Reporting Live, from our open carry trip/vacation

The wife and I are currently at a hotel in Dublin, VA. We left this morning form SC to head to Martinsburg, WV and we've been open carrying since we hit the NC state line. Our firearms never left our hips until we got to this hotel room. Its hard rolling around on the bed with them on, lol.

I'm carrying the the 1911 in a OWB Blackhawk and the Keltec P3AT in a OWB Desantis. The wife is carrying her Glock 27 in a OWB Blackhawk and she is carrying our son who has 2 months left until he's ready to come out.

We have extensively researched the firearm laws of each state we are going to be in and have them printed out and with us, just in case.

We stopped at 2 rest areas in NC and didn't get any double takes. We stopped at a gas station and didn't get anything but a quick glance. Although people seem to not like looking me in the eyes as much. I always look people directly in the eyes when I'm in a conversation with them and I can usually tell when I am talking with someone who isn't confident in themselves. It seems people don't seem very confident about themselves in NC around me.

In VA we checked into our hotel and was merrily greeted by the lady at the counter who was pleased to have us. Although she started talking about her grandson writing a letter to Obama about the oil spill and getting a response from him. It seems she thinks very highly of Obama, but she didn't seem to mind our firearms. She didn't look us in the eyes though, but she was very nice.

After we got everything in the room, we walked across the parking lot to Shoney's for dinner. Now the long looks and double takes start. The staff didn't seem to notice, though, and very nice.

Anyway, after loading our plates up we are about to head back to the table when I hear this "I think you need some more guns on ya, man!" I scanned the restaurant coming in and knew who said it already. It was a "good ole` boy" guy in his 40's out to eat with his mother, or grandmother.

Anyway, I stated that I did not have enough weapons, and he replied with "Right on!"

Then the olderly lady said "I hope those things aren't loaded", and I told her they were.

Her son (grandson?) then proceeded to tell her that the guns would be of no use if they weren't loaded. Then she stated that she wasn't comfortable around me with my guns being loaded.

"What is he suppose to do, club someone with them", her son replied. Then he started lecturing her on why it's better to have one in the chamber. She didn't seem pleased, lol. The wife and I then went to take our seats and began eating. I didn't have to explain to much of
why I was open carrying, her son explained that to her for us, lol.

Hopefully there will be some times on our trip where we can explain the right people have in there respective state about carrying a firearm, and remind them to get off the fence about the 2nd amendment or get them to support the 2nd amendment.

I must say, Open Carrying on the hip is GREAT! It's so much more comfortable than concealed IWB carry. My stomach is so relieved, asI have stomach problems which prevents me from carrying IWB as much as I want to. I can't wait for THE GUN BILL to pass. I have called and emailed all my reps and everyone on the SC legislation site that I want it passed, and so has my wife.

We'll let you guys know of anymore 2nd amendment happenings as the trip unfolds.

Heres some pics of what were carrying:



 

M16MANIAC

Member
It will be nice when /if we can open carry. I don't have stomach problems but concealed carry can still be uncomfortable for me when I carry my S&W M&P 45 compact. My S&W 340 SC 357 is different, I forget some times that I'm wearing it. The problem with it is 5 rounds is not enough.
Oh Yeah, Enjoy your trip :D
 

fordnut

Active Member
Great Report...Please keep us informed.. I really enjoy finding out what people think when you open carry in public places...

Be safe.

Steve
 
Dear diary... lol

We went to a subway/gas station across the street from the hotel and the guy serving us kept looking down at our guns, fumbling our food as he made it. He seemed more interested Caitlin's Glock though, he kept staring at it and looking up ever few seconds as we talked. He was definitely sounded nervous when talking. Talking about our boy that is due soon seemed to calm him down.

The cashier at the gas station checkout was nervous as well. Looking down at our guns every second and then back at the register to scan our items, fumbling them, as well.

I forgot to mention 2 things in my first post:
1. We saw a NC State Trooper at the rest area, right off of I-85, on the NC line who saw us and just went about his business.

2. While I was relieving myself at the urinal, several men walked in did the same, one went into a stall. I finished, washed my hands, and the guy came out jogging right after I came out. He did seem to notice my firearms, as he glanced at them while in the restroom. He jogged all the way back to his car and took off. I thought nothing of it, as he was probably just in a hurry, but you never know. I then stood by the womens bathroom and waited for Caitlin to finish up, then a teenager came right up beside me and waited for who I assume was his girlfriend. He just glanced at my firearms once and waited calmly. No nervous twitching, tapping of the foot, or figiting, as I noticed others doing while they would stand near us at some of our stops.
 
We made it up to Martinsburg, WV last Wed. night. Not much going on since we have just been visiting with the wifes family.

My father-in-law told us to lock our guns in a lock box, and tole us "there is no need to carry around the house." They have a big family, 8 kids, 4 still living at home, all 8 of them ranging from 9 to 27, and the 4 living at home ranging from 9-16. His reasoning was that the younger ones might be "a little grabby". They have never been "grabby" in the past, they are very well mannered children. This trip has proved the children know not to touch someone or someones stuff unless asked.

So the wife and I talked about firearms and carrying around the house with her dad and mom.

I have been conceal carrying around the in-laws house because of there thought on carrying in the house (thank god for these small Keltec 380s, and the like). I spicifically remember the time he told us that as long as he doesn't see the weapons, he's ok with people carrying.

Anyway, the wife and I were traveling to her sister's house one day here in Martinsburg, and we stopped just outside the town to get gas. I was OCing the 1911 and Keltec, like usual, and the wife had the Glock. As I was pumping the gas, the wife was outside the car with me, we were discussing her father's skewed views on self protection. I saw a guy in a SUV parked in front of the gas station, his mouth dropped as he was starring at the wife's and I's guns. I don't think he knew that WV was an OC state, lol. I think he crapped a brick, as his facial expressions were pretty wild. I saw him pick up his cell phone and start talking to someone as stared at us, probably the cops or one of his buddies. We left after pumping gas and chuckled about the guys facial expressions.

We are leaving tomorrow and heading to Roanoke, VA to stay the night. We are going to exercise our right to OC around that area (food, shopping, walks, etc). Then were heading back to SC the next day.
 

Midnight Raver

Active Member
People need to wake up and stop watching reruns of TV shows from the 1950s- this is the 21st century!!! There are "people" out there that will kill or rob for many reasons- addiction feeding, rite of initiation and just sheer boredom to name a few. Leaving cars and houses unlocked these days is like wearing chunks of meat and strolling along the Serengetti plains...
 
It's not illegal, and most of you know all of this anyway.... but there are just VERY strict laws on where you can do it. Now-a-days in SC I know it's legal to OC on your own property, when your hunting and fishing in certain areas, and traveling to/from hunting and fishing to/from a place of residence. I don't think stops at Walmart in between your residence and the hunting/fishing area count :cry:
 
Oh, and some more "encounters" with the public while OCing:

We left WV this morning to head to VA. Along the way, we stopped at a Waffle House for lunch. We entered and got some "immediate heads down and eyes quickly looking away" reactions from the staff. There were two booths of some "urban-street" type people that did not look like they were from VA, or the general area of the southeast, at all.

As the wife and I stepped inside the restrooms, I heard that group start getting pretty excited. One seemed concerned and told the whole group he saw two guns on me. Then they all sounded like they were all arguing weather or not I had one or two firearms. They didn't realize my wife, a VERY pregnant lady, was OCing here Glock, it blends right in with the holster, which her belly hides unless your looking straight at her strong side, lol.

Anyway, we both get out at the same time, and all the people in both those booths are staring at us. We get a booth and promptly receive service. Halfway through our meal a waitress asks if I was carrying two firearms on my hips, and I let her know I was. She let me know that the group of people that was gawking over my firearms were from an area that didn't allow OC, which we already guessed, and then she initiated more small talk.

We finish our food and get up to pay, when the waitress notices Caitlin was packing too. She seemed to think that was very cool. We started talking about OCing and we recommended that she should OC as well. After the waitress said she didn't have the temper for it, Caitlin explained that when carrying a firearm, responsibility increases exponentially, and you tend to make more responsible decisions with a calmer demeanor than you would have than without a firearm. She basically explained, an armed society is a polite society.

A few hours later, we arrived at the hotel with a nice warm welcome, this afternoon. After getting settled in our room, I head out to get the wife and I some subway (Yes, we eat there a lot). Again, I am greeted with a nice attitude and great service, by teenagers. Halfway through getting all the stuff on the sandwiches, once female employee asks me why I have a gun and if I "was a cop or something".

At this point I explained to the employees that I was not a cop and that the firearms were for protecting my family, it was legal in the state of VA, and they should take up and bear arms as well. They didn't answer, but looked at each other with a smile and went on with ringing up my sandwiches.

This is not a dis to SC in anyway, I love it in SC, but I'm a little embarrassed to have to return to a state that does not allow OC. SC is surrounded by states that allow Open carry on all sides. I feel I am doing everything I can to get "the gun bill" passed, but this trip just convinced me to try to work even harder to get it passed, within my financial abilities, which isn't much at all.
 

P-1

New Member
I just appreciate you all reporting your experiences to all of us here. Please keep it going. I am enjoying reading it as if I were there. Maybe when you finish your trip, submit the experience to the law makers.

J
 

C_Carson

New Member
This trip has been educational, both for us and for the general public we encounter. These are my experiences carrying solo.

Last night after checking into the hotel, I went to go get something from the car, carrying my Glock 27 on my hip. There was an older gentleman waiting by the elevators, so as I approached I gave him a friendly smile and said "Going down?" he nodded, and suddenly seemed very nervous. He made a little small talk, trying to avoid eye contact with me. I continued to smile and respond as pleasantly as possible, and he seemed a little more at ease but still uncomfortable. As soon as we reached the main floor he rushed out of sight.

This morning I went down to breakfast, and as I approached the dining area, the hostess (a very friendly lady!) approached me, introduced herself, introduced every guest in the lobby, then after asking my name introduced me to everyone. Then she noticed I was carrying, and asked "Are you a cop?" I said no, and she asked me why I was carrying a gun. I explained that I carry it for protection, and she said "Oh, okay. But you have a license to carry that, right?" I told her that you didn't have to have a license in VA, NC or WV, and that all were right to open carry states. Then I reassured her that as long as you are able to legally own a firearm (no criminal history, felonies etc) you could carry a gun in any place not prohibited by law. She seemed fine with that, then asked "But you have the safety on, right?" I smiled and said the Glock doesn't actually have an external safety; it has passive internal safeties, and the gun will not fire unless the trigger is pulled, and I stated that I had no intention of doing that unless it was necessary. After a few more "Oh, okay's" we talked a bit about the baby, and I was able to get breakfast without any issue. Occassionally the breakfast hostess would make a comment, like "That's such a pretty gun. It looks like something James Bond or a cop would have." I laughed a little and told her most cops do carry a Glock 27 as a back up gun, and that I thought it was "pretty" too. She seemed fine with the concept of me carrying for self defense, just curious. None of the other guests seemed interested, even though they were close enough to overhear the entire conversation.

I had a small video camera tucked in my front pocket and recorded from the time I left the room until the battery died. I got about 30 minutes of footage, but don't know how much of the conversation was recorded or when exactly it died. Any time I'm carrying by myself I take the camera with me, just in case. When we get home we'll recharge it and see what's on there.
 

Midnight Raver

Active Member
Glad that you were armed as well, to a criminal a pregnant woman would seem to be an easier target for as bad as it can get! :?

Happy ending though, you were both safe and sound during the whole time! :cool:

Oh, and the hubby too of course! :oops:
 

C_Carson

New Member
Indeed. A big, waddling pregnant lady might look like easy prey. Bwahahaha! Not quite so in this instance! Open carrying was awesome, and I can't wait for SC to be added to the list where we can do that!

Here's a link to the video I recorded if anyone is curious. I do wish I had mentioned that one can conceal carry in the states I mentioned if they do have a permit, but better not to overload a new mind, right? :D

http://youtu.be/k_awGuMWfpw
 

P-1

New Member
My favorite line on the video..."who i have here"

I would of said what as well...hard to understand in the beginning, but later the accent sinks in.

Thanks for sharing your adventure.

J
 

fordnut

Active Member
I really loved all your trip and your story about it. It is pretty cool...

But, I had a thought about your trip ....is it really legal for the both of you to open carry in those states???
I know in your home state, you follow the laws of your state, but, when you go to another state, you must abide by their laws...by that I mean...just because the residents of North Carolina can open carry, that doesn't mean that an out-of-state visitor can open carry...

I am probably missing something here, but, I know for a fact thet a person from North Carolina can buy a gun there, after doing whatever paperwork...but, an out-of-state resident can not buy one there...It must be shipped to an FFL in their home state...

Following that logic, I would think that even if residents can open carry, you don't have the right to....

am not trying to argue with you guys, I just thought about it, and I don't understand...

I know all about the CCW laws and how they work, but, that has nothing to do with open carry...

What have I missed..???

Steve
 
fordnut said:
I really loved all your trip and your story about it. It is pretty cool...

But, I had a thought about your trip ....is it really legal for the both of you to open carry in those states???
I know in your home state, you follow the laws of your state, but, when you go to another state, you must abide by their laws...by that I mean...just because the residents of North Carolina can open carry, that doesn't mean that an out-of-state visitor can open carry...

I am probably missing something here, but, I know for a fact thet a person from North Carolina can buy a gun there, after doing whatever paperwork...but, an out-of-state resident can not buy one there...It must be shipped to an FFL in their home state...

Following that logic, I would think that even if residents can open carry, you don't have the right to....

am not trying to argue with you guys, I just thought about it, and I don't understand...

I know all about the CCW laws and how they work, but, that has nothing to do with open carry...

What have I missed..???

Steve
Not sure but I would think that the interstate commerce act allows US citizens to have the same privlidges in other states as allowed in the host state. As a SC resident we are allowed all the privledges allowed in SC. When we travel to NC, as SC residents we are allowed all the privledges allowed of NC residents, as it relates to State privledges/rights. We can drive our cars there. We can access state roads. We have the protection of the law Enfocement, Fire protection.
BUT- State laws as to items such a tresspassing will be applied as per NC state Laws. As also is the State regulations about Concealed carry or Open carry.

The Purchase of pistols is a federal regulation, not a state regulation.
 
Yup, perfectly legal for us to open carry on those states. We just had to abide by those states laws, which were mostly similar.

We researched all the states laws on each states website, then researched a lot on Opencarry.org. The residence thing was a concern of mine at first, but in researching the answer was just to follow the states laws we were in. Such as places we could go with our guns, open carrying.

If I didn't have my SC CWP, then I wouldn't be able to conceal in those states, just Open carry.

Here's an interesting fact about Virginia's gun law, which some other states also follow:
In Virginia, you can open carry and consume alcohol as long as you don't go over the states legal limit on alcohol in your system. A person can not conceal a weapon and consume, though.

Also, an interesting fact about GA:
You may know that GA has there own system for issuing licenses for carrying a weapon (SC does not have reciprocity with them), If a GA resident can get a GA weapon license, they can carry concealed or openly, but they have to have a that license, or have a license from a state that has reciprocity with GA. BUT, anyone may open carry a loaded rifle (181 inch barrel or longer) anywhere weapons are permitted, without a license, even non-residents. I don't think GA excepts other-states non-resident licenses, like if I were to get a non-resident license from a state that has reciprocity with GA, GA would not honor it (I hope I'm wrong there). So I guess my only choice, if I have to go to GA, it to make sure have a rifle with me. While driving, I think it has to be unloaded and packed away, though.
 
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