In public, weapon owners no longer gun-shy
Push effort to normalize open-carrying
By Nicholas Riccardi
Los Angeles Times / June 9, 2008
PROVO, Utah - For years, Kevin Jensen carried a pistol everywhere he went, tucked in a shoulder holster beneath his clothes.
In hot weather the holster was almost unbearable. Pressed against his skin, the firearm was heavy and uncomfortable. Hiding the weapon made Jensen feel like a criminal.
Then one evening he stumbled across a site that urged gun owners to do something revolutionary: Carry your gun openly for the world to see as you go about your business.
In most states there's no law against that.
Jensen decided to give it a try. A couple of days later, his gun was visible in a black holster strapped around his hip as he walked into a Costco. His heart raced as he ordered a Polish dog at the counter. No one called the police. No one stopped him.
Now Jensen carries his Glock 23 openly into his bank, restaurants, and shopping centers. He wore the gun to a Ron Paul rally. He and his wife, Clachelle, drop off their 5-year-old daughter at elementary school with pistols in their hip holsters and have never received a complaint or a wary look.
Jensen, 28, said he tries not to flaunt his gun. "We don't want to show up and say, 'Hey, we're here, we're armed, get used to it,' " he said. But he and others who publicly display their guns say they have a reason.