Folks who have attended or Florida concealed carry class know, in Florida, open carry is permissible under certain circumstances. In short, so long as you are engaged in, going to, or returning from fishing, camping, or lawful hunting, you may carry your weapon in plain sight. In addition, if you are manufacturing, repairing, or dealing in firearms, you may carry your own weapon in plain sight. Finally, you may carry your weapon in plain sight if you are firing weapons for testing or target practice under sage, lawful conditions.
Many states permit open carry while others allow doing so with a license. Quite a few states do not permit open carry whatsoever.
While we are limited to concealed carry in most instances in Florida, the question remains: Which is better? We explore this question in our Florida concealed carry class, and we conclude that there are a number of benefits to open and concealed, so the real question is: Which do you prefer.
This might be an obvious difference between the two styles, but the main difference is in presentation. Do you want the bad guys to know you are carrying a firearm? One school of thought says that open carry shows that they are serious—and no one can argue with that. The other school disagrees with the effectiveness of this, saying bearing arms in this fashion makes you the first target.
While both arguments are logical, we advise both parties to assess whether or not you are already the first target. If you are, open carry is more appealing.
In general, open carry makes presentation easier—the time it takes you to draw your weapon. That being said, a well-practiced gun owner is able to retrieve his or her concealed weapon relatively quickly. The more you train, like that received in our Florida concealed carry class the less difference this makes.
In conclusion, the choice is yours. Measure your needs. If you are alone and operating a station at night, feel you are an obvious target, open carry may be the superior choice. If you are enjoying dinner in a full restaurant, concealed carry is the best defense.
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