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Thread: First Time Open Carry

  1. #1
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    First Time Open Carry

    I could not help but to post this as I have spent a lot of time on this forum as a visitor. It's nice to finally have an account here.

    I just recently purchased my first firearm. An Armalite 9mm compact to be exact. I prefer open carry but was wary about how people would react. I have owned the handgun for about 2 weeks but have had a lot of range time with other peoples weapons. After scouring this forum for when it was appropriate to carry (I.E. convenient stores) I decided I was finally going to carry and see how people reacted (as far as Silver City goes).

    My first venture was to a Burger King for some walk out burgers. When I came into the store it was empty except for the people working there. After ordering, everything seemed peachy and I tried to keep an extra (I am a good person smile) going. One of the workers took a quick glance at my firearm ,as if I would not notice, then continued her business. Nobody commented or really seemed to care. It was nice especially for my first time. I immediately turned around to go to a Chevron, that does not sell liquor of course, to buy some cigarettes. I got cold feet before walking in and looked for signs posted about firearms. Even though I didn't see any I left my handgun in the truck. After getting my things I asked if they had a open carry policy. One was slightly ignorant saying that as long as I have a license to open carry. I quickly informed her you do not need a license and looked to the other gentlemen. He replied saying I was right and that in fact he carries as well. I told them they have my business any day.

    I returned to the store a couple days later and there was a different woman working there. I got my soda and walked to the counter. I am not sure whether she noticed I had my firearm or not but seemed to be completely oblivious.

    All in all it was a nice experience and am more confident in open carrying.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard OCDO.

    OC gets easier the more you do it......just like anything else. Enjoy your new found freedom.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member qednick's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! Although I'm from Texas, I have OC'd through New Mexico and I've yet to even notice anyone even giving me a second look. Carry on the good work!!

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    Regular Member wabbit's Avatar
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    welcome to the land of enchantment's OC sub forum...

    enjoy your OC'g as it gets less nerve racking the more you do it..

  5. #5
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    Apollo221 ,

    I used to OC in NM also when I lived in El Paso, TX, and visited quite regularly (mainly frequent trips to Las Cruces)...still OC when I visit NM occasionally (ABQ & Rio Rancho). No issues.

    Just be sure to avoid those places off limits by law, and of course Indian reservations, too.

    Most people just don't notice us OCing probably in ANY state that allows OC. So whether I OC in NM or here in CO, most people don't notice. I've seen people look -- like the large party-of-8 at a table I passed by while having coffee a local Denny's today -- but 99.9% of the time they say nothing. Sometimes I see them clearly noticing, then point out to others in their group (or kids to their Mom or Dad) "that guys has a gun." Still, I don't HEAR from them about it -- no alarms raised, no complaints to the manager, no police showing up. Usually a non-event.

    Even if people DO notice, they likely assume you're some sort of LEO, either plainclothes on-duty (even if you don't have a badge on your belt) or simply off-duty. Most probably don't think you're an armed citizen because most people are still ignorant about that, which is probably true in MOST OC states. Even if they know about OCing, many assume you need a permit to OC (as you noted) also out of ignorance...not just in NM, but I run into that here in CO, too. If they ask about my carrying, I then have the opportunity to talk to them about it, AND encourage them to start carrying, too. Even if they only want to CC because they feel uncomfortable OCing (one reason MOST people carrying do so CC, not OC) at least it gets them to start carrying.

    But that's ONE main reason we OC, isn't it: To educate people out there that NM is an OC state and no permit is required and encourage them to exercise THEIR right also and start OCing. Secondly, we want people to get used to seeing regular citizens carrying, so less and less of the general public freak out. I call these two goals "D&E" (Desensitizing & Educating).

    Only OCers can D&E, so the more people we can get to OC, the better it is for EVERYONE who carries...even the CCers.

    Happy OCing...and Merry Christmas, also!


    P.S. Only been to Silver City 1-2 times (IIRC)...once when I went to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, and another time when looking for a job in one of the mines in Vanadium, NM -- but that was many years ago. Most of my travels in NM have been towns along the I-25 corridor and Eastern NM part of the state (Carlsbad, Roswell, Vaughn, Alamogordo, Ruidoso and Cloudcroft -- and most points in between).

    I don't know where "Briar Patch, NM" is (location of OCDO member wabbit)...so I can't say if I've been there or not. ;-)
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 12-23-2014 at 02:25 AM.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  6. #6
    Regular Member rightwinglibertarian's Avatar
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    Hey welcome. Glad to see another member OCing. You'll get better with practice and before long you'll be carrying almost as easily as one would wear a belt on ones pants or one would slip a cell phones in ones pocket.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo221 View Post
    Even though I didn't see any I left my handgun in the truck. After getting my things I asked if they had a open carry policy. One was slightly ignorant saying that as long as I have a license to open carry. I quickly informed her you do not need a license and looked to the other gentlemen. He replied saying I was right and that in fact he carries as well. I told them they have my business any day.
    Please don't. That can be a way for places to develope a bad policy and ban carry. I would simply carry by default without asking and go where you please as normal, though still paying enough attention to notice no gun signs. When you run across one of those, get some No gun, no $$ cards and give them to the manager of trying to talk to them doesnt work.
    "Which part of shall not be infringed is so difficult to understand"?

    "Any and all restrictions on the bearing of arms in public places are nullified as per the Second Amendment"

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    It has become easier in the last few days. I do often see people looking but have never been told anything.

    I did read here about not even bringing up an OC policy. I blame it on being nervous. Since my first post I have gone several places with no problem.

    I've only come up with one concern and that seems to be area awareness. My holster does of a restraint but anybody with half a brain would know how it works. I usually try to keep away from situations like crowds and such. Or if I have to walk through a crowd like today, I tucked my arm against my leg as if to make my body narrower. In reality I was squeezing my holster with my arm and holding the gun down with my elbow.

    Anybody else had similar situations?

  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    In a crowd or in line (check out or fast food) I either clamp my elbow over the grip of my 1911 or rest by elbow casually on top of it - makes a great elbow rest My money & credit cards are on my non-dominate side.

    In the men's room, I blade slightly putting the holster/gun closer to the corner of the wall and partition.

    Give various scenarios some thought, you'll come up with practical solutions - ask other OCers what they do....we like to share.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 12-23-2014 at 09:15 PM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    In the men's room, I blade slightly putting the holster/gun closer to the corner of the wall and partition.
    I never use "the wall" units- if that's what you're referring to. I'll always go into a stall and lock the door. I find being at the wall puts you into too much of a vulnerable spot, and I have heard of instances- not many, but enough- of people being targeted when in that situation. Just another thing to easily avoid.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo221 View Post
    My holster does of a restraint but anybody with half a brain would know how it works.
    Anyone with half a brain wouldn't try to grab your firearm in the first place. As simplistic as you find the mechanism, to the demographic that would attempt to remove your firearm, it reaches the complexity of a Rube Goldberg device.

  11. #11
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    Apollo221,

    IMO, people OC certainly DO need to have a higher SA (Situational Awareness) than CCers do, at least re: the possibility of someone suddenly trying to take your gun (since they can SEE it on you vs. someone CCing and the gun isn't visible -- so the "gun grab attack" isn't an issue for CCers).

    So that's a given --- and so you're right to be aware of it AND take an extra precaution or two.

    In my case, since I carry CrossDraw, the butt of my handgun is right over my belt buckle so the gun is directly in front of me. Should someone try to grab it then, I SHOULD see them coming -- from the front -- or at least someone getting TOO close to me, yes? People who carry on the strong side (right or left-handed) have the butt of their guns canted rearward (usually) so a gun-grab attempt from behind is easier to do. If the cant of a strong-side holster has the butt more forward (meaning a "FBI cant"), then a gun-grab from the rear is considerably harder. And of course, if in EITHER situation the holster has a Level 3 retention system AND the FBI cant, then gun-grabbing is pretty much impossible.

    But my holster just has a simple gun-retaining snap-strap -- basically just to keep the gun from falling out of the holster! So my REAL "retention feature" is my SA to see any trouble coming...and definitely not let people get too close in the first place.

    As for using public restrooms, AH.74's idea seems to be a good one: Instead of using a wall urinal use a stall. I personally know of someone (a COP of all people) who was surprised from behind at a urinal and robbed at gunpoint -- gun to his head and pressed against the wall -- so you pretty much have to comply at that point. ;-)

    I don't worry about it though, and my gun IS @ my navel so it's easy to get to at even a urinal, but if one is concerned, at least in a locked stall you will hear "movement" -- someone trying to come up behind you, or under/over it!

    If you are still concerned, however, then look into getting the "ultimate retention holster" presently available -- a Level 3 -- just be sure YOU are able to get your gun out (even under stress) when YOU need it!

    JMNSHO...

    Good luck...


    ************************************************** ****

    Superlite27,

    Never say someone wouldn't do this or that! If you do, you're at a psychological disadvantage right up front. Because when they DO it, you're going to be surprised and being surprised may make you hesitate (because you weren't expecting a given reaction) and so from that point on you're playing catch-up with the criminal/assailant. Not good, and not likely to end well -- for you.

    That's one reason I don't practice scenarios (or even practice at all): I prefer to leave my mind (and response) open to WHATEVER the other guy does -- or does not do. More like one learns in martial arts (karate, etc.) rather than have a "plan of action" if you will. Besides, there's no real time to THINK in those situations, you only have time to react (if you didn't see it coming to PROact as preferred). So if your mind is ready but open (mushin in Japanese...a "mindless" state, if that makes sense), it can "go with the flow" automatically (and yes, there are ways to train "to expect the unexpected").

    But as karate/kung-fu and such are martial arts, so likewise is gun-carrying a martial art. I call it the American Martial Art: "Gun-Fu." ;-)

    Consequently, the things one learns in the former (awareness/mindset) can be applied to the latter. And should be.

    In short, don't EXPECT a certain reaction from someone, instead expect nothing -- until it happens. Or doesn't. It matters not either way. ;-)

    Sorry I can't explain it better...it's kind of a Zen thing! ;-)
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 01-05-2015 at 08:23 PM.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I've noticed the two main groups of people that will notice your OC firearm are children and people sitting down, because it is at their eye level. It's kind of scary in a way how many people I pass in a day who I think never notice. You learn to notice signs from people who see, some are very obvious, some not so much, and of course some see and don't show much I suppose.

    Depending on how you carry (IWB on hip) it can actually be open carry and also pretty well concealed. Depending on your states definition of open. Anything not concealed is open, in my opinion, but we have no goofy print laws to contend with here.

    I always use the most secure area I can find in a restroom, that seems like one place where an opportunity might be attempted, behind closed doors? No matter how you carry, how well trained you are, and how much of a badass you are, if you run into someone(s) who significantly tops you in 2 or three of those categories, you are likely in trouble if they want what you have badly enough.

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    Ive never really thought about getting attacked in a bathroom. However with that said I usually go before I actually go out.

    It has become easier over the time. I do wear on my right hip so it is very easy to see. Most of the time people don't really care. In fact I was laughing to myself while at a fast food joint. There were a couple families in but plenty of places open. It was weird when a guy came in, ordered and looked around the place. He then set his stuff directly next to me and went to the bathroom. I thought it was strange that out of the families there, he set it literally next to me, like... within a foot. After going to the bathroom he came back out, grabbed his stuff and sat next to me.

    I am probably over thinking it like I do everything else, I just found it strange. Other than that everything is pretty regular. It is like a new found freedom lol.

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    You're welcome...
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  15. #15
    Regular Member Kopis's Avatar
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    I remember the first few times i OCed too. I went shopping with my wife so i would look less scary or some stupid logic. We went to home depot, kroger and somewhere else. Literally, not one person noticed and that's pretty much how it has been ever since. Occasionally, ill get a glance or question but it's rare.

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    When people DO notice, most probably think we're some kind of LEO, instead of who we REALLY are.

    That needs changing.

    So we need LOTS MORE people OCing out there...so the blissfully ignorant general public finally "gets it" that we're NOT some LEO, but citizens just like they are except we're exercising a right THEY also have -- so people can SEE (and get used to) not only LEOs OCing.

    BTW, I don't include "the military" as in the Old Days (the words "police & military" were often paired decades ago) because by order from the very top, the military is unarmed. Even on their own bases.

    Yes, you lose at least SOME of your American citizen civil rights when you put on a uniform.

    Especially the most important one -- the RKBA.
    Last edited by cloudcroft; 01-06-2015 at 11:36 PM.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I can guarantee I wont be getting confused with LEO considering I'm 20 with a slim build. Half my co-workers already think I'm 14 .

  18. #18
    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO and greetings from sunny, dry Arizona, Apollo221!

    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo221 View Post
    I can guarantee I wont be getting confused with LEO considering I'm 20 with a slim build. Half my co-workers already think I'm 14 .
    You'd be surprised; I had/have long hair (think Antonio Banderas in the "Once Upon a Time in ____" movies) even before I turned 21 yet every so often, JUST when I start to think OCing has been normalized, I get a "Hello officer" or "Good afternoon officer" thrown at me.
    Haven't had close-cropped hair since high school (about 6 years now) either.

    Then again, I do remember at least once in high school when I was confused for a police officer, or the one time a "security guard".

    The best advice I can give you, having carried myself while under 21 and all, is to know the law (I keep a copy of the applicable statutes in my back pocket), carry a voice or video recorder (antis lie), and carry often (you become more comfortable, which should put others at ease when you don't fidget or seem "shifty" to them).
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frederic Bastiat

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  19. #19
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    Apparently a gentleman didn't like me carrying the other day. Walked into Taco Bell like I do almost every week. Sadly I go there often enough all the staff know me (that probably is also because its a small town). I was sitting at my table when he came in, ordered, and sat a few tables away. I was called walked up to get my food and on my way back I could hear him loudly under his breath say, "Jesus". It was obvious to notice he was looking at my firearm and seemed skidish until he was called. He got his food and walked out. On my way out I noticed he was sitting in his car eating. I guess he wasn't comfortable enough to be in the store with me? Welcome to New Mexico I guess,

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo221 View Post
    Apparently a gentleman didn't like me carrying the other day. Walked into Taco Bell like I do almost every week. Sadly I go there often enough all the staff know me (that probably is also because its a small town). I was sitting at my table when he came in, ordered, and sat a few tables away. I was called walked up to get my food and on my way back I could hear him loudly under his breath say, "Jesus". It was obvious to notice he was looking at my firearm and seemed skidish until he was called. He got his food and walked out. On my way out I noticed he was sitting in his car eating. I guess he wasn't comfortable enough to be in the store with me? Welcome to New Mexico I guess,
    Would seem you kicked him to the curb w/o saying a word.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudcroft View Post
    When people DO notice, most probably think we're some kind of LEO, instead of who we REALLY are.
    Maybe for you. There's simply no way anybody thinks I'm a cop. I have a beard, I dress "western", until two days ago I had very long hair which I wore in a ponytail.

    I think it's more like: when people DO notice, they assume that – whatever you are – you know what you're doing, or you wouldn't be wearing your pistol in plain view for everyone to see.

  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apollo221 View Post
    Apparently a gentleman didn't like me carrying the other day. Walked into Taco Bell like I do almost every week. Sadly I go there often enough all the staff know me (that probably is also because its a small town). I was sitting at my table when he came in, ordered, and sat a few tables away. I was called walked up to get my food and on my way back I could hear him loudly under his breath say, "Jesus". It was obvious to notice he was looking at my firearm and seemed skidish until he was called. He got his food and walked out. On my way out I noticed he was sitting in his car eating. I guess he wasn't comfortable enough to be in the store with me? Welcome to New Mexico I guess,
    That's "skittish" if you please. I have enough trouble being me without others trying to copy me.

    Keep up the good work. Consider getting a digital voice recorder and keeping it running while you are out and about. 99.99+% of the time you will just delete a whole day's woth of "nothing happened" - unless you get a few seconds of some form of positive interaction you want to save and cherish and listen to again. But once in a great while (maybe once in your life) there will be a time when having at least an audio record would be more than helpful. Go ahead, ask me how I know. (It's a long story that breaks down to I decided not to go back 2 blocks and get it.)

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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  23. #23
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    I have a beard and get asked all the time if I'm LE, when OC. Apparently, you can be that and also have a beard? I dunno. I've been told numerous times that I have the classic build of a Wisconsin State Patrol Officer, tho I'm not exactly sure what that is? Many times I'm strapped to a German Shepherd on a short leash, being VERY well behaved and then I get "Is the dog in training?" To which I respond, "yes she is" which then means no petting apparently? Actually, she's just being a dog, I'm in training.

    I'm not, she is, and yes, you can. I think people see a firearm and are maybe just a little more centered in their world if it is attached to somebody in law enforcement? If they give me time to respnd I say she is allowed to be petted, but many times the conversation is over before it starts. Maybe they don't want to be near a LEO? But, I've had quite a few good conversations with people afterwards. You can disagree with me, I'm ok with that. I'm also ok with it if I disagree with you. My right to keep and bear arms trumps your non right to be offended by it. That's my basic premise and I just go with it.

    The very few times I've heard something negative like I don't like guns, or I don't see why anyone needs a gun, I iust say OK. That seems to flummox them, not getting a defense. I'll answer any of your questions as long as you'll answer my questions. Most just go away.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wstar425 View Post
    I have a beard and get asked all the time if I'm LE, when OC. Apparently, you can be that and also have a beard? I dunno. I've been told numerous times that I have the classic build of a Wisconsin State Patrol Officer, t.
    Would that be the 110 female state patrol officer or the 300lb one the old standard of min 5'10 and at least 150 went away a long time ago. No beards allow in the WSP.
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  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had a guy ask me once (when I still had the ponytail) if I was a cop. I laughed and asked, "do I look like a cop?"

    It transpired that he didn't actually think I was a cop; he was asking precisely because he thought I wasn't, but was under the impression that only cops were allowed to OC.

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