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Best States for Gun Owners 2014

by G&A Staff   |  May 22nd, 2014 270

GA-best-gun-states-bannerCivilian firearm ownership is among the most defining aspects of American culture. The freedoms we cherish in the United States simply wouldn’t exist without the right to bear arms, and the preservation of liberty thrives on grassroots gun owners.

Unfortunately, the rights of civilians to arm and legally defend themselves are constantly at risk.

Gun laws in the U.S. vary extensively across the map, but geography is not always an accurate predictor of a state’s freedom index. Many states in the South and West have taken steps to expand the rights of their citizens during recent legislative sessions. In places like Arizona, Georgia and Kentucky, gun ownership is encouraged and shooting sports are widely popular. In other locations, gun ownership is condemned, heavily regulated and residents have few opportunities to experience the sporting aspects of firearms. States like California, Connecticut and New York have repeatedly illustrated their disregard for individual rights through legislation that restricts the ability of its citizens to purchase and possess firearms.

To examine which states are culturally accepted as the most firearm-friendly territories, G&A interviewed a variety of gun owners at the 2014 NRA Show. Find out where gun owners feel most welcome in the video below, then continue reading to see where your state ranks this year.


Drawing from trusted sources and numerous examples of state-specific legislation and case law, we took a fresh look at the gun laws of every state in America to put things into perspective for 2014.

States were ranked numerically in each of these five categories:

  • Right-to-Carry: Each state was evaluated on whether it allows individuals to carry handguns, concealed or openly, with or without permits. If permits are issued, we evaluated whether they are issued on a “may issue” or “shall issue” basis and how readily ordinary citizens can obtain them. Close attention was paid to how restrictive state laws were in prohibiting carry in places such as restaurants, banks, parks and the like. In states where open carry is legal, we evaluated whether that right is prevented by municipal ordinances. A “perfect 10” included states such as Arizona and Wyoming, which allow permitless carry but also “shall issue” permits to allow residents to carry in reciprocal states. Scores trended downward from there based on the factors listed previously.
  • Modern Sporting Rifles: We evaluated the types of restrictions states and their respective municipalities place on semiautomatic firearms not regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). These restrictions include limits on magazine capacity as well as banning or requiring registration based on cosmetic features such as bayonet lugs, pistol grips and folding buttstocks.
  • NFA: Machine guns, suppressors (“silencers” according to the NFA), short-barreled rifles (SBRs) and shotguns (SBSs), Any Other Weapons (AOWs), and Destructive Devices (DDs) can only be purchased and owned in accordance with NFA laws. States can and do restrict these items in a complicated patchwork of laws across the nation. We examined which states restrict the ownership of NFA items and which do not. States that do not restrict ownership and compel Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) to sign licensing documents were given top marks.
  • Castle Doctrine: English common law established that a man’s home is his castle and he has a right to defend it. Laws that regulate the use of force to prevent death, serious bodily injury or forcible crimes vary significantly from state to state. We examined the statutes and case law in each state and ranked them accordingly. States that allowed the use of force, including deadly force, in defense of life were given the highest score if the right applied anywhere someone has a right to be. States that impose a duty to retreat before using force were ranked accordingly, and jurisdictions that severely restrict a citizen’s ability to use a firearm in self-defense were given the lowest scores.
  • Miscellaneous: This category included a variety of substantive issues such as state constitutional provisions, state firearm law preemption, purchase/registration requirements, percentage of gun ownership, shooting range protection statues, availability of ranges and access to the shooting sports. States with a healthy firearms industry presence were noted, as were the attitudes of citizens toward the shooting sports and established shooting ranges.

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*Editor’s note: State-specific gun laws are a complicated, frustrating and fluid subject. We have consulted sources such as the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and state and law enforcement agencies to compile these rankings. Some states are very hazy on certain statutes, so our data reflects those confusions with general statements based on our understanding of the law. All information is current as of May 21, 2014.

  • Josh McNattin

    I think it’s important to point out that Ohio is the only state that reverses the burden of proof on a person claiming self-defense in a shooting, which I find chilling. I won’t be visiting if it isn’t absolutely critical. See Andrew Branca’s Law of Self Defense for lots of other crucial info on the topic.

  • Molan Labe

    Gotta disagree with this a bit. Missouri should be higher on the list. If you carry in a place you are not supposed to and have a concealed carry license it is not a crime. Only thing they can ask to you to is leave. If you refuse you can be fined $100. Try doing that in most other states and you get charged with a crime.

    • JWyeth

      I agree Missouri its an open carry state plus we no longer have to put our ccw on our DL, I always CC but on occasion I open carry my hand gun and nobody bats an eye it does not get any better than that

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        useful info

    • Dan Paul

      I agree, If Missouri is #11, that’s a great sign for the top 10.
      MO, is VERY pro 2nd Amendment.

  • Mike

    I love Florida! But, every state is an election away from losing their rights; if democrats are elected. They are a scourge…

    • ARMY1971

      Yea I was there this winter and moving there this fall, can’t believe the people are actually thinking of electing a Dumbocrat Gov. All they need to do is spend some time in this crime ridden, no growth, teacher union dominated, tax hell NY to see what Dumbocrat rule will do to you.

      • Kendall Carlile

        Yeah, the last thing we need is Libretards in Florida State leadership.

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          We shouldn’t let idiot socialists have the same word that Adam Smith and Thomas Paine used to describe themselves. We should all claim to be liberals, and then explain the word’s history to any young people who were improperly educated. :) This would also introduce “white noise” into the socialists’ political planning.

    • Mark Beckerini

      That’s truer than you realize! Just look at what happened to Colorado…

    • Southrider

      We need to find a way to prosecute the northerners who continue to vote on 2 states. Any ideas? (No way the politicians in New York will offer the info)

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        Sure. It’s called “grand jury presentment” …Look it up.

    • Phil Evans

      Florida is nice, but Florida prohibits open carry of pistols in general even by those who have a weapons license. In hot weather, concealing a full-sized pistol under extra clothes or stuffed into my already full waistband would not be my preferred manner of carry. Thankfully, in Georgia we have the freedom to carry as we like.

  • AmericanIcon

    Still Number One! Go, Arizona!

    • FredC1968

      Damn Skippy! Even Tucson south of River Rd is mostly firearms friendly.

  • Al Dunaway

    Yep, Arizona #1again.

    • Jeremy Hatfield

      Well-deserved, too. Even if you guys were a little late getting on board with Constitutional Carry. ;) (AK resident here)

      • Al Dunaway

        Like you, we also got a 0 from the Brady bunch, working on how to get into negative numbers next time.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      WY is actually better than AZ, from what I’ve recently learned. Unrestricted CCW with no local preemption. …But Alaska beats both for property rights in general, …except for oil rights / allodial title.

      • Al Dunaway

        Arizona no CCW required, open or concealed carry, state preemption against local restrictions. Wyoming only allows state residents to carry with no permit, Arizona allows anyone legally in the state, you do not need a permit from another state to carry.

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          Oustanding! I’ll need to follow up a little more. If this is true, then I may well move to AZ, assuming I can relieve the AZ LP Executive Committee of their jobs, because I don’t intend to settle into a fascist checkpoint state. No state in the USA is as free as the (anti-slavery) Founding Fathers designed it to be, nor as it should be, AZ included. The government needs to get out of our lives, ASAP!(I still can’t help but think that the I & R process is easier in other states, and that that should be the final arbiter.)

          In the final analysis, it matters the most where I can make the most difference. I won’t stop until there are no laws against private property. Those are the laws that kill innocent people.

          Thanks for the information, Al. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

          • Al Dunaway

            Any time, Jake. I am a life member and volunteer coordinator for the Arizona Citizen’s defense League, the group that lobbied the Legislature, shut don the e-mail server and switchboard at the Capitol and the Governor’s office, and as grown from 4 people o over 11,000 in 9 years. No anti firearm bill has made it out of committee during those years.

          • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

            Outstanding! You’ve gone a long way toward convincing me about how good AZ is. Now all I have to do is make a tactical decision: Can I reform the WY I&R process to the point it’s useable (and do I want to reward WY with a reciprocal CCW permit), should I keep my Alaska information where it is, or should I move to AZ? In AK and WY, there are far fewer people, and I’ve made my money doing pro-capitalist political organization for libertarian causes.

            I will say this: You’ve given me a lot to think about, and I greatly admire the work done by yourself and the ACDL if what you say is true. (And I have no reason to believe it isn’t.)

            A few more questions though: Given the population of AZ, how many members of that gun rights organization and others, combined? I know that in one single election cycle, the AK LP registered 9,000 people as Libertarian. (Actually one guy named Al did that, but I don’t think he wants to be “outed” here so I won’t give his last name.)

            There are far, far more people in AZ, so it makes me wonder, how many are hidebound “conservatives”? (One problem with calling oneself a “conservative” is that it inherently contains labeling that opposes the “social tolerance” half of individual freedom. It inherently inserts social intolerance into free market thinking, which is totally illegitimate. A simple label change to “classical liberal” or “libertarian” defeats that communication problem.) Conservatives tend to accept tyranny, unless it attacks them personally, as noted by Nobel Prize Winning Economist F. A. Hayek. http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/articles/hayek-why-i-am-not-conservative.pdf Classical liberals have a conception about how the future should be (modern “liberals” took only that normative view, and perverted it into socialism).

            In short, the problems of unfreedom can’t be solved at the level of thinking that created them. The “conservatives” in AZ who wish to deny marijuana users their property rights lack any way of protecting gun rights, because they think it’s OK for the police to destroy people’s cars and homes looking for personal property mislabeled as “contraband.” This is the core aspect of the socialist police state: the ability to violate the Bill of Rights, as it is written, in plain English.

            If WY and AK can get ~10K people effectively engaged, how many more could we get in AZ? Ideally, a pro-freedom bloc is centered around gun rights, and alternate currency rights. …Rights that can’t even be taken away if the excuse is “We just want to look for drugs.” Such thugs would be met with fast-moving lead in any truly free country.

            After what you’ve told me, I now need to ask about taxation, incorporation, allodial title, other forms of social tolerance (when will AZ legalize marijuana, and end the drug war and embrace property rights?), etc.

            Again: Thanks for the information, and all you’ve personally done to keep jack-booted stormtroopers away from our firearms.

          • Al Dunaway

            Also, we amended the State Constitution so if a dirtbag is killed or injured during the commission of a felony, attempting to commit a felony or fleeing from a felony, he or his survivors cannot sue you.

  • Stephen

    For CT possession of an unregistered 11+ round mag is only a ticket the first time but it does jump to a felony for the second offence. Suppressors are also legal. CT still doesn’t deserve to be ranked higher.

  • John Wood

    California gets no credit for being a “stand-your-ground” state?

    • Ban Liberals

      Stand your ground with WHAT? Paper clips?

      • John Wood

        You mean paper MAGAZINES.

    • Ban Liberals

      Stand your ground with WHAT? Paper clips?

    • Avian Flu

      i suppose CA could get credit for that, but i think you’d have to challenge someone with a sword, or a lance on horseback because apparently guns are evil and just by owning one in CA you’re assumed to be some kind of criminal.

  • Grits.N.Jowls

    I am envious of AZ; Georgia should be ranked higher because in addition to HB60 Governor Deal also signed HB 826 which authorizes licensed gun owners to carry in public school zones.

    • Charles_C

      Georgia isn’t an open carry state.

      • Grits.N.Jowls

        Well that’s news to those of us here who do it.

        • Charles_C

          Do you need a permit to open carry?

          • Grits.N.Jowls

            Right now we do but after 1 July it will be illegal for the cops to ask us if we have one. So everybody gets an open carry pass by default soon.

          • Charles_C

            Right now, that list also deals with right now.

          • Grits.N.Jowls

            Right now, the cops don’t bother us and I’ve never been confronted by one asking to see my GA weapons license even though I sometimes carry two guns on both hips in public, specifically in local malls.

          • Charles_C

            I’ve never had a cop to confront me about carrying. They ask me what I’m carrying, and I tell them and we chit chat a bit. Weather, where the cheapest ammo and who has it.

          • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

            But what if you ignore the pig bastards as you have every right to do? What if you have black skin?

            …Then you find out what rights you have, not what “temporary privileges” you have.

          • Jeff Tallant

            Grits your wrong kind of open carry has been legal since 1773 but in 1903 the license was requier to keep blacks from carrying..The hb 60 stops cops from police harassment on GWL holders

      • Jeff Tallant

        Your wrong Georgia is a Open Carry state one of our local proved it by carrying in a county park openly.

        • donedwards

          Georgia has NOT been an open carry state without a license since 1906. State laws take precedent (preempt) over county laws. Counties and cities could not restrict carry in parks even prior to HB60.

      • Phil Evans

        GA is not an unlicensed open carry state with regard to pistols, but with a GWCL you can carry a pistol openly or concealed. Long guns may be open carried without a license.

  • plectocomia

    I moved from California to Georgia last year and feel I won the jackpot!

    • jy kelly

      I moved from CALI, to Arizona,last year… That was after 60 years of living there.. Talk about hitting to jackpot…. NOW, if we could just vote out John McCain I’d really be happy….

      • Tim Wilkins

        Hell no you can not have my guns!!

      • ZENPATRIOT

        OUTSTANDING!

      • NameNotGiven

        This listing is not very sober or informed.

        DC is 51st? Really? It is harder and more time consuming to get a gun in Maryland, NJ and NY than DC. I know I have lived in NJ and DC and have friends in Maryland.

        As far as concealed carry permits, is Marylands “shall issue” which is in fact “will not issue except to retired LEO” different than DC “no issue?”

        Really would you rather have a jurisdiction tell you the special people can carry.

        In DC I can buy any handgun legal in Maryland, and way more are legal in DC than are legal in California or Mass. It takes less time to have in your hands.

        yes, like a huge number of states “assault rifles” are illegal in DC, but you can in fact buy a mini-14, ares scr when it comes online, and any number of semi auto shotguns.

        I am not supporting DC’s laws or any of the bogus gun control anywhere. These all scapegoat and distract from the real causes of violence, but it is an objective falsehood to rank it below Maryland, NJ, NY, Mass or California

        • benanov

          MD is may issue.

          • NameNotGiven

            May issue when you don’t issue is worse than forbidding it.

        • ronin

          Technically D.C. is not a state but our capital

          • NameNotGiven

            it is on the list of states here

        • ChristCrusader

          At least MD allows long guns in the vehicle away from home.
          DC will lock someone up just for unregistered spent casings in the vehicle!

          • NameNotGiven

            1) I can take my DC legal Mini 14 in my vehicle, it just has to be locked in trunk or container and unloaded. I drive it to the range in Va twice a month.
            2) several of the states on this list define ammunition as any reloadable consistent part. A spent casing is not illegal in my vehicle. If I have a 45 cal casing in my car it is fine as I have a valid 9mm handgun registration.
            And DC had one prosecution on a constituent ammo parts. The guy, who had no guns registered in DC was found to have a box of brand new unfired 40 cal, and muzzle loader semi jacketed hollow point with plastic sabot in his home. The warrant on the 40 cal was challenged so he was only prosecuted successfully on the muzzloader round. But as everyone knows frequently when the larger offense is knocked out on a technical evidentiary exclusion a minor offense will be prosecuted.
            I am not defending his prosecution, but it is irrelevant to the rest of us. He was in the middle of a contentious divorce and himself an attorney, he had at his DC residence a box of live, modern 40 cal.

          • Mi

            You talk like someone from a commie country. What part of the 2nd Amendment gives any state government or DC the right to restrict guns and ammo? You should be FREE to keep and bear arms without a bunch of special little rules or reasons. Why should you have to lock anything in your trunk?

          • JaimeIslandGuy

            “Mi” you should like someone living in a trailer park. Every state on this list has some restrictions.
            No one is arguing the issue of what is right and wrong with the laws but the level of the laws.
            Putting DC as 51st when Maryland and NJ are much worse, is silly

          • http://www.nraila.org/ Mi

            Hey Michael Bloomberg, I didn’t know you visited this site. We don’t have any paved roads either.

          • http://georgetown.edu/ Sarah Levin

            “Mi” you are the one that sounds like Michael Bloomberg.’

            You and the author of this article ought to actually register a handgun in NJ and DC before making the laughable claim DC is worse

          • http://www.nraila.org/ Mi

            I never said anything about which one was worse. They are ALL completely and horribly infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms. There is no wiggle room in there for which one is worse. They either are or they aren’t in violation our right as the PEOPLE of this Union to keep and bear arms. As a matter of fact they are violating my rights not to keep and bear arms if I cross their border.

          • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

            At some point, they are all unacceptable.

          • Seed_Of_Filth71

            pocket knives are illegal in DC! Look it up,so I can imagine guns are just as strict! I’m from Indiana living in MD the past 3 years and I don’t feel safe there.

          • JaimeIslandGuy

            Maryland is much more difficult and time consuming to get a handgun than DC. So Is NJ

          • http://www.nraila.org/ Mi

            Commies! The only thing that makes me happy about those places is the fact that all of the Leftists morons congregate there.

          • JaimeIslandGuy

            No one has ever been locked up in DC for spent casing without committing some other crimes.
            people in Massachusetts have been though.

          • Michael Gerzen

            Just driving through the state a doctor on the way to a hunting trip received felony weapons transport charge

    • JayTee

      Congratulations on your escape from Mexifornia. Just pray that jurisdiction doesn’t pull the rest of the nation down the drain with it.

      • Kurt Maske

        Have you spent a summer in Georgia? Make sure you head to the nearest Home Depot for fire ant poison…as they are some nasty little critters. BTW…concealed carry is very easy (little expensive) to get.

        • Phil Evans

          Expensive? It’s only about $80-85 to get a GA Weapons License, and it’s good for 5 years. It’s even cheaper now for renewals thanks to HB 60, as you don’t have to pay again for fingerprinting.

          BTW, the license allows for both open and concealed carry of pistols. :-)

          • John Beach Hubbard

            In Maine it costs $20 to renew a carry permit. No fingerprinting but a photo card is issued.

        • John Beach Hubbard

          The only problem with the southern states is the intense summer heat and humidity. People with money summer in Maine and winter in Florida or other southern climes.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        Too late. …The idiots in San Diego are trying to raise the minimum wage there by 43%, higher than the rest of CA. They are trying to replicate the conditions of Detroit…

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      better than nothing!

    • ilovega

      I read your post. Please move back to California. Georgia does not want west coast idiots living here. You hit the jackpot and we lost.

      • Shannon M Carithers

        GA was recently also ranked as the top business state in the country and guess what, one of the big reasons is because so many intelligent business owners have moved here from other states and yes, that includes California. Please don’t say “Georgia” does or does not want someone here. Speak for yourself, because you damned sure don’t represent this state.

      • Mi

        I understand exactly what you are saying but you don’t know what you are talking about. There are millions of idiots on the west coast but that doesn’t mean they all are. I have met a lot of good very conservative people from all 3 west coast states and I have met a bunch of Leftist douchebags from every state including some Georgia AHOLES who have moved to my state.

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/hayek-why-i-am-not-conservative.pdf

          People who want freedom are not conservatives, they are liberals (classical liberals, like Thomas Paine and Adam Smith, not socialists who call themselves liberals), AKA “libertarians.”

          If you want your freedom, you’re going to have to learn a new word, and learn how to disobey false authority. Stanley Milgram showed us all what needed to be done.

          • rigger mortus

            I don’t much like labels, Conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans, these days the only classification of the people who are suppose to be running this country is “Servants”, instead we got crooks, and dictators.

      • Person97

        Quite frankly, us Coloradans agree with you. We hate Californians here.

        • Rihard C.

          Is it really true that the ancestors of you people in Colorado got lost and couldn’t find your way west?

    • Phil Evans

      Welcome! I bet it feels like you entered the land of the free. :-)

  • J.W. Wernecke

    Apparently you all need to go back and look at Kansas laws. No. 9? How about leading the pack? 1st to draft bills outlawing the federal governments involvement in state. Just passed another that says that local government can not restrict gun rights and that an LEO “Shall Sign” NFA documents……

    • Micah Jakes

      Agreed. The Freestate is getting alot done. Just a few years ago, we were behind all our neighbors. Now even Missourians wish they had our laws.
      Open carry as of July 1st from what I understand. Here in Wyandotte County (Dem controlled) people are predicting armageddon after that date.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        Unrestricted CCW is vastly better than “open carry” for restoring a lost gun culture.

  • DK

    We need to ban all assault rifles like the AR-15 and the AK-47 and we need to close all loopholes by requiring universal background checks!

    • Eric

      Troll harder.

    • Jim Kirk

      why dont you come try and take mine DicK

      • DK

        Over your cold dead body if you want azzwipe!

        • gunnyf

          Tough talk from someone using initials and no picture

        • gunnyf

          Tough talk from someone using initials and no picture

        • Sean P Hamilton

          If everyone gave up their weapons, then you will lose your other rights!

          The easy access to incredible firepower is what keeps people like you free and safe.

          Too bad for your group, that you dont understand this. Or anything else of substance.

          There are 300+million people. More than 200million highpowered weapons. Last year there were less than 20k people killed by guns, total.

          The numbers speak for themselves. Guns or any type are rarely used to kill. They are always doing their job, never being fired!

          • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

            Try moving to Burma, …only the government can have guns there. …Just the way you want it. Test it out!

    • Avian Flu

      gun laws to protect ourselves and a ban on “assault rifles”? oh, i see. i think you’re saying you want me to continue being a law abiding citizen and give up my guns so that i can be a victim of the lawless who DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE LAWS? yeah, giving up my guns is going to solve the problem of the criminals. you’re a genius. (that’s sarcasm in case you weren’t aware.)

    • The Major

      I’m glad you recognize that you are mentally and emotionally unfit to own an AR-15. It does take skill, intelligence and responsibility to handle a weapon with safety. Your aversion to them is good as you obviously recognize that you don’t posses these necessary skills. But the great majority of Americans can learn to be proficient with weapons. YOU HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO CURTAIL THEIR GOD GIVEN RIGHTS. Protected by the 2nd amendment.

    • jwyeth

      Bullets first son, that’s how you will get mine

    • CFCP Patriots

      Can you explain to me what you mean by “Universal Background Checks”? …You listen to idiot political talking points too much. It is apparent that you are a typical troll, non gun owner who had never experienced the process of purchasing a firearm. Who don’t you tell us what a “universal Background Check” would do that i not done already?….If Liberals would just stop breeding, we could save this Republic!

    • MrApple

      Background checks did wonders on the California Shooter this Memorial Day weekend. And he used two Sig pistols, a Glock pistol, a knife, and his BMW to kill 6 people and injury 6. Not an EVIL AR or AK in sight and still a nut-job in a firearm restrictive state goes on a rampage with a portion of it in a “Gun Free Zone”. Please respond back I love a good discussion.

    • TexanCountryGirl

      You do realize that more than HALF of mass shooters would easily have passed those background checks???
      Personally, I’d rather be able to protect myself. Especially from your blind ignorance.

    • Ravi32

      lol, discus shows the “upvotes” on DK are himself and three guest ones from himself as well

    • Joe Molinaro

      SIR, LOG OUT PLEASE….IF NOT, YOUR COMPUTER SOON, IS GOING TO CATCH ON FIRE…IDIOT….

  • JayTee

    We need government to do what it is SUPPOSED to do: Regulate actual criminals and invaders of this homeland–NOT try to micromanage every facet of society, rack up trillions in debt, try to remake other societies on the other side of the planet, turn a blind eye to the invasion of this homeland, erode Constitutional rights, confiscate profits and property from producers and providers, and otherwise become the enemy of a free people. We don’t need more laws–we need fewer laws, less government, more sanity, more solvency, and more decency. The super nanny state should be abandoned and personal responsibility and accountability should be implemented once more. We don’t need corrupt politicians deciding who else is corrupt and who else is deemed eligible to protect oneself, home, and family. The “state” should be an ally of all who have respect and support it, but should be the adversary of every party, position, or person bent on the destruction and limitation of those who have respect and integrity. We have a long way to go.

    • Texas Proud

      We keep hearing ideas like this, which are great, but nobody does it, all talk, talk, talk, just please don’t mess with Texas.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        I have the capacity to make things happen, but not the $. Everything is shaped around the almighty dollar. If you want unrestricted CCW placed on the ballot in 22 I & R states that currently lack it, I’m your man. I’ve worked for plenty of people who have a pet pro-freedom issue that’s important to them, but no pro-gun groups. They don’t want to mobilize, or they’re not smart enough to. (Most likely, the NRA ate all the money necessary to change the laws in all 25 I & R states, of which 3 are UCCW already –AK, WY, AZ–, and IL has a useless process, and NM is “referenda only.” That leaves 20 viable states, with 14 being states where the legislature isn’t allowed to interfere with I & R, or “direct” I & R states.)

        Have you ever even heard anyone speak with the depth on the issue that I just did? Probably not. I’m not bragging, but most people don’t even have a valid strategic hierarchy, because they incorrectly believe that there’s such a thing as “representation,” or they have other incorrect (usually delusional) ideas about political reality.

        It’s hard to find educated political realists in the pro-freedom domain, and that’s why we only slowly move toward individual freedom.

        Another illustrative example:
        Democrat operative Michael Whouley was paid on the order of $50M to win Iowa for John Kerry in 2004. It takes $5M or so to put an initiative on the ballot in CA. If you only want pro-gun people to work on the initiative, and to talk to people at a high-level, that would be more like $10M, because you couldn’t defray the cost by having workers on other petitions “double circulate” (ask individuals to sign more than 1 petition per “stop”). In Florida, it would be more like $3-6M, slightly less than CA. …The other states are far less, with the lowest cost being about $100K.

        I could successfully access the ballot in an additional 6 States, put the initiatives on the ballot, and PASS Unrestricted CCW in those states. Moreover, we could get Montana style unrestricted machine gun manufacture and reciprocity (limited “firearms freedom”) with those 6 states, because we wouldn’t be asking the legislative PARASITES for permission.

        …But this is in an ideal world, where we weren’t our own worst enemy, due to lack of consistent philosophy.

        If anyone has bulging pockets and wants me to accomplish this, I’m pretty easy to reach. I’d be happy to name the order of the states, (this can be figured out without much difficulty).

        I’ve worked on plenty of I & R in all 24 I & R states, except HI, and most states with city I & R.

  • sedona2A

    Az all the way Baby!! I’ m suprised we only got 49 points

    • Mancave Heywood

      Yeah, if you don’t mind being gunned down by a bunch of NAZI’S for camping! With porkchops like that running around, one would need to have great gun laws to protect themselves. R.I.P Jose Guerena, one day those PIGS will get what they deserve!

      • Hal Jordan

        That issue has nothing to do with this story.

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          It has everything to do with this story, unless you’ve narrowed your view too much to protect your own freedom.

    • Jason Rile

      Get rid of those pesky no firearms signs and we should be 50

      • Al Dunaway

        We would be 50 but they didn’t know that we had removed the requirement to notify LEO’s that we are carrying unless they ask.

  • Ed Levine

    You think Texas is better than VA? You can’t even Open Carry in Texas!! Most have no idea.

  • watcherofolde

    I know Minnesota is super liberal, but 39th? We have conceal carry and everybody hunts except for the derps who live in the twin cities.

  • john87

    I dont get NH being only 25th! We have no real restrictions. Being judged harshly because some neighboring states heave restricted laws is bull…how about the closest neighbor having essentially no rules either like VT? Being less than Texas…seriously? In Texas you get arrested for open carry…in NH no one even notices. This is an absurd survey that has no real use as a comparison for judging a states gun tolerance.

  • john87

    I dont get NH being only 25th! We have no real restrictions. Being judged harshly because some neighboring states heave restricted laws is bull…how about the closest neighbor having essentially no rules either like VT? Being less than Texas…seriously? In Texas you get arrested for open carry…in NH no one even notices. This is an absurd survey that has no real use as a comparison for judging a states gun tolerance.

  • Adam Badtothe Bohn

    Fortunately, Missouri has passed several bills that will be of major improvement for 2a rights, most notably SB 656 and SJR 36; I’m interested to see how much we will have improved next year.

  • sane

    all this proves is why i want to live in a civilized country.

    • Avian Flu

      i suppose you’re anti-military too? remember that as you celebrate Memorial Day this weekend. people like you should be thanking people like me and every other veteran and active duty member for our service. it’s because of our service that you’re still able to enjoy the rights the US Constitution guarantees. A guarantee that i was willing to give my life for and one which so many others have died for. enjoy your ignorance.

      • CFCP Patriots

        Libtards don’t believe in the Constitution…..except for when they want to spew Anti-Liberty hate speech against those who believe Liberty is the cornerstone of Human existence.

        Funny how they try to force “tolerance” on the rest of the population by practicing “intolerance”

        Thank you for your service and sacrifice!….there are more of us than you and your brothers/sisters in arms know, who can never repay our debt of gratitude to you for protecting our freedoms and liberties. IT IS UP TO US, THE ORDINARY CITIZEN, TO ENSURE THAT YOUR SERVICE ON OUR BEHALF IS NOT FOUGHT IN VAIN!! We must work hard to make you proud of the Republic you protect!

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          But you have to give them credit for successfully corrupting the word “liberal.” In most of the world, that term is used to describe the philosophy of Thomas Paine and Adam Smith. …Not here! The socialists have done far too thorough a job destroying the education system. In 1900, Vermont was the last state to cave in and adopt the “tax-financed and compulsory” model of “education.” Vermont also never adopted any unconstitutional gun laws. Vermont is also the least-religious state.

          Coincidences? Maybe.

      • cott

        Everyone should be anti-military. Who will come and try to take our rights? Politicians? No. Soldiers following “orders”

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          I don’t precisely agree. Although what you say is true, being generally anti-military won’t prevent that from happening, it will be used as an excuse to justify it to the sheeple. However, extreme social ostracism and ill-will should be shown to “outed” oath-breakers.

    • torr10

      and if you don’t consider the US civilized….bye! Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya….

    • The Major

      That little Obama Logo by your picture tells me all I need to know about your delusional state of mind.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        What mind?

    • MrApple

      Then by all means leave if our Constitutional Rights bother you.

    • Searcher

      You were, till the liberal progressives took over, and look where we are now. Name another country that is “civilized” by your definition. As long as you are just wishing, why don’t you wish everyone was an upper middle class sane person with your value set. And good luck.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        socialists =/= “liberals”
        socialists call themselves liberals in this country, because we let them get away with it. STOP! Correct them in public when they misidentify themselves, for the benefit of the kids.

    • Joe Molinaro

      GO SOUTH, IDIOT….RIGHT THERE BY LAREDO, OR EL PASO AND THERE, IS NO GUNS, AND YOU DUMB, WILL SEE HOW CIVILIZED THERE IS…NUEVO LAREDO, OR CIUDAD JUAREZ….REAL CIVILIZED, HA….OH, HELL…HUMANS WILL NEVER BE FIXED…HOW SAD….

  • Brad

    TX is actually pretty anti-gun right now. Concealed carry only and it is very expensive. Open carry of a modern handgun is illegal. Only long gun open carry and black powder revolver pre 1899. If OC is passed it’ll be more friendly but right now it isn’t as great as people think.

    • Zabilde

      Amen, until TX changes the law on open carry it belongs much lower, Idaho came in at 30 and should be ranked better than TX.

    • Craig

      CHL is not that expensive in Texas, if you afford an SR-15 then you can easily afford a Texas CHL. There is a a time and place open carry. But openly carrying an AR-15 into the establishment have done more harm to 2A cause.. You don’t need to open carry any hand gun or any other to an establishment. Concealed carry is a better way to go.

      • Hal Jordan

        “You don’t need to open carry any hand gun or any other to an establishment.” Thank you Mayor Bloomberg for informing us which rights we “don’t need” to exercise.

      • TexanCountryGirl

        I agree with you!! The f****** class has been made 4 hours (down from 8-10), and it costs about $40. If that’s not easy as pie then you are living in an alternate universe!!

        • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

          It’s not the cost, it’s the principle of the thing. If it costs $1, then it’s a PRIVILEGE. If it costs nothing, it’s a RIGHT. Penniless human beings also have rights, but they cannot afford to pay for PRIVILEGES.

  • Pistol Packing Peach

    YAY, Georgia got 3rd but when the new laws take effect on July 1st, it should shoot up to 1st.

  • Mark

    I think Kansas should rank towards the top of all the states in the Union.

  • Mark

    I think it is great that Kansas is in the top 10. Now if we can just get some gun manufacturers to move here.

  • StoutCortez

    Maryland should be in the bottom 4. It’s just as bad as New Jersey, and much worse than Connecticut.

  • David Cox

    I thought my home state of Oklahoma would be higher than six. But still in top 10.

    • Michael Adams

      Big improvement over last year, Oklahoma was ranked #30. I think top ten is about right for Oklahoma.

  • soljerblue

    Alabama should rank higher than 12. We’re open carry, shall issue, and our 2A rights have been expanded steadily in the last two legislative sessions. They were good before, but they’re better now. Remington thought we were gun-friendly enough to decide to relocate 2,000 jobs here, and consolidate other functions here that were actually taken from some southern staes. I think we’re doing better than Florida, given their sheriffs’ opposition to carry during ordered evacuations, not to mention the hatchet job done by the prosecution on George Zimmerman..

  • ChristCrusader

    VA allows open carry in bars while consuming alcohol.
    Va allows conceal carry with CHP in bars, but no consumption of alcohol while doing so.
    They also allow private sales and transfers without government involvemement.
    Seems like VA should have been further up the list.
    Many of GA’s new liberties were already in practice in VA.

  • Rob

    Hawaii’s section is not totally accurate. We don’t need to register ammo and the state can’t confiscate in a disaster. Otherr than that….Hawaii still sucks for gun lovers.

  • ARMY1971

    Moving from NY state where the only people that have hand weapons are the police and the peeps in the hood. To Florida, can finally as a Viet Nam Vet, worked and paid taxes for 45 years, never been arrested will be able to own my first hand weapon and carry it concealed.

    • CFCP Patriots

      You must be from New York City?..good for you for getting out of this Sate!!…(I hope to be one of those to leave also in the near future!) However, if you venture to upstate, you will find that obtaining a concealed carry permit is possible (and fairly easy) for…..hand weapons?….I assume you mean handguns….NOW…we need to get the SAFE Act repealed so we can once again enjoy our Semi-Automatic Sporting Rifles!!!…If the voters in Upstate could come to the realization that New York City CAN be defeated at the polls, Then the STATE of New York might have a chance! I have had my Concealed Carry Permit for 25 years in Upstate…..I can carry in any County in the State except NYC…unfortunately it’s just a piece of paper there….If Voters in the City would stop electing Communists, they might be able their lives according to the Constitution.

  • Raconteur Duck

    Virginia is ranked behind NC & SC?? BS flag on that one. Try open carry in those two states and you’ll be face down. They are getting better but no where near VA.

    • Corndog

      I open carry all over North Carolina and have never been hassled by police.

      • Raconteur Duck

        My mistake and apologies. But NC is still not as open as VA. With permits to buy a pistol and the limits of where of you can carry in NC, VA is still better. Between the GRNC and VCDL, both states have come a long way in restoring our citizens rights of armed self defense. You are a member of GRNC, yes??
        http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?117-North-Carolina

        • MrApple

          I am.

  • Johnny Revenant

    Texas up from 15 last year to 14 this year.

  • Avatar

    I am from CT, and there are some faults in your facts. Unregistered “MSAs” are a felony; Mags however are a misdemeanor for the first offense. Also, suppressors are legal; the issue lies in obtaining a threaded barrel on a pistol or “assault rifle” unless you had it prior to the law. They are totally legal on say, a bolt-action of any caliber; for the time being…

  • Zed

    1/4 of the state of Arizona is Indian land. Try taking your guns there and get back to me when you get out of jail.

    • bedizzle

      Depends on the rez. Most you can buy hunting permits on. Pull your head outta your assistance before you flap your gums next time.

      • justsayin’

        bedazzle, you must be a hellofa tall drink of water to be able to CC a Remington 700. Zed and the rest of us are talking about handguns.

        • Uuuuussjs

          I have my handgun on the res all the time. I work on the res and take to the range they have here to shoot, with the res cops doing there qualms and they don’t care.

          • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

            The way I see it, the cops don’t USUALLY enforce MOST laws that are on the books. They save all kinds of laws for:
            1) Didn’t like your attitude
            2) Suspected I’d be able to steal your property for another offense, if we could only separate you from your vehicle and impound it, then search it at our liesure
            3) Was bigoted against your
            —race
            —bumper sticker
            —hair length
            —other possible indication of nonconformity
            —lack of civility
            —lack of servility
            —etc.
            4) you look poor enough to victimize without putting up much of a defense
            5) Out of state plates

            Now, in a free country, none of the above would be possible, or tolerated for one instant.

            But America isn’t a free country, and hasn’t been for a long time. Cops, judges, prosecutors, and other government bureaucrats are first class citizens, and we’re all second class citizens.

            The laws against unmarried heterosexual cohabitation are still on the books, but they don’t get enforced. Why not? I thought all the laws were supposed to be enforced evenly? Sorry! That’s a lie they teach in the government youth propaganda camps.

            The truth is this: now that the government is no longer following the constitution, the laws are designed simply to parasitize (to prey upon for narrow material gain) those who dissent, disagree, and dislike the rising U.S. police state.

            Although most of the time (if you’re the same race as the people in the local majority), the police won’t harass you, they will if you resist, or fail to comply with their idiotic henpecking, unconstitutional questioning, detainment, and harassment. …And they might just destroy your personal property to “teach you a lesson.”

            I guarantee there are at least a few idiots on this thread who think it’s OK for the government to ban scary private property, …so long as that means “drugs” and not “guns.” …And that’s how government grows large enough to take every last penny of saved wealth from your kids, via inflation. (…Minus what they need to feed themselves and pay Big Pharma, as they tread water on the great big Federal Reserve Plantation that used to be America.)

            So, the long and short of it is this: Look up the local laws. They’ve been abused against someone, somewhere, or they wouldn’t exist. If you’re OK with that, sit back and wait for them to be used against YOU.

  • Christa Corey

    I live in Vermont and the gun laws are not restrictive, anything but a silencer. But they are being discussed so they may be legal soon. Concealed carry is legal also.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      Heaven forfend you wouldn’t want to damage your hearing while getting in adequate practice. Beg for your property rights, slaves!

  • Steve

    This ranking is a joke. Maine has some of the least gun control laws in the nation and we ranked thirty-two? Do some actual research next time, guys, instead of just randomly throwing numbered darts at a state map. We have virtually every pro-gun law listed in the article, more than some of the states that were listed higher than us. Total incompetence here.

    • Lobotomite

      Agreed.

  • jknollwood

    I moved from The Peoples Republic of California to Texas last year, best thing I’ve ever done.

  • Ariel Weber

    Why did Colorado score so poorly on the MSR category?

  • johnsxj

    G&A needs to do a bit more research! I’ll agree that MA isn’t the most firearms friendly state but some of your information is flat out wrong. Yes you need a firearms license. Shall issue for “low capacity” longarms, may issue for handguns/concealed carry/pre-fed AWB “high capacity” handgun/longarms (may issue is hit or miss depending on which town you live in). But you DO NOT need to get a purchase permit before buying a firearm with the proper license. The only restriction on airguns is showing I.D. that you’re over 18.

  • LongRider

    I did not see Guns and Ammo credit Washington state:
    Legalizing the of use suppressors
    Washington
    State’s long standing law that the state must reimburse all legal fees
    to anyone charged in a shooting who subsequently proves self defense.
    State preemption, that others states are credited with.
    That Washington State is home to The Second Amendment Foundation definitely has worked to our benefit.

    • Jamal22

      Good law. I like!

  • MrApple

    #19 and getting better all the time.

  • Blu Clw

    The worse part of guns in Arizona. Trying to spell out molon labe in cactus.

  • midnight_Pony

    WOW NH #25 and with the state slogan Live Free Or Die

  • Jordan Knoll

    I’ve been wanting to mOve to Arizona for far to long get that constitutional carry. I live in Kansas and Missouri. My only dislike is having to have a permit to conceal but you can open carry a little but you will be looked down on for it.

  • TexanCountryGirl

    Texas should be a lot higher than 14!!!
    Not sure what they mean by only being allowed to buy a long gun in contingent states… I worked at the largest gun store in Central Texas, with over 6,000 guns on the floor alone. We sold shotguns, rifles, and AKs. No issues. We even sold to a lot of troopers those very guns.
    Texas should be in the top 5!! Just listen to how many in that video thought it was the main place to carry!!!

    • Justin

      Texas needs to move DOWN the list.

  • Mark Hillard

    Love Kentucky

  • M Clarks

    Pretty sure Alaska is actually supposed to be #1 Constitutional carry same as Arizona, has been for longer. And does not have 1/4 state with guns ban, just the land stolen by feds.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      …More than the entire territory of AZ, BTW.

  • Everyday Gunner

    I really like the grading categories they use. As someone who’s lived in NY, PA, CA, and NM now, I’m not sure why the NM right-to-carry is barely a 5. Permit-less open carry seems like it should put NM over the many states that are carry with permit only in that category.

  • Ken Wells

    The main reason all states should have open carry, is because its hard to CC with larger caliber weapons..also a criminal will always think twice before doing a crime when he gets that visual of a .45 1911 etc on a fellas hip…my opinion !

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      but those same criminals won’t fear a woman enough to avoid raping her. …Which is why unrestricted CCW is the best for everyone: so the rapists don’t know who’s carrying and who isn’t.

      It’s also best because the 2nd Amendment says “shall not be infringed” …and allowing some peckerhead cop to question you about what property you’re carrying certainly counts as an “infringement” to me.

  • Phillip McGregor

    Unrestricted open carry, shall issue concealed carry, strongest castle law in the country, no NFA restrictions, and Mississippi gets 18th?

  • TheCommodore

    The information this list has for Massachusetts couldn’t be more wrong. Its not the greatest state to own in but Its a hell of a lot more lenient than the list makes it out to be. Almost all the cities in the state give out Class A unrestricted licenses without any problems. These licences allow you to use any size magazine. Yes there are a lot of restrictions but we are not worse than Commiefornia.

  • Lobotomite

    Maine should be much higher on the list. Open carry for rifles and handguns, shall issue concealed carry permits, no restrictions on mag sizes, no restrictions on NFA items. No reason it shouldn’t be ahead of Texas where open carry isn’t even allowed.

  • Guest

    There is no way Louisiana is #27 !!!… Over 170,000 Louisiana residents have a legal permit to conceal carry a handgun, that doesn’t include the ones that don’t have a conceal carry permit… Your vehicle is an extension of your home here in Louisiana so you don’t need a permit to carry in your vehicle…

  • Roger Shirley

    I am not exactly certain how Guns and Ammo came up with these rankings, but it seems to me a state such as Ohio that only has a magazine restriction of 30 rounds should be ranked higher than a state with registration of any kind, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. Both of these states require hand gun registration, seems to me these states should be at the bottom of the list.

  • Bob Smiton

    These stats certainly seem to be skewed pretty terribly. Vermont right to carry 9? There is no permits required for open or concealed carry and Florida is ranked better than VT? Right… Carry only if you are fishing… I am guessing VT lost a point for carry due to other states not granting VT residents reciprocity but that is not an issue with VT but an issue with the other states. VT allows reciprocity from all states that allow carry.

  • Rob

    I don’t understand how Idaho ranked so low. It’s more gun-friendly here than in Oregon!

  • Joseph from NM

    NM is certainly better than 35. We have open carry without any permit, you can have loaded handguns or long guns in any vehicle without a permit, we may not have a plethora of official ranges however you can bet there is an unofficial range on the massive tracts of public land throughout the state for every sizable city and little burg on top of cities many having at least a basic shooting range, no significant restrictions of NFA items, no restrictions on magazine capacity or any other weapons features. We have no firearms registration of any kind, and our state laws on self defense aren’t weak.

    I live less than an hour drive from Texas, and the laws over there are more restrictive than New Mexico’s. In twenty years I can see all the California transplants eroding our rights where as in Texas i doubt that will happen, but as of today we have Texas beat.

  • Jr Dugal

    I moved from Brooklyn New York to Dallas Texas, best move ever but come on Texas we need to be in the top 5 at least. I’m grateful tho cause in Brooklyn you can’t even look at a gun or ammo because they don’t exist legally lol.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      When you decide to organize in Texas, give me a call, and we can make it happen. Until Texas grows a pair of balls, they can claim all the freedom they want and it won’t make it true… “Don’t mess with (the police state of) Texas” …indeed. No state has a less deserved reputation for being a strong and independent republic.

  • KellyKAFIR

    Correction on WA state: Concealed carry permit costs $55 last I checked.

  • easy peazey

    Ohio has a no retreat law , inside or outside

  • Coaster

    NYC to Las Vegas (22) thats hitting the jackpot LOL

  • Charles_C

    I can’t see how North Carolina is 19th and behind South Carolina which is not an open carry state and North Carolina is. As a matter of fact their are a few states that I question about the position they were placed in.

  • Paul

    Ohio now lets you use suppressors, if you have theproper paper work, and this coming deer season they will let you use long guns but only those that use straight walls, think 45, 44 and such

  • akbrother

    You need to update the list. Iowa is not a shall issue state, and it is not up to the local yocal’s to issue carry permits. Just go and do a firearms safety course and the go to the local sheriffs office with your copy and pay the cash and get your carry permit in about seven working day’s.

  • Charles_C

    I find this list suspicious North Carolina is a open carry without a permit state but yet it’s 19 behind restrictive states like Texas South Carolina and Georgia

  • Trey Knight

    Well I’m moving from Cali too, this anti gun BS is getting out of hand over here. But where am I moving exactly? Well, a magical island called the philippines, where you can own pretty much any full auto gun you can imagine, legally, on the cheap. I’m moving this summer, I can’t wait!

  • Dominic Delia

    What a crock this thing is! Vermont pushed to #17? We have almost a total absence of gun laws and that’s how the State ranks? Lower than some states with a Permit law? What a crock!

  • Mac

    Report is wrong about TN. The legislation that failed was to allow carry in all municipal parks (with permit), not state parks, which have been legal to carry in for some years now.

    It has been legal by default to carry in city/county parks for years now also, but that statute also allows them to opt out and ban carry, with appropriate postings, if they choose. The failed bill would have disallowed them to do that.

  • Rich

    You guys seem to be getting too wrapped-up on open carry in the rankings: that’s one segment of one category in the rankings.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      I strongly agree. Who wants to keep the cops informed they’re carrying when the goons in government can pass a new law, and ruin your life for doing so, one day when you leave the house as usual? It’s best if the rapists in and out of government don’t know who’s armed.

  • army vet

    Screwed in Connecticut, and its getting worse,stand in line and shut your mouth
    Or else!

  • Joseph Weeditz

    From Illinois to Utah ! Are you kidding me ?

  • TonyO

    As a resident of Minnesota, G&A’s ranking of MN seems low to me. So the state has imperfect gun laws, but they could be a whole lot worse for a state as liberal as MN is. Most residents have a pretty good attitude towards guns, considering the huge hunting culture that exists here. Also, seeing as Minnesota is a “shall-issue” state for carry permits and purchase permits, they could’ve given a couple more points each for both the R2C and MSR categories, and maybe one more point for NFA since suppressors are the only NFA items not allowed in MN.

  • vet4freedom

    i couldnt find South Carolina

  • Jamal22

    I disagree with Idaho being 30. They should be ranked lower on the list. Also, you only listed 50 states; Obama says there are 57.

    • Charles_C

      I also agree with you the rankings of the state doesn’t seem right.
      North Carolina is ranked behind states that do not allow you to open carry without a permit. North Carolina you don’t need a permit to open carry.

  • Laron Woods

    Georgia made some great strides this last spring. That said, Utah is the only state that unequivocally allows concealed carry in all schools from elementary up through college campuses. Campus police started arresting concealed carriers for “disorderly conduct” since they couldn’t do anything about concealed carry. This spring, the state legislature took care of that little matter, making it illegal to arrest based only on concealed carry. Utah is really the best state for concealed carry and sporting weapons except for the two Constitutional Carry states of Alaska and Arizona. Maybe you all missed something here. Georgia is definitely right up there. I think UT edges them out a bit.

  • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

    Alaska should be #1. The unrestricted carry legislation in AK uses all licensing of permits for state reciprocity. No permit is needed inside of AK. This is better than VT, which has never had any gun law, because one should be free to travel under the Bill of Rights.

  • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

    Arizona has terrible laws that allow police to pull anyone over, at any time, which they do. It has a terrible police culture. It also preys disproportionately on the large immigrant population, treating them as sub-humans. This is grotesque, and anti-freedom, and Alaska doesn’t have the same problem, to the same degree. (All US States are now de jure totalitarian, but not all of them have the same culture of servility among the citizenry.)

    • Lance

      I have lived in AZ for 29 years and I’m not too sure what your talking about. I get pulled over maybe once every 3 years or so. It has never been for nothing and the police here don’t even flinch when they see a pistol siting on your passenger seat. Heck they don’t even want to see it “just leave it where it is” is what I have been told. Illegal immigrants are a HUGE problem here and are responsible for a large chunk of the crime. Hince the show me your papers law. You try living two hours from the border then come tell me how illegals should have more rights here.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        I’ve lived over a year in AZ, and during that time lived in Flagstaff, Yuma, Tucson, and Phoenix. During that time I placed the AZ LP on the ballot. I talked to over 300 people per day, and it gradually came out that the police mostly enforce the anti-gun laws against immigrants, since all the anti-property laws are enforced against voting minorities, since they are the people who lack the political connections to unseat an elected official, and can be attacked with impunity. The police themselves even admitted this.

        The illegal immigrants’ status as illegals is what causes the crime, idiot. Show me the “cause of action” inherent in immigration. Prohibition causes over 90% of the rest of the crime. …Traveling shouldn’t be considered a crime.

        Nobody ever said anyone should have “more rights” than anyone else. If you admit that they now have fewer rights, it’s an indictment of your own shallow political view.

        Do a youtube search for “checkpoint USA” if you want an education in how idiotic and misguided Arizona’s police state is.

        The Soviet Union also traded real freedom for false “security,” and their parks were safe at night. Of course, the citizenry all lived in fear of the “above the law” KGB, waiting to be “disappeared” at night. …And that’s what all these idiotic “Tea Party” “RINOs” want for the USA, too.

        Wake up, before it’s too late.

        • Heartland Patriot

          Hey, dimbulb, if you let everyone from Mexico, Central and South America to come to the USA, there soon will not be a USA. They will elect a good “patron” like their home countries and then ALL of your freedoms will be gone…unless you are VERY rich…that’s the way it works south of the border.

          • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

            I’m not the dimbulb in this conversation. But you’re right. …We need an American version of the Berlin Wall to keep everyone happy and free. (Net immigration has been zero the last few years. It’s more to keep tax chattel like yourselves in than keep any “threat” out. And how much of a threat are Mexicans? A threat to who? Noone. They want to contribute to our economy, and feed their families.)

            Also: It’s immoral and anti-American to deny anyone the right to access a free(r) market, and the freedom to travel and associate freely.

            Your stupid and short-sighted bigotry is identical to that of the gun grabbing idiots on this board.

            It wasn’t illegal immigrants (guilty of no “corpus delicti”) who voted in the welfare/warfare state. It was uneducated (mostly) white trash Americans.

            Now, I agree with you that immigrants who use the government youth propaganda camps, government emergency rooms, and other welfare systems are a burden on the system. …But they’re nowhere near the burden on the system as the flood of white trash being squatted out into the American welfare state by bona-fide U.S. citizens each year.

            In a free country, a man doesn’t have to begrudge his neighbor his ten kids, because in a free country, a person who doesn’t have kids DOESN’T HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM.

            Wipe your own ass before you complain about the stink.

      • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

        I’m less than 2 hours from the border right now. I’ve spent a ton of time in AZ, too. You’re just one more person who can’t put a consistent concept of individual freedom together.

        So long as there is any group of people that you believe can be treated as “guilty until proven innocent,” you stand in opposition to the basic concept of America, and are easily manipulated by elected sociopaths. You’re part of the problem until you start viewing all human beings as equal under the law.

        IF there is evidence of someone initiating force against another person, THEN (AND ONLY THEN) is there a “cause of action” (a reason for the police to get involved in the situation). Until that point, there is no justification for any kind of police involvement.

        “Illegals” are human beings under the common law. They have all the same rights that other innocent people have. Whether those rights will be violated by un-American idiots is quite another matter.

  • pete

    Maryland’s laws are even worse than stated. Firearms are only allowed to travel to, and from certain areas, ie. gun dealer, ranges, residences, hunting areas, and dog training event/show, and must be unloaded.California residents can buy more types of long guns than we can, here.A whole list of long guns are banned from transfer, or purchase, the so called assault weapons, except certain Hbar ar-15 rifles that must conform to more regulations, as well.Right to carry is really copletely gone.The court’s ruling was overturned, but the Gansler, our attorney gen. has issued stay on the current law reguarding handgun permit issue.Magazine transfer, or purchase is limitted to 10 rounds, not possession.I am only here for my job, but, I am actively seeking a job in Virginia, now.

  • CraxyD

    Ohio is #36… That sucks.

  • Luke Greenia

    I don’t know how they came to the conclusion that VT should rank 17th, but they might want to rethink that one. VT is one of the very rare states where you don’t need to bother yourself with that nuisance hand gun permit. and open and concealed carry is permitted …. But VT ranks 17 .. yeah right.

  • josh mays

    Kentucky #5 I’ve never been in trouble for carrying my fire arm, I don’t have a concealed permit either, I love this state.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      …Be careful! Laws that are selectively enforce don’t hurt anyone until they’re enforced. …Which they generally are.

  • William Kotila

    Your rating of South Dakota stated that our state restricts or regulates the sale of long guns to residents of other states. This is incorrect. Our only restriction of long gun sales to non-South Dakotans is a result of Federal law – which requires our dealers to honor restrictions placed by other states on THEIR residents. Thus we may not sell, over the counter, to persons unfortunate (or stupid) enough to live in California. To residents of other states we can sell long guns over the counter.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      Then disobey the unjust law…

  • Big Al

    Michigan ranked 28th which is about right in the middle of obama’s 57 states.

  • Cassie

    Now I hate that I live in Ohio. I’m moving to Arizona.

  • Guest

    Hoist on their own petard…

  • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

    Hoist them on their own petard…

  • Kit Bolton

    You guys have almost all of your information about Minnesota incorrect. There is no 7 day waiting period. A permit to purchase or a CCW is required to purchase a handgun or MSR. Any time waiting is dictated by the ATF during the processing of their form, maximum of 3 days.

  • William Glanz

    Up here in Alaska We have open carry and the State has a Law that to Fly in the bush you will also have a long Gun.I carry two pistols, one open and one Hid,

  • Gov Knows

    I was surprised Arizona was the best, first thing that came to mind was the shooting of the Congress woman and how all this turmoil that happened afterwards. I’m happy with the outcome and she’s doing better but didn’t they threaten to ban all handguns? I’m from New Mexico and hunted here all my life and never paid much attention to gun laws?

  • gottahaveruger

    I am a lifelong Texas resident and I don’t think that Texas is that gun friendly due to our relative lack of places to shoot. The Texas governor and legislature puts the needs of corporations before our citizens and there is a definite lack of suitable places to shoot. I live in a west Texas county that has a range that only law enforcement can use. Citizens look for caliche pits and hope that they don’t get run off while shooting. We regularly travel the western states and, due to the abundance of public property in other western states relative to my own, I find friendlier places to shoot in New Mexico or Colorado. In Texas, you can own all of the guns that you care to own, but unless one owns a large tract of property, a resident may have to one day settle for shooting in the living room.

  • EXFDNY44

    The sad part is that NY is such a beatiful state; it’s really a sportsman paradise. However, with the help of the media, the radical lefists have taken over, they control the vote. I have ZERO representaion in Albany, Congress or the White House. In NYC they give condoms and hypodermic needles to children, but if a kid brought an issue of G&A to school he’d be denounced and suspended. It’s almost time for me to move onto friendlier pastures; Arizona or Utah look pretty good to me. It’s already to late for NY, don’t let these corrupt politicians and their co-conspirators in the media do it to you!

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      The entire nation of America is full of gorgeous territory, and abundant natural resources.

      …It also has a damned bad case of parasitic socialist bureaucrats (the worst kind).

  • John Henry

    Last year we moved from Colorado to Montana. Colorado’s governor and liberal house and senate pushing more restrictive gun laws and then legalizing marijuana was enough to drive me over the fence and move. Just to you know I was born and raised in Colorado. In fact I am a 7 generation Coloradoan and probably more but that is as far back as I could trace. Liberial outsiders are ruining what Colorado use to be.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      Those senators paid the price, and will continue to pay. Any laws against any private property are abominable. Only an idiot thinks that the same tactics used against drug users won’t be used against gun owners. All private property rights need to be protected, not just those you happen to personally use. They divide and conquer us.

      You need to read “How Drug Laws Hurt Gun Owners” by John Ross.

  • Evonne Ryan

    Citizens Armory Mexico Mo. Is having a 2nd Amendment Rally July 19th phone 573-582-1288. 1110 Market Drive. Mexico Mo. Raffling off several fire arms. Food music vendors come join us

  • Evonne Ryan

    United We Stand

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      …theoretically

  • Rodt23

    I have a gun safe that is full shotguns and rifles that I hunt all over the world with. I have more ammo than time or game to hunt. I have handguns that I keep in my home. Nobody has come for my guns and I live in California. I don’t want to see everyone with a pulse walking down the street or in my school or church or the mall or the diner that I eat lunch with a gun in his wasteband. The NRA is an agent for gunmakers, not me. I cannot support the way they push for any nut to own anything that goes “BANG”. I would not feel safer knowing that every person, mentally or emotionally stable or not is carrying a gun. Too many innocent people die because too many guns are in the hands of people who exercise their “right” with little regard for the responsibility that goes along with that right. I love human life more than a piece of metal and wood. This is the opinion of a Vietnam vet who owns guns and uses them legally. I carried an M16 in Vietnam because that was a war zone and I was a warrior.

    • Ravi32

      Rodt23, you have prior posts on disqus saying “all gun owners are paranoids” and claiming an AR-15 can be made “fully automatic weapon by filing the firing pin down. You claim to have carried an m-16 and dont even have the slightest idea how one works?

      It is clear your have never been near a firearm. And your false claim of being a veteran makes you lower than a worm.

      And if you bother to look, the equivalent demographic same region states with MORE gun owners, more gun carriers have LESS crime and less murder.

      You are just another crank who has never been near a fiearm, knows none of the facts or data (you posted on CNN “gun murder is up, when it is HALF of levels 20 year ago) and has to resort to disgusting claims to being a vet when you so clearly are not.

      You posting history is public and you are a liar and a f00l.

  • fr33zy

    Wow really? Minnesota is 39th? JUST behind NYC and all the cesspools? Are you kidding me? There is no waiting period for any rifles or handguns here! And there is no laws governing private sales. There are two types of permits you can get here. A Permit to Purchase is free except for in Minneapolis counties (which are awful) and are good for one year, you need to be 21 and have a clean record and you can buy whatever you want. If you are over 18 you just need to show driver’s license and you can buy any rifle or shotgun, but you need to be 21 to buy handguns with a PTP, and sadly “military style rifles” are considered pistols. Carry permits are 10-15$ and good for 3 years. You also need to be 21 to buy handgun ammo though, which kind of stinks

    The only things outright banned in this state are Short Barrel Shotguns and silencers, and this legislative session MN gun rights groups are pushing hard, and probably going to win a ruling legalizing them. I honestly think our gun rights are better than Wisconsin’s. We were a “shall issue” state long before Wisconsin, and they have a 2 day waiting period for all guns. I just walked into my gun store last week and bought a Swedish Mauser and was out the door in 25 minutes.

    Yeah lots of moronic liberals live here, but they tend to stay in Minneapolis, up state we are pretty good folks. And even though we are a blue state, all our elected officials realize over half the state hunts and when NY tried to pass the SAFE act, gun owners marched preemtively in the thousands on St. Paul to stop any possible legislation.

    Realistically we should be in the mid twenties, maybe even in the teens.

  • Biased for Texas?

    Why was Mississippi ranked #18 when Texas was #14? In addition to “shall issue” CCW, castle doctrine, your vehicle being an extension of your home regarding firearms, and a very pro-firearms conservative state government (legislature and governor), Mississippi also has open carry which Texas doesn’t have. So in effect, Mississippi has everything that Texas has regarding firearms freedom and then some, but for some reason MS is ranked lower by 4 in this poll. I agree that TX is a nice state, but I think sometimes the hype doesn’t meet the reality there regarding firearms.

  • http://www.sagerange.com SageRange

    Members of my gun club and I are fortunate enough to live in a county of California where CCWs are “shall issue!”

  • NameNotGiven

    This list concentrates on factors that maybe irrelevant to some.
    Look at DC vs Mass.
    In DC if you don’t have a minor at home you can legally have a loaded handgun on your nightstand. In Mass, even if you have no children, you have to keep a gun locked up.
    In DC if you decide you want to own a handgun, you order online to be sent to the DC FFL and you will have it in 10 days, 12 at most.
    In Maryland or NJ it will, in reality, be several months (see their local handgun forums for testament to actual wait times of two to five months before foid issuance) before you have your gun.
    About 20 times more handgun models are legal in DC than in Mass or California.
    And gunsandAmmo makes much of DC issuing no carry licenses. Really? Would you rather live in state that has “may issue”,never have committed a crime, be able to undertake and pass any training, and still be refused because their may issue is “no issue” in reality?
    Those of us who know firearms and gun violence issues know all these laws are BS and an attack on the constitution. But these rankings are crazy and based on a limited set of factors

  • Tony

    I’m confused as to how Montana got a 7 for carry/conceal considering in the states largest city, Billings, it is legal for a 14 year old to open carry…

  • Jean Aker

    While Maryland is not a good place for gun owners, whoever wrote this got much of it wrong. Handguns are regulated, but there is no gun registration. Private sale of firearms is still legal without going through an FFL. There are other errors, but these come to mind.

  • Kurt Maske

    I moved from Georgia to Wisconsin…my license cost $45 and all I needed was my Georgia license. Wisconsin ranks 26th…as businesses can prohibit concealed carry in there stores…One being Harbor Freight, so I just don’t shop there.

  • Justin

    Virginia is ranked way too low. It’s undeniably one of the best gun states in the country – certainly much better than the always overrated Texas

  • Pete Roberto

    ny to AL love it

  • MikeRios

    I’m quite amazed how many people said that Texas was one of the better States but we are not allowed open carry in Texas. As far as I’m concerned if a state denies its citizens the right to open carry it is at best a mediocre gun rights state. Also, in Texas if you use a firearm in self defense your firearm is confiscated and given to the Dept. of Public Safety. I know this because I had a shooting with some burglars that broke into my house. They took my Taurus and it took me a year and a half and my local Senator to get it back. No due process. There is not even a law that requires the seizure of a weapon used for self defense. The police told me it’s just a “rule” that they have when I asked for the statute that required them to take my gun.

    Though Texas has some measure of firearm freedom I grew up in Arizona. Open carry has always been the law there and when I came to Texas I was frankly shocked that you could go to jail for carrying a gun other than for hunting. It is still that way. They finally passed a law that allows us to carry a firearm in our vehicles but even that law is up to the discretion of the cop that has pulled you over. It would be nice if Texas looked at Arizona’s great law for private ownership and possession of guns. There is a state that believes in its law abiding citizens.

  • F15TSGT

    AZ is #1 among the 50 states for gun rights! But we need to keep a vigilance because the Democrats are on a campaign to turn AZ and TX blue. When that happens they will destroy the gun rights. Never trust them!

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      Very little difference between D & R these days. They both hate and fear capitalism and freedom.

  • FredC1968

    The lack of onerous firearms laws combined with the lack of snow make central and southern Arizona great places to live.

    I live in Tucson. This is where the lefties are often armed. Most local businesses don’t have the unarmed victim zone sign. Most businesses that prohibit carry on their premisses aren’t based here.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      Let’s change that from “aren’t based here” to “go out of business in 2 weeks here.” LOL

  • JennerL

    I wonder if the strict regulations in Hawaii are an off-shoot of the Japanese regulations since Hawaii has a large Japanese population. I’ve been researching gun laws in Japan. It’s darn near impossible to even own a rifle there. Ammo is categorized and stored separately from your weapon. And the local police come through your house to check that you’re upholding the law at least twice a year. Handguns are illegal.

    The irony? A lot of Japanese come to Hawaii to fire handguns at ranges that cater to tourists. :-)

  • John Beach Hubbard

    We used to think that Maine was one of the best places to live in terms of gun ownership. Perhaps that is not so. It is ranked #32 in this survey. There are people in this state who work tirelessly to restrict gun ownership and the general pollitical climate is ultra-liberal. The state has changed immensely in the past 30 years, going from a solid Republican stronghold to a Democratic Party paradise. If you can call that a paradise.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      No, I can’t.

  • Rihard C.

    What I find hard to understand is that Arizona is virtually ignored by the firearms manufacturers who’re running from the states with strict unconstitutional anti firearms laws. We can carry either openly or concealed with no CCW. Personally I don’t approve of the latter but it really proves that we believe in the Second Amendment

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      Why don’t you approve of the latter? “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”

  • David Walsh

    But what Stat is #1?

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      AK, VT, WY, AZ are all similar. AZ appears to be the best (for gun rights alone) at the moment. WY, AZ, AK does reciprocity with the money paid for their permit, VT offers little/no reciprocity.

  • gkar

    I think WI should have placed higher. We have state preemption, shall issue, open carry without a license. Some of the local municipalities aren’t up to speed on the state preemption issues, but we are making progress.

  • An American

    This nation is heading toward a big logistics divide between the Free States and the Godless Socialist Liberal States. Time is close to where everyone is going to have to make a decision on which side they want to live. And that’s fine. If you are a Godless Socialist Liberal then there will be a place for you like Kalifornia or New York and if you are a student of the Constitution and honor the God given rights protected under that Constitution, then there will be Free States for you to thrive in. Then ley everyone sit back and see which states grow and thrive. I’ll guarantee you that it will mirror what we see today with all these Godless Socialist Liberal cities going bankrupt while Free Cities in Free States are thriving.

    • Shirley

      I could not agree more. We have already made our move to a less hostile, more free to personal freedoms state. We packed up and left Cal for Texas. First thing we noticed was the massive amount of our income that was not raped and taken by the state like is was in Cal. We now literally have thousands of dollars more a year to spend in the people’s market that we are living in, ie. Texas. No wonder California is going bankrupt.

      Viva Free States!

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      …Belief in imaginary gods only compounds the problems of servility and conformity to immoral authority. There is no god, the government is corrupted and authoritarian. Think for yourself, and ally yourself with people who cannot be misdirected by a preacher with a primitive book. Virtually all religious people serve the state, they cannot imagine total human accountability.

  • Onion

    Come on out to Washington state. SHALL issue, open carry, state preemption so locals can’t pass more restrictive laws. Jump through very minor hoops for concealed carry. None for open.

  • Don Snider

    Washington DC is not a state

  • solidspine

    What happened to Texas? I unfortunately live in California and I hate it!!!!!

    I ignore the gun laws, you can buy anything you want from a SouthSider, but the laws in California make it impossible to accomplish anything legally.

    I did purchase an HK 45 legally 10 years ago, that gun like 20 other guns has been confiscated by California, cops, even my Winchester 22 that was given to me in the 60′s by my grandfather was confiscated.

    • Heartland Patriot

      What police entity confiscated your guns? What was the reason given?

  • John

    I live in Georgia, the most gun friendly state in the south. I am originally from England where the British people have all but lost their right to bear arms. Britain is a lot like what JennerL was saying about Japan, where police can come and inspect gun cabinets for those that have/want a “firearm certificate”. Also many weapons are banned, such as handguns. It is so bad, the Olympic shooting team had to practice in France because their guns were illegal. Also, a trend with many liberal democrat state are copying from England is this notion that people must justify with “a good reason” why they want a firearm permit. This goes squarely against the second amendment, which says “shall not be infringed”. Here is a reason: “Kiss my ass, it is my God given right”.

  • chancesx

    I haven’t even watched the video yet but thank the Lord I live in the Great state of Arizona. We get to enjoy our God given Constitutional rights here and I’ll be darned if I would ever abrogate them! The 2nd amendment is the “hub” on which all the other amendments gain their strength. It has NOTHING to do with self protection but rather (as Jefferson wrote) to stay a tyrannical government. This being said by a former LEO (me) hailing from the once great state of NY (NYPD). And PLEASE don’t try to hang these infringements on your local constabulary. A recent poll showed that over 90% of police officers favor arming the law abiding public. Most even went so far as to say that they would not execute any laws established to further regulate an armed citizenry! Well, I’m gonna go clean my 7mm Rem mag now. Bye.

  • wpmjr

    I am surprised SC is as high as it is. They do not reciprocate with other states CC.

  • http://georgetown.edu/ Sarah Levin

    The author of this article ought to register a handgun in NJ and one in DC and learn the absurdity of claiming DC is worst.

    • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

      NJ is “governed” by a socialist “Republican” who knows that the NRA has his back no matter how much of a Democrat socialist he governs like. The NRA will never advocate voting Libertarian. So Christie’s police state gets away with murder. …So many of the most egregious anti-gun offenses have come from NJ, …the police state is safe there, with that silly sociopathic mountain of blubber making remarks that “the libertarian wing” of the Republican Party is “dangerous.” …More dangerous than a totalitarian governor made of Krispy Kremes?

      We all need Chris Christie to keep us safe from ourselves. …Right.

  • http://www.ideapacusa.com/ Gordon Kemp

    How exactly does Texas rank higher than NH in “right to carry” when you can open carry in NH without a permit and it’s not even allowed WITH a permit in TX? Furthermore, the CCW process in NH is so much better than TX. It’s a $10 piece of paper issued by your local PD, and they only have 14 days by law to process it, as opposed to the much more involved state-level process in TX.

    How does NH not get a 10 in the NFA category when they don’t restrict it at all?

    This whole ranking reflects typical stereotypes more than actual laws on the books. I’d like to see this redone with more of an objective approach.

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