1. Self-described “patriots” who aggressively display themselves in public festooned with military style arms, equipment, and clothing–and scaring the hell out of everyday citizens–in my opinion are damaging the image of law-abiding gun owners, and helping the anti-gun advocates achieve their agenda. These creeps certainly don’t speak for me.

    Moreover, the young jackass who performed the recent Walmart stunt in Springfield, MO, is very lucky he wasn’t smoked by the police.

    • I agree with that totally!! I’ve tried to provide sound advice on this subject whenever I see it publicly posted but always seem to have resistance from the younger generation of shooters who feel this is ok.

    • To me,open display of a firearm is like playing poker and facing your hand for all to see.I carry concealed always,(with licensed permit),and feel is better to go un noticed. I for one would not like to be bending over in grocery store to get an item,and have some wacko try for my gun. To each their own,and the element of surprise is something I value highly.

  2. I’ve worn Concealed Weapons for at least 20 yrs, of the 30 yrs. I was in Law Enforcement.

    So, I’ve learned close up, that anyone wearing a Visible Firearm, is the same as Hanging a sign on their back, Saying “Shot ME FIRST”!!

    Old Paul

  3. Gun owners should exercise discretion. Walking into a public place in body armor and a tactical rifle calls the carrier’s judgment into question; especially given recent events. Today we face a concerted effort to ban our firearms. Now is the time to exercise sound judgment.

  4. Great interview uncle Mas. Since we now live in Idaho, the winter carry part is much more, shall we say,current, than our last residence in AZ.

  5. In my State, an individual with a Handgun Carry Permit (HCP) can carry either openly or concealed. With open carry, one could carry even service-size handguns in hot weather. However, despite the option to do so, almost no one does. People don’t want the negative attention from either criminals or crazy anti-gunners (but I repeat myself). So, my observation is that better than 99.9 % of HCP holders CHOOSE to carry concealed.

    That is my choice too. I always carry when I leave my home but the firearm is always concealed. I never open-carry except at the gun range.

    Given that I live in a southern State, hot weather makes a cover garment impractical for much of the year. My body shape argues against Inside-the-Waistband carry (too much spare tire! 🙂 ). I have tried fanny-pack, pocket and ankle carry. Frankly, after trying several methods, I have found pocket carry, with a good pocket holster, the best and most convenient method (for me) in hot weather. A five-shot S&W snubby .38 special (with pocket holster) disappears in my pocket whether I am wearing pants or shorts. Add a couple of speed strips with 10 rounds of spare ammo in anther pocket and I am ready to go. With this rig, I can carry in the hottest summer weather with no one the wiser. I don’t see anyone as having an excuse to not carry because “its just too hot”.

    The Crazy Anti-gunners are throwing a hissy-fit right now in the hopes that our dumb legislators can be panicked into enacting new, and unconstitutional, gun-ban and Red-Flag laws. We need to fight these continual efforts at firearms-prohibition. Those who think that the prohibitionists will ever be satisfied with our degree of disarmament are fools. If anyone doubts this, then look at the UK for a glimpse of our future if the prohibitions win. This story for example:

  6. As a retired police officer in Florida I’ve always carried concealed. Even though as a law enforcement officer I was allowed to carry openly I still concealed my gun.

    • Arizona has had “constitutional carry” for some years now, and rarely do you see anyone with open carry. I personally miss the days when you would see several sourdough-prospector-looking sheepdog characters with open carry of gigantic, thumb-buster revolvers or cannon-sized 1911 .45 ACP’s in the grocery stores. No time has probably been safer than back in those old days. (I think I did see Massad Ayoob once several years ago in a Basha’s grocery. Was he possibly carrying, but not openly?) I feel that room exists for improved pocket holsters that instantly (and safely) drop off the gun just after it clears the pocket. Quick-Draw McGraw actually had the right idea with his ever-ready, unconcealed Kabong Guitar, but is was definitely short-ranged.

  7. I’d like to offer a slightly different prospective. My Midwestern state has concealed carry with a permit or open carry for anyone (I believe – since I have a permit it doesn’t matter. When I first started carrying concealed, I went to extreme lengths to be sure the gun didn’t print. After a few years, I stopped worrying about it and noticed no negative reactions to any bulge showing on my hip. Then when friends of ours returned from their winter home in Arizona, they mentioned how strange it looked to see so many people open carrying guns but after a week or so, it seemed normal. That made me think that maybe I should try it in my state and for several reasons. One reason is that it’s legal. Another reason is that a right not exercised is a right that’s lost. Other reasons include it’s faster to get to, it doesn’t rub on skin, etc. At first I was nervous but unexpectedly I’ve had virtually universal acceptance and received much support for promoting 2nd Amendment values. I’ve heard the possible negative result that I’d be the first one the bad guys shoot. While I admit that’s a possible scenario there’s another possible scenario that it may have already saved my life. Bad guys are looking for easy targets and quite possibly one or two of them have looked at me and thought there’s an easy mark. Then they see the gun and think, jeez, that old fart is packing heat – let’s find an easier target! And finally, if I get killed while promoting the 2nd Amendment; well, I can live with that.

  8. Just because you can do something doesn’t make it a good idea. I absolutely agree that we all have a right to go openly armed in public. But as you can see above there are a lot of reasons that it’s usually really stupid. My thought is that if someone wants to harm me or mine, the first time he knows I’m armed ought to be when I show him how well my pistol works.

    • To me, the only thing that is stupid is to be afraid to do something that is perfectly legal. I think we’ve been so intimidated by the Left, we’re too afraid to stick up for our rights. People choose to carry the way they want. Fine. But how would you carry if you we’re afraid of what liberals my think? The Left is way better at fighting for their rights than Conservatives are. As one example, look at Colorado’s marijuana law. As I’ve heard you’re suppose to smoke it inside and yet when the law was passed, a blue haze fell over Denver. That’s a small one. How about sanctuary laws. There are others. But the Left has gun owners so bullied that they’re afraid to do something that is perfectly legal. And I’m not buying that open carry will offend someone who is neutral. First I doubt anyone in the country is neutral on gun issues. Second, to open carry is an opportunity to show people through your good behavior that, indeed, there are decent people who own and carry guns. Today, on a busy Saturday, I open carried into a local Walmart. I engaged in conversations with a couple of the employees and at no time was there any body language to indicate apprehension. And just today, my wife met another woman from a western state who said people open carry all the time and it’s quite normal. The only thing you’ll notice different if you open carry is that you’ll feel something different just below your waist. Not to worry, it’s just the pair of balls you’re grown defending your legal rights and the 2nd Amendment.

      • Couple of corrections. How would you carry if you WEREN’T afraid of liberals….
        The other is “GROWING”. As you all can tell, my typing speed is 50 mistakes a minute.

      • Tom,

        I’m glad you live among patriots. I’ve been told that people who wear MAGA hats in NYC get the hats knocked off their heads. I reckon an open-carrier in NYC would be met by a SWAT team exiting a big,black, heavily armored, military-styled vehicle.

        I live in “rural” or maybe I should say, “suburban” NJ. My friend and I went to a Longhorn Steakhouse restaurant. He was wearing a MAGA hat and a patriotic T-shirt. Two young male servers, or waiters, complimented him and we engaged in a healthy political conversation right there for a few minutes.

        I admit I rarely wear my NRA hat. That is because I don’t want to emotionally trigger any Leftists. Why promote conflict? It’s usually better to de-escalate a situation. However, when I do wear it, I usually get a few compliments.

        I should move, you should not.

    • Aye! Just walk into a Dunkin’ or Subway in West VA and SEE HOW OPEN CARRY DOES NOT BOTHER the locals! There are so many 1911’s hanging out I feel like it is the safest place to be somedays!

      Meanwhile, I am totin’ IWB primarily as my State does not allow the gun to even print. I hate that I do not have a choice here, especially when I want to carry my service pistol sizes on my small frame. And, yes, as soon as I can move , I shall.

  9. As regards the Walmart stunt in Springfield, MO. Has any info been released on who that guy was? I’m I the only conspiracy theorist who thinks he smells Bloomberg, or those of his ilk, behind this? Seems like something the Left would do to scare people into pushing for more gun control.

      • I’ll go along with suggesting, there are people out there who would open carry a rifle just to cause problems.

    • There’s been enough information on him that I’m confident in saying he’s a run-of-the-mill idiot.

  10. Tom; No you are not the only one who thinks this possibly could be a conspiracy to do just that: scare more people into pushing for more gun control. I hope this is not the case but the smell is there.

  11. While the idiot who walked into Walmart, with body armor and a bunch of guns, says that he was just conducting a “social experiment” to see if people would “respect his 2nd Amendment Rights”, I suspect that to be total B.S.

    This yahoo apparently has a history of creating prank videos for distribution on YouTube. See this story:

    I suspect that he was just another young fool, similar to David “Camera” Hogg”, that wanted to use the 2nd Amendment, and the media, for fame. This incident was likely an ego-motivated act of self-display and attention-seeking.

    Well, he has his 15-minutes of fame now. I hope that he is happy!

  12. Conspiracy? Hardly. The stark reality presented in the Washington Post “Daily 202” article link below is that agitated, apoplectic, hateful Democrats are openly and unashamedly “coming for the guns” of American gun owners. Big time.

    With respect to Democrats’ over the top, zealous advocacy of what they call “buy back” programs, their incessant noise has had one unintended consequence. I intend to try to “buy back” every single gun that I have traded in since I was eighteen years old in 1972!

    Who is on board with me? As law abiding American gun owners, let’s get our own version of a “buy back” party started. My first target for a “buy back” is a Savage Model 24-C 22LR / 20 Gauge Camper Special O/U Combination Rifle Shotgun featuring a 20” Barrel fitted with open sights. Onward! No defeat! No surrender!

    The Daily 202: The newest purity test for Democrats is whether to mandate assault weapons buybacks

  13. Only once did I see a person open-carry in NJ. I was at a Friendly’s restaurant and saw a young man with a gun on his hip. He was sitting in a booth with his wife and two young children. I was glad he was there, but did not speak to him. I can only conclude that he was an off-duty police officer. No one else would be so bold.

    I have seen plain-clothes officers carry openly but there was a visible license attached to the holster, so everyone could see they worked for the government. I suppose a criminal could fake a license, so I agree, carrying concealed just makes the most sense in public.

  14. There is one other subtle advantage of concealed carry over open carry.

    The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network publishes a monthly journal. In one section of this journal, attorneys answer reader’s legal questions. The August 2019 question deals with the issue of placing one’s hand on your handgun, perhaps even drawing it, and issuing a command to someone. In most States, this might be considered the crime of “Aggravated Assault” and is commonly a felony.

    Of course, if the above action was taken in justified defense of oneself or others, it would not be a crime. Still, it is always possible that the person, provoking this response, will back down now but then go running to the police with a false charge of aggravated assault in retaliation.

    This puts the person doing open carry at a disadvantage. Everyone knows that they are armed and so, false assault charges are a real danger even if no threat was actually made. A simple verbal argument with someone might provoke them to file false charges just to “pay you back”.

    Someone who carries concealed is less vulnerable to this retaliation tactic of false assault charges.

    Also, with my preferred pocket-carry method, in an uncertain but potentially dangerous situation, I can actually put my hand in my pocket and have the revolver in-hand. As long as I do not actually draw it, no threat is made since simply placing your hand in your pocket cannot normally be construed as an assault. So, no aggravated assault charge here!

    Even so, with the revolver already in-hand, it can be drawn FAST if the uncertain situation devolves into “Condition Red” and deadly force must be used.

    In summary, one engaged in open carry is much more vulnerable to false charges of aggravated assault by someone with an “Ax to Grind” than a person who carries concealed.

  15. I carry concealed all the time, even when I worked for two police departments in different states over 1500 miles apart and could legally carry openly. I also dress very inconspicuously and try to be as unnoticed as possible. Always carry an effective pistol/revolver and at least two reloads, plus at least one backup piece, a bright flashlight with momentary switch, and large folding knife with a tough blade that can be opened with one hand and locks open. Carrying concealed gives one the element of surprise. I rather look unarmed and have a bad guy flash his knife at me instead of carrying openly and have someone hit me in the back of the head with a baseball bat to disable me before committing a crime. In the cooler months, I also wear my Second Chance Monarch level 2 vest which is quite old, but in very good condition and should still stop most of the smaller calibers which the typical street punks use.

  16. I’ve lived in Phoenix, AZ for almost 60 years. I’ve never seen a lot of open carry, though it was more common in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. I’ve been told that open carry is more socially acceptable in our rural areas. We’ve had an influx of Californians for years, many of whom bring their anti gun biases with them. Local Democrats are salivating at their excellent chance of taking over the state legislature next year. Arizona is losing its red state label, so open carry will become even more unacceptable. I will continue to carry concealed as I’ve done since 1994, the year a Republican legislature and governor enacted our shall-issue permit system.

  17. Good read in the ACLDN Newsletter. Interesting to know a bit more detail about what worked then and now for you in concealed carry.
    After reading the interview, I realized you were into AIWB carry long before AIWB was cool!
    How about that!

  18. An illustration of the kind of problems that can occur with open carry:

    While I respect a citizen’s right to open carry and wish that we lived in a World where it was completely natural (a blessed paradise with no crazy leftists control-freaks and gun-grabbers running free! 🙂 ), sadly, that is not the case. Unlike the leftists, I don’t believe in utopias.

    I applaud those brave souls who do it but, frankly, I don’t wish to deal with the potential left-wing push-back crap that may come with doing so.

    Therefore, I make some compromises and carry concealed. It is a sad commentary about the world in which we live.