Some states do allow openly carrying firearms. There are rules surrounding open carry, however for this article we are going to focus on the concept of open carry. In many of my articles I mention telegraphing and why I recommend staying away from it. This could include everything from the “molon labe” shirts or stickers all over the truck to sporting all of that free NRA gear they love to send us. While there is a time and a place for it, it’s a good idea to be mindful of the fact that this makes us pretty easy to pick out of a crowd. Open carry in my opinion is no different, while there is a time and a place for it, we should still be mindful of a few things.
The first thing to consider is that we gain a monumental advantage by no one else knowing that we have a firearm on our person, and open carry takes that advantage away from us. The only time that I personally open carry is when I am out hunting or camping, and the reason is that I am away from crowded places and my goal is quick access should I need it vs. concealment. When I am out in town however, discretion goes a long way. The last thing I want is to be made a target because my firearm is visible.
Another thing to consider is public opinion. We all have our own ideology and personal beliefs about firearms, however we should be respectful of the fact that other may not share that same opinion. I don’t like others trying to cram their personal beliefs down my throat; therefore in my opinion the respectful thing for me to do is to not try to cram my beliefs down other people’s throats either. It would also not be unreasonable for other people to feel concerned if they were to see someone openly carrying a firearm, nor would it be unreasonable for them to call the police to voice those concerns. Regardless of the fact that open carrying may be legal (depending on where you live), the police could still show up to figure out what is going on and that is a situation that is easier to avoid. I am not at all saying that open carrying is wrong, I just typically avoid it for these reasons. As always, before you carry make sure to check on your local laws, rules and regulations surrounding the carrying of firearms and make sure you are always acting in accordance with those laws.