I live in Kitsap County, just on the out skirts of Port Orchard for many years and I have always carried openly. In all those years the only store or restaurant I have ever been asked to not take my gun in with me is Costco. I have no problem with that, after all I pay for my membership and in doing so I agree to their rules.
It was yesterday as I was leaving my branch of BoA the security guard approached me, he asked if had ever had trouble going in the bank openly carrying my handgun as I do all the time. I said no as I have never had anyone question me before this. I have had Sheriff Deputy’s ask me what I was carrying or sometimes a person will come up and say thank you for exercising your right to carry. Most of the time I confess a little embarrassed when this happens.
Here is why I have always carried openly first of all I rarely ever where a coat, one of the reasons I love living in Western Washington is for the most part I have little need for a coat because of that I just carry openly. I wear it when I go into any bank, Wal-Mart, Sizzler, The Aloha Kitchen (which has fantastic food by the way) Arco, 7-11 stores, anywhere you might go when you are running your errands or shopping. Never once I have ever had problem or had anything negative said.
Which brings me to the security guard who was armed I might add. I was astounded by how uniformed most people seem to be about whether you can carry openly or not. After explaining how my right to carry is protected by our State Constitution; I really am not trying to demonstrate or force anyone to respect my rights, I simply feel that the one time I leave my gun at home will be the one time I should have had it. Just think if just one person in Colorado had brought their gun with them that night it would have been a completely different outcome.
My personal opinion has always been that if every law abiding American Citizen carried their personal weapon with them we would see a drastic reduction in all crimes. As it is now the criminals have the upper hand as most of us do not own a gun of any kind, yet of those who do own a handgun very few choose to carry it. Even those who have concealed weapons permit do not carry every day.
Here is what I left the security guard with, ”Every time you leave your gun at home you risk becoming another stat on the crime sheet, by carrying your weapon with you are saying to criminal element that I am armed pass on by. I am just shy of 55 and I have carried openly for 30 of those years. Of course some of that I was during my service in the Army. Still, I would sooner leave my wallet and wrist watch than leave the house without my High-Point .45, currently my favorite handgun.
My better half also carry’s every where she goes as well, she does carry in her purse, which to this day I still think of as luggage. Any other males ever try to pick a women’s purse up? My Army back pack was not as heavy as my wife’s purse, I swear my last hernia surgery was because my attempt at picking it up for her.
Bottom line here I would rather have answer questions, show my ID to an officer of the law if asked then be somewhere needing it and not having it.