Open Carry States List


After reading about protesters bringing guns to anti-Obama rallies, I grew curious about which states are open-carry; that is, they allow people to carry guns in public, as long as the guns are visible. I made this list from the map graphic at

Open carry states:

New Mexico
South Dakota

Open carry–with restrictions (eg. permit requirements):

North Dakota
New Jersey
Rhode Island

Many other states have their own versions of open carry–eg. it is allowed in some rural areas of California. See the map for details.

Using a loaded gun to demonstrate your right to bear arms at a presidential event is a dumb idea. Maybe you’re a responsible gun owner, but what about the 50 people next to you? Who’s to say someone won’t get excited and start firing? And if that happens, the government will be even more interested in restricting gun rights. Demonstrators either need to keep their guns unloaded, or not bring them at all.

  • JR

    Can your projection bias and paranoia, recognize that we are innocent until proven guilty in America, and that criminals are deterred by, and avoid, hard targets.

  • Richard

    Wow…for one, who’s going to know whether it’s loaded or not? And for two, if you don’t excersize it your right, you’ll lose it. More people need to do this.

  • Open carry is not a common thing. It is rarely seen so is often an issue for many people who don’t trust guns or people with guns. Personally I wish every state was open carry. Crime would plummet and respect for each other would sky rocket. You would learn to control your temper and mouth much better when you realize the guy or girl you are screaming at is carrying a loaded weapon.

    Anytime the President is involved (regardless of who is in that seat at the time) weapons will always be restricted in that area. The Secret Service works diligently to keep him alive and won’t put him at risk. But the comment was made about protesters carrying guns to an anti Obama rally. Not where he was speaking, so what is the point? The city I live in recently passed a ban on handguns in the city park because the state had passed a law allowing it. The one commissioner who voted for it was a woman who wanted to be safer when she walked in the park.

    Guns and the 2nd amendment are what provide the freedom our country is beginning to take for granted. An armed populace is important to remind Congress and our leaders that the Constitution allows us the option of starting over. I doubt it comes to that any time soon but it is better to be prepared and carrying than to be caught wanting.

  • Steven

    Carrying an unloaded firearm is pointless and stupid. It would be like carryig a shovel handle. The only reason for doing so would be over concerns of losing control over it and if this were a concern one should not be carrying at all or carry concealed.

  • ym

    the people protesting our 2nd ammendment are people that live in upper class societies, and project all the fear of illegal gun owners on the ones that have the right, and legally own their firearms, thus if we legal gun owners lose our second ammendment, all that is going to happen will be civil dispute, and illegal gun ownership rates to increase, I agree with Mr. Lovington in that everyone should carry in occordance with the law, and that better to have one and not need it, then need one and not have it…

  • Bill

    So why are you calling it an “Anti-Obama Rally” The people there were not against the president they were opposed to his agenda. It should have been called an “Anti Government take over rally.” If you are in a crowd of 100 people who are armed what are the chances you draw your weapon and get off more one shot before you are dropped by the secret service or the 99 other armed patriots in the crowd?

  • Isaac

    Wow… you are such a wuss. Do you get scared when people are cooking with knives and meat tenderizers? You must shake in your boots at baseball games because they hold those “EVIL BATS”. You need to get out more and stop watching Bill O’Reilly.

  • Yllw

    I Open Carry every day everywhere. It’s always loaded.
    What good is an unloaded gun?
    $500+ club.
    That’s why it’s always loaded.

    Stay safe

  • Schultz

    I live in MD! One of the most restrictive states. I’m going to get my non resident permits and make a road trip just so I can carry. Also to open carry states!

  • Phillip

    I joined the military i am going to carry at all times (when off the base). I don’t see why every military member shouldn’t have the option to carry on or off base. I mean thats what we are trained for. And w are the ARMED forces.

  • Passin Thru

    A bullet travelling at 650 FPS, beat the police to the perpatrator by 5 minutes. Not a problem with me. My problem is living in VA and crossing that little strip of MD to get to PA, I’m illegal for 23 mi and MD wont give me a permit. You have to show a threat to your person or family. I have the RIGHT to bear arms, but MD takes away my right for 23 minutes. There are so many regs against CCW you cant keep up and I travel a lot.

  • Lawrence McSwain

    Delaware is also an open carry state.

  • Meggu

    Wow, I’m actually a little supprised that Michigan isn’t open carry. We’re all about protecting people rights to bare arms. Of course that’s mostly because of the shear number of hunters we have up here.

  • Mike Sharp

    Oh to have the sanity of “Open Carry” laws in the U.K. The Crown Prosecution Service and the Police have more concern for criminals than their victims. In countries where I have lived, previously, (South Africa and Rhodesia) criminals were positively deterred by a fire arm being carried or in a residence.
    My sincere best wishes to you all,
    Mike Sharp (Sgt – Retired RRhAF)

  • Tim

    Michigan is an open carry state. It is not on this list and I dont know why. The city of Warren where I live in the past would stop you for open carry because of city ordinance. They have changed the law because a city can not take away a right that the state says is law.I open carry all the time. I have been where police have been called to, I told them up front that I had an open carry on me they said no problem just keep in in the holster.

  • Nick Genovesi

    TN is a open state but the cops still bust your balls if they even see your gun they empty your bullets on the ground and say its for there safety then give you back your empty gun thats bull crap

  • Ramrod

    I left my office at 1:30 AM the other day, in the most violent city in Florida. I looked down and saw I needed gas. I drive an expensive automobile. I certainly wished for open carry when I pulled into a well-lighted gas station and noted 8-10 people there who were obviously loitering…

  • gary harvey

    maine is also a opencarry state we always have been!on your belt or on a sling fully loaded and at battery

  • john

    new hampshire is open carry also

  • alvin c york

    If you open carry it is like saying to a criminal,” hit me on the head from behind and take my $800 gun” The same could be said for people who wear martial arts tee shirts,” i know karate so you better hit me on the back of the head with a lead pipe or i’ll kick your ass.”

  • English Only

    Bloggers who cannot spell basic english words should not debate important subjects online.It makes you and your cause seem,stupid.Learn to spell those simple words correctly then reenter the fight deserving of respect.fore instance,” our right to bare arms”, it should be bear not bare.

  • Rick

    Another reason for a State to allow a Citizen the Right To Carry Law! Had that been in Arizona and the few other States that allow Open Carry, Tommie would have been shot before he killed the young Lady! I’ll bet Tommie didn’t have a permit! Wake up, before it happens again there! Legal Law Abiding Citizens are granted that RIGHT, unless their State’s Restrict it, which is so wrong! And before you Liberals start crying, Crime Rates go down in Right To Carry States! With me, my Ruger is like my Master Card, I don’t leave home with out mine!

  • Myron Goodrum

    First of all the 2nd Amendment reads: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    What part of “shall not be infringed” do the Federal or State governments not understand?

    Second of all, neither the “Constitution” nor the “Bill of Rights” grants us any “rights”! Both are strict limitations on the power “WE” give our government to “protect” our sovereign rights as a free people. Thus, our rights do not come from the government. Both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are limits on government’s ability to take away or tamper with our natural rights as humans to life, liberty and the pursuit of our happiness.

    Our ability for self-protection cannot be subjected to government regulatory whim because “we the people” never gave government that power or responsibility over our day to day lives. We specifically stated in the Bill Of Rights that our right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed! Infringed – verb, 1. disobey or disregard something – transitive verb to fail to obey a law or regulation or observe the terms of an agreement (as in the agreement between the people and its government, which is expressed in the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights…the Supreme Law of the land) 2. encroach on somebody’s rights or property – transitive and intransitive verb to take over land, rights, privileges, or activities that belong to somebody else, especially in a minor or gradual way; also, infringing on our personal freedom – (as in the current out poring of rules, restrictions, gun laws, fee’s, registrations, permits, and licensing schemes cooked up by local, state and federal legislators to “restrict and control” our rights to keep and bear arms)

    Any attempt of government to ‘restrict or control’ how we the people can exercise our natural right (usually through rules, fee’s, permits and licesensing schemes) clearly violates the Second Amendment of the Constitution by encroaching on our sovereign right to keep and bear arms.

    Local, state and federal gun laws are disregarding the Supreme Law of the land with their attempts to control and regulate how we the people chose to exercise our inalienable right to self protection by their out-poring of gun schemes.

    It is our right to keep and bear arms, it’s not a state controlled privilege we must get permission for!

    Could it be any simpler than that?

    Myron Goodrum

  • I’m for open carry. I ride motorcycles around the country. I spend some night’s in road side parks. I feel safe just knowing my gun is at my side. Ya, I get a lot of nasty look’s as I ride by, but so what. It’s one of my rights to carry, and I do. I live in Topeka Kansas, and our city just passed a law permitting us to carry in town, of course I alway have, but it’s a comfort to know I can now. God Bless the U>S>A>

  • Gary Fink

    I travel across the country and occasionally have had to remove my firearm from my truck to hide it via GPS in lock box to drive into Canada.

    Some states (your list is not complete since Pennsylvania is not on it) do have open carry but law enforcement personnel are ignorant of the law just as some citizens.

    “To Protect and To Serve” is a lie promoted by law enforcement to give the illusion that they are there to protect the common citizen when, in fact, and by State and Federal Constitution, they are not required to do so.

    The 2nd Amendment was put in place to allow people to defend themselves from tyranny from within (it came about with the freedom from slavery and gave all Americans, especially those with new found freedoms, the ability to protect themselves from the Klu Klux Klan and other Democrat factions).

    Martin Luther King was a Republican for a reason. He did not believe that Socialism was the way to govern a nation and his efforts to awaken a sleeping nation were a testament to that. He would be shamed at what is going on now in Government as well as ashamed at his own race for putting a Socialist in for a President.

    It is just as racist to vote for a President because he is Black as not to vote for him for the same reason.

    I carry to defend myself because I can’t rely on a police officer to prevent crime,… I am always reading about them responding to crimes committed but rarely (the occasional off duty police officer) do I read about a policeman stopping a crime from being committed.

  • moe-t

    I open carry every day to my shop. It is a tattoo shop so we get all kinds of shady characters coming through the door.I live in coldwater MI where there is a definate meth problem, so I am thankful to GOD for the right to protect my family, home, and business. There also seems to be a really bad sex offender problem here in coldwater, chomos everywhere.I dont care if I may be sent to prison, No one is going to harm my children or my wife, and it is my GOD given right to protect them from rapoes and chomos. People always say,”why carry a gun, why not just call the cops?”Yeah right, the whole point is to prevent the crime from taking place,not to wait until the damage is already done.I respect law enforcement, but they can’t be there 24/7.

  • Brandon

    “Who’s to say someone won’t get excited and start firing?” How about the 50 people with guns next to that some ONE?

  • Facts [from:

    60% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they knew the victim was armed. 40% of convicted felons admitted that they avoided committing crimes when they thought the victim might be armed.
    Source: Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms by James Wright and Peter Rossi

    One Question I Must Ask:
    When was the last mass shooting at a gun range, a gun rally, a police station, in the armed forces or any other place with lots of openly armed gun owners? I cannot think of one since I came to this country from Germany over 10 years ago. But I remember a drive by shooting in my very nice neighborhood a couple of years ago :( Armed robberies are in the news almost every day. Unarmed people get shot all the time [most of them w/o a fight.]
    I’m carrying a concealed weapon now [mostly my Glock 30 with JHP AND permit :)]. But I’m thinking a lot: will I get to the gun fast enough if in need? Why not open carry and the assailant may have second thoughts and turn away? What if a robbery does not happen because the bank or gas station is filled with armed people like you and I? [we may never know] The robber’s risk of getting arrested by a citizen or even killed by a one of us carrying a 1911 [I admit the Model 500 S&W Magnum might be too big to carry comfortable :) ]may be a price most would not be willing to pay!!! How did we survive the cold war? Everybody armed and afraid to die – that’s why nobody pushed the button. Stimmts oder habe ich recht? [True or am I right? :)]
    Let’s get all through classes as we did for a CCW license, maybe even in High School’s senior year and maybe we all will be more respectful to each other as a side effect…

    Grüß Gott und Adé,


  • dbm

    michigan is open carry an not on this list i live in michigan and open carry with no ccw

  • Michael Bell

    Hi I live in Memphis,Tn I had a CCW permit for Mi when I moved here they allowed me to chaange it to a TN permit now my Mi exprired but my Tn permit is still good am I allowed to carry my pistol in Mi?

  • Bob

    Michigan is an OC state. No permit required. I OC everywhere not banned by the state, including city hall. You need to update your OC states.

  • John

    Alabama is an open carry state. If you carry in an auto you will need a permit. I am surprised (and disapointed) you have not listed it here.

  • anonymous

    An armed society is not a polite society… it’s a censored one.

  • Tim

    Don’t forget to add Washington state as an OPEN CARRY state

  • Richard Neva

    Work to end draconian laws on open carry, concealed carry or just owning a gun. It is an American right not a wrong. It is common knowledge that it reduces crime significantly. Police cannot be everywhere at once. A loaded hand gun commands respect! Read the Second Amendment if you still think we have a Constitution!

  • Mountie

    I live in south dakota and i open carry (rifle and pistol) at least 4 days a week. A lot of people are bitches but i dont care. If theyre scared i have a gun them maybe they should carry one too!