Open Carry

What is Open Carry? 
Open Carry means to openly carry a gun in public where it is not hidden from common observation. Some states specify that open carry occurs when the weapon is “partially visible,” while others may require the weapon to be “fully visible” to be considered carried openly. 

Open Carry Laws generally fall into one of four categories: 

  • Permissive Open Carry States — Allow you to openly carry a gun without a permit or license (includes Alaska, New Mexico and West Virginia).
  • Licensed Open Carry States — Allow gun owners to carry firearms openly only after they are issued a permit or license (includes Connecticut, Indiana and Utah).
  • Anomalous Open Carry States — Carrying a gun openly may be generally lawful under state law, but local governments may pass gun laws that are more restrictive than the state’s laws (California).
  • Non-Permissive Open Carry States — Carrying a gun openly is against state law, or is legal only in limited circumstances (e.g., while hunting) or when legally used for self-defense (includes the District of Columbia, New York and South Carolina).
Open Carry States

Related Articles From the USCCA Blog

Firearms Retention Starts with Concealment
Firearms Retention Starts with Concealment
Kevin Michalowski — May 19, 2017
Video Proof Open Carry Doesn’t Work
Video Proof Open Carry Doesn’t Work
Kevin Michalowski — May 16, 2016
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer for a specific case.