A fundamental problem with banning open carry on private property is that, at least in states where open carry is unlicensed but concealed carry is, is that the concealed carry preference in businesses deprives customers of the right to armed self-defense. An open carry only armed citizen is therefore limited on where he can shop, even if public property (government buildings, sidewalks, parks, roads, etc.) are open to him. Most of one’s activities take place on private property, so an open carry restriction at popular businesses severely impacts unlicensed carriers.
Concealed carry permits take time to obtain; for instance in Clark County there is usually a 3-4 month delay before issuance. Where there is not a significant delay, the cost and time of training courses, fingerprint, and application fees may be burdensome to those who can barely afford a gun, holster, and ammo.
The counter argument is that there is no deprivation of civil rights as the person is free to carry concealed; except this is not possible for those without a permit in non-constitutional carry states. Alternatively, the person can simply shop at open-carry friendly businesses. Yet this is often not just undesirable, but practically and economically infeasible, especially in areas where Walmart is the only grocery or department store.
Government bears responsibility for creating this problem. Unlicensed open carry, but licensed concealed carry is ridiculous on its face; something many armed citizens already know. But as criminals almost exclusively carry concealed, permits are a useful tool for police and permits for the most popular form of carry (concealed) also gives politicians piece of mind.
The demonization of concealed carry (which is really just the demonization of carrying a handgun) is an old, outdated, and factually false misperception of armed self-defense. Concealed carry restrictions and licensing are relics of the first attempt at controlling social violence through gun control. In the late 19th century, it was thought that carry a concealed weapon made one more prone to violence, as if they had a disease--not an uncommon canard from the hoplopaths today.
The problem of open carry bans can be alleviated by government is removing the remaining restrictions to unlicensed concealed carry. Prior restraint on self-defense (a right considered so universal, the Founding Fathers left it out of the Second Amendment and many early state constitutions) has to end. Until the ban on unlicensed concealed carry ends entirely, government is complicit in denying the ability for many citizens to defend themselves in places where concealed carry is banned.
We know citizens will still go, forced or otherwise, to these businesses. Walmart, Kroger, and other businesses do not care about the safety of its citizens but only about their public relations image. It is shameful that an antiquated prohibition maintained by the wishes of police and fearful, hoplopathic (gun-hating) politicians, disarms citizens.
Last minute addition
So according to one open carrier who gave no other details, some Walmart employee told him he couldn’t enter the Rainbow and Spring Mountain, Las Vegas, store while openly carrying. We have no other details, so I can’t comment if this was some johnny jackass blue vest playing God or a manager “respectfully” asking him not to open carry.
In Fallon, the sheriff was called and the deputies told the staff that if the store isn't posted, they can't ban someone from carrying. Now that's wrong, but it's nice to see the cops on the side of an armed citizen. Rural Nevada for the win!
Meanwhile, at the nearby Blue Diamond location, another open carrier reported to me no one said anything to him. Someone else said that the Sunset store told him it would be up to the manager. So in other words, Corporate puts shit out, without proper guidance, and their moron employees run with it.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, a bunch of people think they are being helpful by saying “That’s why you get a CCW and conceal carry.” Uh, I have a CCW and I prefer open carry. I can’t speak for the first guy, but to these people who think a CCW is the answer to everything, you’re missing the point. The point is about resisting and stopping corporate gun control and being good ambassadors for the Second Amendment. These comments are not unhelpful and you people need to shut up.
Conceal your pistol: why? That’s like saying “Cut off your dick, you might be a rapist.”
There is nothing wrong with open carry. If you think there is, then you are either badly misinformed about safety of open carry or you don’t want people to know you’re carrying a gun. Usually, most concealed carriers don’t feel comfortable letting the world know they have a gun.
Banning open carry is nothing more than victim shaming. If you can’t tell me apart from some insensitive jackass trying to get on the news or a mass murderer, you’re an idiot. Openly carried handguns hardly go noticed at all, and when they do and don’t meet with approval, virtually never create any controversy.
It baffles me why Walmart can’t say “Hey, don’t bring your rifle to Walmart. No stunts, please.” Open carry of handguns has never been an issue in Walmart and I doubt the folks in Bentonville can substantiate anything other than some hoplophobic idiot creating a scene for no reason. I wonder if Walmart would respectfully ask black people to stay out of their stores in predominately white neighborhoods because their customers get nervous around minorities.
I am bothered so much because they are implicitly telling me that I am wrong, that I am bad for openly carrying. Open carry is little more than the modern stigma of “gun toting” except rather than concealing the gun, we’re exposing it. Since the 1980s, the stigma about carrying has made a polar shift to positive opinion about personal armed self-defense.
Once upon a time it was concealed carry that was bad. But not really. People have always concealed because guns have always been wrongly stigmatized and good guys concealed their guns when they couldn’t carry them openly, even if that meant they might have to pay a fine.
People, usually unarmed ones, have always hated the fact that others choose to go armed. If you stigmatize open carry, you’re stigmatizing carrying a gun. With concealed carry, the gun is still there, but you have no idea if that person is a criminal or has a permit. Why would you logically ban a method of carry that is in the minority when you know the guns will still be there anyway? How the hell does someone so vapid get to be the CEO of major corporation?
Other’s offense over the fact I choose to carry a gun for my defense is not my concern. This isn’t about my gun being visible; no, it being visible tells them I’m armed and deprives them of their little “out of sight, out of mind” fantasy. They don’t like people carrying guns period, not just openly.
Look at how many women who have become enraged because someone in a position of semi-authority (like a stewardess) that short shorts, short skirts, or showing cleavage is inappropriate and asked to cover up. My rights do not end where your feelings begin.
I cannot carry in the manner I like because persons ignorant of the actual facts and experience on the ground are worried I might create a PR nightmare for them. Walmart and Kroger’s reactions are merely the corporate boardroom version of a soccer mom recoiling in horror in the snacks aisle. Mom isn’t afraid of the man with the gun, she’s afraid of the gun. The corporate weasels aren’t worried about what might happen in their stores (if they did they’d hire credible security), they care about the manufactured onslaught on cable news and idiots on Twitter.
There is a minority of pedantic concealed carry supremacists that rankle at open carry, as if it is the mark of an inferior citizen unable or unwilling to train and get government approval to hide their gun, but these people too disapprove of the average person being armed.
So you’re damn right I’m pissed off. I’m doing nothing wrong, trying to protect myself, and because some dude in a suit doesn’t get it, I’m going to get humiliated by some minimum wage flunky. This policy does nothing whatsoever and will not stop a mass murderer or someone who wants to pretend to be one any more than “no guns” signs stop crime.
Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, in a Sept 3. statement, just took a gigantic dump on gun owners and open carriers. Walmart will stop selling 5.56mm/.223 ammo (because it can be used in “large capacity clips on military-style weapons” and will no longer sell “handgun” ammo (does this include .22LR?). Walmart feels this will help make the country safer as “the status quo is unacceptable.”
The statement makes no mention of what Walmart will be doing to make its stores safer. McMillon brags that:
We’ve previously made decisions to stop selling handguns or military-style rifles such as the AR-15, to raise the age limit to purchase a firearm or ammunition to 21, to require a “green light” on a background check while federal law only requires the absence of a “red light,” to videotape the point of sale for firearms and to only allow certain trained associates to sell firearms.
Even worse, Walmart swerves out of its lane (as a business) to call for stricter gun control.
we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger. [...] We believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness.
Walmart getting (partially) out of the ammo business is great for local retailers who do stock and sell ammo. Price gouging on Armslist is going to be a lot harder.
5.56 ammo will not be sold because it is for “short-barrel rifles” or some such nonsense. In other words, they are not selling 5.56 because, in their opinion, it is for the evil black rifle the AR-15 and not hunting rifles. Walmart backed out of selling AR-15s several years ago to move to a hunting-centered firearms line.
The much higher muzzle energy and velocity cartridges with better penetration such as .308 will continue to be sold. These hunting rounds are specifically designed to expand in their targets and create incapacitating wounds; in other words, the rounds Walmart is keeping tend to be more powerful and more deadly. McMillon really should have talked to a hillbilly in Arkansas before he approved this statement.
Walmart admitted that firearms were not a major part of its business and sales of guns and ammo have been poor. The current media created hype against firearms provides them with a convenient excuse to leave a segment of a market where they cannot effectively compete. This will be a loss of another place where ammo can be purchased for cash and harms Californians who don’t have many options to buy ammo.
As it relates to safety in our stores, there have been multiple incidents since El Paso where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers. We have also had well-intentioned customers acting lawfully that have inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond. These incidents are concerning and we would like to avoid them, so we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores or Sam’s Clubs in states where “open carry” is permitted – unless they are authorized law enforcement officers.
He correctly blames "individuals attempting to make a statement" (inconsiderate attention seekers), such as the Missouri man who openly carried an AR pistol and tactical vest. Open Carry Texas carried long guns until the open carry of handguns by permit was decriminalized in that state. These bad publicity incidents are why Walmart is “requesting” open carriers stay out or cover up their guns.
Covering up guns in order not to scare people is equivalent to telling women to “cover up” because exposed skin will tempt men to rape them. Open carriers are not a problem; assholes who tote rifles where they have no business being are the problem and McMillon and his idiotic staff is too dumb to ask people not to bring their rifles to the store.
Tellingly, McMillon blames the concealed carrier who rightly drew down on and held the AR pistol clown at gunpoint for police for scaring people. I guess he should have waited until the guy started shooting to do something? I have not seen any compelling evidence that an openly carried handgun has caused any mass fright in a Walmart.
Banning open carry won’t keep many from going disarmed at Walmart, but it is a slap in the face to the Second Amendment and clearly is part of shaming gun owners. By asking open carriers to stay away or cover up and posting signs, along with all the other virtue signalling, McMillon and Walmart are blaming guns. Yes, blame the skirt for the rape too. If it wouldn’t totally alienate the customer base, I bet they would ban guns entirely from Walmarts.
Walmart is only “requesting” that customers not open carry, but is posting signs. In Texas, these signs (30.07) will likely have the force of law. In Nevada, as in many states, signs and statements like this have no force of law. A manager, security guard, or other person authorized to trespass individuals from stores (not the greeter) must tell you to leave for open carry to become the crime of trespassing.
A request is not a demand. It may be an outright ban, but we need to wait and see how Walmart plays it. If individual stores and employees just don’t care, then it will have no more teeth than the “requests” from Target and Starbucks earlier this decade. Target does not seem to actively enforce their anti-open carry “request.” Not once in Nevada have I been asked to leave a Target for openly carrying a handgun.
What is a “non-confrontational” policy? A polite request not to openly carry or to cover up can be ignored. I will simply say “No” and go about my business. If they demand I conceal or leave the store, then I will leave the store, leaving the car where it is, and not come back. However, I rather think “non-confrontational” means ask nicely, then call the police. In truth, after by the new year local employees will stop caring (as if openly carried handguns are really noticed anyhow).
Banning open carry sends a mixed message that guns are okay, but only if you hide them. For decades, concealed carry was traditionally regarded as the province of criminals. Men with nothing to hide openly carried their guns. Open carry is low-hanging fruit. If citizens tolerate this, there will be nothing to stop Walmart from banning concealed carry eventually.
Walmart is not a safe place and not because of the El Paso shooting. Because of the low prices, criminals and the kind of violent, unstable scum that tend to be poor are at Walmart. Shit goes down at Walmart and we know where the “two gun” Walmarts are. “Stab-Mart” just outside of Nellis was closed down, but totally not because of the crime or anything… Discouraging people from carrying and shitting on gun owners is not going to make the world, or Walmart, a better place.
Walmart’s disavowal of open carriers is a tone-deaf response solely for the benefit of the public relations of one of the retailers and companies Americans love to hate. It is corporate virtue signalling and not any sort of meaningful improvement to violence in America. This latest move is nothing but the actions of an ignorant, out-of-touch corporate board that is trapped in the Leftist news cycle bound to turn employees and customers against the beast from Bentonville.
Walmart does not regularly employ armed security that can respond to a mass shooter or any other of the countless incidents of everyday criminal violence that occur at their stores everyday. Under strict liability, businesses are held responsible for creating or allowing hazardous conditions. Businesses that discourage or prohibit carry of firearms should be held liable for injuries when it can be shown an armed citizen could have protected themselves.
Armed citizens rushing to the defense of other shoppers in Walmart happens. Once such (unsuccessful, sadly) attempt was here in Las Vegas in 2014 when Joseph Wilcox, a concealed carrier, drew his pistol and prepared to counter-attack the assassins of two Metro officers. Frankly, if there was shooting I’d be inclined to not be a hero and let Walmart reap what they’ve sewn.
Walmart is does this at the cost of alienating itself from its core clientele to virtue signal. Shopping at Walmart is unavoidable for a lot of us. It’s cheap. Most shoppers don’t care about buying guns or carrying one, just low prices. The store knows that many of us, especially those in very rural places, have no other effective choice, so a boycott won’t work. But remember Walmart; when the eventual war with China comes you’ll be out of business.
Late addition: Kroger has also asked that people don’t openly carry. Or rather their corporate weenies put out a statement. “Kroger is respectfully asking that customers no longer openly carry firearms into our stores, other than authorized law enforcement officers.”
My suggestion: open carry anyway. If anyone from the store says anything, just cover up. Even better, get a gun sock or something that makes it clear it’s a firearm but is technically concealed. Make them live up to their own rules. If they ask, say no. If they demand, then comply.
Why do the rules for IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) prohibit open carry in its matches?
1.2.1 Equipment Principles
Additionally, are numerous prohibitions of things like compensators, add-on weights, extended magazine releases, holsters not practical for everyday concealed carry, etc. Essentially, a gun used should be in as close to factory condition possible.
The short answer is to keep IDPA shooting as close to a realistic self-defense scenarios as possible. As Ken Hackathorn, one of the originators of both USPSA and IDPA pointed out to Ian MacCollum of InRangeTV, USPSA grew away from its tactical origins to become a gear and reloading manipulation competition. Most of the gear, holsters, and firearm modifications for USPSA has more to do with speed than defensive or tactical considerations. IDPA was a reaction to the “equipment races.”
Specifically to open carry, IDPA requires concealed carry for several reasons. At the time it was started, open carry was not a usual method of everyday defensive carry when even concealed carry was illegal or highly restricted in many states.
More practically, there is no real way to distinguish regular open carriers from those who would only do it for an advantage in competition. It is guaranteed that if an everyday concealed carrier could speed up his IDPA match times by openly carrying on the range, they would do it, but would lose out on the skills like drawing from concealment. IDPA after all was intended partially to help self-defense shooting skills in realistic scenarios.
8.7 Duty Gear Exemption
Law enforcement and military are exempt because they regularly carry openly. This allows them to build and practice skills they can realistically use rather than just cutting down on their times. If civilian open carriers came with a mark or something to distinguish them as bonafide open carriers then maybe IDPA would let them do it too.
So IDPA is not putting down open carry. Rather, they are keeping the matches as close to “real world” scenarios as possible by keeping the “gear queers” from ruining the sport.
Last week, an unfortunate forgetful CSN student forgot that he had his rifle and ammo in his vehicle. Apparently, a fellow student saw some firearm magazines in his parked vehicle and called police. Police at this point “tracked down the student who had driven the car to campus. It was then determined that the student had a rifle and approximately 2,000 rounds of ammunition inside the vehicle.” The student was arrested for a violation of NRS 202.265, possessing a firearm on school/college grounds.
We have learned that the student, 27 year-old Shayn Striegel is an otherwise law abiding citizen and licensed concealed carrier. Members of the gun community have vouched for his reputation and state that as Striegel said, this was truly an unintentional act. Striegel truly did forget about the rifle as he told police. 2,000 rounds of ammo is also nothing; that’s two bricks of .22 (the size of a pound of butter) or two cases of 5.56 (each the size of a 12-pack).
References to mass shootings and threats around the country were placed in many news articles about the incident. Whether these were intended to highlight increased awareness on campuses around the country or a sly way to insinuate something sinister to increase readership or advance some agenda isn’t known. What is known so far is that police have uncovered no plot or anything else to suggest this was more than just bad luck.
When guns are legal in cars literally everywhere else in the state, one can see how a regular shooter might make this mistake. It’s a costly mistake to be sure. There is no reason merely having a firearm in your vehicle should be a crime for an adult student. A gun does not become more dangerous on campus than in the parking lot of a private business. That’s before we even address the issue of self-defense carry on campus.
There is no practical legal way to possess a firearm on campus. Several bills over the last legislative sessions were shot down or died that would have decriminalized this act. Firearms are only allowed on campus with written permission. CSN policy, along with the entire Nevada System of Higher Education (state college and university system) effectively denies all but the most compelling cases. Few if any authorizations to carry concealed on campus are ever granted. Most permission is for non-defense carry. We even created a form to help people apply for permission.
As a reminder, colleges and universities were never the original target of NRS 202.265. Clark County high schools had a problem with adult gang members bringing guns on to high school grounds. When the bill reached the legislature, the college and universities petitioned to be added to the bill without any real justification. College students should, at a minimum, be allowed to possess firearms in their locked vehicles.
Many on social media rushed to defend the student and criticize the actions of police. In today’s anti-gun hypervigilant society university officials and police are almost locked into going all the way. This is a sad commentary on our times.
As for the police conduct, a student reports seeing rifle magazines in a vehicle. While this in and of itself is not illegal, where there are magazines there is often a firearm. Police will respond to the call and will investigate further. We don’t know at this time if they got consent from Striegel to search his vehicle, but even without consent, if seeing the magazines amounted to probable cause to search for a weapon, such a warrantless search would be permitted under Supreme Court precedence (Carroll v. US). Whether the magazines alone would suffice to establish probable cause is for a court to decide.
We hope that Striegel did not give police consent to search his vehicle and did not make any voluntary statements. Nothing good can come from talking to the police without an attorney present. However, if as we are told, this was just an innocent mistake, Striegel’s fate is not a serious one. A violation is only a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail, and/or a maximum of $2,000 in fines. What is likely to happen is Striegel plea bargain and will have to forfeit his CCW for a time, serve probation, and pay a fine. A normal person who got unlucky in these times and forgot his rifle is unlikely to be severely punished.
Additionally, should strict scrutiny be applied to the Second Amendment in the US Supreme Court’s upcoming case, NYSRPA v. NYC, campus carry restrictions may well be thrown out and Striegel’s conviction too.
It’s sad that an innocent mistake involving an avid target shooter can be blown up into something criminal when nothing evil was intended. This incident is nothing more than a case of hoplophobia based on media hype and anti-gun university staff from 30 years ago glomming on to legislation.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West