Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
    (Franklin County)
    Age
    48
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    Default My first open carry story

    I really appreciate seeing the accounts of others who have documented when and where they have open carried. Even though they are largely "non-events", this is exactly what has given me the confidence to begin open carrying myself.

    I've started slow...mostly on quick errands where I'm not spend a long time period in any single establishment. Except for the story I'm about to share, I've had nothing significant to 'report', though I am keeping a journal offline of all the times I've open carried while 'about town'. Don't think it's worth noting every time I head off for a hike while OC'ing.

    Recently, the article below appeared in a local newspaper. I've opted to paste the text here, as the article will not be permanently available for linking. This incident occurred on Thursday, August 2, 2007.

    GREENCASTLE - An Antrim Township mini-mart owner who has been the victim of several recent burglaries shot an intruder during a confrontation early Thursday, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

    Merlony Colaco, 29, has seen his Molly Pitcher Mini-Mart at 13640 Molly Pitcher Highway burglarized more than half a dozen times since March.

    Colaco has owned the store for a year and a half. The first year was relatively tranquil, but in March the establishment was robbed four times in 14 days. In one incident, Colaco held a woman at bay with a gun until police arrived.

    On Thursday at 1:46 a.m., Colaco pulled the trigger when Thomas Philip Candeloro Jr. allegedly approached him after breaking in a side door.

    “I shot him because he was coming at me,” said Colaco this morning. “I didn't shoot him because he was stealing the cigarettes.”

    Colaco said he has never shot a gun in his life and believes his actions were in self-defense.

    Candeloro, 44, of Baltimore is listed in critical but stable condition in Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. His two companions made off with 58 cartons of cigarettes estimated at $2,600, which they hauled off in a trash can, according to Colaco.

    The mini-mart closed at 10 p.m. Wednesday, but Colaco chose to camp out at the store because of two break-ins in the past week - one in which cigarettes were stolen and one in which ice was stolen, he said.

    The store is located just off Exit 3 of Interstate 81, making it vulnerable to thieves using the interstate.

    Colaco said it's frustrating dealing with break-in after break-in - “especially when you don't make money (because of merchandise being stolen).” His insurance deductible is $500, making it impractical in some cases to file claims.

    Colaco said the three burglars Thursday were “probably” the same men who broke in earlier in the week and stole cigarettes.

    Armed with a shotgun, Colaco had the mini-mart lights off. The three men entered through a side door with a crowbar.

    Colaco said the burglar alarm sounded but the men still came in. The alarm is set to automatically alert state police, according to Colaco.

    “There was a struggle. When they came at me, I shot him,” explained Colaco, who said he thinks Candeloro was armed. “It was so fast - I can't even describe anything about it.”

    “When I shot him, I heard the phone ringing. I knew it was state police,” he explained. “I said, ‘I need an ambulance. I shot a guy.'”

    Candeloro faces charges of robbery, burglary, theft and conspiracy, according to police. Trooper Michael Dick this morning he anticipated filing charges in the case today.

    Asked whether Colaco's shooting has been deemed justifiable self-defense, Dick said the investigation is continuing.
    I drive past this store twice a day Mon-Fri, and occasionally at other times as well. I was aware of the several previous break-ins, as well as the one incident where he held a lone female burglar at gunpoint until the police arrived on the scene (again he had camped overnight in the store due to the frequency of problems he was having).

    I never really stopped here to buy anything. As a private mini-mart his gas price is rarely the cheapest. BUT, after this latest incident my pattern has changed.

    The day after the shooting, I stopped to fill up my tank. Upon paying I told him "I appreciate that you defended your store the way you did, and I support you 100%." He thanked me for my comments. I also noticed several letters and cards of support hanging on his bulletin board near the door.

    A few days later, I stopped again for some gas. Then on Friday, August 10 I stopped a third time to fill my tank. This time I open carried when I went in.

    He greeted me, looked at my gun and said, "Oh, are you a cop?". I replied that I was not a cop, merely a private citizen. He looked a bit confused and said, "So, you're not a cop?". I told him again that I was not a cop and that in PA it was completely legal for me to carry a firearm, and since mine was not concealed I did not even need a license to do so.

    I could see the wheels turning in his head...He began to say, "You mean I could....", but then stopped and said "So it's ok for you to do that if you have a lock on it?" I replied that while my pistol was secured in it's holster, there was no lock on it. Since there were a couple of other folks waiting, and our business transaction was done, I went back to my truck. I grabbed on of PA Patriot's flyers, wrote my e-mail address on the back and went back in to the store. I handed it to him and told him if he had any questions to send me an e-mail.

    I haven't been back yet this week, and he hasn't contacted me, but I plan to continue OC'ing when I go there. I'm hoping to continue our conversation as I become one of his 'regulars'. I doubt we'll see him here anytime soon, and I'm not trying to turn him into a 'gun nut'. If I can help reaffirm his determination to defend himself and his business and help him understand what all of his legal options are, then I'll be content. Ultimately it's up to him to decide what he's comfortable with. I support a citizen's right to NOT carry (CC or OC) if they're not comfortable doing so just as strongly as I support the rights of those who wish to legally carry.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    OUTSTANDING. You did a hell of a job. Keep it up!
    NEED should never enter into a discussion about RIGHTS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Virginia
    Age
    57
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    Maybe if you can get an exact address, or even an email address, all of us on this forum could sign our names to a card. Only if its allowed of course. Moderators?
    It would be great if he had even more support, especially from fellow firearm owners.
    You did a decent thing gnbrotz .
    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground in the morning, the devil says "Oh shit, shes up!!"

    Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a government agency.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    gnbrotz,

    I gave you a rep point for the way you handled that conversation with the shop owner.

    I'm just dipping my toes in the OC waters myself. Posted an update today as a mater of fact.

    Keep us updated with how you are received by the community as you OC.
    PAFOA GROUP SHOOT & BACON FEST! - Saturday June 15th - Click for info!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Gone from here
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    0

    Default Re: My first open carry story

    The guy should have stayed in Baltimore, where the gun laws are more strict for law abiding citizens. He didn't do his homework before coming to Pa.

    Great story gnbrotz! Keep up the good work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    Quote Originally Posted by gnbrotz View Post
    He greeted me, looked at my gun and said, "Oh, are you a cop?". I replied that I was not a cop, merely a private citizen. He looked a bit confused and said, "So, you're not a cop?". I told him again that I was not a cop and that in PA it was completely legal for me to carry a firearm, and since mine was not concealed I did not even need a license to do so.

    I could see the wheels turning in his head...He began to say, "You mean I could....", but then stopped and said "So it's ok for you to do that if you have a lock on it?" I replied that while my pistol was secured in it's holster, there was no lock on it. Since there were a couple of other folks waiting, and our business transaction was done, I went back to my truck. I grabbed on of PA Patriot's flyers, wrote my e-mail address on the back and went back in to the store. I handed it to him and told him if he had any questions to send me an e-mail.
    When you do go back, make sure you tell him to carry in a car, you do need a LTCF. Although I love that some one is learning, you need to be sure they know they can only open carry without a permit in their home, business and on foot, the instant they sit in a car, they need a permit.
    Skeet is a sport where you are better to hit half of each bird then completely blast one and miss the other completely.

    The choice is yours, place your faith in the court system and 12 of your peers, or carried away by 6 friends.

    Nemo Me Impune Lacessit. 'Nobody provokes me with impunity'
    ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    In this world there's two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.
    Clint Eastwood
    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
    Age
    48
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    Outstanding!
    We'll be looking forward to your journal if you decide to share


    .
    _________________________________________

    danbus wrote: ...Like I said before, I open carry because you don't, I fight for all my rights because
    you won't, I will not sit with my thumb up my bum and complain, because you will.
    Remember Meleanie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Boalsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Centre County)
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    since i have CCW, i'm bit iffy on this.

    what does PA's open carry policy say?
    Audemus jura nostra defendere

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    Quote Originally Posted by Mity2 View Post
    since i have CCW, i'm bit iffy on this.

    what does PA's open carry policy say?

    Not sure I understand the comment before the question, but the "policy" is that there's no law against OC.

    You see, there aren't laws (that I'm aware of) that say "you CAN do this." and "you CAN do that."
    The absence of a law that says "You can't OC", is what makes it legal.

    Did that make any sense?
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
    Age
    33
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    Default Re: My first open carry story

    That's it pretty much, laws define what is illegal, not what is. Granted, I, like many others I'm sure, always just assumed such things weren't allowable.

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