Jerry Miculek’s Tips for Open and Concealed Carry

Jerry posted a video about the pros and cons of carrying a weapon. He has some good tips that some of you may have not considered before. He stresses the importance of awareness and the responsibility of carrying a weapon. He raises the concern of retention for the holster you decide to use. You should learn how to retain your weapon in case someone wants your firearm more than you do.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • TV-PressPass

    That umbrella really sells this video for me. Jerry is a gem

  • VeriAeq

    If only in PRM, hint; Maryland ;-(


    Jerry has a lot of great points, and most of them, surprise, is common sense.
    Unfortunately, firearm owners are human too and, well, common sense hasn’t blessed 100% of us. Good thing we got people like Jerry to keep us on our toes.

    And that video’s beginning, shows age isn’t a factor in trolling.

  • lucky survivor

    Lots of good advice.I wish i had watched a video with all this information. I can think of many who could benefit from this. Im glad I survived early incidents….makes me shudder to remember my mistakes.

    • Hyok Kim

      Another dangerous thing about open carry is one can be easily cold cocked (it doesn’t even have to be a closed fist, open palm strike or an elbow.

  • Ted Unlis

    Jerry did his level best to get the point across without coming right out and saying that only those lacking common sense stroll into Safeway with their favorite hog leg prominently displayed.

    His latent message was “It aint very smart to open carry in certain public settings, but if you insist on being not very smart, here are some things to consider”. And folks his assessment is spot on. You give up too much by going from concealed to open carry. Most of the open carry obsessed give little or no thought to and are completely ill-prepared in weapon retention practices or equipment.

    Luckily, even in States where open carry is the law, common sense prevails for the most part and hopefully common sense advice from folks like Jerry Miculek will sink in on at least a few of the open carry obsessed.

    • Nick

      There’s open carry, and then there’s making an asinine political statement, like the people who carry rifles around. Personally, I open carry, or atleast what I consider open carry. I use an OWB simply rugged holster and throw my shirt over it if I can, but don’t worry about it if I can’t. Regardless of whether you think your gun is concealed, people should practice retention, and getting into the mindset that no one knows you have a gun because you concealed it is just as dangerous. If you carry, you know what I mean when I say you can often pick it out when someone else is carrying, especially if they’re new to it.

  • dan citizen

    Where I work was very gun friendly until last month. Customers would come in almost daily with sidearms, they were welcomed, it was a non issue.

    Then 2 yahoos come in with slung ARs. It caused a lot of fuss with other customers as it was very crowded and they kept banging into people and merchandise. The owner politely asked them to keep their longarms outside. They flipped out saying it was their right and came back with a bunch of friends and a huge attitude the next day for an “open carry protest”

    Keep in mind they are a 1/4 mile onto private property at this point. The police ejected all of them and nearly confiscated all their toys.

    Now firearms are banned on the premises at all three of our facilities.

    • A.g.

      As a little bit parnoïd like I am, I ask myself about the real goal of those action or this kind of people.Did they act like this because they are really totaly stupids or did they look for, with an inside job, to ruins the public considération of guns owner and carry permit ?

    • davethegreat

      I consider these people a greater threat to my 2A rights than most politicians.

      We have some politicians who have been trying to limit my gun rights for decades without success, These “OC activists” have actually accomplished it, and in just a few months.

      • dan citizen

        before this incident my workplace rule was:
        “If you’re not waving it around in the air like Yosemite Sam, no problem”
        This worked for 80 years.
        Now even off duty officers must remove their sidearms.

    • Nick

      People like this just damage the image of gun owners in general. I open carry, but this is ridiculous. Carrying a sidearm in a good holster that keeps it in close to your body is one thing. Even though it’s on my belt, it’s not obnoxious and it’s not a giant red flag like walking in with a rifle. Someone walks into a store with a rifle, people have no choice but to take notice. There is no way to walk around a crowded store with a rifle and not look threatening.

      • dan citizen

        When I see a person open carrying a pistol the first thought I have is:
        “it’s safe, that guy has a sidearm if trouble arises”
        When I see a person open carrying a long gun I think:
        “I wonder what that guy is up to? What is he trying to prove?”

  • Joe Blow

    If you want to open carry rifle and increase the visual presence for “Psychological Decentralization” to firearms, why not start with the basic gun rack(even if it is empty or has a toy or bb gun in it) in the truck? Or rifle in a soft sleeve. Most non gun enthusiasts won’t get the plastic case has a gun but will most likely recognize the old standard soft gun case. You’re exposing them to the object without showing them the scary object. Safety and our blame the victim mentality says to stay away from a group of people carrying guns you don’t know for your safety. Short of being in uniform LEO or Military most non gun friendly people will become uncomfortable, if not scared…

    Both bring rifles out in the open and are in a non threatening way. Perhaps do the open carry rifle with everyone carrying kids’ cap guns in the flintlock musket style as a joke( which is really mocking people who say the 2nd A is about muskets). A fool could say things to a king that no else would dare. With comedy we can disarm people from their stance and fears by making them relaxed.

    Hard face tactics do not win anyone to your side. Think of the image of motorcycle rider in the ignorant public/media which contradicts the charity work and good deeds most motorcycle clubs do. The part of pushing back and changing the stereotype needs to be performed in a more friendly way.

    Simple way to look at, if someone walked up and ask you “would you shot someone?” How many would answer yes without first asking a bunch of qualifying questions, showing that you would but if you had no other choice. The faster you answer yes the more you confirm that gun owners are wanting to shoot people.

    Most people believe the “old west ” was full of gun fights with the “O.K. Corral” being the norm…. People forget that the ambassadors for our sport and think acting rough and tough is cool and fun, but it is bad for our image. Just look at how “BlackWater” remade their public image with the help of professionals. Those are the lessons we need to follow in that.

    • gunslinger

      are you talking about having a gun case on your back that holds a rifle? in that case i’m thinking most states will still considered that as ‘concealed’ and either not allowed, or require permits, and thus is not open carry.

      • Jow blow

        True and most likely correct in most areas (Rural LEO are probably more lenient in that area, being an exception). Thank you for pointing a major flaw in the strategy/thought process. I forgot how stupid the laws are about gun and knife cases being defined as concealed carry (or interpreted by ANTI-GUN LEOs and/or D.A./courts as such ), when they are pretty identifiable for exactly what they are. Especially when out in the open. Which shows how bad some laws are about concealment…. This is not like a gun in guitar case concealment, a gun sleeve/sock is pretty identifiable. Just like you expect ammo, in an ammo can. Despite the many other uses.

        Sadly it could be something like this,
        “….So your honor I had my knife on my belt, in its designated knife case for protection of the tool and so I wouldn’t loose it. The LEO was able to readily identify a knife case (leaving out the whole logo on them side issue for bonus identification clues ), yet it meets the definition of concealment? There was no intent to hide the object and the spirit of law surely was not written to outlaw obvious carrying cases. ” A holstered/stored weapon may be called concealed and is less preferred than it being in the hand? WTF?

        Also doesn’t saying “Hey Officer I have a knife /firearm on me or in______” break concealment? The weapon is no longer hidden and in unknowm location. I was taught(times were different and nowadays sadly the golden age may be unrecoverable) to openly address the officer and let them know.

        I grew up in a more suburb/rural area(inner/outer city school busing for racial balance was the (illegal) order of the day) in NC. The kind of school where rifles were left in the racks in truck windows(never stolen) and a portion of the students had already put in 2-4 hours of hard labor on the farm before coming to school and often still had the knives on their side. The school system had rules against such but the were so seldom enforced. No one thought anything of it and in theater /wood/auto shop classes borrowing one wasn’t a big deal.

        Which that doesn’t even cover all the volunteer firefighters(sad how many schools don’t have such qualified students on campus, especially with today’s issues) who carried knives/seat belt cutters/etc., that would would mass exit the school….(could you see that happening in today’s educational environment?)
        We have lost a lot of ground since even the late 1980’s and 1990’s. I wonder if the JROTC is even allowed drill rifles today. Back then, No one was afraid, nor did those guns and/or knives ever get used in fights. You could get a lost knife back at the High School’s lost and found…..

        Ironic and paradoxical to today’s school rules and militant behavior. This sure would stop a kid from reporting my knife fell out and/or was stolen for fear of punishment. And for kids who have farm chores the knife on the belt is hardly noticeable for weight, meaning hey get to school and can have an oh f*ck moment…Having to act like a criminal, instead of handing to the trusted school staff who give it back at the end of the day on their way home/to work on the farm.

        Back on subject , What If that was an “empty” soft cases? or barrels sticking out slightly? Maybe the rifles put together in teepee stack? between the tables? Although that drags businesses in to the fight which is bad publicity wise. They have insurance risk and want to stay out of the fight and have they have to choose the side, they choose the one didn’t bring the fight/drama into their business.

        General thought is along the lines of, if they can see the gun separate from the person. To help train their minds to separate the two. As one is an inanimate object and the other is person. Although that introduces the cognitive dissonance that the mass killers are like them and not something completely separate from them. Which is very disconcerting for their mind and comfort level to have conflicting thoughts.

        That whole seeing the bad guy as person and issues we need to deal with not just keep banning things because seriously England’s new great threat is the “war on the knife” and the kitchen knife types you are allowed is getting beyond insane. Cricket/baseball bats may be next maybe…. So some way to expose them and reintroduce the sight of firearms in a non threatening way to them. A group that may never go near the firearms and sporting goods depart in major chain stores. With less stores and catlogs listing the items for sale we’ve lost exposure and decentralization. A Simple look back that firearms and accessories were several pages and maybe are just one nowadays, is an issue. So a hard challenge to over come.

        Cosplayers have what look weapons and some are real (although real ones must be “”peace bound””), so there is a chance we can make similar non threatening appearences. Not that we all need to be in Storm trooper outfits with Sterlings…. Although somehow…. something similar…..

        I’m just trying to think of a way of getting the line shifted back to non confrontational, with a not so much in your face in mentality.

        Which being in the middle on many issues you see how both sides alienate the other before the message can even start to be communicated and when people dismiss the other side, an exchange of ideas and open debate fails .
        So how to slowly reintroducing the idea to their natural environment for being in the vision field but not needing to register an alarm?

        • dan

          I was a senior in highschool when columbine happened, it was pretty normal to see guns in the windows of pickups in the school parking lot (both student and teacher) especially during hunting season. After columbine our principle pulled all the students in and just told us tuck our guns behind our seats and lock our doors and knowing most of the boys carried knives he only said keep them with you at all times. I remember using one of my shotguns as a wall hanging prop in a play. Times have definitely changed, My town is still fairly rural but the facility at the school come from larger cities as do the sheriff deputies we currently have so the rules have become more strict. Thankfully students are not being expelled for pointing fingers and saying bang or for play gun fights.

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  • Dragonheart

    I think a reality check is in order here. For what purpose do we need public open carry in
    Texas or anywhere else? We certainly do not need open carry for personal protection. In a
    situation of self-defense the element of surprise from a concealed carry is a
    huge asset. In any tactical situation, who do you take out first? Answer, the one that appears to be able to do you the most harm, and that would be a guy with a gun on his hip. One with a hidden gun would most likely go unnoticed.

    We certainly do not need public open carry to promote gun ownership or the 2nd Amendment. These nuts cases walking into a crowded theater or restaurant carrying an AR-15 at port arms instill terror and panic on the patrons. Exactly how do you think all these mass shootings started? Scare the hell out of men, women and children and expect support for gun rights, yeah right! And now you want to blame business owners for not wanting open carry on their premises? I don’t want you there either.

  • dehdeh

    Raised on a rural farm, I grew up with guns. In today’s world, I see a non-LEO doing open carry, and my instinct is to take cover and get my family out of there. No sense risking lives when it may be a murderous fool rather than just a bully.

    • Nick

      That’s kind of an alarmist statement, don’t you think? The ridiculous assholes who carry around a rifle and claim they’re “activists” for gun rights is one thing, but going immediately to condition red like that because someone has a gun holstered on their hip is something I would expect from someone who is unfamiliar with guns or the laws. I mean, unless open carry isn’t legal in your area. If I see someone with a gun on them, like in a holster on their hip, I go to condition orange, and just keep an eye out. I can understand your position though if they’ve got a rifle. That’s red right away. You’re either trying to provoke a response or you’re there to use it.

  • Anon. E Maus

    All that I ask of people openly carrying weapons is to please not look like Pvt. Gomer Pyle.

  • Jerry Sussman

    Hi. I’m coming late to this party but just happened upon this article. Much as I respect Jerry Miculek, I couldn’t get past the first 30 seconds of the video. This notwithstanding his suggestion that he was not against open carry. As a citizen of Virginia, I am offended by persons who decry open carry, regardless of how benevolent the suggestion. Many of those criticizing open carry are from states that do not allow it. Virginia does. And in Virginia, it is the default status: no permit is necessary.

    Moreover, in some cases, open carry is/was permitted where concealed carry was not (for example: until recently, you could open carry in a restaurant that served alcohol but couldn’t conceal carry). There ought to be no obligation upon an otherwise law-abiding citizen of Virginia to go through the additional step of securing–and periodically re-newing–a concealed carry permit if that person instead prefers to carry open.

    Insofar as guarding against someone coming up to the person open-carrying and steeling the handgun from the person carrying same, I think that that is pure hogwash. At its worst, it’s akin to blaming a woman wearing a short skirt for being raped (“she asked for it”). Further, I question whether there has been any serious study to back up the widespread myth that a person wearing a gun in open carry is more apt to be robbed of that gun that a person carrying a gun concealed. Police officers do it; why shouldn’t an ordinary citizen have that option? If desired, a retention holster is an option; some do and some don’t favor the use of same. I don’t, nor do I use a fingerprint ID to activate my trigger. My choice.

    In my neck of the woods, I routinely open-carry and have done so for years. I am treated courteously and respectfully by all. Some persons even have asked if I was a law enforcement officer–which I am not.

    Brandishing has nothing to do with open carry. That is a separate matter altogether and is prohibited in Virginia. A person carrying a long gun or handgun outside a holster or sheath under circumstances in which an ordinary person might be fearful of the weapon’s use may be brandishing–whether that person has a permit or not. Brandishing is unlawful. A person brandishing a firearm ought not to be allowed into a place of business, a shopping mall or any other place in which persons do not expect to see an openly displayed firearm. It is my understanding that, in Virginia, the place is almost irrelevant; some have been convicted of brandishing a firearm even in their own homes.

    Why did I get a concealed carry permit? I used to ride a motorcycle. With my leather jacket on, my holstered handgun that otherwise would be perceived an an open-carry became concealed. And it’s difficult to secure a loaded handgun in the “trunk” of a motorcycle that only has leather bags–some police consider that to be a concealed handgun.

    I have a right to open carry. Is is important to exercise that right. This is not to say that good judgment and common sense are to be ignored. It is to say that concealed carry is not inherently wrong or stupid or asking for trouble.