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Thread: New to forum and OC

  1. #1
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    New to forum and OC

    Just got my permit, and have yet to OC. I don't expect it to draw much attention here in our small town, especially given the number of outdoorsman/hunters here. I just got a holster I like for my S&W Airweight, so I'll be taking it out for a spin soon. My question to anyone reading is, how did you handle your first OC experience? Where did you go? What time of day? Did you encounter any problems? Any thoughts, tips are welcome. Thanks!

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    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    Well let me be the first to welcome you aboard. Be sure to stick around and feed your brain and educate yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTNBill View Post
    Just got my permit, and have yet to OC. I don't expect it to draw much attention here in our small town, especially given the number of outdoorsman/hunters here. I just got a holster I like for my S&W Airweight, so I'll be taking it out for a spin soon. My question to anyone reading is, how did you handle your first OC experience? Where did you go? What time of day? Did you encounter any problems? Any thoughts, tips are welcome. Thanks!
    My first OC experience was at Wal-mart. I went there sometime around 8 to 9 P.M. to pick up some supplies. I didn't encounter any problems and really didn't get that many looks either (I think one woman may have finally noticed it as I was walking out the door). In my time as an OC'er, I've really encountered a problem only once (go to the "TN open carry report thread" that is stickied at the top of this board and read the last three posts as of now for the details, if you wish).

    As far as tips, keep in mind that you will probably experience some nervousness the first few times you do it. However, try your best not to show it. The way I like to describe it, "walk in the store like you own the place." In other words, try to act as confident as you can. Acting nervous (constantly looking at your gun, keeping your head down, avoiding eye contact, etc.) will make it more likely that you will get noticed and also increase your chances of someone making a MWAG call ("man with a gun," or woman, as the case may be).

    Also, make sure that, in addition to knowing where carrying is prohibited by state law, you watch for signs stating that weapons are prohibited. To be statutorily binding, a location must post signs at all reasonable entrances. These signs must contain wording that is "substantially similar" to the statute (meaning it states that weapons are prohibited, that this prohibition is made pursuant to Tennessee state law, and that violating this prohibition is a criminal offense); or they must be a "gunbuster" sign (circle-slash with a gun in the middle). If either requirement is met ("substantially similar language" or "gunbuster" sign), then you may NOT legally carry in that location. Theoretically, you can be arrested just for carrying past such a valid sign. If the location has a "no guns" sign that doesn't meet the statutory requirements (like the Johnson City Mall, for example), proceed with caution (officially, I have to recommend that you don't carry in these locations either; unofficially, I will state as a simple matter of fact that "concealed is concealed," and people in these locations with non-complying sings would not be likely to notice a concealed weapon).

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Nothing in this message is, or should be construed as, legal advice. I accept no responsibility for any actions you may take or may not take based on this information. For legal advice, consult an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction (as a new person to this forum, let me also let you know that, anytime you talk about laws in a way that could be construed as legal advice and are not an attorney, it is generally considered a good practice by many on this forum to include a disclaimer like this one).
    Last edited by Nascar24Glock; 11-24-2012 at 11:47 PM.
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
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    Well folks, just had my first (mostly) OC experience. Decided to go to the local Food City, since this is a place I visit 2 or 3 times a week and am very comfortable with. I had my Airweight holstered in the 3:00 position, uncovered by my shirt, and I had on a fleece jacket unzipped. I wanted the weapon to be visible, but wasn't quite ready for wide open view yet. The tip of the holster protrudes below the jacket, so it's pretty obvious I'm carrying. I had to pause at the front door to read all the signage to make sure they didn't have posted for no firearms. Funny, but I've been in there thousands of times, but never paid attention to the signs out front. (I fiddled with my cell phone so it didn't look obvious that I was hesitating before entry.) Well, since I had my shirt and shoes on, I was ready to go in! I was kind of nervous at first until I realized, "No one is staring at me!" I expect most first time deals go much like this, but it was 100% uneventful to anyone but me. In fact, I ran into someone I know, and talked for a few minutes, and basically forgot I even had my firearm. I appreciated Nascar24Glock's advice to refrain from looking at my weapon constantly, and going in confidently. I have to say, by the time I got to aisle 3 it was basically just like any trip to the market. I believe 100% in legally carried weapons, and my advice to other 1st timers is, to keep in mind, what you are doing is perfectly legal, and in my opinion, an exercise of a constitutional right. The more we OC, the more accepted it becomes! Thanks to all for the advice, and I'll be seeing you all on here a lot!

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    Ok, had my second OC experience today... same Food City, different results. The funny thing is, I was actually more concealed this time, yet got some odd looks. Same Airweight in 4:00 position, but this time my jacket was zipped, so all that was visible was about an inch of the holster protruding under the jacket. Stopped in at about 8:15 this morning for a quick 1 item in & out. As I was checking out, there was a man and woman chatting across from the register, and I heard the man say (at a lower volume than their conversation) "Yeah, I saw it." Now, I may be paranoid, but am most sure the comment was directed at me. Funny thing is, the man is someone I've known for almost 30 years and is a good friend of the family! Maybe if he weren't focusing on my handgun, he would have looked at my face and realized who I was, which I'm sure would have resulted in at least 10 minutes of conversation! Anyway, as I turned to leave the cashier at the self checkout terminals (oxymoron?) was turned fully toward me giving me a stare like none other! I simply smiled, and said "Y'all have a good day!" and walked out... no reply from anyone! Oh well, I'm chalking this up to the fact that this was a much older group of folks, and they may not have liked the way I look regardless of my handgun. We'll see how things go in the future and I'm sure more stories will follow! On a side note, we're going for my wife's permit this morning. Although she has no desire to OC at all, she has agreed to carry, and we're going to be getting her first gun soon. In the meantime, I'm going to lose the Airweight S&W to her, so I'll be toting my .380. Good day to all!!

  6. #6
    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTNBill View Post
    Ok, had my second OC experience today... same Food City, different results. The funny thing is, I was actually more concealed this time, yet got some odd looks. Same Airweight in 4:00 position, but this time my jacket was zipped, so all that was visible was about an inch of the holster protruding under the jacket. Stopped in at about 8:15 this morning for a quick 1 item in & out. As I was checking out, there was a man and woman chatting across from the register, and I heard the man say (at a lower volume than their conversation) "Yeah, I saw it." Now, I may be paranoid, but am most sure the comment was directed at me. Funny thing is, the man is someone I've known for almost 30 years and is a good friend of the family! Maybe if he weren't focusing on my handgun, he would have looked at my face and realized who I was, which I'm sure would have resulted in at least 10 minutes of conversation! Anyway, as I turned to leave the cashier at the self checkout terminals (oxymoron?) was turned fully toward me giving me a stare like none other! I simply smiled, and said "Y'all have a good day!" and walked out... no reply from anyone! Oh well, I'm chalking this up to the fact that this was a much older group of folks, and they may not have liked the way I look regardless of my handgun. We'll see how things go in the future and I'm sure more stories will follow! On a side note, we're going for my wife's permit this morning. Although she has no desire to OC at all, she has agreed to carry, and we're going to be getting her first gun soon. In the meantime, I'm going to lose the Airweight S&W to her, so I'll be toting my .380. Good day to all!!
    I really wouldn't consider this OC... "I was actually more concealed this time" Now there is nothing wrong with how your carried and I'm not saying to do anything different...

    But...I have always said that "poor" concealment is worse that total CC or total OC. Total CC and no on sees it, Total OC and it is obvious you aren't trying to hide it. However poorly concealed looks like you are attempting to hide it, but haven't been able to.

    That said...some folks do just like to talk more than others as well...lol
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

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    I agree that this instance would be more of an "in between" carry. I wear it on the belt, just because the IWB carry isn't comfortable for me. I could have removed my jacket, but probably would have looked even more odd to see a guy walking around in 25 degree weather with no coat on, and carrying a gun. I'm still trying to figure out what's going to be best for me, and am probably going to go with a smaller gun, or something I can pocket carry. Out of curiosity, how do most people open carry in colder weather? I want to find my "good fit" in terms of gun / holster / carry style etc. so any advice is welcome!

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    Regular Member Fallguy's Avatar
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    I really didn't mean there was anything wrong with how you carried. All-in-all it makes sense, OWB and with cold weather, had a jacket on. I just saw it as an opputunity to mention a point I had made before.

    Can't really give you any advice...Although I am a strong advocate for OC, I choose to CC 99.9% of the time for a variety of reasons...
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTNBill View Post
    ...Out of curiosity, how do most people open carry in colder weather? I want to find my "good fit" in terms of gun / holster / carry style etc. so any advice is welcome!
    How do I open carry in cold weather? Simple: I don't get cold that easily. So, I often wear light jackets that can be tucked behind the gun. And, since I get hot pretty easily, I usually take my jacket off immediately upon entering a store.
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

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    Leaving work last night, I saw the wife's van at Walgreen's, so I decided to pop in and grab a few things before she checked out. Straight from work, so I had on tie and jacket. Amazing how somewhat dressed up, walking the store with wife and 2 kids, people didn't even seem to notice the gun at all! In fact, I was looking at a vintage Atari game thing they just released, and I saw a manager doing inventory across the aisleway. He puts his stuff down to walk over to me, and I'm thinking "What now?" He comes over and says: "Hey, have you played one of those yet?" Funny, but it seems like a tie almost renders the gun invisible! New carry style: FOC (formal open carry)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastTNBill View Post
    Leaving work last night, I saw the wife's van at Walgreen's, so I decided to pop in and grab a few things before she checked out. Straight from work, so I had on tie and jacket. Amazing how somewhat dressed up, walking the store with wife and 2 kids, people didn't even seem to notice the gun at all! In fact, I was looking at a vintage Atari game thing they just released, and I saw a manager doing inventory across the aisleway. He puts his stuff down to walk over to me, and I'm thinking "What now?" He comes over and says: "Hey, have you played one of those yet?" Funny, but it seems like a tie almost renders the gun invisible! New carry style: FOC (formal open carry)
    Yep. Like I and FallGuy said, if you fully open carry it and act confident, you are highly unlikely to attract attention. I've even open carried with a white t-shirt (my gun is pitch black) without anyone noticing it.
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

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