Open carry states | Have gun, will buy frappuccino

Dressed and ready for Starbucks

“I don’t carry a gun to kill people.
I carry a gun to keep from being killed.”

From “Why I Carry a Gun,” author unknown

Gun control is a controversial issue in America, and the current legal case over whether Chicagoans should have the right to carry handguns in public has fanned the flames for both pro-gun and gun control advocates. The Supreme Court is getting involved and people are wondering which states are open carry states, because as puts it, “a right unexercised is a right lost.” Of course, it may not be as easy to convince the masses of this as it would be to sell lawmakers on the value of guaranteed loans.

What states are on the open carry states list?

Currently, only six states completely prohibit open carry. The following states are listed as “Gold Star” open carry states by This means that “generally preempted open carry is permitted on foot and in vehicles without a license; localities are generally preempted.”

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Vermont
  • Kentucky
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina

These states are open carry states, but with some restrictions

  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Other states may have their own open carry approximation. For instance, California allows open carry, but only in rural, non-incorporated areas. For more information, see this open carry states map.

Starbucks even has something to say about open carry laws

You wouldn’t normally associate the nation’s coffee house with open carry states or gun control, but Starbucks has become involved the debate over where people can carry guns, even though it has been against the company’s will. People had been coming to various locations with guns on their hips, which made some patrons nervous. Starbucks says that it adheres with state laws regarding open carry, but as a business, it does have the right to set its own policy regarding whether firearms are allowed inside. Money lenders or any other business will say the same.

Starbucks gun policy is something CEO Howard Schultz would rather not have to worry about, but The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is demanding that Starbucks “offer espresso shots, not gunshots.” The coffeemaker’s Seattle office received a petition with 28,000 signatures on Wednesday.

Neither side of the gun control issue is giving ground

This is exactly what one should expect when issues like individual liberty and personal safety are involved. Open carry states will likely remain so, but businesses tend to respond to special interest groups, particularly if they get corporate sponsors on their side. Thus, don’t count on being able to carry a holstered gun into your local Starbucks anytime soon, even if you live in an unrestricted state.

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