I've been browsing the forum, reading the Arizona Gun Owners Guide and looking over Arizona laws for a while now. I was going to wait until I got my CCW (just to be on the safe side) before I started carrying. But with two convience stores within six blocks of where I live being held up in the past week I changed my mind. So today when my wife and I went out to do some shopping today I went out armed with my .357 and the knowledge that the law was on my side.
1st stop: Walmart on Ave B - I was kind of concerned about this after reading what others had posted about Walmart, but we spent an hour in here getting groceries and the closest I came to an encounter was when another shopper was pointing at me when talking with a Manager. He talked to her for a bit and and walked off. Other than that and a couple of wide-eyed stares from kids and snowbirds nothing happened here.
Went home to drop off the groceries and then headed out again.
2nd stop: Liquid Mart on 16th St. to get gas - Nothing here. Paid the clerk. he looked down but never batted an eye.
3rd stop: Game Stop in the Yuma Palms - Went in to get a couple of games for Christmas gifts. I honestly don't think anyone even noticed.
4th stop: Sam's Club - Finished up grocery shopping. Nothing major just got the "evil eye" from an older gentleman just smiled and walked by.
Final stop: Had to go by the other Wal-mart in Yuma (on Pacific Ave) to pick-up a perscription. Had three people ask me about it here:
1st group here was a group of 2 males and 2 females late 40's early 50's. Only one man did most of the talking.
Him: "Are you store Security?"
Me: "No sir"
Him: "What gives you the right to carry a gun in the store?"
Me: "Arizona state law gives private citizens the right to open carry"
Him: "Do you have a Concealed Carry Permit?"
Me: "No sir, I don't need one I'm not carrying concealed"
Him: "But in the store?"
Me: "It's private property. The management of the store can regulate the carrying of firearms as they see fit. They can ask me to leave at anytime. If they do I will leave and take my money elsewhere"
The issue over private property and the store went back and forth for a little while.
One of the ladies: "Are you military?"
Me: "Yes but -" (trying to make sure they knew that's not what gave me the right to carry.)
Him: cutting me off "That doesn't mean anything"
Me: "No it doesn't. Anyone who can posses a Firearm can open carry it in Arizona."
Him: "But we don't carry in the store" and walked off.
They we're polite the whole time they were talking to me I guess they just don't think I should carry in a store.
From his last statement I assume he carries. I guess he expects someone to wait until he get's to the parking lot before they start shooting.
The 2nd was an older lady when I was waiting on the pharmacist to get back from lunch.
Her: "I don't mean to be nosey but are you a US Marshal of just a concerned citizen."
Me: "Just a concerned citizen ma'am"
Her: "I don't know much about gun's. Do you mind if I ask what you're carrying"
Me: "Not at all. It's a .357 Magnum.
The 3rd was the cashier at the pharmacy counter who checked me out. The first thing he said when I stepped up to the counter was "Damn that's a big gun". He asked what it is and if I needed a permit to carry. I explained that you didn't need a permit to OC only to CC. He said he had a Colorado permit. I assume that's where he was from. He asked why I carried and I explained about the convience stores and with all the other shootings that had happed he said "I'd be packing too".
Also while at this Walmart I walked right by an assistant manager and he didn't say anything.
Overall there were less problems than what I was expecting. I had already planned for walking out of walmart and buying my groceries elsewhere. But I'm not complaining.
If anyone has suggestions for anything I could have said differently or should have brought up with the first group please let me know. That was the only encounter I would classify as a little on the negative side.