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    I live in New Orleans, where open carry is perfectly legal, but will result in persecution by the police anyway. I like the idea of open carrying as a way of teaching people their own rights, but I don't have time to spend in jail or money to spend on a lawyer so I'm starting small, not just on a local level but on a household one.

    The first time my roommate saw me with a handgun on my belt, she was surprised and seemed a bit nervous. After seeing me walk around with it on a regular basis, both around the house and going to and from matches, she's gotten used to it. A few days ago I returned from a match and when she saw the outfit I was wearing with my weapon and mag pouch she actually said I looked "professional." I wondered what sort of professional she imagined (I'm not an LEO of any sort), but I'll take the compliment. We've also had a couple of incidents in the neighborhood that have led her to be quite happy I have a weapon in the house should it be needed. She has made comments to this effect on a couple of occasions.

    My other roommate had never shot a gun when he moved into our place and had a lot of questions about them. He wasn't anti, but he wasn't pro either. I taught him what I knew about LA law and took him to the range and things have taken off since then. He comes to the range with me on a regular basis (and even proposes it himself) and has become an afficianado. He's gone online and learned all about different makes and models. He's saving to buy a gun of his own and even knows which one he plans to get.

    My next stop is the yard. After a recent match I returned home and was taking out the garbage and scooping poop in the front yard. I was openly carrying and a guy walked by and said, "Are you allowed to carry your piece around like that?" I gave him a short answer, "Yep, it's perfectly legal" and he went on his way.

    He was just walking by, so we didn't have any longer conversation, but I plan to open carry in the front yard on a regular basis so that people in the neighborhood can get used to the sight. I'm on my own (rented) property, and the landlady knows I have a weapon (I've taken her to the range too), so even if the police try to harrass me they'll have an absolute minimum of excuses to give me trouble.

    Hopefully it will stimulate conversations and maybe other people will follow suit. I would LOVE to see everyone in my neighborhood carrying openly. The crime rates would go right down and the police would get used to the sight and not be as tempted to harass people. At that point, it would be a lot easier to open carry further afield. The more people that know what their rights are, the more people will choose to exercise those rights. In my own small way, I'm trying to get the ball rollling.

    I fully expect local LEOs to be called at some point, and figure that it's hard to consider someone pulling weeds or mowing grass on private property any sort of threat. This means that any interaction is likely to be low key and easily turned positive. I've worked in the service industry and look harmless (except for the M&P, lol) so I'm pretty good at being disarming (no pun intended). I may even end up educating the police. I would like to think they already know the laws, but we have an overstressed, understaffed police force which has a large percentage of rookies. My expectations for the moment are low.

    I've seen many posts here that discuss how they don't generally pass laws that directly take away rights, instead they chip away at the edges. Given long enough the rights are gone, but like water eroding stone the visible difference from one day to the next is minimal.

    I figure if rights can be taken away through this insidious process, they can be regained and even broadened through the same process. At the moment so few people open carry here that a majority of people assume it's illegal, a misconception that the police encourage. This means that if they passed a law making it illegal, hardly anybody would even notice. BAD. Maybe people will start out by thinking of me as the kooky strapped chick. But seeing even one person carrying on a regular basis will help get the word out that you're ALLOWED to carry. Nothing like gossip to spread the word. It will go from, "did you see that weird chick carrying around a gun like she thinks she's Annie Oakley" to someone responding, "You know, I talked to her and anybody who wants to (except convicted felons) can openly carry a gun if they want, I'm thinking about getting one myself."

    I suppose some would consider me a coward for not jumping straight to open carrying all around town. Like I said, I'm aware of my rights but the cops aren't. I can't afford to miss work sitting in lockup planning my unlawful arrest suit.

    Among animal people there is the concept of an "ambassador for the species." For those unfamiliar with this term, an ambassador for the species is a good natured animal from a breed that has a bad reputation (pit bulls or dobermans for example). They often work as visiting animals for the sick or elderly, but any well-mannered animal can be an ambassador for the species. If you have a rottweiler that everybody loves, you have an ambassador. The idea is that if people get a chance to meet a nice example of something they've been told is always mean, they will realize that their generalizations about the group are incorrect and that they've been misinformed. I plan to be an ambassador for the gun-owning species on the same premise. Hopefully people will think, "If she carries a gun and she's nice, maybe other people that own and carry guns are OK too. Maybe it's not guns that make criminals."

    Wish me luck. I'll be posting occasionally with developments and welcome input. I know I posted this in the Virginia forum rather then the Louisiana one, but I figure what I'm working with at the moment is general enough to apply in either state (we're talking human nature, not details of law), and it seems like the bulk of posting on OC is in the Virginia section for some reason, so I figured I'd be social and write here.

  2. #2
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    Tazlima wrote:
    Wish me luck. I'll be posting occasionally with developments and welcome input. I know I posted this in the Virginia forum rather then the Louisiana one, but I figure what I'm working with at the moment is general enough to apply in either state (we're talking human nature, not details of law), and it seems like the bulk of posting on OC is in the Virginia section for some reason, so I figured I'd be social and write here.
    Loved your first post. Best of luck to you. I think you'll make a fine ambassador.



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    Tazlima wrote:
    I live in New Orleans, where open carry is perfectly legal, but will result in persecution by the police anyway.
    What "persecution?" Cite to any authority on this?



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    Welcome aboard, good post, good luck.

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    Excellent post, Tazlima. Welcome to OCDO! I look forward to your future reports.

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    Mike wrote:
    Tazlima wrote:
    I live in New Orleans, where open carry is perfectly legal, but will result in persecution by the police anyway.
    What "persecution?" Cite to any authority on this?

    It's highly unlikely that there is documented authority for the police to persecute/harrass people that are legally OCing. That doesn't, however, mean that it doesn't/won't happen. Tazlima is probably more in tune with the atmosphere in New Orleans than you or I...
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    Excellent post TAZ,

    Will be looking for updates from you. It would be nice to here that one of your neighbors was seen OCing :celebrate

    Being proactive in a community that is rebuilding can have some very positive and longlasting results.

    You go girl, buy yourself a beer, send me the bill

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    Welcome!

    I too am looking forward to your future posts and interactions!

    I also don't consider you any less brave for not OCing everywhere right off the bat. I see it as cautious and covering your butt. You're using the exact same tactic that antis have been using against pros for years, baby steps and chipping away. Unfortunately for us, it has been working somewhat. Unfortunately for them, there are people like you who are encouraging fighting fire with fire. I hope more people follow your example in other OC states where the right isn't exercised and is being threatened as well.

    Virginia is a different animal from what I've found. I've lived in PA, CA and now VA. PA is an open carry state but in the 23 years I lived there, I had never once seen someone open carrying except for while they were hunting. CA... self explanatory. VA it seems far more common, but in the 2 years up to when I found this board and have been living here, I haven't seen anybody else OCing (or haven't noticed) until I met people from this board.

    Again, welcome! Sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders.

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    Hi Taz, I will be stopping in New Orleans in late July as part of the cannonball run, so I will make it a point to open carry around the hotel, gas stations, restaurants, etc that we are at while there. Nothing like showing a bunch of european cannonballers how itsdone in thegood ole USA :shock:Of course I will check the local laws first. Hopefully you'll have softened up the city by then

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    roscoe13 wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    Tazlima wrote:
    I live in New Orleans, where open carry is perfectly legal, but will result in persecution by the police anyway.
    What "persecution?" Cite to any authority on this?

    It's highly unlikely that there is documented authority for the police to persecute/harrass people that are legally OCing. That doesn't, however, mean that it doesn't/won't happen. Tazlima is probably more in tune with the atmosphere in New Orleans than you or I...
    It's probably the same persectution that we get in some parts of our state (cough, cough, Manassas). Based on how things happened with firearms during Katrina, it's not exactly unlikely that the stories I hear about "carrying = hassled by the cops" down there are true.

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    Welcome, tazlima.

    Good job, and well thought out. It's always wise to understand the tactical situation in which you find yourself, and be prepared to deal with it. Good luck, and keep us posted!


    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Great post, keep us updated. Someone needs to soften up the heavy badges and the "proactive" city officials down there to keep another gun confiscation from happening like during Katrina.

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    I suppose some would consider me a coward for not jumping straight to open carrying all around town. Like I said, I'm aware of my rights but the cops aren't. I can't afford to miss work sitting in lockup planning my unlawful arrest suit.
    Hey... work up to what is comfortable for you.

    Best of luck...

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    You are lucid in your writing and seem to havecomported yourself well. Nice to have you as a positive ambassador for our most precious and important civil right.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Nice 1st post!

    Welcome to the group.

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    Mike wrote:
    Tazlima wrote:
    I live in New Orleans, where open carry is perfectly legal, but will result in persecution by the police anyway.
    What "persecution?" Cite to any authority on this?

    I suppose a better term would have been harassment, and they have no authority to do so whatsoever. That doesn't mean it doesn't occur. There are plenty of examples on this site alone of people being given trouble for open carrying, despite the fact that they are well within their rights.

    Open carry is legal here. However, if anyone complains about the carrying, you will be given trouble by the police. They can't ticket or arrest someone for carrying, but if they want to harass someone, they'll find SOMETHING to charge them with. The most common charges in such cases are for "brandishing" and "disturbing the peace," both of which can be quite loosely interpreted by someone who wants to give you trouble. I've heard of people who have had more then one person complain about the gun slapped with "inciting a riot." All this just for walking around with a holstered weapon.

    I base this assessment on anecdotal evidence from local gun folks, particularly the man who conducted the NRA gun safety course I attended to get my CCW (who I consider highly intelligent and very well-informed) and the staff and regulars at the range I frequent. I bow to their assessment of the situation because when note-worthy incidents of this sort occur, they are much more likely to hear about them then I am. Where better to go and tell your story and get sympathy from like-minded individuals then the range?

    The other difficulty is that if they confiscate your weapon for any reason (I'm talking taking it away and putting it in an evidence locker, not simply disarming you during a short meeting), you'll NEVER see it again. In a city where the homocide department doesn't answer their phone or have an answering machine (I know this from personal experience) and the police work out of trailers set up in city park because their original facilities were destroyed, getting property returned to rightful owners is at the very bottom of their priority list.

    Things aren't normal here, and I don't want to lose my pretty little M&P just to make a point.

    From everything I've heard and read, filing a complaint with the police (should you be treated poorly by one of their own) and actually getting something done is difficult under the best of circumstances. With how things are right now in this city, it would be nearly impossible. I offer the following as a snapshot of what one has to contend with in post-Katrina New Orleans.

    I received my first CCW recently. *insert glow of happiness here*

    I originally planned to apply for a Florida CCW rather then a Louisiana one because I had heard it had reciprocity with a few more states (this was actually true a few years ago, but is no longer the case). I was unable to do so because of the fingerprint card. The Florida CCW application sends a Florida fingerprint card. You have to fill out that specific card (using the old ink method rather then the electronic one) and return it. No problem right? WRONG. I attempted to get my fingerprints done in nearby Jefferson Parish and was told that they only filled out fingerprint cards for residents of their own Parish, and that the other parishes in the area followed suit (for those who may not know, in Louisiana counties are called parishes).

    They gave me the address of a private company in Orleans Parish that filled out fingerprint cards all the time. Unfortunately the stipulation of the Florida Permit was that it HAD to be done at a police station, not in a private business. The name of the LEO and the address of the station had to be included in the application packet. The end result was that I called all over Orleans parish and after about 4 hours on the phone discovered that NOT ONE police/state trooper station in the parish was doing fingerprint cards anymore. The only way I was getting my fingerprints taken by a New Orleans authority was by committing a crime. The closest place I could find that WOULD do fingerprints for people from outside their area was Baton Rouge. I couldn't see missing an entire day of work and driving 2 hours away to get a 3 minute $10-$25 dollar service performed. I was aggravated enough that I was ready to go slap a cop and get arrested just so they would take my doggone fingerprints!

    I finally found one small police station about 1/2 hour away (in yet another parish) that agreed to take my fingerprints. When I arrived, I discovered that they used the electronic versions, which Florida would not accept unless done in Florida. I explained that I had called Florida and been informed that it HAD to be done in ink. They cheerfully pulled out an old fingerprinting stone. It had almost no ink left. They attempted to fingerprint me anyway. It came out too light. They tried adding ink to the stone. It didn't work and the attempt messed up my one card from Florida. Rather then contact Florida and have them send me another fingerprint card so I could try all this again, I eventually gave up and simply got a Louisiana CCW instead (which recognized the fingerprints from the private company).

    Yep, nothing here is simple anymore. I have a ton of other similar stories (UPS and FedEx refuse to ship here overnight because they can't guarantee that it will actually arrive overnight), but you get the idea.

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    Taz,

    You may want to consider a non-resident New Hamphsire permit. No fingerprints required very painless to deal with and very quick.

    Also, I recently received my Florida permit (see other post under Virginia). You may consider making a quick trip across the Florida line and getting your prints scanned....that's what I did. Very quick ...easy and painless.

    Welcome aboard....I've enjoyed your articulate posts and updates on the situation in N.O.

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    ADMIN: This should be moved to theLouisiana forum.

    Tazlima - Best wishes from the desert.

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    XD Owner wrote:
    ADMIN: This should be moved to theLouisiana forum.

    Tazlima - Best wishes from the desert.
    XD, you are correct sir! Duly moved and linked.

    Tazlima, welcome to the forum! We're often a rowdy bunch, but this is a great place with even greater people. As I posted on another forum in support of OC...

    OC is the best BG Repellent!

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    Update:
    Open carried in the front yard on Sunday while doing yardwork. It was hot so I was wearing jean shorts, a sports bra, a gun, and a mag pouch. Apparently that's as open as open can get, because EVERYBODY noticed the weapon.

    We have a guy that drives around here selling fruit out of his truck and I flagged him down to get a snack. After selling me some fruit he asked if I was a cop and I told him no. We chatted a bit more and he went on his way.

    Then the neighbors across the street flagged me down. After confirming that it was, indeed, a gun I was carrying, they came to their own conclusions as to why I carried and were very supportive. This time there was a more in-depth discussion of carry laws and they were surprised to discover that you didn't have to have a permit to open carry.

    Two down, the rest of the city to inform.

    The weird part was that these were two big, tough-looking guys, and they were making semi-serious remarks about running to me for help if they needed it.

    One of them also asked if I was in law enforcement. I asked him if I looked like a cop, since he was the second to ask that day. Weirdly he said I did. When I got dressed that morning, I expected people to notice the gun, but I didn't have any intention of looking like an LEO. In fact, the whole point is that regular people can carry, NOT just LEOs. I guess it's like seeing someone walking down the street with a stethoscope. Even if they're not wearing scrubs you might guess they're in medicine. Apparently no matter how much you don't look like an LEO, the gun makes the outfit.

    They also cracked up every time somebody passed by, because as long as I wasn't looking, all the passers-by had their eyes glued on my gun, apparently I missed some great double-takes.:what: If I turned around they would be looking somewhere else.

    Not very eventful, but a LOT of curiosity from people. In other words, it's going swimmingly!

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    Tazlima wrote:
    Update:
    Open carried in the front yard on Sunday while doing yardwork. It was hot so I was wearing jean shorts, a sports bra, a gun, and a mag pouch. Apparently that's as open as open can get, because EVERYBODY noticed the weapon.
    Well,we have a real unicorn here -the elusive female OC'er! Great job on your efforts to demystify OC. Keep it up and we might adopt you as a Virginian!

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    BobCav wrote:
    Tazlima wrote:
    Update:
    Open carried in the front yard on Sunday while doing yardwork. It was hot so I was wearing jean shorts, a sports bra, a gun, and a mag pouch. Apparently that's as open as open can get, because EVERYBODY noticed the weapon.
    Well,we have a real unicorn here -the elusive female OC'er! Great job on your efforts to demystify OC. Keep it up and we might adopt you as a Virginian!
    Excuse the tardy post, just got back from my old feller's funeral in England.

    Bob, grab her quickly for Virginia, because the men of the Bluegrass State feel that she belongs in the state of fast horses and beautiful ladies!

    Welcome to OCDO, Madam, and beware the silver tongued devils of the Old Dominion! Tess is an OK gal, not too sure about some of the guys!

    TrueBrit.

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    BobCav wrote:
    Tazlima wrote:
    Update:
    Open carried in the front yard on Sunday while doing yardwork. It was hot so I was wearing jean shorts, a sports bra, a gun, and a mag pouch. Apparently that's as open as open can get, because EVERYBODY noticed the weapon.
    Well,we have a real unicorn here -the elusive female OC'er! Great job on your efforts to demystify OC. Keep it up and we might adopt you as a Virginian!
    My wife open carries all the time



    About the stethescope comment: I can often be seen wearing scrubs, a stethescope AND a gun....yes...I'm in medicine. My P99's nickname is "Morphine". One shot and they're out.

    Corny, I know..but hey...*I* thought it was funny.

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    TrueBrit: Your old feller's funeral??? Sorry to be tasteless on the subject of someone's death, but I had thought that "old fella" was Brit slang for one's *****... had to wonder.

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    TrueBrit: Your old feller's funeral??? Sorry to be tasteless on the subject of someone's death, but I had thought that "old fella" was Brit slang for one's *****... had to wonder.

    Used to be so, but hardly used as such nowadays. Father did indeed fall off his perch, sadly, but the wake was first class, attended by family, friends, and horsemen from America,Ireland, Germany and England.Many and varied were the toasts with which wecelebrated him, and the whole deal was exactly what he would have enjoyed!

    No worries about being tasteless, mate, good that you know a little bit of Brit slang.

    TrueBrit.

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