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Colorado law no longer makes a distinction on weapons carry based upon alcohol sales/presence. You can OC anywhere outside of Denver County unless the business posts a sign prohibiting weapons. You can CC anywhere including Denver. A business could technically prohibit CC (CRS 18-12-214 (5)) but would have to tailor a sign to specifically prohibit someone with a permit from doing so. I've never seen a sign like that, and the general "No Weapons" or "No Guns" signs don't resonably extend to CC.
This is a very good subject - CONVENIENCE STORES. I haven't yet OC'd in a CS in the Springs. Before I quit smoking ( a year ago ), I was in the local Loaf n' Jug almost every day to buy smokes, or a newspaper. The store clerks were familiar with me as a " regular "customer. I haven't been INSIDE that CS for about 6 months now- although I OC when fueling up at the pump. SOOOO....... I would feel more comfortable OC'ing as a "regular" than as a "stranger" in a CS. I don't think I would just "make the rounds" of CS's -OC'ing (especially "7-11's"= MORE robberies) - unless I was a recognizable "regular" - maybe a member of the daily morning "coffee club" at the CS. Plus - I think the "mirror gauge" would be helpful here.....when I look at myself in the mirror -as I would present myself in the CS- would I be "comfortable" with ME OC :?-IF I were the CS clerk ?
Great topic guys!!!
OC/CC in a CS brings a whole new level of Situational Awareness. They are widely known for being the targets of robberies at any time of day. CS's in bad areas? Odds go up, so should your SA Level.
The last place I'd want to be is in a tight little CS with almost no cover at all. Those shelves probably don't lend much to stopping 9mm or .45ACP. Talk about CQC!!!! Do a quick threat scan, get in, pay for your stuff, and get out.
Just my 2 cents, but I don't imagine that the vast majority of thugs robbing convenience stores are OCing with the weapon secured in a holster. Someone robbing a store isn't going to want you to see their weapon until they choose to surprise you with it. OC should make a clerk more comfortable from that point of view.
I think the other crucial element about OCing is that you need to be confident when doing it. When you walk around as if there is nothing different from your appearance and you are totally confident, bystanders pickup on that confidence and assume that you are a cop, or atleast what you're doing to perfectly legit and you are not a threat. If, however, you are nervous and unsure about yourself, people will pickup on that and feel more uncomfortable about you.
Now as to the issue of you being a target when OCing in a place like a convenience store. Certainly you've already shown your hand if you OC vs CC. But I think that anyone entering a convenience store with the intent to rob it would first want to checkout the enviroment including the people in the store. Seeing someone OCing will almost certainly deter thier intention because bad guys probably assume you are a cop. If, on the other hand, you happen to walk into a situation where the store is already being robbed at gunpoint, you are certainly more of a target wearing a gun, although you are already a target having been witness to the crime at all.
All in all, I don't think OCing in that situation is so much more dangerous for you or more threatening for the clerk that it should be avoided. Of course experience trumps a hypothesis, so if you find it doesn't work well, don't do it.
The reason the convenience store question came up is because, since I got my ccw in Dec 2007, I've been carrying concealed everywhere it's legal. But when the hot weather hit here in the SE plains, any concealing clothing tends to stay on the hangers. I know pretty much all the store clerks on sight, anyway, a few personally - but something put a bug up my butt about OCing in convenience stores, due to the innacurracies being reported about guns and alcohol. And I appreciate centsi's comment, which clarified the law.
All-in-all, though, I've been OCing everywhere in these two counties of Bent and Otero, and I've yet to have a confrontation. Yesterday, we were in MacDonalds, when two vans full of teenagers, all wearing the same tee-shirts, came in as I was paying for our order. Not a peep from a one of them, and I know they saw it. Then the sheriff came in with his family, and as we were leaving, his wife noticed my revolver (649 S&W .357 mag), and pointed it out to the good sheriff, who quickly looked at my side, looked me over, then went back to eating his french fries. As I explained to the little ones who are edgy around LEO's anyway (long story)... cops gotta eat, too.
I'm relating all this because I was not aware, even after getting my ccw, that open carry was perfectly legal here in CO. And now that I have been doing it for about three months, I've had nary a bad confrontation. I guess if some greenie LEO had raked me over the coals about it the first time I OC'd, I'd be much more reluctant to OC. But it didn't happen.
As to appropriate dress, I do forego my sandals when OCing. I wear shoes or boots, occasionally a cowboy hat, jeans and a polo shirt of some variety. That's the best you're gonna get out of me.
And now I'm becoming more confident in the knowledge that the "right to keep and bear arms", at least here in CO, means just that. And the comments and reportage of the law here in OpenCarry, did wonders for my belief in my decision to OC.
Never had an issue in a convenience store, as a matter of my job I know *most* 7-11 employees in the entire Denver metro area. But last weekend while a friend and I were up enjoying the mountains we stopped in Nederland at the gas station for a few drinks. There happened to be a cop standing outside the door, who had to see my XD in a serpa as I walked in and didn't even say a word.
I actually made a trip today from Durango to Pueblo and back stopping at numerous gas stations, antique shops (dad likes those antiques), and even a visitor center without any incident during OC'ing. The most attention I got was when I stopped at the visitor center and a stray cat decided to converse for two minutes.
Surprisingly, I was in the Conoco C/S at Constitution and Powers last week to buy a Coke - and the response from behind the counter was.... (searching for a fittingadjective here...) ............ "forgetable" ??? If anything might characterize my sense of the clerk's reception of me - it would be "comforting" ( at least the clerk felt "safe" while I was in the store.) I may be wanting to read too much positive reaction into this one experience in a C/S. I am getting a sense that we CAN BE RECEIVED as a POSITIVE ingredient within our community. There is definitely a "peace dividend" to be realized by the unarmed population. As OC becomes more common, the evil do'ers, lurkers, and others that don't "grasp" how economic theory is designed to work in everydaycommerce ( i.e. you WORK for $$$$$ - and PAY for goods !) will "move along".......