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Thread: Open Carry

  1. #1
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    Would a shoulder holster be considered appropriate for open carry if not covered by a jacket or other article of clotheing?

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    I've done it twice but it was not as comfortable for me as carrying on the hip.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...
    Stolen from ConditionThree because it can't be stressed enough.

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    well it depends on the state you are in and how they define "concealed" and if there are any mentions about the holster.

    In Virginia it is defined as "hidden from common observation" so even if you have really big arms, you would be open carrying.

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    Thanks for the answers guys. BTW, I'm in NC.

  5. #5
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    Sig Shooter,

    I'm also in NC, and I've been doing a LOT of research on this topic. I have a CHP, so I can legally carry concealed (and usually do), but there are times when I do want to carry OC. I've been reading statutes, spending a lot of time in the library, on the phone to the AG, and speaking directly FTF with local LEO's. Needless to say, hard answers are pretty hard to come by, because NC law leaves a lot open to "interpretation" and the courts here in NC tend to be very lenient when it comes to the interpretation of LEOs and relatively intolerant of interpretation of civilians...

    So as to a shoulder holster being "appropriate" for OC in NC, I'd say first it depends on where you are. If you live in a rural part of the state, you're a lot less likely to get hassled by either other citizens or LEO's wearing a shoulder holster.

    But if you live in a more urban area, it's going to depend on where you live, what you look like (dress, grooming, race, age), and how you comport yourself if approached by a business owner or LEO.

    I used to have a pony tail that almost reached my butt. I'd worn my hair like that for years--I'm a graphic designer, and a bit of an artsy-farsty type (I do letterpress printing as a hobby). But when I decided to get my CHP, the first thing I did (after REALLY studing up on the law before I ever even signed up for the class) was to get a haircut. I'm not wearing it "high and tight", but it's above my ears and well above the collar in the back. I wear mostly button-down shirts and slacks in my daily routine, and I drive a fairly new vehicle (a 2006 Chevy HHR). I'm college educated, a computer geek, and I keep a copy of the NC Statutes relating to CC and GATTTOTP in my computer bag at all times...

    I'm lucky enough to have a job that has given me favorable exposure to local LE personnel (city Police and Sheriff's Deputies), so many of the "local boys" know me, and know that I'm a law-abiding person. I'm a pretty regular customer of most of the local gun shops (I like to spread my business around, to support the local economy AND to get "face time" with people in the business so I'm a "known entity")

    What does allthis have to do with OC? Well, if you are a known entity to local LE and gun store owners, that is always a good thing. If they are comfortable with you and know you as a reasonable person, they are going to be less likely to give you a hard time in a MWAG report situation. Most of my local LE folks have told me that if they ever get a report and show up to find me, they will probably just tell me to "hide it uner my shirt" and be on their way. It's comforting to know that I have that sort of repor with the "boys in blue"...

    So if you are a "known" to your local LE, it makes things a LOT easier when it comes to OC. If you have a CHP, it makes things even easier.

    Shoulder holsters are sort of a touchy thing though. Some people (especially anti's) are going to perceive them as being "cowboy-ish", or "only something a gun nut would wear". They ARE rather obvious, and if worn for OC, they DO sort of draw attention to you--I mean you're going to have a big leather "X" across your shoulders. It's nowhere near as discreate as a tight high-ride slide holster, or a slim paddle. that is going to be discretely parked behind a relaxed arm as you walk. You'd be surprised how many people don't even notice a hip holster when you're OCing.

    But a shoulder holster is pretty freaking obvious. I mean, there is no way around that. Even people who aren't looking for a gun are going to notice you're carrying when you walk down the street with a shoulder holster.

    As far as I can determine from the statutes, there is nothing in NC law that defines what sort of holster you have to use or wear. Although the VERY obvious straps of a shoulder would make it difficult for any LEO to justify a "concealed" accusation, you need to remember that this IS North Carolina, and in a court, many judges will take an LEO's interpretation of a given situation over a defenseive argument of logic and Statutes...


    Of course, INAL... Yet... :quirky

    It is my opinion (and this is just MY opinion, so take it for what it's worth) that shoulder holsters are better suited to CC, or for ca backup for hunting. I have a couple nice shoulder holsters, but I only wear them if I'm CC. No sense in drawing more attention than I have to ...

    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  6. #6
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    I wear a shoulder holster when on car trips and during the winter if I'm going to be wearing a leather jacket.

    No sour looks yet, and I even have a horizontal draw holster that points at those standing behind me.

    I agree that a hip holster is more comfortable and discrete. Of course, a hip holster is useless when driving and on long trips chaffs with the seatbelt so it's situational.

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