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Thread: Open Carry With A Vertical Shoulder Holster

  1. #1
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    Open Carry With A Vertical Shoulder Holster

    I was wondering if it is legal to open carry in a vertical shoulder holster. I all I have found is about carrying on the hip. Local PD was of no help.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Check with others in the state you reside in.

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    Thumbs up

    I have done it without incident in VA and Louisiana myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDon View Post
    I was wondering if it is legal to open carry in a vertical shoulder holster. I all I have found is about carrying on the hip. Local PD was of no help.
    Open carry, regardless of the state, does not restrict one to having to carry on the hip. It simply means carrying in plain sight. Couple of points:

    - Carry in a holster is NOT concealed. If anyone tries to convince you of that, whether they're law enforcement or not, they're out to lunch.

    - Whether hip, shoulder, backside, or belly, if it's holstered, it's considered proper OPEN carry. The only exception is if the holster covers the butt of your firearm. I owned a belly bag in the 90's, as a lot of folks went around with them, carrying wallets and what not. But that was not open carry. That was concealed. When they fell out of favor, I had to find a better way to conceal.

    If it's out of a holster and in your hand, it's brandishing, and that's illegal, unless you're under immediate threat and have drawn your firearm to counter that immediate threat. If you ever find yourself in a firefight, keep it drawn only so long as you absolutely need it. Otherwise, keep it holstered. You never know when law enforcement will arrive, and if you're brandishing, they WILL consider you a threat. If you're carrying holstered, they will only "probably" consider you a threat until they clear you, if they clear you.
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    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    The only exception is if the holster covers the butt of your firearm.
    This is NOT quite true, at least in Louisiana. As long as it is recognized as a holster, take a military flap holster, then that counts as openly carried as it is evident that that is a gun holster. I would not recommend that you use that type of holster as it could easily lend to confusion on the interpretation of the law as having at least some of the gun visible is advisable, and in most places, required.
    Speedy: LOCAL League Sec/Treasurer, Information Officer
    AKA: Hero Hog, Dr. Speed, "The Brass Mangler" and "That fat, old, balding, Grey-bearded gimpy guy"

    I don't have NEAR enough ammo on hand. `nuff said.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Concealed or not?

    Here is how a GOOD defending attorney would play it out in court:

    Attorney: Please state for the record the violation you charged my client with.
    Cop: Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.
    Attorney: And how did you know he was carrying a firearm if it was concealed?
    Cop: I saw it.
    Attorney: So was he brandishing it?
    Cop: No.
    Attorney: Had he pulled open a coat or shirt, and displayed it in a threatening manner?
    Cop: No.
    Attorney: Was he carrying it in his hand?
    Cop: No.
    Attorney: How was my client carrying this "concealed" firearm then?
    Cop: In a shoulder holster,
    Attorney: Was he wearing a jacket or coat over it?
    Cop: No.
    Attorney: How did you know he was carrying a gun.
    Cop: Because I saw the holster, and I saw the gun.
    Attorney: Was it easily recognizable as a firearm?
    Cop: Yes. That's why I arrested him.
    Attorney: Is it legal to carry a firearm openly in this state
    Cop: Yes.
    Attorney: (turns to the judge) Your honor I move to dismiss this charge, based on the grounds that the arresting officer has admitted that the firearm was NOT concealed because he saw it clearly and plainly, and Open Carry is legal in this state, therefore no violation was committed.
    Judge: Case dismissed...

    In other words, if an LEO can visually identify your carried firearm clearly as a firearm while viewing you from a safe distance without doing a search or pat-down, then it is NOT concealed.

    If you are being harassed about "carrying concealed" and the reason why you got the LEOs attention in the first place is because he SAW YOUR GUN, then it's NOT concealed.

    This is EXACTLY why we carry voice recorders. Cops like to talk too much during encounters too, and it can be VERY helpful if you get their convoluted logic, made-up statements of law, and color-of-law threats on tape during such an encounter. In court, it's your word against theirs, but if you can present the LEOs OWN WORDS against him in court, that changes the game significantly...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 03-11-2011 at 01:56 PM.
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    I don't recommend accepting advice as to what is true about the law "in most States." If someone does not cite the law in a way that allows you to check it, follow their advice at your own risk.

    Laws vary so widely from State to State as to what "concealed" means that I recommend that you get first-hand knowledge yourself of what it means both from black-letter law and from court rulings in every State in which you intend to carry.

    I don't know, but I bet there is at least one State where your arm mostly covering a gun in a shoulder holster could be considered "concealed." Make sure (for yourself) that your State won't tolerate such a consideration.

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    Regular Member XD40coyote's Avatar
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    Yeah, you can OC with a shoulder holster, though I suggest you tighten the straps up proper, unlike this loose fitting stuff in this pic. ( I have no idea why he let it so loose at this dinner- maybe the EBR's from the range trip prior were to blame LOL)
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    Quote Originally Posted by XD40coyote View Post
    Yeah, you can OC with a shoulder holster, though I suggest you tighten the straps up proper, unlike this loose fitting stuff in this pic. ( I have no idea why he let it so loose at this dinner- maybe the EBR's from the range trip prior were to blame LOL)
    Perhaps he thought the chest strap was a belt.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Thanks everyone for the help. I think I might just stay with a hip holster until I can find something in black and white.

    XD40coyote,

    That looks like a safety issue to me. I bet he cant even really feel his weapon. I like to know my weapon is secure and at the ready if I need it, not dangling in no mans land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    Open carry, regardless of the state, does not restrict one to having to carry on the hip. It simply means carrying in plain sight. Couple of points:

    - Carry in a holster is NOT concealed. If anyone tries to convince you of that, whether they're law enforcement or not, they're out to lunch.

    - Whether hip, shoulder, backside, or belly, if it's holstered, it's considered proper OPEN carry. The only exception is if the holster covers the butt of your firearm. I owned a belly bag in the 90's, as a lot of folks went around with them, carrying wallets and what not. But that was not open carry. That was concealed. When they fell out of favor, I had to find a better way to conceal.

    If it's out of a holster and in your hand, it's brandishing, and that's illegal, unless you're under immediate threat and have drawn your firearm to counter that immediate threat. If you ever find yourself in a firefight, keep it drawn only so long as you absolutely need it. Otherwise, keep it holstered. You never know when law enforcement will arrive, and if you're brandishing, they WILL consider you a threat. If you're carrying holstered, they will only "probably" consider you a threat until they clear you, if they clear you.
    Question: what about OC of an AK Pistol or AR15 on a sling accross your back in MI? Is this legal or not?

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