Open Carry Stories

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

Dean Weingarten writing at Ammoland.

I open carry in Wisconsin on a very regular basis, rarely do I have someone say anything to me about it, but every now and then…

Last fall I was standing in line to pay for a coffee at our local Kwik Trip convenience store. I was openly carrying my Glock 22. I noticed a man look at me and then go about his business. As I went out to my truck he came outside.

He said, “sir, is it legal to carry a pistol like that in public?”

I replied yes it is, both our American constitution, as well as our Wisconsin constitution, protect the right to keep and carry arms.

“He then said oh, you have a permit to carry.”

I replied, no permit is required to carry openly in the State of Wisconsin.

This man was both shocked and excited. He thought he must have a permit to carry, and confided that he was wanting to do that, but was afraid the process would be long and expensive. I informed him it is not; while waiting, he should study up on our gun laws and carry. He was very thankful.

Several weeks ago I walked into an Aldis grocery store. Several people took note I was openly carrying, but did not say anything.

As I walked out of the store, a car was approaching. I waited for it to pass and then proceeded to cross the parking lot.

The driver of the vehicle got out of his car and crossed the parking lot and said, “sir, I want to thank you.”

I asked him “What for?”

He replied, “I want to thank you for carrying your sidearm in plain view. It does my heart good when I see people doing that. I feel safe and comforted in knowing if a wacko walks into an establishment with malicious intent, and sees someone who is armed, most likely he will change his mind, as he is looking to hurt, not be shot.  Thank you for using your rights.”

As we talked he thanked me again for open carrying and said that I had given that push he needed to start carrying himself. I told him, more people need to be using their liberty. Liberty unclaimed, unused, is easier to lose.

Today, a buddy and I walked into Wal-Mart.

I go into Wal-Mart several times a week open carrying.

I have never had anyone say anything to me, but today was different. I was carrying my Glock 22. Today was a two mag day.

My buddy was carrying his nickle plated .45 Long Colt on a western style gun belt. It is a very flashy pistol.

We did our shopping. Upon entering the checkout line, a look of panic appeared on the face of a cashier standing near by.  She called the manager.

As I’ve said before, I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”  I’ve also said that “There is no prima facie reason that open carry cannot be legitimately for the reason of making a statement or for education purposes.”

Honor both the first and second amendments, and open carry when you can.


  1. On July 3, 2020 at 5:31 am, Halvar said:

    Curious about others’ thoughts on open carrying long guns. I’ve read Aesop’s rants against it being too scary and over-the-top for the public, but given the recent societal excitement, and cases such as the gentlemen guarding Coeur d’Alene, ID, perhaps more of the public would be more accepting of it.

    Do those who open carry long guns run into more resistance from the public and law enforcement than those open carrying handguns?

  2. On July 3, 2020 at 7:57 am, Rooster said:

    I have had both examples in my life as I OC. I have recently started to do more concealed carry at the suggestion of a “greyman” friend due to the times but mostly OC. If you let your belt out a bit and get the right rig its not too uncomfortable but takes some getting used to. We should be ready to roll both ways going forward. The people that are negative usually call 911 and I get a visit from the police and I never see them….the “karens” are cowards and driven by ignorance. The local cops now know me and I consider that a benefit as they know I roll legal and respectful. Local Local Local on all levels!

  3. On July 3, 2020 at 8:27 am, Fred said:

    I always carry open. I’m a small frame man and no matter how I dress I print. It’s impossible to effectively hide my Kimber Ultra Carry II no matter how I try. Over the years I’ve simply found it more comfortable. I use a well made bull hide belt and a custom full retention leather holster.

    I’ve never had a single person say anything. I’m of the opinion that most people simply don’t even notice. NW Tennessee has lots of carriers.

  4. On July 3, 2020 at 8:42 am, Ned said:

    There was a threat of “protesters” coming to our small town to raise hell. It turned out to be sponsored by the local Democrats, and 14 or so soy malcontents showed up. So did one the local PD, and 50 or so open carriers, as well as 4wd pickups with banners and American flags.

    My friend who is an ex-cop was listening to the scanner. The local 911 had a few karens phone in about the open carry.

    This is central AZ, and most people understand it’s legal here. I’ve never seen anyone here act any differently around an open carrier.

  5. On July 3, 2020 at 9:12 am, AZM said:

    Whereabouts in AZ?

    I live in the Estrella Mountain Ranch community. There was a planned and publicized BLM protest. The community fakebook page exploded with both sides expressing their views, the “for” side acting stupid while “against” stating facts and not wanting riots. It amounted to ~100 kids doing a chant to the new idol.

  6. On July 3, 2020 at 10:13 am, George 1 said:

    @Fred. I never liked IWB carry for the same reasons you describe. Recently I did try an Alien Gear IWB on the advice of a friend who swears by them. After trying it a little while I am sold. It is the only IWB holster I have ever been really able to use. You do know it is there but it is tolerable while carrying my Glock 19. I prefer to carry in a OWB kydex holster that fits close to the body under a loose fitting shirt. I do have to be careful of printing sometimes.

    That said there is nothing wrong with open carry. I used to see a lot of open carriers but with the influx of Karens into Idaho I no longer see as many. Open carry is certainly the most efficient way to carry.

  7. On July 3, 2020 at 10:29 am, MW said:

    I’m down here in South Central Ohio along the Ohio River. I’m seeing more guys & even gals open carry than ever before. The little town of Bethel had some problems with BLM/Antifa terrorists a few weeks ago. That has a lot of these country folk concerned about more of that shit heading this way. However, this part of the Buckeye State has always had some of the best armed citizenry anywhere. You’ll still see the old beat up Chevy, Dodge & Ford pick-up trucks with the gun racks in rear window. By the way, there are people down here who still consider this region to be part of the Virginia Territory. Some of ’em even fly the Stars & Bars on their property. Don’t mess with ’em! As one local resident put it, “the whole state is now just one big shithole, however down here, it’s a hell of lot better than Cleveland, at least we can defend ourselves.”

  8. On July 3, 2020 at 10:31 am, Herschel Smith said:

    @ George 1,

    ” … but with the influx of Karens into Idaho I no longer see as many.”

    Where is that happening in Idaho?

  9. On July 3, 2020 at 11:45 am, Bad_Brad said:

    I’ve been Concealed Carrying for a long time and love the idea of open carry. If I ever do find myself in a SHTF moment the bad guys will shoot the open carry first giving me time to get on the offensive. Plus, if I don’t have a gun and need one, I’m taking yours.

  10. On July 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm, George 1 said:

    @ Herschel. Mostly around Boise. They won’t let them stay in other parts of the state, HA HA. The Boise Mayor is a lefty loon of the same bent as the Seattle Mayor. There are just a whole lot of dems in Boise. Many of them seem to have been transplanted from Berkeley.

  11. On July 3, 2020 at 12:29 pm, RCW said:

    Always/never vis-a-vis OC/CC, I try to avoid the extremes as concise, cogent & intelligent arguments can be made for both cases depending on the circumstances, conditions, etc. And seeing someone carrying does give me more peace of mind & body. YMMV

  12. On July 3, 2020 at 1:36 pm, Wilson said:

    Gun clubs around Salt Lake City used to get togethor and open carry in the city about once a month. They would go as a group (families, men, women, children) and shop, eat lunch, hang out in the park. It got people used to seeing open carry. And it showed businesses that 2A people spent money. Every once in a while someone would call the police but the cops knew what was going on and would show up and actually educate the person who called them. OC educates people. Rights not used are lost.

    @Halvar – Aesop is so wrong on so many things he has no credibility. Wrong on OC, totally wrong on the 20 Jan VCDL Richmond rally, and has been completely wrong on the covid virus. Being is wrong is ok if you learn from it, but not if you just dig in your heels and be stubborn.

  13. On July 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    N.C. is a traditional open carry state. If people don’t do it, let me tell you what will happen. Stores will begin to disallow it due to their legal, HR, PR and finance depts being controlled by an army of Karens. Oh, wait, that already happened with Publix and other stores like Walmart.

    Then … in spite of open carry never causing a single problem in N.C., the army of Karens in the legislature (and some of the Karens are men) will decide that it’s time to do away with that brutish practice, and they’ll make a law against it (when what they should be focusing on is doing away with the medieval practice of CLEO permitting to buy handguns).

    We can retreat and be all fearful of exercising our rights, or we can exercise them. Which do you prefer?

  14. On July 3, 2020 at 2:17 pm, Chris Mallory said:

    MW, the Greater Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys are considered Greater Appalachia. Runs from West Virginia, all of Kentucky, most of Tennessee, northern Georgia, Northern Alabama, Northern Mississippi, Southern Ohio, Southern Indiana, and Southern Illinois. some throw in parts of Missouri and Arkansas too. We tend to be stubborn, ornery, and very independent.
    This is about the only part of the country where the largest group of people still call themselves American instead of some bastardized hyphenation. We were the men who ignored the King’s orders and took our families across the mountains. Mostly Scots Irish and border English. When Washington put the whiskey tax in place, it wasn’t collected over the mountains. They could not find a second group of men to be tax collectors after the first group didn’t come back.

    In the coming break up of The United States, we should be in pretty decent shape. Access to three major rivers, two of the largest man-made lakes in the US, coal and natural gas fields, hydro dams and coal fired plants for electricity, plenty of drinking water, farmland, chickens, cattle and hogs. And we have a fairly homogeneous population. Yes, fresh produce will be in short supply at times, but our ancestors survived on bacon and cornbread, we can too.

  15. On July 3, 2020 at 2:28 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    For me. Take a drive towards the eastern part of NC or SC, stop at local stand, buy watermelons, corn, apples, green beans, peppers, onions, cantaloupe, okra, and about anything else you could think of, all cash, see you in a couple of weeks sir.

  16. On July 3, 2020 at 4:19 pm, MW said:

    Chris Mallory: Thanks for the great reply! You’re correct. This part of Ohio along with the rest of Greater Appalachia is going to survive the coming collapse & ultimate breakup of the Republic. The reason is quite simply, not only the abundance of natural resources, but also the people themselves. They’re tough, practical & they know how to endure any kind of hardship. There still a lot of poverty in the region but that hasn’t done one thing to break their will to live or to even leave. As mentioned, they are going to defend this territory to the bitter end.

    Best wishes for you & your loved ones in the coming calamity. May you not only survive but prosper through it all!

  17. On July 3, 2020 at 5:40 pm, Ned2 said:

    Lot’s of open carry here in the Rockies. It is amusing to watch the tourists clutch their pearls on occasion, but they’re harmless here. However, they are not harmless when they go home.
    If we are to have a second amendment in practice, we need to normalize the carrying of firearms openly. That means doing it and conditioning the sheeple into accepting it.

  18. On July 3, 2020 at 8:59 pm, Steve Miller said:

    I’m 15 minutes south of Seattle – yes you read that right – and have been OCing with a big bore revolver for years and only twice have I had people comment on it. Once was at a Fred Meyer where a woman told me “sir your weapon is showing” yes you read that right too;-) and I proceeded to gently educate her that no a permit is not required to OC and for that store to ban it, they need to have a visible sign on the outside of the store. Second time was outside of a Costco (yes I remain a member but it’s been years since I’ve gone inside) where after I had shopped, the store manager approached me in the parking lot stating 4 people in the store complained about it. I advised him too that if he wants to ban it there needs to be a visible sign on the outside of the store (state law). He did offer that he is glad we are “out there” and asked me to conceal carry the next time I visited the store. And yes I am aware of Costco’s membership rules that ban carrying weapons in theirs. I just chose to ignore it for a long time. And I do nothing BUT IWB. I have IWB holsters – local company – for all of my handguns.

  19. On July 3, 2020 at 10:14 pm, Danny said:

    I live in a state that doesnt allow open carry so here where I live I carry concealed. One caveat, I dont have a CCW permit. I have had CCW permits in 3 different states in the SE where I live. I have made the personal decision to not get one because it is my right and duty commanded by Yahweh to protect innocent life, mine first if I am alone, my family second and any other innocent a distant third. I will no longer ask Leviathan permission to exercise this right/duty – my choice and will accept the consequences. I am a large man and can carry from a SP101 to full frame 1911 with shorts and t-shirt with none the wiser. There a very good IWB CCW holsters out there.

    I dont/wont bide by any mask mandates and thus lately dont shop in NC. Today, however, I went to the only regional store that sells the non-alchohol beer I enjoy. I did not wear a mask, only one of the 30 folks in the store who didnt. I was also open carrying. Not because I was forcing the issue, but like The Captain said, if I can open carry that is what I prefer. Not one person said anything about me not wearing a mask, correlation isnt causality but the thought crossed my mind. In fact, if someone had said anything I would have asked; 1) did they know it was a violation of NC State Code to wear a mask in public and 2) with my legal accessory, would they really prefer me too and then leave the store beerless if it came up – it didnt. Polite as always with everyone, some furtive glances but no Kens or Karens thankfully. Point being, be nice, exercise your rights, just say no to tyranny and go about your business.

  20. On July 4, 2020 at 1:47 pm, Ned said:

    AZM – in Payson

  21. On July 9, 2020 at 9:49 am, Paul said:

    I OC’d almost all the time when I lived in Cody, Wyoming, a CZ-75. A couple times people asked what the gun was. Also carried a S&W 629 on occasion. Now that I am in Washington state I go back and forth between CC and OC, just flipping my shirt over or behind the gun, as the circumstances seem to call for. I no longer use IWB holsters.

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You are currently reading "Open Carry Stories", entry #24739 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published July 2nd, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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