There are a couple threads in the Virginia forum for people to report on their OC experiences in restaurants and regions of the state. I find those threads an encouragement and thought I'd start this one for the same purpose.


I first OCed last weekend while visiting central VA, and found the experience.... enjoyable. Not a word from anyone but it was just a couple restaurants in Lexington. It felt nice not to feel I had to "hide it". Actually the weekend before that I OCed an empty holster into an NC restaurant, after securing my firearm in the car. That doesn't count though. :-) Note: I am aware NC restaurants serving alcohol are off limits for any kind of carry.

It's sure warm today in NC and I prefer an OWB holster vs. stuffing the IWB in my pants, so decided to OC again, closer to home. My two teen daughters tagged along, and I wore a t-shirt, jeans and running shoes:

Hillsborough Wal-Mart near I-85 and new 86 - shopping list in hand, I pushed a cart around for 1/2 hour, pretty much all over the store. Stopped to ask the woman at the jewelry counter if she could help my daughter with a watch battery. I felt surprisingly comfortable there, no problems whatsoever.

Home Depot in the same complex - another 20 minutes or so of shopping. Stopped to ask a customer service person about an item we couldn't find. As we approached the self-checkout a young male employee walked towards me and stopped perhaps 10-12 ft. away, just outside the range that would invite a hello. Staring at my hip, I guess he just wanted a closer look at my gun. He didn't say anything - in fact no one did. We continued our checkout and headed out the door smiling.

Wal-Mart had a lot more people there and like others have said, most people are too busy with their own concerns to even notice a typical OCer. Since there were fewer shoppers at Home Depot I felt I attracted a bit more attention. For reasons I can't explain at this time, I felt less comfortable carrying in Home Depot.

CC has its place and advantages. I believe that provided a person has thought about - and preferably trained for, retention, and can stay in condition yellow while carrying (I do whether carrying or not), OCing is safe, gently helps remind people the 2A exists and demonstrates that carrying a gun is an acceptable, normal thing for a responsible adult to do.