Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are considering legislation that would allow people to carry handguns openly in a holster, says USA Today. These generally Second Amendment-friendly states are among the last six holdouts against open carrying of guns. Openly carrying handguns is legal in most states, even those that ban concealed firearms. New York and Florida also bar openly carrying handguns. The four other states that ban open carry “are extremely gun-friendly. They understand the individual-rights aspect. Yet for whatever reason, the carry laws in these states are restrictive,” says John Pierce of OpenCarry.org, which promotes gun rights.
Most states have strict laws governing concealed weapons. Illinois and Wisconsin ban carrying them entirely. Concealing a weapon “was seen in the early days of our nation as something of an unwholesome act. People would bear arms openly,” Pierce says. Says Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which opposes open-carry laws: “We don’t want more people carrying guns either openly or concealed because the more guns you have in a situation, the more likely you are to get gun violence.”