He walked Clearwater Beach with an AR-15. Is he a menace or a martyr?

I’m sorry you misunderstood, I should have taken more care in my wording and that likely wouldn’t have happened.

I have my concealed pistol license for my state, and a non-resident license for another. But I prefer to open carry. Now, there are a couple reasons for this.

  1. It’s more comfortable.
  2. In Michigan the laws can be a little goofy. As such, Open Carrying while you have a CPL allows a person to carry in more places than carrying concealed.
  3. I expose those around me to someone who is armed, not a LEO, and not causing problems.
  4. The “attention” I get is rarely negative. I’m not looking for attention, however I am an approachable person. I frequently get asked questions from people genuinely curious and I will always take the time to talk with them.

I have no negative Open Carry experiences to share. And I only started open carrying as an experiment. I wanted to see how many people would notice I was carrying. At first it was a small handful of people, mostly kids and retired or off duty LEOs. Then I started carrying a full size and more people noticed.

I live in an Open Carry state and over half the population doesn’t even realize it. As long as I’m not going anywhere that forbids open carry, I’m openly carrying. My goal is to continue educating, but I can’t do that if I’m hiding it.

As far as calling people fudds: I have yet to meet someone who likes being called that, in their mind they don’t identify as a Fudd. And 9 times out of 10, the person I call one stops, thinks for a second and realizes why I did it. It usually goes “Well, Open Carry isn’t for me, I think it’s too much attention.”
My response is something along the lines of this: “Hey, it’s alright, Open Carry is not for everyone. But there are MULTIPLE reasons someone else might! Maybe they’re 18 to 20 and can’t get a permit yet. Maybe it’s too uncomfortable to carry concealed whether it be an injury or body type. Maybe they had a bad experience training and decided to try something else.”

I’m a proud member of Michigan Open Carry. This organization has done more for gun rights in Michigan than any other in the state (and I’m not knocking the other groups, MOC has just been more active in contesting bad laws and bad bills). Additionally their attorneys have been on a mission to educate the public for years and can be found translating legal-ese into laymans terms so people understand.

So maybe I’m too quick to jump on people, or threads like this one, I apologize for that. Open Carry needs a voice too though. Too many are bashing it because of preconceived notions nowadays.

This went way longer than I intended it to. Apologies for the mini-novel.


@Spence I wrote a post about a year ago stating “we have to stop hiding, that is why we are where we are”.


That and “compromising,” although hiding I guess is a form of compromise.


I’ll chime in for whatever my opinion is worth. I’m glad he knows the law in regards to this and I applaud his belief in 2A. But I do not believe this helps the cause whatsoever. We all know that those opposed to guns will see this and just cement their beliefs even stronger. I’ll add that I am in an Open Carry state in VA. But I choose to conceal carry and I even live in 2A country. I was in a Walmart recently and of course Walmart has changed their policy to no open carry in their stores. I saw what appeared to be a manager asking a lady to please conceal the sidearm on her hip that was very much open carry. She refused and said there was nothing they could do. The manager then asked her to leave and the lady stated she would not. She did within about 5 minutes before LE got there but this does not help our cause one bit. Don’t like the policy change? Take it up with corporate.

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What I do is by my habits. I do what works for me. Usually when taking a long gun out it is usually to the range or where ever I intend to shoot in a case with my ammo and all that I need for that event. I’ve never had a notion of throwing my AR over my shoulder and visit neighbors. Also I prefer to carry conceal as it makes me more comfortable. With all that said, I support anyone exercising their rights. It doesn’t make any difference if I like it or not. Is this not what we are saying as anti gunners don’t like us carrying anything thing. They don’t like so we shouldn’t be able to do it. I don’t think there is a halfway point here its either 2A or not to 2A. One day not long ago I was out getting some milk there was young man in front of me at counter, No one around us seem in the least concern as he and I talk about his 1911 that was being openly carried Ya’ll have a great Sunday


He may have been requesting she perform an illegal act, as she might not have had a CHP. As to the VA law on “No Guns”, it is legal, until you are asked to leave. If you do not, it is a misdemeanor trespassing charge. I am in no way suggesting that one does that. I also agree that she should not have argued, and just left. Further, she either should not have been carrying there, or not go there at all.

The issue with people not OC where it is legal is that we are being controlled by “group think”. Those opposed to the RKBA try to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. If one does not exercise one’s rights due to fear of other’s thoughts or whatever, do you really have that right?

I am active in several rights groups and attend events, such as gun shows, and talk to a lot of people, most are firearm owners or prospective firearm owners. The amount “facts” I have heard from long-time firearm owners is almost frightful in their ignorance of our rights and laws. I do OC (unloaded, of course) at events just to show that normal people carry. If you saw me, I don’t look like what the MSM or anti-rights groups would identify as the “typical” firearm owner.

On rare occasions I will be asked about our firearm laws regarding OC or just interest in what I am carrying. Most of the time, I don’t even think people notice and/or care. I carry knives too, clipped on the top of my pockets, and no one - anywhere - notices them, either. I don’t OC outside of those events, not due to any fears or concerns, but that is what my CHP is for. I have seen, on rare occasions, people OC and I have not noticed anyone appear concerned or even notice them carrying - until I mentioned it, but those I mention that to are not anti-rights, so it still did not matter. It was just an issue of awareness.

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You left out the terrorist attacks perpetrated by “patriots”.

You’re correct on the part about the “illegal act.” I know VA criminal law very well and this lady was just being difficult. I left a lot out to keep it shorter but she argued that she was aware of the updated Walmart policy about no more open carry but it is her right and blah, blah, blah. The manager asked her to conceal it or leave and she kept arguing to the point I am surprised the manager did not call 911. Of course people were standing around watching and I saw one person recording with their phone. But my point was we do not need people like this as they are not helping the cause at all.

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Someone must have stolen my morning paper when what you’re referring to was reported.