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Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry

Concealed Carry vs. Open Carry

Authored By B. Castillo

When selecting a holster, it is important to consider the application that you are planning on using it for. Some platforms lend themselves to concealed carry while others are more suited for open carry.

This brings us to a hotly contested debate among gun owners: 

Open carry or concealed carry?

In this article, we are going to break down some of the most commonly cited pros and cons for each method.

Open carry

Open carry is defined as the possession of a firearm that is visible to the public.



Comfort - Firearms that are positioned outside the waistband are significantly more comfortable than those that are inside the waistband or on an ankle. If you are carrying for extended periods of time, then choosing the most comfortable option will be important. 

Ease of access - When carrying openly, you do not have to worry about getting caught on a shirt or jacket as you draw, thus cutting down on possible delays in putting a shot on a target. 

Quicker Draw - This is a contested argument among gun owners, as an adequate amount of practice with any holster platform can cut down on your draw time. 

Can act as a deterrent - Some individuals say that seeing another person with a firearm would act as a deterrent to others. However, this may also make the individual with the firearm the first target; this brings us to the cons of open carry.


It is easier for someone else to access your firearm - When your firearm is in an open carry holster or clip it is much more easily accessed by an assailant. 

Losing the element of surprise - In an emergency situation the element of surprise can be one of the most important factors in your ability to draw your firearm and get a shot on a target. If the threat knows that you are in possession of a firearm, this will be much more difficult to do. The assailant could also focus on you first as a target to ensure you cannot use your firearm. 

Inconvenience of having an uninformed individual call law enforcement - Laws regarding the open carry of firearms can be confusing for even the most seasoned gun owner. The non gun owning public will most likely have no idea what the laws are in their area. This can lead to calls to law enforcement about a “person carrying a gun”, so be prepared to be stopped more by law enforcement officials.

Environmental Factors - When using open carry, your firearm will be exposed to the elements and this can have an effect on your ability to properly draw and use the firearm. This can also cause damage to the firearm if it is not properly maintained. 

Concealed carry:


You retain the element of surprise - If an individual has become a threat, especially if there is a firearm involved, having the element of surprise on your side can give you the needed time to draw your firearm and get a shot on the target before they can react. The moments that are gained with a surprise can be crucial in life or death situations.

It is harder for a would-be-assailant to gain access to your firearm - By not having it readily available on your hip, it is harder for an individual to take it from you.

Protection from the elements - Carrying concealed will offer your firearm more protection from the elements. This can limit the effect of those environmental factors on your ability to draw and fire your firearm; as well as prevent potential damage to the weapon. 


Draw Speed - Some people will make the argument that having your firearm inside your waistband will cause you to have a slower draw, however, with ample practice this can be overcome. 

Inside-the-waistband holsters can be uncomfortable - It is important to make sure that if you are choosing to use an inside-the-waistband holster that you choose a holster and firearm that can be comfortably carried for long periods of time. 

Ease of access - When carrying concealed, there may be a longer delay in identifying a threat and being able to draw your firearm. It is important to practice your situational awareness and tactics to ensure that you are not losing precious time in accessing your firearm in a life or death situation.

Regardless of what method you use to carry your firearm, it is important to select a holster that meets your needs and can be used efficiently. 

Fobus has lines of holsters to fit any concealed or open carry platform. Click here to shop our holster options and select the perfect holster for you.

***Depending on the state that you are located in, the laws regarding concealed and open carry of firearms can vary tremendously so it is important to stay informed of your rights in the state or municipality in which you find yourself.***

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