I went to the GR Gun and Knife show yesterday (8/17) and felt I needed to post a few conversations I had with security (?), vendors, and the general public.
I remembered there being a post questioning the ability of security guards/ door personnel at gun shows held on private property. I was asked, as I always have been upon entering the show, if I was carrying any loaded weapons. I answered the gentleman by telling him "That I've always wondered, What if I were?" His answer, "Well, then I would ask you to step outside and remove the ammunition if it were loaded and when you re-entered I would put a tie on the firearm" The woman taking the tickets then chimed in by telling me that, if I were a police officer, I would need to show my ID and I wouldn't have to do that. I just answered, "Oh, I was just wondering" and walked right in.
I then proceeded to a vendor table selling holsters. After looking for a new one for my Glock .40 and not finding what I liked, the vendor showed me some IWB models. I told him that I wanted it for open carry, so no thanks. He then proceeds to ask me if I wanted it because I knew that Open Carry is legal. He then tells me that there is a guy in GHaven that was arrested, etc. We talked for about 15 minutes about open carry and he said that he's from Indiana and always thought it was one of the most gun-friendly places but, when he found out about the right to OC in MI w/out a permit, he said he has changed his mind and MI is apparently better.
I then walked around the row to walk up the row behind this gentleman and a woman came up to me and asked if I was talking to the other gentleman about OC; I answered yes, and she stated that when a large group of vendors were setting up their displays, "everyone" was talking about OCing, the man in GHaven, and this website.
I then drove over to Greenridge Square (outdoor mall on Alpine ave.) shopped at Circuit City and a few other places and then drove across the street to Barnes and Noble for a cup of coffee and looked through the magazines and some books. A woman came up to me and asked if I was a cop; I said no. She said that I must be carrying a firearm because I know it is legal; well, not exactly but yes I did know it is legal (duh?). She said that she had seen something on TV about it and thought the idea to OC was crazy. Then she said it was very
obvious that I had a firearm on my waist and she was surprised that no one in B&N seemed to care. She said that she would have to reconsider her earlier thoughts on "carrying guns" but if "normal" (lol) people like me do, she "admits" that she really can't see any problem with it. I jokingly said that I was not sure about how "normal" I was but went on to tell her that I have never had any issues from anyone regarding the firearm. She then just thanked me for talking to her about it and slowly started looking at more books in the store. I left about 10 minutes later and went home.
I was surprised and very pleased that information is getting out that OC is legal. I know, look at all of the reports on the news, in the newspaper, or on this website, etc. But, my concern has always been that news sources are not without an agenda and this agenda is typically not gun friendly.
You may also think that gun dealers and other "firearm industry" related people are typically supportive of OCing, so this recognition is no big deal. Actually, I've found the opposite to quite often be the case; people connected to the firearm business are often some of the toughest to convince that OC is not only legal in MI, but also practical. However, no matter what happens in regards to LEO encounters, when one gets public opinion, (especially the older woman in B&N) to believe that "normal"
people OC, the police will respond accordingly.