Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -( Open carry at The Vertical Church in Yuma is common. It is not so common to see a rifleman outside of the front entrance.

The Church takes security seriously. There is a dedicated security team that has several members at each service. Some members carry openly, some carry discreetly.

There is nearly always double coverage as most security team members serve at one service and attend worship at another.

Team members switch between open carry and discreet carry as is convenient.

Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

An open carrier with a Glock in a retention holster on his belt is making a purchase at the Church snack counter.

Members of the security team have a high percentage of active, former, and retired military and police. The Church is located less than a mile from the Marine Corps Air Station. Yuma Proving Grounds is only 20 miles away, and most people who work there live in Yuma.

Yuma is a favored retirement area for members of the military, many of whom became familiar with the area while on active duty. Arizona is a state the supports the Second Amendment. It is a Constitutional Carry or permitless carry state. No permit is required to carry, openly or discretely, if you are 21 years old. 18 to 20-year-olds carry openly without a permit.

The members of the security team maintain contact over a radio net. In addition to designated areas of responsibility, some members rove the entire complex and parking lots during services.

The exact percentage of the membership with military or police experience is unknown. While assigned to roving duty, I have counted the number of vehicles parked facing out, as a percentage of the overall number of parked vehicles. Parking facing out is known as “combat parking“.

All members of military and police forces are taught to combat park, for safety and operational reasons. Combat parking does not take any more time than parking face in because the vehicle has to be backed out if it is parked face in.

Combat parking allows for speedy and safe movement away from the parking area if necessary. Most accidents are backing accidents. Backing accidents are more common backing out than backing in. Once combat parking becomes a habit, it tends to stick.

Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

On Sunday, when the rifle picture was taken, the 19th of November, 2017, 27 percent of the vehicles parked for Church services were combat parked. The percentage of combat parked vehicles has been consistently between 25 and 30 percent for the last couple of years.

Many Church members who are not on the security team also carry, both openly and discretely. While the number who carry discretely is difficult to determine, several members that I did not know were armed, confided to me that they were armed at the church on a regular basis. Occasionally, I am able to “make” a church member that is not too concerned about the necessity of concealment while carrying discretely. It is easy to adopt a casual attitude when there is no legal penalty for such a minor indiscretion.

Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Jim Macklin

Selection of candidates often depends on campaign money from “The Establishment” public perception created by the MSM Senator McCain had a war record and was a prisoner of conflict [ it wasn’t a war, remember] where he was tortured and abused. He was injured when his A4 was shot down over enemy territory. As I recall his arms and shoulders were broken. I’ve seen movies of this. He was a brave man and a Marine aviator combat pilot. But I think his mind is not the same since his imprisonment. And brain cancer has not helped. Senator Flake I know… Read more »

Wild Bill

Macklin, that selection of candidates often depends on campaign money from “The Establishment”, but, now, Donald Trump is the head of the GOP. That makes our best chance at political revolt, the GOP. Flood the primaries!

James Higginbotham

i always backed my Pickup into our driveway, my wife just drives straight in lol.
and it wasn’t that many years ago most Men carried a handgun to church and also their Rifles but it’s those ANTI-GUNNERS who get all LATHERED UP AND WANT TO BITE THEIR ARMS OFF IF THEY EVEN SEE A FIREARM.


So you call that “combat parking”? Been doing that for decades, never knew that. I call it smart parking. Why? I suppose it goes back to my days of driivng big rigs, The thought of backing a fulllength dry van out of a lot and into a busy street without a spotter is enough to keep one awake at night. ALWAYS back in, when you can see everything, and control the traffic by virtue of placing an immovable object in front of them they cannot help but see, and avoid. Once everyone is stopped, then I can safely back in… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Tio, Yeah, it comes from tracked vehicle combat. There is actually a manual about it.


@tionico….once upon a time I had reason to check out the old law books concerning the newfangled horseless carriages. There actually were laws on the books where it was illegal to go nose first into a driveway. You had to back in, or you could get cited. I do not know when they changed the law, or if they even did. Just thought you might like to know.

Don Baker

For a state that is pro gun they have 2 anti gun US senators. One, the Flake is leaving, the other , McCain should have been voted out long ago.


Don Baker
As a resident of AZ I agree that Flake (well named) and McCain should have been voted out a long time ago. However, One Big Problem at election time. The only one(s) running again them were Democraps and sadly the votes went for the lesser of two evils.
All this said AZ has been voted the most gun friendly state in all of the good ole US of A more than once. The reason is because on the state level we have great pro gun legislators unlike ‘the’ Flake and McCain on the Federal level.


We have had armed security at our church for 10 years and have yet to need an AR-15 armed sentry outside the Sanctuary.

Jim Macklin

If I was going to be the “show piece armed security” outside I’d probably have a bayonet mounted in the scabbard. I’d probably have an M1 Garand since it was the last U.S. rifle designed with a bayonet as part of the design [ based on the extensive wooden hand-guards]. I’d have Thor’s Hammer, a 1911 and I might even have the sword Jesus said I should sell my cloak to get. Seriously, churches formed as defensive structures because being a a member of any religion that was not mainstream [ as Christian churches were 1900 years ago ] was… Read more »

Crotalus Maxximus

While the M-14 may or may not have been designed for bayonet mounting originally, I think it is the best looking rifle of the U.S. Military. Watching the USMC Silent Drill Team is an AWESOME display in precision. Combat parking? New term to me also. I guess that backing a truck up and into impossible places is just second nature to old truckers. I get a laugh out of people that cant use a mirror to back up. When I first started out my Mentor would smack me upside the head if I looked out the window to backup. The… Read more »


Funny thing Scotty boy, bet the folks in Texas didn’t think they needed one either…..oh wait!..….nevermind. Might as well be talking to a doorknob.

Wild Bill

@ScottM, Presuming, for the moment, everything that you have written is true, what is your point?

GunMetal Guy

“Combat Parking”? Is that what you call what I have been doing all these years? Shoot, I always called it the “UPS/FedEx Doctrine”: Don’t backup or make left turns unless you absolutely have to!

Ozark Muleskinner

I was taught “combat parking” as part of a commercial safe driving course provided by our company’s safety management department. Whatever you call it, it’s the best way to ensure optimum visibility and control of any vehicle both while parking and leaving a parking spot. Concerning the AR-15s carried by the Church’s security team, it’s just common sense as evidenced by the recent shooting in Texas. Good luck taking down a bad guy with a gun if he comes prepared with even minimal body armor. In a firefight, a pistol is best used to fight your way to a rifle.… Read more »