Pros and Cons of Open Carry Laws

Pros and Cons of Open Carry Laws

Please Note: The information contained in this article is for general purposes only. Not all states have open carry laws. Each state that does has their own very specific rules. Check with your state before carrying your weapon on your person openly or concealed. Here is a list of the states that allow for open carry of weapons.

What Is Open Carry?

Open Carry LawsTo begin, let’s define what open carry means. Some states allow their residents to carry their firearms on their persons without a carry permit as long as the weapon is carried outside of a person’s clothing. In other words, the weapon can be seen by anyone looking at the person. Most people carry their weapons in a side-holster. While having a permit is generally not required for carrying the weapon openly, some individuals, convicted felons, for instance, are not allowed to carry a weapon under any circumstances. Restrictions vary from state to state.

Pros of Open Carry

The obvious benefit to open carry laws is that more people are armed at any given time. With violent crimes on the increase, many responsible individuals want to have protection within easy reach. Open carry allows these people to defend themselves, and others, should they find themselves in a dangerous situation. Many people believe that having an armed citizenry decreases crime. Lawbreakers are less likely to commit their crimes if they know locals may be armed and ready to take action against them.

Open carry laws are a true reflection of our Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.” Legal open carry is, for some, a demonstration that they know their rights and are willing to exercise those rights.

Cons of Open Carry Laws

As with anything, misuse and abuse can happen. Most states that allow for open carry do not require any type of weapon’s training at all for their residents. If a person is legally eligible to carry a weapon, they may do so regardless of whether they know how (or when) to use it or not. This can lead to a variety of unfortunate incidents.

It is simple math that the more weapons that are being carried in any given area, the more accidental misfires will happen. Misfires can occur due to weapons being dropped, weapons falling out of holsters, weapons being carried with rounds in the chamber and the hammer cocked, and so forth. The good news is misfires that lead to physical harm are rare.

This last issue is purely social in nature. While there are many who believe fervently in open carry laws, there are also those who believe that citizens walking around, visibly armed, reflects poorly on their communities. It is a misconception to assume that these individuals are all “bleeding heart liberals”; they are not. There are more than a few professional law enforcement personnel who would prefer to see less firepower on the street than more.

In closing, if you live in an open carry state and are considering arming yourself, do invest whatever time it takes to become proficient with your weapon before you begin carrying it. This is time well spent.

Tips for First Concealed Carry Weapon for Women

Weapon Tips for First Concealed Carry for Women

Concealed Carry for WomenIt is common knowledge that more women are now carrying concealed weapons than ever before. The primary reason for this increase is self-protection. With violent crimes on the rise, it only makes sense that women want to be able to protect themselves and their families. For many women, however, knowledge of what type of pistol to carry may be lacking. This article looks at some of the most important issues all women need to address before they purchase their first concealed carry weapon.

Concealed Carry Site and Size

Before you purchase your weapon determine where on your person you will carry the weapon. Where you carry the weapon will determine the best size of weapon for you. For instance, if you plan to carry your weapon in an ankle holster, you will not want to purchase a large-frame pistol or revolver. By that same token, if you plan to carry your weapon in a shoulder holster, you will want to avoid very small frame weapons as these can be difficult to remove from most shoulder rigs.

Concealed Carry Weapon Weight

One of the most common mistakes both men and women make when buying their first concealed carry weapon is buying one that simply weighs too much. Carrying a large-frame .45 with a full magazine, for instance, can become a burden for many people. What generally happens when a woman buys a weapon that weighs too much is she stops carrying her weapon. If your heart is set on carrying a heavier weapon, then take your time selecting the best type of holster for carrying that amount of weight. A shoulder holster or hip holster will make carrying your weapon much easier. Also, there are a many purse holsters available today that include an interior holster that is easy to get to, as well as being perfect for those who want to carry a heavier weapon.

Best Caliber for a Woman’s Conceal Carry Weapon

The old adage “bigger is better” does not necessarily apply to concealed weapons in terms of caliber. A well-placed .38 bullet will drop an assailant as easily as a well-placed .45 bullet. The key to any caliber being effective is aim. A large caliber round is useless if you cannot hit what you are aiming at. For this reason, it is highly advisable that women spend some time actually firing a variety of calibers before selecting one. Most of the better gun shops have access to firing ranges where customers can fire off a few rounds from different types of pistols before having to make the actual purchase. This is time well invested.

Concealed Carry Weapon Feel

It is imperative that the weapon you choose as your carry gun feel right in your hands. Knowing how a weapon feels in your hands is part practical assessment and part intuition. In other words, you “know” when a particular weapon feels right and when one does not. In practical terms, the grip of the weapon should fit comfortably in your hand. You should be able to grasp the grip with your fingers solidly wrapped around the grip. If the grip is too large for your hand size, you will not be able to properly control the weapon when it is fired. This could cause the weapon to jump from your hands altogether; something no one wants to experience. If the grip is too small for your hand size, it will be hard to aim properly. Ask any experienced female shooter and she will tell you that you simply “know” when a weapon is right for you or not. Trust your instincts.

Let’s Stop Pretending that Gun Laws Will Stop Criminals from Getting Guns

Gun Laws Don't Stop Criminals from Getting Guns

Let’s Stop Pretending that Gun Laws Will Stop Criminals from Getting Guns

I don’t know about you, but if I hear one more person spouting off about how more gun laws will stop criminals from getting guns, I think my head will literally explode or my body will burst into flames spontaneously. Or what about that lame mainstream media mantra, that “good guys with guns don’t stop bad guys with guns.”  It is utterly ridiculous to think that a criminal will follow the law. Yes, I fully understand that there are grief-stricken parents out there who have had to endure the horrific loss of a child or a loved one because some lunatic gunned their loved one down. I get it. I feel terrible for them and cannot for one second imagine their pain. If I had to live with the reality of never seeing one of my children or loved ones ever again, it would cripple me emotionally.

That being said, let’s stop pretending.  Let’s take a moment and clear the fuzz from our brains after we start to move past the shock of these shootings. Let’s stop fantasizing that gun laws protect law abiding citizens. They don’t. They simply serve to oppress law-abiding gun owners and kowtow to bleeding heart politicians pandering for votes to keep themselves in office. My opinion is that the Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein types of the world could literally not care less about the people they are supposed to be serving. These left wing progressives care about one thing and one thing only. They want to stay in office. (That is not to say that right wing politicians don’t want the same. They do.) If promoting gun laws gets those votes, well then they are all over it. They don’t want to lose their cushy jobs and perks. They are corrupt, plain and simple. They have forgotten who they serve or simply don’t care to remember.

The Mainstream Media and Biased Gun Law Coverage

Mainstream Media or Lamestream Media?Forget about the “mainstream media.” You’ll never see a lead story about how a law abiding gun owner stopped another public massacre. There have been numerous documented crime scenes where a legally registered concealed carry holder has stopped a crazed shooter in their tracks. In fact, there is evidence that this has happened numerous times over the years. Cases in point are the following active shooter scenes where a civilian or off-duty police officer has engaged a shooter prior to the police showing up on the scene. Keep in mind, the average first responder time on scene is roughly three minutes or 180 seconds.  I’ll talk more about response times later in this article.

Oct. 1, 1997

Luke Woodham fatally stabbed and bludgeoned his mother and went on to kill two students and injure seven others at his high school. He was stopped in his tracks by Assistant Principal Joel Myrick, a U.S. Army Reserve commander. Myrick detained the suspect, Woodham by using a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol he kept in his truck until authorities could show up.

Myrick stopped Woodham from going across the street to the middle school and massacring young children at the school. (Lubbock Online, 10/12/97)

April 24, 1998

Andrew Wurst showed up to his middle school dance with a .25-caliber pistol. He fired it, killing a teacher, wounding a second one, and injuring two students. The 14-year-old’s shoot-out lasted about 20 minutes. Police were still not on the scene when the shooting was ended by James Strand, the owner of the banquet hall at which the dance was being held. He confronted Wurst with his personal shotgun, ordering Wurst to drop his weapon. The teenager complied, and he held Wurst in place for 11 minutes before finally getting him to drop the weapon and lie on the ground, and then searched him for other weapons. The police arrived about a half hour into the incident. That is thirty minutes or 1800 seconds. Try staring at the wall for 1800 seconds and see how long you can do it. (CNN, 4/25/98)

Dec. 9, 2007

A former law enforcement officer from Minnesota named Jeanne Assam was at church when a 24-year-old gunman began firing at parishioners in the parking lot. Matthew Murray had claimed two victims before Assam opened fire on him with her personally owned concealed weapon. After receiving multiple hits from Assam, Murray then shot himself. This happened at a church. My wife once asked me why I carry a gun to church. This is why. (LA Times, 12/11/2007)

May 27, 2010

Abraham Dickan, a 79-year-old man, decided to shoot up an AT&T store in New York Mills, New York. Dickan was in the store when off-duty police officer Donald J. Moore saw him brandishing a .357 magnum and a hit list of employees he planned to kill in his pocket. Moore heard Dickan’s gun go off, drew his own personal weapon, and killed Dickan on scene. There was no chance that waiting for the police to show up would have prevented a potential massacre. A legal concealed carry permit holder did the job. (WKTV News, 7/28/14)

Dec. 11, 2012

Clackamas County, Oregon, two people were killed, and a third was severely wounded when Jacob Roberts opened fire in a local shopping mall. A shopper in the mall, Nick Meli, drew his personally owned firearm on Roberts, who then retreated. Meli did not fire his weapon, for fear of striking bystanders, but he saved numerous lives by confronting the shooter.  (Oregon Live, 12/16/12)

January 06, 2014

An intruder armed with a shotgun forced his way inside the house of 63-year-old Elzie Pipkins in Shreveport, La.  Once he was inside the house, the intruder ordered Pipkins’ granddaughter to fill a bag with valuables. Pipkins pleaded the criminal to take the money in her purse and leave. The intruder wanted more. Pipkins led the intruder to a safe where she kept loose change and her handgun. When the criminal took his hand off his shotgun to take the loose change, Pipkins took the opportunity to retrieve the pistol from the safe and fire it at the robber. She struck the robber once in the chest. He took off but subsequently collapsed a block away.

Following the shooting, Pipkins made it very clear she did not relish shooting the criminal, stating to a local news outlet, “Just $55 in coins, and he lost his life, Lord Jesus I wish the young people today would just think, go to school, get an education and a good job and buy what you want.” (The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La. 01/06/14)

Good Guys with Guns Do Stop Bad Guys with Guns

Armed school guards stopped an Oregon school shooter in his tracks in June 2014. Most recently, an armed doctor stopped a crazed lunatic patient of his after the patient shot and killed his case worker.   The list of incidents could actually go on ad infinitum given the right amount of research and documentation. The point is, the mainstream media fails to report on the facts. Politicians pander to the liberal left to get votes. Guns in the hands of good guys do indeed stop bad guys with guns in their own footprints. Its fact and it is undisputable.

First and foremost, let me state that I think that the vast majority of law enforcement personnel are genuinely great people who care deeply for those they serve. Of course, there will always be a few bad apples, but for the most part, they are there to do their job to the best of their ability, given the resources at their disposal.

How do We Better Handle Active Shooter Scenarios?

As I see it, there are four possible ways to diminish the potential damage of an active shooter.

  1. You can make facilities more secure by adding things such as bullet proof glass, multiple door access, gated property access and property wide fences.
  2. Secondly, you can arm and train potential victims such as school teachers and administrators.
  3. Thirdly, you could step up awareness of shooting prevention programs and potential suspect identification.
  4. Lastly, you can improve law enforcement response times.

Each one of these approaches is far easier said than done. Take your pick of the numerous bureaucratic, political, and budgetary issues, and you’ll understand my skepticism.

Law Enforcement Response Times

Law Enforcement Response TimesLet’s talk a bit about police and emergency responder response times. There are studies all over the place that quote response times from three minutes all the way up to fifty-eight minutes. It really depends on who is doing the study, where they study took place, what results they want to present to the target audience of the study, etc. A statistics professor once told me in college that statistical results are simply the skewed findings of the people paying for the statistical analysis at hand. I tend to agree with him. And he was as liberal an educator as they come!

Let’s assume that the fastest response times are typical. We know they aren’t, but we’re going to give the police the benefit of the doubt.  Let’s use three minutes as the average response time in the United States. Now, I want you to go stare at a blank wall for three minutes. Go watch how much stuff a toddler can get into in three minutes. Put a stopper in your kitchen sink and turn the water on full blast for three minutes. You might not think 180 seconds is a long time, but think again. It is a long time.

Now, imagine a bad guy just grabbed your daughter at gunpoint while she ran to her car in the driveway to grab something she forgot. In a split second, her life flashes before your eyes. Yes, this really happened.  In June of 2014, St. Louis police say the 17-year-old girl was outside of her home getting something from the car when two armed men confronted her and demanded that she return to her home. The girl’s father saw what was happening from the house window, got his gun and fired several shots at the suspects, hitting both of them. The girl`s mother got another gun and fired a round as well, not hitting either suspect. Oh, and by the way, there was a five year old child in the house.

Do you think they would have survived this crime by a gun-wielding criminal had they waited 180 seconds for the police to arrive? The answer is a resounding no. They would have been injured at the least and dead at worst. The quick thinking and action of legally registered gun owners saved the lives of that family and likely saved the daughter from a lifetime of repulsive memories. Let’s quit pretending otherwise.

The Underlying Issues of Criminal Gun Behavior

Identifying and Treating the Mentally Ill in the United StatesIt is time to deal with the underlying issues that lead to criminal gun behavior. Specifically, we need to address the lack of mental health treatment for mentally ill individuals. This is by far, in my opinion, one of the main reasons for the increase in gun violence in America. Sure, there are the pundits who will claim it is violent video games. Or, they will claim that it is a lack of background checks and a multitude of other reasons. I tend to agree a bit on the violent video games myself, but still see the decline of availability of mental health treatment as the main offender with respect to gun crimes.

The government started to defund these programs as far back as the 70’s and 80’s. A budget cut here and a program funding slash there took little notice in society.  Forty years later, we have mentally ill people walking the streets at night and showing up in theaters wielding weapons dressed as the Joker from Batman. We have Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunning down their fellow students at Columbine High School. There is not a person on the planet that could convince me that these people were not mentally ill. I think they should be punished and locked away forever. Their crimes were despicable and they are despicable human beings. They were mentally ill, however. No sane person could do the horrific things these people have done.

Could these killings have been stopped? Absolutely. One legal concealed carry holder with courage could have stopped James Holmes from shooting up that theater in Colorado. Had there been more and better trained armed guards at Columbine, perhaps they could have ended that tragedy just like the armed guards at Arapahoe High School in Colorado who stopped student Karl Pierson. Pierson entered the school intent on murder. He ended up taking his own pathetic life once cornered by armed resource officers responding to the shots fired. Many school districts across the country have already armed their school resource officers. When I recently toured a new high school for my daughter in South Carolina, I took notice that there were two armed sheriff’s deputies on duty. I thanked them for doing their job and was quietly thankful that my daughter would be safe when she attends school there.

I shudder to think what will continue to happen if society keeps buying into the feel good premise that more stringent gun laws will prevent these types of crimes from happening in the future. Politicians who persist in pushing their stricter gun law agendas are simply uneducated or just don’t care what the facts are.

Solutions to Gun Crimes in America?

I propose we start with better access to mental health treatment. How about better information sharing between mental health professionals and law enforcement? Perhaps we could enact stricter punishment for the illegal use of a weapon during the commission of a crime? These are real answers to what will start to deter these crimes.  Punish the guilty, empower the law abiding, and help our mentally ill citizens find a way out of their darkness. Until then, gun control is simply a political football being tossed around for votes.

I have a final idea for you to consider. How about we vote these clowns politicians out of office and introduce Washington, DC. to sanity and the rule of law once again. Repeat after me, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Final Four – Tactical Pack Edition

March Madness Tactical Pack Showdown

In the spirit of March Madness we decided to set up a final four of our own, pitting four of our most popular packs against each other in an effort to find out which pack has what it takes to survive the gauntlet of things thrown at it during use. In the NCAA Tournament, every team is playing the same basketball game, but not all teams play in the same style, and it’s each team’s unique attributes that determine whether it wins or loses. In our tournament, we have a diverse set of packs all competing for the title of champion, however it will be the unique attributes that each possess that will determine which moves on, and which didn’t make the cut.

Here is how it works:

We assembled a panel of three judges to field test each pack and give their opinion on which should advance to the next round of the tournament and why. A majority vote will secure a victory. The determining factors were left up to the judges; however in the spirit of impartiality we selected three judges with diverse backgrounds and interests. The judge’s credentials are listed below for review.

Judge 1:

  • AGE: 45
  • GENDER: Male
  • Military Veteran
  • Weapon Enthusiast
  • Hunter

Judge 2:

  • AGE: 22
  • GENDER: Male
  • Paintball Expert
  • Tactical Gear Enthusiast
  • Outdoorsman

Judge 3:

  • AGE: 32
  • GENDER: Female
  • Outdoor Enthusiast
  • Avid Hiker
  • Rock Climber

So, without further ado, we present the Final Four: Tactical Pack Edition:

ROUND ONE: ROTHCO MEDIUM TRANSPORT PACK VS. PROPPER BIAS SLING BACKPACK

Judge 1: “Being a concealed carry permit holder, I appreciated that the Propper Bias Sling Backpack had a built in compartment to safely carry my weapon. I also enjoyed the one shoulder design that allowed me to quickly slide the pack to the front instead of taking the entire pack off. With that said, I would have to give this round to the Rothco Medium Transport Pack. With lots of MOLLE attachment points and plenty of diverse storage space, I found myself gravitating to this pack more. It is a diverse every day pack that even includes a place for a hydration pouch if I took it out to my stand during hunting season.”

VOTE: Rothco Medium Transport Pack

Judge 2: “The Rothco Medium Transport Pack is a great multipurpose pack without a doubt. It has a compact design that isn’t bulky or overbearing and the padded shoulder straps really made it a comfortable pack. The Propper Bias Sling Backpack had all of those features and then more that really pushed it over the top for me. I loved the single strap design that allowed me to pull the pack in front quickly for access to all of the pouches without taking it off. If I did need to take it off, the quick release buckle made it simple and efficient. I also noticed that the Propper bag allowed me to lock the zippers together so nothing would fall out and that was a great feature when I was pulling the pack to the front of my body frequently. “

VOTE: Propper Bias Sling Backpack

Judge 3: “Without a doubt, the Rothco Medium Transport Pack impressed me more. Being on the trail a lot, I like to take a pack that is multidimensional and the Rothco pack had everything I was looking for and then some. The hydration bladder feature is one that I always look for because it is easier to use that carrying multiple water bottles so that really pushed it over the top. I also enjoyed the different pouches and compartments because it allowed me to better organize my gear than the Propper pack. One thing I really enjoyed about the Propper pack, however, was the fact that I could slide the pack across the front of my body to access accessories while on the go. “

VOTE: Rothco Medium Transport Pack

WINNER: Rothco Medium Transport Pack

Rothco Medium Transport Pack

ROUND ONE: MAXPEDITION SITKA GEARSLINGER VS. 5.11 TACTICAL RUSH 24 BACKPACK

Judge 1: “This matchup proved to be a much more difficult decision. On one hand, the Rush 24 has much more storage room and great internal organization dividers; however the Sitka Gearslinger is outfitted with a concealed carry compartment to carry my weapon and it also has the every-day-carry feel to it that I felt the Propper pack lacked in the previous matchup. I also really enjoy the single strap design for quick access to my firearm should I need it. This one goes to the Maxpedition pack in a close one.”

VOTE: Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger

Judge 2: “I have to admit, although I selected the Propper pack in the last matchup, I’m not the biggest fan of the single strap design. The Maxpedition Sitka is a great pack but it didn’t really meet my needs as an everyday outdoor pack. The 5.11 Rush pack on the other hand really blew me away. My first impression of the pack was that it had tons of room to carry everything I need during a day outdoors. Not only was it spacious, but 5.11 did a great job of creating practical organization pouches. I found myself enjoying the easy access to items without digging through the pack to find what I was looking for. While I would use both packs for different situations, my vote is for the 5.11 Rush 24 Backpack.”

VOTE: 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

Judge 3: “The Rush 24 had all of the features I liked in the Rothco Medium Transport pack and then some! Since I spent a fair amount of my previous review on the hydration bladder, I need to note that the Rush 24 actually features the tube hole on both sides of the pack which is a great feature for flexibility. When not in use, the Rush 24 allows the tube hole to be covered up, preventing moisture from entering into the pack, something I haven’t seen before. The Rush 24 also took organization to the next level. Numerous pouches and compartments allowed me to have easy access to everything without a struggle. The Sitka did have one feature that I really enjoyed and that was sheer ruggedness of the material. It was tougher than any fabric I had seen before and Maxpedition bills it as completely abrasion and water resistant.”

VOTE: 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

WINNER: 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND: ROTHCO MEDIUM TRANSPORT PACK VS. 5.11 TACTICAL RUSH 24 BACKPACK

Judge 1: “I voted for the Rothco pack but not the 5.11 Pack. Therefore, I’m casting my vote for the Rothco Medium Transport Pack. The real selling point for me was the fact that the medium transport pack was a more compact version of the 5.11 Rush pack. I prefer a pack that I can grab and go without much bulk to it. Oh, and the Rotcho Medium Transport pack is far less expensive!”

VOTE: Rothco Medium Transport Pack

Judge 2: “This one was an easy choice for me. I loved the diversity that the Rush 24 provided. It has lots of space, perfect organization, and represents a true everyday pack in my opinion. If I had to get any pack on the market now, it would be the 5.11 Tactical Rush 24.”

VOTE: 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

Judge 3: “I’m the only judge that picked both of the finalist packs in the first round so this decision was a little tougher to me. Both have the features that I look for in a pack, but what it really came down to for me was the additional space that the 5.11 pack gave me. Both had great organizational components and are hydration bladder compatible, but I can see myself using the 5.11 Rush pack more. “

VOTE: 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

CHAMPION: 5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack

5.11 Tactical Rush 24 Backpack - Mutli view

Open Carry Laws and Drop Leg Holsters

Rothco Deluxe Adjustable Drop Leg HolsterDid you know that many states allow for open carry of a hand gun?  In fact there are only seven states that outright prohibit open carry of a side arm.  The laws in the United States regarding open carry of handguns vary by state. The following is the full list of open carry states and the conditions attached.

Often, customers ask us why would a civilian even need to open carry using a drop leg holster?  We explore several practical situations on our product page for the Rothco Deluxe Adjustable Drop Leg Holster.  This is a very versatile adjustable holster that is made of heavyweight 600 denier polyester. Click here for more information.

States that permit open carry without requiring the citizen to apply for any permit or license:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Kentucky
  • Virginia
States that permit open carry with restrictions:

  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
States that prohibit open carry:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Washington D.C.
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • South Carolina
  • New York
  • Florida.

One of the questions that comes up is the practicality of open carry. Are there some legitimate situations that being able to open carry would be beneficial? We believe there are many situations where a drop leg holster is the best choice when open carrying.  Click here for more educational information on drop leg holsters.