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Open Carrying


Jul 5, 2006
Reason I want to start OC'ing is even though I don't feel super comfortable right now, and even though BOTH ways of carrying are effective in their own ways, I feel like if it hits the fan, I might mess up and not be able to grab my shirt, lift it up and bring it out in time, or maybe I grab for my gun and get my shirt caught or something. I'm going to continue CC'ing, but I want to start OC'ing as well.
Welcome to Utah. I grew up in St. George back when it was small and Hurricane was really tiny. We also had discriminatory permits.

We now have fully 10% of our adult population who have Utah permits to carry. Double that many Utah permits are held by non-residents.

I have come to the conclusion that 95%+ of all people never see my OC'd firearm despite it being a full-sized 1911. Those who do see it either don't react, or react positively. I'm convinced most people just don't notice much of anything (as evidenced by their driving habits), don't spend much time looking at others' belt line, and just don't have "gun" on their mind when they catch a peripheral glimpse of something on your waste. I figure "cell phone" is what most people "see" when they catch a quick glimpse of our OC'd guns.

Full disclosure, I'm a middle-aged, plump, balding, usually conservatively-dressed, white guy. I usually don't draw much attention of myself; and all my experience is that an OC'd firearm doesn't materially change that.

Honestly, I get orders of magnitude more attention when I wear my kilt and other Scottish attire than I do OCing my gun.

The only locations where we have had any consistent reports of authorities trying to hassle those OCing are on campus at colleges or universities: UoU and UVU in particular. We are legal to OC or CC in those locations with a permit. Still waging the cultural battle as it were.

Assuming you have a Utah carry permit (required to carry fully loaded whether OC or CC), you are legal to OC virtually anywhere you go on a regular basis.

Court rooms are off limits under penalty of contempt. Secure mental hospitals, airport secure areas, jails, and prisons, are off limits under State statute. Private residences and churches that give notice in some way (including the BCI webpage for churches) are off limits (all LDS/Mormon Churches have given notice via the web page and are off limits). And, of course, federal buildings.

I encourage you to sign up for free (and low volume) political alerts from GOUtah! (Gun Owners of Utah) by visiting http://goutahorg.org or by PMing me your email.

You might also enjoy visiting http://utahconcealedcarry.com for Utah specific discussions. Despite the name, OC is not at all off limits on that board.

Keep OCing. Everyday you do so without your worst fears of a scene being realized will add to your comfort and confidence. Give a little thought to a polite, but pithy answer as to why you are carrying a gun, or whether you are a cop. Most such inquiries in Utah are sincere and polite, just be prepared to respond in kind. If you have the extremely rare and bad fortune to run into a very rude anti, simply disengage and walk away. A firm, but polite assertion of your rights might be good. But mostly just disengage and deny the nut case who is so terrified of a man with a gun that he has to confront said man rudely his chance to make you a part of his scene.

Again, welcome.

Charles Hardy
Public Policy Director