Open carry is a right that Americans have, but in almost all cases, concealed carry is a better choice. While open carry may be necessary for certain situations, there are many different factors that you will need to take into account before you decide where and how to carry your gun. Let’s take a look at some things to consider, and then, where you should have your gun on your body for open carry.
The State You’re In
Open carry of handguns is currently permitted in 45 states, with a few limitations. There are 15 states that require a permit for a citizen to open carry, and some states only allow open carry of an unloaded handgun.
Bear in mind that there are actually different kinds of open carry – there’s a difference between carrying a huge rifle on your back, and a more discreet handgun on your hip. Some states do have restrictions on where and when you can open carry, so you must be aware of this too.
There are certain stores and locations where you won’t be permitted to open carry a gun – walmart, Starbucks, and Cotsco to name just a few.
You should also avoid open carry if you’re protesting or engaging in activism, as it can make your position look violent. You want smart activism, and doing both would be called ‘cross-campaigning’ – this should be avoided at all costs if you wish to avoid hassle and make a stronger argument for whatever it is you’re fighting for. It is not a good idea to open carry to make a political statement, as we already have the right to do this for the most part.
If you’re a woman, the element of surprise can be particularly powerful. Flashing around your firearm can be akin to flashing around an expensive piece of jewelry – you just wouldn’t do it, because it puts you at risk. It’s highly advisable that if you are vulnerable in any way, you should conceal carry to keep that element of surprise. However, if you must open carry, be sure that an attacker would not be able to overpower you or grab your gun from you before you had time to act.
The Best Location On Your Body For Open Carry
If you’re going to open carry, you want to aim for successful open carry without being hassled. While you may welcome conversations as to why you carry a firearm in the first place and why you choose to ‘open carry’, you may want to avoid negativity and hostility in certain situations.
Many people will want to know why you’re choosing to carry a gun so openly – whether you are trying to make up for a lack of security in your life, show people that they’re in trouble if they mess with you, or whether you’re actually trying to get into a confrontation. People tend to feel strongly about their position on the subject, so know what you’re getting yourself into when you choose to open carry.
Now, when open carrying a handgun, many people believe you need a retention holster – but this isn’t always necessary. It’s your responsibility to know what’s going on with your firearm at all times and to know what is happening around you. Your situational awareness is far more important than a retention holster, but by all means you can add it for a little bit of extra security. It is ultimately your job to be responsible with your firearm, so be sure you don’t use your retention holster as an excuse to stop paying attention.
Bear in mind you should be practiced with a retention holster and use it regularly, not just when you open carry. Getting a firearm out of a retention holster can take valuable time, giving another person time to react before you are able to do anything.
You shouldn’t open carry your handgun at the point just past your hip, as you’ll need to reach back and grab it if you’re required to use it. Not only does this take extra time, it also opens you up to have somebody attempt to take your firearm from you. Many open carriers will tell you that that has never happened, but it has, and the results can be disastrous.
If you’re serious about your desire to open carry, investing in some quality firearm training is the best decision you’ll ever make. This way, you can stay safe, keep others safe, and ensure you’re in control at all times.