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Old September 28, 2007, 08:28 PM   #1
Double Naught Spy
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State Fair of Texas 2007 Fanny Packs Observation

I have read the threads about how gun folks assume anyone with a fanny pack is carrying a gun. I work in Fair Park, Dallas, which is where the Texas State Fair is hosted. I am sure some of y'all have gotten the update from the TSRA saying that the same policy is in effect that if you are carrying and have a license, you have to wait for a supervisor to inspect your license and all that other garbage. From what I understand from folks at the park, that see a fair number of CHLs, but not really a lot.

This was opening day. I had some time to kill today because of the wreck on I-35 (fatality that is on my route home) that had traffic at a standstill, so I hung out. Between my lunch out and later in the afternoon, I spent nearly 3 hours roaming the park. Because so many people (usually men) don't like fanny packs or claim they are indicators of gun carry, I did an informal visual survey after I realized that there were quite a few people there with fanny packs. I spotted 73 fanny packs in the 3 hours. Of those 73, only 1 appeared to be a gunnysack, complete with extra zippers and pull tab. That isn't to say folks could not be carrying guns in the rest, only they were not of the sort that guns would normally be in that I have seen.

On top of that, most that I saw were carried by women. I was able to spot many in use, mostly by women and most of those were loaded with typical women purse gear. None of the women with fanny packs were carrying purses. None of the men with fanny packs were carrying purses either, but I did see a couple of men with purses.

Interpretation? I saw a lot of fanny packs, but by and large, they did not appear to be containing guns...which is in contrast to gun folks' common beliefs that anyone with a fanny pack is carrying a gun.

Why would I believe most of the folks I saw were not carrying guns in the packs? Mostly because none of the packs looked like gunnysacks and I saw people using their fanny packs as fanny packs to carry necessary items like wallets, phones, keys, coupons, etc. Gun folks are often quite bad about only carrying their gun in their fanny pack and carrying their wallet in their back pocket, keys hanging out of a pocket, phone and wallet on clips, etc. They carry everything that might normally go in a fanny pack anywhere but in the fanny pack. So if they are wearing a fanny pack and carry all their gear everywhere else, then what is in the pack?

For the record, I own 3 fanny packs, two of which are designed to carry guns and one that isn't. The one that isn't has been used for gun carry in the past, but only for my more tiny guns.

As another interpretation, when I did see folks using their fanny packs, they were not terribly clandestine about hiding contents. Most gained access to the large main pockets and so opened up the packs such that contents could be readily seen. To be honest, I was impressed with some of the pack jobs I saw. I was also somewhat impressed by the sorts of wealth they contained. Of course, that could probably be said for most purses as well.

These sorts of open behaviors were mostly spotted in areas where people were buying food with coupons and were fishing coupons out of their packs.
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Old September 29, 2007, 09:59 PM   #2
PPGMD
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It depends where you are, I rarely see fanny packs other then on older people (in particular women).
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Old October 1, 2007, 12:04 PM   #3
sholling
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I've always felt that they screamed gun on a male, but it also depends on the fanny pack, the way it's carried, and the demeanor of the wearer. The one that always comes to mind was a guy at the mall. He must have been 5'7" and 135lbs sopping wet. His fanny pack was worn to the front and was large enough to carry a medium sized video camera or 6" 44 magnum. But it was the look in his eyes, daring anyone to confront him that was the biggest giveaway. The man might as well have been wearing a sign proclaiming "go ahead punk, make my day".
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Old October 1, 2007, 12:12 PM   #4
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Tourist Areas

In tourist areas I see lots of people of all ages carring fanny packs in front. Some seem to be carring camera gear, others look like they'er just trying to avoid pickpockets.
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Old October 1, 2007, 02:04 PM   #5
FirstFreedom
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That's because Texas fans carry little Bevos around in those fanny packs, for throwing at the OU players' heads during the game. Both our teams sucked nards this last week, so that makes Saturday high stakes for conference play.

Question: Which screams gun more - standard fanny pack or a Safepacker pack?

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Old October 2, 2007, 05:00 AM   #6
685cmj
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Mostly the people who hear backpacks or fanny packs screaming "gun!" are really only hearing the voices in their own heads.

Last edited by 685cmj; October 2, 2007 at 10:45 AM.
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Old October 2, 2007, 06:39 AM   #7
ForksLaPush
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Quote:
you have to wait for a supervisor to inspect your license
They can't just teach the gate people what a license looks like? That would free up the supervisors to ride the ferris wheel.
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Old October 2, 2007, 07:43 AM   #8
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
Question: Which screams gun more - standard fanny pack or a Safepacker pack?
For those who know guns and gun gear, they know that the vast majority of fanny packs are not designed for carrying guns and are not used for carrying guns. They are used mostly for their primary intended purpose, just to simply carry generic personal gear such as wallet, keys, phone, etc.

How many folks use a safepacker for carrying things other than a gun?

After 4 days of the State Fair, I have yet to see a person with a safepacker.

I did spot an ankle holster on a uniformed cop.
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Old October 2, 2007, 10:21 AM   #9
FirstFreedom
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OK, DNS, fair enough, but to a NON-gun person, do you think that they would think:

safepacker=gun more than fannypack=gun, or less, or about the same?

I have no idea; just wondering if folks would think "oh, that must be a camera in there" - i.e. is there some entrenched distinct association in the public's eye now with fanny packs worn on the belly as equalling "gun", which the safepacker can overcome to some extent?

Last edited by FirstFreedom; October 2, 2007 at 02:37 PM.
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Old October 2, 2007, 06:06 PM   #10
Double Naught Spy
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To a non-gun person, I don't think a safe packer or a fanny pack mean a darned thing. Then again, untucked Hawaiian shirts don't mean anything to them either.

I do think that when they see enough people with them, they just become background noise. Nobody thinks much of backpacks on college campuses as they are part of the norm. Fanny packs at the State Fair are all over the place...just more background noise like cotton candy, screaming kids, and grumpy parents.
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Old October 2, 2007, 10:58 PM   #11
sholling
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Quote:
Mostly the people who hear backpacks or fanny packs screaming "gun!" are really only hearing the voices in their own heads.
Or maybe it has more to do where you live. Around here I might see a fanny pack on a male once every several of months. Usually when I do it's hung from a friend's shoulder, he's a LEO and hates wearing IWB holders when he's off duty. And it's never around his waist. The small brightly colored things around a girls waist don't scream gun. Medium-large black leather and especially heavy-duty gray or charcoal ballistic nylon on a male and I take note. Those sporting readily apparent zippers with pull cords over strangely placed compartments catch my eye to. But hey I'm a gun guy and try to be aware of my surroundings. I think they call it situational awareness. Anyway take heart - I'm sure that most non-gun people pay very little attention other than thinking fashion faux pas on a male.
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