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August 18, 2009



RivrDog, almost all states allow LOADED open carry. The ONLY one I can think of that does not allow it at all is California. I dont claim to know the laws of all 50, but as a every day Open Carrier myself in Pennsylvania, and well aware of the legalities in this state and a few others I have general info about alot of states. Only a few (like 4) dont allow OC. Even Jersey allows it, if you can somehow get your hands on a permit. And but for California all the ones Im familiar with allow loaded carry.

An unloaded gun wont help you, or anybody else if you need it with any kind of speed.

Le Bolide

Linoge -

Utah also has an open carry law requiring that openly carried firearms be unloaded, unless the carrier has a concealed carry permit. Unloaded is defined as "not having a round in the chamber."


"This moral duty EXCEEDS the morality of your right of carry, by the way."

So my moral duty to properly defend myself from ANY unwarranted assault (which in this specific instance would be strong arm robbery) EXCEEDS my right to be free from unwarranted assaults? Sorry, that's a penumbra too far.

Your point about responsibility is valid - as owners of potentially dangerous items we have a duty to handle, store, carry, utilize, etc... them responsibly but this standard is NO HIGHER than any other. Which is not so say that we can ignore it either - which I understand to be your real message.


Rivrdog, could you please point out the statistics or news media reports about gun grabs from non-cops?

Thing is, I couldn't find any. At all.

It is well to be cautious, but it also makes sense to focus on real, not imagined, risks.


I am not entirely sure where you live, Rivrdog, but here in Tennessee, open, loaded carry is 100% legal, assuming you have a Handgun Carry Permit. In fact, so far as my research has indicated to me, Kalifornistan is about the only state with open-but-unloaded legislation... where else have you heard that is the case?

James E. Griffin

BTW, in my state, we open carry loaded guns. In some places, by statute, I'm required to carry openly. But my gun is always loaded, and the law respects that.


Moral duty?.....maybe...maybe not. Maybe the post should have been titled:

"Open carry and how not to get shot in the ass with your own gun"

Whether you believe there is a moral imperative or not, it would sensible to carry and protect your firearm in such a mannner that you retain control and ultimately it is not used against you. I would think even those who above don't feel responsible for anyone else being harmed with their firearm would hopefully feel slightly embarrased or remorseful about being shot with their own gun. Its called survival people, and I am assuming that since you are carrying a firearm for self-defense, you might want to look at techiniques and practices that will keep you alive. I open carry quite a bit, but I always do so with a retention holster, situational awareness, and usually with another armed person. Your mileage may vary.

James E. Griffin

I prefer to carry concealed for a variety of reasons, including weapons retention, and the level of alertness I maintain while open carrying. Kind of like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Crowds add a whole 'nuther dimension to the equation.

That said, anyone trying even a "long slung arm grab" is an immediate threat to my life, and to grab my gun you've just put yourself within contact distance.

Contact distance with a Silat guru fighting for his life is not a place you want to be.


I have a moral duty to take reasonable precautions against my gun falling into the wrong hands. If were to open carry regularly, that would likely mean at least a retention holster of some sort. If I regularly leave a gun unattended, I should make provisions to lock it up. Reasonable depends on circumstances--If I lived in a high-crime area, I would need a better safe, but what I use is OK for the crime rate I live in.

But if someone steals my gun, they are the ones responsible, even if my precautions were inadequate.

Bob S.

I agree with Alan.

My moral obligation starts and ends with my actions.
If a thief breaks into my house, breaks opens my safe, steals a firearm and uses it to kill someone; am I morally responsible for that death?


Then how does it change if someone steals a firearms from my holster when I'm out in public?

Where do you draw the line Rivrdog? How about someone stealing a single round of ammunition from me? Do you hold me accountable if my reloading supplies are stolen, assembled and used in a crime?


Way to conflate and confuse there Riverdog.

I think that your differentiation of tools between those "designed to kill" or not could have been lifted directly from the Brady Campaign handbook.

The design intent of a tool is immaterial. I have guns that were certainly not designed to kill, but rather to punch holes in paper. I also have wrenches that, while designed to turn a pipe, would most certainly kill someone if applied to the head in a brisk manner.

They're all tools and what I do with them is up to me, not the tool. I am certainly not responsible for what someone else does with them after they steal them and the fact that someone might steal them does not factor into my decision to own, use or carry. I am not responsible for other people's moral failings.

To lay a moral obligation on me because of what someone else MIGHT do is not acceptable.

I am perfectly willing to accept responsibility for MY actions, but I will never accept responsibility for someone else's.


Boyd, it is my understanding that most states/cities which allow open carry allow it only for unloaded firearms. You may still carry the ammo with you, but the firearm itself has to be unloaded in the holster. There are a few, VT and AK come to mind, which don't make that restriction.


Alan, your laissez-faire attitude could, without much debate, be stretched to cover any number of current events where, across party lines, this nation accepts it's moral duties relating to power.

I won't list them all, since I don't have that much time nor bandwidth allowance, but suffice it to say that nearly every signer of our Declaration of Independence had something to say about the moral duty of he who wielded power (King George, at the time).

Now, if you can't see your way clear to admitting that carrying a firearm means you have the POWER of life or death over those you would use it on, and that MORAL DUTY goes with such power, then I guess we are speaking different languages, and can't continue to communicate.

Your rhetorical relegation of a firearm to the status of a mechanic's wrench is disingenuous, to say the least. A wrench is NOT designed to kill.

BTW, I don't think my belief in a moral duty to retain one's firearm plays into the hands of gun-banners at all. If they admit that there is a moral duty of retaining, they have admitted that the entering argument, carrying, is, at least morally, appropriate. The Bradys would avoid this discussion like the plague, I'd wager.

You ARE correct to say that there is no 100% foolproof way to retain. But with training and situational awareness, you can easily get to a level of security where the odds are VERY long against you losing your weapon.

The solution to the question of whether to carry or not carry is your choice, thanks to the Constitution. It is up to you, 100%, to make THAT decision.

If you think that such a decision comes without ANY moral introspection, then the first tool you need isn't a firearm, Alan, it is a mirror to help you see into your soul.

Doc Merlin

I have to agree with alan.
Its important to be very good about retention, but to make it a moral issue is to play into the hands of the antis.


I have to disagree.

I have no moral duty whatsoever to prevent someone from stealing and misusing my tools. The moral duty is on the OTHER person to not steal them.

It is pure pragmatism that I lock my doors set the alarm before I leave the house, and it’s also pragmatism that made me buy a gun safe.

Morality has nothing to do with it.

The fact is that if someone WANTS to steal my gun bad enough, there is no way to prevent it. No lock is unpick-able and no safe is uncrackable.

And no holster or super ninja moves will prevent someone from stealing my gun on the street if they want it bad enough.

But none of that is a moral failing on my part.

To try to make retention a moral issue is playing right into the hands of the Bradys because there is NO WAY to make 100% certain that your gun can't be stolen when you're carrying it. The only solution is to not carry.

I will not accept that solution, or the false moral obligation.


Rocket Man: Kudos for completely missing the point. You get the knee-jerk reaction award.

Rocket Man

Sorry, I stopped at "moral duty". Every man and woman has a moral duty but it is not to be defined for me by you or any other.


Why on Earth would anyone carry, either openly or concealed, with an UNLOADED weapon? You might as well stick a brick in your holster for all the good it will do.


What drives me nuts are the people with cheapo nylon thigh holsters with velcro retention straps. You may look like a badass gunslinger to the uninitiated, but retention is going to be next to impossible.

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