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Thread: OCed on Pearl, 29th Street Mall, University Hill

  1. #1
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    So the other day with our nicer weather I decided to OC. Beretta 92 in a leather FBI open top holster at 3 o'clock. Jeans, hiking shoes, and a nice golf shirt. Fresh haircut, clean shaven, sun glasses, 25 years old, height/weight proportionate (I feel like I'm taking out a personal ad).

    First stop was the Wal-Mart over the hill. I have to say I was a bit nervous in working up the courage to get out of the car, but I eventually did. Made a beeline for the sporting goods counter and got a hundred rounds of the Winchester 115gr and 147gr JHPs. I was incredibly self-conscious and aware of my surroundings, but I don't think even one single person noticed! I checked out at the front and I got carded by the cashier and asked if the ammunition was for a handgun! :quirky

    Next stop was the King Soopers on Table Mesa. Shopped around for a good half an hour. One woman stared at me. I don't know if she was giving me the evil eye (and honestly, I don't think she knew, either. She just looked perplexed).

    After dropping my groceries off at home, I decided to spend the rest of the day walking around. Starting from the Wendy's at Baseline and 36 (I dont think anyone in there even noticed I was OCing) I walked (on the opposite side of the street from the CU campus, of course), up to Broadway, and then over to the Hill. I walked down to the public library and sat down at a computer in the front entrance because I was waiting for a semi-important e-mail. The library was crowded. All kinds of people in that place, and of course the requisite bums out front.

    The librarian at the desk was polite and informed me that my computer was acting funny, and offered me the option of trying a different one, so I did. We joked and made a couple lines about technology. I started clicking away.

    A minute or so later, she came up to me and very quietly/discreetly said, "I just noticed your....gun. Are you a police officer or private security?"

    "No ma'am. Just a regular guy like everyone else."

    "Oh. Well, even though I know it is legal to openly carry a firearm, it is library policy that only peace officers be armed here. Would you mind taking it to your car?"

    "Actually ma'am, I walked here, so I really don't have anywhere secure to put it."

    She responded cheerfully, "Not a problem! You can leave it with me, if you'd like. I'll lock it in my desk." Since I am pretty new to the whole OC thing, I agreed (I really needed to see that e-mail!). I stepped behind her desk and, out of view of most of the other patrons (none of whom even noticed I was carrying, as far as I could tell) removed the magazine and cleared the +1 round, and stuck both in my pocket. I placed the Beretta on a shelf in her desk and she locked it. We made pleasant small talk for a few seconds, and I went back to the computer.

    About ten minutes later, I decided to give up on waiting for the e-mail and went back to her desk to retrieve my weapon. She about fell over herself apologizing for the library policy, and I told her that she was very pleasant about the whole thing, and that I was not holding a grudge against her. I made the comment that very, very few people had even noticed that I was carrying a gun, and she agreed, what with all that new-fangled technology.

    I reloaded and holstered my weapon in the library. I thought the sound of the slide dropping would turn everyone's heads in shock. It did not. I walked out none the worse for wear.

    I headed east over the bridge on Boulder Creek, and turned north along the Boulder Creek path. On my way to the whitewater course, I ran into a friend out for a run. We talked for a couple minutes, and she never even mentioned the gun I was obviously carrying. (I asked her about it later, and she did notice the gun, but said that she didn't say anything about it because she always expected me to be carrying, and if I wasn't, then it would be out of the ordinary and worth mentioning.)

    After crossing the next ped bridge over the creek at the park, one 30-something guy clearly noticed I was carrying, and his eyes were absolutely glued to the gun as we passed each other. He was clearly nervous. I nodded hello to him, but I don't think he noticed.

    After a few minutes of dawdling at the water's edge, I retraced my path and headed for Pearl Street. The mall was quite crowded, as it usually is on any nice weekend afternoon. Latte drinking yuppies, street performers, dirty hippies, stoned CU students majoring in philosophy... basically a cross-section of moonbattery.

    As before, I was hyper-aware of any reactions people were having. I would say maybe 5% of people noticed I was carrying, and their typical response was to blatantly stare at the gun as they walked by. No other reaction.

    As I headed south, I approached two BPD officers standing in the middle of the "mall" between the shops on either side, one of whom was in plainclothes but obviously a cop (untucked Hawaiian bowler shirt, earpiece) as they were field interviewing one of the many colorful bums that populate the area. The plainclothes officer happened to look over his left shoulder, scan the crowd coming in his general direction, and immediately see me and my pistol. He turned, walked over to me, and the exchange went like this:

    Plainclothes - "Good afternoon, Sir. Which department are you with?"
    Me - "How ya doin, officer? I'm not actually with any department. Just out for a walk today, trying out a new holster."
    Plainclothes - "Trying out a new holster, eh? You look like an off-duty cop. Do you have a concealed carry permit?"
    Me - "No, Sir."
    (The gears were turning in his head as he mulled his response).-
    Plainclothes - "Do you know the law with regard to carrying like that?"

    As we were having this discussion, the uniformed officer finished up with the bum and came within earshot, but was generally just observing the situation from behind and to the side of the plainclothes officer. At this point, people walking by on either side were taking notice of the situation.

    Me - "Yes, Sir. Basically, open carry without a permit is legal throughout the state, except in Denver, Parker, and Breckenridge, though there is some debate on the last two towns. You can carry anywhere besides a school, university, polling place, or anywhere that has metal detectors or some kind of security checkpoint. Private property is at the discretion of the business owner."

    The plainclothes officer was surprised at my response. He asked the uniformed officer, "Is that correct?"

    Uniformed - "Yep. He's right."

    Plainclothes - "That's interesting. What would you do if you were walking down the street just like you were a couple minutes ago and a woman ran up to you believing you were a police officer and said that there is someone with a knife chasing her?"

    Me - "Well, that's a tough situation, but I would try to move her out of the immediate area, find cover and concealment, and call you guys." As I finished my response, I also removed my sunglasses.

    The plainclothes wasn't being a dick at this point, so don't infer that. My opinion is that he had probably never run into someone OCing before, and wanted to gauge what kind of person I was to be OCing. In any case, he was satisfied with my response, and was visibly relieved to see me eye-to-eye.

    At this point, the uniformed officer asked if I had any identification on me. I replied in the affirmative. She asked if she could see it. I told her that would not be a problem, and reached into my left pocket and gave it to her. This entire time the gun was still on my hip with a round in the pipe and a full mag. While she ran it, the plainclothes and I continued our conversation.

    Plainclothes - "Have you had any training? Been to any class or that sort of thing?"

    Me - "I have taken the Colorado course for concealed carry, but have not applied for my permit yet."

    Plainclothes - "Did it include a live fire qualification?"

    Me - "Yes. Wouldn't be much of a course if it was all classroom and no range. It wasn't particularly hard either. I shoot every weekend and I practice all sorts of drills on my own."

    Plainclothes - "That's good to hear. You know, I wish more people would carry. We would probably be a lot safer for it. I have an elderly father and I have been trying to get him to get a CCW permit for years, because there's so many bad people out there. We (the Police) aren't a magic wand. We can't be everywhere at once."

    The uniformed officer chimed in and agreed with both of us. The discussion turned quite friendly at this point. We discussed the finer points of handguns, the general political BS that permeates places like Chicago and California, and then moved to guns and holsters. The uniformed officer told me to be very careful with OCing because it made me a potential target, and that she personally would not carry in a holster that did not have a retention strap. I agreed with her, but said that I did not have any holster that fit the bill at the time.

    She gave me back my I.D., and I asked for their business cards. The plainclothes was clearly concerned that I wanted one, asking, "What are you going to do with this?" inferring that I would make some sort of complaint.

    Me - "Just for the record, so I know who I've been talking with." Pleasant all around.

    They both gave me their cards and wished me to have a good one.

    I continued walking down Pearl Street....

    Will continue later.






  2. #2
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    Considering you were in the People's Republic of Boulder, I had to laugh at this part.

    PurplePeopleEater wrote:
    The discussion turned quite friendly at this point. We discussed the ... , the general political BS that permeates places like Chicago and California, ....


    This is not a criticism and maybe it's just me, but there's no way I would have surrendered my weapon (loaded or unloaded) to the librarian.

  3. #3
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    Awesome day in Boulder! It's really not as bad as the People's Republic reputation makes it out to be when it comes to OC... all it takes is some personal bravery and a day warm enough to not require a jacket :celebrate

  4. #4
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    I understand your viewpoint, and, looking back on it, I would agree with you. I don't plan on doing that again. However, she never put her hands on it. It was placed in a secure cabinet and locked up. I was not leaving it out of my direct line of sight, or I would have asked for the key.

  5. #5
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    double tap

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