California’s Open Carry Laws


In California, carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited without proper licensure. Sadly, that is about as good as California gets with the ability to carry, as the idea of open carry has now changed to ban the open carry of handguns in incorporated areas, loaded or unloaded.

The law in California states plainly that a citizen or legal resident over the age of 18 may possess a handgun anywhere within his or her place of residence, business or other private property. (California Penal Code § 25605.) However, outside of these places, it is against the law to openly carry rifles, shotguns, or handguns in California (loaded or unloaded, except under certain circumstances). You may, however, carry a concealed weapon if you first obtain a concealed carry license. (California Penal Code § 25850, 26155.)

Unfortunately, there is not much more to it in the state, but what we are going to take an in-depth look at over a few installments is more specific handgun law in the state, so that if you are carrying concealed, you will have a concise and plain understanding of the laws of the state.

We will take a look at what areas in the state will allow concealed carry, and what places that you can actually have your gun with you. Unfortunately, that will be a short list.


If you have specific questions we have a wonderful FAQ page on our Arizona site with a lot of helpful information. Also, if you have anything that you would like covered in future articles about California’s open carry laws, shoot us a comment below, and we will make sure to add them to future reports.


Information for this article was compiled from the NRA and California state law books.


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