Open carry laws allow the citizens to carry firearms in plain sight. Similar to other gun laws, the finer details mostly vary from state to state. Some don’t implement any restrictions on open carry, some require the gun carrier to have a permit, some restrict the type of guns that can be openly carried, while some restrict certain areas where open carry is permitted.

There are a total of merely 7 states that forbid open carry, and majority of them are in the Southern part of the country. These states are Washington DC, New York, Illinois, Florida, South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Taxes. In this group, District of Columbia, New York, and Illinois are the only jurisdictions with stricter firearm laws. Others have comparatively lenient laws.

In majority of the areas, there are really few individuals who open carry and all the implemented laws are typically ignored. There are certain exceptions, especially during a gun rights protest or a gathering where gun owners are encouraged to open carry in order to promote the open carry culture.

The open carry laws, in some cases, divide the community of gun rights, usually supported by small or student groups that National Rifle Association is overlooking their issues. For example, the issue about Starbucks shops and open carry of firearms. Many have been debating about whether it is right to forbid open carry during political rallies and presidential speeches. Some claim it doesn’t bring out a positive image if citizens are openly carrying guns during such speeches and rallies but others argue that as per the Second Amendment, it is the right of every individual to openly carry a gun in everyday life even during the presidential speeches and rallies.

Another school of thought is that concealed carry has a better impact on the crime rates as it is obviously easier to identify an individual openly carrying a gun rather than someone who is concealing the firearm. In the latter case, the attacker is least likely to identify the potential target. Due to the small number of individuals who openly carry, little research has been done to determine if it can really help in decreasing the crime rates. The concealed carry has a bigger spotlight during gun control or gun laws issues and debates, which is why open carry hasn’t been much researched about and has fewer laws as compared to concealed carry.