Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Moon Township, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Brand New Open Carrier

    As I've just written in my introductory post, while I have years of military service under my gunbelt, I'm new to bearing arms, both CC and OC, as a civilian. However, after obtaining my LTCF less than six weeks ago, CC came rather easily. After a couple of weeks, it was second nature.

    Like many, I was reluctant to OC--we may list loss of tactical advantage and the drawing of unwanted attention as the two biggest factors. Yet, realizing certain conveniences in OC and embracing my 2nd Amendment rights as much as any other, I read extensively, making certain I understood Pennsylvania law on the topic, and devoted considerable thought before attempting it.

    First, came the phone call to my local police department. During a brief, but informative, telephone conversation with a friendly and professional local officer who seemed happy to address any concerns I might have, he assured me that the choice of CC/OC was "up to me" and left it at that.

    So assured, I strapped my GP100 to my belt and set out on my evening and early morning walks without incident. After several days, I had reason to stop in the local gun store and saw no reason to not OC (after all, it's a GUN STORE). Thirty or so minutes inside talking with one of the employees; not an eyebrow raised by anyone.

    A day or two later, an early Saturday morning run to a small store at which I'm a regular. Upon entering, I found only one other customer inside, as I patiently waited for the nice, older lady who runs the place to finish waiting on him before turning her attention to me. As soon as she did, I noticed her eyes slightly widen as she focused on my trusty Ruger in it's holster--in plain view. Still, she was composed and asked how she could help me.

    Now, I should add that I'm anything but an intimidating person. Despite my years of military service, I'm not some sort of "hardcore" brute. I'm essentially an over-educated, non-imposing sort of guy for whom gentlemanly conduct is second nature. So, sensing that my OC was at least a bit of concern for her, I continued my typical sort of respectful dialogue; "yes, ma'am", "thank you, ma'am", "you enjoy your day too", etc.

    I exited the store with neither her nor I any worse for wear.

    Last evening strolling around the parking lot of a well landscaped business complex as many in my neighborhood do, I bumped into one of the cleaning ladies whom I often see. As always, she stopped to chat, as she has for the past two or so years I've known her, this was the first time she had seen me OC'ing. If she so much as noticed my gun, she gave no indication. If she did, she obviously found it in no way intimidating--she passed me on her second lap around the parking lot with no effort to avoid me.

    Finally, as I returned to my car, a campus police officer from the local university pulled in a couple spaces away. Thinking "OK, this is it--my first encounter with law enforcement", as the officer exited his vehicle, our eyes met. I simply nodded and said "How are you?", to which the officer replied "Pretty well, how are you?" before he entered the food establishment to grab his take out dinner.

    Did the officer even notice my gun? In the diminishing light, my guess is that he did not. In any event, there was nothing to it. No real "encounter", no drama, no nervousness. Just a hungry police officer exchanging "hello's" with one of the local citizens.

    I'll post more here from time-to-time and enjoy reading the comments and experiences of others.

    Stay safe out there.
    The Bosun

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
    Posts
    817
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    921834

    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    You are going to find that almost nobody will notice the gun, and most of those that do will think you are in law enforcement and won't say anything. Most suburban/rural police will notice but not care one bit, and some will compliment you on your choice of firearm. Only a few will give you looks, and even fewer will say anything. I've been OCing for years and have had very very few negative encounters. I've had a lot of positive ones though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Moon Township, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    147
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    2376488

    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    I also live in Moon Township, and I've been ocing for the past 4 or 5 years now, and never had a negative response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oakland Mills, Pennsylvania
    (Juniata County)
    Posts
    3,833
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    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    I can*t believe I*m the third reply and nobody yet has said don*t talk to the police.

    In all seriousness though they*re not really a good source, in many cases, for legal advice or opinions. I*m glad you seem to find the exception.

    As others have said almost nobody will notice the open carry of they do even fewer will care.
    I*ve had multiple times where I was in close contact with people for several hours before anybody noticed
    "Cives Arma Ferant"

    "I know I'm not James Bond, that's why I don't keep a loaded gun under the pillow, or bang Russian spies on a regular basis." - GunLawyer001

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Glockin, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
    Posts
    3,345
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    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    Welcome and stay safe out there!

    The GP100 is a tank... You sure you don't want to carry something plastic? I hear good things about the 'Glock'.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oakland Mills, Pennsylvania
    (Juniata County)
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    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    Quote Originally Posted by jthrelf View Post
    Welcome and stay safe out there!

    The GP100 is a tank... You sure you don't want to carry something plastic? I hear good things about the 'Glock'.

    3970DB39-E2CD-4B68-9446-DDA432A39E5C.jpg
    "Cives Arma Ferant"

    "I know I'm not James Bond, that's why I don't keep a loaded gun under the pillow, or bang Russian spies on a regular basis." - GunLawyer001

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dover, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
    Posts
    1,983
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    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    Welcome aboard! You will come to figure out what's mentioned above - 95% of people don't notice, and the other 4.999% don't care. My interactions with police & sheriffs in Central PA has been nothing but positive, including a 'thank you' after a brief discussion about the merits of Sig Sauer while at lunch one day (I assume it was just for carrying and being one of the good guys).
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Moon Township, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    19
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    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    Thank you, Rensdd. This is good to know. I look forward to perhaps meeting face-to-face, eventually.
    The Bosun

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Moon Township, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    19
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    0

    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    You're right, Jthrelf--the GP 100 is a tank; that's what I most like about it. As for the semiautos, I have nothing against them (the very first handgun I ever fired was a .45 1911 which I had to carry back in the day). More recently, we just bought my wife a Taurus 9mm for her to keep at home (she's not interested in carrying). I'm happy with my GP100 .357, Model 1768, 5 inch barrel for EDC and my Mossberg 500A for home.

    Whatever weapon any gun owner chooses to defend his/her family and home is a personal matter, IMO. As for me, give me my .357 & my 12 gauge and I'll defend the Alamo.
    The Bosun

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
    Age
    52
    Posts
    2,719
    Rep Power
    21474850

    Default Re: Brand New Open Carrier

    After 10 years of casual carry the often ends up as OC, I've only ever had one "not positive, but not negative either" encounter. The rest have all been benign.

    While I don't OC much in the little town around my kids's school, I OC all the time while hiking in the area and while working in the yard and just around the house. I can't count the number of my daughters' friends' mothers and fathers that I've stopped and talked to in my house and yard while doing yard work or baking or working on the house with a pistol on my hip. No one has ever cared a whit.
    "How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessnes."

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