Is Connecticut An Open Carry State?


Is Connecticut An Open Carry State? Yes, Connecticut is a licensed open carry state, if you legally possess that firearm.  We’ve discussed in several of our other blogs what makes you able to legally possess a firearm in Connecticut.  

If you are a valid Connecticut Pistol Permit holder, you are allowed to carry pistols or revolvers, you are allowed to open carry your firearm.  This means that allow places that do not restrict the carrying of firearms, you can safely secure your weapon in any manner that exposes it to the public. So, on your morning run into Dunkin Donuts, you can have your semi-automatic pistol in a holster, on your belt without your shirt covering and be completely within the letter of the law.

Let us keep in mind, that Connecticut is different then a state like, let’s say Texas, where guns are embraced, carried and shot everywhere and I’d even venture to say slept with at night, like a woobie. Connecticut is a little more, um, stuffy, shall we say.  Take a moment to think about the last time you saw someone, in any public place carrying an exposed firearm?  Probably not recently, if ever. But, how much of your attention or alarm would that bring to you, seeing an exposed firearm? Given recent events around the world, what questions would your mind immediately raise?

Why is that person carrying that gun that way?

Is he a “good guy or bad guy?”

Should I call police or inform the management that he has a gun?

All of these are important questions and they should be considered in your mind.  It would help the situation if you were able to take a breath and look at the overall picture.  Don’t just assume that there is ill intent here and try not to be too alarmed. It is not only a constitutional right, as we know, to own and carry a firearm, it’s covered under Connecticut law to have it exposed.

From a law enforcement prospective, I will tell you, we discuss it often, we get the call by a concerned citizen, who is “alarmed,” by the fact that they saw a person walking down the Main Street, and that person had a holstered pistol exposed for the world to see. Let’s go a step further, the complain comes in the morning, on a Monday, as kids are waiting for the school bus. The caller is worried that something bad will happen and wants immediate police response.  Now put yourself in the Police officer’s position.

You are responded to the area and see the person matching the description given by the complainant, next you see the secured holstered firearm on his waist. This person is not doing anything wrong, not breaking the law, in fact, if he had his shirt covering the firearm, everyone would be on with their days. You as the officer’s pulls up to the individual and approach him.  You explain to him why you called to the area and ask him to show some identification, he refuses, what can or what do you do next?

Let say you ask again and explain you are simply trying to identify him to be sure he is not a danger to society and once that’s determined, he can be on his way. So, wait, is he detained now? Is he being stopped by police illegally? It’s close, the individual takes out his cell phone and begins to Facebook live the incident. He explains to his Facebook followers that he is being harassed and illegally detained by the Police.  A rumble bubbles at the surface, more people join the post, comments are being made in anger against the police.  The individual becomes angrier because the officer is now violating his rights, he walks passed the officer and, on his way, to do whatever it was he was doing. We are getting off on a little tangent here but you can easily see the slippery slope and grey areas that exist.  YouTube has these video’s everywhere, check them out if you want to get a good feel of the anxiety and “baiting” that goes on.

In a final and more official statement on the topic, before moving on, there are some towns in Connecticut that have created public ordinances banning the open carry law.  Furthermore, some local towns and the state police have trained and sent out informational content explaining that open carry is in fact legal and not to “harass” people who carry openly without some other cause.

Whether you are personally considering to carry your firearm exposed or if you read through this simply to have a better understanding of the law, it should raise the question, “Why would I want to expose my firearm?”  If you carry your firearm for self-protection, there is tactically no real advantage to open carry, in my mind anyway. To effectively draw from your holster in an emergency situation, you need to practice and you need trigger time. We will do as we are trained. Practice drawing from your holster by moving your shirt or clothing out of the way.

In my opinion, exposing your fire arm routinely not only draws unwanted attention to you in an active shooter situation, that attention may make you the first target. Think about it for one minute and think about it as a bad guy, wouldn’t you want to eliminate the biggest threat to you first before committing the crime you came there to do? The guy with the gun would be my first target.

Keep that thought and run with it for a minute, in your mind only, what if you were a bad guy, life has pushed you around for the last time. Your wife will never cheat on you again. The depression and deep-rooted anger you’ve stifled all your life has bubbled over and now you’ll exact your revenge.  To your wife place of work, you’ll go, bent on killing people, but you need to access that place first.  How will it be easier to do that, with your gun exposed or concealed?

I’m not teaching bad guys how to be bad guys, I’m teaching you the legal gun owner how to think more logically about things. Guns are the most talked about and explosive topic at the moment in our country and with each mass causality incident involving them, it only gets worse.  I get that, I get that everyone has their own opinions and I’m not here to force mine onto you.  But, whichever side of the tracks you land on or come from, just take your time to fully educate yourself and most of all be safe about life. It’s your only trip.