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Thread: Public handling of firearms

  1. #1
    Regular Member rightwinglibertarian's Avatar
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    Public handling of firearms

    I'm of the opinion that in order to normalize the idea of bearing arms I would OC exclusively. However what if there is a curious member of the public that wants to take a look at it? Now, clearly one would have to be well on his guard but is there a way to show a person the firearm without inducing panic, falling foul of brandishing laws etc. While many have become aware I am a rather militant Constitutionalist I will certainly accept the fact some will be genuinely curious and yet not afraid. I know the first time I saw a semi-automatic at a Christian camp in Ohio on a member some 10+ years ago I was a little wow-ed and curious but certainly not afraid. Went on to shoot clay pigeons using what i'm guessing was a rifle but all I know is it wasnt a handgun. In any case what options would I have?
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    A handgun can be unloaded and some basic rules reviewed before allowing someone to look at a gun. Somewhat harder with a long gun because of muzzle control. But if no one else is near, it seems like it could work.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    "There are laws prohibiting the brandishing of firearms. I'm sorry, but showing you my handgun would involve violating those laws. If you want to see one like mine I suggest you go to a gun store where you would not be violating the laws against brandishing."

    Twice now reporters have asked to see my handgun. Directly asked me to take it out of the holster. Both times their TV cameras were rolling. Both times I gave them essentially the above response - while showing them my digital voice recorder with the red LED flashing. Aolo both times several other OCers who were with me chimed in with similar statements and similar displays of voice and video recorders of their own.

    One reporter was young and at least appeared to be naive - the consensus was she was put up to asking the question. The other one was well-known as a gun control advocate.

    There are other folks who, in social situations in public, seem to feel that hauling out and showing/passing around their BBQ gun is no big deal. Besides the possible legal aspects, the administrative handling of firearms just increases the number of chances for something to go wrong - anything from dropping your Colt Walker No. 1 to a NG.

    YMMV.

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Can't speak to WI but in TX we do not have a "brandishing" law. It wouldn't necessarily be illegal to clear your weapon and allow someone to look it over, but it'd still be very ill-advised in my opinion regardless of the legalities. BIG EDIT: Of course I am thinking of rifles since I am in Texas, handguns you cannot legally possess at all in public unless carrying "under the authority" of the CHL law, and the CHL law forbids the intentional display of the firearm to another person in public unless the use of force is justified. So, yeah...

    Of course there are the safety issues, as mentioned...

    But, I think maybe just as important is that perpetuating an attitude toward firearms that's casual enough to take it out of a holster or off of a shoulder in a public setting surrounded by strangers is not really beneficial. I think that responding that, no, they cannot see/hold your firearm serves to instill a respect and more serious attitude toward firearms that should be there.

    Just my opinion.
    Last edited by stealthyeliminator; 08-14-2014 at 09:44 PM.
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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Personally, I get somewhat uncomfortable when a certain friend of mine "shows me his guns." I always feel as if the person who is showing me the weapon is less safe than I am, and although I've never had a friend have an accident and nothing truly unsafe has ever happened when handling a firearm with my friends, this is simply my mindset. I'll call a cease-fire in a heartbeat if I see unsafe practices. I'm a true stickler for gun safety and I scrutinize people's every move when handling a firearm. As said in another thread I even carry Condition 3 whenever I have my 19 month old with me. I've since decided to carry Condition 2 at all times except late night situations. This is irrelevant, but some background.

    That being said, I tend to agree with Skidmark and would likely reply in the same manner.

    Unrelated - at Colonial gun club in VA the guy behind the counter swept the muzzle of a 9mm pistol I was renting for my fianceE right through my and her center mass. Granted, the action was open and it was unloaded. I didn't say anything, but it really pissed me off. I don't care if you just 5 seconds ago held the open action up to the sun and could count the rifling grooves in the barrel with the magazine in your hand - you simply never point a gun in the direction of anyone, ever, unless you intend on killing them. Period. That's how my Dad taught me anyway. I even point the pistol down on its end as I carry it in the grocery basket from the desk to the range booth. I don't like being handed a weapon in a grocery basket like it's a bag of potato chips and I'm at the checkout. Just the same, I have only unholstered my pistol ONCE while carrying not at my home since I bought it, and I was inside my friend's house and spent about a minute and a half lecturing on safety procedure before I even unholstered it. His roommate was present and is a Navy veteran. Like I said, I'm just a stickler. I don't think it's appropriate in public view to brandish a firearm in any way shape or form unless it is being used in self-defense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Public handling of firearms

    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    I've since decided to carry Condition 2 at all times except late night situations. .
    Interesting, that's the first time in a while I've heard of someone carrying in condition 2 recently. Just curious what your thinking is?
    Last edited by PeterNSteinmetz; 08-14-2014 at 11:24 PM. Reason: cl

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Even if it wasn't some clever ploy to get me to unload my sidearm, why would I?

    If that particular person is a close enough acquaintance where I would show him my firearm, than he's also a close enough acquaintance to wait for another opportunity to do this in the privacy of a home or at a shooting range.

    As for Condition 2, in addition to the awkwardness of cocking a single-action auto during the stress of needing it, there is the curious situation of how did you get the hammer down in the first place? This is not to say it can't be done, and cocking in itself is not a huge detriment, nor would I say someone can't carry a single-action revolver which would need it for every shot. You are just giving up many advantages of a design that can safely have a cocked hammer while carrying.

    As for Condition 3, an unloaded chamber, even if I knew I had the time to load it, I'd hate having to hope I had both hands free to do so, especially if one of those hands may be trying to control or protect a child in the mix. Never mind the stress involved in such a critical function and one of the most likely times to induce a malfunction.

    I just don't see why there is any justification for not carrying a gun ready to go, when that is its design. If there is some sort of "safety" being attempted, holster design needs to be brought back to the table.

    If a firearm type was mentioned, I missed it, so this applies to a single-action semi-automatic, which is the usual design when the "Conditions" are being discussed.
    Last edited by MAC702; 08-15-2014 at 12:54 AM.
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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterNSteinmetz View Post
    Interesting, that's the first time in a while I've heard of someone carrying in condition 2 recently. Just curious what your thinking is?
    I've found that I am actually more accurate shooting double-action, and in terms of the time it takes to draw and shoot, the difference between SA/DA is basically none for me. Maybe some guys want to be able to shoot as fast as possible, but for me that extra millisecond is going to be spent making sure I am properly aimed and if possible I will strife, not concentrating on how hard or fast I need to pull the trigger. Plus it takes basically zero effort for me to cock the hammer back as I draw if I want SA. A short, swift strife as I'm about to shoot is an ideal situation for me, playing both offense and defense. If I was ever truly in that kind of danger and it wasn't hand to hand contact, I wouldn't want to be flat footed.

    In the case of a safety mechanism, I'd imagine I would carry Condition 0 in high stress situations or Condition 3. I see no point in carrying with the safety on, personally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    I've found that I am actually more accurate shooting double-action, and in terms of the time it takes to draw and shoot, the difference between SA/DA is basically none for me. Maybe some guys want to be able to shoot as fast as possible, but for me that extra millisecond is going to be spent making sure I am properly aimed and if possible I will strife, not concentrating on how hard or fast I need to pull the trigger. Plus it takes basically zero effort for me to cock the hammer back as I draw if I want SA. A short, swift strife as I'm about to shoot is an ideal situation for me, playing both offense and defense. If I was ever truly in that kind of danger and it wasn't hand to hand contact, I wouldn't want to be flat footed.

    In the case of a safety mechanism, I'd imagine I would carry Condition 0 in high stress situations or Condition 3. I see no point in carrying with the safety on, personally.
    Okay, what firearm type are you using, and what are you calling Condition 0?
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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    there is the curious situation of how did you get the hammer down in the first place?
    My P229 has a de-cocking lever.

    As for Condition 3, an unloaded chamber, even if I knew I had the time to load it, I'd hate having to hope I had both hands free to do so, especially if one of those hands may be trying to control or protect a child in the mix. Never mind the stress involved in such a critical function and one of the most likely times to induce a malfunction.
    I no longer carry Condition 3, although I did for a while. I also practiced the Modified Israeli Mossad Draw fairly regularly.

    I just don't see why there is any justification for not carrying a gun ready to go, when that is its design. If there is some sort of "safety" being attempted, holster design needs to be brought back to the table.
    See above post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

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    Regular Member The Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Okay, what firearm type are you using, and what are you calling Condition 0?
    Sig Sauer P229SP .40

    I understand it this way:

    0 = safety off, cocked, one in the hole, loaded mag
    1 = safety on, cocked, one in the hole, loaded mag
    2 = de-cocked, one in the hole, loaded mag
    3 = de-cocked, empty hole, loaded mag
    4 = de-cocked, empty hole, empty mag

    EDIT* I also use a holster that is strictly friction retention. No straps or anything, just a tight leather sheath.

    Correct me if I am mistaken...
    Last edited by The Truth; 08-15-2014 at 01:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator
    So in actuality you have no evidence that anything wrong took place, you only believe that it could be spun to appear wrong. But it hasn't been. The truth has a funny way of coming out with persistence, even if it was spun negatively the truth would find its way because these people will not accept less.
    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The truth causes some people so much pain they can only respond with impotent laughable insults. Life must be rough for those people.

  12. #12
    Regular Member kinggabby's Avatar
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    I agree it is stupid to handle your firearm in public. The only time mine would come out is if I had to use it Heaven forbid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rightwinglibertarian View Post
    [ ... ] the firearm without inducing panic, falling foul of brandishing laws etc. [ ... ]
    Brandishing is not an element of Wisconsin statute law. On information and belief, neither is "inducing panic" but I'll have to verify that.

    ETA: I found four mentions of panic in Wisconsin statute law, two only were in criminal statutes and each referred to AOW's, machine guns, bombs, grenades or teargas.

    ETA: The adverbial form of foul is afoul
    Last edited by Nightmare; 08-15-2014 at 08:24 AM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Truth View Post
    .... I also practiced the Modified Israeli Mossad Draw fairly regularly.
    ....
    How's that working for you when you are carrying your kid?

    stay safe.
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    For those of you who think Israeli style is the thing to do.

    How to you carry a revolver.

    A well designed modern firearm Like the Sigs only discharge for one reason some one pulled the trigger on a loaded chamber.

    When it comes to saving your life KISS works very well. In training I seen way to many TRAINED people let alone persons who do not train a lot screw up when adding extra steps into the process.

    That in just in training let alone when some one is trying to kill you.

    As far as handling guns in public I see no reason to un holster and just show people ones EDC.
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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Guns are not toys. Don't play with them. That's how people get shot (unintentionally). Period.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rightwinglibertarian View Post
    I'm of the opinion that in order to normalize the idea of bearing arms I would OC exclusively. However what if there is a curious member of the public that wants to take a look at it? Now, clearly one would have to be well on his guard but is there a way to show a person the firearm without inducing panic, falling foul of brandishing laws etc...
    You're kidding, right?

    You're not kidding???

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    I wonder how many Israelis would choose to carry an empty chamber if they weren't forced to do so by someone with a desk job.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    Rule #1} In public the gun stays in the holster
    Rule #2} Refer to Rule #1

  20. #20
    Regular Member March Hare's Avatar
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    Invite them to the range, show them the firearm(s) and teach them to shoot!

    Aside from that, keep it holstered.

    -MH
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Some of you do not have laws against brandishing. That law here in Virginia is my fall-back for not coming across as mean-spirited and not willing to share and whatever else somebody might think of me when I tell them "No". It's also my teachable moment - we "gun nuts" both know the laws and we obey them.

    What do you folks say - other than just plain "No"?

    Can you turn the situation into a teachable moment? What do you try to teach the other person? How do you do it without getting all wrapped up in jargon like "administrative handling" and "booger hook"/"bang switch"?

    stay safe.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by March Hare View Post
    Invite them to the range, show them the firearm(s) and teach them to shoot!

    Aside from that, keep it holstered.

    -MH
    But they are not interested in going to the range or "learning"* how to shoot.

    They want to see your gun - and not just the part sticking out of the holster. They might also want to hold it/touch it, pin it around on their finger like the cowboys in the movies do. And they want to do all that in the frozen food aisle at Wal-Mart.

    stay safe.

    * nobody needs to "learn" how to shoot. Everybody past the age of two has seen movies and TV and knows how to do it just from that.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member March Hare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    But they are not interested in going to the range or "learning"* how to shoot.

    They want to see your gun - and not just the part sticking out of the holster. They might also want to hold it/touch it, pin it around on their finger like the cowboys in the movies do. And they want to do all that in the frozen food aisle at Wal-Mart.

    stay safe.

    * nobody needs to "learn" how to shoot. Everybody past the age of two has seen movies and TV and knows how to do it just from that.
    Wow, ouch.

    If they wanted to see it, I -might- take it out of the holster and show it to them, depending on who they were and where we were.
    I would keep control of the firearm, since it is loaded and carried with a round in the chamber.

    I don't think it's rude or mean spirited to tell someone that you're not comfortable with people handling your sidearm.

    If they wanted to learn more about my personal self defense sidearm, I would invite them to the range where I can instruct them in the safe handling and operation of my pistol and let them avail themselves of the other firearms in my collection.

    Aside from that, it stays in the holster where it belongs, it's happy there.

    Sorry, that's just the way I was raised, firearms are not toys to be passed around and played with.

    -MH
    Last edited by March Hare; 08-15-2014 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Getting bit.
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    Regular Member rightwinglibertarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    You're kidding, right?

    You're not kidding???
    heh.... I grew up in the UK. Guns are so dangerous and evil there even the police don't have them apart from a special firearms unit

    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    But they are not interested in going to the range or "learning"* how to shoot.

    They want to see your gun - and not just the part sticking out of the holster. They might also want to hold it/touch it, pin it around on their finger like the cowboys in the movies do. And they want to do all that in the frozen food aisle at Wal-Mart.

    stay safe.

    * nobody needs to "learn" how to shoot. Everybody past the age of two has seen movies and TV and knows how to do it just from that.

    right......you mean the way gangsters hold the gun sideways and the way you see them firing a revolver by swiping the hammer in the old cowboy and indian movies? ummm.....ok then, you have fun with that opinion
    "Which part of shall not be infringed is so difficult to understand"?

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  25. #25
    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rightwinglibertarian View Post
    SNIP...you mean the way gangsters hold the gun sideways and the way you see them firing a revolver by swiping the hammer in the old cowboy and indian movies? ummm.....ok then, you have fun with that opinion
    Skip to 1:20 for almost proper "bird man" shooting stance.

    You'll notice the firearm was placed sideways but was not held at the correct height (above eye level, preferably above forehead level).
    You'll also notice he makes a tough face and shouts at least one obscenity, both of which contribute to the amazing accuracy that followed.
    Finally, you'll notice he was holding his pistol in one hand and his junk in the other, giving him faster follow-up shots and stability.


    To the OP: In all seriousness, DO NOT remove your sidearm in public. You risk running afoul of brandishing laws and may cause a Negligent Discharge (any and all handling/fondling of a loaded firearm increases the risk compared to not handling/fondling the same loaded firearm).

    The only time I hand my 1911 off in "public" is at the "gun-tying table" to enter the gun shows, and even then I have my recorder going and don't hand it off until I've cleared it while pointing the muzzle at the little barrel provided for such purposes.
    Last edited by Rusty Young Man; 08-15-2014 at 04:52 PM.
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