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Thread: Open Carry VS Concealed Carry

  1. #1
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    Which do you prefer, and why? What are the pros and cons of both?

    Until recently, I wasn't even aware that Washington had the Open Carry law. I've always carried concealed.

    I feel that carrying concealed provides yourself with a sense of security without having to alarm other members of the public. Many people who see others openly carrying a firearm may become alarmed without a good reason. I can walk around comfortably in any store, or anywhere in public, knowing comfortably that I have my concealed pistol on my side.

    Now, I do feel there are some benefits to carrying open as well. I feel carrying open will make would-be criminals think twice about committing a crime in your presence. I feel it's a great deterrent to potential crime. On the other hand, it could give someone an opportunity to take your weapon from you, if you're not careful.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    There is not one documented case of someone taking a gun from a gun carrier while out and about.

    Both concealed carry and open carry have their places. It all depends on your own comfort level and circumstances.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

  3. #3
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    I think the biggest benefit to responsible open carry is that we are slowly educating the public to the fact that guns, in and of themselves, are not dangerous. We come into the store, do our business, and leave and nobody gets hurt in the process; our guns don't suddenly jump out of our holsters and go on a rampage. And if they engage with us in a conversation, they realize that we're just average citizens and that they don't need to be scared of us.

    I used to be pretty scared of making people nervous or getting hassled for OC, but so far every dialog I've had has ended up turning out positively.

    I still CC sometimes, though. My personal preference is to only OC when I'm dressed somewhat cleanly*, typically at least a tucked in polo shirt if not a full button down shirt. So if I'm not up to my own dress code for the day, I'll CC instead.

    *Disclaimer: This is my own preference while OCing, I don't make any presumption to tell others that they should also dress this way while OCing. I do it because I do still fear getting hassled or making people nervous and it is my opinion that dressing in this manner while OCing can help alleviate people's concerns.

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    Unfortunately you are incorrect in saying that no one has ever had their fire arm taken when OCing. It has happened numerous times over the years to LEO's. I'm aware that you were not considering them in your reply however they should be considered as they OC more than the general public. If an LEO can have his weapon taken then so can a civilian who is OCing. I believe if you intend to OC on a regular basis you should get some in depth training on weapon retention.

  5. #5
    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    You are correct, LEO's occassionally have had them taken DURING a fight, when they were trying to arrest someone. None have had it taken as they go about their day as an average Joe Blow would be OCing around town.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

  6. #6
    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    I open-carry because it serves four very distinct purposes for me:
    • In my case, the tactical advantages of open-carry outweigh the advantages of concealed carry in most situations. (Size/capacity/caliber of firearm, type of holster, speed and safety of draw are all benefitted by open carry.
    • As FrayedString pointed out, open-carry gets the general public more accustomed to seeing firearms on average (non LEO) citizens, and is a form of passive political incrementalism; it brings people away from the paranoia of inanimate objects.
    • As FrayedString also mentioned, open-carry can be an "ice-breaker" where a person who would normally not speak to you can have a short conversation with you about firearms rights. I've had many conversations with somewhat timid gun-owners, but I've probably had more conversations with people who know almost nothing about firearms, let alone firearm laws, who are curious about open-carry. (Many of those conversations being with, "Are you a cop?")
    • Open-carry is also a good political statement to the rabidly anti-gun left who I consider to be "lost-causes." These are the folks who will give you dirty looks behind your back or make snide comments to their friends about you and are unwilling to engage in civil discourse with you regarding firearms. They may be lost causes politically, but open-carry is a way of letting those folks know that we're out here exercising our rights and we're not afraid of their scorn. Consider it the lawful equivalent to a naked bicycle ride in a Seattle Park. Our guns are naked to make a statement.


    I can only think of a few situations where concealed carry is superior to open-carry for me:
    • In any place or situation where violent criminal activity (or gang activity) is expected or imminent, concealing may give you the advantage of not being executed from behind, as they may assume you are unarmed and attempt to threaten you at gunpoint rather than simply murder you. I tend to avoid those parts of town and those situations for obvious reasons. Situational awareness is always important, but it is especially important when open-carrying.
    • At your place of work, you may be willing to risk being fired for carrying concealed despite company policy if no one has a likelihood of finding out that you carry. Obviously in that situation, you wouldn't want to open-carry if you otherwise valued your job. The same may hold true for job-interviews.
    • If your daily activities put you in contact with criminals (especially thieves) who may target your home with the hopes of stealing your firearms, you may want to conceal-carry simply to avoid letting the thieves know you own firearms.

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