Concealed carry vs open carry which is better? 

By Chris Stockton

Open carry and Concealed Carry Defined

In several states across the nation there is the option of open carry which means you do not need to conceal your firearm as it is "open" for the public to see there is also in these same states many times an option to carry "concealed".  Concealed Carry is defined in Texas as "Concealed handgun" means a handgun, the presence of which is not openly discernible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person. (Texas GC 411.171)  And generally means that it isnt able to be spotted by someone else.  The definition may vary from state to state but the general idea remains the same.  See your state for the exact definition if you have any confusion.


Pro's and Con's of Open carry


Open carry is at first glance a great idea and seems cool as you dont have to hide your gun.  But from tatics standpoint it isnt the best option.  Some of the advantages of open carry would be that it is easier as hiding a firearm can take a little more effort depending on your carry method, clothing attire and the size of your pistol.  For open carry you can get away with wearing the bulkly hosters that stick out versus concealed you would want a holster that sits very close to your body and in warmer climates you may not have the luxury of throwing a jacket over a pistol that sticks out far. But this is pretty simple to overcome if you chose the proper holster and a pistol that is compact. (For recommendations of good concealed carry pistols Click here this article) In some instances seeing someone open carrying a pistol might deter a crime from ever happening would be the last positive attribute to open carrying. The disadvantages of open carry unfortunately far outweigh the positive. The biggest disadvantage would be you have lost all elements of surprised as if painting a big red mark over your head to a bad guy saying shoot me first. If your open carrying and a criminal sees it they will see you as a threat they may need to overcome first before they can get to their objective. They may also see your firearm as a way to carry out their plan and grabbing your firearm when you least expect it. There can be many bad situations that can arise when you open carry from a tactical standpoint I wouldn’t make a regular practice of open carry. Now that being said I do believe that people should have a right to open carry if they so desire.


Concealed carry on the other hand your attacker would never realize you had a firearm and never know who is armed and who isn’t. After teaching concealed carry classes for many years I have come across all different types of law abiding citizens from different ages, race, background and a criminal would have an impossible time to distinguish who is carrying and who is not.


Also if a business owner or manager does not want people carrying guns in their business for whatever reason often times they can simply ask you to not carry and now you are unable to carry legally in their business. Now you are unarmed or breaking the law carrying concealed after they have told you they do not wish for you to have a firearm in their business. Now if you were carrying concealed the business owner would not notice you are carrying a firearm and there would be no way of him knowing your carrying unless you were bragging or in some way said out loud that you have a gun which again defeats the purpose. So out of sight is out of mind for people who might prohibit you from carrying on their business. The same would also be true for residences or anyone who can legally prohibit you from carrying by verbal notice which is valid in most states especially when you are on private property.


Having listed all of the key advantages and disadvantages of open and concealed carry and that I believe its tactically a better choice to concealed carry that being said I believe your state should grant people the right to open carry if they so desire. The second amendment grants us the right of concealed and open carry as it does not distinguish it must be concealed. It is nice to have the benefit of open carry in case your shirt should be pulled up where your pistol is no longer concealed or if your jacket blows open in the wind or any probable accidental circumstance where you could expose your carry pistol. If your state prohibits open carry then in most cases you are breaking the law even if not done so purposely.

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