Concealed Carry vs Open Carry

open carry vs concealed carry

Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry

open carry vs concealed carry

The differences between concealed carry vs. open carry are important for handgun owners to consider when deciding to carry a weapon for self-defense.

Carrying a handgun for self-defense purposes is an increasingly popular idea amongst many people ranging from gun owners to previous victims of violent crimes. The world we live in today seems to get more and more dangerous with every day that passes. All you have to do is turn on the TV news or browse any news website and you will undoubtedly see or read a story about a shooting or other violent crime.

Having the ability and training to defend yourself, and other innocent bystanders, while in public is a privilege that gun owners do not want to give up. Unfortunately, there are many people who are against the idea of not only carrying a weapon for self-defense, but also gun ownership in general. Gun laws allow law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for self-defense regardless of what anti-gun advocates do or say. However, it is important to know the difference between concealed carry vs. open carry so that you may choose the option that is best for you and will allow you to have a handgun on your person for protection.

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States and American FlagIt is every American’s Constitutional right to openly carry a weapon on their person while in public. That is actually a very popular reason that many gun owners who open carry will give you as to why they prefer to open carry their gun. There are certain states where open carry is against the law or restricted and some other areas require a special license in order to legally open carry. Obviously, your location will determine whether or not open carry is a legitimate option for you or not. However, legality is not the only problem facing gun owners who open carry their sidearm in public.

Many different businesses have asked patrons to not bring their firearms into their stores or restaurants and have taken an anti-gun stance when it comes to the subject. Open carry also means that your handgun or sidearm is in plain sight of anyone you encounter while going about your business. That could potentially lead to people being uncomfortable or even worse in more extreme cases.

Comfort may be another issue that could factor in to your decision to open carry or carry a concealed weapon. It would be more difficult to concealed carry when wearing apparel suited for warm weather. Inner-waistband (IWB) holsters can be bulky for some individuals with a slighter build as well.

Concealed carry does have a lot of advantages to it over open carry. One of the great things about concealed carry is that it requires a license to do in all 50 states. Acquiring that license requires a training course that teaches people how to safely use their firearm and appropriate situations in which to use it. Better training equals more safety and that is something that all gun owners should be advocates of themselves. In states where open carry doesn’t require a license, people with no formal training with firearms would not be breaking any laws by openly carrying their guns.

concealed carryPeople in public would also be none the wiser to the fact that you are armed. Privacy is something that a lot of gun owners desire in their choice to arm themselves and avoiding any sort of scene caused by anti-gun individuals who spot a person openly carrying is ideal to the vast majority of them as well.

Open carrying will generally lead to more encounters with law enforcement. Even when open carry is done legally, that does not stop an easily startled or uneducated citizen from calling the police and reporting a person with a gun. That sort of hassle is something that most gun owners would prefer to avoid. That is nothing against law enforcement at all. They would simply be doing their job in responding to such a call, but causing that kind of disturbance in what is really a waste of the police officer’s time is better when avoided.

There is also a tactical disadvantage to open carry. It would be much easier for someone, whether it be a criminal, attacker, or other random person, to make a grab for your sidearm when it is plainly sitting on your hip. That is not to say they would be successful especially if you have a holster that is more than just single retention, but that sort of tactical disadvantage should really be avoided at all costs.

cloak tuck 3.0The bottom line in the concealed carry vs. open carry debate is that in most circumstances, concealed carry is the preferred method. There really isn’t a lot of positives that are gained by open carry. Sure, it doesn’t require a license in the majority of states and it might be a little more comfortable, but it also seems that most gun owners who open carry are trying to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proved.

Yes, bearing arms and the act of open carry are your Constitutional rights, but there is a point where only doing it for that specific reason becomes unnecessary. Avoiding conflict should be the goal of not only every gun owner, but every single person in general. That is much more easily done via the act of concealed carry and that is something that everyone considering the thought of arming themselves for self-defense purposes should think about when making their final decision.

belko-headshot Brian Belko is a freelance writer and blogger. His primary areas of focus include sports, the outdoors, technology and human interest, but he is proficient and comfortable covering a wide range of topics. In addition to his freelance work, Brian also writes for Wide Open Spaces and is on the Pro Staff at Military Hunting and Fishing. When he isn’t busy writing, Brian enjoys fishing farm ponds for bass and hitting the spring woods during turkey season. You can find more of his writing on his Facebook page at Brian Belko Writing. Facebook Page

guide to concealed carry guide to open carry

  • Imjingo

    “One of the great things about concealed carry is that it requires a license to do in all 50 states.”

    Am I reading something wrong here? Vermont has never required a license and there are 6 other states that now don’t require licenses either.

    • TexTopCat

      You are correct, the author is wrong. Now, I also take exception to the idea that “requires a license” is a great thing. No, it is not. Yes we all want armed citizens to have regular training, regular practice and keep tools is good order (regulated). That desire for training however is not something that government should be mandating.

  • TexTopCat

    “That could potentially lead to people being uncomfortable or even worse in more extreme cases.” – may be true, however, how do we fix this problem? The only way that I can think of is to have “open carry” become common enough that no one makes a fuss. Just as same sex couples a few years ago would cause a stir in public and now we do not even notice.

    If there is a better way, please tell us.

    • Deathdefiant

      Easy. You make concealed carry mandatory training for high school graduation in the state so that the impression it gives the public is that everyone is more likely carrying a concealed weapon than not, since everyone is definitely trained to do so. Then regardless of whether or not the majority of the public is actually carrying a firearm, the assumption for any potential criminal will logically have to be that they are.

  • TheWraith

    “Carrying a concealed firearm suggests to a criminal that you are
    unarmed. Every study says that criminals will avoid an armed person or
    home when selecting a victim.”

    “There is well-documented and thoroughly researched analysis by criminal
    profilers and psychologists that says criminals will look for a soft

    “Concealing one’s weapon as a tactical advantage is an offensive
    strategy, not a defensive one. The people who say they carry concealed
    so they can surprise an attacker are misguided. In most cases you will
    have only seconds to realize what’s happening, make a decision, and

    “If you have to surprise someone, you’re already in deep trouble. After
    you’ve been attacked, surprising your attacker is ridiculous. They
    already have the upper hand.”

    • Deathdefiant

      Yet only in the case of open carry can a surprise attack manifest in the form of a preemptive strike at anyone visibly carrying a weapon.
      Meanwhile the guy hiding the gun is not likely to be singled out in advance.
      The true ideal should be to convey the notion that everyone has a concealed weapon, such that potential criminals believe that there is no way to get away with anything.

  • EmmyP

    There’s so much derp in this article, I have to suspect it was written by a MSM “journalist.”

  • Pete Sikes

    So, there is no real evidence to support the claim that OC-ers are going to be the first target of a criminal.

    • Dave

      I realize this was written years ago, but just for the sake of putting this out there…criminals are no different than most of us who carry. We assess situations and prepare ourselves to deal with threats in the order of their importance. In the case of a criminal holding up a store, put yourself in his/her shoes. If you see a single patron in the store with an OC gun, you’re probably going to do one of two things. You may just leave, or wait til the OC patron leaves. But if you’re prepared to kill (and many are, evidenced by the many people shot and killed during robberies) you’re going to take out your armed threat before dealing with the clerk. If there’s a CC patron in the store (unarmed, as far as the criminal knows) more than likely he’s not going to consider them a threat and will continue to focus on the clerk who may or may not have a gun behind the counter.
      CC not only helps you blend into the background of the unarmed patrons, but it may provide opportunities to save your life and the lives of others that OC would not.

      • Bill Redding

        That “group scenario” is the ONLY time any so-called “element of surprise” has ANY chance of working. If a criminal has ALREADY CHOSEN you as a victim, and is pointing his gun at you the entire time, go ahead, draw your “element of surprise” — outdraw a gun (with finger on trigger, I’m sure) already pointing at you. Were I the thief, Id’ shoot you if you even twitched going for your gun, because I’d be WATCHING for it. So no…no “element of surprise” if you’ve already been chosen by an armed criminal. Good luck on that one…

        But if you’re armed, and a criminal notices, and you have none of the other “easy mark” cues criminals look for when choosing victims, then he takes great personal risk messing with you. Likely he’ll move on to a softer target…maybe even a CCer because you LOOK unarmed and easy. 😉

        So OCers would rather not be chosen in the first place vs. imagining they have some “element of surprise” going for them. That myth is the same as ” He’ll shoot me first” or “He’ll steal my gun” — so many CCers are clueless: They think OCers have never even thought of those possible issues. We have, and have taken precautions.

        People who CC “blend into the background” in more ways than one, and none of them are really good (but that’s for another article).
        — BR


    Actually it is every Americans right to carry a weapon period remember the 2nd amendment was created because america had just fought for its independence

    (of a person) carry.
    “he was bearing a tray of brimming glasses”
    synonyms: carry, bring, transport, move, convey, take, fetch, deliver, tote, lug
    “I come bearing gifts”

    Concealed Carry permits Are laws states have created in order to encroach and limit your rights as a citizen to carry a firearm

    If we Analyze the 2 Amendment it Clearly Says Shall not be infringed (the definition if infringe is as follow)

    actively break the terms of (a law, agreement, etc.).
    “making an unauthorized copy would infringe copyright”
    synonyms: contravene, violate, transgress, break, breach; More
    act so as to limit or undermine (something); encroach on.
    “his legal rights were being infringed”
    synonyms: restrict, limit, curb, check, encroach on; More

  • Richie Jack Batra

    Open carry! It looks Cool!

    • Richie Jack Batra

      kill yourself
      it looks cool

      I’m a fucking faggot

      • Richie Jack Batra

        seriously i cant get enough cock in my ass, trumps dick is too small

      • Jennie Batra

        ^The above loser is someone who hacked my husband’s account, and is using it to slander him. To the moderator, please delete that nonsense and block the above account. It was NOT actually posted by my husband. Thank you.

  • Richie Jack Batra

    I like open carry!

  • softwareengineers

    Concealing one’s weapon as a tactical advantage is an offensive strategy, not a defensive one. The people who say they carry concealed
    so they can surprise an attacker are misguided. In most cases you will have only seconds to realize what’s happening, make a decision, and
    react.Best Compact 9mm HandGun Under $500