Friday, March 5, 2010

Open Carry Deters Crime

If you don't conceal your weapon, you give up the element of surprise in the event you are attacked and need to defend yourself. However, by carrying your firearm openly, you may deter a crime from happening in the first place, which would then lead to a better outcome. It is difficult to determine exactly how many crimes are deterred each year by those who carry openly due to the obvious fact that in such circumstances the crimes don't even take place.

We do however have at least one documented example in Kennesaw GA where a crew of armed thugs decided NOT to commit armed robbery in a waffle house because the thug who went in to scout the place before the crime saw Matt Brannan and J.P. Mitchell openly carrying their firearms. You can listen to Mark Walters of USCCA's Armed American Radio interview Matt Brannan and J.P. Mitchell for more details on the event. Over the years I have also heard multiple first hand accounts of possible criminals who seemed determined to commit a crime as they approached their potential victims, but suddenly turned away when they noticed a holstered firearm.

If you think about it from the point of view of the thugs it makes sense. Why would they want to attack a group of people where they know at least one person is armed for self defense when they can easily find another group of potential victims where all are likely unarmed? Why would they want to significantly increase the odds of being shot by one of their intended victims? Before you say it, yes, there are situations where a crazy person determined to attack a particular location would attack irregardless, shooting at the known armed people first, but that situation is rare relative to the typical crimes committed by criminals who are simply looking for an easy target.

If you do choose to Open Carry, I recommend that you utilize and train with a retention holster. I like the Blackhawk SERPA holsters as they hold your weapon securely, yet allow you to remove your weapon quickly & easily with a little practice. What is your favorite retention holster? Let me know in the comment section.

Learn more about Open Carry at


Bob G. said...

I'm personally in FAVOR of open-carry (Indiana sadly, is not).

I firmly believe it IS a deterrent, as most of these thugs are nothing more than cowards, seeking out "the easy mark".

I only have an Uncle Mike's retention paddle really fine (w/adjustable tilt), but I would LOVE to get a SERPA.
(don't believe they have them for PT145s, though)
Have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

I can see the benefits and deterrence factor in open carry, however, I also see where open carry could put you as a target. If the "scout" were to see one or two people with a gun and they are highly determined to do whatever criminal act they had in mind, they may just choose to attempt to neutralize the gun owners. If criminals have to guess who is carrying, the element of surprise would be more beneficial. Although I am only allowed to concealed carry (and practice it daily:)) in my area, I am an advocate for carrying any way you choose/can.

Dustin said...

Bob: Thanks, I hope you have a good weekend too.

T: Yes it can put you as a target if the criminal is determined to hit that particular target at that particular time and place. My point is simply that such a situation would be the exception rather than the rule. Like Bob mentioned above, most criminals are looking for an easy target. Why would they want to significantly increase their risk of being shot by taking on a known armed target when they can walk a block down the street and find a dozen other softer targets?

Additionally, whether carrying concealed or open, it is a good idea that we all increase our level of awareness while we carry. As long as we are aware of our surroundings, we are not as likely to be taken by surprise by a criminal even if he or she decides to mount a sneak attack.

Anonymous said...

I was told by my CCW instructor that it's a very bad idea to carry openly because criminals will shoot you and then steal your gun!!! I opened carried once at Kohl's and got a lot of strange looks and was sort of hassled by the cashier. Now I only open carry at the range, where I know everyone's carrying anyway and no one gives you a second look. I don't like the attention I get open carrying, so I almost always conceal.

Dustin said...

Crystal: I can certainly understand being uncomfortable with how some may view an openly carried gun, as there are those in our community that simply don't like them. I like the way we have it in Arizona where each of us is free to choose how we carry - openly or concealed. Hopefully we'll get constitutional carry passed this year so you won't need a piece of paper from the government to "permit" you to cover your gun up when you carry.

As far as what the CCW instructor told you about a criminal shooting you to steal your gun - that is a myth propagated by anti open carry folks. If that happens at all it would be incredibly rare - we're talking far more rare than the average chance of a common criminal attack or even the chance of being struck by lightning. It is far easier for criminals to steal guns from an empty home while the homeowner is out of town or at work or for them to buy a used gun from another criminal on the black market. Not even the typical criminal wants a gun badly enough to want to shoot someone, as they would be nearly certain to be shot back.

Rev. Paul said...

Open- and concealed-carry are both okay and unremarkable in Alaska. I do both at work/shopping/play, and my pistol draws looks only from out-of-state tourists. Most adults are armed, most of the time, here. Street crime in Anchorage usually involves at least an inebriated victim; it's rare to hear of a sober adult being attacked in any way.

Dustin said...

Rev Paul: I'm glad to hear that. More guns always equals less crime, at least when law abiding folks are not disarmed by idiotic gun laws. We're trying to get an Alaska type Constitutional Carry law passed here in our State. Keep up the good work in Alaska!

Anonymous said...

While I don't open carry as a peronal choice. I will support the right to open carry.

For it isn't so much whether or not for me, but the right to choice how to carry.

Dustin said...

Well said. Freedom is key.

Unknown said...

Here's a video I made for a marketing class encouraging the use of safes to protect your firearms from theft. Please feel free to comment or criticize. Thanks.

Robocop said...

I am in favor of both options, Open Carry, and Concealed Carry. For the job, I use a SERPA. For concealed carry, I still use a Galco belt holster.

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