NC Open Carry with IWB

I know open carry is frowned upon but I’m currently in the process of getting my concealed carry permit but want to carry something for self defense. Was just wondering if I could carry my pistol with a IWB or does it have to be 100% visible. I couldn’t find anything on google about it, just want to get used to carrying with an IWB

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I am not sure about the legality of carrying OWB with an IWB holster, but it is not a good idea. The firearm will be tight to your body and clothing which could cause issues for you accessing your gun safely. Carrying a gun in an OWB holster will be safer. If you want to get comfortable carrying IWB, then I would suggest carrying that way in your home.

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By some perhaps… though embraced by many folks that I know. It is not for everyone and everywhere all the time… because concealment in a “gun free zone” is a good idea.

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What about something like this?


IWB holster tucked under a belt vs. inside pants … shirt could be tucked in of course.

Edit: You should try drawing with an unloaded gun first to ensure there are no issues with your gun, IWB holster, and belt combination


Hey Raymond. I’m not sure that I understand the question. Are you simply asking if you can use an IWB as OWB, or are you concerned about your firearm being visible to others?

I do not know the statutes specific to NC. A great resource is OCDO ( I would ask your question there, if it is not already answered. I did a quick look, and it appears that NC does not have preemption.

In Montana, you cannot OC a firearm IWB, as it is partially concealed (without a permit, in an incorporated area). I believe that is what he is referring to. However, you can carry concealed without a permit in “luggage”, so off body purse carry is ok. So is fanny packs. Go figure. Montana is a partial constitutional carry state (about 95% of the State).

I’ve done what you’re asking about only at the range for clothing or jacket conflict reasons. But never out and about in town.

You’re probably “legal” for open carry in the set up shown by @Gary_H, but the issue with open carry in general, is retention of your weapon. Iwb holsters have little to no retention security, and open carry with one is setting yourself up for getting it taken away from you by bad guys who want a free gun.

My 2c’s.

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That was my concern as well. What exactly @Raymond33 was asking about…

If I understand this question correctly - the answer is YES - you can use IWB holster and conceal the firearm. It doesn’t need to be visible in “open carry” state.

Checking the source provided by @MarkinMT, I’m surprised and do not understand the quote from that website:
How MAY corresponds to MUST? This one is not clear at all.

Anyway, if OC is legal you can “Open Carry” or “Concealed Carry”. If OC is prohibited and CC is legal - you can “Concealed Carry” only.

Open carry is legal in North Carolina without a permit. Counties may regulate the display of firearms on public roads, sidewalks, alleys or other public property. The minimum age is 18 years old. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and the State Capitol grounds. The above is a good link on this whole subject.

Concealed carry is legal for residents with a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) and for non-residents with any valid license/permit.


Does North Carolina allow constitutional carry? (Meaning: Open or concealed without any permits) No. North Carolina does not allow constitutional carry..

Unless I’m wandering around my own woods, my carry is concealed (here in NC). Even at that, if for some reason a small bit of it is exposed, I care not. One can’t feel like that in every state.

and also…I’d pivot that holster mount so that the latch is parallel to your belt if you’re going to carry.

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Thank you for all the replies, I been out of town so didn’t get to respond. I was thinking about using a IWB holster but just tucking the shirt behind it so basically a concealed carry style but with the shirt tucked behind the gun so only the grip will be visible. Sorry for the stupid question or wording, new to the gun community and can only open carry currently but not a big fan of OWB holsters. At least the ones i’ve tried so far.

Also I am a skinny tall person so many of the OWB holsters I’ve tried so far have just been rubbing on my bones. That’s why I wanted to try a IWB holsters as they seem slimmer and seem less bulky when carried on my appendix. I understand the lack of an active retention but it would be for a few weeks until my CCW comes and carried around the 2 clock position on my body. Please let me know if it’s a terrible idea and I’m being stupid. Learning everything right now and don’t want to do it the hard way.

i’m lean also and carry IWB at about 4 o-clock. Past that CCW and it gets uncomfortable. Location, location, location! :slight_smile:

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Raymond all questions are valid. No such thing as a stupid question. You are asking about something that is important to you, fine.
Here in Arkansas Open Carry is legal, but frowned on. If you carry conceled and you shirt does not cover the weapon completely no big deal. In my opinion Open Carry is an accident waiting to happen. I have carried for years, but always concelled. No reason to show all of your cards, you may need that Ace in the hold.

Welcome to the family


Reason #1: Deterrence.

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Again thank you for the responses, I just been using a IWB holster the way Brad H was showing in the photo and it’s much more comfortable. At first I was just gonna tuck the IWB holster into my pants like Im conceal carrying but just putting my shirt behind the gun so the grip was visible but I wasn’t sure if that was considered “concealed” by leo

Perhaps just make a quick phone call to your local sheriff’s office and ask them if that is appropriate to comply with state laws in the matter. Better informed, than whoops! Dang.