open carry

noun

US
: the act or practice of carrying a firearm openly in public or the legal right to do so
In Pennsylvania, open carry is generally allowed without a license, but Philadelphia does require a license.Joshua Gillin
The next frontier for gun-rights advocates is "open carry," epitomized last year by protests in which permitted gun owners carried firearms in plain view at Starbucks coffee shops.Patrik Jonsson
Three more states ban concealed carry but not open carry.Hank Johnson and Mitch Seabaugh
often used before another noun
open carry laws/legislation
compare concealed carry

Examples of open carry in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The state allows open carry and concealed carry for firearms including handguns and rifles. Hannah Pinski, The Courier-Journal, 25 Mar. 2024 Despite the open carry law, some establishments prohibit guns from being brought inside, leaving patrons to keep them in their cars, according to Cowan. Ashley R. Williams and Victor Blackwell, CNN, 3 Mar. 2024 Kansas City is one of them, meaning open carry is more restricted than concealed carry within city limits. Natalie Wallington, Kansas City Star, 19 Jan. 2024 Together, a pair of bills would ban firearm possession at absentee ballot counting locations and prohibit the open carry of firearms at voting locations as well as absentee ballot drop boxes and clerks' offices during the 40-day absentee voting period. Detroit Free Press, 29 Feb. 2024 However, Kansas City requires a state permit to open carry within city limits. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 16 Feb. 2024 On a party-line vote last November, Democrats in the state House passed legislation banning the open carry of firearms at polling locations, early voting sites, clerk's offices and ballot drop boxes and a complete prohibition on the possession of firearms at absentee ballot counting centers. Detroit Free Press, 12 Feb. 2024 In 2014, former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a law blocking municipalities from restricting the open carry of guns, for instance. Jenna Barackman, Kansas City Star, 23 Jan. 2024 In Washington state, open carry is allowed for both long guns and handguns without a license, which means individuals can carry a firearm in many public areas, although private property owners may prohibit firearms on their property. Kathleen Magramo, CNN, 24 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'open carry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1984, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of open carry was in 1984

Dictionary Entries Near open carry

Cite this Entry

“Open carry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/open%20carry. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!