But, if said presence of a gun is not advertised, then the person carrying it may be more able to undertake appropriate action to the surprise of the offender and stop his actions instead of becoming the first victim.
I look at open carry as a choice that the govt shouldn’t make for us, however like helmets and seat belts, it’s wiser to use them and carry concealed than to not.


I disagree with you on that comment…

“I look at open carry as a choice that the govt shouldn’t make for us…”

I believe that open carry can cause more problems than it solves right now, BUT if open carry was MORE common it would be the best deterrent to criminal elements.

If a bad guy sees 5 people walking around carrying weapons do you think he is going to cause trouble? No. He will also be thinking about the fact that if he can see ONE weapon, other than his, in the open that maybe there are more he is up against and can’t see.

I think the right to carry should be the carriers choice. I’ll open carry if and when I believe the laws and the so called law enforcement are on my side.

Until then I’ll keep it concealed but can’t agree with any comment referring to a choice the government should or shouldn’t make for me or anyone else.


i get out of work at 3;3o am in downtown seattle..belltown area and it can be quite hairy ..i know and work with plenty of people that have been mugged and seriously hurt in only a few blocks of where i work…i OC on the way to my truck and can honestly say that its prevented me being mugged..once was quickly approached by three thugs with hoods that were in a door was smoking crack..they were saying “come here man…let me ask you something”…they started spreading around me and i was now walking off the sidewalk onto the street guy said to his dirtbag friends “not this guy..hes packing”…i didnt palm my weapon..they just saw it and that was enough…i understand that alot of people shake their heads at people that OC…wether you choose to or not..i hope people can respect and support that right..
I dont OC all the time but do when i see it to be practical .Clothes can also get in the way of drawing your weapon

Michael McGowan

Again, weak arguments in support of open carry.
I applaud your cautiousness and vigilance in being aware of your situation to avoid becoming a victim, however your assessment of a couple of things are inaccurate. It’s not the fact you open carry that caused the would-be thugs to re think their intent, it was was the fact you had a superior means of defending yourself that they weren’t willing to go up against. You could have caused the same reaction in them had you had a light shirt over your pistol simply by turning and brushing it aside and letting your intent to defend yourself known. As far as the claims that clothing gets in the way, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s only the case if you don’t dress appropriately for defensive posturing. Not to mention practice. I never see any IDPA participants having trouble drawing from a concealed state. Sure, if you put a tight sweater or winter jacket over your gun you might have issues, but if that’s what you’re doing then you’re not consciously dressing in support of drawing you gun if need be. Plus, there are many garments designed specifically for concealed carry with built in holster pockets.
Again, I applaud your stance in thwarting the inevitable events that were upon you, but please don’t erroneously credit open carry as responsible for the positive outcome. I promise you that had you been carry concealed you’d have gotten the same response by simply announcing that you had a weapon and would have no problem using it by brushing aside an unbuttoned overshirt and putting your hand on the grip.
The trouble with the open carry choice is that had they been watching you more carefully prior they would have seen you were carrying and that may have in itself caused them to seek a way to surprise you in an attempt to overtake you and relieve you of your weapon instead of being weary of you. Proof? Read the article this thread is associated with.
With concealed methods you have the element of surprise on your side provided you exercise all necessary components of self defense including situational awareness… like noticing those guys in the doorway as you did.
The bottom line is concealed carry gives you the upper hand and not the bad guys. Open carry carry can go either way, maybe the bad guys will leave you alone… maybe they won’t.


Or next time maybe the crack heads might be armed? 3 against 1 in a shoot out might not go so well.


After more than 30 years of this, I can promise you that a confrontation with 3 armed thugs will NOT happen in your favor. This is not the movies, this is >>real life or death.< TIME prevents your nabbing all three. You don't need 52 rounds on your person either. You can't "miss enough" to win a real gun fight.


Except if open carry is illegal, that can be considered brandishing, and then you have to make a case in court about it.


Are 3 thugs going to call the cops to report brandishing?

Michael McGowan

that’s a dumb question, because the fact is thugs or not, who wants to take the chance of having their weapon confiscated while they investigate the matter and possibly charge you and tell you tell your story to the judge, meanwhile your name and face get plastered all over the papers just because 3 A-holes decided to turn things around on you. In these parts we have a solid motto we live by: “You had better have damn good reason to uncover your weapon, and if you do, that reason had better require that you use it, because if you do uncover it and you don’t use it…YOU’RE going to jail.” IOW, you only break out your gun in the event you are in such circumstances that dictate your fear for your life or that of another, anything less is brandishing and you become the criminal. In NY there is no such thing as showing a gun to prevent something from happening. In the eyes of the law a gun’s presence is only justified if and when it’s USE is called for. Our laws work in favor of the criminals around here in case nobody noticed. If you know your life is in danger and you fire in self defense, you’re all set. If you are just scared of 3 guys and you show a weapon… they call in a complaint, you’re all done. Its that simple. No judge in the state will accept “well there were 3 of them and only one of me…” No matter what your perceived threat, they can and will say you threatened them unjustly, now guess who has no handgun permit and a record? YOU.


Hey Mike, while your spouting off all your great knowledge about CC being so much better than OC, at least be consistent. You told the guy that OC’d to his truck that he should wear a shirt over it and then he could have just brushed the shirt back and palmed his weapon to get rid of them. Here now your stating that if he had done so he could be charged with brandishing so don’t do it unless you’re going to draw and use it then and there. Hello, make up your mind or get your story straight. I carry both ways in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona where most of my travels take me. As far as the original article, (and I know ignorance is no excuse for violating the law) the guy was more than likely confused by the NM law, which allows you to carry in resturaunts, including those that serve only beer and wine, but not in those licensed to serve hard liquor. I know this is a stupid discrepency and hopefully with our new Governor we can fight to get that changed. I would hope that anyone who carries at all and is purporting to be a champion of our second amendment rights would have more of an open mind than you do, but unfortunately there will always be those like you that think it has to be their way or the highway. Wake up Mike, different situations call for different carry options and all can be good as long as the right to carry at all remains. Our fight shouldn’t be with each other, but with the idiots that want to take that right away, ie our current dictator Barack Osama (oops did I misspell that). Lighten up Mike and fight for the right to carry at all, not with how one carries.


I hope you don’t OC in Texas.


Utah just changed their law specifically because thugs were reporting “brandishing” to cause trouble for those who were legally carrying, but displayed their gun to cause the threatening thugs to back off. Under the previous law one could be charged for displaying a firearm to intimidate, even though the reason was to prevent a physical attack.

The new law allows display of the legally carried firearm to stop aggression regardless of whether the aggressor displays a weapon or not.


Utah law makes sense. Better to “brandish” then to wait until there is no choice but deadly force.


I would rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

Clay Burruss

It is not considerd brandishing if you are caryring a holsterd weapon

John K Matyi

“Again, weak arguments in support of open carry.”

But in the opening article there is a mentally disturbed citizen involved in the altercation. ‘Flashing’ a weapon can also be seen as provocative and an act of threatening. I can understand a law that invalidates your concealed cary permit if you are under the influence, as in Alabama, but to make it a felony to simply walk into an establishment that “serves” alcohol, is an attack on our 2nd amendment.

Let’s stop fighting among ourselves and protect our rights together.

Clay Burruss

As Washington law is differnt than the laws where you live. To brush your shirt aside and display your weapon is considerd brandishing with intent or intimidation which here is against the law.

Kyle Kincaid

sooo you are saying that OCing didnt stop this possible threat, that he could have had the same reaction if he was Conceal Carrying just by lifting his shirt so the thugs could see the gun? 

Guess what? for that ten seconds or so where he lifted his shirt to show that he had a gun…… yeah, thats called OPEN CARRYING

Stephen J Natale

Actually, lifting your shirt to flash a CCW to scare somebody is NOT open carrying, It’s brandishing a firearm, and is illegal most places. Which includes some open carry states, some have made an exception to that. If your gonna OC, then OC.


I’d like
to see the Law learn to know the difference between exposing a weapon
to “scare” someone with no apparent violent intentions, and
the same act to “warn” someone who displays such
aggression. It seems a lot more sensible to me to defuse a situation
of potential self-defense by deadly force by display of a weapon,
than to let the situation deteriorate until deadly force becomes

Stephen J Natale

I agree, In my state (VA) which is very gun friendly, There view is if you don’t need to use it, you don’t need to show it, yet OC is ok. NH changed there law to read something to the affect of If deadly force is warranted, than the treat of deadly force is as well. I agree with that, but that can lead to a bunch of morons flashing guns “because it’s legal” I can see why some states won’t let that go. In reality if your in a legit life and death situation, your not worried about any of that, since your probably shooting someone at that point.

Peoples Republik of Kalifornia

Incorrect. Example: Utah just changed their law about brandishing. Ruffians would harass people threatening to beat them up. The person legally carrying would display that he was armed and the thugs would back off. . .then call authorities and claim the victim was “brandishing,” causing him legal problems and the likelihood of loosing his right to carry. Utahans are now allow to display when they are threatened. Displaying without a threat is still brandishing and one who does such is still in trouble.

Steve, your conclusion that ” lead to. . .morons flashing guns “because it’s legal,”” is an argument right out of the anti-gunner handbook. If those law abiding citizens with legal permits were prone to such irresponsible behavior would have likely shown up long before an easing of the “brandishing” law. But, such an argument, though invalid, has been used time and again to prevent passage of laws allowing CCW. Such a phrase ranks right up there with, “It’ll be Dodge City like gunfights in the streets, if people are allowed to carry.” Are you sure that you are not an anti-gunner hiding in a pro gun group?


I’d like
to see the Law learn to know the difference between exposing a weapon
to “scare” someone with no apparent violent intentions, and
the same act to “warn” someone who displays such
aggression. It seems a lot more sensible to me to defuse a situation
of potential self-defense by deadly force by display of a weapon,
than to let the situation deteriorate until deadly force becomes

— Somehow this posted, then disappeared.


ignorance of a typical ccer

Heartland Patriot

Just because YOU don’t see any time or place for OC of a handgun doesn’t mean there isn’t any. Everything has its time and place. OC in a crowded mall is probably a bad idea. OC out on the farm or ranch wouldn’t be a problem. It’s all situational.


So what IF this person had been wear a cover shirt and printed? Then what excuse would you have given Mr. Garcia? Until you can enjoy the freedoms of another state You wear your shirt. I’ll exercise my rights as I see fit.

New Mexico needs to get rid of this ridiculous law. I can carry and drink in any restaurant in Washington State, just not the bar section.

Michael McGowan

I lived in VT where there is no mandate to carry concealed. GUess what…I still did because it’s not a matter of law, it’s a matter of common sense. I have no need to advertise the fact I have a gun to feel safe. I also have no need to walk around with my chest puffed out either. Thats all wearing open comes down to: “look at me, I have a gun, I’m a badass keep clear of me”
Oh, and another bonus… law barring you from wearing in a drinking establishment or not, put a shirt over it and viola! Gun? what gun?
I really dont care if this thread or any other scrolls on for 1000 pages, my peace is said and it stands at the bottom line that there is no rational justification other than ego for carrying exposed. Period, end of discussion, over and out. Roger that. Out.


I have only one thing to say… Why does the COPS and “Armed Guards” Open carry then… If your “right” then they should CC Also.

By your logic cops only carry for EGO??

Lt Robert Rogers

For crying out loud James, they’re on the job! God help us all.


Idiot. Good riddance. I love guys who believe their way is the only way. What a moron.


Excellent thinking. I wish everyone was as pragmatic about “cowboy carry” as we are. Thanks.

Michael McGowan

Precisely my point, we arent cowboys and this aint the wild west.

H. Nutczak

Michael, I have 2 options in my state.
1.) I open-carry and be able to defend myself.
2.) I do not carry a firearm.
Wisconsin is an “Open-Carry” only state. Do you advocate that people in Wisconsin simply go about unarmed because of this?

Kyle Kincaid

I love how CC’ers are always ready and willing to put down OC’ers. yet you never see an OC’er saying anything negative about CC’ers… why is that? I OC because in my state I dont have to ask for permission to do it, unlike CC. you CC’ers need to get off your high horses and reaslize that we are doing the same thing, carrying a gun for our protection… nothing more, nothing less


Hello Kyle,

Sorry if I offended you. Didn’t mean to. I know there are plenty of oC’ers out there with the right intentions. Many years ago I was traveling through AZ and broke down. Had to OC

from the garage to my motel and was amazed at how well it was accepted. Folks just took it as common place. In states like mine (Fl) where it isn’t commonplace I’m just not sure how ready we are. Guess everything has to begin somewhere. Blessings.

Chaplain Ed


Thank you.


Yeah I agree even though IMO CC does have more benefits than OC, I will say that either of them is better than not having any tool to stop crimes.


Kyle, I think it is you who need to get off your high horse. I believe in the constitution and the right to OC or CC, whatever the individual feels comfortablke doing. But I have seen equal amounts of bickering and backbiting between OC and CC proponents. The forums are rife with this type of infighting on both the CC sites and the OC sites. There is no way that you are being truthful if you say you have never seen OC people put down CC people. This is exactly what the gun banners want and sadly we have plenty of people who fall into this trap. If we do not stick together on these issues then we become our worst enemy regarding gun rights.

Michael McGowan

That’s because it simply makes more sense not to draw any attention to yourself, good, bad or otherwise. If I lived in a state that allowed open carry, I would (and did) carry concealed because I don’t feel it serves any purpose to advertise to anyone the fact that you have a gun. That is not to be misunderstood that I fee there is anything wrong with having it, it just makes no sense to display it openly whatsoever. There are a few weak justifications that have been made but none outweigh the fact that you are much more likely to draw the wrong sort of attention than you are to avert anything by displaying it. I have a feeling that it only serves to stoke one’s ego by parading around, and make no mistake, to consciously and decisively openly display a gun on one’s belt is in fact nothing short of parading around as if to show everyone how baddass you are. I open carry…in my home when nobody’s around. But when I go into public, I toss on a big loose shirt not because the law says I have to, because common sense tells me to. I don’t need to make myself a target by advertsing thatI have a gun so some mentally ill nutcase can try to get it away from me in a parking lot. The long and short of it is, open, concealed, we are all second amendment champions, but it doesn’t mean we have to strut around with our hardware exposed to prove anything to anyone.


Michael, it must be nice to be one of the few privileged folks in NY to have a concealed carry license.

Chaplain Ed

Hey guys, we’re all on the same team, just playing different positions with slightly different strategies.


Although I choose to CC, I have no issues with those that decide to OC. In fact, I respect it especially if your intent (along with self defense) is to demonstrate and further our 2nd amendment cause. I got to admit that I’m a bit confused at the vitriol shown by some of my fellow 2nd amendment advocates here regarding OC. To each their own. CC or OC, it really doesn’t matter. We are both taking full advantage of our God given right to own and carry our weapons. Thanks God for that. God bless this great country!

Hamilton Felix

It is very unfortunate that this OC gentleman had a mental lapse and carried where it’s illegal. I hope he can afford a good lawyer and that he beats the felony charge. He’s a victim, of both the nutcase who started it, and the evil that is Government. In a few days, I’ll have carried concealed for 36 years. In places where it doesn’t draw unwarranted attention, I’d be happy to open carry, but there are few such places these days. I’ll just keep my .45 out of sight until I’m ready to use it. Too bad. If we ALL OC’d, there’d be no assaults. Criminals don’t like 50/50 odds.

Michael McGowan

I’m curious as to why you’d classify me as “one of the few privileged folks in NY to have a concealed carry license”…. it is the ONLY way it’s allowed in NY. NY has no other carry options. And no, I’m NOT in NY City either. I’m a country boy from up North in the sticks. Yes, NY has “sticks”, check your maps 🙂


Michael, educate us then. I live in the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia in a county where the sheriff has issued only two CCW permits to non-police/non-security personnel in the last 11 years. And those two recipients were major contributes to her campaign fund. Outside of the metropolitan areas the ability to obtain carry permits is straight forward; essentially a “shall issue” situation in most places.

I have assumed that residents of NYC had it equally as difficult. I am also aware that those living outside the metro area have it easier to obtain permits, particularly those living in the “wilds” of western and northern areas of NY State. Are you restricted in any way in CC if you travel to NYC?


Bruce, I am an upstate New Yorker, my CC permit is not valid in NY City. Our local judge routinely puts concealed carry restrictions on permts issued, effectively making it illegal to carry legally unless going to or from a target range or hunting.


THat is what I expected to hear about NY and NYC. If one is issued a CCW permit in any county in CA, it is valid and unrestricted in any other.


My understanding of the NY State/NYC permit validity issue is that it goes back to the time when the original law (the Sulllivan Law) went into effect.
“Big Tim Sullivan”, one of the Tammany Hall crooks, got the law passed in the state legislature to control the thugs and gangsters who had to pay the crooked politicians of Tammany Hall to operate.
If a hood gave any trouble, the cops would slip a gun on him, and he would get a year in prison to think things over.
The NYC judges were all on Tammany Hall’s side, but some hoods got smart and bribed upstate judges to issue them permits. Tammany Hall countered that by revising the law so that the only permits valid in NYC were those issued in NYC.


Yes, NY is restrictive in most counties. I am retired NY State Police Officer and even though the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Protection Act says I can carry as a retired officer anywhere in the USA if I qualify with my agency, I still have obtained a Full-Carry CC permit. The permit in NY allows “retired police officers” to carry in N.Y.C. as well, no special permit needed from NYC to do so. Some say this is a double standard. But NYC is restrictive of it’s own residents, not just remainder of the 57 counties outside of NYC’s own 5.

Robert Rogers

Tell it like it is, Mike. M1 seems to have a problem with anyone in New York (although he does’nt make the distinction between city or state) who has a CCP as if they should’nt have one. At least that’s my read. Your turn, M1.

Lt Robert Rogers

You must think Michael lives in NY City where it’s next to impossible, M1.
Outside the city you don’t have to be priviledged, M1. The ease actually depends on your County of residence and the political affiliatian of the elected Sheriff. The further upstate from the rotten apple and comrade Blumberg, the better the odds.


Michael. Thank YOU for being a well spoken voice of reason.


I am so tired of this sort of self-righteousness in the firearms community. Open carry is
constitutional and at one time was the norm in society. Bashing the decision of another
individual for exercising their rights makes you anything but a “second amendment
champion”. Your mentality ,on this subject, is akin to a hunter with a bolt gun saying,”There is no rational justification for people to own AR-15s.” Thinking like this is arogant and hypocritical. What part of “shall not be infringed.” do you guys not get!!

Asking permission = not a right.


Amen, Jason.
We all have our individual opinions and preferences, all with good reasons. We should not let our differences be used as a wedge to divide us.

A hunter friend of mine told me he didn’t care what restrictions they put on handguns, he didn’t own any. I told him I supported hunting, even though I never hunted. I also pointed out they may get his guns by a ban on hunting as a cruel sport. Naturally, he will have no further lawful need for the guns, so the Government will take them off his hands

We have to stick together and support each other, or the end of our most elemental right will become a memory.


“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” — George Washington



A good friend, and hunting buddy, just returned from a week of searching for (bugout) property to buy in the panhandle of Idaho. He and his wife noted that in all their stops in restaurants and hotels that 6 out of 10 of ALL people they encountered, male and female, were carrying openly and half of those not carrying openly were carrying concealed, if you looked carefully.

What do you suppose is their motivation? Macho-ism run amuck?


if the law is no guns in a place that servers alchol than so be it that guy is now a felon…we are held to a higher have to know the law..take your family to a place you can carry and soon enough those buiness owner will fight to change the laws too… open carry should be leagal anywhere but until then if you want to protect your family follow the law


If the law was that you must kill jews, would you follow it? Legality doesn’t equal morality. Nobody should be kidnapped and put in a cage for a “crime” with no victim. The rules for an establishment should be up to the property owner.


#1 The “victim” was in violation of law, carrying a weapon into a liquor establishment.
#2 IF the “victim” were carrying concealed, no one would have known, and nothing would have happened.

I doubt that I would EVER open carry, since open carry allows someone to snatch your weapon when you least expect it.

Visible carry allows some liberal anti-guner to call in a “man with a gun” complaint, which you have to deal with, sometimes in court. It can cost you $2,000 to be right. BTDT.
CCW 30 years.


I think there is a point here everyone is missing. The laws in New Mexico need to be changed to allow OC or CC in a restaurant that serves alcohol. To disallow someone from protecting themselves in an eating establishment is foolish. As to OC vs CC, another poster had it right, it is a personal choice of the person who carries. I’ve only heard of two instances, this being the second, of OC being assaulted by nut job or thief. I would imagine there are hundreds of cases where BG decided to go elsewhere. We’ll never know, but common sense says I’m right on that. Me, I prefer to CC but having an OC option (which I have) is and should be every American’s 2nd Amendment Right. Let’s fight the real problem together, public ignorance and political leftists.


Theres no question the law in NM needs to change to allow carry in a liquor licensed restaurant BUT If you live in NM you’d know that your not allowed to carry there. We fight states BS gun laws and site say “Don’t punish us, We follow the law, the criminals don’t” Yet this guy OC’d in a place that he knew he could legally not. This kind of crap sets all of us that FOLLOW that law back. This just gives the anti’s more of an edge. Because If THIS guy just carries his gun everywhere with no regard for the law, The WE ALL do it. In my state (VA) I can’t carry while eating lunch in a place if I want to have a beer, doesn’t matter if it’s 1 or not. Do I agree with that, absolutely not! But I’m not going to do it anyways and loose my permit either!


An illegal law is not something that should be followed. Therefore it does not look bad if someone ignores it. Laws restricting the carry of a weapon are illegal! No ifs ands or buts about it. The right to carry a weapon shall not be infringed.


If you don’t like the law, too bad. We, the United States of America, are a democracy. Views like yours bring about Anarchy. If you want the law changed vote somebody into office that will change it, otherwise you are just another looney on his high horse.

I believe in the second amendment, and the right to bear arms. I also believe in a democratic society with a government that the majority of the people put into office.

Peoples Republik of Kalifornia

 First, let me say that you should not fall into the trap set by the left. We are not a democracy, we are a republic. A true democracy brings anarchy.

You did define a republic in your statement that we elect those to office to represent us. But there is another path. It is called jury nullification. Knowledgeable jurors can throw out a law that they deem unreasonable or unjust.

As for Keith’s comment about “shall not be infringed.” Many regulations imposed at the state and federal level controlling how guns are obtained, used and even the type of gun one may own have stood up in the highest courts. It is not likely that if one is arrested for carrying concealed without a permit, that the court or the jury will find the law invalid.

There are states, such as California, that in most counties where it is nearly impossible to obtain a carry permit, un-permitted concealed carry is a misdemeanor.  But, you still may be assessed a whopping fine and serve a jail term. And, the BATFE under Obama is making restrictions on future gun ownership of some people who have only been convicted of a misdemeanor. Used to be that only felony convictions impacted gun ownership. Under Obama, it has become arbitrary. My car’s rear bumper displays the sticker: When The Constitution Is Ignored, The Law Becomes Whatever The President, Of The Moment, Says It Is!


EXCUSE ME ?  The United States of America IS NOT a DEMOCRACY !   It is a Constitutional REPUBLIC !  Where did you attend High School ?

Heartland Patriot

You say it doesn’t look bad. However, the mass media, well known to be anti-self defense and anti-firearms, just LOVES stuff like this. They can make a big stink about it and make firearms owners/carriers look bad. Work to get the laws changed if they are bad laws, but don’t go breaking them, that’s for the criminals.


Concerning Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry:
“Preventing crime is when a criminal sees my gun & doesn’t attack me.”
If a criminal was going to attack you, but was frightened off by your openly carried pistol, that would be a “crime prevented”. But — if there was no criminal with a plan to attack you, there was no crime to prevent. Needless to say, this is a situation that is real, but extremely difficult to evaluate.
There is also the question of how to categorize this kind of incident. It may be “crime prevention” from your personal viewpoint, but it can be considered as merely “crime deflection” from you to another (presumably unarmed) victim, with zero “crime prevention” overall.
My ideal scenario would be like the ancient example of Scylla and Charybdis,where criminals who try to avoid dashing themselves on the the Scylla of a victim who OCs, are trapped by the Charybdis of their chosen victim, who CCs.


“Sunday afternoon John Garcia and his family were having lunch at Garcia’s Restaurant. Mr. Garcia was open carrying a handgun inside the restaurant.”
“Mr. Torres then attacked Mr. Garcia, hitting him and trying to remove the firearm from the holster. The firearm fell to the floor where an uninvolved party picked it up and placed it in the manager’s office.”
“Mr. Garcia (Victim) was also arrested as he took his firearm into a licensed liquor establishment which is a felony in New Mexico.”

Who owned that restaurant? Owners and employees are probably exempt.

Open carry does have pitfalls that Concealed does not. Cops almost universally use a snatch-proofed holster because open carry makes you a target and puts the initiative in the wrong court.

It is important to know the laws where you are at the moment, let’s hope Mr. Garcia is found not guilty or his gun ownership days are over.


You must Know the PRESENT Laws whereever you carry OC /CC


I totally agree… OC and CC both have there advantages and disadvantages!!


The Traveler’s Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States
by J. Scott Kappas, Esq.


Was he sitting in the bar? At least in FL it is my understanding that carrying in a restaurant that serves ETOH is legal as long as you don’t sit in the bar/lounge which is always clearly marked in most restaurants. While I think OC in this type of environment is not necessary, this is bullshit that Garcia got a felony.


Don’t have a problem with open or concealed carry. I have both options, however, the hassle with open carry is that politicians and the media have so stigmatized the mere presence of a gun that people have been conditioned to immediately think ‘CRIMINAL’ when one is even seen instead of assessing the rest of the situtuation and behavior of someone. Even though it’s legal, walk down the street with your firearm out in the open and watch the looks you get or you get into situations like this guy. It probably wouldn’t have happened if he were carry concealed. It’s much less of a hassle if nobody knows I’m carrying.


OC or CC is not the issue. We must know the law in the state and city we carry. It is bad enough to have to explain it to a Police Officer; I do not want to be in court explaining to a judge how my ignorance got me there. In many states the availability of alcohol is an issue. Some even rule based upon the percentage of total revenue gained from the bar. I choose to eat elsewhere because it is not worth the risk of being incorrect. The loss of my weapon and freedom are not worth it. Push to change the laws, lawfully. Civil disobedience with a firearm is to risky for me. We can protest with a blue gun in the holster in a bar or restaurant if you want to bring attention to the issue. Although I expect, I might be detained for that too.

Scott L Greer

My ccw is one reason I DON’T DRINK….PERIOD! If I end up in court later on, then I have to defend my decision to carry a concealed weap-headedon while consuming alcohol. So in order to minmize the instances when I have to disarm, Isimply don’t drink at all. This also leaves me clear-headed enough to defend myself if need be.


I understand all of the comments but we have to boil this incident down to the basics. Mr. Garcia was in violation of the law at the time of the incident. Is the law wrong? That’s not for me to decide. The point is, he broke the law. If it needs to get changed, then there are ways to go about it.


amazing how the discussion following is centred round whether to carry openly or concealed. Very few got to the heart of the matter, which is our CONSTITUTIONAL right to have arms with us. Here in Washington, I can carry into an Applebees if I sit in the RESTAURANT SECTION. But when the cutiepie “waitstaff” tells me there is no seating available and smiles ever so sweetly and suggests she seat us in the BAR SECTION, I have to refuse… there is an imaginary line on the floor (no doors, walls, signs, different colour flooring) past which I cannot go without committing a felony. So, I have to say “I can’t go in there” and watch her scratch here head as to why…. if ya haff ta be 21 to BE there, ya haff ta be unarmed. State law. It seems New Mexico have a similar law. Sad…. they need to be changed. What happens if some creep is hiding in the car park for me to come back to the car… so he can mug me? I am defenseless….. unconstitionally so. In Washington, there IS an exception for owners and employees of “Class A Liquor Establishments” (bars, taverns) to be armed in those places.

I wondered when I read that Mr. Garcia went to Garcia’s restaurant… if he IS an owner, perhaps there is the exception in NM law, as in WA. We can only hope so. Further, we can hope the jury he is able to seat will choose to nullify the charges because the law upon which they are based is baad law. This is completely legal, though most judges would go apopleptic at the thought of it.. they think they ARE the law, rather than just the servants of the people whom the law affects.

Yes, New Mexico (and a number of other states) need to change such laws. Yes, carrying whilst drinking, or certainly whilst drunk, is bad news….. Kentucky recently did, Ohio is working on it *don;t know the latest status, but it was in trouble last week)

Andrew Cataldo

The law was recently changed in NM to allow CC in liquor establishments — NM residents can correct me on this. I have had good educational experiences that showed me the benefits and drawbacks to Open Carry. Being in Arizona, OC is a non-issue and I do it all the time. In WA I am more cautious. OC leaves one open to harassment and direct attacks from people who don’t know any better – like the incident in this story. And OC provides a visible deterrent to a possible attack. There were a couple of thuggish-looking individuals loitering outside a store a couple of days ago. They muttered to themselves about me packing, and promptly left. Somebody below mentioned that OC caused three thugs to rethink their strategy and the rebuttal said that exposing it under a shirt would have done the same thing — that is actually brandishing in some states, including Washington.


Mans got to know his limitations


 Hero, this guy.The tree of liberty needs be refreshed by the blood of patriots…


 Well, let’s face it:  The Liberals have us all obfusticated, and there is no simple enforcement of our Constitutional Rights.Divide and Conquer, you know?


OC or CC I just want to carry. It’s funny how we accept Driver licenses and a age limit and other restrictions. However people complain about the States right to govern themselves and make laws concerning firearms. I am a proud member of the NRA and a big advocate on gun owners rights. Lets be smart here. It’s illegal to let a drunk person drive a car, due to being impared. Should it be ok for a drunk person be toting a firearm? Hell no! How does a business staff know if the person who just walk in with a .45 on their side is drunk or not? They don’t until the interact with them. Now is every firearm carrying citizen a lush, no. But some elected idiot heard a story about some guy and now makes it their holy crusade to protect everyone from one unlikely idiot. The problem is not having laws, its the cut off the hand because of the sliver in the finger. Sad really, I think all lawmakers should be required spend a week at a NRA Sports Shooting Camp. Learn a thing or two about responsible gun ownership.

Stephen J Natale

Did you even read what I posted? Your UT example is exactly what I said NH did. I’m 700% for CCW, and I never said “It’ll be Dodge City” loose the drama! If I’m anti gun what the hell do I have a G26 in my pants for every day? friggin Commiefornia!

[…] the open carrier because the place was beer/wine, and didn't have signs at every entrance: Open Carrier Arrested After Scuffle Sunday afternoon John Garcia and his family were having lunch at Garcia’s Restaurant. Mr. […]


After a few years of experience a person might as well carry a sap. Something that will put the bad guy down and out of the situation.

My rule is one story to be told in court , and that is mine.
in today’s courts a person has a 50/50 chance of being found guilty. Regardless what the evidence proves.



as unfortunate as it was i did loose my job over having a gun on property, I live in Las Vegas and was working a maintenance job at a place called sierra point, for those familiar with the area its called the vista block. sparing the dirty parts this area is well known for being a homicide hotspot. i was not even carrying my gun on me it was in my shop out of sight the only two people that ever knew it was there was my supervisor and I. reason for him knowing about it was over some casual lunch conversation about one of my hobbies he inquired if i had any guns that i would be willing to part with. legally of course. i told him that i was wanting to swap out a 44-40 single action revolver that i had purchased recently. i asked if he would like take a look at it and he agreed. we walked back to our shop and i retrieved my gun and removed the five rounds that were in it before handing it to him. i noticed a change in his attitude as soon as i handed it to him. so i retrieved my gun reloaded it and returned it to where it was previously put away. i took about a week for him to blindside me with termination paperwork. so i took a large bite of humble pie and took the short drive to my house to retrieve my other uniforms. having been told that with out all of them he wouldn’t issue my final pay owed. i do live in an open carry state and our options and acc. for firearms are quite extensive. just goes to show that even though its constitutional and legal for OC and with the right path to own fully automatic weapons with silencers one person in a position of authority could drastically change someones daily struggle due to the lack of knowledge of OUR constitutional rights. i only had been working the company for a year and three people were killed on property. what would you do?


Personally, I believe the wording of the law is bad. In my state, the law says an establishment in which intoxicating liquors is the primary sale item. In NM, I couldn’t carry into a Pizza Hut, but in my state I can because alcohol isn’t the primary sale item. Call it bias, but I think NM law is flawed by semantics