A Civilian’s Guide to Open Carry Laws and Safety

You can’t help but to feel a bit unsettled when you go out in public these days, especially crowded places with no metal detectors. And for good reason.

Research shows that the United States had 610 mass shootings in 2020. That’s almost two shootings daily. And these shootings led to more than 500 deaths and 2,500 injuries.

The good news? Open carry laws have been enacted in several states, and they can help with deterring criminal activity. 

Here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about gun ownership open carry laws and gun safety.

Let’s dig in!

Open Carry Laws

Open carry laws permit you to openly carry your firearm on your person while in public. This is the opposite of concealed carry, where you carry your gun in a way that is not visible to others.

A total of 31 states today permit gun owners to openly carry firearms without permits or licenses. Meanwhile, 15 states require permits to carry handguns.

Only five states ban people from carrying firearms openly in public. These include:

  • South Carolina
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • California 

A key benefit of open carry is that it makes your firearm accessible in emergency situations. It also keeps criminals from trying to target you. That’s because criminals are more likely to avoid armed individuals, who aren’t afraid to engage in gunfights.

Yet another advantage of open carry is that you can keep your gun in a holster designed for open carrying. This minimizes snags or scratches as you go about each day with your gun.

Open carry does have a drawback, however. Because your gun will be visible to others, it might make some people uncomfortable. That’s because guns carry a negative perception in some public circles today. 

Gun Safety Rules

If you decide to openly carry your firearm, you’ll need to exercise caution to keep both yourself and others safe.

For starters, make sure that your gun’s barrel remains clear of obstructions before you load or shoot your firearm.

In addition, if your firearm doesn’t fire when you pull the trigger, hold your position for shooting for multiple seconds. Afterward, carefully unload your gun, pointing your muzzle away from yourself and others.

Be sure to always use the correct ammunition for your firearm to avoid unexpected accidents, injury, or damage.

Finally, be cognizant of your environment when handling a gun. This will help you to avoid losing your balance and thus accidentally pointing your gun in an unsafe direction.

Take Advantage of Open Carry Laws Today

If you live in one of the states that allow open carry, then now couldn’t be a better time to take advantage of it. At the same time, if you plan to obtain a gun as well as a license to open carry, you must understand how to go about this safely.

Follow the abovementioned tips for safely handling a handgun as you tap into the benefits of open carry today.

Also, if you enjoyed reading this article, check out the rest of our website for more great content.

Leave a Reply