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Thread: Open-carry at Greater Richmond Convention Center 9-11 June 2011 at HEAV Event!!!

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    Regular Member markfilter's Avatar
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    Open-carry at Greater Richmond Convention Center 9-11 June 2011 at HEAV Event!!!

    I would like to share with all of you my experience open-carrying my Beretta PX4 Storm Sub-Compact 9mm at the Greater Richmond Convention Center this past weekend (9-11 June 2011). I would have conceal-carried my pistol had I had my CHP, but I had just submitted for it a week prior, so I did not have it yet.

    My wife and I drove down to Richmond for the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV). I wasn’t planning on open-carrying my pistol primarily because, even though the convention was not an official school event, nor was it on school property, I felt that it might be inappropriate to open-carry at such an event with so many children and undoubtedly I would cause some parents to be uncomfortable with a gun in the area and possibly the result would be negative to the open-carrying community. Well, all it took for me to change my mind was to walk from my hotel (the Double Tree by Hilton) to the Convention Center. As my wife and I walked with the two of four children that we brought, we quickly became very uncomfortable without my sidearm. As we approached the hotel in our car, we literally saw a cop car and at least one or two police officers on EVERY SINGLE corner; in some instances, there was a cop on all four corners of an intersection. I think they set the tone nicely.

    As we were walking, we passed by some very drunk African-Americans who decided to make some comments as we passed by. I mind you, I grew up in very similar settings in South Florida, so I immediately felt very uncomfortable with the whole situation (and I am 1/4 black to dispel any racial issues). When we arrived at the convention center, I immediately checked google for any issues with open-carry there. I found a thread here that detailed some “illegal policies”. I then checked the Convention Center’s website and found that their policy had changed to reflect the law appropriately. I was clear to carry at least in the common areas. I approached security associated with the HEAV and asked them if there would be any issue, they said that since it was a public area, there was no problem with carrying it in the conference rooms. So, guess what I did! I ran straight back to my hotel room, picked up my gun and brought it back with me. Peace of mind!
    That night, after all of the classes at the conference center, I escorted my family to the hotel without any issues. I tell you, I felt at peace walking back.

    So, the next day, things were fine. Of course, I would have the looks from people…you know, the looks like, “Is that a gun?” I had to get used to the extra attention. After a few hours, some of the security guards from the Convention Center approached me and stated that I was fine to carry in the common areas outside of the Convention Center rooms, but that I could not carry in the rooms themselves. I very politely asked them to show me that in their security policy. I pulled up their security policy on my Android phone and read them their own security policy. They called for their supervisor and we had a chat. He said that according to their security policy, the carry of firearms is up to the organization which rents out the rooms. Well, I had this covered. If you recall, I did say that I talked with HEAV before I carried in the firearm. Well, I explained this to the supervisor and we took a walk over to the HEAV security desk. I explained the situation and the representative from HEAV security approached us. He immediately said, “Oh, yeah. He and I talked last night. What seems to be the problem?” Well, at that point, I had no more issues with security.

    Security did say that they had some minor complaints about having the gun in the general area since kids were so close by, but legally, they had no grounds to ask me not to carry. I generally had a very positive experience carrying my pistol. One woman approached me and tapped me on my shoulder. As I turned towards her, she whispered, “Thank you.” I gave an inquisitive look to her, and she in response tapped on her hip signaling towards my gun. I also had another attractive woman ask me what kind of gun I had, and then said that she wished I could be her body guard since her husband in currently deployed to Afghanistan. I also had a few others who asked me about the gun I was carrying and about my military service. I was actually surprised how many people were carrying at the event, only concealed-carry. I still wish more people carried openly. One of the boy scouts said that they saw one other person carrying a pistol on their hip openly as a result of me leading in the charge! Well, needless to say, I was able to exercise my 2nd Amendment Rights, without any excitement from the Police. I am very glad that I had no issue with wearing my sidearm in the hotel, nor at the Convention Center. Keep it in mind if you ever go there.

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    Cool beans.

    My wife and I attended the first night of the HEAV conference a few years ago, when we were considering home schooling.

    Welcome to OpenCarry.org.

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    Very good sir, thank you for sharing. Having come partially from a home education background and having many friends who choose to home-school, I find that many of them are willing to embrace the concept of caring for themselves and their own both in defense and schooling. I applaud these folks and hope that the movement in general gains further traction to ensure that more and more students are pulled from the government school rolls and avoid the government indoctrination that so often leads to a disdain for personal freedoms and responsible behavior.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO and the wonderful world of open carrying. Got to say your OC adventure sure beats the traditional Wal-Mart Walkabout.

    It's good to hear that the HEAV folks understand that it's behavior, not the presence of the gun, that makes OC/CC a good or bad thing. Kudos for how you handled security and ended up with everybody on your side.

    I'm not going to go near the OC's handgun as a chick magnet. Nope! Not gonna touch that at all! But I'll bet your wife shared a few words with you, didn't she?

    Richmond, Woodbridge and the rest of the world have a few sketchy characters wandering about, under the influence or not. It does not matter what race, color, creed, nationality or sex they are. It's good to be aware of them but remember the handgun is not a magic talisman.

    I'm betting the city laid on the cops around the Convention Center to try to make everybody feel safe. Or at least to be there fairly quickly to draw those chalk outlines and write up the reports. Too bad they did not succeed in goal #1 with you and your family.

    How can we convince you to join VCDL www.vcdl.org and to bring the family to some of the OC dinners/meet-ups in your neck of the woods?

    stay safe.

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    Education begins at home.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blk97F150 View Post
    Education begins at home.
    And safety and personal responsibility are part of a good education.

    The OP did quite well.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    And safety and personal responsibility are part of a good education.

    The OP did quite well.
    Absolutely! On both points!

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    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
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    A big thumbs up for HEAV and teaching kids the right things! I'm guessing nobody ran away screaming?
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    We did the HomeSchooling thing in MA a while back. We started because they had the "Rainbow Curriculum" when I was stationed there. Of course there was no OCing in Massholia, then or now. We "failed" at the HomeSchooling gig and went back to public schools when we moved to Texas. There was a pretty cool HomeSchooling business a few minutes outside the base back gate on Cape Cod called Beautiful Feet Books (http://www.bfbooks.com/). A wonderful family ran the business. I see they've moved to the Left Coast now. They had a wonderful little barn FULL of books from all over the country. Their house was also busy with books piled everywhere and the "packing" was done in the dining room and kitchen. They were big on the Constitution and early American History. I would think they would be quite interested in OC.
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
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    SERPA retention or concealed...

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    VCDL and especially Grapeshot and Skidmark spent a lot of time bringing them into compliance.

    We nearly gave the 7 day Adventists security people a nervous tick, but slowly it improved.

    I just can't think of a single thing the OP did wrong except possibly leaving his gun at first...and we all do that once in a while.

    A BIG WELL DONE!

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Thanks to you, the education of the educators happens outside the home as well.
    Well done, Markfilter And welcome to OCDO!
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    Regular Member markfilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    How can we convince you to join VCDL www.vcdl.org and to bring the family to some of the OC dinners/meet-ups in your neck of the woods?

    stay safe.
    I already have VCDL in my bookmarks and the membership on my radar. Right now, I am finalizing my membership with the Quantico Gun Club. I am getting all of the VCDL email alerts.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markfilter View Post
    I already have VCDL in my bookmarks and the membership on my radar. Right now, I am finalizing my membership with the Quantico Gun Club. I am getting all of the VCDL email alerts.
    Put some of the local meet-ups/dinners on your list too. Always nice to put get some face time with the internet personalities.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    I started doing home education (I decided not to do "schooling at home", opting instead for "education") in 1986. The youngest of five has just completed his first year at U.Va.; #4 is on a full educational scholarship and will be a senior at Mary Washington this year; #3 was recently graduated from Va. Tech. with a degree in finance (no, he didn't switch majors because he couldn't hack engineering - he really likes finance); #2 has a master's degree in library science; and #1 opted instead to use his knowledge of computers to make too much money and is now working on a degree part-time (but has made me a grandfather twice, most recently, yesterday). HEAV was just getting started when I commenced, though I found most of the support organizations were run by ladies who didn't want "mr. mom" around. (I have a lot more free time, now that the youngest is over eighteen.)

    Public school fairness: "did you bring enough for everybody?", & "you're too tall - we're going to cut you off at the knees so it'll be fair for everybody."

    Public school is dangerous: physically, spiritually, politically, and intellectually.

    Public school "socialization" is learning to get along in the bully culture. Real socialization is learning the mores and values of adult society, which a child learns by being with adults doing adult things with other adults. Not with thirty other kids, one or two of whom run things because their emotional disturbances causes them to act out of fear, shame, and guilt.

    People who are educating their own kids do so because they have the resources to do so, intellectually, financially, and in their willingness to make judgments for themselves about what's really going on here. Such people are much more likely to approach the subject of self-defense rationally rather than emotionally, and to be happy to have someone capable of assisting in their own defense should the need arise in the neighborhood.

    I think I'll organize an NRA rifle course for home-educated kids in my area.
    Last edited by user; 06-17-2011 at 07:55 AM.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    The next time anyone of you nice folks have a LEO or security guy say:

    Security did say that they had some minor complaints about having the gun in the general area since kids were so close by,
    (emphasis, mine).

    PULEEZE ask them what having kids close by has to do with a HG (in a proper holster with retention) has to do with it. I'd Reeely like to know.

    If I was at a big event and kids present, I'd WANT someone (or more) to have a means of protecting people if some violence threatened.

    Obviously, you don't want kids or anyone else in a hail of bulletz or anything, but to cite children is just goofy. Why not say 'senior citizens are present and you know how slow they are to seek cover'?
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    IPublic school is dangerous: physically, spiritually, politically, and intellectually.

    Public school "socialization" is learning to get along in the bully culture. Real socialization is learning the mores and values of adult society, which a child learns by being with adults doing adult things with other adults. Not with thirty other kids, one or two of whom run things because their emotional disturbances causes them to act out of fear, shame, and guilt.
    This is absolutely right. How does a child learn to behave like a responsible adult if they are not regularly in the company of adults and primarily adults? Surrounding children with children only serves to teach them more child like behavior and increase the possibility that unacceptable behavior by these non-adults will become normalized in their mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmelvin View Post
    This is absolutely right. How does a child learn to behave like a responsible adult if they are not regularly in the company of adults and primarily adults? Surrounding children with children only serves to teach them more child like behavior and increase the possibility that unacceptable behavior by these non-adults will become normalized in their mind.
    Ah, but it does make work for lawyers!~
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    The next time anyone of you nice folks have a LEO or security guy say:

    Security did say that they had some minor complaints about having the gun in the general area since kids were so close by,(emphasis, mine).
    PULEEZE ask them what having kids close by has to do with a HG (in a proper holster with retention) has to do with it. I'd Reeely like to know.

    If I was at a big event and kids present, I'd WANT someone (or more) to have a means of protecting people if some violence threatened.

    Obviously, you don't want kids or anyone else in a hail of bulletz or anything, but to cite children is just goofy. Why not say 'senior citizens are present and you know how slow they are to seek cover'?
    First thing I thought was, "Thanks for warning me - how many of those children (or Sr. Citizens, or what not) do you feel actually constitute a threat?
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  19. #19
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Public school fairness: "did you bring enough for everybody?", & "you're too tall - we're going to cut you off at the knees so it'll be fair for everybody."

    Public school is dangerous: physically, spiritually, politically, and intellectually.

    Public school "socialization" is learning to get along in the bully culture. Real socialization is learning the mores and values of adult society, which a child learns by being with adults doing adult things with other adults. Not with thirty other kids, one or two of whom run things because their emotional disturbances causes them to act out of fear, shame, and guilt.

    People who are educating their own kids do so because they have the resources to do so, intellectually, financially, and in their willingness to make judgments for themselves about what's really going on here. Such people are much more likely to approach the subject of self-defense rationally rather than emotionally, and to be happy to have someone capable of assisting in their own defense should the need arise in the neighborhood.
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  20. #20
    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Great comeback!

    First thing I thought was, "Thanks for warning me - how many of those children (or Sr. Citizens, or what not) do you feel actually constitute a threat?
    \

    ROFLMAO

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