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Thread: Open Carry Field Report W/E 5/02/10

  1. #1
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I finally took the leap and devoted my entire weekend to open carry.

    Equipment:
    Saturday I wore my red CCDL shirt and a pair of cargo shorts. On my hip was my Glock 23 riding in my Desantis thumb break speed scabbard (OWB). This is often my concealed rig as well, so I was familiar and comfortable with it. I wore my Desantis double mag pouch on the opposite side on my back.

    Late Saturday and all day Sunday I switched out for my Kimber Pro CDP, in the same style holster and again with a double mag pouch on my back.

    Also, in my pocket was a copy of the CCDL 'is that legal' pamphlet and the DPS memo to the state police.


    Summary:
    • Successful visits:
      Newington - Bertuccis
      Newington - Hoffmans
      Meriden - Starbucks
      Meriden - Old Navy
      Meriden - Burlington Coat Factory
      Meriden - Cold Stone
      Wallingford - Linear Trail
      Clinton - Chips Pub
      Branford - Crooked Shillelagh
      Branford - Ben and Jerrys
      North Branford - Rose Orchards


    Sunday:
    • Branford - Scotty's Breakfast
      Old Saybrook - North Cove Outfitters (Very CCDL friendly, was greeted and complimented)
      Niantic - Three Belles Marina
      Westbrook - New Orleans Restaurant
      Branford - Trailblazer
      Wallingford - Archie Moores


    Unsuccessful visits:
    • Branford - Cue and Brew



    Conclusion:
    I have to say, this weekend was very busy and my carry had a lot of surface area. My carrying was extremely obvious to anyone paying any attention as I made absolutely no attempt to cover up or to shy away from anyone. Surprisingly, many people either don't notice or they simply don't care. I made it a point to be a couple notches more friendly than I would normally be and anyone I saw looking at me I would respond my nodding and smiling at them.

    Overall, I was well received. The vast majority of people were very positive and friendly. I got the occassional stare or look of judgement, but nothing over the top, and any potential negatives were outweighed by the support. Certainly nothing alarming at all.

    My OC related encounters were very limited. It was really life as usual. My first was actually on the second day at North Cove Outfitters. One of the salesmen at the outdoor kayak event simply asked what my shirt and (motioning to my gun) was all about. No ill will was detected and I responded by chatting about OC a little and showing him my CCDL pamphlet. He thanked me for the quick lesson and went on about his day. I did the same.

    The second encounter was downstairs at North Cove again. A North Cove worker came up, pointed at my shirt and said "great group". What a good feeling from a great store. I truly felt at ease there. I think people were more polite and helpful, but we have always had great experiences at North Cove, so I could be biased.

    I should point out that we did not go to North Cove Outfitters for anything related to firearms or OC at all, it was merely coincidental since I was with family who was looking for a kayak. I am glad I went though, it was a great bolster to my confidence. I would need that later in the night.

    My next encounter left something to be desired. We entered Branford Cue and Brew after a cursory look at the signs and flyers plastered over their front door and window. Nothing about firearms. We checked in and we were assigned a pool table.

    The girl at the front desk was very polite and courteous as were all of the patrons I made contact with. I got our sticks, we racked and we played a couple turns. I am sure I had my fair share of eyes on me since they situated us in the middle of the room, but I saw no disconcerting reactions. I don't mind attention, I get stared at plenty anyway, and we both suck at billiards so that was bound to happen anyway. The waitress came over and she (on her own accord, not at all at our request) reclaimed a table and chairs for us by our table and took our order for a pitcher of Diet Coke. Looks like we are going to have a good time...

    About 5 minutes later, I see a larger man coming up behind me fast and in a confrontational/authoritative manner. I stay cool, pivot around the table a bit and look to him so that we won't be too close, as I am not yet sure of his intentions or demeanor. He is apparently management (no real way to check his credentials, but that is how he represents himself) and tells me I need to "leave the iron in the car" and that I am making "a lot of people upset". I respond that I won't be disarming and that we would instead be leaving. He tells me "make it happen quickly".

    We gather our stuff. I note that no one seems to be angry, alarmed or really even aware of what is happening. I grab the pool sticks and head over to the rack I obtained them from.
    A girl there asks me "Are you a cop?".
    I calmly reply "Nope".
    She says (nervously, like she didn't mean to insult me) "I was just curious...".
    I reply "I would be happy to answer any questions you may have, but I need to do it outside since I have been asked to leave."
    At this point, the 6 or 7 people standing nearby are talking at me (somewhat loudly) telling me that is wrong that they asked me to leave and that I should just conceal and insist on staying, etc. The patrons in attendance were very supportive of my carry. I tell them "Thank you, but that is not the point, I need to leave, it is his right to request we leave."

    We leave with no further incident, paying our 85 cent tab to the front desk girl who is very surprised that I was asked to leave. I have no idea what became of our pitcher of Coke, sorry to the waitress if she got stiffed on it, but we had no control over this.

    I probably should have been more annoyed by being asked to leave, but I was actually bolstered by the fact that the patrons seemed to be very supportive of me and not towards the management. I made sure to be polite and professional and we got out of there quickly as requested. We didn't make it into a scene, although the other patrons seemed to be intent on it as we were leaving.


    Overall, I am very happy. I will be open carrying as much as possible in the future. Thank you to the CCDL and to everyone on this forum that helped make me confident enough to do this.
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  2. #2
    Regular Member romma's Avatar
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    Great Job, great report Rich. You handled your requested departure extremely well from the sounds of things. Thanks for having the fortitude to live freely and exercise your rights!



    Scott

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    One thing I would like to discuss is what if any recourse would the CCDL or forum members like to establish for these unsuccessful encounters?
    I have heard of people leaving business cards expressing their distaste with the encounter, but I am not sure of the effect of this.

    I am open to suggestions (including my current plan which is to leave it alone).

    Some ideas:
    • - The members of CCDL offer to meet (off premises if needed) and discuss with the management of the establishment what their concerns are and clear up any legal issues.
      - The members of CCDL arrange an event on premises. In this case, the Cue and Brew offers the option to book the pool hall for parties. Booking the hall and telling them it will be an event for a firearm group should give them the needed prodding to open up dialog and hopefully show that we are potential customers.


    At the end of the day, once open carry is fairly normalized, things have settled and people across the state are having no issues, I would like to see a push for a reversal of the legislation that allows a business to discriminate against carriers of firearms. I know this is controversial and now is certainly not the time, but I can tell you from my experience on Sunday, I was discriminated against. This is no different than asking someone to leave because they are gay or black or anything else. I think that is what bothers me about that incident.

    ...Just some food for thought.
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    It's funny that you had no issues in Meriden. I have a bet going on with a Meriden cop for lunch, and he's adamant that open carry is illegal. So I printed all of the DPS memos, courant article, etc. He calls the firearm permit guy and his lieutenant, all say that CT is Concealed Carry only and go as far as saying that it's on my permit. So I take out my permit and say that it's a permit to carry.

    I'll keep you guys updated.

    Apparently I'm facing jail time if I open carry....

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    beanoboy7 wrote:
    It's funny that you had no issues in Meriden.
    I spent literally hours in Meriden in highly populated places. I saw no police at all, and I had no issues. In fact, the people at the Meriden Starbucks were very friendly and we all had a long discussion about some changes to their menu.

    I got the normal interested looks, but I didn't see anything at all that was too far out of the ordinary. I had the same paperwork you mention close at hand just in case as well.

    Considering what you say about the Meriden response, it sounds like it is time to contact the Meriden Chief of Police.
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    Regular Member romma's Avatar
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    Code:
    One thing I would like to discuss is what if any recourse would the CCDL or forum members like to establish for these unsuccessful encounters?
    Rich, if you are available to come to the next CCDL General Meeting next Tuesday, we have and open forum session to discuss things of this nature. It is possible to build an adhoc type committee for dealing with this matter and other matters of this sort, although I cannot promise it. Some of these things are best left public forums...

    Carry On! Again, great job!!!







  7. #7
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    romma wrote:
    Rich, if you are available to come to the next CCDL General Meeting next Tuesday, *
    I have been trying to make it to a meeting for a while, but I have not yet had the time on a Tuesday night to make it to Middletown.

    I suspect many CCDL members have the same issue. If CCDL wishes to be an effective grassroots organization, I believe they need to have an ad hoc presence leveraging the internet more effectively. Of course that is also another discussion that would probably be better for a real life meeting.

    I will continue to try and make time to attend a real meeting.

    In the meantime, this is a CCDL issue as well as a general OC forum issue.
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    Regular Member romma's Avatar
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    CCDL does have a very effective online meeting vehicle.The idea, or suggestion for you to discuss it at a meetingwould be a tool touse the tools that we have on hand, people that show up that wish to actively participate as CCDL Members.

    These are the types of things that CCDL is strivingfor success with.



    Hope you can make it Rich, and if you do not, it may come up anyway!! ;-)

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    You're right Rich. Since we're on the topic of police cheifs, has anyone from the CCDL gotten confirmation from Police Cheifs about Open Carry. We all know that there isn't an issue in Glastonbury

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    beanoboy7 wrote:
    You're right Rich. Since we're on the topic of police cheifs, has anyone from the CCDL gotten confirmation from Police Cheifs about Open Carry. We all know that there isn't an issue in Glastonbury
    What if we start a new thread and go town by town?
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    beanoboy7 wrote:
    You're right Rich. Since we're on the topic of police cheifs, has anyone from the CCDL gotten confirmation from Police Cheifs about Open Carry. We all know that there isn't an issue in Glastonbury
    I'v been having a dialog with Norwalks chief about it & will post when/if I get something definitive from him.
    So far all he's really said is they would respond to any calls about a MWAG and officer discretion will be the rule on the scene. I sent him a copy of the Courants story on Goldberg asking narrowly how that would have been handled as reported, with no violence, no threats, no real incident, just a curious call to police.
    As I said I'll let the forum know when I hear something definitive.

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    rich, nice work. on your query on what to do, i think your idea of meeting with management if there willing would be the sane logical approach. i guess it would be more of an education seminar for them just to make them aware and to hopefully get them to change there policy. also making them aware that gun owners would likely patronize them over other establishments because of that.

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    The only alarming thing I see is you stopped for ice cream twice on Saturday!?!?!?

    Cold Stone and Ben and Jerry's!

    Just playing...

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Actually it was a smoothie and an ice cream. But who's counting?
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    Regular Member atrule's Avatar
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    I've started OC lately since sweater season has ended. I haven't had many looks either. I think there was an Ice Cream place I went to with the lady being a little nervous. (She forgot something on my sundae. Oh well. It was still good). We stayed there for a while, no problems.

    It occurs to me that people probably think I'm a cop. That might not be such a bad thing at first for introducing the public at large to civilian clothed people OCing. Part of the point (as far as I am doing it) is to acclimate people that your neighbors carrying personal defense devises are not a problem, or to be feared, anymore than people driving cars near you.

    On the other hand, I thought about wearing a button that says "Hi, I'm Andy, the Happy Gun Owner. How about You?" If people have the impression that I'm a cop, this might not be a good thing to wear. But, if they become aware that I am not a cop, then maybe that would be the time to break out my button and put it on.

    On another note from above. I would be against forcing anyone to accept gun owners because it is open to the public. I defend their property right to discriminate against me. People have discriminated against me, but I support their right to do it. If bigotry is a problem, the best thing to do is allow people to go somewhere else, and let those who chuse to discriminate languish. That is, in a free market, those who are open to people for whatever reason usually get rewarded with more revenues. Social pressures are much more ethical, effectual, and compassionate than government force.

    When you use government force to push for acceptance of what you think should be accepted you create resentments and that can lead to bigotry. Look at what we are endeavoring to do now trying to reverse anti-gun culture. Surely someone here has felt some resentment for law enforcement to enforce cultural norms, disrespecting property rights (your person to carry your gun), and rightly so. Respect people's property rights to make right or wrong decisions, and eventually people tend to become wise, neighborly and respectful to each other.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I am not recommending a law to force people to accept open carry in their business. I only wish we could take away the law that gives them the legal force to do so.
    I dont think anyone would be ok with a law that said if you were black, a store owner could make you leave at anytime. I dont see a big difference in the two things.
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    Regular Member atrule's Avatar
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    The CGS makes it illegal to carry in a place of private property against the owners wishes. This makes sense, if you are going to have a state government protecting property rights. If you remove that law, how should the owners protect their property? Should they use anything at their means up to and including use of deadly force? Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is the "Castle Doctrine", which I support, but is not the law in Connecticut.

    So, unless the law on the "Castle Doctrine" is changed, what you said seems to be a contradiction when it comes to enforcement. You could rely on social customs and norms. I suppose I support that idea too, it being a point in what I said in my previous post.

    Rich, you are right that there isn't much difference in asking one to leave based on being armed or being black. It is not politically correct, but I do support someone excluding others from their property based on race, or religion or political views or for any other reason. In fact, the political or legal or ethical view I just expressed would get me excluded in many places, if they had the power to do it. And, I would support that and their right to enforce that exclusion against me. The reason is that private property is key to Liberty. It is really key and prior to gun rights that we support.

    Now, do I think it is right when people do things like this? No. But, again, I believe the ethical, more effectual (in the long run) and compassionate way of dealing with someone who wants to exclude that black man over there (or for any other reason) is through social pressures. Economics is a strong motivating factor, and the ones who tend to be the more tolerant are the ones who tend to prosper in relation to the less tolerant.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    atrule wrote:
    The CGS makes it illegal to carry in a place of private property against the owners wishes.
    I think there needs to be a distinction between a commercial property open to the public and residential private property. Obviously you have the right to allow or disallow anyone you want (for any reason you want) on your property. However a business traditionally does not have that right.

    For instance, as a business owner, try putting a 'no blacks' or 'no gays' or 'no women' sign on your front door. Try walking up to a black person/gay person/woman and telling them to leave for that reason.

    Rich, you are right that there isn't much difference in asking one to leave based on being armed or being black. It is not politically correct,
    This has absolutely nothing to do with being politically correct. This is a violation of civil rights. Do not confuse the two things, that is not giving proper credit to the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

    but I do support someone excluding others from their property based on race, or religion or political views or for any other reason. In fact, the political or legal or ethical view I just expressed would get me excluded in many places, if they had the power to do it. And, I would support that and their right to enforce that exclusion against me. The reason is that private property is key to Liberty. It is really key and prior to gun rights that we support.
    The problem with your argument is that it is not the case for any other condition. Again, try posting a sign on your front door 'no jews'. Say hello to the lawsuits and violence that ensues.


    It seems to me that the state should instead have a 'gun free zone' permit. A business would have to apply for this permit which would need an open approval process based on an absolute need that can be discussed in open public forums. I imagine it would be similar to a liquor license. Probably even the same type of sign being posted in front.

    A nice provision to that would be that in those 'gun free zones', should you meet a suitability requirement, you would need to guarantee security and protection for the people on your property who now cannot defend themselves in the manner of their choosing.



    Saying that anyone should be able to exclude anyone else from a business open to the public fails the civil rights test. We already went through all this. That viewpoint lost.
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    Rich -

    If I may play the devil's advocate... Are you eqully incensed at the prohibition from carrying in the state capitol? The post office? The local elementary school? In the court room?Are there any reasonable limitations on where one can and can not carry?

    I'm not trying to be a wiseass. I'm just wondering if you think the right to carry (openly or concealed) should be absolute.

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    The prohibitions on freedom of association on private property are an affront to the Constitution. Stupid discrimination by business owners has its own disincentives, but to say that a person must accept all clients is a violation of the private property owner's rights. Racial discrimination in commercial ventures was only able to prosper because of backing by the government in law. Business did not want to put up with all the hassle that racial discrimination caused.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Just a Guy wrote:
    Rich -

    If I may play the devil's advocate... Are you eqully incensed at the prohibition from carrying in the state capitol? The post office? The local elementary school? In the court room?*Are there any reasonable limitations on where one can and can not carry?

    I'm not trying to be a wiseass. I'm just wondering if you think the right to carry (openly or concealed) should be absolute.
    First, I wouldn't use the word 'incensed'. Perturbed perhaps.

    I do believe there are some reasonable limitations on where we can carry. For instance the court room in your example I understand because it is locked down and has metal detectors and armed marshals on guard. And that I guess is where I break it down. Any place that is willing to deploy adequate armed security is a reasonable place to request that I don't carry.

    That means that from your example, I am ok with the capitol building and the court house.

    A post office? A school? Of course you should be able to carry in both. Otherwise they are just another 'gun free' zone ripe for the scum of society to make victims of free people.
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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    ccwinstructor wrote:
    The prohibitions on freedom of association on private property are an affront to the Constitution.* Stupid discrimination by business owners has its own disincentives, but to say that a person must accept all clients is a violation of the private property owner's rights.* Racial discrimination in commercial ventures was only able to prosper because of backing by the government in law.* Business did not want to put up with all the hassle that racial discrimination caused.
    As I have already indicated in this thread. No one is advocating forcing a business owner to accept carry (in any form) on their property. However since we have a stupid law that specifically enables a business owner to discriminate against a gun owner's civil rights, we are put at a disadvantage. That law has no merit and should not stand up to scrutiny in my opinion.

    Consider the same law:
    "Any business owner has the right to exclude someone based on race, color, gender or sexuality. If that patron does not leave immediately, they will arrested for trespassing."

    That is what this law does. It spits in the face of a constitutional right. Also, I take a bit of issue (although I know it is just semantics) but calling a business opened to the public 'private property' and then giving that person the same rights as a real private property owner to kick anyone off their land is a bit too generalized isn't it? I don't encourage people to come in and walk around my house. I don't charge them money to do so. The two things are markedly different.
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    Regular Member atrule's Avatar
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    I open carried taking a walk by my house into Cheshire. It was a 3 mile walk or so. I have OCed other, much more public places, this Spring. Apparently, someone called the police. I got stopped coming back about a 100 yards short of the Wallingford boarder. Over all it was a positive experience for me, I presume the police, and apparently the neighbors, who came out and asked why I was stopped, and I explained while the officers called their HQ to see how to proceed.

    I probably wasn't as prepared as I should have been. I offered up front that OC was legal in Connecticut. Officer Ecke asked why I was doing it. I was a little short of words, but between the both of us, it was something like this is not illegal, and I really don't want to disturb people anyway, but I am asserting my rights, because “A right not exercised is a right lost”. (BTW, I do see OC as a chore that needs to be done. Few others are doing it, therefore it is more incumbent on me to OC). He said that in the 19 years this is the first time he saw someone OC.

    I said I probably should have a hand out (I know this, I think I will get on it now) so it can help explain what I am doing better and the laws better. I mentioned the Hartford Courant article, CCDL.us and Goldberg and Supreme Court cases coming down the pike.

    In the end, I gave him my phone number and we will probably chat about it. He and the other police officer were certainly interested. He did ask that I cover my sidearm with my shirt tail. I was happy to do so. I completed what I set out to do, which was show the safety and peace of OC. Doing what he requested for his own conscience of for now so he can have opportunity of finding out the facts I believe gained a little more respect.

    There was a neighbor, who sees me walking by all the time who inquired what was going on. He was a gun owner too. He was sort of rallying me on.

    That was my excitement for today.

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    Good report.

    You are doing very effective activism. Thanks for the effort and the clear thinking.

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    Regular Member Lenny Benedetto's Avatar
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    Andy good job on remaining calm and letting the officer know that you were not breaking the law. Since you have his name, I would request a meeting with him to show him all of the literature on OC.
    Perhaps a meeting with him and his chief.

    I would not have covered my gun with my shirt...but then that is just me. "Rebel WITH a cause" LOL!!
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