Jeff, the best thing you can do is brush up on your state's open carry and concealed carry laws, so that YOU know the law and understand it. Then, believe it or not, he next best thing is to walk up to a cop and just chat him up! Do this first unarmed, for your sake, and just ask him what the LEO Climate towards open carry is like. This is best done when they are getting gas, coffee, lunch or other mundane settings - do not approach while they are writing tickets or other LEO work! Most officers are happy to give you 10 minutes to clarify a question. If he honestly doesn't know, ask him for a referral to someone in the department that handles the subject. If your problem is LEOs perception of you, it's best to ask a LEO! I do this EVERY time I move to a new area/state/city.
As far as the general public, just don't fiddle with your gun. Readjusting, removing, changing position is all done at home, in your car, or a locked bathroom stall. Don't, under any circumstances, lean on it with your elbow, rest your hand on it as a brace, readjust your pants or shirt over it or anything else involving the gun. Playing with it is what makes everyone nervous! However, if you just walk through a public place normally, even with a slight "printing," no one will pay you one bit of attention! They're too busy updating their Facebook page and making sure they're on schedule to make it home for "Dancing With the Stars." They don't care one whit about you...until you give them reason to. Besides, only LEOs and other CCW holders know what "printing" looks like. If you have a CCW, neither one of those groups cares if your carrying - the rest aren't paying any attention. My wife and I practice at the mall spotting those with carry guns just for fun! I warned a guy once he was about to lose his gun (cheap nylon holster with no belt) to save his CCW and avoid another embarrassing "gun nut" news story.
Use a stiff gun belt, a great fitted holster, and you will have nothing to worry about! Your gun will ride with you for years to come. If you want a little extra confidence in the beginning, get a gun cover. Just a very light, thin shirt or vest that you wear over everything - it should be a size bigger or longer (tall sizes) to give extra coverage. You wear it unbuttoned over your regular shirt and just let it hang free. The extra free-floating layer makes spotting a gun in a proper holster nearly Impossible.
Good luck and enjoy!
“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem." (I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.). Thomas Jefferson
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
-Edmund Burke, Loosely translated from Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents. (1770)
Last edited by TekGreg; 07-25-2013 at 08:35 AM.