State Open Carrying of Guns

Open Carrying in Alabama

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alabama does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public.

See our Open Carrying of Firearms in Public policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Open Carrying in Alaska

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Alaska does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public.

See our Open Carrying of Firearms in Public policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Open Carrying in Arizona

Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Arizona does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public.1 In addition, in 2009, Arizona enacted a law explicitly authorizing the “defensive display of a firearm,” in certain situations.2

See our Open Carrying Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3102(B)(3) (exempting visible weapons from Arizona’s meager restrictions on the carrying of firearms in public). []
  2. 2009 Ariz. ALS 183 § 1 (codified as Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-421). []

Open Carrying in Arkansas

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Arkansas does not allow a handgun to be carried on or about the person, openly or concealed, if it is “readily available for use with a purpose to employ [it] as a weapon against a person.”1 However, it is a defense to prosecution for a violation of this section if at the time of the act of carrying a handgun, the person is:

  • In his or her own dwelling, place of business (excluding a “vehicular business” such as a taxi cab or other motor vehicle used for commercial purposes;2) or on property in which he or she has a possessory or proprietary interest;
  • Assisting a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or member of the armed forces acting in the course and scope of official duties pursuant to [their] direction or request;
  • Carrying a weapon when upon a journey;3. However, a firearm may not be carried through a commercial airport at the security checkpoint or in the person’s checked baggage if it is not a lawfully declared weapon. Id.))
  • Hunting game with a handgun under rules and regulations of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission, or is en route to or from a hunting area for the purpose of hunting game with a handgun;
  • In a motor vehicle and the holder of a valid license to carry a concealed weapon.4

See our Open Carrying policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(a). []
  2. See Boston v. State, 952 S.W.2d 671 (Ark. 1997). []
  3. See Riggins v. State, 703 S.W.2d 463, 464 (Ark. Ct. App. 1986), “[a] journey has long been defined as ‘where one travels a distance from home sufficient to carry him beyond the circle of his neighbors and general acquaintances and outside of the routine of his daily business…'” (citations omitted []
  4. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(c). []

Open Carrying in California

Posted on Monday, January 12th, 2015

Please see our Open Carrying policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Prior to 2012, it was legal for a gun owner in California to carry a handgun in public, as long as it was both unloaded and carried in plain sight. However, a 2011 California law, which took effect January 1, 2012, generally prohibits any person from carrying an exposed and unloaded handgun upon his or her person outside of a vehicle in a public place.1 This prohibition is subject to a number of exceptions, including for peace officers, military personnel, licensed hunters, and the carrying of an unloaded handgun in a locked container.2 The violation of this law is a misdemeanor in most cases.3

California law also prohibits the carrying in public, outside of a vehicle and on or about one’s person, of an unloaded long gun in any incorporated city or county.4 This is subject to several exceptions similar to those that apply to the open carrying of handguns in public, including exceptions for peace officers, licensed hunters, and military personnel.5 The violation of this law is a misdemeanor in most cases.6

Although the open carrying of loaded firearms (both handguns and long guns) in public is generally prohibited,7 when the population of a county is less than 200,000 persons, the sheriff of the county, or the chief of police of a city within that county, may issue a license to carry a loaded, exposed handgun.8 This license is only valid in the county where it is issued.9 This license is identical to a California concealed weapons license in all other respects. For more information about these licenses, and about the carrying of concealed firearms in California generally, see the Concealed Weapons Permitting in California section.

For more information about carrying firearms in vehicles, see our Guns in Vehicles in California section.

  1. Cal. Penal Code §§ 17030, 26350. []
  2. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26361-26391. []
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 26350(b). []
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 26400. []
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 26405. []
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 26400(b)(1). []
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 25850. []
  8. Cal. Penal Code §§ 26150, 26155. []
  9. Id. []

Open Carrying in Colorado

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Colorado does not prohibit the open carrying of handguns or long guns in public, and no permit or license is required.

Local governments may enact regulations prohibiting open carrying of firearms in a building or specific area within the local government’s jurisdiction, as long as signs are posted to that effect.1

For a comprehensive discussion of this issue, see our Open Carrying policy summary.

  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 29-11.7-104. []

Open Carrying in Connecticut

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Connecticut generally requires that any person seeking to carry a pistol or revolver, whether openly or concealed, obtain a state permit.1 This requirement does not apply to possession within a person’s dwelling or place of business.2

Connecticut has no law that specifically restricts the open carrying of a long gun in public.

See our Open Carrying of Firearms in Public policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-35(a). []
  2. Id. []

Open Carrying in Delaware

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Delaware does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms in public.

See our Open Carrying policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Open Carrying in Florida

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Florida generally prohibits the open carrying of a firearm.1 Persons licensed to carry a concealed firearm in Florida who possess a firearm in a concealed manner may “briefly and openly display” the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the gun is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.2

Florida also prohibits the exhibition of a firearm in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, in the presence of one or more persons.3

See our Open Carrying of Firearms in Public policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.053(1). []
  2. Id. Florida Statutes § 790.053 does not apply to various military personnel, law enforcement officers, government employees, security guards, messengers, regularly enrolled members of shooting or firearms collecting clubs (while at or going to/from club events), persons “engaged in fishing, camping, or lawful hunting” (or while going to/from such expeditions), or persons possessing arms at their home or place of business, among others. Fla. Stat. § 790.25(3). []
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.10. []

Open Carrying in Georgia

Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Georgia allows any person to openly carry a handgun if the person has a “weapons carry” license.1 Georgia also allows any person to openly carry a long gun.2 In fact, if a long gun is carried while it is loaded, it must be carried openly.3

See our Open Carrying of Firearms in Public policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-11-125.1(5), 16-11-126(c), (h)(1). []
  2. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-126(b). []
  3. Id. []