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Tue May 3, 2016, 07:09 AM

 

Open Carry America: Report from a Cross Country Road Trip

Open Carry America: Report from a Cross Country Road Trip

Not the classic 'cross country' from (east) coast to (west) coast, these two trips (six months apart) were from New York to Maine and New York to Georgia.

Besides New York (our home state) my wife and I drove to or through ten American states. It was a rural trip, so we avoided Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York City, Maryland and DC.

Now I like to treat my wife to these trips form time to time, and part of the fun of preparing the trip is for me to do due diligence on all things important, such as car rental, hotels, places to stop, scenic locations, etc.

I put everything in a binder, leave the binder in the trunk, and make the trip 'seem like' we are just getting in the car and heading down the road.

I also research the firearms laws of each state, I have a wallet full of non-resident licenses. Once in the car, my sidearm is casually on my hip, and not much is said of that issue from there on.

But in my mind (and in the binder) I know the law by heart, state to state.

By having a NY license, and avoiding the states as listed above, I was able to casually carry my sidearm on a cross country trip. Granted, I make a distinction between three types of carry: Open, lightly-concealed, and deep-concealed.

Sure, there were times when I would throw my shirt-tail over the butt of the gun (open carry to lightly-concealed) as not to gather too much attention (especially when I saw license plates from non-gun states outside the location I was entering) but for the most part my wife and I just came and went without anyone saying (or noticing) anything unusual, strange, odd, etc.

The map (courtesy of Opencarry.org) should be slightly amended as such:

- New Jersey should be red
- Maryland should be red
- Massachusetts should be red

- New York is a patchwork of local laws, but I don't have to worry about open carry in New York on this trip, because my first breaks were in neighboring states.



Now you may respond with 'why do you have to be so paranoid' or 'I drive all across the nation without a gun' or 'what are you afraid of.....' The answers are: I am not, good for you, and nothing at all.

I responded to a post recently about someone with a $35,000 truck. Well, the Blue Book on my vehicle is $3,500 if I have just had it washed, less if it's dirty. He does not need a truck ten times what mine is worth unless it has some very fancy attachments such as an overhead line bucket or outriggers.

He just has one. Say what you will, but it is still his right to drive a big truck. No, I don't like the smell of big trucks, the same way you may not like the sight of my legally carried, licensed handgun.



I carried 'cross country,' some open, some lightly concealed, without incident, without objection, without any problems whatsoever.

I did it because I am an American and I love freedom.

Link to Part Two: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1172191775



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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Open Carry America: Report from a Cross Country Road Trip (Original post)
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 OP
ghostsinthemachine May 2016 #1
oneshooter May 2016 #4
ghostsinthemachine May 2016 #6
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #7
metroins May 2016 #14
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #15
Kang Colby May 2016 #26
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #27
jonno99 May 2016 #8
ghostsinthemachine May 2016 #9
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #10
ghostsinthemachine May 2016 #11
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #12
jonno99 May 2016 #21
jonno99 May 2016 #23
theatre goon May 2016 #24
ghostsinthemachine May 2016 #30
oneshooter May 2016 #29
Eleanors38 May 2016 #17
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #18
Eleanors38 May 2016 #25
Gidney N Cloyd May 2016 #2
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #3
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #5
JonathanRackham May 2016 #13
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #16
JonathanRackham May 2016 #19
CompanyFirstSergeant May 2016 #20
JonathanRackham May 2016 #22
ileus May 2016 #28

Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:21 AM

1. That's one scary mother fucker, right there..(NT)

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #1)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:09 AM

4. What is so "scary"about him?

He reads and obeys the laws in the areas he travels to and thorough. Understands the laws, and changes his carry to conform with the local laws.

Nothing scary about that.

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #4)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:09 AM

6. People with guns scare me,

Terrify me in fact.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #6)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:23 AM

7. You must not live in an Open Carry state...

 

...which are all the states on the map in yellow, orange or green.

(except the ones I mentioned that should be red)

NON Open Carry states/cities/areas...

-MA
-NJ
-MD
-NC
-IL
-FL

-NYC/Long Island
-DC

-CA - rural open carry (hunting, hiking)
-NY - rural open carry (hunting/hiking) varies by county

That's a total of 8 of states in which there are cultural or legal prohibitions, and two (CA and NY) depend on where in the state you are located.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #7)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:46 AM

14. I'm not sure about MD LAWS

But in Allegany and Garrett county, it's common to see open carry. Rifles and handguns.

I don't know if it's legal but I've seen them in restaurants typically during hunting season.

The word restaurant is loose, more along the lines of small breakfast places.

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Response to metroins (Reply #14)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:49 AM

15. Good to hear!

 

Not for non-res, however, same as NY.

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Response to metroins (Reply #14)

Tue May 3, 2016, 05:54 PM

26. In MD...it's complicated.

****Technically****, if you have a Maryland issued "wear and carry" permit...the law does not specifically prohibit open carry. However that's a moot point because a) so few people can get permits and b) even with a permit if you OC in MoCo, HoCo, PG, Baltimore City/County, I can guarantee you will be taking a ride and you will be charged with something.

There is no statewide prohibition on the open carry of long guns, ***technically**, but again, it's one of those situations where you will be taking a ride and charged with something.

Having said that, people can and do carry on property they own.

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Response to Kang Colby (Reply #26)

Tue May 3, 2016, 06:35 PM

27. Maryland is one of my....

 

'drive around' states.

As in drive around it by going from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Unfortunately, New York is that way for anyone not from New York.

New York does not issue non-resident licenses, which sucks.

It's an embarrassment as a gun owner how these states treat non-residents.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #6)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:37 AM

8. That's very curious - are you terrified of the Police? nt

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #8)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:41 AM

9. For the most part, yes

I've had more than enough incidents with the police. I've been a victim of gun crimes more than once. Being threatened by people with guns was a good part of my life. I also know people that have killed themselves, in front of family, with guns.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #9)

Tue May 3, 2016, 10:50 AM

10. "Being threatened by people with guns was a good part of my life."

 

Honestly and sincerely - that is certainly likely to influence one's viewpoint.

I do not support the open carrying of larger firearms such as rifles and shotguns - except while engaged in sport shooting/hunting.

Walking the street or getting food with a slung rifle - I believe that is done for shock value, mostly.

I am not comfortable with people who arrange rifle-carry protest marches, although they may work, such as in Texas.

Handguns, however are part of American culture. Oddly, one can avoid seeing firearms by living in urban areas, but they are generally more violent places!

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #10)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:01 AM

11. My father loved guns and threatened me with them

For decades. So many times I don't have a clear recollection of one incident they all blend together. He also threatened my Mother and my children with them. As he got older, he did it more and more. We would take them away, and he would get more. He refused to be diagnosed for any mental illness, so we could not take his rights away, so he could and did buy guns both illegally and legally..

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #11)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:02 AM

12. Wow.

 

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #12)


Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #11)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:27 PM

23. Wow indeed. Sorry to hear about your troubles with your dad -

that must have been horrible.

I appreciated your openness to discuss things of such a personal nature.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #11)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:32 PM

24. If he was threatening people with firearms...

 

...he was breaking the law. Similarly, if he was buying guns illegally, as you claim, he was, obviously, breaking the law.

You could have notified the authorities at any time and had him charged with, apparently, various crimes -- a conviction of any of which may well have prevented him from legally owning firearms, a diagnosis for mental illness notwithstanding.

Why you didn't report these numerous illegal acts is your own concern, of course, but had you done so, his rights could, in fact, have been taken away.

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Response to theatre goon (Reply #24)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:10 PM

30. Not quite as easy as you think

Trust me on that. "He's an old man, you don't want to do that to him do you?" Said the police after one incident. "Not him?" Said the police after he drove by my house and fired live rounds into it. Hilarious how he would do the craziest ass shit and the cops would do nothing, or believe him when he would spin the incident to where me, or my kids were threatening him and claim self defense. In court he would put on his blue blazer and a handkerchief and he would sway the judge into thinking me, and my Mom were the insane ones, even with a litany of violent acts to reference, not just against family members.

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #6)

Tue May 3, 2016, 08:55 PM

29. So you run in fear when you see a Law Enforcement Officer?

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Response to ghostsinthemachine (Reply #1)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:07 PM

17. The guy with the $35,000 truck?

 

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #17)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:20 PM

18. The diesels stink...

 

....especially when you are behind them.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #18)

Tue May 3, 2016, 01:04 PM

25. Yep. And costs more to maintain if used like an urban gasoline car...

 

Plenty of big-assed diesel trucks showing up at auto broker lots in Texas now that the shale oil rapine has conked out. The usual "Get a 40k vehicle because this $ will last forever." Get laid off, go back to $8/hr, and let the truck go.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:39 AM

2. Nice of you to treat the little lady to these trips.

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Response to Gidney N Cloyd (Reply #2)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:02 AM

3. Should be more often...

 

....should be more places.

Thank you.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 09:38 AM

5. Clarification:

 

The 'binder' contains (in the handgun license section) at least the following...

- Duplicate copies of my New York license and all non-resident licenses

- Memoranda of Understanding of Handgun License Reciprocity for the states that have reciprocity with the states I am licensed for.

- A general description of state culture with regard to open carry, from opencarry.org

- A compilation of state laws relating to firearms from the NRA/ILA

- The binder is not only for my use, it is to hand to a police officer if necessary - many cops do not know the law of their own states as well as many licensed civilians do.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Original post)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:36 AM

13. Hunting and fishing season.

It's not uncommon to see hunters/fishermen/campers/hikers open carrying when they come into town to go to the local restaurant/hardware/sporting good store. The town cop drives right by them in the street. Nobody gets excited. I think the media has done a good job of sensitizing people and creating hype about them. Then again, several years ago people didn't worry about locking up their houses or cars either. I've been to Chicago, NYC, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle....; in the cities people seem to be in competition for everything including space, light and air.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Reply #13)

Tue May 3, 2016, 11:51 AM

16. "open carrying when they come into town"

 

Where is that?

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #16)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:21 PM

19. Western North Carolina.

Nobody gets excited.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Reply #19)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:23 PM

20. My daughter is in SC

 

planning a trip for the fall.

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Response to CompanyFirstSergeant (Reply #20)

Tue May 3, 2016, 12:27 PM

22. The mountain areas around Asheville are awesome.

All the crappy weather gets filtered out on the west side of the mountain range.

South west Asheville (the city) is the only bad section of the neighborhood to avoid.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Reply #13)

Tue May 3, 2016, 07:04 PM

28. YUP, I oc'd at the lake this past weekend.

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