First Confrontation While Open Carrying

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First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Whackpack7 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:49 pm

So I live in West Virginia, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand we like our guns and most people are easier going than other places. Very rarely do I open carry, and for many obvious reasons, but regardless WV is an open carry state. However today I did. This is because I work occasionally at a gun store in a small town in my county, and when I do I open carry. I open carry at the store because recently with the price hikes and shortages on items we like people to see that we are all armed and not a soft target. It has never been an issue as we are a mom and pop store and have a very welcoming atmoshpere.

While leaving the store today, I realized that I needed gas so I stopped at a Sheetz in the town. As I drove in I did a quick scan for and LEO vehicles so I could avoid a confrontation while carrying. Since I was already wearing the holster (a SERPA) on my belt, rather than take it off I placed my regular carry gun (a Glock 30) in it. As I was walking into the store, out of the corner of my eye I saw two sheriffs cruisers pulling in beside me. I let out a "damn" under my breath because I knew they would say something. I'm not an idiot, and I know that for anyone seeing someone carry a gun in public can be frightening. I know from working in public service that you can never trust anyone and an officer might be interested to know why someone is carrying. I walked in, paid for my gas, and started to walk out. As I did, one of the deputies stopped me, his partner with him. He asked me if I was aware of the fact that I was in the jurisdiction of that city and not the jurisdiction of our county. I told him yes I was aware, identified the department having jurisdiction in that area, and identified one of the officers who I'm friends with that acknowledges that open carry is legal in that jurisdiction (and the fact that I am a fire fighter in that city and see all the officers regularly). I informed him of my situation working at the gun store, which he was familiar with, and he recalled that his lieutenant works with me there part time also. Even though I identified one of the officers working in that jurisdiction, he did not take my word and took me outside so that he could radio the dispatch center and inquire as to whether open carry was legal in that area (once again I knowm you are taught to trust no one so I don't blame him. No different than me being told by a firefighter a patients blood pressure when I am receiving them on the ambulance and taking it for myself because I don't wanna trust them). While he was doing that, I talked with his partner very casually. They both stated that they were merely checking for my safety and so I would know for sure. I did not protest or argue, I kept my cool. Neither officer asked my name, or for my identification, nor did they attempt to disarm my weapon while we spoke, and they did not run the serial number. Dispatch radioed back and told the deputy that open carry was in fact legal in that jurisdiction. The deputy then proceeded to tell me that my weapon had to be visible from three sides and I cannot wear it in my vehicle...all things that I am aware of and take practice of. I have a case kept in my car always if I should have a gun. He shook my hand, told me to have a good day and left.....

You know. I would like to say that he was very respectful and things went much better than they could have. I always dress decently when I work so I am sure I didn't look suspicious, and I imagine being a FF and EMT, knowing basically every LEO in the county on a personal basis, working at a very popular gun store, and my demeanor helped, but Im still decently pissed. Yes I understand he was being cautious for his safety and public safety, and was 'looking out for me', but it still bothers me.

I do want to reiterate that I don't usually OC, I understand the position of the officer, and that things went sorta smoothly... What are y'all's opinions?
Last edited by Whackpack7 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by AKFTW » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:55 pm

And this is why I always CC. I know OC is legal and all, and I do understand OC in a gun store, but it is just an invitation for confrontation in today's sad society we have, where there are many segments of the population that will soil themselves at the idea that a gun exists anywhere in their lives besides in their TV shows. I'd bring a cover garment with you to work in case you get in the same situation again, personally.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Whackpack7 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:59 pm

I should also point out of any other times I have OC'd I have never gotten as much as a bad smirk from anyone. Guess it just all depends. It was just that one newer deputy I didn't know.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Rosicrucian » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:30 am

I like the open carry idea, it puts the cards on the table. However the less tolerant yet self proclaimed liberals find the practice too spooky for them to handle as it doesn't put them in control while they preach their "everybody deserves a chance and a hand up" rhetoric whie claiming all the tax breaks their little arses can muster........

Sorry, I digress. Like the other posters CC is the best option. No one needs to know, it doesn't need to be a topic of discussion. A true believer prevents the "print" and doesn't find a need to let everyone know that they carry.

But the best, and yes I leave that for last.....You CANNOT beat the pucker effect seen on the face of a zombie when a petite FA enthusiast clears leather and *SUPRISE* brandishes her weapon when said zombie thinks they will liberate this defenseless lass of her possesions. True beauty indeed!

Have a great day all!
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Horatio_Tyllis » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:41 am

Rosicrucian wrote:I like the open carry idea, it puts the cards on the table. However the less tolerant yet self proclaimed liberals find the practice too spooky for them to handle as it doesn't put them in control while they preach their "everybody deserves a chance and a hand up" rhetoric whie claiming all the tax breaks their little arses can muster........

Sorry, I digress. Like the other posters CC is the best option. No one needs to know, it doesn't need to be a topic of discussion. A true believer prevents the "print" and doesn't find a need to let everyone know that they carry.

But the best, and yes I leave that for last.....You CANNOT beat the pucker effect seen on the face of a zombie when a petite FA enthusiast clears leather and *SUPRISE* brandishes her weapon when said zombie thinks they will liberate this defenseless lass of her possesions. True beauty indeed!

Have a great day all!
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by shrapnel » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:44 am

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by MacWa77ace » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:11 pm

Whackpack7 wrote:.........] However today I did. This is because I work occasionally at a gun store in a small town in my county, and when I do I open carry. I open carry at the store because recently with the price hikes and shortages on items we like people to see that we are all armed and not a soft target. It has never been an issue as we are a mom and pop store and have a very welcoming atmoshpere. [............
In Florida which is not an open carry state, in some of the LGS that I visit the proprieters are open carrying within the store. [pre price hikes and shortages] You can open carry on private property here basically as long as the owner allows it. This includes rifles, etc. as well as holstered handguns. Here's what happens in FL when you walk down the sidewalk with what looks like a rifle though.

For Whackpack7 sounds like how it should have gone; if you were approached by a LEO regarding open carry in an open carry state. My question would be if the state allows it why would a jurisdiction not allow it, and if you didn't know a lot of LEO's [like most people don't] what would have happened? Or didn't know for sure that jurisdictional statutes hadn't superseded the state laws for that location, so you couldn't answer his question with any authority? [uh, what do mean officer?]

And this is something I don't get: You have to encase your open carry handgun when you enter your vehicle. So couldn't you just carry your CWL and move it from your OC holster to your waistband under your shirt when you enter your vehicle? [Maybe you don't have a concealed carry liscense.] But if you did is this something that you could do? What if you were the passenger in a vehicle in WV?
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Langenator » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:42 pm

State laws WRT carrying in vehicles are one area that I've found can get really squirrely. I know in WA state (which has state preemption, so you don't have to worry about more restrictive laws in local jurisdictions) you can OC, loaded, with no license/permit of any sort. However, you cannot carry a loaded pistol in a car without a CHL. One guy I knew who open carried would drop the mag, clear the pistol, and leave the whole collection on the passenger seat when he got in the car, so there'd be no misinterpretation if he got stopped.

Said individual also had a decidedly unpleasant encounter with police, as a result of a grocery store manager who didn't like him OC'ing in the store, but wasn't willing to do the deed of asking the guy to leave himself (at which point Mr. OC would have been trespassing had he remained in the store), but decided calling the cops was the best thing to do.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Rev » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:54 pm

I thought technically open carry was legal in vehicles, but was not advisable do to some poorly worded legislation that was intended to combat poaching.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by MacWa77ace » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:52 pm

Rev wrote:I thought technically open carry was legal in vehicles, but was not advisable do to some poorly worded legislation that was intended to combat poaching.

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That's long guns.

As far as WV juristictions superceding state law, Florida has a law that prohibits localities from regulating firearms. So when we get our OC there should be less confusion here.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by dtwn92 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:50 pm

I didn't read all the posts here. I just wanted to comment on the OP's post.

I think the moral of this is, you knew where you were and what you were able to do, you had a calm demeanor and were polite. Right away the sheriff was the same. I think you stated as much it could have gone very worse. But cool head prevailed and being the way you were defused the situation before it became a '"situation".

I think all around it was a good experience, the cop and his partner now know the law and I'm sure the gas station worked asked and learned something too. On top of it, you seen that not all law enforcement are tools if treated respectfully.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Whackpack7 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:09 pm

MacWa77ace wrote:And this is something I don't get: You have to encase your open carry handgun when you enter your vehicle. So couldn't you just carry your CWL and move it from your OC holster to your waistband under your shirt when you enter your vehicle? [Maybe you don't have a concealed carry liscense.] But if you did is this something that you could do? What if you were the passenger in a vehicle in WV?
So it gets a little eh with the laws and such around here. If you are CC, you can just conceal. If no CC then you must unload and case it. If a car or sedan it goes in the trunk technically, if a SUV or truck as far away as possible so as not to reach easily from the driver's seat.

That is the CC law, however we have DNR law that states it is illegal to have a loaded firearm in the vehicle at all due to hunting regulations. This however is disregarded in the case of a CC permit in most instances. I mean if they see you have a loaded S&W 629 or 460 they might be a little suspect of foul play. Weird.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Browning 35 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:22 pm

You know. I would like to say that he was very respectful and things went much better than they could have. I always dress decently when I work so I am sure I didn't look suspicious, and I imagine being a FF and EMT, knowing basically every LEO in the county on a personal basis, working at a very popular gun store, and my demeanor helped, but Im still decently pissed. Yes I understand he was being cautious for his safety and public safety, and was 'looking out for me', but it still bothers me.

I do want to reiterate that I don't usually OC, I understand the position of the officer, and that things went sorta smoothly... What are y'all's opinions?
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That seems to be the way it is now for a few different reasons.

Glad it went okay.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Towanda » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:13 pm

Rev wrote:I thought technically open carry was legal in vehicles, but was not advisable do to some poorly worded legislation that was intended to combat poaching.

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Depends on the state, AFAIK. In Michigan, you can OC fully loaded on foot without a CPL, but once you get into a vehicle, MI law considers the weapon to be concealed. Then you either need a CPL, or you have to unload the pistol and store it securely, out of reach of the driving compartment, with the ammo stowed separately.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Caenus » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:55 pm

I don't open carry for the reason the OP posted. But in AZ anything goes. Non-licensed concealed carry, open carry, licensed CC. Before the non-licensed CC law, you could have a loaded firearm if you were OC, but you had to put it somewhere visible in the car (like the seat next to you). Not a good idea to drive around with it on the dashboard. :wink:
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Whackpack7 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:23 am

It just really sucks when you are in a situation where you are fully aware that you are RIGHT and LEGAL and that the LEO really has no reason to stop you...but you have to chillax and bear with it because you know so much as a hint of argument gives him something to hold against you. Yeah the law says I can. But it's also his word against mine. Rather than be Mr. Educated Gun Owner you have to play Mr. Uneducated Citizen and let the LEO do his thing
To tell him what's up and explain law to him would be signing my own arrest warrant.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:05 am

It sucks to get hassled when you know you're in the right. Good job staying cool, it's the best way to get through that crap. WI has unfucked a lot of our gun laws over the last few years, much to the irritation of urban police chiefs. Mind you, those departments had a habit of excessively hassling legally armed civs, and they had a list of lawsuits against them that proved it. WI is full of stuborn people.

I tend to drift back and forth when I carry, and don't even worry about printing. The 4 kids I shuffle around get the bulk of my attention, and everyone else's. My Glock doesn't whine about the candy and toys it wants...
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by desert fox » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:42 pm

I love Arizona and Utah. Multiple times I have had mothers come up to me at the park or store and thank me for open carrying. Any cops that have noticed just give me a nod.


But apparently to some people I put off a military/ LEO air, even when not armed. So maybe that goes a long way
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:14 pm

desert fox wrote:But apparently to some people I put off a military/ LEO air, even when not armed.
The air of 'armed professional' can go a long way, but it hinges on 'professional' rather than 'armed' 99.9% of the time.

Act like an idiot, though, and people will treat you like an idiot. So don't.

Whackpack kept his head, acted politely and respectfully (and patiently) with the civil servants while they did their job, and all ended well for him. This is how things should be handled in this scenario, though things often go differently, as seen on youtube.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by eugene » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:42 pm

Rev wrote:I thought technically open carry was legal in vehicles, but was not advisable do to some poorly worded legislation that was intended to combat poaching.

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Depends on the state, for example you cannot in OH, the vehicle conceals the firearm, so unless you have a CC license then you have to disarm to get in the vehicle.

I can't recall WV at the moment, they reciprocate with OH so my CC license is valid there as well. While driving though PA I can CC in my vehicle on an out of state license but have to OC when I get out of the vehicle.
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Caenus » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:53 pm

eugene wrote:
Rev wrote:I thought technically open carry was legal in vehicles, but was not advisable do to some poorly worded legislation that was intended to combat poaching.

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Depends on the state, for example you cannot in OH, the vehicle conceals the firearm, so unless you have a CC license then you have to disarm to get in the vehicle.

I can't recall WV at the moment, they reciprocate with OH so my CC license is valid there as well. While driving though PA I can CC in my vehicle on an out of state license but have to OC when I get out of the vehicle.
That's weird. I don't get the logic. Do they have some kind of "traveling" clause like Texas?
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by maldon007 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:05 pm

Sounds like everything went fine except, why are there two officers, between which neither is aware of specific OC laws in an area they patrol? Hard to believe it has never come up in either of their experiences/trainings/or stories related to them by other officers.... Or am I missing the point that they were fully aware, but use a pretense of ignorance as an excuse to detain & scrutinize?
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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by Whackpack7 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Kutter_0311 wrote:
desert fox wrote:But apparently to some people I put off a military/ LEO air, even when not armed.
The air of 'armed professional' can go a long way, but it hinges on 'professional' rather than 'armed' 99.9% of the time.

Act like an idiot, though, and people will treat you like an idiot. So don't.

Whackpack kept his head, acted politely and respectfully (and patiently) with the civil servants while they did their job, and all ended well for him. This is how things should be handled in this scenario, though things often go differently, as seen on youtube.
I think attire and behavior are crucial when OC'ing. I attribute it to why I have made it so long without any confrontation. I always make sure I don't look trashy. Usually wearing a polo, 5.11 or truspec pants, boots, and high and tight haircut with a clean shave. I also always make a point to put anything I may need to pull out in public such as keys or cell phone in the pocket opposite my holster so it doesn't look like I'm reaching for it if I need in my pockets.

As for behavior, I try my hardest to be polite and respectful. I also try to rest my fore arm across the back strap of the gun when standing in lines for weapon retention so it would be harder for someone to grab it. It's already in a locking holster, but I couldn't live with myself if someone ended up with my gun and shot me or worse someone else. Retention is key right up there with your behavior.

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Re: First Confrontation While Open Carrying

Post by maldon007 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:05 pm

Whackpack7 wrote: I think attire and behavior are crucial when OC'ing. I attribute it to why I have made it so long without any confrontation. I always make sure I don't look trashy. Usually wearing a polo, 5.11 or truspec pants, boots, and high and tight haircut with a clean shave. I also always make a point to put anything I may need to pull out in public such as keys or cell phone in the pocket opposite my holster so it doesn't look like I'm reaching for it if I need in my pockets.

As for behavior, I try my hardest to be polite and respectful. I also try to rest my fore arm across the back strap of the gun when standing in lines for weapon retention so it would be harder for someone to grab it. It's already in a locking holster, but I couldn't live with myself if someone ended up with my gun and shot me or worse someone else. Retention is key right up there with your behavior.

A lot of people (I think) assume someone dressed smartly & OCing are either un-uniformed police, private security or others who are armed for their given profession. Probably goes a long way toward preventing confrontations with people who might otherwise be scared or annoyed by "regular" people "running around" with "guns".
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