Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Open carry while delivering fliers

While I was out and about delivering fliers for gun shops to post up about August 28th, I decided to open carry. This is not unusual for me, and I wasn't planning on going anywhere it would really make me stand out.

The first gun shop I hit, J&S Gun Parts, said they'd look into posting a flier. I had already emailed them, but I don't think they check it much. I looked to see if they had any XD45 full-size mags in stock, then moved on to Larry's Guns, where Larry's wife seemed very excited about the flier.

I've carried openly in Larry's before, and I will again. Only one employee even gave me a second glance. He pointed toward it, smiled, and asked who I worked for. When I told him, he quickly frowned. As I had fully expected, he assumed I was an Only One. He told me that OC was "technically" legal, and I should expect to be stopped by the police. I explained that it was completely legal and the police were starting to be informed. I offered to go out to my car and get the training bulletins, but he brushed that off.
He told me that in Shelton, he would've stopped me. Trying not to be hostile, I said that he then would've let me go once my name cleared the system. He, of course, said he'd let me go and tell me to conceal. I asked what he'd say if I didn't have a concealed carry permit with me. He said he'd arrest me, which I promptly informed him would be a wrongful arrest. He started digging through a bag for his old, worn out copy of one of those traveler's guides to gun laws (I think...I never really saw the cover.
I browsed the store while he looked up what he needed, and even went out to get the training bulletins. When he finally found it, he pointed out that it said open carry was not recommended, as though this were the magical phrase that made it illegal. I showed him the training bulletins, which he scrutinized for a few minutes. He then scowled and said, "well what are these supposed to prove?" "Why, they're just proof that police departments are being trained to correctly interpret the law, which allows for open carry." He tried to tell me that someone being uncomfortable would make it brandishing, which I pointed out is not the case. I told him that a police officer could, at best, encourage me to move along.
He finally ended with a tirade about how he doesn't want people to know he's armed, since he'll then be shot. I tried to explain that OC can easily deter crime, as well. I didn't convince him that private citizens should be able to walk around with guns out in the open, but he started to see it as a possibility. Larry's grandkid, who was also working, seemed very receptive to the things I said.
I guess that an Only One stays the Only One no matter the circumstance.

I then went to get my oil changed (I know, I should do it myself, but I have nowhere to get rid of the used oil), and the folks there were happy to see the gun. One of them, a young kid, just couldn't keep his eyes off it. Turns out, he's from California, according to the other guy, and we all know how hard it is to even get permission to hide your gun.

The rest of the day, no one seemed to notice or care that I was armed, which is just fine by me.

I don't know whether J&S, Larry's, or Sportsman's Warehouse will post fliers or offer discounts, but I plan to hit at least two of them on Tuesday.


Hammer said...

I wish we had the option of open carry here. I hope it becomes more common place. Concealed is really uncomfortable in this heat.

Bruce W. Krafft said...

In Minnesota we also can carry openly (with a permit). I have had several discussions with cops (or 'moments of unusual interest' as one of my friends put it) on the subject.

It was during one of those that I finally managed to clearly articulate why I open carry: I pointed out that I was certainly giving up a tactical advantage (i.e. more likely to get shot as your Only One pointed out) for strategic advantage. Next time the Brady Bunch starts ranting about "pistol-packing gun-nuts" people in my area will have a mental image of a big middle-aged guy who held the door for the pregnant lady, or got the crackers down off the top shelf for the grandmother in the grocery store.

On the minus side, I had a cop actually tell me "If we got a robbery call to this location, you would be the first one we shot." This while I was wearing my bright red t-shirt emblazoned front and back with SECURITY in 3" high letters. I told him that if their use of force guidlines directed them to shoot a man with a holstered gun, they might incur some liability.

John Hardin said...

Keep up the good work!

By any chance are you familiar with the Open Carry forum?

John Hardin said...

...aaaand I just found your post there. Nevermind.

Drew said...

Yeah, John, I don't think I'd open carry if I hadn't found that forum. Until I saw the training bulletins, I was certain I'd be dealing with too much hassle.
Bruce, their use of force guidelines may not stop that bullet. You may want to contact the PD and try to get them some much-needed training.
Hammer, you know, it's funny. Some people tell me that I'm not in Texas, trying to convince me not to OC. I then have to tell them that Texas doesn't allow it. They are consistently shocked. If it weren't for the heat and the lack of OC, I might have migrated down that way.

Marcus said...

You can dispose of used motor oil and transmission fluid at all Schucks auto supply stores.

And thanks for OCing, I OC too, everywhere I go. I've yet to be harassed.