Which States Have Open Carry Laws?

Thirty-one states, including Colorado, Vermont and Kentucky, allow firearms to be carried openly without a permit, says the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Thirteen states allow open carry with a permit, including Massachusetts and Oklahoma. California and Texas are among the six states that prohibit open carry of any firearm.

Illinois, Florida, California and the District of Columbia prohibit openly carrying any firearms, notes the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. In Texas, South Carolina and New York, the open carry of handguns is illegal but not long guns such as rifles and shotguns. New Jersey, Minnesota and Massachusetts allow the open carry of long guns but not pistols. Thirteen states require a permit to open carry, including Indiana and Oklahoma.

Even in states that allow the open carry of various types of firearms, certain restrictions may apply to specific locations, such as government buildings, schools, public transportation and places where alcohol is served, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Some states that allow the open carry of firearms require they be unloaded. Although Pennsylvania and Virginia generally allow open carry, certain cities in these states place limits. Even in states where it is legal to openly carry guns, private businesses are allowed to establish their own policies that may forbid customers with firearms on the premises.