In the past few years, the number of states that allow open carry of firearms has increased significantly. This has sparked a lively debate in gun politics, and organized events have been held to increase public awareness. Supporters point to statistics and history, saying that the law-abiding citizen displaying their weapon is less likely to be targeted by criminals than hiding it. Almost every state in the US allows open carry, and the number is growing.
Open carry is the legal practice of carrying a firearm in public without concealing it. This is different from concealed carry, where the weapon is concealed and not visible to a casual observer. This practice involves keeping the firearm on your person in a holster or sling. When open carrying a firearm, it’s crucial to remember that carrying it directly in your hands constitutes brandishing, which is a serious crime.
Despite the legal benefits of open carry, the practice is also fraught with risks. Hate groups regularly carry guns in public as a display of intimidation. The most famous example of this is a self-styled “militia” that swept Charlottesville, VA in August 2017, with their weapons fully visible. The white supremacist who rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters was armed.
Although open carry has never been addressed by the United States Supreme Court, many municipalities and states do permit open carry. In some states, you must have a license to openly carry your firearm. There is no such requirement for open carry in vehicles. Moreover, state laws preempt local restrictions. For instance, the state of Arizona’s law does not preempt tribal laws in the reservation areas of Native Americans. You may need to obtain a tribal permit before you can openly carry your firearm.
Despite the widespread legality of open carry, some states still restrict this practice. While some countries allow open carry, others don’t, and others have restrictions. For example, Alabama and Michigan do not allow gun owners to openly carry a firearm, but they do allow gun owners to openly carry a handgun on private property. However, there are some exceptions. As a result, these laws must be followed.
What States Allow Open Carry? – While it is possible to carry a firearm in public without a permit, most states still require a license. Despite the lack of federal law, a permit is required in order to openly carry a firearm. But, while open carry is legal, some restrictions apply. If you want to carry a gun in a restaurant, you must have the license, while in Connecticut, a handgun can be carried in public places.