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Posted: 8/21/2009 8:14:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2009 8:37:38 PM EST by mfortin]
Does anyone here open carry? I live in Washington state where it is legal to open carry and I do so. I'm curious about other people's experience open carrying.

Funny thing about Washington state is you need a CWP to carry a loaded firearm while traveling in your vehicle, concealed or not.
Link Posted: 8/21/2009 8:38:51 PM EST
PA has the same restrictions about traveling with a loaded firearm in the car and is also an open carry state. i open carry pretty frequently partly because it's my right and partly because I view it as a deterent. never had any problems except for some guy at eastern mountain sports called the poilce on me. police came, asked me what was going on, no problems.
just be prepared for lots of questions-"are you a cop?" more frequently-"is that real?". I live in a pretty conservative area so I don't have to deal with too many libtards. though my one hippiesque friends even asked about it, but in an encouraging way.
YMMV-Good luck!
(If you don't already have it, I recommend getting your CWP. It makes things easier and if any one gives you any shit about OC, just put your shirt over it.)
Link Posted: 8/21/2009 9:23:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2009 10:47:13 PM EST by mfortin]
I live in Seattle and there is a 30 day waiting period after they take your prints and run you through all their data bases. I pick up my CWP tomorrow. I plan to conceal carry as well as open carry.

Link Posted: 8/22/2009 4:39:21 AM EST
I would open carry when I first got my permit but after a while I figured an IWB holster was best. I'm not a cowboy, nor do I play one on tv so I hide it 95% of the time now.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 4:54:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By bulletsponge13:
PA has the same restrictions about traveling with a loaded firearm in the car


The same as? You left out some important information in your post. Would you include that information in your next post?
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 5:15:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By mfortin:
I live in Seattle and there is a 30 day waiting period after they take your prints and run you through all their data bases. I pick up my CWP tomorrow. I plan to conceal carry as well as open carry.


Good on ya! I was going to mention that you need to have a CPL to carry a loaded pistol in the car...

More local WA OC activists are here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/ , to include threads like this: " Washington Gun Rights Pamplet Done!!! ", " Washington OC FAQ's" ,and "Washington Businesses that Ban Guns" where businesses that are banning lawful carriage on their premises are ID'd in a "do not patronize" database.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 9:19:30 AM EST
Thank you for the link to this post, it is very informative:

1) Where can I carry in Washington?
Washington State follows british legal tradition, which states that anything that is not proscribed as unlawful is lawful. So the real question is where can you NOT carry in Washington.
1.There are four main state statutes that one must be cognizant of: RCW 9.41.050 (Carrying Firearms), RCW 9.41.280 (Carry on School Grounds), RCW 9.41.300 (Weapons Prohibited in Certain Places), and RCW 70.108.150 (Firearms in Outdoor Music Festivals). It is your responsibility to read and understand the definitions and exceptions in the law.
RCW 9.41.050 is the primary law which affects gun carrying on a day to day basis. This law makes it unlawful for one to conceal a pistol without a concealed pistol license (hereinafter called CPL), and also makes it unlawful for one to carry a loaded pistol in any vehicle, whether it be openly carried or concealed carried unless a person has a valid CPL. Loaded is defined as having ammunition inside of the gun itself (magazine inserted with ammunition with semi-auto, ammunition in cylinder for revolvers).
Localities may also prohibit the carrying of handguns in the stadiums and convention centers that they operate, however they MUST exempt those who possess a concealed pistol license.
There are also federal statutes you must be cognizant of:
18USC922(q), which prohibit the carrying of a handgun within 1000 feet of a school unless you are licensed to carry or meet another exemption to this law. The constitutionality of this law is questionable in light of United States v. Lopez and District of Columbia v. Heller. To our knowledge, there has been no prosecutions of this law where this is the sole charge.
18USC930, which prohibit the carrying of firearms in any "federal facility" or any "federal court facility".
Because of the possible myriad legal issues that may arise, in terms of the possible accusation of concealment, carrying in one's car, as well as 18USC922(q), it is highly recommended that any person who open carries in the State of Washington acquire a CPL.

2) How do I acquire a CPL?
If you are a resident of Washington, it depends on whether or not you live in a city. If you live in an incorporated city, you can apply either to your city police department, or your county sheriff. If you live in unincorporated territory, you must apply to the sheriff only. They have 30 days to issue or deny a license.
If you are NOT a resident of Washington State, you may apply to any jurisdiction that you choose.
If you do not possess a Washington Drivers License, Washington State ID, or have proof that you've been a resident of Washington for at least 90 days (such as a utility bill), the issuer may take up to 60 days to issue.
The license cost is currently $36 dollars plus the FBI fingerprint check fee (currently $19.25), which adds up to $55.25. A Washington State CPL is valid for 5 years. Renewing the license costs $32, and a late renewal (within 90 days of expiration) is $42. If a renewal is more than 90 days late, it must be filed as a new application.
We understand that there is some substantial compliance issues with the police departments (though not any sheriffs that we've heard of) in accepting applications during normal business hours. This is unlawful, however this has not been challenged. We do not know of any sheriffs office that is currently restricting the application times for CPL's, and we recommend going to the Sheriff's office if you have any issues with your police department.
If you are a non-citizen of the United States (such as a permanent resident alien), you must have an Alien Firearms License to apply for a CPL. An AFL is required to even possess a firearm in Washington, however these are not currently issued by the Department of Licensing due to a background check issue with the FBI. This law is likely unconstitutional, and should be challenged.
Washington also has a reciprocity law for non-residents of the state. For an updated list, please refer to:
http://www.atg.wa.gov/page.aspx?id=7772
Of the states listed, the State of Utah is the only state which issues entirely by mail. Please go to Utah BCI at:
http://des.utah.gov/bci/concealedfirearms.html
SOURCE: RCW 9.41.070, RCW 9.41.073

3) What is "Warranting alarm", why do people (firearms instructors, police officers, gun shop employees) say that this law makes it illegal to open carry?
This law, codified in 1969 as RCW 9.41.270, was passed in light of the intimidative actions of the Black Panther Party in both the State of California and in Seattle. Analysis of the legislative intent behind the bill and final law indicated that the Washington State Legislature never intended this to be a gun control bill, and stripped out in committee provisions of the bill which would have prohibited carry within 500 feet of any "public building" for fear it would ensnare a peaceable open carrier walking nearby, thereby violating a persons rights under Article 1, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.
This is not to say that all forms of open carry is lawful. The key word is "peaceable". If your pistol is in a holster, and you're generally not touching it or making gripping movements (except of course, in an actual act of self defense), or opening a coat to expose your pistol to intimidate someone to do something, then the current body of case law generally makes such carry lawful.

4) Is there a gun ban in Seattle?
Despite Mayor Greg Nickels' blustering and media blitz on the issue, there is no "gun ban" in Seattle currently in effect. The nature of the "gun ban" is the use of trespass law, which Seattle city officials, as the "owner of the property" would demand that a gun owner leave and be trespassed, and if they refuse to leave, charge them with armed trespass. Though there is the draftings of an administrative rule currently being made (as stated by a recent article in the Seattle Times), Mayor Nickels has NOT signed on to any administrative rule. It is well assumed that if any administrative rule is signed to that affect, it will trigger legal action, but not a moment before.

5) What does Article 1, Section 24 of the State Constitution actually say? SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

6) Is there a list of businesses that are pro/anti gun/OC?
Yes, it is located here http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum55/3630.html

7) Can I carry on a bus?
You may carry loaded either openly or concealed in any bus or light rail vehicle if you possess a CPL. The law states that you must have a CPL to carry loaded in "any" vehicle. RCW 9.91.025 (Unlawful bus conduct) protects the right to carry a gun or ammunition in a fashion not otherwise prohibited by law on a MUNICIPAL TRANSIT VEHICLE (Greyhound is not a municipal transit vehicle).

8) Can I carry a loaded long arm in my vehicle?
As a general rule, no. See RCW 77.15.460.

9) Do I have to register my gun?
Washington State has no registry at all for long arms. It does, however, have a dealer pistol sales registry. However, there is no requirement that secondary sales of pistols be registered with the Department of Licensing. You cannot sell the firearm to anyone you know is ineligible under state or federal law, nor can you transfer a firearm (whether by a sale or a gift) to a person who is a resident of another state (this violates federal law).

10) Where can I see a list of all available training bulletins from law enforcement agencies?
http://forum.nwcdl.org/index.php?action=downloads

11) How old do you have to be to carry a loaded handgun?
Under RCW 9.41.240, you must be 21 years of age to carry a loaded handgun in public.

12) Do I have to use a certain type of holster?
The law does not demand certain types of holsters. We do however recommend that your holster choice have some form of retention, and we recommend that if you use a shoulder holster, that you use a vertical position one rather than a horizontal one (per firearms safety rules).

13) Can I carry with a round in the chamber?
There is no Washington or Federal law which prescribes carrying with a round in the chamber other than the normal "loaded" definition and the laws that regulate loaded carry. In other words, yes you can carry with a round in the chamber if you choose to.

14) Can I carry at or near a school?
See Question #1 which as a general rule lists where a person can and cannot carry. The short answer is if you have a valid CPL and are picking up and dropping off a student you can carry on the grounds of grade schools.

15) What about colleges?
There is no law against it, but the individual schools set their own policies, most of which seem to conflict with a stated desire to honor all constitutional rights of the students while then going on to ban lawfully carried guns. South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia is the only college in this state I know of that does not specifically ban lawfully carried guns from their campus.

15) Can I carry in a bar?
No. You cannot carry in a place where alcohol is consumed AND is off limits to persons under 21.

16) Does Washington have an assault weapons ban.
No. With the sunset in 2004 of the Clinton ban the ban no longer exists. Some states have adopted similar bans, but not Washington.

17) But someone told me folding stocks and high capacity mags are for cops only.
NO! NO! NO! They were wrong. There IS NO ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN IN WASHINGTON.

18) I saw a sign in a city park saying no firearms. Is that legal?
No. Washington State has preempted all firearms laws regarding possession. If you see such a sign, it is illegal and overridden by state law. Period. End of discussion.

19) Can I carry in a bank?
There is no law prohibiting carry in a bank. Like any private property the bank may impose their own rules. It is up to you to find out if your bank allows lawfully carried firearms.

20) With the Federal Government buying parts of banks does that make them Federal property and off limits to carry?
No. They own shares of the bank, and are merely another shareholder, and cannot make the bank property function as Federal property.

21) Who am I required to show my CPL to, and when?
The law is somewhat vague, and the wording even worse, but essentially if you are required to have a CPL in your posession, you are obligated to produce it to qualified persons (such as law enforcement) if they demand it. Also since you have to have a CPL to carry loaded on a vehicle, regardless of OC or CC, I would argue a transit vehicle operator might also want to see a CPL before allowing you on the vehicle. There are no firm rules or laws on this matter that I am aware of though. Essentially I would produce to people such as cops or transit operators if the CPL is required by them to verify my legal status to carry the gun.

22) Can I carry on the Washington State Ferry System?
Yes. The Ferries are not one of the off limits place to lawful carry. They are an extension of the state highway system, and are state owned. Like any vessel they are also operating under Federal laws, and sometimes are escorted by, or have Coast Guard officers on board. The US Coast Guard is not in the business of enforcing state laws, but are only concerned with Federal laws. Generally the Washington State Patrol provides law enforcement onboard the Washington State Ferry System.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 1:25:12 PM EST
I'm in WA with you. Hell no, I don't open carry. Many tactical and practical reasons not to, for me. No way. And doing so in urban environments can sometimes lead to uneccessary "hassle". Just no reason to.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 1:34:08 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 1:49:04 PM EST
We can in WV,just the cops won't stop bugging you til you put it away.

That said I'd rather CCW in town,but on the back roads were I live I do open carry all the time i.e. if I put out the trash,walk over to see the neighbors Etc.



Should be a bit over a month and I take the CCW class

Link Posted: 8/22/2009 3:15:07 PM EST
I also live in Washington. My open/concealed ration is about 95% to 5%. I am a strong proponent of open carry, so much so I wrote this verbose piece:

The Open Carry Argument

My primary goal when I’m out and about, besides whatever I went out and about to do, is to go about peaceably and not be the victim of a violent crime. To that end I carry a firearm whenever I go out as well as follow all the other standard safety practices like maintaining situational awareness, staying out of high crime areas, and avoiding confrontation. I also have a larger overall goal of making it through my life without shooting anyone. Simply put, I don’t want to be responsible, legally or morally, for another’s death. Those two goals might appear at first blush to be mutually exclusive, and with concealed carry it would be a difficult set of goals to realize.

Carry of any firearm or other weapon for defensive purposes is a solemn responsibility. Those of us that do (openly or concealed) are mortified by the idea, constantly promoted by the pacifists, that our behavior is more reckless because we are armed. In other words, because we carry a handgun we take more risks than we would if we were unarmed. While it would be dishonest to claim we are all responsible gun owners, it is my belief that the vast majority of us are. Regardless of what or how you carry, you need to come to the realization that you are setting yourself up to lose. Whenever you are placed in a defensive situation, you will always lose; it’s only the degree of loss that’s negotiable. Ayoob hits on this in his book, In the Gravest Extreme. He suggests tossing the robber a small wad of cash and moving off, even if you could prevail with a weapon. There’s a very good reason for this. Regardless of how skilled you are at drawing your weapon, you are going to lose. It may be only a minor loss, like being very shaken up and not sleeping well for a few days, or it may be a major loss, like becoming fertilizer, or (most likely) it may be somewhere in-between, but you always lose. Your life will not be the same even if you prevail.

Carrying a concealed firearm presents to a criminal that I am unarmed. Every study I’ve ever read, not most but every study, says that criminals will avoid an armed person or home when selecting a victim. That only makes sense, right? Robbers, rapists, or carjackers might be dumb and opportunistic, but they have the same instinctual sense of self preservation we all have. Hyenas don’t attack lions to steal the gazelle the lions have just killed. It’s all about risk management; are the potential gains (a tasty gazelle dinner) worth the risks (pain and damage the lion’s teeth will cause), and does the hyena really need to test the lion to figure out the answer? No, the hyena can see the lion’s teeth and knows to stay well clear.

Deterrent Value:
When I’m carrying concealed I feel like my ‘teeth’ are hidden, and thus of no real deterrent value. If I appear unarmed then I am unarmed in the eyes of the robber, I appear as easy a target as almost anyone else out on the street. My probability of being a victim of a crime, violent or otherwise, is completely unchanged by the fact that I have hidden beneath my shirt the means to defend myself. My goal, however, is not to be a victim in the first place, remember? I don’t want to be a victim that fought back successfully and triumphed; I prefer to not be victimized at all. I recognize that there are some people who (think they) want to be victimized so they can whip out their concealed firearm and ‘surprise’ the mugger; that is, in my opinion, foolish immaturity. Concealed carry is good; it throws a wrench in the works for criminals who might see the teeming masses as a smorgasbord of financial gain. This deterrent effect is, nonetheless, indirect and often nil. At some point the thug will weigh the risks vs. the gains; is his current desperation for money/drugs/booze/gold grille greater than the gamble that one of those people might be carrying a gun? If he decides to play the odds, which helped along with surprise tip the scale in his favor, he will attack. Will his attack allow enough time for me to draw my concealed firearm to affect a defense? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

Remember, I don’t want to be a victim and I don’t want to shoot anyone. So how do I realize both goals; or how do I make them inclusive? I can do that through open carry. By making it clear and obvious that I am armed, that I have teeth, I tip the risk scale to the point that the criminal’s gains are far outweighed by the risk. There is no ambiguity when the thug is doing his risk assessment, there’s something right there in plain sight that can quickly and painfully change or terminate his life. You may not think his life has much value, but as I mentioned before, he has the same sense of self preservation as any other living creature and to him it’s every bit as valuable as yours is to you. It would be foolish to ignore this indisputable fact when you develop your overall tactical strategy.

The Five Stages of Violent Crime
I am a firm believer in this defense theology and urge anyone who carries a firearm for protection (and even those who do not) to follow the link and read it carefully. Please, for your and your family’s sake, read that. Drill down into the hyperlinks for better explanations; absorb as much information as you can. A violent crime does not begin at the point where one person with ill intent draws a weapon or attacks another.
The Five Stages of Violent Crime:
Crime and violence are processes that take time to develop. The attack is not the first step, the preliminary triangle must be built. There are five distinct stages that are easily identified:
1) Intent
2) Interview
3) Positioning
4) Attack
5) Reaction

I do not believe the act begins after the BG has made his intentions known by drawing on you (attack); it began when he formed the intent. Well, there’s not a lot I can do personally to stop another’s intent, so I need to look a little farther along in the sequence and try to derail that train before it gets to the attack. For the sake of argument, let’s remove weapons from the equation for just a moment. A 5’2” unarmed attacker isn’t going to choose a 6’6” victim over a 5’1” victim, right? He’s going to attack the easier target. Now let’s come back to the reality of violent crime and add back the weapons. Concealed carry presumes it is better to wait until the opponent has drawn his knife or gun and then try to ‘fix’ the situation. It’s seems a bit foolish to promote the idea that it’s better to attempt to stop a violent crime in the fourth stage when you could instead prevent it in the second. A concealed weapon cannot deter an attack at the ‘interview’ stage; it’s completely ineffectual in that role. Open carry is the only method that provides a direct deterrent. Let’s say the bad-guy missed the openly carried pistol and holster during the interview stage, and has proceeded to the ‘positioning’ stage. Chances are pretty good he’ll see it at some point then, right? Then, let’s say the planets have all aligned just so and he, for whatever reason, has begun his attack despite your openly carried sidearm. At this point, the OCer is on level footing with the CCer, the attack has begun. Who has the advantage? Well, I’m going to say that with all things being equal (skill level and equipment) the OCer has a speed of draw advantage over the CCer.

First One To Be Shot:
There are some who criticize open carry and claim it will make you more of a target or ‘the first one shot’ when a robber walks into the 7-11, despite the absolute lack of credible evidence that this has ever happened. If the robber walks in and sees that you’re armed, his whole plan has encountered an unexpected variable. In bank robberies where he might expect to see an armed guard he will have already factored that possibility into his plan, but only for the armed guard, not for open or concealed carry citizens. No robber robs a bank without at least a rudimentary plan. Nevertheless, being present for a bank robbery is an extremely remote possibility for most of us regardless of our preferred method of handgun carry, so let’s go back in the 7-11. If the robber sees someone is armed he is forced to either significantly alter the plan or abort it outright. Robbing is an inherently apprehensive occupation, and one that doesn’t respond well to instant modifications. He is not prepared to commit murder when he only planned for larceny. He knows that a petty robbery will not garner the intense police manhunt a murder would. He doesn’t know if you’re an armed citizen or a police officer and isn’t going to take the time to figure it out. Either way, if someone in the 7-11 is unexpectedly armed, how many others might be similarly adorned and where might they be? Does this unexpectedly armed individual have a partner who is likewise armed nearby, someone who is watching right now? Self preservation compels him to abort the plan for one that is less risky. So we see that the logic matches the history; open carriers are not the first ones shot because it doesn’t make sense in any common street crime scenario that they would be. If your personal self protection plan emphasizes “Hollywood” style crimes over the more realistic street mugging, it might be best to stay home.

Surprise:
Probably the most common condemnation of open carry comes from the armchair tacticians who believe it’s better to have the element of surprise in a criminal encounter. Although this was touched on in the previous paragraph about deterrence, I’ll expand on it specifically here because there are some important truths you need to consider before you lean too heavily on this false support. Surprise as a defensive tactic is often based on unrealistic or ill-thought out scenarios, and seems to exist only in the minds of concealed carry firearms proponents. The circumstance where several street toughs surround and taunt you for a while before robbing you, like in some Charles Bronson movie, is not realistic; the mugger wants to get in and out as fast as possible. In most cases you will have only seconds to realize what’s happening, make a decision, and react. Imagine you’re walking along the sidewalk when two gangsta looking teenagers suddenly appear at the corner coming in the opposite direction. You have only seconds to react if their intent was to victimize you. Do you draw your concealed firearm now or wait until there’s an actual visible threat? If they are just on their way to church and you pull a gun on them, you are the criminal and you will likely forever lose your firearms rights for such a foolish action. If you don’t draw and they pull a knife or pistol when they’re just a couple steps away, your only options are draw (if you think you can) or comply. Imagine staring at the shiny blade of a knife being held by a very nervous and violent mugger, three inches from your or your wife’s throat and having to decide whether or not you have time to draw from concealment. The element of surprise may not do you any good; in fact the only surprising thing that might happen is that your concealed carry pistol gets taken along with your wallet. The thug will later get a good chuckle with his buddies about how you brought a gun to a knife fight. The simple truth is that while surprise is a monumentally superior tactical maneuver, it is exclusively an offensive action, not a defensive one. What many internet commandos call ‘defensive surprise’ is nothing more than damage control, a last ditch effort to fight your way back out of a dangerous situation. I am not aware of any army that teaches using surprise as a defense against attack. No squad of soldiers goes on patrol with their weapons hidden so that they can ‘surprise’ the enemy should they walk into an ambush.

It Will Get Stolen:
Another common criticism of open carry is that the firearm itself will be the target of theft, prompting a criminal to attack simply to get the gun from you. Like the previous example of being the first one shot in a robbery, above, this is despite the fact that there is no credible evidence it happens. It also blindly ignores the more obvious fact that anything you possess can make you the target of a crime, be it a car, a watch, or even a female companion (girlfriend, wife, or daughter). Crooks commonly steal for only one of two reasons; to get something you have that they want, or to get something that you have so they can sell it and buy something they want. I don’t claim it could never happen; just that it’s so remote a possibility that it doesn’t warrant drastic alterations to our self defense strategies. If you believe otherwise, leave your wife, children, watch, sunglasses, jewelry, and cell phone at home, hop into your Pinto wagon, and head out to do your thing. Very often, someone critical of open carry will cite some example of a uniformed police officer who was targeted by a violent criminal. They assume the officer was targeted solely to steal his firearm but there is never any real proof of this. What is more likely is that the officer was targeted merely for being a police officer and the gun was stolen as a byproduct of the attack. However, let’s suppose, for argument, that a police officer really was attacked just to get his firearm. What actions did the police department take to prevent it from reoccurring? Did they demand that their officers carry concealed? No, of course not. You should, like the police, prioritize your defense strategy for the most likely threat first, and the least likely last.

It Scares People:
One other statement against open carry I hear is that it damages public perception of firearms owners, or that by carrying openly we are not being good ambassadors to the public. While there are some people who have a genuine fear of firearms, due either to some horrible past experience or anti-gun indoctrination, the majority of people are either indifferent to them or quite fascinated by them. I’ve never kept track of the dozens of fellow citizens I’ve encountered who have marveled at the idea of open carry, but I do know exactly how many have expressed displeasure at it; one. People are scared of many things for many reasons; however, pretending those things do not exist only perpetuates the fear. Someone who is disturbed by open carry is going to be every bit as disturbed by concealed carry. The only effective way to overcome a fear is to come to the intellectual realization that the phobia is based on emotion and not on fact. By being a firsthand witness that a firearm was carried responsibly and peaceably, and wasn’t being carried in the commission of a crime, one who was apprehensive about firearms discovers their fear is not fact based, but emotional. Thus, open carry can be a very effectual way of helping to overcome the emotionally based fear of the firearm. After all, you’d be much more likely to believe in ghosts if you saw one rather than if you listened to a ghost story around a campfire. In other words, we give significantly more credibility to the things we experience than we do to the things we hear. The bottom line is that this argument is made by people who don’t, cant, or haven’t carried openly; those of us who do so on a regular basis have an entirely different experience.

I’m Not Comfortable Carrying Openly:
This is really the only reasonable argument against open carry for an individual. We all have a comfort zone for any aspect of our lives and we prefer to stay within that comfort zone. We all agree that it’s better to be armed and never need the firearm than it is to need it and not have it. There is a point where concealing your firearm becomes so problematic, due to conditions like temperature or comfort, that some choose to either leave it behind or carry in such a way that it would be difficult or impossible to draw it quickly. If it takes me five or six seconds to draw my firearm from deep concealment and I had sufficient time before hand to actually do so, I would prefer to use that five or six seconds to avoid the entire encounter. I’m glad we have concealed carry laws in most of the states; it empowers and protects not only us but the general public through the offset deterrent effect. Some of us, however, choose the more direct deterrent effect of open carry.

Conclusion
No, open carry is not the be-all-end-all of self defense any more than concealed carry is. The purpose of this essay is not to convince you to carry a firearm openly, but to merely point out the reasoning I used to determine that it is often the best option for me. If you think otherwise, please feel free to write an essay of your own outlining the reasoning you used. I would suggest that you avoid the intellectual mistake of emphasizing rare or unlikely defense scenarios that many of us will never experience. I believe one should prioritize for the most likely threat, not the least likely threat. I don’t put Hollywood style bank robberies high on my threat list because I rarely go into a bank and those types of robberies are very rare themselves. I live in the most crime riddled city in the northwest; the most likely threat here is some young male with a knife or gun trying to carjack me or mug me on the street, in the park, or in a parking lot. With this knowledge I build my personal self protection plan based on that manner of attack. This may not suit you, especially if you live in Hollywood.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 4:02:39 PM EST
I do occasionally. Here in IN we have a License to Carry a Handgun (LTCH) meaning we are good to go CC or OC. There is always discussions/pissing matches/arguments about whether or not it is a good thing.

When/if I open carry I do so because it is more comfortable and my right.

I think it would be a positive thing if more people OC'ed.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 4:30:04 PM EST
I do everyday...I choose to conceal depending on my situation.
Link Posted: 8/22/2009 5:06:54 PM EST
Depends on were I am going whether I open carry or not, like if I were going to the gun store, I would open carry because I am going to be surrounded by pro-gun people, but there are other places I would not especially if there are a lot of people around the may get scared by the thought of some one non-LE having a gun.
Link Posted: 8/23/2009 5:36:07 AM EST
Wow, Mainsail. That's the best article I've ever read regarding open carry. I live in AZ where open carry is legal as well however I choose to CC off duty because I prefer not to let others know I'm armed or a cop. Unfortunately those I see open carrying around here seem to forget their carrying a gun because they allow themselves to be surrounded in crowds completely oblivious to their surroundings. Most I encounter on or off duty appear to be typical white trash. Around her (Phoenix) we have a big gang problem and they are masters at disraming cops and more easily CCW civilians with no situational awareness. I think with proper training, OC defininately has advantages over CCW but most who OC around here just go out and buy a gun and the carry it in a cheap holster with no training whatsoever. IMO it's these people who give serious OC folks a bad rap. Also here in AZ, CCW will allow you access to more places than OC due to certain restrictions.
Link Posted: 8/24/2009 2:23:02 PM EST
I generally do not open carry ever in an urban environment. It scares people and shows their true cowardice when you have to talk to the police that they called on you. No thanks. Some people veiw it as a deterent. I don't prescribe to that ideal. It might stop some people, but the people that it would stop would probably be stoped with a quick punch or some straight talk to get the fuck out. I would just be worried about those that would see the firearm and target you because they want it. That's a much worse position to be in, imho.
Link Posted: 8/25/2009 3:24:46 AM EST
I Open Carry all the time in NC, actually was in Walmart yesterday OCing and was approached by one of their Plain Clothed Security guys who thought I was LEO. I informed him I wasn't and that I was carrying legally. We had a short chat about guns and him wanting a Glock 27. All went well, no blading, no "You will not touch my firearm". It seems that if you dont look or act like a complete idiot they have no issue.
Link Posted: 8/25/2009 9:56:12 AM EST
Link Posted: 8/25/2009 10:09:56 AM EST
Never once had a problem in Phoenix metro area. Then again. Arizona is not Washington
Link Posted: 8/25/2009 12:48:58 PM EST
Originally Posted By prionic1:
I generally do not open carry ever in an urban environment. It scares people and shows their true cowardice when you have to talk to the police that they called on you. No thanks.

Well, I don’t know what your experience with open carry is, but you don’t have to talk to the police. I have been stopped by the police while walking, openly carrying in the city, and the conversation will go like this:
COP: Sir, can I see some ID?
ME: Are you detaining me?
COP: No, but I would like to see some ID.
ME: Have a nice day officer.
Then I walk away.

Another time:
COP: Sir, we’ve had some complaints about your gun, can I see your carry license?
ME: It’s a concealed carry license, and I’m not carrying a concealed weapon. Are you detaining me?
COP: No, but if you just show me you license you can be on your way.
ME: If you’re not detaining me, then I can already be on my way. Have a nice day officer.

Most of us cringe at the thought of carrying an unloaded gun. Just as bad, in my opinion, is carrying a gun and not knowing your rights. People are in jail right now for talking to the police when they didn’t have to, when they could have just walked away. Do you know what the three kinds of police/public encounters are? They are casual conversation, seizure (detainment), and arrest. For a casual conversation you can walk away at any time, and you should. For detainment you cannot leave until the officer releases you, but to detain you in the first place the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion that you are currently, about to, or just have committed a crime (RAS). This is called a Terry stop. If firearms carry is lawful where you live, as it is in WA, then merely carrying a firearm is not RAS that a crime is, was, or is about to be committed.

I would just be worried about those that would see the firearm and target you because they want it. That's a much worse position to be in, imho.

Again, I don’t know what your experience is with open carry, but with several years of almost daily open carry in the most crime infested city in the entire northwest, I can say with authority that it just doesn’t happen. On another forum, a prison guard asked some of his more serious charges if they would try to rob someone visibly carrying a firearm. They all agreed that they would not, because it was much easier and safer to just spend $50 to buy a stolen one down on the corner. I address this issue in my essay above as well.

I’m not picking on you, but whenever I hear someone say they won’t open carry because it’s too much trouble I’m reminded of the old maxim, “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers” to which they should add: “…or if you hassle me man.”

So for the OP’s question, open carry is legal and accepted here in Washington. If you know your rights, you’ll be fine. But that goes for everyone.


Link Posted: 8/25/2009 11:46:20 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mainsail:
Originally Posted By prionic1:
I generally do not open carry ever in an urban environment. It scares people and shows their true cowardice when you have to talk to the police that they called on you. No thanks.

Well, I don’t know what your experience with open carry is, but you don’t have to talk to the police. I have been stopped by the police while walking, openly carrying in the city, and the conversation will go like this:
COP: Sir, can I see some ID?
ME: Are you detaining me?
COP: No, but I would like to see some ID.
ME: Have a nice day officer.
Then I walk away.

Another time:
COP: Sir, we’ve had some complaints about your gun, can I see your carry license?
ME: It’s a concealed carry license, and I’m not carrying a concealed weapon. Are you detaining me?
COP: No, but if you just show me you license you can be on your way.
ME: If you’re not detaining me, then I can already be on my way. Have a nice day officer.

Most of us cringe at the thought of carrying an unloaded gun. Just as bad, in my opinion, is carrying a gun and not knowing your rights. People are in jail right now for talking to the police when they didn’t have to, when they could have just walked away. Do you know what the three kinds of police/public encounters are? They are casual conversation, seizure (detainment), and arrest. For a casual conversation you can walk away at any time, and you should. For detainment you cannot leave until the officer releases you, but to detain you in the first place the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion that you are currently, about to, or just have committed a crime (RAS). This is called a Terry stop. If firearms carry is lawful where you live, as it is in WA, then merely carrying a firearm is not RAS that a crime is, was, or is about to be committed.

I would just be worried about those that would see the firearm and target you because they want it. That's a much worse position to be in, imho.

Again, I don’t know what your experience is with open carry, but with several years of almost daily open carry in the most crime infested city in the entire northwest, I can say with authority that it just doesn’t happen. On another forum, a prison guard asked some of his more serious charges if they would try to rob someone visibly carrying a firearm. They all agreed that they would not, because it was much easier and safer to just spend $50 to buy a stolen one down on the corner. I address this issue in my essay above as well.

I’m not picking on you, but whenever I hear someone say they won’t open carry because it’s too much trouble I’m reminded of the old maxim, “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers” to which they should add: “…or if you hassle me man.”

So for the OP’s question, open carry is legal and accepted here in Washington. If you know your rights, you’ll be fine. But that goes for everyone.




This is awesome! I'm a cop (federal) and you're 100% right. You have no obligation to speak to the cops attempting a casual encounter without probable cause. I applauded you for execising your rights.

Link Posted: 8/26/2009 4:11:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mainsail:
Originally Posted By prionic1:
I generally do not open carry ever in an urban environment. It scares people and shows their true cowardice when you have to talk to the police that they called on you. No thanks.

Well, I don’t know what your experience with open carry is, but you don’t have to talk to the police. I have been stopped by the police while walking, openly carrying in the city, and the conversation will go like this:
COP: Sir, can I see some ID?
ME: Are you detaining me?
COP: No, but I would like to see some ID.
ME: Have a nice day officer.
Then I walk away.

Another time:
COP: Sir, we’ve had some complaints about your gun, can I see your carry license?
ME: It’s a concealed carry license, and I’m not carrying a concealed weapon. Are you detaining me?
COP: No, but if you just show me you license you can be on your way.
ME: If you’re not detaining me, then I can already be on my way. Have a nice day officer.

Most of us cringe at the thought of carrying an unloaded gun. Just as bad, in my opinion, is carrying a gun and not knowing your rights. People are in jail right now for talking to the police when they didn’t have to, when they could have just walked away. Do you know what the three kinds of police/public encounters are? They are casual conversation, seizure (detainment), and arrest. For a casual conversation you can walk away at any time, and you should. For detainment you cannot leave until the officer releases you, but to detain you in the first place the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion that you are currently, about to, or just have committed a crime (RAS). This is called a Terry stop. If firearms carry is lawful where you live, as it is in WA, then merely carrying a firearm is not RAS that a crime is, was, or is about to be committed.

I would just be worried about those that would see the firearm and target you because they want it. That's a much worse position to be in, imho.

Again, I don’t know what your experience is with open carry, but with several years of almost daily open carry in the most crime infested city in the entire northwest, I can say with authority that it just doesn’t happen. On another forum, a prison guard asked some of his more serious charges if they would try to rob someone visibly carrying a firearm. They all agreed that they would not, because it was much easier and safer to just spend $50 to buy a stolen one down on the corner. I address this issue in my essay above as well.

I’m not picking on you, but whenever I hear someone say they won’t open carry because it’s too much trouble I’m reminded of the old maxim, “You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead fingers” to which they should add: “…or if you hassle me man.”

So for the OP’s question, open carry is legal and accepted here in Washington. If you know your rights, you’ll be fine. But that goes for everyone.





Link Posted: 8/26/2009 7:14:02 PM EST
Interesting, Mainsail......................I'd love to know what city/county cops in WA let you just "walk away" like that.

No, not givin' you shit, you would be well within your rights, it just surprises me that it would be like that.
Link Posted: 8/27/2009 2:10:59 AM EST
Open carry vs. CCW ? The debate never ends.

If OC works for your area and situation do it.

If CCW works for your area and situation do that.

But whatever you do, have a weapon and train with it regularly.

In my area of SW Ohio OC is not worth the hassle. Ohio is somewhat schizophrenic with their gun laws. We have CCW, OC, no waiting periods, no goofy FOID cards, preemption, etc. But some urban areas like Cleveland and Columbus are very anti-gun and work very hard to arrest gun owners on very spurious charges. And relevant to this thread, many people have been hassled and arrested for "disturbing the peace" when open carrying. Even down here in the generally gun-friendly SW part of Ohio.

Sadly we are not Arizona or some other very OC friendly area. I don't like people knowing my business, and don't buy the "if they see it they'll like it" business. Combine that with wanting to avoid expensive legal hassles and I'm CCW all the way.
Link Posted: 8/27/2009 9:43:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2009 9:45:54 AM EST by MJL]
Originally Posted By Redbone:

This is awesome! I'm a cop (federal) and you're 100% right. You have no obligation to speak to the cops attempting a casual encounter without probable cause. I applauded you for execising your rights.



You're about halfway correct here. However, probable cause has nothing to do with it. Cops arrest people based on probable cause. The issue here is reasonable suspicion (Terry V. Ohio).
I guess feds must work on a different standard.
If a cop has reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed then they can detain people for a reasonable amount of time to investigate that. Trying to walk away after being told that you are not free to do so is usually considered obstruction of justice (or something similar). If you think your rights are being violated then fight it in the courts, not on the street. (you'll be more successful and make a lot more money anyway)

You are correct however that usually there is no obligation to speak with the Officer ever, no matter what the nature of the contact. Again, probable cause has absolutely nothing to do with it.

What many OC people fail to realize in their encounters with police is that the cops aren't just randomly hassling you. Someone called 911 and said they were scared. That means that the police are obligated to go and investigate the possible crime of [what ever your local law on menacing is].
Usually the 911 caller is going to make the situation sound pretty scary (they are sheep of course), so the cop is going into the contact with only that side of the story. You choosing to be a self-righteous dick isn't going to help the cop get the correct side of the story.
Pretty much any court will agree that a 911 call from a scared citizen about a guy being menacing with a gun constitutes reasonable suspicion for a temporary detention. The level of reasonableness goes up in urban areas of course, and down in areas where it's more likely someone would be at a range or hunting.

Feel free to exercise your rights of course. Rights that you don't exercise will eventually be taken away. OC if you want to. Just realize that in this day and age there are many who people will be calling 911 and that means that there is a good chance a cop will talk to you. You can choose to be polite and helpful, thus teaching cops that OCers are not bad people. Or you can be a dick and teach the cops (and members of the general public) that OCers are only trying to scare people to get attention for themselves.
So far too many OCers are choosing the second option.
Link Posted: 8/27/2009 2:22:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By Ltlabner:
Open carry vs. CCW ? The debate never ends.

If OC works for your area and situation do it.

If CCW works for your area and situation do that.

But whatever you do, have a weapon and train with it regularly.

In my area of SW Ohio OC is not worth the hassle. Ohio is somewhat schizophrenic with their gun laws. We have CCW, OC, no waiting periods, no goofy FOID cards, preemption, etc. But some urban areas like Cleveland and Columbus are very anti-gun and work very hard to arrest gun owners on very spurious charges. And relevant to this thread, many people have been hassled and arrested for "disturbing the peace" when open carrying. Even down here in the generally gun-friendly SW part of Ohio.

Sadly we are not Arizona or some other very OC friendly area. I don't like people knowing my business, and don't buy the "if they see it they'll like it" business. Combine that with wanting to avoid expensive legal hassles and I'm CCW all the way.


This about sums it up for me as well. I just don't want to deal with the hassle or spend money on an Attorney. I'll stick to CC unless I'm in the mountains.

Link Posted: 8/27/2009 4:14:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By MJL:
Originally Posted By Redbone:

This is awesome! I'm a cop (federal) and you're 100% right. You have no obligation to speak to the cops attempting a casual encounter without probable cause. I applauded you for execising your rights.



You're about halfway correct here. However, probable cause has nothing to do with it. Cops arrest people based on probable cause. The issue here is reasonable suspicion (Terry V. Ohio).
I guess feds must work on a different standard.
If a cop has reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed then they can detain people for a reasonable amount of time to investigate that. Trying to walk away after being told that you are not free to do so is usually considered obstruction of justice (or something similar). If you think your rights are being violated then fight it in the courts, not on the street. (you'll be more successful and make a lot more money anyway)

You are correct however that usually there is no obligation to speak with the Officer ever, no matter what the nature of the contact. Again, probable cause has absolutely nothing to do with it.

What many OC people fail to realize in their encounters with police is that the cops aren't just randomly hassling you. Someone called 911 and said they were scared. That means that the police are obligated to go and investigate the possible crime of [what ever your local law on menacing is].
Usually the 911 caller is going to make the situation sound pretty scary (they are sheep of course), so the cop is going into the contact with only that side of the story. You choosing to be a self-righteous dick isn't going to help the cop get the correct side of the story.
Pretty much any court will agree that a 911 call from a scared citizen about a guy being menacing with a gun constitutes reasonable suspicion for a temporary detention. The level of reasonableness goes up in urban areas of course, and down in areas where it's more likely someone would be at a range or hunting.

Feel free to exercise your rights of course. Rights that you don't exercise will eventually be taken away. OC if you want to. Just realize that in this day and age there are many who people will be calling 911 and that means that there is a good chance a cop will talk to you. You can choose to be polite and helpful, thus teaching cops that OCers are not bad people. Or you can be a dick and teach the cops (and members of the general public) that OCers are only trying to scare people to get attention for themselves.
So far too many OCers are choosing the second option.



What he said.. Even if you dont have to i wouldnt talk that way to a cop.. Hes just doin his job.

Link Posted: 8/27/2009 8:59:53 PM EST
If open carry was legal here (concealed as well) I would be open carrying 4 guns. My AR15 or shotgun, a sidearm, a BUG, and a really tiny bug for my pocket or something. Like a .22 BUG. Plus 6 mags for the AR and 2 for the sidearm and BUG which uses the same mags (GLock 17 and 26), and 1 for the small bug. Not to mention my Kabar and 2 flashlights along with my pepper spray.
Link Posted: 8/28/2009 1:31:00 PM EST
Joke??
Link Posted: 8/28/2009 4:43:31 PM EST
Did it publicly a couple times, didn't much care for it. No problems per se, just felt like everybody was looking at me.

Although going for a walk at night with my wife I'll often OC since the darkness provides the cover.
Link Posted: 8/28/2009 10:02:39 PM EST
Im in WA also, most the time i dont OC. But if im driving acrost the state as i do often then allot of the times ill wear my pistol in an Unlce mikes holster as its more comfortable in the Jeep. This means when i stop for fuel or a bathroom break im OCing, But if im hanging out with friends and that sort of thing i hide it...
Link Posted: 8/29/2009 2:04:45 PM EST
I OC all the time. No one really notices or even cares if they do. It'S NICE not being surrounded by liberal wussies.
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 8:11:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By ViniVidivici:
Interesting, Mainsail......................I'd love to know what city/county cops in WA let you just "walk away" like that.

No, not givin' you shit, you would be well within your rights, it just surprises me that it would be like that.


Well, the Tacoma Police Department (Tacoma being the most crime infested city in the Northwest), in a park, in another park, and outside the Museum of Glass. The Museum incident originated when the security personnel called the police. Also, the Seattle Police Department while walking in downtown Seattle. When I do walk away, I’m polite and non-confrontational. I’m not looking to start trouble; I’m merely asserting my rights under the federal and state constitutions.

It’s not a matter of them ‘letting’ me walk away; they simply have no other choice. Since they cannot articulate a specific crime of which they suspect my involvement, the law (Terry v Ohio) says they cannot detain me. When I didn’t know my rights as well as I do now, I allowed myself to be dragged into debates with officers about open carry. It occurred to me that they really weren’t interested in the topic as much as they were trying to use intimidation to prevent me from exercising my rights.

I realized that carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, without understanding your rights (and the limitations the police have to obey) is downright stupid. The time is coming when the police will know if you’re carrying no matter how carefully you conceal it. The technology already exists; it’s only a matter of time until it’s used. You’re surprised ”it would be like that” but you shouldn’t be. The police don’t get to make up laws just because they don’t like the ones they have.

The reason some people have problems is because they don’t know their rights and they don’t ask the right questions when they encounter the police. If you are stopped by the police for any reason, ask:
“Are you detaining me?”
If no, then politely walk away. If they ask you anything or imply that they want to talk more, ask that question again.
If yes, then ask, “For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?”
If they don’t answer but start making requests or demands, ask it again. Say nothing until they answer. This is a common tactic, “I’ll be asking the questions here!” Yeah, you can ask all day long and I can stand here and stare at you.

The police in any city are far too busy to engage you in a friendly conversation; if they’re talking to you then they’re trying to find reasonable articulable suspicion (Terry again!) so that they can legally detain you. It always amazes me when people allow a highway patrolman to search their car. Is he looking for a frayed seatbelt or loose seat bolt so he can warn you of the danger? Of course not! He’s looking for probable cause to arrest you! No matter how friendly he acts, he’s not searching your car for your benefit- EVER. The same is true on the sidewalk downtown. He’s not interested in your 1911 and the beautiful leatherwork on your holster, he’s looking for reasonable suspicion so he can detain you, and then he’ll be looking for probable cause to arrest you. An officer doesn’t get awards and favorable performance reports because of the number of casual conversations he or she has, they get them for making arrests.


Link Posted: 9/3/2009 1:19:39 PM EST
I OC all the time here in VA.
Link Posted: 9/5/2009 10:30:51 AM EST
I'm proud of all those that choose to open carry. For now i still carry concealed because i'm surrounded by liberal friends and i still believe that it is your advantage when you have the element of surprise. I will open carry if i will be with like minded people.
Link Posted: 9/5/2009 4:52:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By smoothdraw:
I'm proud of all those that choose to open carry. For now i still carry concealed because i'm surrounded by liberal friends and i still believe that it is your advantage when you have the element of surprise. I will open carry if i will be with like minded people.


But you don’t have the element of surprise! If you’re getting mugged, the bad guy already has the drop on you. He already has a weapon in play, be it a knife or gun. What you’re calling “the element of surprise” is really damage control with poor odds. Imagine YOU had someone at gunpoint, do you think THEY would be able to pull a weapon and shoot you before you could react? The element of surprise is an offensive tactic, not a defensive one. The BG has already played the “element of surprise” card, and your reactionary draw is unlikely to trump it.
Link Posted: 9/5/2009 6:07:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mainsail:
Originally Posted By ViniVidivici:
Interesting, Mainsail......................I'd love to know what city/county cops in WA let you just "walk away" like that.

No, not givin' you shit, you would be well within your rights, it just surprises me that it would be like that.


Well, the Tacoma Police Department (Tacoma being the most crime infested city in the Northwest), in a park, in another park, and outside the Museum of Glass. The Museum incident originated when the security personnel called the police. Also, the Seattle Police Department while walking in downtown Seattle. When I do walk away, I’m polite and non-confrontational. I’m not looking to start trouble; I’m merely asserting my rights under the federal and state constitutions.

It’s not a matter of them ‘letting’ me walk away; they simply have no other choice. Since they cannot articulate a specific crime of which they suspect my involvement, the law (Terry v Ohio) says they cannot detain me. When I didn’t know my rights as well as I do now, I allowed myself to be dragged into debates with officers about open carry. It occurred to me that they really weren’t interested in the topic as much as they were trying to use intimidation to prevent me from exercising my rights.

I realized that carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, without understanding your rights (and the limitations the police have to obey) is downright stupid. The time is coming when the police will know if you’re carrying no matter how carefully you conceal it. The technology already exists; it’s only a matter of time until it’s used. You’re surprised ”it would be like that” but you shouldn’t be. The police don’t get to make up laws just because they don’t like the ones they have.

The reason some people have problems is because they don’t know their rights and they don’t ask the right questions when they encounter the police. If you are stopped by the police for any reason, ask:
“Are you detaining me?”
If no, then politely walk away. If they ask you anything or imply that they want to talk more, ask that question again.
If yes, then ask, “For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?”
If they don’t answer but start making requests or demands, ask it again. Say nothing until they answer. This is a common tactic, “I’ll be asking the questions here!” Yeah, you can ask all day long and I can stand here and stare at you.

The police in any city are far too busy to engage you in a friendly conversation; if they’re talking to you then they’re trying to find reasonable articulable suspicion (Terry again!) so that they can legally detain you. It always amazes me when people allow a highway patrolman to search their car. Is he looking for a frayed seatbelt or loose seat bolt so he can warn you of the danger? Of course not! He’s looking for probable cause to arrest you! No matter how friendly he acts, he’s not searching your car for your benefit- EVER. The same is true on the sidewalk downtown. He’s not interested in your 1911 and the beautiful leatherwork on your holster, he’s looking for reasonable suspicion so he can detain you, and then he’ll be looking for probable cause to arrest you. An officer doesn’t get awards and favorable performance reports because of the number of casual conversations he or she has, they get them for making arrests.




This + elevntymilliontrillion. I'll also add that the USSC has said specifically that there is no gun exception to Terry. Additionally the police CAN NOT detain you just because some libtard phones in a complaint about you. You must be committing a crime. The relevant case is Florida V. J.L. Also, after Heller, an officer who detains you for merely OCing legally is very likely commitiing a felony under 18usc242, although you'd never find a federal prosecutor with the integrity to prosecute it.

I.C.
Link Posted: 9/5/2009 11:06:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mainsail:
Originally Posted By ViniVidivici:
Interesting, Mainsail......................I'd love to know what city/county cops in WA let you just "walk away" like that.

No, not givin' you shit, you would be well within your rights, it just surprises me that it would be like that.


Well, the Tacoma Police Department (Tacoma being the most crime infested city in the Northwest), in a park, in another park, and outside the Museum of Glass. The Museum incident originated when the security personnel called the police. Also, the Seattle Police Department while walking in downtown Seattle. When I do walk away, I’m polite and non-confrontational. I’m not looking to start trouble; I’m merely asserting my rights under the federal and state constitutions.

It’s not a matter of them ‘letting’ me walk away; they simply have no other choice. Since they cannot articulate a specific crime of which they suspect my involvement, the law (Terry v Ohio) says they cannot detain me. When I didn’t know my rights as well as I do now, I allowed myself to be dragged into debates with officers about open carry. It occurred to me that they really weren’t interested in the topic as much as they were trying to use intimidation to prevent me from exercising my rights.

I realized that carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, without understanding your rights (and the limitations the police have to obey) is downright stupid. The time is coming when the police will know if you’re carrying no matter how carefully you conceal it. The technology already exists; it’s only a matter of time until it’s used. You’re surprised ”it would be like that” but you shouldn’t be. The police don’t get to make up laws just because they don’t like the ones they have.

The reason some people have problems is because they don’t know their rights and they don’t ask the right questions when they encounter the police. If you are stopped by the police for any reason, ask:
“Are you detaining me?”
If no, then politely walk away. If they ask you anything or imply that they want to talk more, ask that question again.
If yes, then ask, “For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?”
If they don’t answer but start making requests or demands, ask it again. Say nothing until they answer. This is a common tactic, “I’ll be asking the questions here!” Yeah, you can ask all day long and I can stand here and stare at you.

The police in any city are far too busy to engage you in a friendly conversation; if they’re talking to you then they’re trying to find reasonable articulable suspicion (Terry again!) so that they can legally detain you. It always amazes me when people allow a highway patrolman to search their car. Is he looking for a frayed seatbelt or loose seat bolt so he can warn you of the danger? Of course not! He’s looking for probable cause to arrest you! No matter how friendly he acts, he’s not searching your car for your benefit- EVER. The same is true on the sidewalk downtown. He’s not interested in your 1911 and the beautiful leatherwork on your holster, he’s looking for reasonable suspicion so he can detain you, and then he’ll be looking for probable cause to arrest you. An officer doesn’t get awards and favorable performance reports because of the number of casual conversations he or she has, they get them for making arrests.




Okay my friend, thank you for elaborating on the subject. So you've had this happen specifically with TPD? Very good. These are the kind of things I was curious about.

You're absolutely correct on the legalities involved. The way you answer and your actions are entirely appropriate and justified. Makes alot of sense. I like the way you've handled these situations. Good on ya.

Yes, it is their job to "look for things", and hell yes, if there's no "probable cause", or you're not suspected of commiting some kind of crime, they have no right to keep you there, talking, answering questions, etc. etc.

I appreciate your input on the subject. This is a very good discussion here on the topic.

I still have many practical reasons to not open carry, but it's always good to know we can, without repercussions, here in WA. I love my state!

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:17:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 7:20:06 AM EST by Mainsail]
This is huge. If you know what a summary judgment is and understand what the judge’s denial of qualified immunity for the officers involved means; this is huge.

Federal judge rules police cannot detain people for openly carrying guns


On September 8, 2009, United States District Judge Bruce D. Black of the United States District Court for New Mexico entered summary judgment in a civil case for damages against Alamogordo, NM police officers. The Judge's straight shootin' message to police: Leave open carriers alone unless you have "reason to believe that a crime [is] afoot."

The facts of the case are pretty simple. Matthew St. John entered an Alamogordo movie theater as a paying customer and sat down to enjoy the movie. He was openly carrying a holstered handgun, conduct which is legal in 42 states, and requires no license in New Mexico and twenty-five other states.

In response to a call from theater manager Robert Zigmond, the police entered the movie theater, physically seized Mr. St. John from his seat, took him outside, disarmed him, searched him, obtained personally identifiable information from his wallet, and only allowed him to re-enter the theater after St. John agreed to secure his gun in his vehicle. Mr. St. John was never suspected of any crime nor issued a summons for violating any law.

Importantly, no theater employee ever ordered Mr. St. John to leave. The police apparently simply decided to act as agents of the movie theater to enforce a private rule of conduct and not to enforce any rule of law.

On these facts, Judge Black concluded as a matter of law that the police violated Matthew St. John's constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment because they seized and disarmed him even though there was not "any reason to believe that a crime was afoot." Judge Black's opinion is consistent with numerous high state and federal appellate courts, e.g., the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. J.L. (2000) (detaining man on mere report that he has a gun violates the Fourth Amendment) and the Washington Appeals Court in State v. Casad (2004) (detaining man observed by police as openly carrying rifles on a public street violates the Fourth Amendment).

Mr. St. John's attorney, Miguel Garcia, of Alamogordo, NM was pleased with the ruling and look forward to the next phase of the litigation which is a jury trial to establish the amount of damages, and possibly punitive damages. Garcia said that

"[i]t was great to see the Court carefully consider the issues presented by both sides and conclude that the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from detaining and searching individuals solely for exercising their rights to possess a firearm as guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions."

Notably, Judge Black denied the police officers' requested "qualified immunity," a judicially created doctrine allowing government officials acting in good faith to avoid liability for violating the law where the law was not "clearly established." In this case, Judge Black concluded that

"[r]elying on well-defined Supreme Court precedent, the Tenth Circuit and its sister courts have consistently held that officers may not seize or search an individual without a specific, legitimate reason. . . . The applicable law was equally clear in this case. Nothing in New Mexico law prohibited Mr. St. John from openly carrying a firearm in the Theater. Accordingly, Mr. St. John's motion for summary judgment is granted with regard to his Fourth Amendment and New Mexico constitutional claims. Defendants' motion for summary judgment is denied with regard to the same and with regard to qualified immunity."

Judge Black's opinion and order is welcome news for the growing number of open carriers across the United States. Though police harassment of open carriers is rare, it's not yet as rare as it should be - over the last several years open carriers detained without cause by police have sued and obtained cash settlements in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Virginia (see additional settlement here <http://hamptonroads.com/node/491877> ), and Georgia. More cases are still pending in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Judge Black's opinion and order can be read here <http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/attachment.php?id=7856> .
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 10:56:57 AM EST
Its great people OC and educate other people.

Me theory is I don't open carry my truck keys or my wallet, so I might as well tuck the pistol away to.

I do open carry when I am at my house and the surrounding property.
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 12:53:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By Insidious_calm:
Originally Posted By Mainsail:
Originally Posted By ViniVidivici:
Interesting, Mainsail......................I'd love to know what city/county cops in WA let you just "walk away" like that.

No, not givin' you shit, you would be well within your rights, it just surprises me that it would be like that.


Well, the Tacoma Police Department (Tacoma being the most crime infested city in the Northwest), in a park, in another park, and outside the Museum of Glass. The Museum incident originated when the security personnel called the police. Also, the Seattle Police Department while walking in downtown Seattle. When I do walk away, I’m polite and non-confrontational. I’m not looking to start trouble; I’m merely asserting my rights under the federal and state constitutions.

It’s not a matter of them ‘letting’ me walk away; they simply have no other choice. Since they cannot articulate a specific crime of which they suspect my involvement, the law (Terry v Ohio) says they cannot detain me. When I didn’t know my rights as well as I do now, I allowed myself to be dragged into debates with officers about open carry. It occurred to me that they really weren’t interested in the topic as much as they were trying to use intimidation to prevent me from exercising my rights.

I realized that carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, without understanding your rights (and the limitations the police have to obey) is downright stupid. The time is coming when the police will know if you’re carrying no matter how carefully you conceal it. The technology already exists; it’s only a matter of time until it’s used. You’re surprised ”it would be like that” but you shouldn’t be. The police don’t get to make up laws just because they don’t like the ones they have.

The reason some people have problems is because they don’t know their rights and they don’t ask the right questions when they encounter the police. If you are stopped by the police for any reason, ask:
“Are you detaining me?”
If no, then politely walk away. If they ask you anything or imply that they want to talk more, ask that question again.
If yes, then ask, “For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?”
If they don’t answer but start making requests or demands, ask it again. Say nothing until they answer. This is a common tactic, “I’ll be asking the questions here!” Yeah, you can ask all day long and I can stand here and stare at you.

The police in any city are far too busy to engage you in a friendly conversation; if they’re talking to you then they’re trying to find reasonable articulable suspicion (Terry again!) so that they can legally detain you. It always amazes me when people allow a highway patrolman to search their car. Is he looking for a frayed seatbelt or loose seat bolt so he can warn you of the danger? Of course not! He’s looking for probable cause to arrest you! No matter how friendly he acts, he’s not searching your car for your benefit- EVER. The same is true on the sidewalk downtown. He’s not interested in your 1911 and the beautiful leatherwork on your holster, he’s looking for reasonable suspicion so he can detain you, and then he’ll be looking for probable cause to arrest you. An officer doesn’t get awards and favorable performance reports because of the number of casual conversations he or she has, they get them for making arrests.




This + elevntymilliontrillion. I'll also add that the USSC has said specifically that there is no gun exception to Terry. Additionally the police CAN NOT detain you just because some libtard phones in a complaint about you. You must be committing a crime. The relevant case is Florida V. J.L. Also, after Heller, an officer who detains you for merely OCing legally is very likely commitiing a felony under 18usc242, although you'd never find a federal prosecutor with the integrity to prosecute it.

I.C.


Good luck with thinking that the Police "CAN NOT" detain you because some "libtard" calls 911. You can read all of the case law you want, if you dont know how to apply it, it doesnt do you any good. The Police can detain a person who is open carrying if they receive a call for service and they will dis-arm you for the time being. Dont get the wrong idea, Im very pro-gun, I just dont see the need to open carry. Its horribly dangerous considering most people who own guns are under trained on weapon retention, criminal law, criminal procedures, and so on. Not to mention that when some over zealous open carry idealist takes his gun to the mall and causes mass panic it gives the anti gun nuts all the ammo they need to try to restrict the laws we have.
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 1:03:38 PM EST
Either way, if they won't say you are being detained than you should be good to go. If they do detain you, even though you don't think they have the right, you'll just have to fight about it later.
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 2:08:20 PM EST
Why cause a problem? If the Police do detain you, be polite and explain yourself, whats 5 minutes out of your day? Why act like a constitutionalist? The more you act like you have something to hide, the more the Police will push the issue? Even if you are vidicated in the end you still probably bought yourself a headache you didnt need.
Link Posted: 9/14/2009 8:38:55 AM EST
I didn't notice anyone from Utah on here so... I OC all of the time, with little or no problems.
Link Posted: 9/14/2009 9:43:11 AM EST
I appreciate all the information on OC. I live in utah and CC, never have open carried. Somebody mentioned that there is no "edge" to CC over OC in a situation confronted by a criminal. But I also see no edge to OC in the same situation. I do however think there is unnecessary trouble with people freaking out and calling the police while OC. It just seems like CC is the way to go. But to each his own. I however would fight for anyone's right to OC and I am glad my state allows it.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:43:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 7:44:06 AM EST by Mainsail]
Originally Posted By Lyons:
Originally Posted By Insidious_calm:
Originally Posted By Mainsail:
Originally Posted By ViniVidivici:
Interesting, Mainsail......................I'd love to know what city/county cops in WA let you just "walk away" like that.

No, not givin' you shit, you would be well within your rights, it just surprises me that it would be like that.


Well, the Tacoma Police Department (Tacoma being the most crime infested city in the Northwest), in a park, in another park, and outside the Museum of Glass. The Museum incident originated when the security personnel called the police. Also, the Seattle Police Department while walking in downtown Seattle. When I do walk away, I’m polite and non-confrontational. I’m not looking to start trouble; I’m merely asserting my rights under the federal and state constitutions.

It’s not a matter of them ‘letting’ me walk away; they simply have no other choice. Since they cannot articulate a specific crime of which they suspect my involvement, the law (Terry v Ohio) says they cannot detain me. When I didn’t know my rights as well as I do now, I allowed myself to be dragged into debates with officers about open carry. It occurred to me that they really weren’t interested in the topic as much as they were trying to use intimidation to prevent me from exercising my rights.

I realized that carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, without understanding your rights (and the limitations the police have to obey) is downright stupid. The time is coming when the police will know if you’re carrying no matter how carefully you conceal it. The technology already exists; it’s only a matter of time until it’s used. You’re surprised ”it would be like that” but you shouldn’t be. The police don’t get to make up laws just because they don’t like the ones they have.

The reason some people have problems is because they don’t know their rights and they don’t ask the right questions when they encounter the police. If you are stopped by the police for any reason, ask:
“Are you detaining me?”
If no, then politely walk away. If they ask you anything or imply that they want to talk more, ask that question again.
If yes, then ask, “For suspicion of what crime are you detaining me?”
If they don’t answer but start making requests or demands, ask it again. Say nothing until they answer. This is a common tactic, “I’ll be asking the questions here!” Yeah, you can ask all day long and I can stand here and stare at you.

The police in any city are far too busy to engage you in a friendly conversation; if they’re talking to you then they’re trying to find reasonable articulable suspicion (Terry again!) so that they can legally detain you. It always amazes me when people allow a highway patrolman to search their car. Is he looking for a frayed seatbelt or loose seat bolt so he can warn you of the danger? Of course not! He’s looking for probable cause to arrest you! No matter how friendly he acts, he’s not searching your car for your benefit- EVER. The same is true on the sidewalk downtown. He’s not interested in your 1911 and the beautiful leatherwork on your holster, he’s looking for reasonable suspicion so he can detain you, and then he’ll be looking for probable cause to arrest you. An officer doesn’t get awards and favorable performance reports because of the number of casual conversations he or she has, they get them for making arrests.




This + elevntymilliontrillion. I'll also add that the USSC has said specifically that there is no gun exception to Terry. Additionally the police CAN NOT detain you just because some libtard phones in a complaint about you. You must be committing a crime. The relevant case is Florida V. J.L. Also, after Heller, an officer who detains you for merely OCing legally is very likely commitiing a felony under 18usc242, although you'd never find a federal prosecutor with the integrity to prosecute it.

I.C.


Good luck with thinking that the Police "CAN NOT" detain you because some "libtard" calls 911. You can read all of the case law you want, if you dont know how to apply it, it doesnt do you any good. The Police can detain a person who is open carrying if they receive a call for service and they will dis-arm you for the time being.


I don’t just think it; I have experience dealing with it on a first-hand basis. The police cannot detain you under any circumstances unless they can articulate a crime in which they suspect your involvement. The federal judge ruled as much in the case cited. They can certainly approach you and talk to you, but unless they have reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime is afoot, you can walk away at any time. I have been in the park (walk a few laps after breakfast on Sundays) and personally witnessed a typical libtard hissing into her cell phone that she could see my gun. She argued with dispatch because they were telling her it wasn’t unlawful and the police were not going to come. This is in the city of Tacoma, one of the largest cities in the state of Washington, not some village out in the middle of nowhere. I have been home with the scanner running while I was watching TV, heard a call come in that there was a “man with a gun” near the K-Mart. The officer drove by, observed the gun was lawfully carried in a holster, and reported to dispatch that it was just an open carrier, no crime. He never got out of his car! Now, this may not happen where you live but only because the police haven’t received the proper training. I was detained and disarmed once and after my complaint the police apparently received some training on the subject because it doesn’t happen anymore.


Dont get the wrong idea, Im very pro-gun, I just dont see the need to open carry. Its horribly dangerous considering most people who own guns are under trained on weapon retention, criminal law, criminal procedures, and so on. Not to mention that when some over zealous open carry idealist takes his gun to the mall and causes mass panic it gives the anti gun nuts all the ammo they need to try to restrict the laws we have.


First, I don’t carry openly as a ‘statement’ whatsoever, so my zeal is irrelevant. Can you please point out even one incident where there has ever in the history of the United States, a mass panic caused by lawful open carry? You, and others, like to speculate that such a thing would happen but those of us who carry openly find that it never happens. I don’t just open carry in the woods, I open carry as a daily part of my life in the city. Seattle is chock-full of libtards and hand-wringers, yet we carry openly without there ever being a panic. I don’t know about you, but most people will give much more weight to an argument based on actual experience than mere speculation.

The legislature isn’t going to write up laws to salve one party’s discomfort over the clearly articulated rights of another. Open carriers aren't the ones breaking the laws. Robbers of banks and convenience stores either enter with the gun in their hand already or carrying concealed; if laws are going to be written, they'll be written against concealed carry first. The time is coming when the police will know that you are carrying a firearm no matter how well you conceal it. The technology already exists. It’s the open carry folks today who are doing more to insure your right to carry than the majority that carry concealed and sit on their hands. Read The Open Carry Argument on page one of this thread, it lays it all out in easy to understand language.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:01:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/16/2009 8:02:48 AM EST by Mainsail]
Originally Posted By Lyons:
Why cause a problem? If the Police do detain you, be polite and explain yourself, whats 5 minutes out of your day? Why act like a constitutionalist? The more you act like you have something to hide, the more the Police will push the issue? Even if you are vidicated in the end you still probably bought yourself a headache you didnt need.


I don’t consider my civil rights, any of them, to be a “problem”. If the officer wants to have a discussion with me, he or she can meet me for a beer after work. Ask yourself, “What is his/her motivation for this discussion?” The officer has a goal, and the goal is to look for illegal activity so he or she can make an arrest. They do not have time to randomly stop people and chat, at least not here. (I can’t tell you how disturbing it is to hear a violent crime call “pending” when I’m listening to the scanner.)

Let’s go back to the example of allowing the Highway patrolman to search your car. “You don’t mind if I have a look through your car do you?” This is a loaded question. Whether you ‘mind’ or not is irrelevant, if you give your consent he has the right to use anything he or she might find against you in court. Say, for example, that meth manufacturers use the spring from a ballpoint pen in some part of the process. If the officer finds one under your seat, no matter how innocent you are, it can be used against you. Since it’s drug related they can also keep your car. This happened to a woman somewhere in the southeast, the police found that the cover plate that goes over the gas tank connections was missing (it had been left off by a mechanic fixing a problem), and decided that she could have used the compartment to transport drugs. This was enough for them to arrest her and confiscate her car. She spent far more on legal fees than the car was worth. Do you know everything there is to know about how drugs are used, sold, transported, or made? I sure don’t. So I would never consent to a vehicle search under any circumstances. Do I have anything to hide? No! But I also recognize my naiveté when it comes to illegal narcotics. It’s no different when I’m walking down the street; I will not consent to a discussion where the outcome could in any way possibly result in my arrest. It doesn’t matter if I’m carrying openly or just tripped over the curb, as much as I like the police, I’m not going to engage one in a discussion while they’re on duty. Oh, and I'm ALWAYS polite to the police, never confrontational.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 11:01:19 PM EST
This looks like a good thread and I'm going to have to go back and study it. Here in Minnesota we can open carry, I've heard. I've only once seen anyone doing so. I'm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota. I'm certain anyone seeing me with a gun strapped to my side would call the cops. I do not look like a cop by anyone's standard. Truth is, if I didn't know we had carry rights in the state I'd never know anyone was carrying. It's all hidden here. Although one day I saw a guy in the middle of a hot summer day dressed in shorts and shirt with his long 5.11 vest screaming 'I've got a gun under here!" I wanted to call him out but thought I'd just smile to myself instead. At least he was trying to be discreet about it.

GL
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