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Thread: Ventura County Open Carry Stop

  1. #1
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    Ventura County Open Carry Stop

    Boy, when it rains it really pours...

    I was stopped about Open Carrying, for the very first time today, in Ventura. Apparently, the local police received MULTIPLE phone calls regarding my Open Carrying, despite my keeping to myself and otherwise being quite inconspicuous. Things got a little hairy, but it ended well.

    There are some events that I could get into that would put the LEOs in quite a bad light, but I will refrain from mentioning any of these details or the names of the Officers involved. I realize they could have made my life quite miserable; and they appeared to sincerely learn from the entire experience. At the same time there are some things that I learned, which all OCers in Ventura County should know....or be vigilant not to forget.

    First: never, ever OC without your video camera ready to go. My camera was safe and sound in the car, of no use to me during the stop.

    Second: don't assume the local police are educated, as to Open Carry. I had carried in Ventura for some time now, with no contact by law enforcement. So I ASSUMED they were up to speed on the practice. I know... One of the Officers had recently moved to Ventura from another state and had no idea what I was talking about. By the time we were done, he had learned what an "e-check" was; and the finer distinctions between concealed and open carry.

    Third: bring the handouts with the law printed on it. Again, mine was safely in the car, of no use to either me or the LEOs. They almost hauled me in, over some confusion as to whether ammunition could be carried on your person, while Open Carrying. The only thing that saved my butt (aside from being polite), was my familiarity with the pertinent law and insistence as to the lawfulness of my actions.

    Officer Tip: one suggested I be careful to keep my large t-shirt from covering the firearm, holstered on my belt, or else it might be construed as concealed carry. I don't think my t-shirt had ever covered the firearm, but tucking the t-shirt in might not be such a bad idea.

    Once things were ironed out, they proved to be quite friendly and conciliatory. Although Open Carry was still quite novel to them, I got the impression they secretly admired it. They were openly in favor of citizens with firearms, in general, for self defense. With a little more positive, exposure, with Open Carriers, the whole controversy will likely soon be a sidenote of American and Californian history.

    Overall, the contact turned out to be a positive one. I will continue to live and Open Carry, in Ventura County.
    Last edited by steele; 02-17-2011 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Didn't someone take your gun away from you? Did you get another, or is this another firearm you OC'd?

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    Quote Originally Posted by VW_Factor View Post
    Didn't someone take your gun away from you? Did you get another, or is this another firearm you OC'd?
    That is correct. If you follow the Victorville Seizure post, you'll see my mention of buying a replacement revolver: to fill the void, of what I hope to be a temporary loss of my Ruger. I am still waiting for the results of the investigation into my official complaint to Victorville PD/San Bernadino Sheriff's office.
    Last edited by steele; 02-17-2011 at 09:23 PM.

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    Whoah! I just got a second e-check at a Coffee Bean!

    This really surprised me to get two "e-checks", within a few hours of each other. This is especially being that I had never been stopped by an Officer, anywhere, in the past year while Open Carrying, until today.

    I am beginning to think it has something to do with my new rig...? Prior to the fiasco in Victorville, I used to carry my Ruger LCR in a black, compact holster. Most people didn't even notice. But, now I am thinking that those who did notice, may have assumed I was an off duty cop because of the styling.

    Those who read my Post about buying a new "stylish" firearm, will know I was looking to find a more fashionable and less "police state" like rig, to improve the perception of Open Carry. So, I bought a cool 1966 .38 Special revolver - AND made a custom suede holster for it. I was going to detail it in a post soon, but apparently I've already made a splash on the catwalk!

    I've connected psychologically with a whole new spectrum of the population. They realize, by the styling of my rig, that there is no way I am a cop/FBI/CIA/whatever - simply an ordinary citizen, just like them. And I'm carrying a firearm. All I can say is WOW! This is not the response I was expecting.

    Anyway, a new crew responded to a call from a customer at the Coffee Bean. The ownership came out and told them they were okay with my OCing, as I was a regular customer. They hassled me a bit, but in the end I won them over with my charm They threatened to respond to all future calls, but I have a feeling they will lose interest quickly. We shall see!

  5. #5
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    Here is the rig that is causing such a stir! BTW: I haven't finished the holster yet. It still needs some trim on the trailing edge, and a few other frills, but it is functional. I made it by hand, out of an old jacket.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by steele; 02-17-2011 at 09:36 PM.

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    I gave Ventura PD a call to touch bases, after what happened today and all. The watch commander gave me the impression that virtually no one open carried in VC; and that their receiving phone calls was quite unusual. That really surprised me. I have literally hundreds of hours Open Carrying, in Ventura, in public. This is the first day I have ever been stopped.

    There is little doubt in my mind now that this has everything to do with the styling of my new rig. Although it is completely safe and secure, per the standard holster configuration, the STYLE is radically different. In my opinion, this really speaks volume as to how much the "police state" culture has penetrated American society. All I did was use the material from a nice, modern cold weather jacket...

    BTW: I did get some compliments on it from the LEOs (shhh...don't tell anybody)
    Last edited by steele; 02-17-2011 at 11:16 PM.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Sons of Liberty's Avatar
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    Did you learn your lesson from the first encounter today and have your recorder going on the second?
    Clinging to God & Guns: The Constitution Restoration Project

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sons of Liberty View Post
    Did you learn your lesson from the first encounter today and have your recorder going on the second?
    Dang. I knew someone was going to catch that (blush). It was inside the Coffee shop; but I was outside smoking when they rolled up on me. I've got to put that baby back on its lanyard!

    The good news is, they were pretty cool about it the second time around. The worst thing was their trying to label me as a "sovereign citizen," which I thought was kind of funny. Oh, and the female officer claimed, multiple times, that I liked the attention. That one was a doozy. They really had no idea how much adrenaline I dumped today, thanks to their "attention".
    Last edited by steele; 02-17-2011 at 11:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Born2Lose's Avatar
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    Without a recorder it never happend. What if your next stop doesn't go to well. Then it's your word against the police who remember everything perfectly and never make mistakes.
    I only UOCed once without a recorder and decided it wasn't worth the risk. Now i turn on my recorder THEN holster my weapon.
    "If I don't have my pistol, I feel sort of naked." -Unosuke Gunfighter in the movie Yojimbo

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    Good to know there are someone doing around where I live... maybe I will join in and get some coffee with you sometime.

    I got the recorder don't worry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scott26 View Post
    Good to know there are someone doing around where I live... maybe I will join in and get some coffee with you sometime.

    I got the recorder don't worry.
    Sounds good. I am going to give Ventura PD a little time to gestate on their new experience, but I'd like the backup in the near future. Send me a message on how to reach you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steele View Post
    Here is the rig that is causing such a stir! BTW: I haven't finished the holster yet. It still needs some trim on the trailing edge, and a few other frills, but it is functional. I made it by hand, out of an old jacket.
    Good rig, I made one to for my( Navy Colt 36 Cal, BP ) Its a little different, with a western belt.
    But its also made of Suede, and wears real comfortable to.
    I don't OC with that rig though.
    But yeah I always wondered how things would go if I did wear a rig like that, with say a 357 and speed loader,
    rather then the BP rig.
    Thanks for sharing, and carry on ! Robin47

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    Come to think of it, if we are all looking like "off Duty LEO's" are we really making an Impact on unknowing people.
    Maybe we really do need to use the old western gun belts, to put our rigs on.
    I just been slipping mine on my regular pants belt like most others do, kind of makes it low-key don't you think ?
    We are not out to shock the world, but just maybe Steele has a real good point there.

    Carry on ! Robin47

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    Thumbs up

    @Robin: I'm not alone! You should post a photo of your rig. And, yes, I found the suede is quite comfortable.
    I literally stumbled across this perception issue. An employee at In&Out asked me about it, and told me he thought I had been a cop. Education is probably the most important part of OC, so I agree this is the direction we should be headed in. But it takes OCing to a whole new risk level. I wouldn't recommend solo, unless you are a wild SOB like me
    Last edited by steele; 02-22-2011 at 12:25 AM.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Rich Keagy's Avatar
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    I like the idea of a separate gun rig for use in public. I have a 1911 and have admired some of the western-looking rigs. They look sharp.
    I like Galco's Yaqui holster, but it's hard to set it up on a pair of jeans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Keagy View Post
    I like the idea of a separate gun rig for use in public. I have a 1911 and have admired some of the western-looking rigs. They look sharp.
    I like Galco's Yaqui holster, but it's hard to set it up on a pair of jeans.
    There are some really amazing leather holsters on the market. It could be a good fit for inland Cali, but may be a little too retro for the coast.

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    I am willing to join you as well even if I am in Valencia. Dbrayton@planetsnetwork.com

    Sent from my HTC EVO on Tapatalk

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    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Keagy View Post
    I like the idea of a separate gun rig for use in public. I have a 1911 and have admired some of the western-looking rigs. They look sharp.
    I like Galco's Yaqui holster, but it's hard to set it up on a pair of jeans.
    I'll sometimes OC in a yaqui slide at home, but I don't in public due to absolutely zero inherent retention.
    Last edited by mjones; 02-24-2011 at 02:22 PM.

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