Open VS Concealed Carry

What do you think?

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I understand both sides of the argument. I carry concealed when I go to town or amongst the general populace, however, on my property or in the woods hiking, foraging or hunting, I generally carry open or partially open depending on holster choice. Of course long guns are open carry. Reasonable choice?

    I don’t “freak out” if I see a person exercising their Right to OC. I see that as an expression of personal Liberty and Freedom.

    • Marine Mike says:

      Agree 100%, too many times people that open carry get stopped and questioned by law enforcement because of the 10% freaking out.

      • That is because idiots call 911 complaining. I don’t know how many times I answered calls during hunting season and in rural areas about people carrying openly. People are just stupid. We tried and have dispatch advise complaintants that they were in their right to carry and that it was hunting season.They would simply call back in with a more made up storey. One time they called because a predominantly black advertised open carry group was on one of the municipal pier and it was literally a circus event. As a former cop of almost 40 years I didn’t care when people exercised their rights. In Texas and Montana it is a regular event. In Florida…, not so much.

      • TPSnodgrass says:

        My personal preference is for CONCEALED carry. I prefer to exercise my rights in that specific manner. I do not wish to “advertise”, as someone will ALWAYS answer your “ad”. So it should come as NO surprise that when engaged in legal open carry, (advertising) your ad will get answered. Hopefully, it will only be by law enforcement. Unfortunately, far too many public open carry advocates have little to no training or experience in firearms retention at all. Just my personal and professional opinion. I am firmly in the belief that carrying concealed IS the far better tactical and strategic option.

        • Isn’t open carry a bit like saying, “look what I have – come and get it!?”. Sort of like, “here’s my wallet – it’s all yours!”? Just a thought.

          • Personally I’m a CC guy. I respect everyone’s view and rights, but I’m gonna concur with pat r. To me it’s like the OC is the target, now I just need to get my sights on the aggressor and engage.

          • I agree with the CC advocates. If it matters to any of you, the CC argument is supported by members of law enforcement. Their reasoning not only is based on having a tactical advantage in the mad minutes, but not having the general public calling the police to stop and check out the person OC. If a police officer stops you on his own, you can tell them to piss up a rope. If he stops you because of a concerned citizen, you are going to have to explain yourself. The concerned citizen becomes an “injured party” technically and forces the police to have to investigate the cowboy without his horse. Unless you really need the extra attention, do yourself and the police a favor and carry concealed. Thank you.

    • I don`t open carry living in Komradfornia that would be suicide. The p.c. swat team would shoot me if the local cops did not. Living near a colleg I may get swatted by the student loan swat team or maybe the seiu swat team . the blm swat team may be near since all of the fires lately. The cdf may have a swat team also and the cdf is all over my area now.

      • Rebel In Idaho says:

        So why on earth do you live there? Please don’t tell me that it’s just the only place in the world you can get a decent job.

        • I was born here. I am not gonna let the bastards run me out. No decent jobs since the prez made fulltime 30 hours.Millions of illegals dropped the working age next to nothing. Legalized pot growers screwing things up.

      • You might be surprised – perhaps even “shocked” – by what actually goes on within the perimeters of most college campuses. Sometimes it’s criminals trespassing onto college property for easy targets. Sometimes it’s the very “adults” you’ve entrusted your kids to, and sometimes it’s the young people. And they’re not reported to the public, because they don’t have to be; yes, law enforcement incident – but it’s on “private property”, most of the time, and does not get reported. How do I know? I’ve been in the midst of it.

  2. Owl Creek Observer says:

    I often carry concealed but am not comfortable with open carry. Though it’s technically allowed in this state, I rarely see it and besides, it seems to me that it’s sort of like painting a target on your back. I’d much prefer that a bad guy has to guess who’s armed and who isn’t. I don’t have a problem with others who do it, but it’s just not for me.

  3. As a former law enforcement officer (Louisiana State Police and US Army CID), I have got to say that, tactically, open carry is a non-starter. You mentioned the 10% that freak out-they are the vocal minority. Once they “see” a firearm they must say something until they get their way. I am also an NRA pistol instructor and a NC concealed carry instructor. I believe that in public you want to retain the element of surprise. To further our concealed carry agenda I think each state should address businesses that don’t allow concealed carry to have a mandatory high level of insurance to compensate people when the business does not protect them. Think movie theaters.
    Open carry puts LEO’s on edge-rightly or wrongly. the vocal minority uses LEO’s to disrupt open carriers by calling 911 and filing complaints. I think concealed carry avoids this. If you have to use it then they will (begrudgingly) thank you. My thoughts…Ron

    • Ever Vigilant says:

      I conceal carry just so i don’t have to deal with the aggravation of having to produce an LTC , or explain myself to A LEO. Besides it does put the general public at dis-ease when they see your firearm hanging off your side, why cause a situation? As many of the comments said, “Why put a target on your back” immediately in a situation where concealment is your best option for opsec. and eventual control of a dangerous situation.

      • I think the point of the open carry guys is to get the public used to seeing firearms ‘hanging off your side’ so that the hysteria eventually dies down. No one gets hysterical over seeing cops, detectives, constables, etc. wearing them, so it’s just a matter of what they are used to.

        • As long as you have the Socialist Muslim in the Rainbow House who wants to take away the rights of all Americans to own weapons so that we have the ability to defend when he sends his thugs to take away our ability to defend against his socialism, you will NEVER have “hysteria dying down” on this issue. He will see to it, one way, or the other.

      • Rebel In Idaho says:

        It’s hard for some to believe but there are still places where visible firearms don’t scare people. Open carry is legal everywhere in Idaho (no permit/permission needed) and lots of people, myself included, do it regularly. Concealed carry is legal without permit except in city limits. We live way outside town.

  4. I only carry open on my property. My house, my rules. Anyone who’s over is welcome to carry open as well. But in public, always concealed. I don’t want the stares or the whispered comments. And if there is a bad guy around, I don’t want to be an obvious target. But if someone else wants to open carry, more power to ’em. Their choice, and their right to exercise.

  5. For me concealed carry has been my choice (since 1982) because it gives me a tremendous tactical advantage. I’ve realized early on that my reaction time to a threat is too slow. Better to look nonthreatening and act as though I’m complying, then the bad guy relaxes and then I surprise them.

    On the other hand the people who open carry have yet to realize they will be the first casualties in an incident. That’s because “NO ONE” can outdraw an aggressor who is already focused on you. It just isn’t going to happen. So I look at OCs as my cannon fodder. Sorry people, but better you then me or mine.

    Finally, my armed presence doesn’t scare the Sheeple who darn near swoon at the sight of a firearm. Nor do I have to put up with the PC nonsense of store management. In my state if they catch me ignoring their signage and call the cops wanting me sighted it is only a trespassing warning. No big deal! But if I’m covertly carrying and not printing the problem never comes up, and so far it hasn’t.

  6. I am a middle-aged, somewhat overweight lady in a state where we have the ability to open-carry. However I always carry concealed (on my body) for the reasons stated above. Also because of my (lack of) physical fitness conditioning I get concerned about a criminal taking my weapon and using it against me or others. If they don’t know it’s there, then it’s not an issue. I think my biggest tactical advantage (aside from regular training) is the element of surprise, since when you look at me you would not think I am the “typical” concealed-carry person.

    Blessings to you all,

  7. I think there are good arguments for both sides. I also think there is a happy medium, check out “Sneaky Pete holsters” at I have been carrying concealed with sneaky pete holsters for several months. Then are comfortable, secure, and concealed, and look like a case for a tablet or PDA. I have a ballistic nylon for a Ruger .380 that i carry at work every day. I also have a leather, and ballistic nylon for a Glock 26. leather to go out on the town and ballistic for work when i want more fire power. These holsters are the best concealed carry i have found.

  8. Curtis,
    thanks for the SneekyPete info. I have a birthday coming up.

    On January 1st we will have Hand Gun Open Carry here in Texas. I do not intend to open carry for the many reasons others have laid out above. However, I will be glad that I don’t have to be concerned with accidental exposure or printing.

  9. I really enjoy your site and think there is a lot of valuable information. However, I don’t know how wise a decision it is to have James Yeager as a part of any discussion. There are a lot more credible and respectable individuals online that can provide the same information. Anytime I see him affiliated with anyone it makes me pause and cringe a bit. Just my 2 cents.

    • TPSnodgrass says:

      I am unashamedly NOT a “fan” of Mr. Yeager at all. While he does have his right to preach to people, I am also extremely uncomfortable with his methods/manners of dispensing his “information”. I do believe there are FAR better “experts” in firearms and use thereof, than James Yeager. He’s just not my cup of tea. I understand many people like” him, fine, I don’t like his “Style” at all.

    • I have no use for Yeager either. As far as I’m concerned he’s a DB’s DB. Too many better youtuber’s to choose from to waste my time on him.

    • What does it matter if it’s James Yeager (don’t know the guy, don’t care to) or some other XYZ guy professing to have a skill to teach or an idea he thinks is worth hearing?
      Really- even the lowliest of teachers has something to say, can have a valuable skill or idea to impart that no other has thought of. “One need not like the teacher to learn from them,” is what I told my kid when he bitched about a teacher. Once he understood that, he ended up learning a lot from that particular instructor, and still doesn’t like the guy.
      To not include all sides of the argument is to deny the argument a fair hearing. It’s called “freedom of speech”.

      • TPSnodgrass says:

        Freedom of Speech is always a good thing. So is freedom of expression. I personally find Yeager’s style of “teaching” to be redundant and ill-advised. To me, he’s far MORE about “tacti-cool” than anything else. Good for him, if that is the message he wants to sell to people. I choose to exercise my Constitutional rights of self-expression and not buy into Yeager’s sales pitch. Can I learn something from Yeager? No, I would rather seek out(and I have) far more competent “teachers” and professionals. We do not actually disagree at all.

        • I think in some ways and at times he comes across as full of it…….but I have often picked up some good ideas too.

  10. As so eloquently stated above, I carry concealed because surprise along with ferocity and speed of attack will win more battles than being disarmed because someone saw I was armed, especially if that someone is a perp.
    In colder weather, it may be on my belt, but it’s still concealed. Always. And my BUG is even more concealed.

  11. Chuck Findlay says:

    Concealed carry just makes more sense when you think about all the people that go ballistic at the site of a gun. And when you add the growing problem of shoot-first cops it’s easier to keep your gun concealed.

  12. I agree with most of the above statements but I would also throw into the mix that in this day in age cameras are everywhere, I personally don’t like to be watched or attract unwanted attention, walking anywhere with a pistol hanging off you for the world to see can only turn you into a camera magnet.

  13. There’s a time and a place for everything …open and concealed carry … On your own property or in a public location … Professionally speaking why risk it ? Just to make a point .. Right from the get go you have two or more armed persons on edge over a non-issue… That being said I cannot be on uniformed foot patrol in the locial mall with a Ar-15 or shotgun without causing a commotion… Again each has its place ….
    God Bless

  14. I have had a CC permit for over 40 years. Recently, I attended a seminar on the subject. Naturally, the subject of Open Carry was discussed and the factor of surprise. My point of view is that should I decide to end an imminent threat to my life or my family’s lives, the threat isn’t going to have the luxury of a warning, by me openly displaying a weapon. The choice is a personal one to be sure. As personal as what we choose to use to protect ourselves and our family.

  15. Mountain Trekker says:

    Seems I’ll be the lone voice for open carry but thats nothing new. Why is a person a target for law enforcement and antigunners when he or she exercises their right to open carry? Mainly because they are the only one that will exercise their right! Yes you become a target when your the only one out of ten thousand that open carries, if you carry concealed because you don’t want to offend someone or become a target, do you only exercise your freedom of speech at home where no one can hear you? I hope not! I have no problem with conceal carry and yes everything has a time and place but once in a while try being like Poncho, and wear your gun outside your pants for the honest world to see. I open carry every day and LE has never once bothered me. Trekker Out.

    • Depends on location. Smaller towns I would think you are know, but bigger cities you are unknown and seen as a threat. Damn shame that a person with a gun is seen that way, but it is our society. Stinks!!!

  16. Dial 911 and die.

    • Actually that depends on location… small town amazingly has a response time of less than five minutes. Long time to wait…..yes! But much shorter than bigger towns. Crazy isn’t it.

      • Yes – to repeat a phrase I’ve heard before: when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

      • “…less than five minutes. …”

        You can be killed numerous times in five minutes.

        Not to mention, despite the cops being “only five minutes away”, there is no reason for them to rush to your aid. The Supreme Court has ruled that police officers do not have a duty to interfere with the crime.

  17. If I was a bank robber, who do I shoot first……the uniformed guard who is openly armed. If I was a “bad” person and walked into a place or on the street wanting to commit a crime……I would shoot the visible armed first. It may be legal and totally is/should be your right to carry open……..BUT is it smart? I carry open in the woods, at home, but doubt I ever would in public. WHY put a target n your back and say…..”shoot me first, please shoot me first” to all the bad guys. Concealed is the way to go in public…..surprise when defending yourself is the most important thing to have to go along with shooting skills. One thing more….only if everybody open carried would I consider myself open carrying. For security it is better to NOT draw attention to yourself.

    • Mountain Trekker says:

      Gary just for fun let me ask you, if you was a bank robber and you walked into the bank and there was an openly armed guard and three other openly armed customers, what would you do. Now on the other hand there was an openly armed guard and three customers carrying concealed, what would you do? And remember a man with a concealed gun had better never confront a man with a gun in his hand. Trekker Out. Just A Thought.

      • If there were four visible armed people, regardless of who/what they were…….I would turn and walk out to seek a safer environment for my illegal activity. If only one visibly armed, I would attempt robbing the bank. I see where you are going with this, but the fact is……in today’s society to find three civilians openly armed in a public venue that is not a sporting or gun event has the same chance of happening as finding a snow ball in hell. The open carry supporters are not wrong in wanting to exercise their right and try to reduce fear of open carry, but it just isn’t going to happen. That is the point I was trying to make, one person open carrying is a target, you would have to have the majority open carrying to reduce the size of the bulls eye on your back.

      • Oh by the way…..I have my CCP and so does all my seven kids and wife. We all carry.

      • “… a man with a concealed gun had better never confront a man with a gun in his hand…”

        Why? Is there some hard and fast rule that says a man with a gun in hand is invincible? That he will always know who is going to shoot?

        I’m confused. (not really, but for purposes of this post… I’m one of those type who’d draw and shoot the perp despite his having a gun in hand.)

        • Mountain Trekker says:

          Dream on JSW, if your carrying concealed or for that matter carrying open, if the perp has a gun in his hand, no he ain’t invincible but he better have his back turn when you go for your gun cause chances are your going to be dead. Trekker Out.

          • Mountain Trekkar; Sometimes the perp isn’t expecting a person to draw. I’ve seen some mighty fast people at gun events. They all had pretty cool heads and knew when to ‘make their move’. I think each individuals need to size up the situation at hand.

            Speaking only for myself, if a gun is pointed directly at me, I doubt I would be going for a gun. But then, someone who is open carrying has already put themselves on the radar.

  18. As a female, senior citizen, I feel it would be careless and imprudent of me to open carry. Thugs would simply consider me an easy target. And, I would probably look pretty ridiculous anyway.

    I do conceal carry most every time I leave my house. I don’t or need the attention of carrying openly. For me, at my age, the element of surprise would be my greatest asset.

    Just my thoughts on the subject. 🙂

  19. Since I am only speaking for myself on this situation. My money is on concealed carry.
    But let’s look at another aspect.
    The recent social rage of citizens protecting recruitment centers. The news media always shows people open carrying in front of the centers.
    1. They are less than worthless, because they will be gone in the first volley.
    2. They have left behind more weapons and ammunition for the perpetrators.
    3. Have they even taken the time to determine safe lanes of fire to protect law abiding citizen as caught in the crossfire.

    • I think it was more of making a statement than protection. But even a little protection is better than none.

      • Again, this is only my opinion. Untrained citizens protecting United States Marines is a joke. Armed Marines are trained to protect themselves and those around them. Give them the right to carry weapons and let the cowboys stay home. The cowboys will get the wrong people killed. You can help our servicemen more by voting representatives into office that won’t tie the hands of the people defending this country. Would I lay my life down for them or an innocent? I, certainly, would. Am I trained to do what the United States Marines do? No, I’m not. I respect the difference.

    • How many of those standing in the gap for those recruiters are military trained or have already been in harm’s way since ’91?
      To assume all, or any, will drop arms and flee at the first sign of trouble is “stinkin’ thinkin'”. Worse thinking is to compare what you’re seeing with your perception of your abilities. You may be a cowboy, but those guarding the recruiting stations are at least cowboying up.

      • People have to understand the importance of their choices and not be following some social craze just because they see it on the evening news.
        Carrying a weapon has responsibility involved. Using a weapon to end the imminent threat of death dramatically escalates that responsibility. Just be sure of what you are signing on for.

  20. AMEN

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