Which States Have Open Carry Laws | Open Carry States List (Updated 1-03-2023)

Which State’s Laws Allow Open Carry?

Which States have Open Carry: Kimber 1911 being carried openly in a Blade Tech OWB holster
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.

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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.

For States that Allow Concealed Carry, click here.

StateOpen Carry?Notes
AlabamaYesCannot carry in a vehicle or near a school without a permit. Alabama Open Carry, Constitutional Carry Gun Laws Info. Also see Alabama Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
AlaskaYesAlaska Gun Laws Info
ArizonaYesArizona Gun Laws Info. Also see: Firearms Legal Protection Plans
ArkansasMaybeProbably Legal. There is some conflicting information within the state. See handgunlaw.us/arkansas for details.
CaliforniaNoCalifornia is NOT a gun friendly state. Do yourself a favor and leave at once. California Gun Laws Info
ColoradoYesBe 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.
ConnecticutMaybeNot 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.
DelawareMaybeAlthough allowed by those 18 and older, 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.
FloridaNoOpen Carry is prohibited EVEN WITH A CCW PERMIT. However, Florida does allow Concealed carry with a permit. See Concealed Carry Laws in Florida and Florida Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
GeorgiaYesLong guns ONLY. A permit is needed to open carry a handgun in Georgia. See Constitutional Carry in Georgia. Georgia Gun Laws
See Georgia Concealed Carry Reciprocity
HawaiiYesYou need a permit to open carry in Hawaii and it is only good in the county that issued it. Getting a permit is extremely difficult.
IdahoYesPermitless open carry & concealed carry became legal for 18 & over as of March 2020.
IllinoisNoOpen Carry is NOT legal except on your own property. Not a gun-friendly state. Even with a permit, there are MANY restrictions. See Illinois Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
IndianaYesAs 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
IowaYesAs of July 1, 2021, Iowa is a permitless carry state for open carry as well as concealed carry for anyone at least 21 years old that may lawfully possess a handgun.
KansasYesKansas is a Permitless Carry State. No permit required statewide to Open Carry in Kansas as of July 1, 2014
KentuckyYesKentucky is a Permitless Carry State. No permit required statewide to Open or Concealed Carry.
LouisianaYesNo permit is required in Louisiana to Open Carry. Permit is required for Concealed Carry.
MaineYesMaine is a permitless Carry State. Open and Concealed carry are allowed without a permit. However, It is unknown how law enforcement treats open carry. Be Careful here. See Maine Constitutional Carry Laws and Maine Concealed Carry Reciprocity
MarylandNoMaryland is Not a gun-friendly state. Open Carry is only allowed on your own property or within your own place of business. See What States Allow Concealed Carry for recent law changes.
MassachusettsYesCertain Permit Required. Changes in License rules may or may not allow Open Carry with a License. However, Open Carry is still not recommended in this gun-unfriendly state, proceed with caution!
MichiganYesOpen Carry without a permit is allowed, but has additional restrictions such as: banks, churches, courts, theaters, sports arenas, hospitals, day cares and establishments that sell alcohol. Be Careful Here. See https://handgunlaw.us/states/michigan.pdf
MinnesotaYesOpen Carry is Legal ONLY with a permit in Minnesota.
MississippiYesOpen Carry in Mississippi is allowed with or without a permit. Certain places such as schools & University property requires a permit.
MissouriYesA concealed carry permit is required to Open Carry in Missouri.
MontanaYesNo permit is needed to Open Carry in Montana. Montana Gun Laws.
NebraskaYesNo permit is needed to Open Carry in Nebraska with the exception of Omaha and Lincoln.
NevadaYesOpen Carry is Legal in Nevada. Nevada Gun Laws Info
New HampshireYesA permit is not required to open carry in New Hampshire for those 18 years of age or older.
New JerseyNOOpen Carry is ONLY allowed in New Jersey on property or in businesses owned by you. New Jersey is an extremely gun unfriendly state.
New MexicoYesNo permit is needed to Open Carry in New Mexico for those 19 years old or older, but liquor establishments are off limits.
New YorkNOOpen Carry is not addressed in New York state law but since New York is an extremely gun unfriendly state, Open Carry would very likely NOT be allowed. 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 CarolinaYesOpen Carry without a permit is legal in North Carolina, however Cites may have their own laws. Be Careful here.
North DakotaYesOpen Carry is allowed in North Dakota but you Must have a permit.
OhioYesOpen Carry is allowed in Ohio with or without a permit for those 21 years of age or older. See Ohio Constitutional Carry Laws. Also Ohio Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
OklahomaYesEffective 11/1/19, A permit is no longer required to open carry in Oklahoma. OK is a Permitless Carry State.
OregonYesOpen Carry without a license is generally allowed in Oregon, but Not in some cities such as Portland, Beaverton, Tigard, Oregon City, Salem, Independence, and possibly others. Be careful here.
PennsylvaniaYesOpen carry without a permit is legal in Pennsylvania for those 18 and older. BUT not in a vehicle and not in Philadelphia without a permit. See article on PA Gun Laws
Rhode IslandYesMust have permit to Open Carry in Rhode Island.
South CarolinaYesEffective 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 and South Carolina Concealed Carry Reciprocity
South DakotaYesNo permit required to Open Carry in South Dakota, even in a vehicle so long as it is visible.
TennesseeYesEffective July, 1 2021, a permit is no longer needed to open carry in Tennessee for those 21 or older (18 if military). HOWEVER, there are requirements that other Permitless states do not have. See Tennessee Gun Laws. See Article on getting a Permit in Tennessee and Tennessee Concealed Carry Reciprocity
TexasYesOpen Carry without a permit is legal in Texas so long as the gun is in a holster. As of September 1, 2021, Texas has Constitutional Carry. Also see Texas Constitutional, Open & Concealed Carry Laws. Also See Texas Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
UtahYesOpen Carry is without a permit is legal in Utah. See Utah constitutional Carry and Utah Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
VermontYesOpen Carry is legal in Vermont. No permit needed
VirginiaYesNo permit is needed to Open Carry in Virginia. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP)
WashingtonYesOpen Carry without a permit is legal in Washington State, BUT Not in a vehicle without a permit.
West VirginiaYesOpen Carry is legal without a permit in West Virginia. Not in some municipalities such as Charleston or South Charleston and maybe others.
WisconsinYesOpen Carry is legal in Wisconsin. No permit needed but there are restrictions such as taverns, state parks, etc.
WyomingYesOpen Carry is allowed in Wyoming. No permit needed.
Washington D.C.NoNot 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. See Utah constitutional Carry.
  • 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.

10 thoughts on “Which States Have Open Carry Laws | Open Carry States List (Updated 1-03-2023)”

  1. I live in SC and wanted to let you know as of last year, 2021, we are allowed to open carry handguns but no rifles.

    Reply
    • So is permit required to open carry in SC and what does it mean not in your car? We have always been able to have permitless gun in home, business or car, but it had to be in glove box or console out of site and could be walked into your own business in a box. Have they changed the close carry laws yet in SC or is it still advisable to get one especially if you plan to travel to other states that recognize SC CCP?

      Reply
      • As of 8/15/21, According to Legal Heat: “Effective 8-15-21 anyone with a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP)may now openly carry a handgun on their person or in their vehicle. S.C. Code Ann. §16-23-20”

        Dave

        Reply

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