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Thread: How open is open?

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    Question How open is open?

    I know this is a silly question - but I have a hard time finding a definition of what constitutes "open carry" here in Colorado? I'm fairly certain I can tell when something is well concealed for CCW, but how open does carry have to be to be "open"?

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    Regular Member JamesB's Avatar
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    "Can I Open Carry in Colorado? YES. But this is not a simple yes; unfortunately, it is quite complicated.

    What exactly is Open Carry? There is no statutory definition of open carry. But put simply, it is the carrying of a firearm that is not concealed.

    Does it matter if it is loaded or not? SOMETIMES.

    In general, it does not change things legally if it is loaded or not. For example, in your car, the law does prohibit long guns with a round chambered, but not handguns..."


    stolen from: http://www.rmgo.org/gun-law-faqs/open-carry

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    As long as the sidearm is clearly visible to the casual observer and they can tell it is a firearm.

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    It's almost like I want pictures that say...
    this is concealed....this is open

    Or a nice rule like... at least x% of the weapon must be showing, etc...

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    While pondering your question I came across this definition:

    The following is *a* state law defining a concealed weapon:

    62.1-04-01. Definition of concealed. A firearm or dangerous weapon is concealed if it is carried in such a manner as to not be discernible by the ordinary observation of a passerby. There is no requirement that there be absolute invisibility of the firearm or dangerous weapon, merely that it not be ordinarily discernible. A firearm or dangerous weapon is considered concealed if it is not secured, and is worn under clothing or carried in a bundle that is held or carried by the individual, or transported in a vehicle under the individual's control or direction and available to the individual, including beneath the seat or in a glove compartment. A firearm or dangerous weapon is not considered concealed if it is:

    Carried in a belt holster which is wholly or substantially visible or carried in a case designed for carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon and which is wholly or substantially visible...
    I like that definition as a benchmark. I'm sure there's some who might disagree and I've heard that in Texas the mere printing of your firearm can be enough for it to no longer be considered concealed. Using that definition and being a more imaginative person I can picture a Jack-McCoy type DA arguing that a Ruger LCP NRA edition with a holster that has matching camouflage tape covering it and similar camo pants would no longer be considered open carry. But's that just me and years of Law & Order talking.

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    Where I personally cannot draw the line is what happens to someone who is undeniably open carrying but then puts on a clear rain coat. I can only guess it boils down to a function of the LEO's mentality and attitude over the legal resources available for prosecution.

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanShep73 View Post
    I know this is a silly question - but I have a hard time finding a definition of what constitutes "open carry" here in Colorado? I'm fairly certain I can tell when something is well concealed for CCW, but how open does carry have to be to be "open"?
    Howdy Pard!
    Here's an easy answer:
    Can you see clearly that somebody is carrying a handgun that isn't covered over by clothing or otherwise out of view? = concealed.

    Can you see that somebody is carrying a pistol that isn't covered by clothing and is in plain sight? = open carry.

    If nobody else can see it, it is concealed. If everybody can plainly see it, it is open.
    Doesn't matter whether it is an IBW holster or otherwise visible to the average observer that you are wearing a handgun, so long as it is 'seeable' by the average observer, it is open. If it is covered by a shirt, bulges considerably from your hip, fairly obvious that you are armed, but nevertheless covered by fabric or otherwise not exposed to direct observation, it is concealed.

    The rule here is much different than places back east whereby concealed carry requires that it not be visible at all, even when covered, and you'd get in trouble if it even 'prints'. So long as it is covered over somewhat by fabric or otherwise not visible directly to the observer, it is considered concealed. That's how things are in Colorado.

    Hope that helps sort it out.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin

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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    Howdy Pard!
    Here's an easy answer:
    Can you see clearly that somebody is carrying a handgun that isn't covered over by clothing or otherwise out of view? = concealed.

    Can you see that somebody is carrying a pistol that isn't covered by clothing and is in plain sight? = open carry.

    If nobody else can see it, it is concealed. If everybody can plainly see it, it is open.
    Doesn't matter whether it is an IBW holster or otherwise visible to the average observer that you are wearing a handgun, so long as it is 'seeable' by the average observer, it is open. If it is covered by a shirt, bulges considerably from your hip, fairly obvious that you are armed, but nevertheless covered by fabric or otherwise not exposed to direct observation, it is concealed.

    The rule here is much different than places back east whereby concealed carry requires that it not be visible at all, even when covered, and you'd get in trouble if it even 'prints'. So long as it is covered over somewhat by fabric or otherwise not visible directly to the observer, it is considered concealed. That's how things are in Colorado.

    Hope that helps sort it out.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    So if your sitting in a restaurant booth gun side to the wall?? It's not visible to the casual observer.
    Colorado Gun Owners - COGO
    http://www.ColoradoGunOwners.com

    A discussion forum for Colorado Gun Owners.

    Colorado Firearm law.
    http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/
    Lexis Nexis: Colorado law pertaining to firearms.
    Title 18, Article 12

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    Regular Member JamesB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    Howdy Pard!
    Here's an easy answer:
    Can you see clearly that somebody is carrying a handgun that isn't covered over by clothing or otherwise out of view? = concealed.

    Can you see that somebody is carrying a pistol that isn't covered by clothing and is in plain sight? = open carry.
    ...snip...

    Hope that helps sort it out.

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    mmm, didn't sort much out for me...can I get you to try that one again please?

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    Regular Member Red Dawg's Avatar
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    There is no crystal clear definition unfortunatly. In any state that I can find. From the corporate knowledge on the various forums, we have concluded the following:
    1. to be open, it should be visible while at a normal stance, and with the observer looking at the same side as the gun is on. If you are in a car, look at the local laws for transportaion, but for most, if it is in the same spot as described above, while you are seated, then it is, for the most states, still openly carried. Same goes for if you are sitting strong side in a booth or such at a restaurant.
    2. to be concealed, no one should know you are carrying it. Best way I can think to put it. Concealed, is concealed...
    The Second Amendment is in place
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    Thanks all! Need to get my holster on

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    Regular Member M-Taliesin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    So if your sitting in a restaurant booth gun side to the wall?? It's not visible to the casual observer.
    Howdy Beau!
    Yes, by virtue of not being covered by clothing. It is not concealed "on or about the body". The verbage of the law doesn't go very far to describe specific environments, and knowing you somewhat, I am a little surprised that you'd pick nits. It ain't covered by clothing and is visible to the casual observer. I'm pretty sure the wait person standing over the table would be able to see it, but the point remains... it isn't covered by clothing or cloth with intent to conceal.

    East of Aurora??? I didn't think you were THAT far east! LOL!!!

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Last edited by M-Taliesin; 03-31-2012 at 09:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanShep73 View Post
    I know this is a silly question - but I have a hard time finding a definition of what constitutes "open carry" here in Colorado? I'm fairly certain I can tell when something is well concealed for CCW, but how open does carry have to be to be "open"?
    Well, you can legally wear it on your head, but I wouldn't recommend it. Neck strain.

    The best definition of Open Carry I've heard is: "Directly observable and recognizable as a firearm by a casual observer." "Directly observable" means "eye to gun, with no fabric between." This clause is designed to eliminate "printing," when a firearm is concealed, but it's outline or shape details might show through the fabric.

    Similarly, the best definition of Concealed Carry I've heard is: "Not directly observable or recognizable as a firearm by a casual observer."

    Personally, I'm a huge fan of Constitutional Carry, which allows people to carry any way they see fit, as well as to go back and forth. Case in point: I went hiking with a friend in Garden of the God's Park on Saturday. I arrived OCing, and since I don't like to walk long distances, particularly over rough terrain while OCing, I was removing it for stowage in my water pack when my friend walked up and said, "Oh! Do you always carry that around with you?" I answered, "Yes, pretty much," which opened the door for the first ten minutes of conversation.

    I suppose I made an impression, as she wants to go hiking with me again next weekend!

    Back on topic... As OC is legal here in Colorado and CC is with a permit, I was good. Nor is there any prohibition about going back and forth, so if you have a CHP and your jacket blows open for a moment, it's all good. This is one of the reasons why I don't like the definition of CC as "no one should know you're carrying," particularly when my family, most of my friends, and an occasional passerby knows I'm carrying.
    Last edited by since9; 04-02-2012 at 04:30 PM.
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    Sigh...since no one cares to cite the actual statute and case law, I will.

    18-12-105. Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon - unlawful possession of weapons. (1) A person commits a class 2 misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:
    (a) Carries a knife concealed on or about his or her person; or
    (b) Carries a firearm concealed on or about his or her person; or
    The words "about the person" means sufficiently close to the person to be readily accessible for immediate use. People in Interest of R.J.A., 38 Colo. App. 346, 556 P.2d 491 (1976).
    "Concealed" means placed out of sight so as not to be discernible or apparent by ordinary observation. People ex rel. O.R., 220 P.3d 949 (Colo. App. 2008).
    Pistol tucked under edge of car seat. Where uncontested evidence established that pistol was tucked under the edge of a car seat on which petitioner was sitting, where it was within his easy reach, these circumstances constitute carrying a "firearm concealed on or about his person". People in Interest of R.J.A., 38 Colo. App. 346, 556 P.2d 491 (1976).
    Question of whether weapon is concealed is question of fact for the jury which should not be summarily determined by the trial judge at the time that he rules on the defendant's motion to suppress. People v. Vincent, 628 P.2d 107 (Colo. 1981).
    http://www.lpdirect.net/casb/crs/18-12-105.html
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
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    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Well, you can legally wear it on your head, but I wouldn't recommend it. Neck strain.

    The best definition I've heard is: "Directly observable and recognizable as a firearm by a casual observer." "Directly observable" means "eye to gun, with no fabric between." This clause is designed to eliminate "printing," when a firearm is concealed, but it's outline or shape details might show through the fabric.
    Since9, where do you hear these definitions? I ask as the summer looks like it's going to be a hot one and I'll probably be out on the town in Denver occasionally. I usually wear loose gauze shirts to CC, but I've noticed some of my white ones have gotten pretty sheer on a sunny day (not that I'd try to beat an OC charge based on "fabric between eye and gun"). I've gotten less nervous about printing in fitted tshirts. I mean they're not lycra/spandex things. It'd take a really trained eye, or someone specifically looking for a weapon to know what they saw when I leaned over to pick up litter wasn't a phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahkagari View Post
    Since9, where do you hear these definitions?
    Who knows? The one that matters is
    "Concealed" means placed out of sight so as not to be discernible or apparent by ordinary observation. People ex rel. O.R., 220 P.3d 949 (Colo. App. 2008).
    as stated above.
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Books are overrated; and so is history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mahkagari View Post
    Since9, where do you hear these definitions?
    Friends on the police force.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Suppose we try this approach:

    CONCEALED = HIDDEN

    OPEN CARRY = NOT HIDDEN/DISPLAYED

    BY DISPLAYING IN A BELT HOLSTER - the person is carrying the firearm notoriously(no intent to conceal)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    Suppose we try this approach:

    CONCEALED = HIDDEN

    OPEN CARRY = NOT HIDDEN/DISPLAYED

    BY DISPLAYING IN A BELT HOLSTER - the person is carrying the firearm notoriously(no intent to conceal)
    Lol...apparently Rule #5 isn't big in the Colorado subforum...

    (5) CITE TO AUTHORITY: If you state a rule of law, it is incumbent upon you to try to cite, as best you can, to authority. Citing to authority, using links when available,is what makes OCDO so successful. An authority is a published source of law that can back your claim up - statute, ordinance, court case, newspaper article covering a legal issue, etc.
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Books are overrated; and so is history.

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Even in courts of law - Some things are what may commonly be referred to as "self-evident" - Kind of a "common sense", not "rocket-science" sort of concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Who knows? The one that matters is

    as stated above.
    Not really, since we're talking about Denver. At least I am. I.e the Colorado law that defines illegally concealing a weapon doesn't have a whole lot to do with Denver's ban on openly carrying a firearm. The question changes from "what is concealed" under CO law to "what is open display" in Denver.

    Though, maybe I'm wrong. Anyone have the Denver ordinance? I'd look it up, but there are plenty of people better at that than I am. Does it just say "if it's not concealed like the CO statute says is illegal if you don't have a license then it's like totally illegal in Denver".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Lol...apparently Rule #5 isn't big in the Colorado subforum...
    I'm often fond of saying "rules are for people who don't have manners". Have a seat, friend. Can I get you one of our fine Colorado microbrews?

    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Friends on the police force.
    Thanks. I understand you to be sharing your opinion and experience on the odds of common usage for enforcement, but I don't see you claiming it to carry the weight of law.

    Everyone else who cares to play "IANAL but am going to lay my **** on the table to measure just how many millimeters I can eek out over the other guys' casual conversation with a tenuously related citation", may I suggest you take the time to enjoy our 300 days of sunshine? Well, not today. Or tomorrow for that matter. Well, in that case, here, suck on this Rocky Mountain Oyster to pacify you while the rest of us get back to saying, "Howdy, neighbor". I'll even chip in for tokens to Casa Bonita.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInBlack View Post
    Sigh...since no one cares to cite the actual statute and case law, I will.

    Pistol tucked under edge of car seat. Where uncontested evidence established that pistol was tucked under the edge of a car seat on which petitioner was sitting, where it was within his easy reach, these circumstances constitute carrying a "firearm concealed on or about his person". People in Interest of R.J.A., 38 Colo. App. 346, 556 P.2d 491 (1976).

    http://www.lpdirect.net/casb/crs/18-12-105.html
    That one irritates me since it's such a conflict to section c. I believe last time I read the code for my town they used that clause with the exclusion of C to read that without a CHP, you're not allowed to carry in your car within town. I doubt it would stand up to state law. I wonder if they've ever tried to nab someone with it and if that person lacked the means for a defense.

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    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Taliesin View Post
    Howdy Beau!
    Yes, by virtue of not being covered by clothing. It is not concealed "on or about the body". The verbage of the law doesn't go very far to describe specific environments, and knowing you somewhat, I am a little surprised that you'd pick nits. It ain't covered by clothing and is visible to the casual observer. I'm pretty sure the wait person standing over the table would be able to see it, but the point remains... it isn't covered by clothing or cloth with intent to conceal.

    East of Aurora??? I didn't think you were THAT far east! LOL!!!

    Blessings,
    M-Taliesin
    Hey M-T,

    I wasn't so much as picking nits as I was making a point. A poorly made one, but still a point.

    My point being that when we pick nits, or nit pick if you prefer, by trying to overly define what is OC we are setting ourselves up for a wide variety of interpretation. I feel that OC should be defined only to say that it is carrying a firearm in a manner that it is visible, or may become visible, to others.
    Colorado Gun Owners - COGO
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    A discussion forum for Colorado Gun Owners.

    Colorado Firearm law.
    http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/
    Lexis Nexis: Colorado law pertaining to firearms.
    Title 18, Article 12

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    Regular Member rushcreek2's Avatar
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    Even statutory citations are subject to the application of some measure of common sense. Being a former resident of Texas where "rules of thumb" generally "clarify" the "law" - I've happily adopted the even better Coloradoan perspective that some things are simply what they are - period.

    The signs posted at the entrance to the County Tax Collectors office at Airport & Powers speaks for itself - I think....

    " NO DISPLAY OF FIREARMS"

    My "citation" is .... if it ain't DISPLAYED...it is either CONCEALED, or not present.

    Historically, the term NOTORIOUSLY was ascribed to any activity not HIDDEN FROM GENERAL PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. When you wear a holstered firearm that is not hidden from observation - it is not concealed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rushcreek2 View Post
    My "citation" is .... if it ain't DISPLAYED...it is either CONCEALED, or not present.

    Historically, the term NOTORIOUSLY was ascribed to any activity not HIDDEN FROM GENERAL PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. When you wear a holstered firearm that is not hidden from observation - it is not concealed.
    In Mississippi, an openly-displayed handgun in a belt holster is concealed.

    This is why "common-sense" legal interpretations are worth about as much as a winter parka in Haiti. I'm not going to stake my liberty or possibly even my life on someone's good-ol-boy truisms. I will go by what the courts that will judge me [are supposed to] go by: statute and precedent.
    Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    All the talk about Overthrowing Big Government, Revolution, etc., it's just another one of those nostalgic ideas that individuals have idealized.
    O RLY?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...and_rebellions
    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    Books are overrated; and so is history.

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