While you must usually obtain a concealed carry license to carry a concealed weapon in public, many states have no laws prohibiting openly carrying a loaded gun (however, states often restrict where you may carry a gun, such as prohibiting guns in a courthouse or on school property).
A minority of states (Florida, Illinois, and Texas, plus the District of Columbia) have laws prohibiting openly carrying a handgun in public. Florida, Massachusetts, and Minnesota also prohibit openly carrying long guns.
Other states—like California, North Dakota, and Utah—allow open carrying, but only of unloaded firearms. And still others (like Hawaii and Iowa) allow open carrying of loaded guns, but only with a permit.
Other laws may apply to openly carrying guns in vehicles. To learn more about that topic, see Can I carry a gun in my car? And for more information about gun permit and carry laws in your state, see Gun Control Laws, and click the link to your state under the section entitled, “Gun Laws by State”.
Getting Legal Advice
If you are unsure which laws apply to you, or if you are being charged with a crime involving a firearm, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case.