So I went to the Del Mar Gun Show today to buy some ammo, mags and other accessories and while there I open carried my Tracker, sans ammunition so that I didn't commit any felonies while there.
After picking up a nice block of 9x18 Makarov ammo (Miwall bastards didn't tell me there was a $3 charge for using a credit card...), I saw the Cold War Shooters sign and table and decided to pay them a visit. As I approached the table, I noticed that a fellow Calgunner, grammaton76 (crap! don't know your first name!), was working there! After I introduced myself (not a celebrity yet ;) ) we talked about the meeting coming up on the 28th and about the Westfield UTC open carry outing. As it turns out, grammaton76 knows some of the security guys at Westfield UTC had sent them an email via the Westfield UTC comment box on how what we were doing was legal and that there should be no worry. (This explains all the "Westfield Corporation" hits I was receiving shortly aftwerwards :) ) He apologized for not PMing me that tibit of information (forgot to) but I was pretty glad that he sent them that since he has experience with them and I don't!
While we were talking about this topic, I was approached by SD Sheriff R.R. Silva and questioned about my Tracker. Here is how the conversation went (grammaton76, correct me if I am wrong!)
-Excuse me. I know that you are allowed to open carry a gun as long as it is unloaded, but is that unloaded?
-Um, I checked it in at the door and it was cleared so yeah, it is unloaded.
-Well, you could have loaded it after getting into the show
-That would be a felony.
(Sheriff's friend with a little more common sense chimes in) - It is unloaded, there is a ziptag on it.
-OK, have a nice day.
Oh Sheriff Silva, lets look over your thought process, or lack thereof...
1) If I were a person that wanted to carry a gun into a gun show that was loaded, I would probably conceal it and not tell the officers at the door about it.
2) If I were to conceal the gun coming in, why would I expose it while in the show? I didn't even bring a jacket with me and I am using an OWB pancake holster with a decently sized .44mag revolver so there is no way I could have concealed it anyways.
3) Why would there be a GIGANTIC ZIP TIE around the hammer and frame of my gun and a BLUE TAG deeming the gun loaded if it were loaded? It is exposed with NO retention so he could totally see the unloaded indicators.
4) Why harass a guy about his gun maybe being loaded if that guy is talking about doing unloaded open carry?
As one can see, there are several logical hurdles that he had to overcome before he could have even asked the question but he managed to bulldoze (emphasis on "doze") through them in a matter of seconds.
While I understand that cops have a job to do, they put their lives on the line everyday, etc, it still is lame to be confronted as being a criminal when you are obviously doing nothing wrong and there is no real compulsion to engage in yet ANOTHER 12031 unloaded check, especially at a gun show.
PHEW! Well, on with my story.
After buying some .44mag and .44spl, MREs and some Ruger MKII magazines, I had to go to my car to secure the Tracker so I could go back in and pick up the .44mag and spl ammunition (again, trying not to get caught on a felony). On the way out, I stopped by the San Diego County Gun Rights Committee booth to talk with them about Calguns.net, the upcoming open carry meet and other topics of general firearms interest and my stories were well-accepted. I was invited to attend some NRA meeting in the Santee/El Cajon area tonight for a show-and-tell but I declined as I have homework to accomplish (totally sucks, as Chuck Michel is going to be there tonight!). I do hope to attend some of the other functions put on by the San Diego County Gun Rights Committee in the near future.
With that, I am going to email them and get the word about Feb 28th and then bust out some O-Chem. Adios for now and Carry On!