Before you know anything about the difference between open carry and concealed carry, you first and foremost should research the governing laws in your area/state. That being said, here are the key differences between open carry and concealed carry.
Concealed carry is defined as “the practice of carrying a weapon in public in a concealed manner, either on one’s person or in close proximity” according to Wikipedia. On one’s person is usually the most popular, since the best clothes for concealed carry are similar to what you’ll be wearing anyway. There are many different ways to carry a weapon that is concealed. From holsters to hip belts and everything in between, a proper concealed carry does not alert anyone nearby that you have a weapon on your person.
Open carry is simply just the opposite, where the weapon is worn on the outside of the clothing, visible to the public. Be careful to remember that this is not considered “brandishing,” or carrying your weapon in your hand since that can be a punishable offense if done in the wrong context. Usually worn on the hip, open carrying a weapon is slightly more controversial and less-allowed in some areas due to public perception. Police officers may be the only people allowed to open carry in your local jurisdiction.
If you happen to have the option of choosing between the two, the benefit of carrying a concealed weapon is that you won’t have to deal with a lot of the disadvantages that come with open carrying such as intimidating others, answering police questions, or ease of disarmament.
While there are many arguments about the pros and cons of open vs. concealed carry, the bottom line is that you must check your local laws and restrictions before deciding which one works for you.