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Thread: First OC experience in Colorado

  1. #1
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    Although I open carry regularly where allowed these days, the first few times brought about a degree of apprehension to say the least. Being from Texas, where OC is still not allowed, I was somewhat apprehensive about open carrying when traveling through New Mexico, Colorado and other OC states. Having researched the laws thoroughly I knew it should be alright, but taking that first step was still hard. Tells of hard nosed or uninformed officers kept coming to mind and I expected to worse every minute.

    My first time to OC was during a motorcycle trip the wife and I made to Colorado a few years back. By the time we got to Raton, NM, the temperature was warm enough to shed our jackets and I elected to exercise my right to OC from that point on. Crossing into Colorado shortly thereafter, we made a pit stop at a convenience store a few miles south of Trinidad, CO.Nervously,I began to fuel the bike while the wife went inside for a nature call and to get a few snacks. Several people clearly noticed my sidearm but no one seemed toreact negatively to it, which quickly set me at ease. After fueling, I moved the bike across to a parking spot and began tending to some housekeeping items. Suddenly,the sound of a vehicle accelerating hard caught my attention and I glanced back to see a county sheriff vehicle crossing the overpass and turn in the direction of the store. As he turned into the parking lot and accelerated harshly, heading directly toward me, I immediately expected the worst. To my surprise he went past me and parked on the opposite side of the building then went into the store. Still expecting the worst, I went about my business while watching for the deputy's approach. After finishing the task at hand and with no deputy to that point, I decided to go inside.

    Inside the store I caught up with my wife in the snack isle but could not see the deputy anywhere. With the anxiety level starting to drop at this point, Ifocused my attention on selecting a few snacks for the road. Suddenly, I heard a voice behind me say "a Sig 229". I turned to find myself face to face with the deputy and I felt a huge lump grow in my throat as I answered "yes Sir". To my relief the next words from him were "what caliber is it?" and "how do you like it?". He explained that he was considering a Sig 226 in .357, so we entered into a 10 minute conversation about how well I liked my 229 .357, the Sig .357 round and Sigs in general. After discussing everything from guns to motorcycles and a few tips on sites to visit around Colorado, we shook hands and he headed out the door. Needless to say, this encounter did more to ease my fears than anything and the rest of the trip went smoothly.

    Since that time, I have open carried on numerous occasions in Colorado and to date I have never had the slightest problem. It concerns me that Denver opened the door to local rule laws against OC and I hope Colorado legislators will make the necessary changes to the law to make OC legal statewide.

  2. #2
    Regular Member reefteach's Avatar
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    Thanks for the story. I love OCing in Colorado.

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    Add one more to the Colorado OC fold. I started my first OC experiences (sort of) on Saturday with the purchase of my first Hi Point C9. I'm still kinda leery about going out in public tho. Currently I carry in my home (given) and in my POV. After reading all of the CO posts and many of the others, I'm slowly warming up to the idea of going out in public. Strange, I imagine this is how agoraphobics must feel!
    I originally hail from the Police State of New Jersey where damn near everything is illegal. After serving as an infantry soldier for 6 yrs, I was ashamed to find that NJ has taken the Constitution and wiped its collective behind with it. As soon as I was given the chance to get out, I took it and never looked back. Since moving to CO, I've had my eyes opened when it comes to a great many things. For instance, I can go prospecting here and not have a problem (well most of the time), I can go camping with my family and actually have an open fire (illegal in NJ), I can actually go into Walmart and buy a BB gun right off the shelf (again, illegal in NJ), the deer here are ALOT better tasting! :celebrate And I never get that feeling that I'm always being watched by LEO's. In fact, I've found most LEO's in CO are rather pleasant and will actually say good morning when approached instead of putting a gun to my head and getting frisked (because according to NJ LE, everyone in NJ is a suspect/burglar/rapist/terrorist/etc).
    I do have a question tho.
    Should I wait until my CCW is in possession as a backup form of "Hey, I'm on your side" ID? Just to be on the safe side? I've read my local municipal code and Colorado State Law on the subject, so I'm confident as to where NOT to OC and/or CC, but still, it seems rather unusual to drop by my local King Soopers for a gallon of milk wilst OCing.

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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    Evil Ernie wrote:
    Should I wait until my CCW is in possession as a backup form of "Hey, I'm on your side" ID? Just to be on the safe side?
    There's no straight-fact yes or no answer to that question---you must decide. If you stay out of Denver, you are generally legal to OC without a permit. A couple of other front-range towns have OC bans, but they should not survive a court challenge. Make sure you know all off-limits areas which apply to CC and OC.

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    Much appreciated for the advise Anubis. I OCed in Wally World here in CR (didn't see any signs forbidding it) today while the Jeep was getting her oil changed. Boy, did I get some looks!!!!! :shock::shock::shock: But, no one said anything. I did see out of my periferal vision an older gentleman stop dead in his tracks at the head of an aisle and just stare. I don't know if he was off duty or retired LEO or just a smacktard, but I could see the seething out of the corner of my eye. I didn't let the added attention get to me tho, I kept my confidence in the law and my rights, and conducted business as usual. Amazing how more often I heard polite "excuse me"s and "thank you's". HA!
    Still, I dread the moment when all of CRPD shows up in the parking lot of King Soopers with guns drawn while I'm loading groceries :P.

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    It's not something to worry about... I OC all the time in Boulder, and I'm still kickin'

    I've yet to run into a cop in Colorado who's against people carrying for self defense. I'm sure some of them don't like OC, but I've been pleasantly surprised on how tolerant of it they all are. I've yet to run into a peckerwood type who thinks they should be the only ones armed; they all are happy to have people taking care of themselves and making less work for them themselves. And having driven from one end of the state to the other several times in cities big and small, I've never been asked to leave, cover up, stick it in the car, or otherwise had one of those encounters that seem to typify some other states. So enjoy OCing in CO! I certainly have!

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    Doc, your experience mirrors mine one of the first times I OC'd here. I was wearing my S&W 629 Mountain Gun on my right hip as I walked into a convenience store in Salida while camping in the area. Not long after I'd entered a sherrif's deputy came in and, with my right side facing the entrance, he immediately noticed my sidearm. When he made a bee line for me I thought "oh crap, here it comes" but the first thing out of his mouth was a very polite "Is that an N-frame Smith?" almost as if he were apologizing for bothering me. What followed was a very gun-geeky conversation about how I liked it, how it shot, etc. Seems he was looking at various .44mag's and this was at the top of his dream list. After about a 10 minute chat he thanked me for my time and letting him bend my ear and we were each on our way.

    I've honestly been hesitant to OC along the Front Range much, but in the mountains I've never had anyone so much as give it a second glance.... unless they just want to "talk guns".

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    God, don't ya hate that when they come right up to you and totally throw you a curve? I swear they do it just to freak ya out. Also testing you to see if you're a BG since they usually run at first sign of 5-0.
    Salida's a great place to camp! Good gold in the Arkansas river too!!! I usually camp further upstream in Buena Vista at the old Railroad bridge.
    I've still haven't had any bad encounters, but then I haven't gotten out much for the past month.
    Welcome to the forums, and glad to see another CO member!

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    Yes, I had a good experience in Salida as well.Twosummers agothe wife and I went through there on anotherbike trip. We were heading to Georgetown by way of Breckenridge (took the scenic route) and as we were coming into Salida, we lost the trailer off the back of the bike (ball hitch snapped off) as we rounded the curve on the east end of town.We watched helplessly asour trailerheaded straight for the entrance of the new car dealership and the side of a new pickup on display. Fortunately the trailer tongue clipped the curb turning it away from danger and it came to a stop with nodamage.

    After getting a new ball hitchat the auto parts store conveniently located a half block down the street, and reconnecting the trailer to the bike, the wife and I were ready for a break, so we stopped in small convenience store about half way through town. The only parking space available wasbetween a city policeand a county sheriff vehicle. Being rather hot that afternoon, I was open carrying and figured this would be a good test of the area. We went in and made our way to the restrooms, walking past the two officers on the way, who were sitting in a booth. As I past them I greeted them with a "good afternoon" and they both replied in kind. Upon exiting the facilities, we got some snacks and refreshments and took a seat in the booth next to the officers. One of the officers commented on our bike and asked where we were headed and from that weentered into a lengthly conversation with them about everything from motorcycles to sights to see in the area to hunting and fishing, but not one word was mentioned about the Sig 229 on my hip or the Glock 19 my wife was carrying. Eventually, the officers left with nothing more than an exchange of pleasantries and well wishes.

    After leaving the store, we met the city officer on the road and he gave us a friendly parting waive as we headed out of town. Another fine example of Colorado courtesy and level headed, educated law enforcement officers.

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    Hey there! What a great bunch of guys you all are. I've enjoyed all your OC stories! I'm a young guy of 24. And I've been slowly but surly searching out the laws as far as carrying a handgun. I'm of the old fashon type who believes that our government is working hard to pick away at our rights and find ways to control "it's" people. I dont have a CCP yet. I'm just trying my best to become educated and to know what my rights really are.

    I was just hoping some of you could provide me with some links, or tips about gun laws in colorado. but I also have a few questions about Open Carry. #1 So I know that OC is illegal in Denver, but I was wondering how far that extends? Is it just the citty of Denver, or does it extend to places just outside Denver like Westminister, or Thorton?

    #2 Somone mentioned that there are a few other frontrange cities where OC is illegal, anyone know which ones or where I can find out?

    #3 I have a nice little 2" 38 special revolver which I keep in an "inside the waist band" holster when I go shooting. If I had my shirt tucked in and the grip of the gun was obviously exposed, would that qualify for OC? or would I be better off just getting a regular outside the waist band holster for it. I could also just carry my S&W 9mm on my thigh holster, making it so even if I have on a jacket the gun will still be visible.

    #4 Does anyone know what the laws are concerning knifes? Can I carry around my nice 8 inch fixed blade knife if it's on my belt in the sheith?

    Sorry for any misspellings, lol. Thanx guys. This is my first post... I'm hoping to be comfortable enough in my knowledge on guns and gun laws some day, so that I might be able to properly inform my friends and loved ones. Thanx again!



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    Welcome to the forums mellow!

    OK, here goes, but don't quote me on this, I ain't no lawyer...

    #1 OC is illegal in the County of Denver which includes DIA. Check your maps for the county lines.

    #2 Parker in Douglas Co (just south of Denver) has a anti-OC ordinance, so don't do it there. Also there have been some rumors as to Arvada being anti-OC but not really sure. Add Breckenridge to the list as well. Keep in mind, Concealed Carry is perfectly legal with a valid permit and ID in these three cities.

    #3 IWB with just the grip showing could constitute concealed in some folks eyes. You might wanna get a regular OWB holster for that.

    #4 Knives are a weird one in Colorado. Concealed knife over 3" (or is it 3.5"?) is considered illegal without a permit. Regular pocketknives are fine (within the proper length). But if you're carrying it outside within a sheath, You should be OK.

    Do your research! A good site is www.rmgo.org for all your Colorado firearm knowledge requirements!

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    Evil Ernie wrote:
    #2 Parker in Douglas Co (just south of Denver) has a anti-OC ordinance, so don't do it there. Also there have been some rumors as to Arvada being anti-OC but not really sure. Add Breckenridge to the list as well. Keep in mind, Concealed Carry is perfectly legal with a valid permit and ID in these three cities.
    Actually, to the best of my research, Parker county does not have a restrictionagainst OC. The only restrictions they have is 8.09.020 Carrying Weapons, which restricts the unlicensed concealed carry of a weapon, but not open carry. This ordnance reads:


    8.09.020 Carrying weapons.
    (a) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to carry a knife or firearm concealed on or about his or her person; provided that this Section shall not apply to persons in their own domiciles or places of business or on property owned by or under their control at the time of the act of carrying, or to persons in private automobiles or other private means of conveyance who are carrying such a weapon for the lawful protection of their or another's or other's person or property or for any other legal purposes.

    (1) Nothing in this Subsection shall apply to peace officers or members of the armed forces of the United States or Colorado National Guard acting in the lawful discharge of their duties.

    (2) Nothing in this Subsection shall apply to persons who possess a valid permit or license to conceal such weapon or weapons, which license or permit was duly issued pursuant to applicable state or federal law.
    Some have tried to assert that 8.09.050 BrandishingDeadly Weapons covers open carry, however, this ordnance clearly explains that there must be intent to alarm in the manner the weapon is displayed, thus, simply carrying a holstered or otherwise secured weapon is not a violation. This ordnance reads:


    8.09.050 Brandishing deadly weapons.

    (a) It is unlawful for any person to display, brandish or flourish a deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm or for any person to intentionally and without lawful excuse, justification or purpose, aim or point a firearm at another person; provided that the provisions of this Section shall not apply to any situation that constitutes a felony under State law.

    Breckenridge does have an ordnance against open carry, but it only applies to certain city owned properties as allowed by State law. The wording mirrors that of state law in requiring such properties be clearly posted and places that responsibility on the police chief. They also list the affected properties in the ordnance. Although I have not visited any of the listed facilities in Breckenridge, I have been through there several times and stopped on each occasion and I have never seen a posting on any of the shops I visited and I have OC'ed there without incident. The Breckenridge ordnance reads:

    6-3E-11: OPEN CARRYING OF FIREARMS PROHIBITED:

    A. Where signs are posted as required by subsection B of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to openly carry a firearm in or upon any real property owned or used by the town to which the general public has access, including, but not limited to, the following town owned or used buildings and areas located in the town of Breckenridge and county of Summit:

    1. Buildings:

    Breckenridge Recreation Center, 0880 Airport Road.; Breckenridge town hall, 150 Ski Hill Road.; Riverwalk Center, located at 150 West Adams Avenue.; Stephen C. West Ice Arena, 0189 Boreas Pass Road.; Town of Breckenridge Golf Club/Gold Run Nordic Center, located at 0200 Clubhouse Drive.; Town of Breckenridge Intermodal Center.; Town of Breckenridge public works facility, located at 1095 Airport Road.; Town of Breckenridge Theatre Facility, located at 121 South Ridge Street.

    2. Areas:

    All town owned recreational trails.; Blue River Plaza.; Carter park.; Cucumber Creek open space area.; Kingdom park.; The Riverwalk (between Ski Hill Road and South Park Avenue).

    As for Arvada, I have found nothing in their ordnances that address open carry and they were unable to provide me with anything either.

    To date, the only City in Colorado that has a clear cut restriction on open carry is the City/County of Denver. While RMGO lists these locations as having OC ordnances, they actually do not and Iaddressed this with Dudley some time back and he has yet to change the website or provide the pertinent ordnances, so, unless there has been a recent change to the ordnances in these places, they do not, as of last check, restrict open carry.

    If anyone has any information to the contrary or knows of newly passed ordnances, please let me know where to find it. It is certainly possible for local governments to pass new ordnances on the heels of Denver that will carry the same authority. Asstated in the highcourts ruling, the State of Colorado has no law allowing for open carry (they merely have nothing restricting it), thus, there is for preemption to preempt. This is why Denver prevailed and why other cities/towns could do the same. If the state would pass a law allowing OC then preemption would negate the Denver ordnance and all like it, but until that happens, we are merely at the will of the local governments to restrict OC if they wish.

    Take care all,

    Doc

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