Category Archives: opencarry

How Should the Police Respond to a Report of a Man with a Gun?

What better way to restart posting on this blog than an with an angry post. ;-)

This video has been making the rounds on social media and blogs:

I am appalled that some pro-gun folks are actually siding with the cops here.

I’m sorry, the cops were wrong in this case. I would have no problem with the cop questioning the guy with the long gun about whether or not, in his opinion, his actions are hurting or helping the right to keep and bear arms if he was out of uniform, without his badge, while off duty. I’ve had conversations with off duty cops on these very things. The carriers were doing nothing illegal and should not be subjected to intimidation over a fricken’ opinion, particularly with a cop standing at the fricken’ ready position with her gun drawn. I guess we can be grateful that she didn’t have it pointed at his head. It was the cops who were guilty of egregious behavior, not those peaceable, armed citizens.

UNC, like most universities today, is a cesspool of ‘progressivism’. When its School of Government expresses a legal opinion on state laws, city councilmen and county commissioners stand up and listen. The UNC SOG’s opinion has been quite helpful in convincing municipal governments here in NC to repeal their illegal bans on guns throughout their municipal parks. Jeff Welty is the usual contact for these types of opinions. He just put up a post called “How Should the Police Respond to a Report of a Man with a Gun?” and brought up this particular case as an example. His opinion is that it was not appropriate for the officers to unholster their weapons. In fact, he even opines that the detention, where the officer simply pontificates on his opinion of Second Amendment activism long after it was clear that no crime had been committed was inappropriate.

Read this embedded link to the PA Chiefs of Police Association bulletin on dealing with open carriers. Oh, if only all police departments followed its advice. This would have been a non-event. As it should have been.

I don’t know Mr. Welty’s politics. But when a typically ‘progressive’ institution agrees that a defacto detainment of an open carrier was unjustified, I suggest we step aside and accept the reprieve from official harassment. Heck, we may even be able to use these items (both Welty’s article and the PA CoPA bulletin) to encourage other police departments to follow suit.

Here’s the money quote from the PA CoPA bulletin:

Recognize that the open carrier may be an activist looking to entrap you into a constitutional confrontation. Don’t take the bait! Keep your views on open carry to yourself. Otherwise, you are inviting an escalation, and doing so unnecessarily. On the other side of the coin, beyond the decorum associated and expected of a professional police officer, you are not obligated to listen to a speech from an open carry advocate, or to answer a pre-planned series of questions on your understanding of the law. Again, absent any aggravating circumstances (e.g., terroristic threats, being spit upon, being pushed, etc.) give them a nod and wish them a good day. [Emphasis mine.]

Granted, I think the PA CoPA has the wrong idea about (most) open carry activists. We’re not looking to entrap you. All we want is to be left alone. I don’t really care that they’ve got that wrong, though, because they are still admonishing their officers to do just that: leave us alone when we indicate that we don’t want a confrontation with you. Most activists are demonstrating and educating others that a handgun in a holster or a properly slung rifle is nothing to fear. The average criminal doesn’t keep his handgun in a proper holster. The average mass murderer doesn’t have his rifle slung, but rather is likely to be carrying at the ready. There’s a huge difference, and cops, in particular, should be able to distinguish that difference with five seconds of remote observation. And the lecturing cop was dead wrong about the average concealed handgun licensee: unlike him, we don’t automatically assume that someone carrying a slung rifle is a bad guy. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Stay Dangerous, My Friends.

Open Carry Chronicles, Issue #11

OCC#11:
2012/09/18: Both Knitebane and I were carrying openly at Golden Corral in Garner and as soon as we paid and started heading to the dining room area, we were addressed by an employee who said (light-heartedly) that there were cameras that would be keeping an eye on us. He wished us a good visit and went on his away.

Note that this is an exemplary way for an employee of an establishment to address someone carrying a gun if addressed about the gun at all. We were approached and addressed in a friendly manner. He was essentially checking us out. Though, once again, criminals don’t typically carry their guns openly in $50 – 100 holsters, but rather in their hands, hoodies or clumsily stuffed in their waistbands, most certainly if you address a criminal about his gun (even indirectly as was done in this case), they are not going to be all that comfortable about it. Might even shoot you. It’s possible he was putting us on notice, but by merely addressing us openly he set his own mind at ease that we weren’t there to cause trouble. He wasn’t rude and he didn’t kick us out. Good on him.

Later that night, we were discussing OC holsters and my slight frustration in not finding that one, silver bullet holster for carrying both openly and concealed. An excellent point that PDB made in the beginning of his OC holster review is this:

…keep in mind that a mechanical lock is no substitute for remaining aware of your surroundings and being mentally and physically prepared to fight for your gun. A locking holster will not on its own defeat a gun takeaway attempt, but rather buy you some time to defeat the person trying to take your gun away.

Like many, I used to carry my gun in a Serpa holster. I no longer use the Serpa, but not due to the sometimes scathing criticism it gets for increasing the risk of an ND. I think it is a training issue that is far overblown, as even Mr. Grebner here acknowledges (language warning):

As he explains in the original video here:

This was due largely to the fact that he had just gotten through training with the 5.11 Thumbdrive holster with his Glock. If the Serpa is all you use and train with, then the risk reduces to the noise level, in my opinion. However, it’s certainly not for everyone. Particularly if you, for example, are reviewing several holsters to write about them as PDB is right now.

All that said, Brigid’s lockup experience a few years back as well as lots of other documented cases have convinced me not to use the holster for carrying any longer. In fact, even if I thought the risk of shooting myself while using the holster was greater, these occurrences of lockup, to me are an even greater risk. As I said in Stay Dangerous, a better way to see off a soldier than “Be Careful” is “Good Hunting.” That’s not to say that we throw safety out the window, and, sure, I know we are not at war. Yet. But it is just an acknowledgement that life is dangerous. Liberty is fraught with risks. It’s all about tradeoffs. I don’t mind a relatively insignificant (in my opinion) and relatively easy to mitigate risk of an ND. But I do mind a well documented risk of my defensive weapon being completely disabled with no way to mitigate it, as was demonstrated in Brigid’s case (i.e.: there was no conclusion as to what actually caused the lockup).

On the OC holster issue, I’ll be reading PDB’s review series, but the bottom line for me is that when you take these three things into account:

  • PDB’s statement about equipment not being a substitute for situational awareness and mental and physical preparedness,
  • Brigid’s comment in the post referenced above that “Anything mechanical can fail”,
  • and the Good Hunting / Survival mentality as opposed to Be Careful mentality

I’m beginning to believe that active retention is not an absolute necessity for carrying openly. I’ll remain open to persuasion, but for now, I just may be switching back to my Blackhawk CQC holster for carrying openly.

In the practical sense, if you conceal with an OWB, then your concealment garment will slow down your draw. With IWB, it can be even more of an impediment because it’s often a tighter gripping holster so the simple act of pulling it out of the holster is slower. Carrying openly in an active retention holster means you have to release the retention before drawing, also slowing down your draw. So it’s hard to argue that any option is less of an impediment to a fast draw than carrying openly with only passive retention, with heightened situational awareness and preparedness.

Besides, I don’t just carry openly for practical defensive reasons. I also carry for political activism reasons. And I really don’t care what Pincus or Yeager think of that. I go by the positive results I’ve had in that area, not by the opinion of some tacticool instructors with big egos or a penchant for putting cameramen literally in the line of fire unnecessarily and then doubling down on stupid and defending it. I am not your ambassador and will not be until you send me a fat honkin’ check every month for my services.

Others are welcome to comment.

Stay Dangerous, My Friends

Something Every Cop Should Watch

I have to wonder if Curtis is still around and reads my posts. If you are, please watch the video below and learn.

It is absolutely not a probable cause to stop anyone legally carrying a firearm for the sole reason of legally carrying a firearm (insofar as the absolute human right to keep and bear arms is respected and not unconstitutionally prohibited in the jurisdiction in question). “Getting calls,” and “concern,” and “public safety,” are irrelevant.

More cops need to be slapped down like this. Though not the purpose of carrying openly, where cops keep doing this they need to be dragged through the court system until they stop. This is the essence of open carry activism.

And Rob Pincus and James “I put cameramen in the firing-zone” Yeager can suck my 1911.

Update: For those using readers that see multiple posts for updated posts, apologies. Stupid embedded Youtube links always seem to end up too big in Blogger. Way to go Google. Also, forgot to give credit. h/t Raeshawn via ENDO-Mike at Everyday No Days Off – Gun Blog

Open Carry Chronicles, Issues #1 and #2

I could probably start with about 20 to prime the pump, but I figure since I carry openly as often as possible, I’m sure I can come with enough in the future to keep the issues coming.

These won’t be just actual encounters and/or comments that people make, but I’m going to be keeping an eye out for things like this as well.

OCC #1:
Walked up to the counter at Bojangles this past Sunday morning and the woman standing next to the guy ringing up my order behind the counter says, “He’s got a gun. His meal is free.” I just smiled and said, “Not necessary.” Dang it! Passed up a free meal.

OCC #2:
Did my usual shopping at Food Lion on Sunday and another customer says, “I like your sidearm. Is that a 1911?” My response was, “it’s all I carry.”

More of the Despicable “Disorderly Conduct” Nonsense

While I wait to see if my fellow debater returns, I see this posted by Mike. And whadayaknow, there’s that good ol’ Disorder Conduct charge right there in the title.

Could this editorial be any more hypocritical? First you see this line:

This bill begs the question whether openly carrying a gun in a public place is, by itself, disorderly conduct. We think it is, for the simple reason that it will cause fear, if not panic, among many people who see this behavior.

and then you see this:

Rep. Paul Ray, the sponsor of HB49, doesn’t see it that way. He lives in an alternate reality in which Utah police officers use the disorderly conduct statute to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to openly carry firearms.

So in one instance the author is saying that openly carrying a gun in a public place is, by itself, disorderly conduct. In the next breath he’s accusing Rep. Paul Ray of being in an alternate universe in believing that police officers use the disorderly conduct statute to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to openly carry firearms.

So which is it, Mr. Nameless Author? Are cops abusing the disorderly conduct charge or are they not? So if they are not misapplying the charge of disorderly conduct, what harm is there in removing the ability to misapply it? You are clearly endorsing the abuse of the charge.

The Boredom of Open Carry

Sean has a excellent write-up of the near complete non-event of carrying cell phones openly. Um, I mean, sidearms. But really, what’s the difference? They are both just tools, right?

But, seriously…

I’ve been carrying openly in a few places here and there, more and more often for about a year, now. Or has it been two years? The first time I ever carried openly, other than the easy place of shooting ranges, was grocery shopping with my sister and a few of her kids in New Hampshire. It wasn’t planned. It was a warm day, and I went along for the ride while she ran a few errands. She would go into a place with one or two of the kids, while I’d stay in the car with the remaining kids. The last stop was for groceries, and all of the kids were going in, so my sister, forgetting that I had gun on my hip, unconcealed, asked if I wanted to come in. When I reminded her of the gun, she commented, “oh, right, I’ve never seen anyone carrying in there, but it’s up to you.” I thought about it for a second, and decided, what the heck, New Hampshire is even more friendly to carrying openly than North Carolina.

It was pretty uneventful. I probably walked by about 100 people and maybe five people saw it. Two young girls, probably sisters, were chatting away in one aisle, and as one of them passed by me rather closely, her eyes suddenly widened and the two stopped talking. It probably didn’t help that her height was such that her eyes were right at gun level. I’m sure a couple of people saw it while we were in line at the register. But we left without incident.

I was hooked.

Not long after that, I went to a few of the Triangle Open Carry dinners. I consider those mostly to help those not yet comfortable carrying openly to dine among others doing the same.

The next time I went it alone, it was after my weekly range time with Knitebane and Mrs. Knitebane. We usually get together for food and conversation afterward at a cafe a few doors down from the range. I had heard that they were friendly to open carriers, but I hadn’t seen it. So I decided to take a chance. I’m sure the folks behind the counter noticed, but there was no comment. Mrs. Knitebane said that she about fainted, initially, and we laughed about it. Oh, she had no problem with it, but she just didn’t expect it. And I will admit, that on a recent visit there when a police officer walked in, my heart rate about doubled. Turns out he had his mind on meeting up with his family, so he didn’t notice.

I now carry openly at that cafe every week and they’ve gotten to know us as regulars. One of the employees once made a comment that we were her favorite. We usually stay after they close while they’re cleaning up until they kick us out, anywhere from 5-30 minutes after closing time. There was no reason for her to say we were her favorite, since we never really had much of a conversation with her other than placing our orders. All I could think of is that with two young women (in many instances), alone at closing time, in a store in a rather isolated area, they probably appreciated, as Sean put it, an ally who was armed. Another time, the owner had locked the door and as we were exiting, he followed us to unlock the door and made the comment that he probably didn’t have to lock it with someone packing a gun.

Once it was a bit crowded at the cafe, so we headed over to IHOP. I waited on the bench at the door for Knitebane, and a customer actually came out front and asked me for what reason someone would get turned down for a permit for a gun (presumably, he meant a NC purchase permit). I told him a couple of reasons are felony, or, I believe in NC, a misdemeanor in the past three years. He said, ah, yes, he had a few of those. (Made me glad I was armed, and backup was arriving momentarily.) He thanked me and went back to his table.

And like Edgar Friendly I now go grocery shopping armed.

Kidding, of course. Not the part about going shopping armed, just not in the way Mr. Leary’s character had to. I’ll typically spend about an hour shopping at Food Lion, carrying openly the whole time. I did have a funny encounter last time at Food Lion. There was a couple in one aisle with me and no one else, and as they walked past me the guy said, “Nice to see someone else carrying,” and lifted up his shirt to show me his concealed piece on his hip. Not something I would normally encourage, but in that circumstance, it was fine, as he was simply acknowledging we were allies. As someone else mentioned, how many cases do you hear of someone with criminal intent carrying a gun in a $70-100 holster out in the open?

So, I will continue with the boring activity of carrying openly, and probably even expand the number of places. I agree with Sean about the extreme lack of anti-gun folks out in the real world. You’d think from the MSM and the Brady Bunch (but I repeat myself) that you would be walking down a gauntlet of scared and intimidated mothers cowering in fear and hurrying their children away from you like magnets of opposite poles.

It’s just not the case.

So as Sean’s dad (and others) says, any right not exercised is a right lost. If you live in a place that does not unconstitutionally limit your natural right to keep and bear arms, enjoy your freedoms and carry openly with open indifference, but internal pride. Where the rights are infringed, continue the battle and let your legislators know that you will no longer tolerate your state, county, municipality being turned into a police state.

Open vs. Concealed, Right vs. Privilege

I have a video collection of presentations that were given as the 2006 (or possibly 2005) Firearms Law and 2nd Amendment Symposium that I grabbed from the NRA ILA web site. In there, Brian Patrick of the University of Toledo makes an allusion to a tidbit of information I hadn’t heard elsewhere (and haven’t heard since). And that is that even before this country reached the sorry state that it is in where so many people get their undies in a bunch at the mere sight of a firearm, that among those that carried guns, concealling a weapon was considered unmanly and it was actually this old gun culture that contributed to legislation prohibiting conceal carry.

Though I haven’t been able to corroborate this claim, I bring that up because I see something coming from the open carry activist as well as something else from the conceal carry activists that both bother me. Not that we can be divided into those neatly segmented groups. Sure, there’s some overlap. But I have heard on more than one occasion, someone from OpenCarry.org make the assertion that “open carry is the right, conceal carry is the privilege”. I would like to know by what authority can someone make the claim that carrying a concealed weapon is not a right. All one has to do is witness this dash cam video of Danladi Moore being harassed by Norfolk Police and listen carefully to what they say to him regarding how harassing they are going to be if even lets the gun get ever-so-slightly covered:

at gunpoint in downtown Norfolk

Of course, the officer ignores the fact that Dan has a conceal carry permit. (Though, to be fair, I couldn’t hear if Dan actually informed the officers of that fact.) That, of course, is the point: without the conceal carry permit, he can’t comfortably risk carrying even openly in the face of this abusive, tyrannical police department.

And then there’s the conceal carry crowd. A certain three letter gun rights group frequently sends out surveys to its members asking their views on some gun related issues. One of those questions has got to be one of the most awkward contortions of the English language I’ve seen. It asks if members support “Right to Carry Permits”. Huh? You don’t need a permit to excercise a right. If you are going to advocate for permits, then at least admit that you aren’t acknowledging it as a right. “Conceal Carry Permit” would be more appropriate for what you’re advocating, I believe.

Of all the fighting that this group does for conceal carry, which it is effectively conceding as a privilege, I don’t think I’ve seen any advocating for what OpenCarry.org has been fighting for. Yes, there are only six states that outright prohibit it, but what about fighting for it in those six as well as working to eliminate the ‘anamolous’ states where it’s not prohibited outright, but because of a lack of pre-emption, it’s essentially prohibited. At least OpenCarry.org is honest about their position, erroneous as I believe it is, that they believe open carrying is the right, but concealing is the privilege.

The problem here is that whether you take the OpenCarry.org position or the NRA position, it forces you, if you are honest, to acknowledge that you are conceding that carrying a weapon, concealed or not, is a privilege. The problem lays in the fact that one official’s open carry is another official’s conceal carry. Just look at the despicable position of the current governer of Arizona.

She’s not willing to admit that it is a problem when someone gets arrested for illegally concealing a weapon simply because an officer approaches him from the non-gun side and can’t see the gun on the guy’s other hip. Her response on several occasions has essentially been “get a permit”. In other words in order to excercise the right to carry a firearm openly, which Arizona doesn’t unconstitutionally prohibit (except possibly by prohibiting in certain ‘sensitive’ areas, I don’t know), you need to get a permit to carry concealed or risk an obnoxious LEO hauling you downtown with a pair of nickel braclets.

Arizona is a year round warm climate, but what about seasonal places like the New England states. Ever try carrying openly on the *outside* of a heavy down winter coat? You effectively loose your ability to exercise your right to carry in New Hampshire (i.e.: without a permit) in the winter. Brilliant.

And as far as the NRA’s advocacy for conceal carry, how about at least attempting to push for Vermont style laws (or lack thereof). I haven’t heard a peep from the NRA about possibly pursuing that. Indiana now has lifetime conceal carry permits. Perfect opportunity for the first target area. Note that here I am acknowledging that the grass roots is where it has to start, but it would help to hear something from the leadership of our “leading” gun rights groups.

Let people who feel confident about their holsters, their retention skills, and their tactical awareness carry openly. And for those who would rather not give away an advantage, and can effectively conceal, let them carry concealed. Keep the criminals guessing. So the police are kept guessing, too. Isn’t that already the case? Criminals will conceal and not inform the police that they are concealing. How is forcing someone who has no ill intent to reveal to an officer — under penalty of law — that he is armed going to help him identify those with ill intent and will never reveal to the officer that he is armed (until he engages in his criminal activity and is, hopefully caught, stopped, and, if necessary, put down by either the cop, or an armed citizen)? Same goes for forcing him to get a ‘permit’ to conceal a weapon. The mere presence of a firearm does not put a police officer in danger. If it does, then why does he carry one? The presence of a criminal, on the other hand, who is likely to ignore all laws requiring him to reveal he is criminal (notwithstanding possible 5A infringements), does endanger an officer (not to mention, everyone else).

I’m not naive, by the way, about the current political situation. But remember what people were telling Marion Hammer in Florida when she was lobbying for shall-issue CCW permits in there. They told her it would never happen. And after it passed against all odds, it spread across the country to ~40 states like a brushfire. We’ve got Vermont and Alaska (sort of). Let’s get to work in IN and cause another brushfire.