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Concealed Vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons



Featured | Handgun on black with flag | Concealed vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons

Know the pros and cons of concealed vs open carry here, so you know your rights, limits, and options.

RELATED: Why Carry A Gun: 5 Reasons Why And The 2nd Amendment

In this article:

  1. Open Carry vs Concealed Carry
    1. Pros and Cons of Open Carry
    2. Pros and Cons of Concealed Carry

Weighing in on the Pros and Cons of Concealed vs Open Carry

Open Carry vs Concealed Carry

It's an age-old debate among gun owners: which one is best – concealed carry or open carry?

Fans of open carry like others to know they are packing. They also feel more confident and safer knowing their gun is readily available.

On the other hand, concealed carry advocates like to have the element of surprise on their side.

The decision to carry concealed or open is entirely personal, though. But, when even your right to bear arms is up for debate, it is the least of your concerns.

Yet which one is the best? It's hard to say, and ultimately it's up to the individual gun owner.

So here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to carry concealed or open.

From the Editor: 93% of Gun Owners Get This Wrong…

Pros and Cons of Open Carry

Gun and vault on table | Concealed vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons
There are 31 states in the list of open carry states around the country. While it is perfectly legal to open carry in many states and jurisdiction around the U.S., you still have to take into account your environment.

People prefer to open carry their weapon, sometimes for misunderstood reasons. Sure it can act as a crime deterrent but if an adversary has prior motives, your reaction is futile against their criminal actions.

With today's debate on the gun laws, people choose to avoid open carry which could trigger reactions from anti-gun advocates.


  • Quicker draw time
  • Attacks are less likely to occur since would-be criminals know you're armed
  • Help spread awareness about responsible gun ownership


  • Draws attention
  • Easier for someone to take your firearm
  • Intimidating to others
  • May invite unwelcome conversation/criticism
  • Only 31 states with open carry gun laws

RELATED: Concealed Carry And Open Carry Come With Own Pros And Cons

Pros and Cons of Concealed Carry

A handgun beside bullet | Concealed vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons
It is looking better for concealed carry with all 50 concealed carry states. But, there are concealed carry laws in place varying from state to state with some state making it difficult to get a concealed carry permit.

Most gun carriers choose to conceal carry their weapon. People choose to practice conceal carry for different reasons.

Having the element of surprise and the debate on gun control and concealed carry laws are only some of them.


  • Tactical advantage
  • Element of surprise
  • Less harassment from police and other authorities
  • Avoid unwanted conversations about your decision to carry (since no one knows you're carrying)
  • Legal in all 50 states (with a permit)


  • Slower draw time
  • Risk of accidental discharge
  • No one knows you're armed, so it will not deter potential attackers

To learn more about open versus concealed carry, watch this video from Langley Outdoors Academy:

As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons for both concealed and opened carry. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of these two, you can make an objective decision for yourself.

Whatever your choice is, be responsible with your sidearm. The right to bear arms come with heavy responsibility. Never lose sight of that.

Do you prefer open or concealed carry? Let us know your thoughts about it in the comments section below!

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Concealed vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons

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**Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer here.*

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 28, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Luke Smith

    April 10, 2023 at 7:04 PM

    It’s great that you pointed out how most gun carriers choose to conceal carry their weapons. I just got myself a handgun and I want to have a permit to conceal carry. With that in mind, I am thinking of attending wear and carry classes.

  2. Kevin Shawn Dotson

    April 8, 2021 at 2:09 AM

    I don’t plan on defending the Whitehouse from al-Qaida. Open carry shows rednecks they better think twice before their lil dick syndrome gets them in a world hurt.

  3. Kevin Shawn Dotson

    April 8, 2021 at 2:03 AM

    Cry me a river.

  4. Art Phillip

    October 31, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    The constitution says not one thing abut me having to hide a gun. Two many dumb and egotistical people think they have the right to take away other peoples rights. I am an American and a military veteran and this bugs me to no end. Only ONE percent have the guts to put on a uniform and pledge to die if necessary to defend rights against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC but the other 99 percent believe they have the right to tell everyone else what to do. May God help this nation.

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