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Thread: Open Carry Etiquette

  1. #1
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    Open Carry Etiquette

    Well, is there such a thing and if so...what is your version of it?
    I'm very interested in making the transition from concealed carry to open carry and would like to hear some of the do's and don't's that might pertain to it. I would like to know from your personal experiences what would help to avoid any unnecessary interactions with law enforcement and "John Q. Public." In particular, what would generally be considered to be more sociially acceptable...such as certain models of sidearms, holster designs, etc. I'm certain that the most difficult barrier to overcome is the one between my ears. Thank you in advance for your responses.
    tr
    Last edited by Breadslinger; 01-18-2012 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Great topic!

    I always ask permission to enter a home while I am armed, openly or concealing. I am honoring my host whether or not he even knows it. South Carolina law requires it as I recall.

    I always wear a hat, a 'fedora', especially while armed, as I believe it distinguishes from a kid's cap.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I also remind myself that as an OCer, I am not only representing myself, but others as well. One bad OCer can cast a negative impression on all. Just look at how the media portrays self-defense issues and this becomes evident.

    Besides that simply treat others how you would like to be treated. If I encounter a negative person/anti I simply take the high road and thank them for their opinion. If someone seems open to discussion, the the opportunity to educate them about open carry and you might just win them over to our side.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Lessee now -

    Keep your booger hook off the bang switch, do not finger-fiddle with it or your holster, stop hitching up your belt/pants and get a proper gun belt (and maybe suspenders if you still need help holding it up), and remember that it just a tool like your cellphone or multi-tool - you only take it out when you need to use it.

    And just because you have it hanging off your belt does not mean you need to find an excuse to need to use it.

    No, you may not take it out and pass it around to show folks what you care carrying. (See above.)

    While some folks would really like you to spend lots of money and have a fancy holster, all you really need is one that keeps it held without falling/dropping out when you do not want it out, and allows you to get it out without interference when you need to. Open top, retention strap, thumb break, fancy plastic gizmo do not matter - even the expensive nylon ones can work. (Just like .45 v 9mm, the debate over one-handed reholstering will only be won when there is only one guy still standing.)

    Most of the "etiquette" about OCing seems to revolve around keeping your poise and not letting the rabid anti hoplophobes rattle you. But then why anyone who professes to be afraid of guns and what people who carry guns might do would get up in the face of someone carrying a gun has always mystified me. If I cannot walk away from them I just stand there and let them rant and rave until they cross the magical line of committing an assault (the threat of an unlawful touch), which is when I'll try to retreat to safety and I call for the cops to come and deal with them.

    If someone wants to know why I'm carrying a handgun, or what the laws are about doing so I'll try to explain and leave some literature (businesscard sized OC cards work best for me for carrying around) in their hands - printed info they can go look up and confirm on their own as opposed to what some phat olde pharte said. The last thing I try to say is an invitation to join the state-level gun rights organization (here in Virginia that would be VCDL). I try to have membership application forms on hand but sometimes forget that I ran out - but that's OK because you can join on-line!

    stay safe.
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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Another piece of advice: Just act normal. You should make sure you are well aware of what's going on around you of course but other than that go about your everyday business same as you always have. Most people won't even notice, and the ones that do; so long as you are acting normal, just shrug it off. Very seldom will someone come up and ask you about it and I find that when they do, it's usually positive. In fact, I haven't had any real negative encounters yet but have had three people come up and thank me for exercising my rights. When someone is just curious and interested feel free to be an ambassador for the cause. Someday, somewhere there will be an asshat that doesn't like you carrying no matter what. Politely refrain from conversing with them and be on your way.
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  6. #6
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    The forms required by good breeding, decorum, customary behavior towards each other

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/etiquette

    Noun
    etiquette (plural etiquettes)

    The forms required by good breeding, or prescribed by authority, to be observed in social or official life; observance of the proprieties of rank and occasion; conventional decorum; ceremonial code of polite society.
    The customary behavior of members of a profession, business, law, or sports team towards each other.
    A label used to indicate that a letter is to be sent by airmail.

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    I act the same whether I'm wearing a uniform, biker attire, or casual-sometimes biker- attire. My gun dont me, as a person, act different. All my friends are bikers so I never ask to carry in their house, guns are encouraged!

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    Regular Member Uber_Olafsun's Avatar
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    Skid your forgot don't point at people. Who knows what can happen then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Lessee now -

    [snip]

    While some folks would really like you to spend lots of money and have a fancy holster, all you really need is one that keeps it held without falling/dropping out when you do not want it out, and allows you to get it out without interference when you need to. Open top, retention strap, thumb break, fancy plastic gizmo do not matter - even the expensive nylon ones can work. (Just like .45 v 9mm, the debate over one-handed reholstering will only be won when there is only one guy still standing.)

    [snip]

    stay safe.
    The only disagreement I would have with Skid's comments about holsters is to not use a horizontal shoulder holster - especially for OCing. The idea of walking around and essentially deliberately pointing your weapon at anyone behind you would no doubt be a little disconcerting. I know it was for me when RO'ing shooters with them years ago.

    Otherwise, I agree with all.

    The gun belt is key to having a comfortable fit and to securing the holster and weapon to your body - don't skimp on the belt. Personally, I will no longer trust any belt that uses velcro for fastening. Hence, I don't like those type of belts (I forget the typical trade names for them). My preferred belt is a 1 1/2" leather belt from TheBeltMan.net shop. Excellent work and excellent prices - anything you buy from his, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by FTG-05; 01-21-2012 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Fixed the thebeltman.net

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    anti hoplophobes
    Wouldn't an anti hoplophobe just be...a phobe?

  11. #11
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    etiquette - ensure that your pinky finger is extended properly in the unlikely event your have to....always remember your Emily Post.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran Nelson_Muntz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
    My preferred belt is a 1 1/2" leather belt from TheBeltMan.com shop. Excellent work and excellent prices - anything you buy from his, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
    http://thebeltman.net/ NOT .com

    best belt i ever custom ordered.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTG-05 View Post
    The gun belt is key to having a comfortable fit and to securing the holster and weapon to your body - don't skimp on the belt. Personally, I will no longer trust any belt that uses velcro for fastening. Hence, I don't like those type of belts (I forget the typical trade names for them). My preferred belt is a 1 1/2" leather belt from TheBeltMan.com shop. Excellent work and excellent prices - anything you buy from his, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    Good luck.
    TheBeltMan produces an excellent product! Mine is a 2" leather belt, which I have worn for several years. Gun belts (that are worth a damn) ARE a bit pricey, but (IMHO) well worth the money. Yeah, you can buy a garrison belt at WalMart for $8-10, and for that you get a belt only designed to hold up your pants. A belt holster will slide over it... and flop around on it. They don't have the thickness or stiffeners that belts designed specifically to carry (and retain in position) a holstered handgun provide. A couple of decades ago, I wore a very nice Bianchi gun belt, and it lasted me for about 15 years. Excellent belt! It was 'expensive' for an off-the-rack belt at the time - around $45-50. TheBeltMan (ostensibly) custom makes your belt to fit you, and uses top grade leather and stiffeners in the process. Today expect to spend $75+ for a good gun belt... but. you can also expect it to last for a lustrum or two. (Because of that, you may want to buy your belt an inch or two larger than you wear today, as insurance that you don't outgrow it before it dies of natural causes!) I highly recommend The Belt Man to anybody considering a serious gun belt! Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 01-21-2012 at 01:19 PM.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    Here is a link to some info for newer carriers. The third link down is "An Open Carry Guide". Basically just a bit of info and suggestions to keep in mind. The link is also the first, below in my Sig.
    Last edited by Motofixxer; 01-21-2012 at 05:23 PM.
    Click Here for New to WI Open Carry Legal References and Informational Videos--- FAQ's http://Tinyurl.com/OpenCarry-WI

    The Armed Badger A WI site dedicated to Concealed Carry in WI

    "To disarm the people... was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." -- George Mason, Speech of June 14, 1788

    http://Tinyurl.com/New-To-Guns to DL useful Info

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    I believe there's two components:

    The first is legal. An example would be since brandishing is generally illegal, keeping your firearm holstered would be considered good "etiquette."

    The second involves good manners. While one need not be dashing and debonair, one should avoid behaving rudely, or worse, like an uncaring, insensitive knuckle-dragger.
    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.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Beau's Avatar
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    There is only on etiquette rule you need to know.

    1) Low ready OC is generally more accepted than high ready OC.
    Colorado Gun Owners - COGO
    http://www.ColoradoGunOwners.com

    A discussion forum for Colorado Gun Owners.

    Colorado Firearm law.
    http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/
    Lexis Nexis: Colorado law pertaining to firearms.
    Title 18, Article 12

  17. #17
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breadslinger View Post
    I'm certain that the most difficult barrier to overcome is the one between my ears.
    This realization, along with the rest of your post, tells me you will be fine once you get a little information and experience.

    Since I have to CC most of the time due to local ordinance and business, when I can OC I sometimes feel a little self-conscious again like a newbie depending on where I am. That is obviously coming from between my ears so I well understand and agree with your above comment.

  18. #18
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    Open Carry Etiquette?


    Just make sure to have at least one black holster. A gentleman never wears brown leather after 6:00PM.

  19. #19
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    ....never, ever, wear white socks with brown leather....
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  20. #20
    Regular Member HKcarrier's Avatar
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    Never... and I mean NEVER OC in an ankle holster while wearing shorts. If you also are wearing sandals with socks along with the ankle holster and shorts, you should just be arrested.
    When you put the gun in the holster, put the ego in the gun safe.

  21. #21
    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    There is only on etiquette rule you need to know.

    1) Low ready OC is generally more accepted than high ready OC.
    Do you mind elaborating? I'm newer to OC, so I'm not sure what this is. Thanks! (I don't want to hijack the thread, so feel free to PM it to me)

  22. #22
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyingA380 View Post
    Do you mind elaborating? I'm newer to OC, so I'm not sure what this is. Thanks! (I don't want to hijack the thread, so feel free to PM it to me)
    I am fairly certain that he is referring to carry position once the firearm has left the holster in a shooting situation.

    http://www.usacarry.com/ready-ready-ready-set-go/
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  23. #23
    Regular Member HighFlyingA380's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    I am fairly certain that he is referring to carry position once the firearm has left the holster in a shooting situation.

    http://www.usacarry.com/ready-ready-ready-set-go/
    That's ringin' a bell now, thanks!

  24. #24
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Do not be a nervous Nelly. If you HAVE to check your gun, use your elbow, then go get a bigger gun that will remind you it's there.

    Good Stiff belt made for the purpose, Good holster, nice leather looks good. I have a couple black leather holsters for my black Carhartts, and a few brown leather holsters for my tan Carhartts, shirt colour approprate, makes the weapon blend in and be less noticable, but still there. Good retention also will help your confidence, so you will need several holsters to cover whichever gun you want to carry if you have several different model guns like I do. I have sereval I can carry, so I have at least one holster for each. My preferred carries (CZ85 and a Colt Revolver) I have two holsters for each.

    I also agree, a horizontal shoulder holster is not a good idea for OC holster. I have a vertical shoulder holster, but very rarely use it. MY favorite holster is black leather, for the CZ85. It grips the pistol solidly at the trigger guard, no worry about the gun falling out, it sits high enough on my belt that when I sit down in the car, I can just snap the seatbelt over it. Actually, I carried another, smaller gun today, but because of the holster, it didn't work as well while in the car (a CZ82 I just purchased, with holster)..I'll stay with my CZ85..that holster makes the 85 all but disappear when you are in the car. I like that new 82 for around the property though.....BTW: I have been OCing over 40 years.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKcarrier View Post
    Never... and I mean NEVER OC in an ankle holster while wearing shorts. If you also are wearing sandals with socks along with the ankle holster and shorts, you should just be arrested.
    Only arrested?





    +1 to the comment against wearing white socks with brown leather.

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