Is it legal to carry a gun in your hand without a holster?

Trying to find out if a guy walking around carrying a gun in his hand in Kansas is against some kind of statue/law. I would assume so. But can’t find anything specific. Having a gun in your hand can start a gun fight or cause an accident. This is in city streets mind you, not in the country. Near VA, busy sidewalks, schools, etc…


I can’t imagine it would be legal much less tolerated. Easy way to find out, though. The municipality may have ordinances against walking around with a firearm in your hand even if Kansas state law doesn’t specifically prohibit it. That may be construed as “brandishing a weapon”. Why would that even come up? You KNOW someone will call the police saying there is a man with a gun in his hand walking around town. I can’t imagine it would end well for him.


Cue S.W.A.T. theme :notes:


Walking around and Carrying a gun in your hand is not normal behavior in everyday life. On open carry States, gun goes in a holster no matter where a person is at as long as it’s not in a gun free zone, AND the person carrying can legally possess a firearm, (excluding criminals :laughing:) This only applies to law-abiding citizens. :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :rofl:


Totality of the circumstances is probably a factor.

If someone is walking around with a handgun in their hand openly on busy sidewalks near schools, I have to imagine law enforcement is already aware and the answer to the question / ball is in their court now

I would also stay far, far away from someone with a handgun in their hand


I would assume you won’t find an answer since you have to have a gun in your hand to defend yourself.

Not a good idea whether legal or not. I suspect there are places where it may be technically legal to walk around on public streets with a handgun in your hand but even in those places if someone views your act to be threatening you could/would be charged with brandishing. Assuming you survive the initial interaction with responding LEOs.


One of the first things I was taught, when briefly working at a gun store, was how to disarm anyone walking into the store in just that manner! I was very surprised at the thought, what idiot is going to walk into a gun store with a gun in his hand!

Lo and behold, two days later, some guy walks in directly at me with gun in hand! Who’da thunk it? Instead of disarming I calmly directed him to one of the sand filled cans to unload and show clear and escorted the gentleman to the manager! I saw no reason to escalate the situation, even though I’d just been taught to take the weapon away!

He was actually coming in to buy a “much needed” holster.


It’s funny you mention that, back in the day, absolutely.
Much older now, so it was more like “Mission Impossible” or “Jaws”. Just kidding, was more like the “John Wick” theme!

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Is the individual holding a handgun or a longarm? Your narrative does not describe the weapon.

I cannot speak for the laws in Kansas, but in Texas there are stipulations. For example: It is legal in Texas to stroll down a city sidewalk with a loaded longarm as long as it is slung and is carried in either a low ready in front or across the back, not “in a manor to cause alarm.” The longarm can be loaded and there is no limit on how many rounds you can carry.

Handguns, on the other hand, are a different story. Whether you have a CCL or not, it is not legal to carry your handgun in your hand while traversing the city sidewalks. Your handgun must be in a holster either openly displayed of concealed dependent upon if you have a CCL or not. Your sidearm can be loaded and there is no limit on how much ammo you can have.

Holding the handgun in your hand while strolling the city sidewalks would be considered “in a manor to cause alarm” and would get you unceremoniously arrested.


I know I’m going to catch a lot of flack for this but I really don’t see a difference in threat level between a rifle held at low ready or a pistol held at low ready. Either way the person is carrying in a ready to use manner. So I find the different treatment of the two to not make much sense. Then throw in the rifle caliber pistols popular today and the difference in rules gets even more nonsensical. Does the AR style pistol (with a buffer tube but no brace) need to be in a holster as apposed to carried on a sling?

I don’t have any issues with someone carrying a rifle over their shoulder, hanging at their side or even in front if their hand isn’t on the grip. Though I would find this out of place in most urban and suburban settings and certainly bump up my threat awareness level a bit. But when I see someone with a ready to shoot grip on a firearm, that is not in a hunting or shooting range environment, I assume either they might be getting ready to threaten someone or they are preparing to deal with an imminent threat. Either way my threat level bumps up considerably.


I 'm not going to send any flack your direction, Brother. You pose a logical question, but it is a question I do not have an answer for. Our lawmakers in Texas decided to write it that way, for whatever reason, so it is the black and white we have to follow.

I don’t get the difference either. I do know though if you wish to carry a rifle caliber pistol, I needs to be in a holster. I heard of a case locally where an individual was carrying an AR pistol on a sling during an Open Carry event and was arrested for having an SBR without a license. His lawyers were able to have that charge dismissed and he was only charged with disturbing the peace. Load of BS is what it was. He still had the arrest on file, paid all the court costs and all the crap associated.


Because guilty until he’s proven innocent :roll_eyes:


The different treatment of firearms based on arbitrary measures of barrel length, arbitrary definitions of what is a pistol and what is a rifle and arbitrary designation of “dangerous features” just lead to all sorts of nonsensical legal conundrums.

Would be best if the Supreme Court got rid of the NFA and all the other arbitrary unconstitutional laws. But I’m growing concerned that they may not even protect our right to own common semi auto firearms. They have taken steps to confirm our rights to posses and carry firearms recently but seem to be actively avoiding the question of what firearms we can carry.


The police, I’ve been told, have been called many times, but he keeps doing it. That’s why I was wondering what the law is on this. I was thinking because nothing has been done, it must be okay to do. But I can’t imagine how this could be the case. It is brandishing a weapon. To the other posts on this topic: it is a pistol.

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One difference is that long guns don’t have holsters and aren’t carried in holsters nor are they intended to be. They are typically intended to be carried in a sling. Handguns, on the other hand, are intended to be carried in a holster and it is quite easy, practically speaking, to do so.

A rifle in the hands, hands in firing position, without a sling, purely carried in the hands, is often going to present rather differently than a rifle carried in a sling even if one hand (or both hands) are on the rifle to hold it into position and keep the muzzle pointed precisely where you want/keep it from swaying/whatever.

Totality of the circumstances. We can discuss a hypothetical “rifle carried in the hands” and there are probably a couple dozen different ways of doing so that vary in how they are perceived.

But, IMO, single you cannot practically carry a rifle in a holster, a rifle not being in a holster is necessarily different from a handgun not being in a holster.

Remember for a trained individual, a handgun in a holster with hands relaxed at yours sides might still be literally 0.9-2.0 seconds away from shooting somebody…if we are going to talk “ready to use”. I’d take a trained user with a holstered pistol in a close quarters heads up action vs a rando with a rifle slung to the front. Just sayin’

(b) Threatening manner does not include:
(i) the possession of a dangerous weapon, whether visible or concealed, without additional behavior which is threatening; or
(ii) informing another of the actor’s possession of a deadly weapon to prevent what the actor reasonably perceives as a possible use of unlawful force by the other and the actor is not engaged in any activity described in Subsection 76-2-402(3)(a).

Doesn’t define visible, like OWB Open carry or packing it around in your hand.
That said, is it any different than a guy with an AR slung in front with his hands resting on it?

I would think it would be legal as long there was a state open carry law.


Brandishing laws vary by State and leave a lot of room for interpretation. Simply lifting your shirt to reveal a holstered pistol would be considered brandishing in many locations if the observer felt you were presenting it in a threatening manner and the responding LEOs agreed.