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Thread: Open Carry Trip, SC to WV

  1. #1
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Anderson, SC

    Open Carry Trip, SC to WV

    The wife and I are going to visit her parents in WV at the end of this month. We are leaving from SC, but are planning to open carry once we hit the NC border all the way to Martinsburg, WV. We have sent off for our concealed weapons permit, but have not received them yet. In SC, it can take up to 90 days or more, and I'm at day 68.

    The wife will be carrying her Glock 27 in a Blackhawk Serpa and I will be carrying my 1911 in a Blackhawk Serpa as well.

    We will be taking I-85 North from Greenville, SC, then take I-77 North in Charlotte NC, then hitting I-81 North in VA, and finally take an exit off I-81 to drive through Martinsburg, VA to get to her parents house on the other side of Martinsburg out in the country along Martinsburg Parkway (Highway 45, I think).

    We are staying at a hotel in Dublin, VA on the way there and on the way back. OC seems fine to do in that area. I assume if the hotel does not have a "no weapons" sign, I could open carry up to the room. What do you guys think? I will call and ask anonymously about there policy, but I know that I will be taking my weapons to my room.

    After reading the laws from each state and reading countless threads on there and other forums, it looks like we should be good to go all the way up from NC to WV.

    Interstate rest area Open carry looks ok along the whole trip, do you guys and gals find that to be true? Any comments?

    The same for stopping and getting gas along the interstate. I see that OC should not be a problem. Any opinions or experience along the route we are traveling?

    As for OC in our vehicle, I see alot of people leave the weapons on the dash or seat, or install a holster on there dash area, so the weapon can be in plain sight. I have also seen a lot of threads where people OC on there hip in the car and were fine.

    I would like to just keep the guns on our hips the whole way up from NC to WV, and not have to bother taking them off and on. Any suggestions, tips, comments on this?

    Any towns I should look at for along our trip on the mentioned interstates? I know in Martinsburg, WV that they still have a ban in city buildings (and parks, I think).

    I probably will have more questions, but I have to take the wife to the doctors. Sorry for the long winded post, I am in a time crunch today.

    Last edited by carsontech; 04-18-2011 at 05:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Anderson, SC
    Thanks for the advice.

    It looks like NC may be iffy, because of the State of Emergency being declared, but the Goveneror has told NC LEAs to not enforce the carry ban during this SOE:

    We shouldn't have to stop and get out of the car in NC anyways, except at rest areas, for bathroom breaks. We're definitely going to have our firearms on our hips in at the rest areas.

    We have done a lot of reading and searching, and I am sure we will be good to open carry almost all the way through our trip in VA, as we are only going to stop at a hotel, fast food stops, and gas stations along the way through VA.

    In WV, we are going to be on the wife's parent's property 80% of the time, and will be out and about in Martinsburg, WV maybe only a few times. It looks like we just need to look for No Firearms/Weapons signs when entering buildings and making sure the buildings aren't "city" buildings.

    As for firearms on our hips in the car:
    We may put them in our holsters attached to the dash while in NC. Then wear them all the time in VA and WV, as the LEO interaction "stories" people have told on this forum, and others, indicate the LEOs, and state law, were fine with it. Maybe I can find those threads again and link them on here, so that others who are going on trips through these areas can have info to make a decision on how they want to open carry in their vehicle.

    Due to the limited amount of exposer out of our vehicle and relatives personal property, we are going to try and keep our firearms on our hips as much as possible. I have printed out all the laws from all the states, the "pamphlets" made by some users on open carrying in these states, and I have the documents from the Gov. of NC stating to the NC LEAs to not enforce the weapons carry ban. We will have all of that with us, just in case.

    It looks like we have already made our decision... but keep the comments and advice coming.
    Last edited by carsontech; 04-19-2011 at 03:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Me personally I would not wear it on my hip in the car in NC if you don't have a ccp. I know there are differing opinions on this but I like to minimize any doubt about it being concealed or not. Before having my ccp I tucked the holster in-between the passenger seat and center console with the gun plainly visible, secure and easily accessible. I suppose if I was in a big enough accident it would still fly loose but I liked it better than loose on the dashboard or a seat. Never had a problem at traffic stops like that. Depending on your girth and seatbelt style it could easily be construed as concealed if the LEO had a bug up his a$$ that day.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
    Preferred weapon is a GBU-10 PavewayII but it's a little heavy for me
    For OC I have a Beretta 90-two Italian 9mm. Mi piace molto
    Beretta pre warnings 92fs stainless steel Italian 9mm
    Beretta 92fs compact USA 9mm
    Beretta Cougar 8000 9mm
    For fun it's an LMT AR-15 w/defender 2000 lower and a slide fire stock

  4. #4
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Anderson, SC
    Sorry to bump this again, but it looks like I should have posted this in the "Open Carry Questions" section. Not entirely sure, just throwing that out for the admins.

  5. #5
    Activist Member carsontech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Anderson, SC
    Some comments, rants, and things I notice on this trip, which is still in progress:

    On the way up to Martinsburg, WV, the wife and I stayed at a hotel in Dublin, VA. We left SC on Tues. morning we've been open carrying since we hit the NC state line. Our firearms never left our hips until we got to the hotel room. Its hard rolling around on the bed with them on, lol.

    I'm carrying the the 1911 in a OWB Blackhawk and the Keltec P3AT in a OWB Desantis. The wife is carrying her Glock 27 in a OWB Blackhawk and she is carrying our son who has 2 months left until he's ready to come out.

    We stopped at 2 rest areas in NC and didn't get any double takes. We stopped at a gas station and didn't get anything but a quick glance. Although people seem to not like looking me in the eyes as much when I am OCing. I always look people directly in the eyes when I'm in a conversation with them and I can usually tell when I am talking with someone who isn't confident in themselves. It seems people don't seem very confident about themselves throught our trip in NC when around someone that OCs.

    In Dublin, VA, we checked into our hotel and was merrily greeted by the lady at the counter who was pleased to have us. Although she started talking about her grandson writing a letter to Obama about the oil spill and getting a response from him. It seems she thinks very highly of Obama, but she didn't seem to mind our firearms. She didn't look us in the eyes, but she was very nice.

    After we got everything in the room, we walked across the parking lot to Shoney's for dinner. Now the long looks and double takes start. The staff didn't seem to notice, though, and very nice.

    Anyway, after loading our plates up we are about to head back to the table when I hear this: "I think you need some more guns on ya, man!" I scanned the restaurant coming in and knew who said it already. It was a "good ole` boy" guy in his 40's out to eat with his mother, or grandmother.

    Anyway, I stated that I did not have enough weapons, and he replied with "Right on!"

    Then the olderly lady said "I hope those things aren't loaded", and I told her they were.

    Her son (grandson?) then proceeded to tell her that the guns would be of no use if they weren't loaded. Then she stated that she wasn't comfortable around me with my guns being loaded.

    "What is he suppose to do, club someone with them", her son replied. Then he started lecturing her on why you should carry one in the chamber, I believe. She didn't seem pleased, lol. The wife and I then went to take our seats and began eating. I didn't have to explain to much of why I was open carrying a loaded firearm to the elderly lady, her son explained that to her for us, lol.

    Hopefully there will be some times on our trip where we can explain the right people have in there respective state about carrying a firearm, and remind them to get off the fence about the 2nd amendment, or get them to support the 2nd amendment.

    I must say, Open Carrying on the hip is GREAT! It's so much more comfortable than concealed IWB carry. My stomach is so relieved, I have stomach problems which prevents me from carrying IWB as much as I want to. I can't wait for THE GUN BILL SC has in the legislation process to pass. I have called and emailed all my reps and everyone on the SC legislation site that I want it passed, and so has my wife.

    Heres some pics of what were carrying:

    After we got back from Shoney's and chilled in the hotel room a bit, we were hungry again.

    We went to a subway/gas station across the street from the hotel and the guy serving us kept looking down at our guns, fumbling our food as he made it, dropping the bread all over the condiments. He seemed more interested Caitlin's Glock than what I was wearing, he kept staring at it and looking up ever few seconds as we talked. He definitely sounded nervous when talking. Talking about our boy that is due soon seemed to calm him down.

    The cashier at the gas station checkout was nervous as well. Looking down at our guns every second and then back at the register to scan our items, fumbling them, as well.

    I forgot to mention 2 things:
    1. We saw a NC State Trooper at the rest area, right off of I-85, on the NC line who saw us and just went about his business.

    2. While I was relieving myself at the urinal at that rest stop, several men walked in did the same, one went into a stall. I finished, washed my hands, and the guy came out jogging right after I came out. He did seem to notice my firearms, as he glanced at them while in the restroom. He jogged all the way back to his car and took off. I thought nothing of it, as he was probably just in a hurry, but you never know. I then stood by the womens bathroom and waited for Caitlin to finish up, then a teenager came right up beside me and waited for who I assume was his girlfriend. He just glanced at my firearms once and waited calmly. No nervous twitching, tapping of the foot, or figiting, as I noticed others doing while they would stand near us at some of our stops.

    We made it up to Martinsburg, WV last Wed. night. Not much going on since we have just been visiting with the wifes family.

    My father-in-law told us to lock our guns in a lock box, and tole us "there is no need to carry around the house." They have a big family, 8 kids, 4 still living at home, all 8 of them ranging from 9 to 27, and the 4 living at home ranging from 9-16. His reasoning was that the younger ones might be "a little grabby". They have never been "grabby" in the past, they are very well mannered children. This trip has proved the children know not to touch someone or someones stuff unless asked.

    So the wife and I talked about firearms and carrying around the house with her dad and mom.

    I have been conceal carrying around the in-laws house because of my father-in-laws views (thank god for these small Keltec 380s, and the like), as I remember what he told us about carrying last year... as long as he didn't see the firearms, "it" was ok with him.

    Anyway, the wife and I were traveling to her sister's house one day here in Martinsburg, and we stopped just outside the town to get gas. I was OCing the 1911 and Keltec, like usual, and the wife had the Glock. As I was pumping the gas, the wife was outside the car with me, we were discussing her father's skewed views on self protection. I saw a guy' in a SUV parked in front of the gas station, his mouth dropped as he was starring at the wife's and I's guns. I don't think he knew that WV was an OC state, lol. I think he crapped a brick, as his facial expressions were pretty wild. I saw him pick up his cell phone and start talking to someone as stared at us, probably the cops or one of his buddies. We left after pumping gas and chuckled about the guys facial expressions.

    We are leaving tomorrow and heading to Roanoke, VA to stay the night. We are going to exercise our right to OC around that area (food, shopping, walks, etc). Then were heading back to SC the next day.
    Last edited by carsontech; 05-03-2011 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Seemed too disrespectful after re-reading it...

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