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Thread: Newbie questions about where you can and can't OC

  1. #1
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    Hi all-

    Just had my 21st birthday two days ago, first thing I did was be a responsible citizen and go buy a firearm. I want to OC everywhere I can.

    I am originally from Vance County (Henderson), and now live in Franklin County (near Centerville).

    I've seen the attorney general's "North Carolina Firearms Laws" document, which left me with a lot of questions about OC. I don't want to get myself in legal hot water, especially some sort of felony that will permanently revoke my right to own a firearm, so I need to ask these questions:

    (1) Is having my gun in my belt holster, while I'm in my truck, considered OC or CC? It might not be visible because of my body or the center console/armrest blocking the view, etc. - does that make a difference?

    (2a) Do any of y'all have a list of "places you can" and "places you can't" OC in North Carolina?

    (2b) If not, please give yes/no on the following:

    * Wal-Mart
    * Home Depot
    * Lowes
    * Ace Hardware stores
    * Grocery stores
    * Restaurants that DO NOT serve alcohol (i.e. Subway, McDonalds, Golden Corral, etc.) - what about if it's visible in my belt holster at the drive-thru window?
    * Churches
    * Gas stations (what about if I pay at the pump with a debit card, so I don't actually have to go into the little convenience mart?)
    * Fedex/Kinkos
    * Banks (BB&T) - what about if it's visible in my belt holster at the drive-up window?
    * Public sidewalks & streets
    * Other folks' property (i.e. if I were to walk up to a neighbor or friend's house and step onto their front porch, to knock on their door)
    * Malls (i.e. Crabtree Valley, North Hills, etc.)
    * Parking lots/sidewalks of strip malls (i.e. the kind of place where you have many stores that share one parking lot, like where most Wal-Marts and grocery stores are found)
    * Mass-transit vehicles (i.e. buses, trains, etc.)
    * CITY-owned (not state-owned) buildings, like public libraries

    (3) If a business has no sign on their door with regard to "no guns", is it safe to assume I can OC inside unless asked to leave by an employee/owner? i.e. if they ask me to leave, and I promptly do, I haven't committed a crime just by OC'ing, right? I mean, I had no way of knowing their "no guns" policy if they didn't post a sign on the door.

    (4) If a town has a "display ban", do they have to post signs all over the place saying so? If not, how do you figure out which towns you can and can't OC in?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    1--iffy on that one, depends on the LEO. To be safe keep it on the passenger seat or dash and immediately notify the LEO that you are OC'ing and where the firearm is.

    2--The safest bet is to not OC in places that are off limits to CC. You really can't go wrong that way. There is nowhere you cannot OC, but can CC. You can OC in a bank, but most post anyway.

    2b--Cary, NC restricts OC on sidewalks and Chapel Hill does not let you OC a handgun under 6". Check here for specific city info.

    http://www.municode.com/Library/Clie...spx?stateID=33

    Or contact town hall for their ordinances.

    City, county, and state owned buildings and their parking lots are generally off limits to carry. You can leave them in your car. As are city and county parks. I would assume public transportation as well, but I don't know for sure. Make some phone calls on that one.

    3--Technically yes you could OC, but if you are asked to leave you must leave or be charged with trespass. I would recommend not spending your money places that don't let you carry if you can do that.

    4-- No they only have to post buildings generally. Check Municode above.

    Here is the NC General Statutes site. The vast majority of gun laws are in the 14-criminal law section, particularly around GS 269 and GS 415 areas.

    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascript...StatutesTOC.pl

    And this is not legal advice, IANAL, bla bla. Do yourself a favor and double check anything you read when you are putting yourself in a potentially legal issue. Trust but verify! And welcome aboard. Read through the posts here. A lot of this has been discussed at length on other threads.

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    @ chiefjason: Thanks for your reply.

    @ all: I would really appreciate a yes/no on the individual stores & places listed that chiefjason didn't cover, namely:

    Wal-Mart
    * Home Depot
    * Lowes
    * Ace Hardware stores
    * Grocery stores
    * Restaurants that DO NOT serve alcohol (i.e. Subway, McDonalds, Golden Corral, etc.) - what about if it's visible in my belt holster at the drive-thru window?
    * Churches
    * Gas stations (what about if I pay at the pump with a debit card, so I don't actually have to go into the little convenience mart?)
    * Fedex/Kinkos
    * Banks (BB&T) - what about if it's visible in my belt holster at the drive-up window?
    * Public sidewalks & streets
    * Other folks' property (i.e. if I were to walk up to a neighbor or friend's house and step onto their front porch, to knock on their door)
    * Malls (i.e. Crabtree Valley, North Hills, etc.)
    * Parking lots/sidewalks of strip malls (i.e. the kind of place where you have many stores that share one parking lot, like where most Wal-Marts and grocery stores are found)



    See here's the thing: no one in my family owns guns, so I wasn't brought up with this knowledge like so many of you (I'm sure there are 4-year-olds around here who are more knowledgable on this bit of law than I am). I'm just petrified of screwing up doing something I think is totally innocuous. For example, it seems fine to me to walk into a Wal-Mart OC'ing...but I can easily picture other shoppers diving for cover upon seeing my holstered gun, all dialing 9-1-1 on their cell phones, and having a SWAT team and snipers rappel down from the ceiling and taser me and shoot me and throw me in jail for decades for a long list of felonies, and everyone (LEO's, judge, jury, local citizens, friends, etc. saying "What the f*** were you thinking?!?! It's totally obvious - to apparently everyone but you - that you can't carry a gun into a public store! Were you raised by wolves or something?! What's next, you're going to carry a nuke into BestBuy?")

    I just really don't want to screw up here. I've never been in trouble with the law before, and don't want to be. This country is operating so far outside its Constitution, I don't feel secure taking anything for granted.

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    I am not a lawyer, but I will offer my opinion, based on my own carry habits.

    * Wal-Mart
    I carry in every Wal-Mart, there national policy, at least as far as I have been told, is to follow local law. I have had some encounters where some people will not sell you ammo while carrying, and will make a manager come ring it up. Also the only place I have ever been asked if it was loaded my multiple people at multiple stores.

    * Home Depot
    I check doors, if I do not see a sign, I carry. I have not had any issues

    * Lowes
    I check doors, if I do not see a sign, I carry. I have not had any issues

    * Ace Hardware stores
    I check doors, if I do not see a sign, I carry. I have not had any issues

    * Grocery stores
    I check doors, if I do not see a sign, I carry. I have not had any issues, and I often am int he store at odd times of day, esp 24 hour Harris Teeter stores.

    * Restaurants that DO NOT serve alcohol (i.e. Subway, McDonalds, Golden Corral, etc.) - what about if it's visible in my belt holster at the drive-thru window?
    Drive through does not count. AND, if its not posted, you can carry, though I have had some weird reactions from staff, from questions about what I am carrying, to the 'are you a cop', or 'is you security'.

    * Churches
    More of an iffy subject, I go with my gut here, I carry concealed when at church. less for legality, more for respect thing in my case.

    * Gas stations (what about if I pay at the pump with a debit card, so I don't actually have to go into the little convenience mart?)
    I carry on my belt at gas stations, and inside them. As long as they do not have a no guns sign per NC code, you can carry up till they ask you to leave.

    * Fedex/Kinkos
    Check the door, be polite, and look out for the Cary PD

    * Banks (BB&T) - what about if it's visible in my belt holster at the drive-up window?
    I carry on my belt at the drive up, and keep it on my belt when I use walk up ATM's at banks, inc BB&T. BB&T unfortunately is my home bank, and has a national policy of NO open carry in the branch. ALL of them are posted. While it is NOT a crime to open carry where the land owner has posted no guns, it IS violating there requests, and turns you into a trespasser. And they can ask you to leave, or have the local law enforcement charge you with trespassing.

    * Public sidewalks & streets
    In most places yes. This is a NO GO in the town of Cary. Period, all stop. In chapel hill, the gun must meet a minimum size to be open carried. Do NOT carry too close to state or federal buildings, public parks, post offices, etc as there is always somebody looking to complain and get you to waste an hour or more with a no harm no law broken harassment call.

    * Other folks' property (i.e. if I were to walk up to a neighbor or friend's house and step onto their front porch, to knock on their door)
    This IS legal. However it may be seen as intimidating by some, and they can ask you to leave, at which point it becomes a trespassing issue, just like a business.

    * Malls (i.e. Crabtree Valley, North Hills, etc.)
    Most malls are posted. They may not be posted on every door, per the law, and may just have it in a 'rules of the mall' type list on 1 door, or on the wall as you walk in. Just be aware, if you have a gun in view while on the property controlled by most malls, they can and will have security stop you, check you, and may ask you to put it in your car or leave, in some cases may have you trespassed and banned from the property.

    * Parking lots/sidewalks of strip malls (i.e. the kind of place where you have many stores that share one parking lot, like where most Wal-Marts and grocery stores are found)
    Be aware of the Chapel hill and Cary nc rules here, the parking lot is ok, the sidewalk next to the road is not in Cary, and some strip malls post their parking lots and property as a no guns/weapons area, so check signs.

    Above all, don't let clothing hide it, be polite, and it helps to keep ID in a shirt pocket or on the opposite side from the gun, it ups tension levels when you reach right next to the gun to pull a wallet at ANY place or time. We are ambassadors for our cause, so be polite, since we do not have any legislative law outlining our rights with open carry, just case law, be careful about arguing with people about it. Its better to leave, with your gun, and use your money another place, than to start a fight, verbal or otherwise, and make a place post signs.

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    KyleKatern wrote:
    'is you security'.

    * Fedex/Kinkos
    Check the door, be polite, and look out for the Cary PD
    LMAO!

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    Kyle and ChiefJason have already addressed most of the places you asked about, but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in...

    You mentioned public libraries. That one is sort of dicey. Some libraries don't allow firearms and outline this in their "code of conduct" which is usually posted at the front door. They are similar to the lists that Malls often post. I don't know why they don't use a more standard "no firearms" sign like other businesses, and I think this is a rather sneaky way to implement their policies. I'm currently discussing this with my local library, and trying to get them to change their policy. I mean if you can't exercise your Constitutional rights in a freaking Library of all places, then what kind of message is that sending to people? It's not a law, ordinance, city code--it is a "code of conduct" so technically, all they can do is ask you to leave. But I'd rather they just dropped this unconstitutional prohibition.

    As for all the businesses you listed, I always suggest that you check the doors before you just walk in. If it's not posted, you're OK.

    With restaurants, I always assume that a restaurant serves alcohol if it's not a known "dry" venue like Subway or Taco Bell. Many little diners and local mom-and-pop restaurants serve beer and wine, and that makes them "off limits". Since restaurants in NC are not required to post their ABC permit info on their doors, it's safer to assume that any place that serves food probably has an ABC permit for at least beer and wine. I always disarm before going into a place I don't know, and I will ask them before I get seated if they serve beer and wine. If they do, I'm good because I've disarmed before entering. If they dont serve alcohol, the next time I eat there, I'll probably be carrying as long as they aren't posted.

    Most of the big "office supply" stores like Staples and Office Depot are also OK for carry. I am a graphic designer and an art student, so I buy a LOT of paper and get a LOT of copies made at such businesses, and I've never seen one posted. I carry in the local Office Max several times a week, and they have no problems. Actually, one of the women who works the copy center usually chats me up about guns whenever she's working--she's VERY pro 2A...

    I've never seen a "no guns" sign at Craft stores like Michaels and AC Moore either. I carry in the Michaels in Greenville several times a month, and have never had an issue.

    Gun stores and sporting goods stores are hard to read sometimes. Each place seems to have it's own policy. Most of the local gun shops and pawn shops in the Greenville area are pro-OC and have no issue at all. Mackey's doesn't mind you carrying, but they don't want your gun to be loaded, so I always drop my magazine and put it im my pocket when I go there. Awesome Outdoors in Washington doesn't allow you to carry at all--they make you unload and check your gun at the front counter, and because of that, I rarely buy anything there. The big chains like Overtons, Gander Mountain, Cabelas and Dicks are all cool with OC in my experience, in NC, VA, PA and WV.

    Gas stations are sort of hard to know too. Most in NC are OK with OC. There is one here in Washington (Liberty Fuel) that is posted, and I never go there...

    Keep your eyes open, look for signs, and know the law!

    Good luck!
    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."
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    Thanks, guys, for all the input. I'm just going to get my CCW permit and CC instead of OC. It's too much of a hassle to OC. I travel a lot for work, including out-of-state, and having to learn the policies of various cities and towns in various states - and HOPE that ALL the officers there are properly informed that OC is legal, lest I end up with an arrest record, court/lawyer costs, and hours/days taken out of my business travel time, is just too big a hassle. Also, it just generally seems to freak people out - and I don't mean just libs - I mean little old ladies, mothers out with their children, etc., and I don't like bringing discomfort to my neighbors, especially ladies. All in all, it's just not worth it to me. And in fact, CC has a pile of advantages over OC anyway.

    I know many of y'all now have blood shooting out your ears like a lawn sprinkler, and are screaming "WELL THAT'S JUST THE POINT OF O.C.'ING!!! PEOPLE NEED TO GET USED TO IT, THEN THEY'LL STOP BEING UNCOMFORTABLE!!! AND IF YOU LET THE COPS BULLY YOU INTO NOT EXERCISING A RIGHT BY HARRASSING YOU WITH BOGUS CHARGES AND DETENTIONS, THEN THEY'VE WON, OUR RIGHT IS EFFECTIVELY LOST, AND YOU'RE WILLFULLY ENABLING THE BEGINNINGS OF A POLICE-STATE, YOU WORTHLESS TRAITOR!!!" Sorry, but I'm bullied. The thought of what an arrest record would do to my future, coupled with the idea of being tasered or shot or taken to the ground, perp-walked in cuffs in public, thrown in jail, then stuck with a crappy public defender or the bill for a good jew lawyer, plus the embarrassment and damage to my reputation in the community...it's just not worth it to me, I'm sorry. When the cops start trying to take away my right to own a gun, to OC on my own property, etc., then I'll be more willing to get myself in trouble for the sake of taking a stand. The cops can make one's life a living hell for as long as they want, and I'm just not willing to take them on.

    If my attitude about it changes in the future, I'll have this great thread to refer to so I know where I can and cannot OC. Thanks, I really appreciate it!

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    It's not for the faint of heart sometimes. You've made the decision to arm yourself for protection, that's commendable in itself. Good luck on the course. Nothing says you can't OC once you get your permit either. You tried it and made an informed decision at least. That's more than most folks do.

    That said, do me a favor. That "pile of advantages" really is not nearly as big as most people think. And OC does have some of it's own. You've tried it and decided it's not for you. Just own the decision. Don't spread more poor info on how much better CC is than OC. But there's nothing wrong with saying, "I tried it, I didn't like it, more power to the folks that want to OC." Know what I mean? I've never had an issue with someone who just does not want to OC. It's the folks that spread a lot of junk about OC that gripe me to no end.

    Be safe out there.

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    freedomdepartment wrote:
    I don't like bringing discomfort to my neighbors, especially ladies.
    Just an FYI - I am a lady and OC doesn't bother me in the least.

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    Oc in Franklin county

    I live in Franklin county and have been ocing for the last three months and have been everywhere Ace, Home depot, Lowes, Mcds, Wendy's Burger King,KFC, Food lion,Just save,Dollar store,Family dollar,Dollar General,Hess,Sheets,Game stop,RUe21,All the local Convenience stores,I carry on my belt even when driving but am prepared if i get pulled over to inform the LEO that i am ocing and where the gun is.I also live close to Centerville Gold sand area Or Laurel mill.I am trying to start a trend here in Franklin county get a few people together and have regular meetings to get people used to seeing ocers around the more people involved the less likely you are to have trouble especially if it is organized and we study and trade different case law on the subject so we are better prepared to stand up for our rights.

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    After reading through this thread and the statues, I'm still a little confused on one part:

    into any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.
    Does this include places like Wal-Mart and grocery stores where you "buy" alcohol but not "consume" it?

    I'm kind of wondering how much power the word "and" has in that sentence. From what I think I learned in school, since it does not have the word "or", places that only sell alcohol are exempt. Thanks for any replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paintman40 View Post
    After reading through this thread and the statues, I'm still a little confused on one part:
    Does this include places like Wal-Mart and grocery stores where you "buy" alcohol but not "consume" it?

    I'm kind of wondering how much power the word "and" has in that sentence. From what I think I learned in school, since it does not have the word "or", places that only sell alcohol are exempt. Thanks for any replies.
    Well done! You have answered you own question. Unless sold for on-site consumption, a place that sells alcohol is not off-limits. Even if they have a table set up for sample testing (just don't avail yourself of the samples).

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