When Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America reacted to Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott’s (R) pledge to sign open carry legislation by vowing to “fight” it, they missed the fact that he wasn’t promoting a novel idea but a noble one already allowable in 44 states with various stipulations.
On August 22, The Wall Street Journal published a Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence map listing the 44 states in which open carry is legal. Some of these states allow open carry without a permit, while others require a permit before open carry is allowable.
According to the Law Center map, open carry is allowable in “Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Delaware, Alaska, Utah, Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Missouri, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii.”
It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the gun laws in these states before attempting to carry a gun in any manner, especially since laws may be loosened or tightened at any time and penalties for making a mistake in each state are vastly different. For example, while an individual without a felony who is 21 years or older can carry a handgun concealed or openly in Arizona without a permit, the Hawaii Rifle Association reports that “concealed carry and open carry are felonies [in Hawaii] without a permit to do so from the chief of police from your county.”
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