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Why Choose Open Carry?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by OD Green Glock 19, Jun 29, 2011.

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  1. Aside from states like WI, where OC is the only legal option (for now), I'm curious why individuals choose to open carry firearms over carrying them concealed.

    While I was waiting for my CHP to arrive I would OC, simply because it was the only legal way for me to carry my firearm. Aside from feeling like everyone was looking at me(they weren't, but it felt like they were) I felt a little uncomfortable/exposed and wondered why someone would choose to carry their firearm in such a manner.

    Many LE agencies forbid their officers from open carrying firearms when they are off duty. It makes sense for officers to OC on duty, in uniform, because they must have the absolute quickest access possible to their firearm in case the SHTF. Because everyone knows that police officers carry firearms, I believe they OC them for ease of access, not as a deterrent. Hell, many officers are attacked despite the fact that they are openly displaying...some are even attacked specifically for their firearms.

    Due to the tactical disadvantage of carrying a firearm openly, I'm curious why individuals choose to carry in such a manner. I believe if you carry a firearm openly, then you should be more highly alert and prepared for the possibility that anyone could be a criminal as a LEO is/should be.

    Open Carry makes sense for law enforcement, because they KNOW they will be dealing with criminals and they must ALWAYS be prepared to do so, but IMO it makes no sense for civilian self defense, because civilians don't necessarily know when they will be dealing with criminals. Even if LEOs weren't openly displaying firearms, it's understood that they are armed. OCing merely provides the quickest access should they need it.

    Civilians don't know when they will be dealing with criminals, so OCing makes no sense, because it merely alerts the criminals that the individual is armed...but the civilian isn't alerted that their are criminals afoot. Unless you intend to maintain a state of heightened alertness and to prepare for the possibility that each individual you come across could be a criminal, as a LEO must, then OCing is a poor choice for civilian self defense.

    I understand this will probably ruffle some feathers around here, but I am honestly just looking for a civilized discussion. I don't mean to offend anyone. I just cannot think of a logical justification for OC and I would be interested in hearing what others think.

    The main reason I value legal OC is because it protects me in the event that my weapon is accidentally exposed.

    I am asking this question from a tactical standpoint. For example, some refuse to pay to exercise their rights, so they OC because it doesn't require them to purchase a permit. Some states require fingerprinting in the CC application process. Some disagree with this requirement and choose to OC instead. These types of things are not what I'm interested in.

    So, for the sake of discussion, let's assume that OC and CC are both allowed and that neither require a permit, fingerprinting, etc.

    Why OC?

    -Quicker Draw
  2. HotRoderX

    HotRoderX Gen4 BETATester

    Jan 15, 2011
    No other reason then if its legal in your area and you want to you can.
    There are times and places OC would be more of a benefit then CC.

    Best example I can think of off the top of my head is lets say your going fishing/hunting. Strap on your trusty wood gun and get in the truck to head out. Half way to your destination it dawns on you, your out of beef jerky and bait. Will Walmarts right around the corner from your current location. If OC is legal why shouldn't you walk into Walmart with it strapped on do you really want to leave a firearm in a truck when its not your only option.

  3. Why OC into Walmart instead of CC is my question?
  4. HotRoderX

    HotRoderX Gen4 BETATester

    Jan 15, 2011

    If your going out into the woods more then likely your carrying a full size revolver on a hip holster.

    Where talking Smith and Wesson 686, Ruger Superblack Hawk or perhaps a 500 Smith and Wesson.
  5. OK. I was speaking more about OC vs CC for EDC, but I guess everyone's lifestyle is different. That makes sense. It allows you to carry weapons that cannot easily be concealed. You would also want quickest access to your firearm if a wild animal were coming at you. I have to admit, the outdoors/woods is one of the few places I would consider OC prudent.
  6. eb31

    eb31 ANARCHY!

    Sep 11, 2010
    I have a Tn HCP. I OC and CC. Depending mostly on my clothing and which one I feel like doing that particular day. Both have pros and cons. Neither are right or wrong.
  7. Because I can :tongueout:
  8. I was hoping you might mention what you find to be advantageous about OC and why that leads you to choose OC over CC on occasion. Is it not a conscious reasoning? You just feel like it sometimes? You mentioned it depends mostly on what you're wearing.
  9. AA#5


    Nov 26, 2008
    Exactly. People who OC in areas other than the woods/etc. want their firearm to be seen by others who are not accustomed to seeing firearms on people out of uniform because they want to make a statement and they crave attention - which they wouldn't get in the woods.

    You also illustrated another point regarding OC by uniformed police officers. The type of holster a uniformed officer wears is NOTHING like the typical CC or OC holsters worn by the above-mentioned attention whores. A police duty holster has three or more hidden retention devices to prevent the gun from being quickly & easily snatched or lost during a physical struggle. The type of holsters worn by OC'ers allows a gun to be easily snatched. Does that really make you feel safe?
  10. While it does strike me as odd that someone would choose OC for EDC, I don't assume that because someone OCs that they don't do so responsibly with proper retention holsters. If you OC without a proper holster, you're an idiot in my book.

    I don't assume that someone's an idiot or attention whore simply because he/she OCs. Although, I am curious to find out the logic behind it, because I have yet to come up with an advantage that would make doing so prudent.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  11. eb31

    eb31 ANARCHY!

    Sep 11, 2010
    Agreed. Like those choads on Youtube that are only pro OC and carry AK-47's and AR-15 into restaurants. Or you see them with a 1911 in some flimsy holster bouncing all around a dress belt.

    I wear a Bullhide gun belt, bought specifically as a gun belt and use a Blackhawk Serpa retention holster. Not so much to prevent someone taking my gun as much as it is for overall safety and proper carry.

    For CC I use a leather (forget which brand/model) IWB holster that fully covers the trigger guard...again, for safety and to help prevent AD's.

    I'm not going to debate OC v CC because I enjoy both. Some prefer one over the other, to each their own. As I said earlier, both have pros and cons. People should learn to choose for themselves and do what they feel most comfortable and safest doing.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  12. That's exactly my goal with this thread. To hear the advantages of OC and why they lead people to choose OC. I have yet to hear any reasoning so far, merely "sometimes I feel like OCing." I'm wondering how people weigh the pros and cons and come to a logical conclusion to OC. Surely, all OCers don't just choose their method of self defense on a whim, because they can, or because they desperately need attention. So, what is it that leads to this decision? There must be some who have reasoned their way to this decision with some logic.
  13. eb31

    eb31 ANARCHY!

    Sep 11, 2010
    Actually, it doesn't need to be some huge, logical, planned out reason. I live in an area where OC is quite acceptable and perfectly normal. There are no "looks" or "MWAG calls"...atleast not on me in all the times I've OC'd. Been out to dinner, out to breakfast, gas stations, Walmart, Target, JCPenny, movies (drive-in and indoor theater), Kohls, Kroger food store, liquor store, church, gunshop, gun range and the list goes on. I've had interactions (for other positive reasons) with THP (Tn Highway Patrol), local Deputy's and PD officers while OC'ing. Never a problem. No questions, no asking for my HCP...nothing.

    I guess when you're accustomed to it being a problem, you view it as problematic. I've yet to see one goofball OC irresponsibly in my neck of the woods.

    But then again...I'm sure every town has atleast one Leonard Embody. So it I may still see it.

    And, I will never buy into the largely used scare tactic of ..."Well, if you OC someone will take your gun". Lmao.

    1. Use a retention holster to HELP prevent that from happening.
    2. If you (in general, not you specifically) walk around with your head so far up your arse that you would allow a perfect stranger that far inside your "space" don't need to he carrying a gun anyway. Your SA sucks and you are more of a danger than the BG.

    The bottom line is very simple. Do what you are most comfortable with. I, personally, am a very confident person. I'm VERY comfortable with either mode of carry. No, OC'ing is not a form of "Lookie here!" for me. Perhaps for others, but not for me or anyone I know. Carrying, OC/CC, is as natural as putting on my watch and putting my wallet in my pocket.

    I've yet to understand why so many are so argumentative/gungho about OC or or the other. And why people get to he such ******bags in their arguments for their selected choice of carry (not directed at the OP). I'm perfectly comfortable with both.

    How you choose to carry, provided it's safe and responsible, is none of my concern. And that door swings both ways.
  14. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

    Dec 28, 2000
    It's just what you do or it's just what you don't do.

    If you don't see a need or benefit to it, don't do it. Simple.
  15. ashecht


    Feb 10, 2010
    Charlotte NC
    I live in Charlotte NC, and do both OC and CC, depending on where I am going and what I am wearing for both clothing and EDC weapon. If I am running to the supermarket to get something and all I have on are shorts and a tank top, I may or may not pull my shirt down. All the folks there know me after 20 years, and my gun doesnt even get a second glance. Besides, I am usually in and out in 15 minutes. Besides, if I have my G26 on my hip, with my hands at my side you can barely see it to begin with. I have been in line with Charlotte PD officers, and they dont even give me a look except occasionally to ask me what kind of gun it is. If I am going out for extended errands or to a mall(if carry is not specially listed as verboten), I will always conceal it, dont need the hassle of people staring or asking stupid questions. If I go to a party, it is always concealed, no need to alarm strangers or perhaps have a drunken person take a grab at my gun. Especially in the summer, it is irrating to have my gun rub against me in the North Carolina heat and humidity, and I'm not wearing two shirts when its 100 degrees and 90% humidity out.
  16. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    Some people open carry because there is no legal alternative in their locality.

    The other people open carry handguns for the same reason people get freaky tattoos on their faces. Poor judgement and a desire for attention.

    There is no tactical advantage at all, and in fact creates a lot of disadvantages and risks.
  17. Right now it's not legal in Florida but there are some legislators working on that. But it gets very hot and humid here in the summer months. I'm talking 105*F with 99% humidity. Wearing an extra shirt is out of the question so the holster and gun have to ride against your skin. That's uncomfortable and I would prefer to OC due to comfort.

    Another reason is that I can carry a larger caliber or a full size instead of a compact.

    It can provide slightly better draw times though I doubt it's a big improvement.

    My main reason for wanting it here in Florida is comfort in the summer months and the ability to carry a "better" weapon. My preference would probably still be CC but OC had it's place.
  18. 3 reasons.

    1. In Michigan, if you have a CC permit, you can OC in most gun free zones. Screwy, but true.

    2. In Michigan it does not require a license. If someone decides to carry, they can, without the months (2.5 in my case) of waiting that occurs when we apply for a CC permit.

    3. In an OC state, I don't worry about accidentaly committing a crime if my shirt rides up or my jacket flaps open.

    I CC 98% of the time, but there are situations where I OC.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  19. 1811guy

    1811guy Formerly1811guy2

    May 1, 2001
    Because people who OC routinely wear shirts that are impossible to untuck.

    Seriously, I am plainclothes and am required to carry concealed. If I come off the range where I was carrying openly, I just untuck my shirt. No biggie. The Walmart scenario has no merit. So is the hot and sweaty FL scenario. I have worn a cotton T-shirt all my life. Any argument for OC I have ever seen has been weak-arsed at best. Are those really the best arguments the OC crowd can throw out there?
  20. bandmasterjf


    Aug 26, 2009

    I've heard grumblings of carry issues in Memphis, what gives with that?

    I only open carry in the woods during hunting season, not legal otherwise. I don't think I would even it was legal. I'm not a very imposing figure and I would rather the BG not knowing I'm carrying, but that's just me. I don't see anything wrong with it.
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