Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Commentary On Open Carry Of Guns In North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 2 weeks ago

Asheville Citizen-Times:

Question: I know that you have to have a license to carry a concealed weapon in our area. But a friend told me that if you do not conceal the weapon and it is out in the open, with a few exceptions you can carry a weapon in public. Specifically, he said you can walk around downtown Asheville with a shotgun or a machete and it is legal. I’m having a hard time believing that. Could the Answer Man investigate and explain what the particulars of the law are? Where can and where can’t you carry a weapon openly in public? Is there any restriction on the type of weapon you can openly carry? Are there places you can’t carry a concealed weapon?

My answer: Nothing says “holiday cheer” like a question about open carry laws.

Real answer: This subject does get quite complicated, so the following is far from a comprehensive answer.

For starters, you can indeed openly carry a gun around in North Carolina, generally speaking.

“(The reader is) correct in that North Carolina generally allows the open carry of firearms, with a few exceptions,” said Asheville Police Department spokeswoman Christina Hallingse. “A private property owner may restrict the carrying of firearms on their property, whether they be concealed or carried openly. There are a number of statutes that could potentially apply, including ‘Going Armed to the Terror of the People.'”

In part that law says you’re guilty of this offense if you arm yourself “with an unusual and dangerous weapon for the purpose of terrifying others,” and you go “about on public highways in a manner to cause terror to the people.” The North Carolina Supreme Court states that a gun meets the definition of an “unusual and dangerous weapon.”

All sorts of private businesses have restrictions on carrying guns, generally communicated by signs that state in words or pictures that guns and knives are not allowed.

As you can imagine, North Carolina has a lot of regulations about firearms. Hallingse provided a helpful link to “North Carolina Firearms Laws,” a 46-page document on the North Carolina Department of Justice site you can find here: https://bit.ly/2EbdqWr

Generally speaking, you can’t carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, into a bar or other places selling alcohol if you are consuming alcohol. You also can’t carry a gun into banks, schools or governmental buildings such as courthouses. Under the section subtitled “Areas Where Weapons Are Prohibited,” the documents also lists “Events occurring in public places,” and “Areas of emergency and riots.”

As far as weapons that are banned altogether, even for law enforcement officers (in most cases), the state law lays out a couple of pages of them under the section of the aforementioned North Carolina DOJ document called “Restricted and Prohibited Weapons.”

SEE ALSO: Asheville calls for assault weapons ban; mayor says she would go further

Among them are:

• Any spring-loaded projectile knife, a ballistic knife, or any weapon of similar character

• Weapons of mass destruction, including bombs of all sorts, grenades, rockets having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, a missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, mines; and any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell of a type particularly suitable for sporting purposes) which will expel a projectile using an explosive or other propellant, and which has a barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch.

• Any firearm capable of fully automatic fire.

• Any shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or an overall length of
less than 26 inches.

• A rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches or an overall length of less
than 26 inches.

• Any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting a device
into any weapon described above, and from which a weapon of mass death and
destruction may readily be assembled.

• Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction

• Teflon-coated bullets

I think this is a bad commentary because it’s misleading and incomplete.  First of all, MG are not prohibited – it’s just that you must have ATF approval for a Class 3 weapon.  I know folks in NC who legally own MGs.  The same thing goes for SBRs (he implies that it’s illegal to own an SBR in North Carolina).  It isn’t, as long as you have a tax stamp.

As for his snark about “Nothing says “holiday cheer” like a question about open carry laws,” I quite agree.  Open carry makes me cheerful, as it should.  As I’ve said before, I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

It would appear that from the questioner’s surprise, not enough North Carolinians are openly carrying.

Fishing With Guns In Miami Beach To Raise Awareness Of Florida Open Carry Laws

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 4 weeks ago

News from Florida:

A group of open carry gun enthusiasts had a well-armed visit to Miami Beach on Saturday.

The group calling itself “Florida Carry” caused a disturbance when they showed up on the South Pointe Park Pier in June.

At that time, six members of the group startled fishermen and visitors, some of whom notified police.

Officers temporarily detained and disarmed the group, but determined that they were within their rights to carry weapons.

This time, the group announced it’s intention to show up at the pier on a Facebook page, and police were ready and accommodating.

The group walked to the pier and proceeded to fish, gathering several double-takes from other fishermen and tourists.

Open Carry Advocate Steven Merrette said, “This is our statement to come out here and try and educate not only the law enforcement officers but the general public as well. We are not the problem. We’re out here peacefully fishing, we’ve got our wives, our kids with us, we’re out here having a good time, nobody’s causing any problems.”

I support their efforts.  As I’ve said before, the shame must end.  I agree wholeheartedly with the notion of open carry to prove a point.  Other than that, we learn absolutely nothing interesting or actionable from this stupid report, except that the police are criminals.

It’s legal to open carry while fishing, and this wasn’t a Terry stop.  There was no suspicion of a crime, and the police didn’t need to detain the men and verify that they were within their rights.  Here’s a scoop, cops.  There is no law against it, so they were within their rights, just as much as walking down the street is within my rights, and you have no right to detain me for walking down the street.

As for disarming the men, I’ve pointed out before that this is the stupidest, most ridiculous, most unsafe act you can take.  Do … not .. touch .. another … man’s .. weapon.  If you do that, you are an imbecile, and your procedures are faulty.

So here’s a suggestion for the write of this silly article (” … and police were ready and accommodating”).  Find out and report for us what right the police had to detain and disarm the men, and give us the court precedents that support such action, if you can find any.  More to the point.  Give us court precedents that demonstrate that the police can detain you for no reason whatsoever?

Here’s another idea.  Give us the data on whether blood really runs in the streets like the wild, wild west in open carry states.  Or not.  Hey, “journalist.”  Do you even know how many states are open carry states?

Prior: Miami Beach Police Draw Down On, Detain, Disarm, And Throw Around Lawful Open Carriers

Delaware Courts Again Concerning Guns On Public Lands

BY Herschel Smith
12 months ago

News from Delaware:

A Delaware judge has once again found that parts of the state’s latest attempt to regulate firearms on public lands are unconstitutional.

In a years-long legal battle, two Delaware sports groups and individual gun owners have repeatedly challenged the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Department of Agriculture’s regulations limiting weapons in state parks, forests and wildlife areas.

“We saw an agency … doing things we felt were not constitutional, and we called them on it,” said Jeffrey Hague, president of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association. “We were vindicated in a couple of court decisions … that what the agencies were doing was overreach.”

A Kent County Superior Court Judge’s ruling last week again supported claims that parts of a partial weapons ban were unlawful.

For decades, firearms — as well as slingshots and archery equipment — were banned in a slew of public places such as campgrounds, with the exception of areas used for hunting.

Gun advocates like Hague argued that meant people who wanted to camp in Delaware’s parks or visit the beach would have to give up their right to bear arms or find themselves breaking the law.

Late last year, the Delaware Supreme Court shot down those bans, ruling that they were unconstitutional. State agencies responded by issuing emergency regulations because without them, they argued, “firearms would essentially be unregulated.”

Shortly after that ruling, the state adopted revised versions of those emergency rules to prohibit the open carry of firearms in certain public places such as lodges and gathering spots within state parks or forests.

Gun advocates again turned to the courts to challenge the state’s authority and rulemaking, which had established “designated areas” within public lands where firearms were prohibited.

The agencies published maps of these areas, and included the caveat that people licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon and former or current police officers were exempt from the rule as long as they could prove their gun-bearing rights.

The lawsuit was filed by the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, the local affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club, and club member John Sylvester against the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the state Department of Agriculture and those agencies’ secretaries in late May. It also sought clarity on the new rules.

The plaintiffs contended in the lawsuit that the revised ban, which essentially sets designated gun-free zones in state parks, forests and wildlife areas, is at odds with both the Delaware and United States constitutions.

Kent County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey J. Clark’s ruling last week, based on a line-by-line review of the partial gun ban, concluded that certain aspects — including the need to show proof of the right to carry a weapon — were unlawful.

Clark invalidated the inclusion of camping areas and lodges within the designated areas that prohibit firearms, the requirement that former or current law enforcement and concealed carry permit holders show documented proof of their right, and the requirement to show proof of identification.

The remainder of the revised regulations on firearms and weapons in state parks, forests and wildlife areas will remain in effect.

Francis Pileggi, a Wilmington attorney who has been working this case since the first lawsuit was filed in 2015, said it was only challenging parts of the new rules, but they largely won their case.

He said the biggest issue was to ensure peoples’ right to bear arms in their dwelling — whether that be a home, vacation rental or, in this case, a campsite — is upheld.

He said this case also was helpful in providing the court’s interpretation of the rules, which he said were not easily understood in some cases. For instance, it seemed that the designated areas were full gun-free zones; the court interpreted them to mean open carry is not permitted in those areas.

Recall I said that “they will never upbraid another branch of government, law or regulation in front of the peasants?”  I guess I was wrong.  The judge could have gone further, but this is a big win for gun rights in Delaware.

Statist get slammed, statist find another way to control, statist gets slammed again.  But if history is any indication, they’ll have to go back to court again, or simply ignore the regulations.  Maybe it’s time for an open carry event in Delaware state parks, yes?

Open Carry, Hoodies And Bandanas

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

David Codrea:

The walk commenced with troopers leading the way, crossing the street to enter the main campus. There, “counterprotestors” began converging, walking quickly, looking for all the world like stalking predators preparing to attack. I saw black hoodies and bandanas. The troopers picked up the pace.

Funny that.  When I’m openly carrying, no one has ever rushed up to me wearing a hoodie or bandana.  This would be the wrong place for that anyway.  This is not welcome terrain for such foolishness.  Something might go down that’s not to your liking.

David did a nice job of covering the event.

East Texas State Fair Bans Open Carry Guns, Concealed Carry Still Allowed

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago


SMITH COUNTY — The East Texas State Fair will not allow open carry guns this year, according to fair president John Sykes.

“We really want everyone to understand that safety and security at this event is for most on our mind and has been for many many years,” Sykes said. “We as an entity do have the right to prevent open carry.”

While Sykes says they do reserve the right to prevent concealed carry, fairgoers may carry guns concealed as long as they have a CCW.

“I’ve learned that maybe we are violating the rights of others too much when you already have a license to carry concealed,” Sykes said. “So we have decided to go ahead and allow that to happen.”

Sykes says security will be checking licenses and will also be looking to see if a weapon becomes exposed. If someone violates the open carry policy, they will be escorted from the property.

Sykes says security and police are expected to be the first line of defense if an incident should happen. However, the fair ‘trusts’ those with concealed carry licenses should anything happen.

Those concealed carriers are so much more trustworthy than the open carriers.  Hey, it’s too bad for the criminals that they won’t be able to open carry now as they plan their mass shooting.  I guess they’ll just leave their guns at home or not go.  Surely they won’t violate regulations and conceal their firearms.

Open Carry Comes Up Again In Florida

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago

Tampa Bay Times:

Ron DeSantis told a gun rights advocacy group that people should not need a permit to openly carry a firearm in public, according to the group’s lawyer and a release sent out by the organization this week.

Eric Friday, the general counsel for Florida Carry, said he met with DeSantis in Kissimmee while the Congressman was there for the Republican “Sunshine Summit” in June, which featured a debate between DeSantis and his rival in the governor’s race, Adam Putnam, as well as prominent speeches from prominent Republicans like Ben Carson.

DeSantis’ position was originally touted in a roundup earlier this week of various lawmakers’ stances on gun issues based on conversations they had with the group.

[ … ]

“What Congressman DeSantis said is he doesn’t understand why you need a license to exercise a fundamental right in the first place,” Friday said in an interview with the Times/Herald. “He did not make a commitment to support open carry or unlicensed carry. He didn’t say he would he would push for it in the Legislature (if elected governor).”

“We were very pleased with his answers and very pleased to hear him express support,” Friday added.

If he’s merely throwing scraps from the master’s table and refuses to push for this or say he supports open carry, then why is Friday pleased with DeSantis?

Am I missing something here?

And as for our God-given right of open carry, how is this proceeding in the other more liberal states in the country, like California, Hawaii and South Carolina?

South Carolina?

If You’re Going To Open Carry, Don’t Be A Prick

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Readers know that I not only open carry (sometimes) because I hate the feel of concealed carry and find it highly uncomfortable, but also because I believe we need to normalize this behavior.  As I’ve said before, I believe that opposition to open carry is about shaming gun owners.  I’ve also observed that “there is no prima facie reason that open carry cannot be legitimately for the reason of making a statement or for education purposes.”  I believe in open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

If you do not choose to open carry for whatever reason, I’m okay with that.  I’m also okay with a gun carrier not feeling comfortable with doing something in an attempt to normalize acceptance.  I’m okay with these things as long as concealed carriers are okay with my choices and don’t criticize me for mine.  I do not open carry all of the time, but when I do, I expect acceptance from the gun community.  No, I demand acceptance from the gun community.

This all stipulates that open carriers don’t act like a jerk.  I was with an open carrier tonight waiting in a fast food line (I ended up getting a chicken salad), and he acted like a prick.  He was resting his hand on his firearm much of the time.  You’re as much of a goober if you touch your weapon as a cop is.  Get your damn hand off your gun.

He was dressed poorly and sloppily.  He then proceeded to act like a prick to the lady behind the counter about something, said hey to no one and offered no greetings, and as he sat with his family after he got his food, he blurted out obnoxious comments to his children wanting to know where they were going and what they were doing in a manner that everyone could hear him.  His poor daughter was simply going to the drink fountain.

If you openly carry, you are an ambassador for our cause.  Don’t be an ass.  Please.  Just stay home.  Dress appropriately, be nice, be respectful, observe proper rules (don’t play with your gun), and don’t leave retention straps hanging down from your holster.  Work on your holster to make it look like a gentleman is carrying a gun.

Do more than just look like a gentleman.  Become a gentleman.  Or stay home.

More On Open Carry In Miami Beach

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Following up this post, this video documents the legal response to the Miami Beach Police Department thus far.  The LEO point that they are allowed to point weapons at armed men even if armed legally (for the purpose of officer safety) is idiotic beyond belief.

If that’s true, they should go around pointing weapons at everyone since anyone could be concealing a firearm.  At any rate, this point of logic will be lost on LEOs since .. well, just because.

Miami Beach Police Draw Down On, Detain, Disarm, And Throw Around Lawful Open Carriers

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

The Gun Writer:

While traditional open carry is generally banned, Florida law allows the open carry of handguns while hunting or fishing.

To be clear, you can wear an exposed handgun in a holster if you’re fishing — period. It’s completely legal.

There are a few other exceptions.

This fishing exception was apparently unknown by Miami Beach police officers Sunday morning.

The results were almost tragic.

Thank God no one was killed or seriously injured.

Details are still emerging, but here’s what we know for sure:

A group of fishermen — who were lawfully open-carrying handguns — was fishing off of the South Pointe Pier in Miami Beach Sunday morning at around 10:40, when they were confronted by Miami Beach police officers.

At some point during the confrontation, a Miami Beach police officer pointed his gun at the group. At least one man was unlawfully detained and his weapon was confiscated.

Police injured one man’s shoulder when they took him to the ground. He was later transported to a hospital.

So now do you want to hear how the MSM reported this event?  Hold on to your breeches boys.

Six armed people who were fishing Sunday morning at the South Pointe Pier in Miami Beach were detained by police and then released.

The anglers, whose guns were openly displayed on their hips, cited a state law that allows people to carry a firearm while fishing, hunting, camping or attending a gun show, said Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.

Park rangers spotted the group about 10 a.m. Sunday and summoned police. The anglers were questioned by police but allowed to stay after mentioning the state law, Rodriguez said.

“Out of an abundance of caution we have assigned two officers to the pier while they remain,” he said. “We are encouraging visitors to use other portions of South Pointe Park.”

It all sounds so peaceful and well-intentioned, yes?  So here is a question for you.  Abundance of what caution?  Exactly what did the police think they were protecting?

Let’s pose a question. “Why officer, you don’t want us to see a weapon on the carriers, but carrying concealed is acceptable, then exactly what are you doing by recommending we stay away from these men?  They could be carrying anyway and it be legal, it’s just that we wouldn’t know about it?”

They would only have one answer.  “We don’t want you to see peaceable men openly carrying weapons because you may figure out that there is no difference between open and concealed carry except that you don’t know it if someone has concealed their weapons.  Then you may demand that these men be allowed to do that everywhere, or at least not oppose open carry, and we can’t have the peasants with the same rights we have, can we?”

But the MSM reporter doesn’t go there, because like all MSM reporters, she got her talking points from the cops.  The MSM is an organ of the state.  It always has been, it always will be.

One final thing.  Let’s stipulate that the cops were poorly bred, uneducated imbeciles for a moment (that’s usually a good approximation for cops).  The first thing out of my mouth if I had responded to this event as a cop would have been this.  “Hey boys, how’s the fishing?  Catching anything today?  Let’s talk about what you’re doing here, sirs.”

Unholstering a weapon and pointing it at someone who is peaceable and innocent is the most idiotic, irresponsible, dangerous and thoughtless thing a person can do.  The cops truly are morons of the highest order.

South Carolina State Senator Luke Rankin Is Anti-Gun

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Greenville News:

A bill that would allow lawful gun owners to carry their firearms without a permit has been removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s meeting agenda, and the chairman is not saying when it may return.

Its removal came as lawmakers and political candidates have debated what should be done to combat school shootings, and it came just days before a bill related to school safety receives a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

The bill’s sponsor and members of the committee questioned this week by The Greenville News said they were not aware of the bill’s removal.

Sen. Luke Rankin, a Horry County Republican and chairman of the committee, said the bill was pulled by him to “to give full attention” to an abortion bill that was debated and passed by his committee Tuesday.

He said he did not know when the gun bill might return to the agenda but said its absence was not due to the recent school shooting in Florida.

Asked why he did not know when it might return, he said, “It was not on the agenda today. That is the answer.”

The controversial bill had been debated briefly at the last meeting of the committee two weeks ago, but no action was taken.

The so-called “Constitutional carry” or “open-carry” bill, sponsored by Sen. Shane Martin, a Spartanburg County Republican, would not do away with concealed weapons permits for those who wanted to carry their guns to other states.

[ … ]

On Wednesday a Senate judiciary subcommittee will hear a bill by Rep. Sandy Senn, a Charleston Republican, that would create the crime of threatening, soliciting or conspiring to threaten to use a firearm to cause injury, death or damage at a school, college or university.

This is news from February that I had missed because I wasn’t watching closely enough.  State Senator Luke Rankin is dismissive and haughty because he doesn’t care about gun rights.

I’ve made it clear not only that gun control has its roots in wickedness, but gun control also to do with how a many bears his arms.  Forcing a man to conceal his weapons is an act of shaming him and making him behave like a criminal.

But, he claims, they can’t chew gum and walk at the same time.  They want to focus on an abortion bill.  Good.  We’ll see if anything comes of that.  Meanwhile, they have the time to debate a bill that makes it a crime to engage in “threatening, soliciting or conspiring to threaten to use a firearm to cause injury, death or damage at a school, college or university,” or in other words, make something that is already a crime, a crime.

I think Senator Rankin is a liar and weasel.  I think they can chew gum and walk at the same time, and I think he is being coy and dismissive in order to hide something.

What is he trying to hide?  What does he believe about gun owners and their manner of carry that he isn’t telling us because he is cowardly and doesn’t want us to know?

I also think it’s time to Larry Martin Mr. Rankin.  Mr. Rankin, you now have a target on your back.  You’re next, so look for something to do with your time other than be a state senator.


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