Open Carry vs. Concealed Carry

I will try to be as clear as I can in this post. We should care about the appropriate use of a defensive firearm. We carry a defensive firearm to defend ourselves and our loved ones around us. We should make responsible decisions and avoid conflict when possible, at all times.

Making political statements by carrying a rifle strapped to your back at Starbucks or walking the streets trying to attract a police officer to catch them on video trying to curb your rights is not in anyone’s best interests. Of course, let’s remember that wasting time and resources of our police is not in the best interest of our community, either.

As far as politics go, we need to understand that open carry groups have done a great deal of harm to our rights by causing legislators to take actions to curb the behavior by passing new laws. If somebody feels the need to raise awareness and encourage discussion, it does not require openly deploying a lethal tool to do that. On the flip side, open carry advocates have helped raise awareness of our rights by stirring up new conversations.

Despite all of the above, we need to understand that, on occasion, we may not be able to carry concealed and may need to open carry vs. not carrying at all. There are also some situations where open carry makes more sense than concealed carry.

In any case, we should be aware of the pros and cons of open carry and concealed carry.

Open Carry

Pros

  • Deterrent for criminals that are not willing/able to engageClose Retention Ready
  • Quicker draw in response to attacks
  • Assumption of intent – very few feel that open carriers have ill-intent in public settings
  • Easier to carry a full-sized hand gun
  • Easier to include extra magazines and a flash light and other support gear
  • Easier access in many cases, such as horseback and ATV riding, hiking, and hunting
  • Comfort
  • Political – Draws attention and encourages discussions about guns and the laws
  • Political – Desensitizes others to guns if they see them all the time

Cons

  • Political – Draws negative attention in many cases and accusations about toughness and paranoia
  • Political – Results in harsh discussions and being banned from public venues
  • Loss of “Grey Man” can result in being targeted first in attacks
  • Targeted attempts to take the gun
  • Requires appropriate retention devices and retention training

Conceal Carry

Pros

  • “Grey Man” and the element of surprise
  • Freedom of movement in most public settings without arousing suspicions
  • No need to engage others in discussions about your rights
  • Unlikely to be asked to leave a business establishment

Cons

  • More difficult draw
  • Slower draw
  • Less comfort
  • Clothing options can be limited and unflattering
  • Less room for extra magazines, lights, and other support gear
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