It sounds like you did a fine job.
Thread: Confronted about open carry
Everyone else seems to post their "Uh... you need to cover that up..." story at one point or another on here, now I've got one, or two as it so happens.
I attended the meeting for sportsmen at Cabelas tonight. As soon as I walked into the store the employee who was greeting folks saw my firearm (SigSauer P220 in my Blackhawk! SERPA holster) and asked me, "Sir, can I see your badge?"
"My badge?" I asked.
"Yeah, are you off duty? You are law enforcement, right?"
"Actually, nope, I'm just here for the meeting."
(Inquisitive stare) "Isn't that illegal?"
I explained that OC isn't against the law in Connecticut. He did insist on seeing my pistol permit, which I let him check out. It is private property after all and if they want to make sure... it's no skin off my back. On my way out I stopped and told him about the CCDL, told him to check us out, and handed off a business card.
Before the meeting started I was seated and talking with Kevin when a gentleman approached me and asked me to cover up my firearm. I asked him if he worked for Cabelas, he didn't. I asked him if he was one of the organizers of the meeting, he wasn't. Then I was told that my behavior was against the law. (Could I have two converts tonight?)
We had a civil discussion for about three or four minutes about open carry, the law and the related misinformation floating around out there, the Goldberg case, and about the message I was sending to our representatives in attendance that night. He said he would check out the law and information related to the Goldberg case, thanks to the CCDL business card.
I then explained to him that I wasn't intending on sending any message with my firearm. Open carry is what I choose when I carry, that's all. I'm not behaving in a threatening manner, I'm not being confrontational, the mere presence of a firearm means nothing to me, and it shouldn't matter to anyone else who understands the law and our founding documents. The bearing of arms is a fundamental reality of this nation and some people chose to (safely) open carry, and they have their reasons. He asked for several CCDL business cards!
My point is this; while I consider it a victory that nobody called the cops, I wasn't asked to disarm at any point, and I (hopefully) won over a couple minds tonight. The people at this meeting are sympathetic to the "pro-gun" cause, and their minds are the ones we must win over. Maybe they don't OC, fine, it's not for everyone. But the CCDL made a difference tonight. "Hey, you should check us out on our website, come to our meetings, stand with us, and help us fight politically to maintain our rights." The response in both cases was, "I will. It was nice meeting you," followed by a handshake.
Our education clause in the CCDL mission statement will be a major factor in our continued success in this state. That will include educating our fellow hunters, personal protection advocates, law enforcement officers, and our representatives (none of whom said anything about my method of carry tonight.) For a young organization, we are already making great progress and I look forward to where we are headed together.
It sounds like you did a fine job.
Cabelas policy is to allow customer carry if carry is lawful in that state.
Great job!!! Leaving on a hand shake and a smile after a confrontation over OC is the best thing to help with the education and with the diplomacy that we here at the CCDL strive for!
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is a non-partisan, grassroots organization devoted to advocating rights affirmed by the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Connecticut. We are especially dedicated to protecting the unalienable right of all citizens to keep and bear arms, for the defense of both self and state, through public enlightenment and legislative action.
Join Here: http://www.ccdl.us/membership
Way to go!! And thanks for making it out there in the interest of CCDL.
you can see the road is long when you have to educate the "gun-friendly" folks about their Constitutional Rights.
Some prefer to get confrontational about it, but it is better to present the facts in a calm reasonable manner.
As my mammy used to say, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar".
Good Job!!! Well handled.