Which State’s Laws Allow Open Carry?
List of Open Carry States 2022
What states have open carry? The list of open carry states is constantly changing as each state enacts new laws or changes existing laws.
**Disclaimer. This information is not legal advice. It is your responsibility to know the laws where you will be carrying a firearm. Laws often change and I do not guarantee that this information is accurate at the time you read it, although I will make every effort to keep this page up to date.
It is important to know the laws in your state if you plan to open carry a firearm. The laws vary greatly by state. Some states require a permit to open carry and other states do not. There are also states that do not allow open carry at all. If a state does not require a permit to Open Carry or Concealed Carry, it is generally referred to as “Constitutional Carry“.
Here is an article on How Many States Have Constitutional Carry?
What is Open Carry?
Open Carry is to carry a firearm out in the open where it can be easily seen. This typically means a handgun that is holstered or a rifle that is on a sling and carried in a neutral, non-threatening way. Many states allow this practice, however in some states it is not a common practice and can cause police to be called on otherwise law-abiding open carriers. The guns can be loaded or unloaded, depending on the local laws.
Also see this article on What States have Concealed Carry Laws.
Who Would Open Carry?
Open carry is used by law enforcement, those in the security industry that are required to carry firearms and regular citizens that desire to have their firearm on their person for self defense.
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Are There Restrictions On Open Carry?
In this article I am going to tell you which states allow open carry. Please be aware that open carry does come with restrictions. A lot of states that allow open carry do not allow open carry inside a vehicle or at certain other specified locations.
Generally, most states allow open carry on your own property or place of business without any issues, although there are some states that severely restrict what kind of gun you own and how many rounds it can hold in the magazine. (I am looking at you, CA, NJ and NY)
Where applicable, I will note some of the more common restrictions on open carry for each state. It is also important to note that if you are a prohibited person (which means you may be a felon) or are prohibited from possessing a firearm you cannot open carry. This is simply because you’re not allowed to possess a firearm, period.
Here are the states that allow open carry, with any applicable notes you need to know. Gun laws are constantly changing, so please check your current laws to be sure. I will try to keep this up to date but I am not guaranteeing accuracy. It is ultimately up to you to know the laws where you will be carrying your firearm.
Open Carry States List
I am listing all the states and their Open Carry Policy. However, this is not a complete list of restrictions. Please check a resource such as USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association) or handgunlaw.us for current and detailed information. If a state is listed as “YES” and there are no additional notes, a permit is not needed to open carry, but there are always SOME restrictions as to where you can carry. Most of the restrictions are places such as courthouses, police stations, mental hospitals, correctional facilities, etc.
Also, this list applies to loaded guns. There are a few states that allow permit-less carry of an unloaded gun. In Utah, for example, you can carry a semi-automatic handgun without a round in the chamber and it is considered unloaded.
In addition, NO state allows a prohibited person (felon, mentally deficient, etc) to open carry or even possess a firearm.
|Alabama||Yes||Cannot carry in a vehicle or near a school without a permit. Alabama Open Carry, Constitutional Carry Gun Laws Info|
|Alaska||Yes||Alaska Gun Laws Info|
|Arizona||Yes||Arizona Gun Laws Info. Also see: Firearms Legal Protection Plans|
|Arkansas||Maybe||Probably Legal. There is some conflicting information within the state. See handgunlaw.us/arkansas for details.|
|California||No||California is NOT a gun friendly state. Do yourself a favor and leave at once. California Gun Laws Info|
|Colorado||Yes||Be careful here. Cities and Counties are allowed to enact their own laws and restrictions so check local laws. Denver prohibits Open Carry across the board.|
|Connecticut||Maybe||Not a gun-friendly state. State Law indicates Open Carry is allowed, but recent court cases indicate otherwise. We recommend NOT to Open Carry in Connecticut.|
|Delaware||Maybe||Although allowed, there is no case law that has put open carry to the test in Delaware, and at least one city, Dover, prohibits open carry. Be careful here.|
|Florida||No||However, Florida does allow Concealed carry with a permit and is reasonably gun-friendly. Florida Concealed Carry Reciprocity. Florida Gun Laws Info|
|Georgia||Yes||Long guns ONLY. A permit is needed to open carry a handgun in Georgia. See Constitutional Carry in Georgia. Georgia Gun Laws|
|Hawaii||Yes||You need a permit to open carry in Hawaii and it is only good in the county that issued it.|
|Idaho||Yes||Permitless concealed carry became legal as of March 2020.|
|Illinois||No||Not a gun-friendly state. Even with a permit, there are MANY restrictions.|
|Indiana||Yes||As of July 1, 2022, You no longer need a permit to Open Carry in Indiana. See: Indiana Constitutional Carry Gun Laws. Also see: Firearms Legal Protection Plans|
|Iowa||Yes||Permit is required to carry within city limits.|
|Kansas||Yes||No permit required statewide to Open Carry in Kansas as of July 1, 2014|
|Kentucky||Yes||No permit required statewide.|
|Louisiana||Yes||No permit required.|
|Maine||Yes||It is unknown how law enforcement treats open carry. Be Careful here. However, Maine is a permitless Carry State. See Maine Constitutional Carry Laws.|
|Maryland||No||Not a gun-friendly state. See What States Allow Concealed Carry for recent law changes.|
|Massachusetts||Yes||Permit Required. Open Carry is not recommended in this gun-unfriendly state, proceed with caution!|
|Michigan||Yes||Open Carry without a permit has additional restrictions such as: banks, churches, courts, theaters, sports arenas, hospitals, day cares and establishments that sell alcohol. See https://handgunlaw.us/states/michigan.pdf|
|Minnesota||Yes||You need a permit to open carry in Minnesota.|
|Mississippi||Yes||University property requires a permit.|
|Missouri||Yes||A concealed carry permit is required to open carry in Missouri.|
|Montana||Yes||No permit is needed to open carry in Montana. Montana Gun Laws.|
|Nebraska||Yes||No permit is needed to open carry with the exception of Omaha and Lincoln.|
|Nevada||Yes||Nevada Gun Laws Info|
|New Hampshire||Yes||A permit is not required to open carry in New Hampshire.|
|New Jersey||NO||New Jersey is an extremely gun unfriendly state.|
|New Mexico||Yes||No permit is needed to open carry, but liquor establishments are off limits.|
|New York||NO||New York is an extremely gun unfriendly state. Note: On June 24, 2022, the US Supreme Court handed down a ruling that New York’s restrictions on Concealed Carry Permits is Unconstitutional. New York Gun Laws Info|
|North Carolina||Yes||Cites may have their own laws. Be Careful here.|
|North Dakota||Yes||Must have a permit.|
|Ohio||Yes||Not in a vehicle without a permit. See Ohio Constitutional Carry Laws. Also Ohio Concealed Carry Reciprocity.|
|Oklahoma||Yes||Effective 11/1/19, A permit is no longer required to open carry in Oklahoma.|
|Oregon||Yes||Not in some cities such as Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Oregon City, Salem, Independence, and possibly others.|
|Pennsylvania||Yes||Not in a vehicle and not in Philadelphia without a permit. See article on PA Gun Laws|
|Rhode Island||Yes||Must have permit.|
|South Carolina||Yes||Effective 8-15-21, anyone with a Concealed Weapons Permit may openly carry a handgun on their person or in their vehicle. See South Carolina gun Laws Info|
|South Dakota||Yes||No permit required, even in a vehicle so long as it is visible.|
|Tennessee||Yes||Effective July, 1 2021, a permit is no longer needed to open carry in Tennessee for those 21 or older (18 if military). See Article on getting a Permit in Tennessee|
|Texas||Yes||As of September 1, 2021, Texas has Constitutional Carry. Also see Texas Constitutional, Open & Concealed Carry Laws|
|Utah||Yes||Must have permit|
|Vermont||Yes||No permit needed|
|Virginia||Yes||No permit needed. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP)|
|Washington||Yes||Not in a vehicle without a permit.|
|West Virginia||Yes||Not in some municipalities such as Charleston or South Charleston and maybe others.|
|Wisconsin||Yes||No permit needed but there are restrictions such as taverns, state parks, etc.|
|Wyoming||Yes||No permit needed|
|Washington D.C.||No||Not at the moment. They cannot make up their minds. See Additional Info on Washington DC gun laws here.|
What States Have Constitutional Carry?
There are 25 states that have some form of Constitutional Carry, also called “Permitless Carry”. They are listed below. Please note that each state has different restrictions on Constitutional Carry such as where you cannot carry, age restrictions and other rules. Here is the current list:
- Alabama: Law Passed, will be effective January 1, 2023. Minimum Age 21. Alabama Gun Laws.
- Alaska: Law Passed in 2003. Minimum Age 21.
- Arizona: Law Passed in 2010. Minimum Age 21.
- Arkansas: Law Passed in 2018. Minimum Age 18.
- Georgia: Law Passed April 12, 2022. Minimum Age 21, Active Military 18. Georgia Gun Laws Info.
- Idaho: Law Passed in 2016. Minimum Age 18
- Indiana: Law Passed July 1, 2022. Minimum Age 18. See Indiana Constitutional Carry Overview
- Iowa: Law Passed in 2021. Minimum Age 21.
- Kansas: Law Passed in 2015. Minimum Age 21
- Kentucky: Law Passed in 2019. Minimum Age 21
- Maine: Law Passed in 2015. Minimum Age 21, Active Members of the Military 18. See Maine Constitutional Carry Laws.
- Mississippi: Law Passed in 2015. Minimum Age 18
- Missouri: Law Passed in 2016. Minimum Age 19, Active Members of the Military 18.
- Montana: Law Passed in 2021. Minimum Age 18.
- New Hampshire: Law Passed in 2017. Minimum Age 18.
- North Dakota: Permitless Carry is for Concealed Carry Only. Open carry requires a permit. Law Passed in 2017. Minimum Age 18.
- Ohio: Law Passed June 12, 2022. Minimum Age 21. See Ohio Constitutional Carry Overview.
- Oklahoma: Law Passed in 2019. Minimum Age 21,Active Members of the Military 18.
- South Dakota: Law Passed in 2019. Minimum Age 18.
- Tennessee: Law Passed in 2021. Minimum Age 21, Active Members of the Military 18.
- Texas: Law Passed July, 1 2021. Minimum Age 21. See Texas Permitless Carry Overview
- Utah: Law Passed 5/5/2021. Minimum Age 21.
- Vermont: Law Passed in 1793 (not a typo), Minimum Age 18.
- West Virginia: Law Passed in 2016. Minimum Age 21.
- Wyoming: Law Passed in 2010. Minimum Age 21.
There you have the quick and basic Open Carry Laws of all 50 States. Please note that EVERY state has places that you cannot carry any gun, open or concealed. These places are usually courthouses, schools, prisons, mental institutions and other places. You must know these laws to stay out of trouble. Please refer to official websites for your particular states for more detailed information.