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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Meeks agreed that Arkansas laws permitting open carry might still require clarification. Will Langhorne, Arkansas Online, 18 Jan. 2023 Taking out the rifle in the men’s room would have most likely violated the law in Illinois, Florida and California, where open carry is banned, Mr. Charles said. Richard Fausset, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2023 In both suits, Reed was represented by Conway attorney Chris Corbitt, a former candidate for state representative who has drawn public attention with several lawsuits challenging prohibitions on the open carry of firearms. Dale Ellis, Arkansas Online, 17 Dec. 2022 Attempts by Democrats to impose limits in other states have mostly failed, and some form of open carry without a permit is now legal in 38 states, a number that is likely to expand as legislation advances in several more. Mike Mcintire, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Nov. 2022 Attempts by Democrats to impose limits in other states have mostly failed, and some form of open carry without a permit is now legal in 38 states, a number that is likely to expand as legislation advances in several more. Mike Mcintire, New York Times, 26 Nov. 2022 Since Hupp’s tenure, Texas gun laws have become ever more lenient, from the open carry of firearms to last year’s approval of a bill allowing Texans to carry a handgun without a permit. Dallas News, 11 July 2022 Alabama law already allowed open carry of handguns. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, 27 Oct. 2022 The Observer reported that open carry is allowed in North Carolina as long as the firearm is legal and the owner is not banned from having a gun. Jason Hahn, Peoplemag, 18 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'open carry.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 6 Feb. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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