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The Best Concealed Carry States in 2013 (Text Only)

by G&A Online Editors   |  October 24th, 2013 80

 

Best States for Concealed Carry in 2013

After ranking the Best States for Gun Owners in 2013, we’re back to rank the Best Concealed Carry States.

Since federal law specifically addressing the issuance of concealed carry licenses does not yet exist in the U.S., individual states are left with the task of regulating concealed carry laws within their own borders.

Over the past few decades, most states in the country have gradually shifted their carry laws to become less restrictive. Despite fewer restrictions, legally carrying a concealed firearm remains vastly different from one state to another—and in some cases one town to another. The diversity of laws naturally creates ambiguity around the entire topic of concealed carry legislation.

Aside from background checks, training requirements and application fees, states are generally classified into one of four categories, based on how they issue licenses.

Permitless/Unrestricted – Also commonly known as “Constitutional Carry,” individuals can carry a concealed firearm without obtaining a license or permit.
Shall-Issue – Permits are required to carry a concealed handgun, but the granting authority has no discretion over the issuance of permits. The granting authority shall issue a permit if an applicant meets distinct criteria in the law.
May-Issue – The granting authority may issue a permit at their discretion, and usually require “good cause” or a “significant reason” to carry a firearm.
No-Issue/Restricted – Individuals cannot obtain a license to legally carry a concealed firearm.

Currently, Shall-Issue is the most common method of issuance, with 38 states issuing licenses without discretion, as long as an applicant meets distinct criteria in the law. States with unrestricted concealed carry—other than Vermont—also issue permits on a Shall-Issue basis so individuals can travel out of state, and still legally carry a concealed firearm in states with reciprocal agreements.

So we set out to objectively rank the Best States for Concealed Carry based on measurable criteria. Outside of the data we measured are several other factors that are difficult to quantify—such as transport laws and places restricted from carry. Keep in mind we are specifically focusing on concealed carry, rather than open carry. Just like our “Best States for Gun Owners in 2013,” no state earned a perfect score.

To determine the best concealed carry states in 2013, we examined the following criteria and assigned numerical values to each category for a maximum of 100 points.

Permit Issuance: States were awarded up to 25 points based on their method of issuance.
Permitless/Unrestricted = 25 Points
Shall-Issue = 20 points
May-Issue = 5 points
No-Issue/Restricted = 0 points.

Reciprocity: The number of states honored in the issuing state were counted and assigned a maximum of 10 points. Next, the number of states where the issuing state’s permit is honored were counted and assigned a maximum of 10 points. The two totals were then added together for a maximum of 20 points.

Number of Permits Honored in the Issuing State

0 States = 0 Points 1-10 States = 2 Points 11-20 States = 4 Points
21-30 States = 6 Points 31-40 States = 8 Points 41-50 States = 10 Points

Number of States Where the Issuing State’s Permit is Honored

0 States = 0 Points 1-10 States = 2 Points 11-20 States = 4 Points
21-30 States = 6 Points 31-40 States = 8 Points 41-50 States = 10 Points

Training Time: Training time was scored based on the minimum number of statutory training hours required, for a maximum of 10 points. States with unrestricted carry automatically earned the maximum number of points.

0 Hours = 10 Points 1-3 Hours = 9 points 4-6 Hours = 8 points
7-9 Hours = 7 points 10-12 Hours = 6 points 13-15 Hours = 5 points
16+ Hours = 0 points

Application Fee: Application fees were scored with a maximum of 10 points based on the statutory cost paid by civilians to their state of residence in order to obtain the permit. Fees were not scored based on renewal or out-of-state permit costs, military/law enforcement/veteran rates or senior citizen discounts. Fees also do not include the cost of any necessary training course(s). States with unrestricted carry automatically earned the maximum number of points.

$0-$25 = 10 points $26-50 = 8 points $51-75 = 6 points
$76-100 = 4 points $101-150 = 2 points $150+ = 0 points

Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine: States’ scores were determined based on how strong their law is regarding self-defense in and out of the home, and whether you’re immune from civil prosecution in a self-defense situation. Maximum of 10 points.

Best States for Gun Owners in 2013: To Best determine how generally gun friendly the state is, each was awarded up to 10 points based on their overall rank in the Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.

Ranks 1-10 = 10 points Ranks 11-20 = 8 points Ranks 21-30 = 6 points
Ranks 31-40 = 4 points Ranks 41-50 = 2 points

Duty to Inform: States were awarded points based on whether or not individuals who are legally carrying are required to immediately inform a law enforcement/peace officers they are carrying a gun upon initial contact.
5 Points = Not required to immediately inform a law enforcement officer.
0 Points = Required to immediately inform a law enforcement officer.

Pre-Emption of Home-Rule:  States were awarded points if state laws pre-empt local governing bodies from crafting their own legislation regarding concealed carry. In most states, pre-emption does not include local laws regarding the discharge of firearms within city limits.
5 Points = State laws pre-empt local governing bodies from crafting their own laws.
0 Points = Local governing bodies can make their own laws and are not subject to state pre-emption.

Permit Issued to Non-Residents: States earned points based on their method of issuance to non-residents.
5 Points = Permits are issued on a Shall-Issue basis to non-residents.
2 Points = Permits are issued on a May-Issue basis to non-residents.
0 Points = Permits are not issued to non-residents.

Find out where your state stacks up compared to the rest of the country, and be sure to enter the debate. 

51. Washington D.C.
Permit Issuance: 0
Reciprocity: 0
Training Time: 0
Application Fee: 0
Stand Your Ground: 0
Best States for Gun Owners: 0
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 0
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 0
It’s hard to believe any place in the United States—aside from places such as prisons and mental institutions—could possibly score a zero. Until the recent Heller Supreme Court decision, residents weren’t even allowed to own guns. No magazines are allowed that hold more than 10 rounds, there is no law permitting concealed carry, and there is no Castle Doctrine law.

50. California
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 0
Application Fee: 0
Stand Your Ground: 6
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5Pre-Emption: 0Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 24
If you’re not a Hollywood celebrity or rock star, odds are you won’t be getting a permit—especially if you live near a populated area. Among the most strict gun laws in the nation, California legislation also restricts residents to one handgun purchase per 30 days, and handguns have to be on the “approved” list for legal sale.

49. Hawaii
Permit Issuance: 5Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 0
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 4
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 0
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 32
Hawaii is a May-Issue state, and licenses are rarely issued. A state permit is also required to purchase a handgun, and many of which are banned. Hawaii may be a popular vacation destination, but it’s far from a friendly place for concealed carry and gun owners in general.

48. New Jersey
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 0
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 2
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 0
Issued to Non-Residents: 2
TOTAL: 32
Carrying a gun is generally difficult in a May-Issue state, and even worse if the state requires two separate permits just to own a single handgun—which must be limited to 15 rounds. New Jersey also requires three reputable people knowing a person for at least three years to justify the need for that person to carry.

47. Massachusetts
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 5
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 0
Issued to Non-Residents: 2
TOTAL: 37
Massachusetts is famously unfriendly to gun owners. It issues concealed carry licenses on a May-Issue basis, and a state license is also required for buying guns or ammunition. Carry licenses are also broken down into Class A, B and C licenses, each of which with their own set of restrictions.

46. New York
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 6
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 3
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 0
Issued to Non-Residents: 2
TOTAL: 39
New York is a May-Issue state, and the closer you are to New York City, the less chance you have of getting a permit. Also, New York now has a weapons seizure law, just in case the cops think you might be up to something. New Yorkers also live under poor self-defense laws, but those who are magically approved for a permit only owe the state $10. Don’t plan on legally carrying any time soon in Bloomberg and Cuomo’s kingdom.

45. Connecticut
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 7
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 0
Issued to Non-Residents: 2
TOTAL: 40
While officially a May-Issue state, Connecticut is a Shall-Issue state in practice—with a lot of requirements. An eligibility certificate is also required to purchase a pistol. Reciprocity is also poor, and new licenses cost roughly $70.

44. Delaware
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 10
Training Time: 0
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 41
Although open carry is technically legal, obtaining a May-Issue concealed carry permit is next to impossible. First, an individual must have their application published into a newspaper—which must have at least 35 percent circulation to people in their Zip code. Among other requirements, an individual must also submit reference questionnaires completed by five citizens who also reside in the same county.

43. Maryland
Permit Issuance: 5
Reciprocity: 6
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 5
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 2
TOTAL: 43
Maryland is one of a handful of East Coast states making it just about as difficult as possible to carry a concealed firearm. The laws are vaguely written and recognize almost no individual rights to firearm ownership. Handguns must be registered, and residents can only buy one gun per month.

42. Illinois
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 4
Training Time: 0
Application Fee: 0
Stand Your Ground: 9
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 50
The fight to earn Shall-Issue concealed carry in the Land of Lincoln has been a roller coaster ride in 2013 since the 7th Circuit Court ruled Illinois’ ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional. Residents are currently waiting until at least January 2014 to apply for licenses. The current law is Shall-Issue, with 16 hours of required training and an excessive application fee. Legislative battles over carry rights in Illinois are far from over, but are on track to becoming more forgiving.

41. New Mexico
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 5
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 5
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 62
Although it is a Shall-Issue state, New Mexico requires residents to complete a 15-hour course and other strict licensing requirements. It also has weak self-defense laws and charges $100 for new licenses.

40. Colorado
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 0
Stand Your Ground: 6
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 63
Colorado was in the spotlight earlier this year with two state senators being recalled from office after endorsing anti-gun legislation. Regardless, licenses are issued on a Shall-Issue basis and are reciprocal with a number of states, including every neighboring state. Colorado has no duty to inform, but does require residents to display proficiency with a firearm.

39. Ohio
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 5
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 7
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 63
Obtaining a Shall-Issue license in Ohio requires more training than virtually any other state, with 12 hours of required training. Licensees are also required to immediately inform law enforcement upon contact. Reciprocity with other states is mediocre, and does not allow for residents to legally carry into their most proximate neighbor to the east, Pennsylvania.

38. Rhode Island
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 4
Training Time: 9
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 6
Best States for Gun Owners: 2
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 64
Rhode Island scored noticeably higher on paper than their Shall-Issue system actually functions. The Attorney General has essentially smothered the current license-issuing program to reflect a May-Issue system in real-life practice. Rhode Island licenses also have almost no reciprocity with other states.

37. Oregon
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 4
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 2
TOTAL: 64
Licenses are issued to residents on a Shall-Issue basis, and issued to non-residents on a May-Issue basis. Oregon has very few restrictions on where guns can be carried, but poor reciprocity greatly reduces Oregon’s ranking.

36. Michigan
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 66 
With the economic decline experienced in cities such as Detroit, residents of Michigan may want to carry now more than ever. Licenses are issued on a Shall-Issue basis to residents only, and may cost up to $120.

35. Nebraska
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 5
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 67
Nebraska is a Shall-Issue state, but has particularly weak laws regarding self-defense. In addition to a $100 application fee, licensees are required to pass a necessary training course and vision tests based on evidence from a valid Nebraska driver’s license or state-licensed ophthalmologist.

34. Nevada
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 10
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 68
Nevada has some unique laws regarding licensing. Licensees are typically required to officially declare the specific types of handguns they intend to carry, but Nevada also has laws protecting the confidentiality of permit holders’ information. Reciprocity with other states is less than desirable, especially with California right next door.

33. Maine
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 8
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 5
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 69
One of the more gun-friendly states on the East Coast, Maine issues licenses on a Shall-Issue basis to residents and non-residents. Licensees have no duty to immediately inform officers. Maine loses points because of poor reciprocity with most nearby states.

32. West Virginia
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 69
Licenses are issued to residents for $75, after applicants prove physical and mental competence with a firearm. West Virginia has a Stand Your Ground law, and reciprocity is average, although nearby East Coast states are not reciprocal.

31. Idaho
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 2
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 70
Idaho lost points because Stand Your Ground and duty to retreat laws in Idaho remain vague. While Idaho recognizes permits from every state except Vermont—which doesn’t issue permits—many neighboring states like Washington and Oregon do not recognize Idaho’s.

30. Oklahoma
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 70
Oklahoma honors licenses from every state in the nation, including permit-less carry states such as Vermont. Oklahoma has strong Stand Your Ground laws, but requires duty to inform law enforcement officers and does not issue licenses to non-residents.

29. Louisiana
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 70
Louisiana issues licenses to residents only on a Shall-Issue basis. Permits from almost every Shall-Issue state in the nation are honored. Though licenses are slightly more expensive, Louisiana broke a tie-breaker with Oklahoma because the state is slightly more gun-friendly according to our “Best States for Gun Owners.”

28. Minnesota
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 12
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 71
Obtaining a Minnesota license is a similar process as most states requiring firearm training for Shall-Issue licenses. Application fees may cost up to $85. Non-residents can also obtain licenses on a Shall-Issue basis.

27. North Carolina
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 9
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 71
Though North Carolina requires licensees to immediately present their permit when approached or addressed by law enforcement, the Tar Heel State beat out Minnesota in the tie-breaker because reciprocity is better and North Carolina is slightly more gun-friendly overall.

26. Arkansas
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 5
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 72
While some folks claim Arkansas is now a permitless carry state due to recent court rulings, the State of Arkansas claims permitless carry and open carry remain illegal under the new laws. It appears cleaning up the language in the current law will require another court case to set the record straight.

25. Tennessee
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 73
Licenses in the Volunteer State are issued on a Shall-Issue basis to residents for $115. Stand Your Ground laws are well-defined. Tennessee honors all other states’ licenses, and Tennessee licenses are honored by all bordering states.

24. Kansas
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 0
Stand Your Ground: 9
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 74
Concealed carry permits in Kansas are reciprocal with all neighboring states. Licenses are only issued to residents who take a training course and pay a $150 application fee. State law pre-empts local cities and counties from enacting their own firearm laws, except for open carry.

23. Georgia
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 12
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 74
Georgia is generally a gun-friendly state, but loses points with a $75 licensing fee and mediocre reciprocity. The state also does not issue permits to non-residents.

22. Washington
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 10
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 75
Permits are issued on a shall-issue basis for $55 to residents and non-residents with no safety or live-fire training. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to obtain a license, but nearby states such as Oregon, Nevada and California are not reciprocal.

21. South Dakota
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 4
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 76
Though open carry is permitted without a license in many parts of the state, concealed carry requires a shall-issue license. Licenses are only $10 and require no formal safety or live-fire training.

20. Wisconsin
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 76
If gun laws in Wisconsin have anything in common with cheese, it’s that they get better with age. Recent legislation known as Act 35 has paved the way for the proliferation of carry rights throughout the state.

19. Mississippi
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 76
Recent legislation in Mississippi has expanded carry laws to allow folks who obtain an “enhanced permit” to carry in some places normally off-limits to those who obtain regular Shall-Issue permits. But be ready to pull out your pocketbook to pay $132 for the first time individual application fee to obtain a license.

18. South Carolina
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 77
Folks in South Carolina can carry concealed on a shall-issue basis, but must inform police officers immediately on contact during a traffic stop. Licenses are also not honored by the neighboring state of Georgia.

17. Florida
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 78
Florida’s concealed carry license is honored by many states because obtaining one meets or exceeds most state’s minimum requirements; applicants are required to take part in live-fire training, fingerprinting and photographs. Florida’s carry laws have been used as a model for several other states as concealed carry has proliferated across the country. Florida scored well in all categories, but their $112 application fee is not desirable.

16. Iowa
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 4
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 79
Honoring licenses from all other states, Iowa scores well in reciprocity. The cost of new permits is lower than the national average, and permits are obtained on a shall-issue basis.

15. Missouri
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 4
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 79
Though licenses can cost up to $100, Missouri CCW licenses have excellent reciprocity. Open carry is legal without a permit, depending on local laws/ordinances. Current military members and veterans ages 18-20 can also obtain a concealed carry permit on a shall-issue basis.

14. Texas
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 2
Stand Your Ground: 9
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 80
Texas is a famously gun-friendly state, and so are its concealed carry laws—with exception to licensing fees. Cost of a new resident license is among the worst on this list at $140. Texas recognizes licenses from 41 states, has a Stand Your Ground law with no duty to retreat, and immunity from civil lawsuits.

13. Kentucky
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 6
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 81
Kentucky honors licenses from all other states. A safety course is required to obtain a concealed carry permit, but no permit is required for open carry. State law specifically indicates training instructors cannot charge more than $75 for an applicant’s training course.

12. Montana
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 81
Montana would have made the top 10 if they were a true “Constitutional Carry” state. According to state law, a person may carry without a permit if they are, “outside the official boundaries of a city or town or the confines of a logging, lumbering, mining, or railroad camp or who is lawfully engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, backpacking, farming, ranching, or other outdoor activity in which weapons are often carried for recreation or protection.”

11. Virginia
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 7
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 82
Virginia has reciprocity agreements with carry licenses from 27 states. Licenses are issued to residents and non-residents on a shall-issue basis. Virginia has well-defined Stand Your Ground laws, and permit holders have no duty to inform law enforcement upon immediate contact.

10. Indiana
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 83
It seems the Hoosier State is good at more than just college basketball. Residents also know a bit about firearms, with 39 percent owning guns. Indiana scores well all around, with shall-issue licenses available without formal training. Lifetime carry licenses are also available for a nominal cost.

9. North Dakota
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 9
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 6
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 84
North Dakota is a Shall-Issue state for residents and non-residents. Open carry is legal only with a permit. North Dakota also scores high in reciprocity and Stand Your Ground laws.

8. Alabama
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 84
A sweet home for concealed carry, Alabama sheriffs issue licenses to residents without formal firearm training for a reasonable price. Licenses have excellent reciprocity with neighboring states, and open carry is legal with some exceptions.

7. Pennsylvania
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 14
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 8
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 85
Overall, obtaining a license to carry in Pennsylvania is considered very easy compared to other states. No formal training or handgun proficiency is required, and license fees are reasonably priced.

6. Alaska
Permit Issuance: 25
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 8
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 0
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 86
Alaska is another “Constitutional Carry” state where law-abiding residents 21 and over don’t need a license to carry. Licenses are issued to residents who choose to carry out-of-state. Alaska lost a total of 10 points for requiring duty to inform officers immediately upon contact, and for not issuing licenses to non-residents.

5. Vermont
Permit Issuance: 25
Reciprocity: 12
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 9
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 86
The Green Mountain State has long been friendly to both open and concealed carry. Carrying without a license is legal, but Vermont does not issue licenses, so residents will need to obtain a non-resident license from another state if they wish to travel outside Vermont with their firearm—unless they travel to Alaska, Arizona or Oklahoma, where a Vermont Driver’s License and being legally able to own a firearm are grounds for legal carry.

4. New Hampshire
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 12
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 87
In New Hampshire, residents are not required to complete any formal training or demonstrate knowledge of firearms to receive a permit. Although permits have poor reciprocity compared to other states, license fees are only $10 for residents.

3. Wyoming
Permit Issuance: 25
Reciprocity: 16
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 7
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 0
TOTAL: 88
In the state with more antelope than people, Wyoming residents who can legally own a firearm can carry concealed without a license. Wyoming would have placed second—but they don’t issue licenses to non-residents, and Wyoming permits are only reciprocal with states who also honor their permit.

2. Utah
Permit Issuance: 20
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 8
Application Fee: 8
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 89
Although Utah requires a license for concealed carry, the state scores very well all around. Licenses are issued on a Shall-Issue basis to both residents and non-residents, and have reciprocity with a large number of states.

1. Arizona
Permit Issuance: 25
Reciprocity: 18
Training Time: 10
Application Fee: 10
Stand Your Ground: 10
Best States for Gun Owners: 10
Duty to Inform: 5
Pre-Emption: 5
Issued to Non-Residents: 5
TOTAL: 98
After taking the top spot in “The Best States for Gun Owners,” Arizona tops the leaderboard once again. As a “Constitutional Carry” state, anyone 21 and over who can legally own a firearm can carry it concealed without a license. In addition, Arizona issues licenses on a Shall-Issue basis, allowing residents and non-residents to carry their weapons when traveling out-of-state. Arizona also has no duty to immediately inform an officer, has excellent reciprocity and a Stand Your Ground law.

*Editor’s note: State-specific gun laws are a complicated, frustrating and fluid subject. Some states are very hazy on certain statutes, so our data reflects those confusions with general statements based on our understanding of the law. Tie breakers were decided on a case-by-case basis and judged on self-defense laws, or how gun-friendly the state is overall. It’s also important to note safety and live-fire training time are ALWAYS recommended for anyone who carries, even if training is not a statutory requirement. We are not lawyers, nor do we claim to be. All information is current as of October 24, 2013. 

G&A Polls

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  • Erik B

    Whoa…You BLEW it in VT. Zero points for ‘issue to non-residents??? Vermont’s Freedom to carry (concealed OR open) without a permit is NOT restricted to residents. ANY US citizen (or legal ‘green card’ alien) who is not federally prohibited from possessing arms may carry in VT without restrictions beyond the Federal ones. VT should get a 20 out of 10 on that and a fe ofthe other categories. We are the ONLY state to have NEVER restricted our 2nd ammendment rights.

    • matthew_carberry

      Yep, for AK too. I posted a longer comment above on how they should do it to give us Con Carry states proper credit.

      The only “pro” for a state to offer a non-res permit but not require one is if, like FL or UT, they give wide reciprocity in still other states.

    • Curt

      Agreed. Vermont is the only state in New England in which I’m legal. I’m a resident of Wisconsin. Our permit here alone does the trick although I possess Utah and Florida as well.

    • Josh Duke

      I wouldn’t say NEVER. You can’t legally own a suppressor in VT. And a suppressor is something that always sits on my home defense guns. My hearing and that of my family is rather important to me. ;-)

    • Patriot

      You missed the point. Arizona for example also does not require ANYONE to get a permit. But Arizona issues permits to non-residents, and in turn those non-resident permits are recognized by more than two dozen other states.

  • David E. Kerr

    Pennsylvania is a great state for right-to-carry, unless you happen to be one of the 1.5 million residents thereof who reside in Philadelphia. Both the mayor & chief of police are unabashedly opposed to the 2nd Amendment (as is the new attorney general of the Commonwealth, Kathleen Kane). The city routinely flouts PA’s firearms preemption laws, & makes getting a license to carry exceedingly difficult. I suppose I’m just lucky I live in such a quiet, crime-free area …

  • The Voice

    Your information on NV is outdated. You qualify with your sidearm(s) as either Pistol and/or Revolver. Applicants are no longer “…required to officially declare the specific types of handguns they intend to carry…”
    In the past the sidearm you desired to carry did have to be specified on your CC, that is no longer the case, just Pistol or Revolver or Both.

    • Gordon

      Nevada now has a “one gun, any gun” requirement. Qualify with any one handgun, carry any handguns, no limits on type or numbers allowed..

    • PilotHelo

      Gordon is correct. This change was passed into law earlier this year and just became effective at the beginning of October 2013. Qualify with any gun and carry any gun. As a NV resident, I welcome this. We also have open carry, so you have options. Anyone can open carry, not just residents.

  • The Voice

    Missouri Legislature must have some wacky kids writing the rules:

    “Current military members and veterans ages 18-20 can also obtain a concealed carry permit on a shall-issue basis.”
    …or G&A may want to invest in a second pair of eyes as a proofreader/editor.

    • deanrand

      Nevada dropped the type and brand of the handgun on the CCW, however Clark Co. still mandates registration of all handguns, which is un-constitutional.

  • matthew_carberry

    Alaska is represented incorrectly as well. AK allows anyone legally able to possess a firearm to carry it without a permit of any kind concealed at 21 or openly at 18. Residency doesn’t matter at all, neither does citizenship.

    You really need two categories: Permit required to carry in that state -by non-residents-with 0 points for yes and 5 points for no, to give credit to true Con Carry states, and – permit available to non-residents to carry in third states, with 5 for yes and 0 for no, which gives credit to states like FL and UT which are in essence “reciprocity farms.”

  • tmoore912

    You put a decent amount of weight on cost of the carry license application fee, but put no weight on how much the training cost money wise. The time and cost of the training is one of the leading determinations on whether a person in a Non-constitutional carry state will apply for a carry license. License and training fees that cost $200.00 + keep a lot of people from getting carry licenses. I’d call that majorly gun-unfriendly.

  • Gordon

    Nevada has no state requirement to list the type of guns to be carried on the license or on any paperwork. This has been the case for several years. Anyone (instructor or law enforcement) who requires listing of weapons is breaking state law.

    We have a “one gun, any gun” qualification requirement. This means that you can qualify with any handgun you want and carry any handgun you want.

    Only Clark County has any registration requirements. This is due to the number of California transplants there.

    • Gordon

      I also notice that you mention a lack of reciprocity, especially with California right next door. Yet there is no mention of the fact that Arizona (ranked #1) permits are also not recognized by California (right next door).

      • AD_Rtr_OS

        CA recognizes NO permits issued by other jurisdictions. Even some Federal papers are suspect in The Golden State.

    • AD_Rtr_OS

      Those laws were implemented to “fight” (protect) the mob guys back “in the day”, and are still on the books – same in Washoe (Reno), and have nothing to do with CA transplants.

  • Jeff Knox

    I’m really disturbed by the poll that appeared at the bottom of this article asking whether respondents think laws regarding gun sales need to be stricter, stay the same, or be less strict. We know that there are lots of stupid rules and restrictions regarding gun sales, but still, 39% of G&A respondents said keeping the laws as they are is best. There’s a reason we preach to the choir – to many in the choir have a listening problem.
    http://www.FirearmsCoalition.org

  • Red

    California preempts local authorities from implementing their own gun control laws. In the most recent session, Oakland was denied the chance to set up their own registration scheme. L.A. was denied the ability in a recent session as well.

  • antonlee

    I’m pretty sure we extremists in NH still covet a swap of laws with our Green Mountain neighbors. Some are working for that. Some of the nanny types have many negative laws in the works this year. No way we should be marked better than Vermont.

  • Jennifer

    As liberal as NY is, and with the entire unSafe Act… I was issued a unrestricted carry permit within 4 months, (no arrest history, no mental history, qualified candidate) and I am only an hour away from the City. So I would have to say this report is quite BS. Sorry.

    • ArmedPatriot

      Definitely seems like their standards are a bit off.

  • Kari

    Colorado does not require anyone to show proficiency with a firearm. Some instructors do, but Colorado does not.

  • David Miller

    You’re incorrect about California pre-emption. The state does have a pre-emption law: in fact, Governor Brown just vetoed a bill that would have created an exemption to the law for the city of Oakland.

    • AD_Rtr_OS

      Difficult to keep track of CA’s idiocy.
      In the ATF published listing of all state firearms laws, CA comprised about 20% of all entries, and the book was over 200-pgs.

  • PipersMommy

    I have a NY unrestricted concealed carry permit and spent the better part of 2 years and $1,000 in training and fees, not to mention the time for one-on-one interviews with the county judge. Having a Utah, Florida, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota permit already didn’t even help with the process. It was cumbersome and ridiculous.

    • bossmanham

      One of the few and the proud.

      I thought you had to be a rich celebrity…

      • Joe

        It is highly dependent on where you are in the state. Some areas (NYC, Albany, Syracuse) try and grant premise or “sportsman” licenses. Other parts of the state (Adirondacks, Buffalo, Finger Lakes) issue concealed carry by default. Monroe County (my county) hands out concealed permits to pretty much anyone that applies, it just takes them 6-12 months.

        • bossmanham

          So if I ever move to ny…

          • CJ Turner

            ….your sanity will be questioned.

  • ArmedPatriot

    Im sorry but I live in Ohio and its FINE here.
    FAR better than it was 20 years ago.
    Hell even in Columbus with Obama Jr as mayor its a very pro gun state to live in.

  • Guest

    I’m surprised that Delaware is listed worse than Maryland. Yes we (DE) have to jump through hoops but we can and do get permits. A check in the local publications will reveal that fact. You were correct about the open carry being “technically”. There is no law stating we can carry open but here is also no stating we can’t. There ar also a LOT of restrictions on open and/or concealed carry. In Maryland…ain’t no how ain’t no way, don’t even try.

  • Pamela Morris III

    I’m surprised that Delaware is listed worse than Maryland. Yes we (DE) have to jump through hoops but we can and do get permits. A check in the local publications will reveal that fact. You were correct about the open carry being “technically”; there is no law stating we can open carry but there is also no law stating we can’t. There are also a LOT of restrictions on open and/or concealed carry. In Maryland…ain’t no how ain’t no way, don’t even try.

    • Finch

      yeah this seems like a mistake to me DE’s carry laws aren’t that bad as a PA resident with a FL permit i can carry there.

    • CJ Turner

      You have to publish your application. That is too crazy!

  • Divemedic

    You left out an important criteria: Places off limits to carriers. Various states have different views on this. Some don’t allow carry on college campus, others where alcohol is served. Some make churches, parades, or public gatherings with more than 5 people off limits. There are places where a property owner can post a sign that carries the force of law.

    Also, Florida doesn’t require live fire training, but it does require that you show “proficiency with a firearm.”

  • Kirk Parker

    Wow, what a messed-up survey. Excuse my local patriotism, but Washington State should come in at least in the top 5, and *way* ahead of late-comer states like TX and WI. And how ridiculous is it to hold lack of reciprocity with OR and CA against us, when it’s *those states* that prevent reciprocity from happening.

    • Bowserb

      I don’t think the rating is necessarily of the states’ laws in every respect, but rather how things are for citizens of those states. If you can’t carry to the state next door, that could be a problem for you, even though it’s not the fault of your state government.

  • John St Charles

    21st for SD, BS I can carry a auto blade knife, Brass knuckles etc. WTH? who does this research anyway

  • williammillerpupista

    A lot of people are surprised when I tell them Indiana’s better for gun rights than Georgia.Here’s the proof!

    http://www.gunsandammo.com/2013/10/24/best-concealed-carry-states-2013-text-only/

  • John St Charles

    Traveler’s guide to fire arm laws ranked by 1 to 100% total freedom their listing out of a 100% total freedom. AL-75,AK-96, AR96, KS65, CA22 CO70, CONN26, DE 60, DC9, FL88, GE88, HI 12, ID 89, ILL 28, IND80, IA75, KS 80, KY90, LO89, ME76, MD29, MASS 12, MICH60, MINN 70, MISS89, MISSOURI 92, MON 89, NE 74, NV 86, NH 82, NJ 16, NM 90, NY30, NC 86, ND 80, OH 80, OK 78, RI 42, SC 82, SD 90, TENN 76, TEX 90, UTAH 94, VT 96, VA 89, WA 80, WV 76, WI 82, WY 94, Hope this helps

    • thebronze

      Link?

    • AD_Rtr_OS

      What’s your ranking for AZ?

    • Jinete Largo

      Including DC there should be 51 rankings. You’ve listed only 49. Arizona, (AZ) is missing (as AD_Rtr_OS points out) and there’s another one missing too. Thanks for the work you did do!

  • Chris

    You guys messed up with CT. Your permit to carry also works for purchasing a pistol (as well as long guns and ammo), you do not need a separate Eligibility Certificate. The Eligibility Certificate is only required to purchase a pistol if you DON’T have a carry permit.

    Also, it costs far more then $70 for a new permit. First, you also have required fingerprint and background check fees ($16.50 and $50.00) on top of the $70 application fee, and that only gets you a local temp permit that expires in 60 days. You need to take that temp permit to the state, along with ANOTHER $70 to get a real permit. So the total for a new permit is actually $206.50 plus the cost of mandatory training (usually another $100-$200).

    • Bowserb

      I think the survey missed on the cost factor in many ways. Mandatory fingerprinting, etc. are part of the cost of getting the license. The cost of training varies so much, it would be difficult to do other than find the cheapest training and include that. Also some states have a cheaper renewal or, like Texas, a break for seniors and veterans. The standard Texas new app fee is $140 and is non-refundable if you’re declined due to the background check. You may also pay an additional $25, if you want to get your own copy of the background results. I did that. Waste of money, since I knew I had nothing negative in my background, and that’s what the report said.

      In the case of CT, the fact that your concealed license also allows you to buy a gun may be irrelevant to other states, again like Texas, where there is no permit or eligibility certificate to buy a gun, except for the Form 4473.

  • NC-guy

    Looks like there is a word missing in the North Carolina paragraph. What is the missing word? It reads “…Tar Heel State beat out Minnesota in the tie-breaker because is better and North Carolina is slightly more gun-friendly overall. ”
    Um… WHAT is better?

    Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/2013/10/24/best-concealed-carry-states-2013-text-only/#ixzz2j7ZFXEqa

  • Dennis VanWey

    I don’t quite understand why more training equals fewer points. Ohio requires 10 hours classroom and 2 hours shooting. Personally, I don’t think that’s nearly enough range time to provide any kind of proficiency. Also renewal here is like a driver’s license. No re-testing or re-training. I am all for reducing restrictions on where you can carry but as gun carriers we need to lead the way in safe and proficient handling. Training is the only way to develop it.

    • Guest

      Problem with that mentality is it draws away from the fact that being armed is a right, not a privilege. Any “training” or fees is an infringement. When was the last time you had to pass a test to vote, or adopt a religion, or express your opinion on the government? Yet we seem to insist on treating firearms different. While I agree with the premise that we would like everyone to be proficient I would never sacrifice our rights for that false sense of comfort.

      • George Washington

        In addition, even having to obtain a permit is an infringement.

  • milehisnk

    You guys royally screwed the pooch on Colorado.

    You gave a 7 on training time (7-9 hours) but the reality is, the state only requires a 3 hour course, which would be 9 points.

    Also, SYG/Castle Doctrine should have been a 10. CO has the best castle doctrine in the nation, we have SYG outside the home, castle doctrine extends to your car, we have immunity from civil prosecution.
    The last part that you miss, is that while it’s rare, you can get a non-resident permit if you can provide justification. This means it is a may-issue state for non-residents. You have to have proof of necessity, such as a vacation residence, etc., but it is possible. So your 63 points should have been 69. And if you want to get technical, the application cost for the permit is only $100, the rest of the $52.50 are costs to run a background check and fingerprinting. If you add that technicality, CO would have had 73 points, but 69 I think is the most accurate number.

  • Trigger Trainers

    The cost points should be based on cost per year, not on dollar cost. Florida is $112 for 7 years which makes the cost per year less than many others.

  • Trigger Trainers

    Florida accepts a certificate from an NRA certified instructor. This could either be for the completion of an NRA firearms course, including first steps pistol which is only a 3 hour course or for a private personal training under the guidance of the instructor which could conceivably be less than 3 hours. So your rating for Florida in this category is wrong.

  • Fedup13

    As of October 1st, 2013 you can’t purchase a firearm or ammo without a certificate of eligibility, pistol permit, long gun permit, or ammunition certificate in the state of Ct.

  • StormReaper

    A certain permit or certain profession allows for guns to be carried openly or concealed where the public can not exercise those rights (courthouses, federal, state buildings, schools unless the school permits so by teachers or select staff, places that consume alcohol ex: bars). But I have gone into Best Buy wearing my .45 openly on my hip a few days after they were robbed (in Billings, MT) and did not have a problem. A few police officers complimented me on my gun and a few employees loved that I was open carrying. I have repeated that action at grocery stores, fast food restaurants, gas stations, city parks, Verizon store… All without incident. I have my CCW to conceal if I choose to but I’m not required to conceal. In Montana, while you can open carry legally, you can not conceal carry without a CCW permit. If someone has their CCW, they can conceal carry except for in the previously mentioned federal buildings, school, hospitals and bars.

    This paragraph under Montana is innacurate-

    According to state law, a person may carry without a permit if they are, “outside the official boundaries of a city or town or the confines of a logging, lumbering, mining, or railroad camp or who is lawfully engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, backpacking, farming, ranching, or other outdoor activity in which weapons are often carried for recreation or protection.”

    That statements simply is NOT true. I have lived “in the city” and “in the county” and open/conceal carried in both places. I am always walking around the woods, running errands, going out to eat with my pistol on me (either open or concealed) and if it’s hunting season, I carry both pistol and rifles. I don’t need a permit to have my pistol with me regarding fishing, camping, hiking, farming or whatnot. That paragraph is simply not true.

    We can shop, buy a car, go to the ATM (just not inside the bank), buy furniture, go camping, hiking, driving around, to a friends house using the interstate highways, so on and so forth and it is all legal in Montana regardless of in/out of city/county limits. Montana is most certainly a “Constitutional” state. We don’t need permits to have as many guns as we wish, to defend our family, homes (inside or out), property and the lives of others using deadly force if needed. Our SYG/Castle Doctrine Law protects the victims not the perps, same with our vehicles. Our vehicles are an extension of our homes and I always have a loaded gun in my vehicle. Montana doesn’t force you to have guns, but they wont tolerate taking away the right to have one unless it goes against the law such as convicted felons, court ordered mental deficiencies, certain types of restraining orders, ect. I am very particular about knowing these points especially being a gun owner. I need to know laws and codes, our boundaries, so I can be a better, more responsible gun owner and gun rights advocate.

  • thetruthmatters

    A more true ranking would include the following 5 categories:

    1. suppressors allowed?
    2. Does the State require a permit to buy or own guns?
    3. SBR’s and SBSs allowed?
    4. hunting with suppressors allowed?
    5. fully automatic guns allowed?

    If the above 5 elements were also part of the scoring, then the truer “Best States for Gunowners” would be quite different than the Fudd influenced/oriented best list published by Guns & Ammo. The ranking list would be far different with these 5 added categories that mean a lot to me. For example, Colorado ranks #40 in their present list, but has always maxed out on the above 5 categories (no State permits and all 4 other categories have always been lawful in CO). These additional categories influenced my choice of where to live.

  • Jay Ferguson

    You gave Massachusetts too many points for reciprocity…

  • ForTheMusic

    damn..i thought Kansas and Missouri would be in the top 10

  • Rodney

    Respectfully G&A you’re full of it. Texas at 14 and Oklahoma at 30??? You obviously don’t know squat about either state or their laws. I’ve lived in and been licensed in BOTH and in 2013 Oklahoma it 1000 times better than Texas. Lower license cost, MORE state reciprocity (more states honor the OK license) and FEWER “restricted” areas…..plus (and yeah I know this rating was on CONCEALED carry) Oklahoma has OPEN carry and Texas does NOT.

  • Rich

    You need to restate the Montana Law. Montana would have made the top 10 if they were a true “Constitutional Carry” state. According to state law, a person may “CONCEAL” carry without a permit if they are, “outside the official boundaries of a city or town or the confines of a logging, lumbering, mining, or railroad camp or who is lawfully engaged in hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, hiking, backpacking, farming, ranching, or other outdoor activity in which weapons are often carried for recreation or protection.” However, anyone can OPEN carry anywhere in the state with exception of FEDERAL Buildings and Schools. Conceal Carry is only restricted in State Buildings, Schools, Bars and Public Assemblies. MCA 45-8-328. Carrying concealed weapon in prohibited place
    Read more: http://www.gunsandammo.com/2013/03/14/ga-ranks-the-best-states-for-gun-owners-in-2013/#ixzz2jKfUiTgG

    • Jullie M

      EXACTLY!!!! I have already had email discussions with the editor about misrepresenting Montana… I see no corrections have been made… I pointed out multiple state statutes and annotated codes by law and still nothing…

  • PatriotM1A

    Pennslyvania No 7…..I’m surprised !! Although Philadelphia continues to create problems.
    Also, a Democrat AG Kathleen Kane, continues to abuse her authority by promising to restrict reciprocity agreements and not expand new ones. Recently, Allegheny Co. Sheriff Mullen has promised to reduce waiting periods to ten days, a huge improvement.

  • Bowserb

    Texas license fees are outrageous. However, you get a break for being a senior (60+), being a veteran, or active duty military. Also, now that the law changed in September 2013, you don’t have to take a renewal class, so you do at least save that. After the first time, that is.

  • Rktman

    If I missed it being posted by someone else, but the law in Nevada recently changed and you may test with one type of weapon such as a revolver but once you obtain your permit you are able to carry either semi-auto or a revolver. The only county that requires registration is Clark County where Las Vegas is located. They need to make the whole state follow the same rules. Despite all of this, there was a strong push in the last legislative session for “universal” background checks. It passed but thankfully, Governor Sandoval vetoed it. The libs vow to bring it back next session. I WILL be at any hearing I can get to and I’m already gathering as much material as I can to fight them. Even if I have to pay for hand-outs out of my own pocket.

  • milburnschmidt

    You have to think you lived to long when you were raised during WW11 and very few people carried guns or felt the need to in those days. Those days were not perfect but they were safe unless you were a target of the Klan in the south. Obviously some day allthese guns will be used or needed then maybe we get it out of our system and tolerate each other again.

    • Jon Weiss

      The days you speak of are gone, but I wish they would return, the days of few if any “drive bys”, and a time when I grew up.

      My first firearm was a 30.06 hunting rifle, ordered by mail, and sent to my house by way of USPS, from Sears Roebuck Co.

  • Jon S.

    When Law Enforcement can GUARANTEE !!! my safety and my familys safety from place to place and state to state, I will leave my weapon at home. I’m in Law Enforcement and I CAN’T !!! so …… CCW everyone and protect yourself, your family, your loved ones and the innocent. Thank You

  • Ted Sell

    Your information regarding Nevada is not up to date. As of 10/1/13, there is no need to declare the model of weapon qualified for; your either permitted to carry a pistol or you don’t get a permit. Second, Nevada has reciprocity with 34 states and Florida allows Nevada Permit Holders to also get a Florida CCW, leading to even more states of reciprocity. Additionally, why would you downgrade Nevada for not having reciprocity with California when it is California that refuses to allow freedom of self-defense in its state, not Nevada?

    • CJ Turner

      Because your liberty to travel is restricted by your neighbors. Not good.

      • Ted Sell

        CJ, you don’t get it. Reciprocity is a 2-way street; BOTH states have to agree to respect the other’s permits. It ISN’T Nevada that refuses California; it’s California that doesn’t want people protecting themselves.

  • Keith Peddycoart

    I feel like rating Oklahoma 30th is way lower than they should be. You failed to mention their open carry.

  • Joe Kapp

    A tough job to score with many variables. However, you could have made one score fairer. That is the cost of a license. You should have made it cost of a license per year. A $100 license for 10 years is better that a $50 license for 3 years. That is where the true value is.

  • LARRY DE

    I pistol permit should be like a drivers license. Get it in one state, and use it in every state. Almost 50,000 people die on our roads every year. Yet we still license people to drive. Lets take back our country Americans. The 2nd amendment stands. And it is the FIRST Home Land Security Law. Arm the law abiding and the Criminals WILL think twice. Thank You.

  • Robert Baldwin

    I am a little surprised here. Training, or the lack there of, scores high? Shouldn’t we at least require some of this? Personally, myself, my wife, and my son all have CCW permits. My wife though took a bit of work to be able to get her to hit 7 of 10 in the target as required to pass the class to get a CCW. This tells me that this is a good thing, last thing I ever want is for her to be in a situation where she needs to under pressure hit her target but is unable to because she was not trained. Sorry, this to me doesn’t make a state more gun friendly.

  • http://teejaw.com/ TeeJaw

    I haven’t read all the comments but you may have missed the issue of carrying in bars. Most states restrict that to restaurants where food is the dominant source of revenue. Colorado and Utah do not restrict carrying in bars where liquor is the dominant service. It’s never been a problem in Colorado since permits were first issued in the 19th century and there’s little reason for states to restrict it. One cannot be over the legal limit of BAC while in possession of a firearm, and it’s probably not smart to imbibe at all while carrying, but if one has a reason to be in a bar they should not lose their right to carry responsibly. While some bars are places to avoid, others are not. Some are peaceful and friendly neighborhood gathering places. So why would you need to carry in those places? Well, you hope you don’t but…

  • LegalDuck

    Lots of people are complaining about a couple errors for a couple states, others just complaining that a state they like is lower on the list than it should be. Overall, a great post and overview of what restrictions (or lack thereof) each state imposes

  • mas

    The 2A is federal law and a natural right of self-protection goes beyond the 2A. There should be a federal driver’s license endorsement for concealed carry that allows concealed carry in EVERY state or jurisdiction. BUT as long as each state has gun rights people championing their own rights, it diminishes the actual right to carry everywhere. If all the gun rights orgs were to propose and fight for ONE CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT FOR ALL 50 STATES, we would have a much sounder and safer country. A Driver’s License Endorsement makes the most sense. And so does some kind of training required. But it should be a “shall issue” type of endorsement so long as the applicant can buy a handgun legally and has gun and law training governing the carrying and use of the weapon. State lines make no more sense for self-protection than they do for operating a motor vehicle. While concealed carry “in the land” makes a lot of sense to me, making sure the applicant knows how to operate the firearm and understands its legal uses makes just as much sense when driving a car as it does carrying a lethal weapon. Finding a practical approach to training (NRA?) and codifying governing federal law to make a driver’s license endorsement work could end the nonsense we have today and make the public safer too. “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

    • EvilleSV

      While I agree with what you are saying for the most part, you should remember that driving a car is not a “right”. It is a “privilege”. To “keep and bear arms” is a right. So I would actually say there is WAY MORE reason to have a federal/country-wide concealed carry law than there is for a federal driver’s license. Not that there isn’t a good reason for that too. Just more from a practical perspective as opposed to anything else.

  • George Washington

    I am a corporate pilot and travel throughout the country. I cannot protect myself in anyway legally while working, traveling to or from the airport and while in my hotel room. Many airports are in very high crime areas. It is a shame and a violation to the constitution. Recently two pilots walking to a restaurant near their hotel were jumped by thugs and viciously beaten. One has permanent brain damage. Land of the free. Yeah Right.

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