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Thread: My first time OC'ing and subsequent OC Field Report, Shelton, CT

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    My first time OC'ing and subsequent OC Field Report, Shelton, CT

    Hi there fellow freedom lovers!

    I'm a long time reader, first time poster. I'm also a long time CC'er, and first time OC'er. (I'm only 27 so "long time" in my terms is only a couple years.)

    A little background on me, I've lived in CT for the past 3 years now and have held my carry permit for almost all three of those years. Until today, my only method of carry has been concealed, with I do with near 100% frequency where legally permitted to do so. As I mentioned, I've been reading the open carry forums for a while, gathering info and educating myself. Honestly, until now, I've just never had the guts to OC, in part because of uncertainty in the laws and in part not wanting to deal with educating the "sheep". However, I've recently had an awakening if you will, in that my wife and I just had our first child together and I'm realizing that if we don't exercise the few freedoms we have left, my son may be growing up in a very different American than I did.

    So, this evening, armed with knowledge, the "Is That Legal?" pamphlet from CCDL, and my Glock 22 on my hip, my wife and I went for a walk around the neighborhood with our son in his stroller. I figured this is about as benign a way as any to ease my way into regular OC. I found myself even more situationally aware than when I CC (which I think for anyone who carries is a good thing!), and definitely got some strange looks from people driving by or out doing yard work. But all in all, it was a positive experience. I have some very nosy neighbors (who ironically keep to themselves for the most part making it impossible to share viewpoints) so I fully expected to have the local police called to report a MWAG. Thankfully, that didn't happen, or at least if it did, we finished our walk before they responded or better yet, the dispatcher educated the caller on the fact that I was acting lawfully. Either way, I look forward to future positive OC experiences and hopefully, even meeting up with some fellow OC'ers at some point to share common interests in our God given freedoms.

    Baby steps...
    Last edited by Paul's Glock; 09-16-2011 at 06:36 PM.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Welcome to the fun world of being free.

    You are going to find a bunch of things should you continue to OC:

    1) People are probably not staring at your firearm as much as you think, you are just far more aware of them doing what they would normally do.
    2) Many people won't even notice your firearm, nevermind care about it.
    3) People do not call the police on an OCer as much as you would think. I OC all over CT on a regular basis and I have had to deal with the police twice in 1 year. The incidents were separated by 5 months.
    4) The people you are most likely to have problems with are the 'know it alls' who believe that CC is the only legal way to carry in CT because 'someone told them so' or 'everyone knows that'.

    I hope you will consider:

    1) Asking as many questions here as possible as well as reading about the other cases (Sultan, Burgess v Wallingford, Burgess in Old Saybrook, Goldberg).
    2) Carry a dedicated voice recorder. Trust me, I learned the hard way in Wallingford how much police officers (and some other citizens as well) will lie even in sworn statements.
    3) Keep in touch and share as much as you can about your experiences both good and bad.
    4) Learn, decide and practice where your boundaries are in case of a citizen or an officer tries to infringe upon your rights. You need to determine should you have a bad incident, how far you are willing to take the incident (detainment, arrest, court, civil suits?) and for what boundaries (detainment, ID, attitude?).



    Keep up the good work, enjoy the new level of freedom that OC provides.
    Last edited by Rich B; 09-16-2011 at 06:59 PM.

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    Welcome to our world Paul's Glock. Liberating experience is it not?

    Lots of good people here with much experience. Try to hook up with a couple of them. You'll gain a lot of knowledge. Also check out any meet n' greets in your area.
    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 Rich B View Post
    Welcome to the fun world of being free.

    You are going to find a bunch of things should you continue to OC:

    1) People are probably not staring at your firearm as much as you think, you are just far more aware of them doing what they would normally do.
    2) Many people won't even notice your firearm, nevermind care about it.
    3) People do not call the police on an OCer as much as you would think. I OC all over CT on a regular basis and I have had to deal with the police twice in 1 year. The incidents were separated by 5 months.
    4) The people you are most likely to have problems with are the 'know it alls' who believe that CC is the only legal way to carry in CT because 'someone told them so' or 'everyone knows that'.

    I hope you will consider:

    1) Asking as many questions here as possible as well as reading about the other cases (Sultan, Burgess v Wallingford, Burgess in Old Saybrook, Goldberg).
    2) Carry a dedicated voice recorder. Trust me, I learned the hard way in Wallingford how much police officers (and some other citizens as well) will lie even in sworn statements.
    3) Keep in touch and share as much as you can about your experiences both good and bad.
    4) Learn, decide and practice where your boundaries are in case of a citizen or an officer tries to infringe upon your rights. You need to determine should you have a bad incident, how far you are willing to take the incident (detainment, arrest, court, civil suits?) and for what boundaries (detainment, ID, attitude?).



    Keep up the good work, enjoy the new level of freedom that OC provides.
    Thanks Rich! I've been doing a lot of reading, specifically here in the CT forum and you seem to be one of many "old sages" in the group. By the way, good luck with the case against Wallingford. I've read the Federal Complaint as well as a lot of the background and fully believe you have a very strong case, although I myself am not a lawyer, I like to think some degree of justice still exists in our society. "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

    This afternoon and evening, I had my second positive set of OC experiences.

    The first occurred at the Derby Home Depot as my wife, son, and I went for a visit to gather intel for a bathroom remodel. I must admit that I nearly chickened out and CC'ed by Kel-Tec PF9, as I have been doing in public for a couple years now, but decided at the last minute to OC my Glock 22 again, this being my first time publicly carrying in a "private" establishment. I spent a good part of the morning reading up on Home Depot policy and searching for experiences of fellow OC'ers. Confident that I wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) be hassled by employees for violating Home Depot policy, approached the store, also taking specific mental note to see if there was any signage posted on the door. The trip was successful, including several interactions with Home Depot employees ranging from the greeter at the door to the kitchen and bath folks. I have a feeling that there is something about pushing a stroller and walking next to your wife that says, "yeah, I guess that guy is ok carrying a gun." As for fellow patrons of the store, I honestly didn't notice any awkward stares as I was more concerned at that point with encountering employees. All in all, the visit went off without a hitch and the best moment of all was when I was loading my son into his car seat. My wife, who is now thanks to me an avid shooter and future permit holder, was next to me and crouched down to finish breaking down the stroller. She gets up and says to me, "You were open carrying in there?" To which I reply, "Yeah, you were walking around with me for the past hour and didn't notice?" Seems most people don't really notice these things after all.

    The second experience of the day occurred with another family walk around the neighborhood, again with my G22 on my hip where it has been all day. This time we extended our range a bit and went for a slightly longer walk which took us along some more busy roads. I must admit that I did tense up a bit when I saw a couple police cruisers roll past but they either didn't notice or know the laws. We live very close to a station so I was at least at ease in not worrying that their presence was due to a MWAG call.

    These two experiences bring me to a couple questions that have arisen over the past several days. Some may be redundant with other material posted here but I assure everyone that I did my best to search the forums to answers. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the answer just raise more questions since there are so many gray areas out there. Please point me to any relevant posts pertaining to these questions, and thanks in advance for any responses.

    First question is regarding the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA). Hopefully, this is an easy question. I live very close to a couple schools. I have read that holding a carry permit exempts one from the 1000' restriction and only restricts carry on school property, however, I have also seen postings suggesting that exemption is false. I just want to make absolutely sure one way or the other. Could someone give me a definitive 'yes' or 'no' on that aspect of the GFSZA? Let me know if you need more specifics to make a determination. On a side note, I did recently read that on 7/21/2011 Ron Paul introduced HR 2613 which would repeal the GFSZA. On that note, I'd just like to say, RON PAUL IN 2012!

    Next question is regarding public land in CT. What is the verdict on state parks, city parks, beaches, recreational paths, etc? Is this governed by any overarching policy or would it depend on the posted "rules" at each location?

    Final question is regarding whether or not there exists some kind of compiled list of OC-friendly establishments in CT, both national chains and local restaurants, businesses, etc. This would, in the case of national chains, be based on overall company policy or specific experiences within the state with individual management. I would think of it almost like a compilation of field reports or confirmations either in writing or based on verbal discussions with owners. Does such a list exist, or are we looking at more of a trial by fire, carry at your own risk of harassment in unconfirmed private establishments? I would love to adjust my habits as a consumer accordingly to support any pro-2A establishments in CT whenever possibly, whether OC'ing or not.

    Thanks again to all forum members! I've already learned so much from simply reading about the experiences of others.

    I look forward to contributing to the cause, furthering my own knowledge, and confidently, comfortably, and legally expressing my God given rights! (Although it does sound a bit ironic putting it that way)

  5. #5
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    The GFSZA 1000' rule does not apply to individuals licensed to carry a firearm. CT statute prohibits carrying a firearm on school property (K-12).

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    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    State Parks, beaches and campgrounds are off limits per DEEP Ordinance.

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    BRK913 - The issues around carrying a handgun in state forests have to do with the limitations on handgun hunting. A Conservation officer once said to me when asked about carrying a handgun, that it was a judgement call on the part of the CO as to whether to cite someone. He said that frankly, if I was carrying a Glock, he would far less likely to bother me than if my "carry" gun was a scoped 6" model 29.

    Also, even if you ARE cited for carrying a handgun in a state forest, its a minor fine (Maximum of $90) for the non-criminal infraction, and they can ban you from the park/forest for 24 hours:
    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/rpt/2010-R-0472.htm

    It seems to me like thats one law worth ignoring.

    Re beaches, and campgrounds - Citation please. I've never seen nor heard of this. I'm unable to find anything like this in the CGS.

    The only places the CGS prohibit carrying are on school property, anywhere the legislature is meeting, and anywhere a property owner or person in control of property does not wish you to carry. (This can be expressed with signage or via verbal request)
    Last edited by dcmdon; 09-18-2011 at 10:37 PM.

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    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    The prohibition of firearms in State Parks and Forests has to do with hunting and the CARRYING of firearms. Keep in mind all state beaches/campgrounds are state parks (Hammonassett, Harkness, Rocky Neck, etc...). I too have heard from a DEP CO that they rarely enforce the "rule" and although not a direct violation of CGS as you noted it is a fineable offense. I surely would not want something to be a "judgement call" by someone in a LE position, that never works out well.

    In addition to the fine you would be violating CGS: 29-28 section (e) http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/chap529.htm#Sec29-28.htm ((e) The issuance of any permit to carry a pistol or revolver does not thereby authorize the possession or carrying of a pistol or revolver in any premises where the possession or carrying of a pistol or revolver is otherwise prohibited by law or is prohibited by the person who owns or exercises control over such premises.) and therefore you would be subject to CGS: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/chap529.htm#Sec29-37.htm (Sec. 29-37. Penalties. (a) Any person violating any provision of section 29-28 or 29-31 shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both, and any pistol or revolver found in the possession of any person in violation of any of said provisions shall be forfeited.) so you could also be fined another $500 and lose your firearm.

    Additionally when your permit comes up for renewal they could now consider you unsuitable for breaking the "rules" and deny your renewal.

    Per DEP Regulations: http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/regula...-1through5.pdf

    Section 23-4-1. General regulations

    (c) Hunting/weapons.
    Hunting or carrying of firearms, archery equipment or other weapons,
    including but not limited to air rifles and slingshots, is not permitted in any
    state park or forest except as authorized by the Department of Environmental
    Protection. All carrying or use of weapons is subject to applicable provisions
    of the Connecticut General Statutes and regulations adopted thereunder.

    From the link you posted to the OLR Report, "According to DEP, a person may legally possess a handgun in a state park or forest when carrying the handgun exclusively for hunting small game (e.g., rabbits, squirrels) or other authorized activities, such as for use at a firearms range or participation in a hunter education class. They may only do so at predetermined times in areas set aside by the DEP commissioner and posted for such purposes (Conn. Agencies Regs. 26-66-2(d)). DEP says that what is permissible for hunters depends on the site and season."
    Last edited by brk913; 09-19-2011 at 09:00 AM.

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    You seem to forget that based on the CGS if it's not posted the worst they can do is tell you to either stow the gun or leave. You are not in violation of the CGS unless you refuse to leave.

    Also you seem to be misinformed about the permit renewal process. There is no review for suitability on renewal In CT.

    Are you from MA?

    For me it comes down to the old cliche of rather being judged by 12 than carried by 6. If I'm in the woods with my children I will be armed with an obviously defensive firearm.

    The risks are real and the penalties for this non-criminal infraction are minimal.
    Last edited by dcmdon; 09-19-2011 at 09:30 AM.

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    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    You seem to forget that based on the CGS if it's not posted the worst they can do is tell you to either stow the gun or leave. You are not in violation of the CGS unless you refuse to leave.
    Since CT has no specific posting law can you show me a cite for this statement? Lack of a sign may give you an affirmative defense if you are charged but it surely does not excuse the violation of CGS 29-28 (e).

    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    Also you seem to be misinformed about the permit renewal process. There is no review for suitability on renewal In CT.
    I am fully aware of the CT Permit process and renewal process, they absolutely run a check on you prior to renewal, the SLFU also have a database where they keep notes on you, including tickets and other activity. Anything "unsuitable" and you could have an issue with your renewal even if at the time they did not revoke your permit. I personally know someone this happened to and he had to go before the BOFPE to get his permit back after they refused to renew it.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    Are you from MA?
    No, born and raised in CT, permit holder since 1991 and permit class instructor since 1994.

    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
    For me it comes down to the old cliche of rather being judged by 12 than carried by 6. If I'm in the woods with my children I will be armed with an obviously defensive firearm.

    The risks are real and the penalties for this non-criminal infraction are minimal.
    Can't say that I disagree with you, however, it is up to the individual to decide if they are going to follow the letter of the law and just because you and I may not it does not mean that everyone should make that decision. Until the DEEP removes that regulation the fact of the matter is you are opening yourself up to civil and criminal penalties and the possible loss of your permit.
    Last edited by brk913; 09-19-2011 at 09:46 AM.

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    Regular Member brk913's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post

    Also you seem to be misinformed about the permit renewal process. There is no review for suitability on renewal In CT.
    Sorry to dig up this old thread, just wanted to back up my statement with a cite (please see section d): http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/chap529.htm#Sec29-29.htm

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    Thanks. I'm happy to acknowledge my error.

    Its about the truth, not being right.

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