A man openly carrying a handgun at a fast food restaurant in Eagle, Colorado. Taken from the Open carry in the United States Wikipedia article.

U.S. Open Carry Policies

We took information from the Open carry in the United States Wikipedia article and imported it as a table into Silk to create the map you can see below. It shows the status of open carry, by state or other jurisdiction.

In the United States, open carry refers to the practice of "openly carrying a firearm in public", as distinguished from concealed carry, where firearms cannot be seen by the casual observer.

The practice of open carry, where gun owners openly carry firearms while they go about their daily business, has seen an increase in the U.S. in recent years.

The Silk media team created this to show what you can do with Silk as a data platform, in less than 30 minutes. Feel free to embed the map anywhere (though attribution would be nice), and contact us with any questions.

Categories of Law

Today in the United States, the laws vary from state to state regarding open carry of firearms. In the Wikipedia article Open carry in the United States the categories are defined as follows:

  1. Permissive open carry states: A state has passed full preemption of all firearms laws. They do not prohibit open carry for all non-prohibited citizens and do not require a permit or license to open carry. Open carry is lawful on foot and in a motor vehicle.
  2. Licensed open carry states:  state has passed full preemption of all firearms laws. They permit open carry of a handgun to all non-prohibited citizens once they have been issued a permit or license. Open carry of a handgun is lawful on foot and in a motor vehicle. 
  3. Anomalous open carry states: The legality of open carry varies within state, based on local policies.

  4. Non-permissive open carry states: In these states, open carry of a handgun is not lawful, or is only lawful under such a limited set of circumstances that public carry is effectively prohibited. Such limited circumstances may include when hunting, or while traveling to/from hunting locations, while on property controlled by the person carrying, or for lawful self-defense.

Map with the status of open carry, by state or other jurisdiction
Page Title
Status of open carry
Page Title
ArkansasThe legal status of open carry is in dispute. Act 746 was intended to clarify the Journey clause, which states that travelers can carry a weapon when leaving their usual areas. Many interpreted this new wording of the law to mean open carry was now accepted as legal. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel stated that his interpretation of Act 746 was that it did not allow open carry. This has yet to be sufficiently clarified. Some local authorities continue to prosecute open carry cases under the pre-existing ban, while officials in other counties will no longer arrest individuals openly carrying without some other cause to do so. However, it is not illegal to openly carry rifles and shotguns.AnomalousArkansas
CaliforniaOpen carry legal in rural counties with local ordinances allowing open carry. Some of these counties issue a permit for open carry.AnomalousCalifornia
ColoradoOpen carry without a license permitted statewide, except in the City and County of Denver (where open carry is prohibited by local ordinances that pre-date Colorado's statewide pre-emption law).PermissiveColorado
ConnecticutOpen carry with a valid pistol permit is legal statewide. Connecticut is Shall-Issue, with Limited Discretion for granting pistol permits. State law does not address the open carry of long guns; restrictions on long gun carry vary throughout Connecticut based on local policies.LicensedConnecticut
DelawareNo permit or special license required.PermissiveDelaware
District of ColumbiaCivilian open carry is not allowed in the District of Columbia.Non- PermissiveDistrict of Columbia
FloridaThe constitutionality of the general ban on open carry is currently being challenged in the Florida 4th District Court of Appeals case of Norman v. StateNon- PermissiveFlorida
Georgia, USLicenses granted on a Shall-Issue basis.LicensedGeorgia, US
HawaiiLicenses rarely issued to ordinary citizens. Licenses valid in the issuing county only.LicensedHawaii
IllinoisNon- PermissiveIllinois
IndianaLicenses granted on a Shall Issue basis. Preemption law enacted in 2011. Indiana recognizes firearms carry licenses issued by all other states.LicensedIndiana
KansasKansas HB 2578 voided all local carry laws as of July 1st 2014, Making Kansas a Permissive State.PermissiveKansas
LouisianaOpen carry is legal in Louisiana. Attorney General Opinion No. 78-0795 - The AG replies to two questions: "1. Is it legal to carry an exposed handgun?" and "2. Do Parishes and/or Municipalities have the power to regulate the carrying of exposed handguns?" The AG responds, "the carrying of an exposed handgun is not illegal, except as provided in LSA R.S. 14:95.1." And citing City of Shreveport V. Curry and City of Shreveport V. Bukhett, 357 S.2d 1078, (LA. 1978) the AG answers " It is the opinion of this office that the state statutes aforementioned have the purpose of establishing a general scheme to control weapons (handguns) and that a fair reading of those statutes show this would constitute an area in which the state has preempted the legislative control and has implicitly authorized the carrying of unconcealed weapons. Therefore, an ordinance enacted by a Parish and/or Municipality regulating the carrying of exposed handguns would be without effect as being in conflict with State Law.PermissiveLouisiana
MaineOpen carry on foot without a permit legal statewide. A valid Maine concealed carry permit is required to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle.PermissiveMaine
MarylandLicenses are rarely issued to ordinary citizens. However, no permit is required to openly carry a rifle or shotgun.LicensedMaryland
MassachusettsPistol permits are issued by local authorities on a May-Issue basis. Ability to obtain a pistol permit varies between localities. Pistol permits are valid statewide, regardless of where they were issued. In practice, open carry is highly discouraged by authorities, and one may be charged with Disorderly Conduct or Breach of Peace if open carry causes public alarm. Open carry of long guns prohibited.LicensedMassachusetts
MichiganNo License needed for open carry (not in a Vehicle). A valid Concealed Pistol License (CPL) is required to carry in a vehicle and are granted on a Shall-Issue basis.PermissiveMichigan
MinnesotaLicenses are granted on a Shall-Issue basisLicensedMinnesota
MissouriState preemption was passed taking effect in October of 2014 and a concealed carry license is necessary.LicensedMissouri
New HampshireAnomalousNew Hampshire
New JerseyLicenses rarely granted to ordinary citizens. Open carry of long guns prohibited.LicensedNew Jersey
New MexicoState law does not preempt tribal laws on Native American reservations, except when traversing a reservation on a state-owned highway. Some tribes do not permit open carry, while some others may require a tribal permit for open carry.PermissiveNew Mexico
New YorkSome rural counties issue permits for open carry (valid in the issuing county only). Open carry of long guns prohibited in most places, except while hunting in designated game reserves during open seasons.Non- PermissiveNew York
North CarolinaPermissiveNorth Carolina
North DakotaLicensedNorth Dakota
OhioOhio is an open carry state. Open carry is not permitted in vehicles without a Concealed Handgun License. Local firearm laws were preempted in 2007.PermissiveOhio
OklahomaResidents of permitless carry states may openly carry without a license with a valid ID from their home state.LicensedOklahoma
OregonSome more populous locations (Portland, Salem, etc.) have ordinances restricting open carry. Persons with concealed carry licenses are exempt from local open carry restrictions.AnomalousOregon
PennsylvaniaLicense to carry needed to open carry in a motor vehicle or in a city of the first class (pop over 1,000,000—currently only Philadelphia falls into this category)AnomalousPennsylvania
Rhode IslandOpen carry of handguns permitted with permit issued by the Attorney General's Office. No permit required to carry long guns.LicensedRhode Island
South CarolinaNon- PermissiveSouth Carolina
South DakotaPermissiveSouth Dakota
TexasOpen carry of handguns not yet legal in Texas, but individuals with concealed carry licenses will be allowed to openly carry pistols and revolvers starting Jan 1, 2016. Two separate bills to permit licensed open carry effective Jan 1, 2016 (Senate Bill 17 and House Bill 910) have been approved their respective chambers and each are awaiting consideration in the opposite chamber or a House-Senate Conference Committee. Amendments to House Bill 910 were adopted in a House-Senate Conference Committee and approved by both chambers of the Texas Legislature and sent to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature on May 29, 2015. Governor Abbott has indicated he will sign any open carry bill that reaches his desk. Texas law does not prohibit the open carry of long guns in public and provides for preemption of local government firearms law.Non- PermissiveTexas
UtahA license is required to openly carry a loaded firearm (e.g., a live round of ammunition in the firing chamber of the weapon). No license necessary when the weapon is unloaded and exposed.LicensedUtah
Washington StateOpen Carry is legal without a license, but to carry a handgun loaded in a vehicle one needs a concealed pistol license (CPL). Carry of loaded rifles and shotguns in vehicles is also restricted, per RCW 77.15.460PermissiveWashington State
West VirginiaPermissiveWest Virginia
WisconsinSection 32 of 2011 Wisconsin Act 35 (codified as Wis. Stat. 167.31(2)(b), removed the vehicle carry restriction for handguns. However, what constitutes open carry is defined by case law. If one does not possess a Wisconsin concealed weapons license (or a qualifying out of state license), ensuring that the weapon is visible from the outside is essential.PermissiveWisconsin

Click the circles to read notes on the status of open carry in that state or other jurisdiction.

Number of datacards grouped by Status of open carry

This table shows all the data. Use the filter on top to filter on the open carry status.

Made with Silk

Silk is a place to explore the world through data. Silk displays data as beautiful interactive charts, maps and web pages. Create your own free Silk now.

Follow @silkdotco on Twitter