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The Best Concealed Carry States in 2013

by G&A Online Editors   |  October 24th, 2013 112

Best States for Concealed Carry in 2013

2014 UPDATE: See The Best States for Concealed Carry 2014 


Best States for Concealed Carry 2014

It has been nearly 30 years since Florida started the CCW ball rolling across the nation and the modern concealed carry ...

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

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.

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.

We set out to objectively rank the Best States for Concealed Carry based on measurable criteria. Outside 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 ranks compared to the rest of the country, and be sure to enter the debate.

*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 Oct. 24, 2013. Click here for the text-only version.

G&A Polls


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  • Keiths

    Where is the list?

  • David


  • Bill Hammersley

    I don’t see a list????

  • Bill Hammersley

    OK..found it

  • Inquisitive66

    Another crap page from G&A, poor design again

  • Inquisitive66

    Text only version doesn’t work either

  • Randy True

    Where’s the list? I don’t see it or a link.

  • Jimmy D

    Still loading after 3 minutes…

  • JaySilverheels

    After 3 attempts to just get the page to open and then several waiting minutes with no list, yet – gives those who think G&A is connected with the Guvmint in building THEE gun owner master list, a good shot of credibility!!!!

    • liberalssuck

      It took one time for the refresh and I see the list. I hate IE sometimes, lol..

  • ARguy

    You’re not working with the same web guys as obummer care, are you?

    • rudebutcool

      its PsychObombercare…drone the bum

  • David

    Looks like I am not the only one who will never get the list…

  • wnettles

    Where is the list? It does not load. Looks like the charlatan in the White House is not the only one duped by bogus software programmers!

    • Nramem

      I switched to a Mac Book Pro and I no longer have those problems unless it’s the site’s fault entirely. Windows $uck$. No more Blue Screen Of Death for me!!

  • ArtBrownSr

    How do you require a state ALASKA to issue permits to NONRESIDENTS when it does not require RESIDENTS to carry permits?

  • ArtBrownSr

    How do you require a state ALASKA to issue permits to NONRESIDENTS when it does not require RESIDENTS to carry permits?

    That would score us at 91 (2nd place to AZ)

  • Gregory Markle

    You need to move Pennsylvania down the list a bit, it may look really good on paper but it is far different in practice. Sure, if you live in the county I do a concealed carry permit is a fairly painless process and the sheriff here is VERY supportive of civilian carry but if you live in Philadelphia, Lancaster, or many other larger cities where a politically appointed police chief is doing the processing rather than an elected sheriff, you’re likely going to have problems. Also, the new attorney general Kathleen Kane has made it clear that she will be allowing reciprocity agreements to sunset where she can and that she will not consider any new agreements. She has also instituted a policy whereby PA residents cannot carry on out of state licenses which has long been a way for otherwise law abiding citizens to get around arbitrary law enforcement refusals. Our rights here teeter on the edge of a knife with the Philadelphia politicians trying to eliminate them altogether.

    • Ejengr

      I agree PA [Lawrence county] has a very Pro2A sherrif and my CCW went through in about three [3] weeks. Not a fan of Kathy, she got in mostly because of a higher percentage of voters live in the populated city areas.

    • JJ

      I live in Lancaster County, took me 10 minutes at the county courthouse to get my CCW, from paperwork to card in hand.

  • Al

    Must be a hang fire!

  • pappa

    would have loved to see how Indiana fared against the rest but like most everyone else cant see the damn list

    • shane smith

      Indiana is #16 on best state for gun owners list & #10 on concealed carry list…

  • Maine-iac

    Where’s the damn list??

  • me

    Nice that you took the time to make this list. I feel that maybe some of the stats weren’t fully researched though. There is quite a bit of information missing from some of the descriptions that are in others. BTW listed loaded right up for me no problems.

  • Kimo

    Yeah, my state, Ky. ranked 13th. I will say, however, I was surprised that Arizona came in with 1st place. Gov. Brewer must be doing a great job.

  • Jim Sheldon

    I think Michigan got short changed in this review… Strong castle law, shall issue, reciprocity with over 40 states, recognizes other states CCW, and if you have a valid CCW you can OC in the so called criminal empowerment zones….

    • Mark Spencer

      Jim, you have some valid arguments, but on one of your points, I must take issue. You said “and if you have a valid CCW you can OC in the so called criminal empowerment zones”. Why do you need the governments permission to exercise your God-given right? In AZ you (yes, you) can carry OC/CC just about ANYWHERE, there are a few exceptions like Fed buildings, schools, etc. and you do not need a permit. Another reason I believe we (AZ) are better is that we have a state preemption law, meaning no county or municipality can pass laws/ordinances stricter than state law. I believe this is a HUGE advantage because it allows legal gun owners to travel city-to-city and not be afraid that they might be violating some inane ordinance.

      BTW, if you’re not a member of Michigan Gun Owners, you should be.

      • dobby

        God given right to carry a concealed firearm. Thats the stupidest sentence ive ever heard. You’re a disgrace to those who battle for the right to carry. Im pretty sure jesus wouldnt be strapped if he were here. Nor did he carry a sword while he was here. You’re an idior and praise be to god you are not the ignorant moron testifying for our Constitutional right. Not god, fool.

  • lefty

    why mess with good thing that this country has had for YEARS , it is called the second amendment

  • Rudybow

    SC #18. I like that some training is required. Though it does restrict the legal carrier some. I’ve taken classes where there were students who needed some training . It’s also not so easy to find or understand some of the firearm laws in SC so the CWP class taught me a good bit of those laws. think SC is doing alright with their firearm laws and gun ownership and CWP issuance will go up because the gang violence and violence altogether is getting worse in this stats. Arm yourself SC because the bag guys are already armed.

  • Chas S. Clifton

    So the more training required, the lower the score. I can see where training could be burdensome, but still, shouldn’t you have some?

    • rudy

      According to dick around16 hrs would be good.

    • Zabilde

      The Idea is that it is the responsibility of the citizen to get as much training as they feel necessary to feel comfortable with their weapon. Not to meet some arbitrarily established time hack, or marksmanship level. The lower is the better. As most people who start shooting don’t stop because it is fun.

      And many come to their permit process already very familiar with firearms. If I’ve been qualifying expert with the M9 for years in the military why should I have to spend so many hours on a range. All training requirements should be able to be accomplished in one day (8 hours) or less in my opinion.

  • Matthew Glick

    They aren’t taking into consideration that in Texas, the application fee for military is $0. granted you still have to pay for biometrics and whatnot, but I personally feel Texas severely got shortchanged.

    • Zabilde

      Texas continues to get over-rated. Why because it has no allowance for open carry. Yes this was about concealed carry but I still feel such should have been a criteria of evaluation. Texas will not truly be a “gun friendly” state as long as it continues to deny any ability to open carry a handgun, leaving only long guns to open carry for those who have not yet or cannot yet obtain a concealed permit.

  • Mel Meskill

    How about signs restricting guns in business?

    • Zabilde

      Good point. In supposedly gun friendly Texas a business can post a 30.06 sign and you are prohibited from carrying there. Contrast that with Utah where a business can post all the signs they want, they have no strength of Law. The only such postings that have backing are Churches (can post a sign or post a notice on a state website), private homes (signs, or verbal notification and of course the usual list of federal and other secure facilities.

      Also what about school carry? A permit in most states allows you to ignore the 1000 ft buffer zone around a school but only a couple states are allowing carry onto school grounds. Utah has done this for years, if you have a permit you can carry concealed or open onto any k-12 school, and on any public university (private schools can’t really prohibit carry but they can trespass you if you do carry), others are just starting to allow it in the last year.

  • SC CWP

    Sorry, but you got South Carolina WRONG on duty to inform. We must inform here. But ONLY if asked for id when a LEO is conducting official business.

    A permit holder must have his permit identification card in his possession whenever he carries a concealable weapon. When carrying a concealable weapon pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 31 of Title 23, a permit holder must inform a law enforcement officer of the fact that he is a permit holder and present the permit identification card when an officer (1) identifies himself as a law enforcement officer and (2) requests identification or a driver’s license from a permit holder. A permit holder immediately must report the loss or theft of a permit identification card to SLED headquarters. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined twenty five dollars.

  • Ted

    I think their ratings is flawed. To many inconsistencies. Higher ratings for those who don’t have a castle law, no fee for licenses and little or no reciprocity and higher ratings for those who have very loose carry and training laws. If your going to have a CCW program it has to have structure and some training to make it credible

  • Michael Lawrence

    I was surprised…Illinois was not 50….

  • Ryan Krizen

    I’m surprised to see that NJ is only 48th. The state has a may issue statute but in practice does not issue. In the past 10 years, there have never been more than 800 permit holders in NJ – mostly armed guards with a restriction to only carry on the job. With a population of 9 million that’s less than 1/100th of 1 percent who qualify for permits and even those can’t carry off the job.

  • Steveindeleware

    Something seriously wrong with the methodology. To rank DE lower then MD or IL where folks find it impossible to get a license seems flawed. Though DE is by definition a may issue state it’s more like shall issue in that it takes the AG to prove you’re a bad person. Compared to MD where you have to know somebody or carry lots of Other Peoples Money to get a license. Same for reciprocity, of which MD has none. DE does have some if they have similar training requirements. WE accept ones like FL and UT, as well as quite a few others.

  • Joe

    Idaho should be higher. There are two levels of permits, with the Enhanced permit extending reciprocity to 35 states, including WA. Also, open carry is common and does not give one trouble. State preemption restricts localities to laws against discharging within city limits only. The Stand Your Ground and Castle Laws remain vague, but historically gun owners have not been targeted for protecting them and theirs.

    • Joe

      Forgot to add: Open carry does NOT require a permit in Idaho. Anyone that can legally own a firearm can open carry.

  • Roger D. Score

    Arizona is #1 because we are very active and we fight back. Anti gun city leaders, used to have gun buy backs, so we outlawed Cities from destroying the firearms, they have to be resold. Cities tried to pass laws restricting guns, so we had legislation passed that makes it illegal for any City to pass any law, regarding firearms, that is stricter than State law. Protecting the 2nd Amendment is a duty of the Citizens and we are battling the anti-Constitutionalst in Arizona. Don’t forget, we have Mark Kelly, husband of Gabby Giffords, fighting us in Arizona. No CCW license is required, to carry concealed in Arizona. I open carried my .357 to Low’s today and 3 people thanked me for doing so.

    • Lawrence Miller

      I fucking love Arizona. Only thing is, there aren’t as many jobs there as in Texas and North Dakota. 2 states that I find myself loving both living and working in.
      Once the economy bolsters, I will much more than likely find myself enjoying the mainland bastion of freedom which is Arizona.

      • Mark Spencer

        Lawrence, you have the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL) to thank for that.

    • John Micheal Stacey

      Actually in Michigan they make money on the Gun Buy Backs as the Police only pay $100 for whatever gun they get. Then, they disassemble the guy and sell the sights, magazines, whatever parts they can take off.

      • Mark Spencer

        John, as incredible as it sounds, the City of Tucson would rather lose money on gun buy backs than actually pad their coffers. In the 2013 legislative session, we adjusted the requirements to close the “loophole” as Tucson saw it. In the original language, it stated that the guns had to be sold to an FFL if they had been confiscated. Tucson thumbed their nose at the law because their contention was that the guns had been voluntarily surrendered. Now, the guns taken in by LE must be sold to an FFL dealer regardless of how it was obtained. Despite all of this Tucson still tries to skirt the law. And, don’t get me started on how thay try to thwart our state preemption law.

        • semperfidoc1


    • dobby

      Why not worry about the meth moving through your shithole state instead of being worried about legally selling high power automatic weapons to these criminals in taco bell parking lots? Im a gun advocate with a concealed carry permit from another state.

  • Richard

    God bless Arizona and its good people !

    • Mark Spencer

      Please go to and join us, a Basic membership is only $30…and we DON’T send you begging letters.

  • Dennis Correa

    Great Article!!! You forgot Puerto Rico (basically a state), Gun laws are very strong there..and expensive to get your licence. 3 different levels (possession, target practice and CCW) For CCW you need to hire a lawyer, get witnesses and get a court date in front of a judge and state prosecutor. Then and only then you can get CCW

  • ray32158

    Living in Pennsylvania is like living on an island. The only state I can take my gun to is West Virgina, but I live near De. and NJ. But I guess if the South rises again Pa. will be the only state to defend itself. If my driver license is good in those states why not my CCw.

  • PhilipVanCleave

    Utah allows carry in K-12 and colleges. For me, they should be in the #1 slot. Constitutional Carry is certainly important, but being able to carry wherever you go is more important to me.

    • utahdude

      Couldn’t agree more. Being able to carry in more places, especially schools, it’s a huge deal.

  • Haardcase

    Looks good on paper, but in practice, the rankings are out of whack with reality. Go ahead and try to get a CCW license in Rhode Island.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    Not surprising that D.C. ranked where it did in the survey. But. all things considered, I think MD is way too far down the list. It should be right under D.C. With the recent debacle over processing gun applications before the new Assault Rifle Ban and Handgun Permit Laws went into effect (10-1-13), there was a lot of criticism of the State Police using other state agencies to process the thousands of backlogged applications which, for the most part, are still stuck in limbo. But trying to get a CCW permit in MD is like pulling a Great White shark’s back teeth out. Almost impossible unless there is a documented threat against your life. The State Police declines 90% of CCW applications. What’s worse, if you shoot a burglar in your house and he’s unarmed (or has a less-lethal weapon other than a firearm), you WILL be arrested, you WILL go to jail and you Will lose your guns! And if the burglar survives, he or his family can sue you for everything you own. Yup, that’s why we call it the Peoples Republic of Maryland!

    • Lawrence Miller

      LOL That’s not America.
      That’s a haven for dumbshits and political failures.
      Also folks who LUV DAT CITY LYFE!

    • Damon

      I live in DE, 10 minutes from MD. There are plenty of other laws in this state that are profoundly ridiculous. My fiancé is from there and I have laid it down plain and clear that I will never, ever be a resident of that nightmare of a state. As un-American as it gets. A drug and crime haven. Single mothers don’t even get child support help from the government. $485 to file for CS and 1 1/2 years before a court makes a decision?!?!?! At least they have good crabs and a few good wineries, but you wanna defend yourself? Nah, we can’t have that!

  • Christian

    Kal;ifornia is a gun lovers nightmare. Arizona here I come. Can’t wait. God bless Jan Brewer.

    • Lawrence Miller

      That’s the spirit, Christian.
      Good luck!

    • Mark Spencer

      Welcome to a free country!

  • BRBruce

    Nevada no longer requires that firearms be listed by type or otherwise on permits. Things are actually changing for the better here. Nevada should have been rated higher, but an interesting article none the less.

  • Dennis Piert

    I never had a ccw until it was legal to carry without one. I always carry in the open and everyone smiles at me. There is nothing wrong when a good guy has a gun. Laws need to be developed to prohibit bad guys from getting guns. Who are the? How do we identify them? What criteria determine a specific person should not be allowed to posses a gun? Certainly the Feds don’t allow felons to posses firearms…. why not? We are smart enough to figure this out.

  • Vermiform

    Permitless/Unrestricted = 25 Points

    Why would you grant 25 points to states that don’t require you to have a permit? Your magazine (Metcalf) has already stated that everyone should have to have at least 16 hours of training before be granted a permit. If you guys aren’t careful, the Brady Campaign is going to ask for its money back that it bribed Metcalf with to be a turncoat.

  • Hawk


  • Hawk

    We need more stricter laws for those committing the crime, not for legal gun owning Americans whom abide the laws & conceal carry legally. As a FIRM believer in the 2nd Amendment & Constitution

    • dobby

      Absolutely correct. Im a firm believer myself. However i also think we as an educated country can come up with some regulations to slow down the availability of getting guns in the wrong hands. By no means an easy topic. I have and carry myself. I believe in the right hardcore for protecting my family. But gun sales should be monitored simply by comprehensive background checks at any and all transactions. And automatics are pert near questionable. Id love to be protected by them under invasion otherwise i see no purpose. Other than to prove you have balls which at that point does exactly the opposite.

  • Jon L.

    Having lived in both TX and MO, I can definitely say that the latter is a more CCW friendly state. Missouri might only issue to residents, but it’s shall-issue, and our endorsement is the most reciprocated in the Union. Also, we *can* legally carry in businesses that have signs up forbidding it, they have to ask carriers to leave before notifying the police, meaning that it’s only an issue if you refuse to leave! And unlike TX, no mandate to notify LE. Also unlike TX, a Missouri resident need only take the CCW class once. Thats only the tip of the iceberg, I can continue. Like what happens in the event soneone accidentally sees your handgun – Missouri it is no big deal. Not true in TX.

    In short, Missouri is a better CCW state, period.

    • Jon Cromartie

      Wow. I wish we had the laws regarding places of business. I hate TPC 30.06.

      That said, Texas doesn’t have a true “mandate” to notify LE. If you don’t, it’s not a crime (and thus there’s no penalty). So it’s hard to really call it a mandate. Additionally, the law was changed on September 1 regarding the last two parts. Texans no longer have to take the class more than the first time. Licenses can be renewed online now. Also, it is no longer a misdemeanor if your handgun accidentally sticks out of your clothing. You have to “intentionally display” the gun to classify as a crime.

      • Lawrence Miller

        One thing that would make Texas undeniably better?
        Open carry. I am not sure why such a gun friendly state bans it so feverishly but we can’t all have what we want.
        More like, we can’t always have all of what we want.

        I plan on moving there soon.

        • Archangel

          I’m a huge advocate of concealed carry (have an AZ CCW permit good in many states and already finished class and range quals for the IL permit when the Socialist State of Illinois finally starts taking applications in January) but never got the deal with open carry – why would you want to open carry instead of concealed?

          • TexasBill

            Texas summers and the desire to carry something larger than a LCP.

          • Archangel

            Yeah I could see that – I carry Beretta M9 or PX4 Subcompact depending on what I’m wearing – the PX4 conceals reasonably even in the summer wearing shorts

          • Archangel

            Yeah I could see that – I carry Beretta M9 or PX4 Subcompact depending on what I’m wearing – the PX4 conceals reasonably even in the summer wearing shorts

          • Guest

            Because you can, that should be enough reason. Also because small framed people can’t always conceal large framed handguns effectively. Especially in warmer times of year.

            Don’t buy into the false myth that OC makes you a target for the bad guys. It shows them you are a hard target and they will go looking for someone who is not (visibly) carrying. OC is a deterrent to crime.

            You know that the views on open versus concealed used to be completely reversed. It was thought that an honest man doesn’t need to hide his gun, he carries it openly. Only the thief, the gambler and the disreputable needs to hide his gun. The very concept of concealed permits was created to allow those who actually needed to conceal the fact that they were armed to carry concealed.

            If I want to Open Carry it’s my right. Oh and my leg drop holster is the most comfortable one I own.

          • Archangel

            I’m not concerned with OC making me a target, I’m just more conscious of scaring the Muggle – as long as they don’t get in the way of my carrying, I’m fine with concealing it so not to cause undo alarm to the uninformed around me – I believe that carry is a right, whether “open” carry is a “right” I can see both sides of the argument especially where it could be argued as causing unnecessary panic around you – I agree with the drop leg holster – I use it for combat situations, hate the OWB belt carry – use IWB or shoulder holsters for concealed

          • papalion

            What do you think would alarm the uninformed more, a guy in plain clothes and an occupied drop leg holster standing at the counter of a convenience store paying for a newspaper and a pack of smokes, or a shifty-eyed individual with a visible bulge in the back of his waistband waiting aimlessly by the beer fridge at the back of the same convenience store?

          • papalion

            Law-abiding citizens carry concealed. Criminals carry concealed. How many gun crimes are committed by persons openly carrying? ZERO!
            That’s why I would want to carry openly; to announce to all that I have no ill intent. People would be generally be less afraid of the concept of firearms if it became customary for properly-trained private individuals to carry openly.
            Let me ask you. What makes you more fearful. The loaded Glock conspicuously visible on the side holster of a uniformed LEO, or the butt of a pistol sticking out of the back of the waistband of a “sketchy-looking” individual?

        • TexasBill

          Texas’ gun laws date back to the Jim Crow era following the Civil War. In fact, Texas’s basic gun law predates the state’s postwar Constitution.

          Up until 1995, it was illegal for a citizen to carry a pistol or revolver at all. The only exception was for traveling and it was so vague that it was meaningless. Only sworn law enforcement officers, prison guards and a few other government officials were allowed to carry a handgun.

          What we have now is a situation where nobody is willing to come right out and repeal the law: they just tinker with it bit by bit.

          Well-known conservative and “pro-gun” Governor Goodhair told the legislature that he would veto any bill permitting open carry or carry without a permit.

          I would have marked Texas down a bit further; part of the reason it can take so long to get a permit is that they check to see if you are delinquent on any taxes owed to the state or any political entity in the state.

        • dobby

          You need to understand that straight up open carry goes against the purpose of carrying anyway. If everyone sees your gun who will they plug first? Conceal that shit and dont be a hero. If shit goes down, hide yoyrself and your family and open fire when you are directly threatened. Otherwise you’re extremely vulnerable to the accomplice you didnt see.

  • JJ

    if you look closely at the picture. You will know why Arizona is Number 1. We are fighters for our rights.

  • AirandSpace

    Lot of criteria this ranking omitted… like carry in restaurants serving alcohol, guns on school property. Meh… it’s Guns & Ammo.

  • Laron Woods

    Utah is a “Pretty Great” state! Not only for scenery but for gun laws as well. We almost became a “Constitutional Carry” state in the 2013 legislature. It passed by a wide margine in both senate and house, but the Gov. vetoed it! It went back for an override but missed by 1 or 2 votes. I am sure it will come up again next Spring! But ’til then, we are still #2!!

  • S.B.

    Idaho gets penalized because left leaning Oregon & Washington don’t recognize Idaho permits? Really? Idaho has made optional an upper level CCW with higher training requirements which is recognized is a lot more states. But if some state decides not to play because of their nutty politics why is it Idaho’s fault?

  • S.B.

    Also, what is wrong with training? Does anyone else feel apprehensive about Joe Citizen who lives in the city and never was taught firearm safety as a kid later just plunking down his cash for a pistol and IWD holster and start carrying? Proficiency ought to be a prerequisite. With freedom comes responsibility. We do need to cut the red tape, but carrying remains a huge responsibility. I don’t want my family or I endangered by some yahoo who hasn’t learned the basics yet. “This ain’t the movies, kids.”

  • Johnny Rock

    I send all my love to all the States that have a CCW and all my LOVE to those that have served. As a former DEA agent it is a proven fact with R&D that the more good people that carry the LESS CRIME..

  • Law abiding citizen Veteran

    Its sad to see our state CA as 2nd worse, there are many of us law abiding gun owners here that are “held hostage” from all these anti gun people. People are easily swayed and “band wagon” guns are bad, ban guns wagon. I wish you other states would help us fight.

  • yahoo

    Kansas does not have to notify about having a concealed carrry lic.

  • ch3ch2oh

    sucks to live in CA

  • Dustin Sanchez

    Congrats Arizona. I noticed that Texas had civil lawsuit immunity. Where can I read more to learn more about that?

  • not me!! That’s for sure

    Arizona is looking better every day !! I live in Fl. I Was Arrested, get this, For Armed Robbery of my own home! ! Yes I did just say my own HOME !! The look on the Judges face was Priceless. I Watched his eyes roll in back of his head every time he turned the page of the arrest report !! I could not help but laugh ! This arrest was unconstitutional, my rights were violated, and it should not have happened, I was cleared for a wrongful arrest.

  • LeftHand

    New Hampshire..”Live Free or Die” Glad to live here…..

  • Rob in Delaware

    Ranking Delaware at 44 and Maryland ahead is ridiculous. As a permit holder in Delaware I can tell you that it is not “next to impossible”. While you are required to submit a lengthy application and the newspaper thing it is not difficult. Expensive yes, but not difficult. As a may issue state, your info goes before a judge who makes the final decision. I have not heard of anyone getting denied a permit (not to say it doesn’t happen) but if your paperwork is in order and you complete the necessary steps it is pretty painless. Unlike Maryland, Illinois and a few other other states that you ranked higher than Delaware. Please do some better homework first next time!

    • Stephen Gilbert

      Agreed Delaware is very simple to get a license just lengthy and expensive. I have not heard of many people getting denied.

  • Alan White

    I am a California resident with a concealed carry permit. It is not as rare as it sounds. Many rural counties in California have Sheriff’s who encourage concealed carry. To oversimplify, if your county has less than a million residents and doesn’t touch the Pacific, chances are you can get a ccw permit.

  • DChrls

    I find it strange Louisiana was so far down. Residents can have loaded concealed firearms in their vehicles without any license because in Louisiana your vehicle is an extension of your home. Unless laws have changed we can carry open in public. We have a law called “Shoot the Carjacker”. I could go on and on about the freedoms with firearms we have here in La. but I won’t.

    IMO, anyone wanting to carry concealed on their person should have to prove they know how to handle the pistol they choose to carry.

  • John Cip

    I have seen people thrown into the slammer for trying to protect themselves with a firearm. Even states with Castle and Stand Your Ground laws have punished people for their 2nd Amendment rights. However, after 45 years of firearm training and use, I think training as well as the above laws should give HIGH points.
    A dumb and untrained person who has (carries) a gun is a MENACE to themselves and the rest of us!

  • anon

    Iowa training time is wrong, only took 30 min to take my class, online no less.

    • DHConner

      Then your instructor really cut some corners. I think the law says 4 hours, which is what my wife and I completed. Now on-line, I agree you may well do it in 30 minutes. Thing is, you miss hearing some very well put questions by your fellow classmates, and the answer they get. BUT—this sure as hell is better than the past where it wasn’t what you knew but who you knew, how much you “contributed”, campaigned for, etc. And some wouldn’t give a permit no matter what the situation was. Johnson County was infamous for that, and I hope the faces of the dead who could have saved their own or another’s life with a handgun haunts this sheriff and all the others for whatever remains of their lives. Refusing to issue is tantamount to a death sentence after life and limb have been threatened, or in cases of obscene spousal abuse. And the “liberal elite” of Johnson County keeps re-electing these bastards. We still win though. Now Iowa is a “must issue state”, and I don’t pay any attention to those “no gun” signs. Just an invitation to robbery, assault, or mass murder is all they are. I came out of the Corps alive and I intend to stay that way until I’m 100.

  • Thor

    Your comments on Colorado are incorrect. It is a shall issue state and sheriffs are considered the chief law enforcement official. A permit will be issued without the applicant firing a shot much less showing “proficiency”. Read the law before spreading incorrect information. 2 legislators have been recalled and replaced while a 3rd resigned. The Gov. has to replace her with another liberal. Colorado sheriffs refuse to enforce the anti-gun laws. All who voted for anti-gun laws will not be reelected in 2014. We can carry concealed on all state campus, all community colleges, banks, even Denny restaurants. I’ll post the law later but you can go to the Colorado website and look up statutes. Specifically Article 18.

  • bwalkera

    Mgr2 Lately i would be REALLY down on $$ and debits were eating me from all sides. That was UNTIL i found out how to generate money on the INTERNET! I visited surveymoneymaker p net, and started filling in surveys for money, and really I’ve been really more able to get around financialy! i’m glad I did this.. – pgDi

  • Snowmanspanky

    You should have listed the number of states that honored each states permits.

  • Danielle Jeepgrrl

    I live in NJ! Enough said, worst state. I think there should be a category for worst also. Also in NJ if someone breaks in, I the (victim) must prove that I had no egress from the home and where you shot him also is considered, and it can’t be (lawyered)that they had intentions of running. Oh and I’m a single White female. Fabulous state of NJ! We have conceal carry BUT don’t bother applying because not if but when you get denied it will impact future purchases of the pistol permit. Which the PP will take up to 6 months in some towns.

  • scott will

    All my friends are passing the word to cancel susscriptions and not buy the magazine until Dick Metcalf takes back the damaging things he has said recently about the 2nd ammendment.


    Someone I know just got a CCW permit and to get the application is 10 dollars. To apply for the actual permit is about 130 dollars and we are 4 hours by a fast car from NYC.

  • geo gro

    i have a utah permit . after taking their course and FBI background check. they issued me a concealed carry permit for my state of residence in PA. This permit from utah was mailed to my residence in PA with my home address in PA imprinted on the permit. I guess their is some sort of reciprocity between utah and PA. It is nice being able to carry concealed in a few other states as specified on the utah permits laws. Its great being able to carry in a few states, as long as your a law abiding citizen.

  • Raffy

    PA SON!!!!!!!!

  • Mang Shawn

    I am shocked that Nevada ranked only #34. We do not have to qualify for individual handguns anymore, and although we are right next to California we are also right next to and above Arizona so definitely we should be in the top 20 common.

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