Open Carrying in Arkansas

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 attempt to unlawfully employ [it] as a weapon against a person.”1 The statute does not apply 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.4
  • 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.5

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

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(a). See also Ark. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2015-064 (Aug. 28, 2015)(interpreting § 5-73-120(a) to allow a person to carry a handgun openly, but not concealed, without a permit so long as he or she does not have a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun against a person.
  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. Id., See also Ark. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2015-064 (Aug. 28, 2015)(interpreting the journey exception to apply when a person is in the process of traveling by vehicle outside his or her county and only while the handgun remains in a vehicle.
  5. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(c).

Open Carrying in California

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.

Notes
  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 New York

New York prohibits the possession of a “loaded” handgun outside of the home or place of business without a carry license.1 The state also prohibits any person from possessing a “loaded” short-barreled shotgun or rifle or an assault weapon outside of his or her home or place of business.2 The prohibition on possessing an assault weapon extends to unloaded assault weapons.3 The term “loaded firearm” includes any firearm possessed by a person who also possesses any ammunition which may be discharged by the firearm, whether the firearm is loaded or unloaded.4 New York does not issue licenses to carry handguns openly.5

New York has no law restricting the open carrying of long guns in public.

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

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.03(3).
  2. Id.
  3. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.02(7).
  4. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.00(15).
  5. See N.Y. Penal Code § 400.00.

Open Carrying in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania generally allows the open carrying of firearms without a license. However, in Philadelphia (the only “city of the first class”),1 a license is required to openly carry a firearm.2

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

Notes
  1. 53 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 101.
  2. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. §§ 6108-6109.

Open Carrying in New Jersey

New Jersey law does not explicitly prohibit the open carrying of a handgun in public if the possessor has a valid permit to carry a handgun.1

New Jersey allows the open carrying of long guns (i.e. rifles and shotguns) if the possessor has a valid Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.2 New Jersey prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a loaded long gun, with certain exceptions.3

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

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5b.
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5c(1).
  3. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-5c(2).

Open Carrying in Illinois

Illinois prohibits any person from knowingly carrying or possessing a firearm upon any public place or lands within the corporate limits of a city, village or incorporated town, except on the person’s own land, in his or her own home or fixed place of business, on the land or in the legal dwelling of another person as an invitee with that person’s permission, or when invited on public lands for the purpose of the display of a firearm or the lawful commerce in firearms.1 The statute does not apply to transportation of firearms that are: 1) broken down in a non-functioning state; 2) not immediately accessible; or 3) unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person with a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card.2 Various additional exceptions apply, including open carrying for hunting and target shooting.3

Regarding handguns, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, adopted in 2013, provides that an individual with a valid license to carry a concealed firearm may lawfully carry a loaded or unloaded handgun partially concealed on or about his or her person.4 Thus, while a person – whether a concealed carry licensee or not – is prohibited from knowingly carrying a fully unconcealed handgun in public, a concealed carry licensee may lawfully carry a partially exposed handgun.

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

Notes
  1. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-1(a)(10).
  2. Id.
  3. See 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-2(b).
  4. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 66/10(c)(1).

Open Carrying in Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not restrict the carrying of unconcealed, loaded firearms in public.

In addition, in 2011, as part of its new law regarding licenses to carry concealed firearms, Wisconsin enacted a provision that prevents a person from being in violation or charged with a violation of an ordinance of a political subdivision relating to disorderly conduct or other inappropriate behavior for loading, carrying, or going armed with a firearm, without regard to whether the firearm is loaded or is concealed or openly carried, unless other facts and circumstances indicate a criminal or malicious intent on the part of the person.1

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

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 66.0409(6).