Open Carry States 2019
In the United States, carrying a firearm is legal. However, how it is carried is dictated by the laws of the state. In some states, concealed carry is legal, which means that the gun can be carried on a licensed person but must not be visible to other people.
On the other hand, some states have what is known as open carry, which means that a person can carry their firearm legally in a holster or attached to a sling so that it is easily accessible. It does not need to be concealed from other people.
In recent years, more states are making open carry legal. The argument in favor of open carry is that criminals usually hide their weapons, while law-abiding citizens should not be forced to conceal their weapons.
On the other side, gun control groups have voiced their opposition to the practice of open carry. Even so, many states allow open carry, at least in some situations. When discussing open carry, there are several different categories of the law.
The first is permissive open carry. This means that it is legal to carry a firearm on foot and in a vehicle openly. A license or permit is not required to open carry in these states. States and territories with permissive laws are:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Northern Mariana Islands
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
There are also states with permissive open carry with local restrictions. These states generally allow open carry without a license, but there may be restrictions on locations or modes of carrying for non-license holders. States with these laws include:
Other states are licensed open carry states. This means that a permit is required to carry a handgun openly. States with these laws include:
- American Samoa
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
There are also anomalous open carry states. This means that open carry is against the law for the most part, except unincorporated areas with population densities that fall below a certain threshold. The only state with these laws is the state of California.