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

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.

Pros and Cons of Open Carry

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 jurisdictions around the U.S., you still have to take into account your environment.

Gun and vault on table | Concealed vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons

People prefer to openly carry their weapons, 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 gun laws, people choose to avoid open carry which could trigger reactions from anti-gun advocates.

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  • 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 open-carry gun laws

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

Pros and Cons of Concealed Carry

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 states making it difficult to get a concealed carry permit.

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

A handgun beside bullet | Concealed vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons

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

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 comes 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.

9 Responses to :
Concealed Vs Open Carry: Pros And Cons

  1. Art Phillip says:

    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.

    1. Rick Slingerland says:

      I’m also a vet. Indeed we need God’s help. Our oath has no expiration date. We need to stand together for all of our rights.

  2. Joe Black says:

    I carry concealed and have for over 50 years. I am very comfortable with that. I would like to see open carry laws for situations where I might tuck in my shirt with a jacket that could possibly reveal my weapon. Other times when my weapon could possibly print inside of a particularly tight shirt, sweater or whatever. I don’t like these situations and sometimes they are unavoidable. The law should take away the 1in 1000 accidental showing of my weapon.

  3. Gerard Gallagher says:

    Concealed. You left out one of the cons of open carry. Rather than deterring a dedicated criminal, it makes you an easy target and the first target.

    1. Lester R. Metzger says:

      You must not have been listening. He went over an entire scenario saying you would be the first target of a threat. Pay attention.

  4. Rick Slingerland says:

    I prefer open carry or having my weapon under a loose shirt. I’m an older person and I’ve seen that most people are less concerned about my being armed that a younger person. It’s not fair, but it happens. I live in Mo. and find that, unless your in a large city like StL, people are less negative about being armed. When I moved here I asked a cop about carrying and he said “We wish more folks would carry.”

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