Which states are the most gun friendly?


October 3, 2004, 02:26 AM
I'm looking for a place to live and start my own firearm manufacturing company. I was wondering which states are the most gun friendly. I'm also interested in figuring out how hard it is to get a license to produce and sell firearms in the US.


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October 3, 2004, 03:37 AM

Vermont has the most lax of any last time I checked. No permits of any kind for carry, open or concealed.

Only students may not bring guns to campus, or anyone to government offices.

For producing arms? Not my area. Better hope you're the next JMB!!!:what:

edit: whoops :o oh hey welcome to the high road:D

Don't Tread On Me
October 3, 2004, 03:46 AM
Come to Florida, BUT

Don't even think of coming here if you don't bring your pro-gun vote. ;)

We could use a little help in this swing state come election time. Nationally, we have 2 gun banners in our Senate.

Statewide, we have an ultra-pro gun legislature.

If you don't like it here, try Arizona - they are on par.

October 3, 2004, 04:06 AM
Thanks Brick, Don't Tread On Me. I like dry hot areas. How is Nevada, New Mexico and Texas?

Connecticut Yankee
October 3, 2004, 06:24 AM
I think South Dakota actually has a brochure and website telling you why it is a good idea to relocate there to manufacture firearms. I also seem to recall that Utah is very friendly to manufacturers, as is Montana and Nevada. Why don't you check the manufacturers list in the back of Gun Digest and see what companies are located in the Plains and Northwest states and call them up and see what their experiences have been.

NC Shooter
October 3, 2004, 06:42 AM
It is interesting to me that there seems to be a disproportionate number of gun manufacturers in strongly gun unfriendly states. Beretta in Maryland, Dan Wesson in New York, Smith & Wesson in Mass, etc.

Seems strange to me. I think if I was company management my stance would be if you don't want my product you don't need my jobs and move to a gun friendly area. It's not that easy and the number of jobs is probably not great, but geez louize how and why do they put up with the constant negative attitudes?

Just my $.02

October 3, 2004, 10:53 AM
Idaho is very gun-friendly ("shall issue" CCW, Class 3 State, RKBA protected in the State Constitution) but a business may well set up shop in a state w/favorable tax laws and other perks designed to attract businesses.

October 3, 2004, 10:55 AM
Arizona - lots of room out here. Only states more progun are Vermont and Alaska....:cool:

Linux&Gun Guy
October 3, 2004, 11:33 AM
I would go to Alaska. With the combo of the new 4oz freedom and good gun laws its a cool place to live. However its cold and bugs are everywhere I think. Plus if an ice age comes they will be SOL

October 3, 2004, 11:47 AM
1 for South carolina!

October 3, 2004, 12:40 PM
Idaho is very gun-friendly ("shall issue" CCW, Class 3 State, RKBA protected in the State Constitution) but a business may well set up shop in a state w/favorable tax laws and other perks designed to attract businesses.

Ditto on Idaho, good business friendly, pro gun state. You didn't say what kind of maufacturing so its a big dark area. I do know that Buck knives moved to Post Falls, from **********, because of lower cost of business.
THe Boise area has a lot of business down there and I would think suppliers and etc would be very good there. In Northern Idaho Spokane Wa is the business hub, but Wa is not a tax friendly state.

Alaska do some homework on that or talk with Wild Alaska, shipping and transportation must be increased costs of doing business there, whether it offsets the tax benefits, I can't comment on.

October 3, 2004, 01:25 PM
Virginia is for (Gun) Lovers!!!

Unfortunately, from your perspective, our unemployment is so low that it is difficult to hire good workers.

October 3, 2004, 03:45 PM
Take a look at Colorado. We have very friendly gun laws. We're shall issue and you can carry in any public building that doesn't have metal detectors. Also, no permit needed for car carry, and no restrictions on restaurant carry. Our real attraction though are our tax laws. Our Constitution includes a Tax Payer Bill Of Rights (TABOR for short) which states that ANY tax increase, state or local, must be approved by the voters. Also, if the State collects more taxes than it has budgeted to spend, it MUST return those taxes (unless the voters approve a measure allowing them to keep it). I've gotten a refund on my state taxes every year since this law was passed.

October 3, 2004, 05:57 PM
New Mexico is fairly gun friendly, but our Gross Receipts tax situation is a loser for small business. As much as I hate to say it, any of our neighboring states would be better for a business start-up.

October 3, 2004, 06:02 PM
Florida is a good place for gun ownership and taxes but it would not be my top choice for a firearm manufacturer. We have a lot of importers here but if I was to become a manufacturer I would do it in one of the gun friendly mid-west/mountain states. Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas or Colorado.

October 3, 2004, 06:37 PM
It is interesting to me that there seems to be a disproportionate number of gun manufacturers in strongly gun unfriendly states. Beretta in Maryland, Dan Wesson in New York, Smith & Wesson in Mass, etc.

Seems strange to me. I think if I was company management my stance would be if you don't want my product you don't need my jobs and move to a gun friendly area.

But that would require either uprooting hundreds of families, or having loyal employees lose their jobs because they can't or don't want to move for whatever reason. And it would cost millions to relocate that kind of manufacturing line.

As for the OP... I hear tell there's a lot of new and relocated manufacturing firms in Henderson, NV. A lot of CA companies have moved over there. You will want to consider things like state income tax (I think NV has none), the availability of labor, the cost of getting raw materials and machinery in, things like environmental permits, etc. All in all, CA is probably about your worst option... :D

October 3, 2004, 07:36 PM
Please come to the Beaumont area in southeast Texas. There are plenty of empty WAL_MART and K_MART stores to choose from., We have a great ecnomy, but still a lot of unemployment. Probably some of the lowest gasoline prices in the country (lots of refineries). Fresh water supply. Lots of hunting and fishing opprotunities. The temperature in the summer is around 95deg F during the day. The winters here are very mild. Snows about once every ten years and melts right away. If you need anymore info, contact me at cajunboy2k@yahoo.com I will be happy to talk to you.

October 3, 2004, 08:00 PM

I have recently moved to Nevada from New Mexico, so I can offer some perspective on those two states.

Nevada doesn't have state income tax, which is good. New Mexico does, but it is fairly low. Both states are very gun friendly, though Nevada Highway Patrol requires gun stores to route background checks through them, and charges $25 for the priviledge, whereas New Mexico allows gun stores to call the FBI themselves.

New Mexico has a fairly poor economy, so there is generally pretty high unemployment, meaning lots of available workers, and the Albuquerque community college actually turns out very good welders and machinists.

Mr. Sistema mentioned the Gross Reciepts Tax in NM, but having worked as a contractor, all that has ever meant to me is that you have to collect sales tax. The rate is pretty low. Albuquerque only has 5.8% sales tax. It is possible that there is something he knows that I don't, however, as I hardly claim to be a tax expert. :)

Nevada (or at least Las Vegas / Clark County) just overall seems to have more laws, regulations, and restrictions than New Mexico does. Don't do this. You must do this. There is $X fee for this, that, and the other thing. Fill out this paperwork. Stand in that line. Blah blah blah.

Clark County requires handguns to be registered.

The climate in Las Vegas is both hotter and drier than Albuquerque. That's either a feature or a bug, depending on your perspective. Housing, and other property, are a lot more expensive in Las Vegas than Albuquerque. Personally, I feel the city is laid out atrociously, and the traffic is nuts.

(Ok, so this is turning into "Why I don't like having moved to Las Vegas" but I'm trying to give objective reasoning.)

In general I feel that New Mexico is freer than Nevada. Both states are straight across the board NFA states, but due to the generally poorer people in New Mexico, such firearms are less common than in Nevada.

Also, while Arizona has done well in spite of it, from a "regulatory" point of view, Nevada is just too darn close to California.

My girl and I are moving back to New Mexico as soon as we can.


October 3, 2004, 08:52 PM
Washington State is a perfect example of how gun owners can be successful in a liberal state.

captain obvious
October 4, 2004, 01:42 AM
West Virginia - except for Shall Issue, the only state gun law is the law banning gun control

October 4, 2004, 02:43 AM
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm currently leaning towards Nevada because it’s a 2 hour drive from home and its hot but I am worried about political climate. The types of weapons I would manufacture would fit under the "Assault Weapon" category.


October 4, 2004, 02:52 AM
Ah yes, I forgot to mention weather in regards to Colorado. The mountains have the deserved reputation of getting lots of snow, but the front range is actually semiarid, just one step above desert. It's very common for it to snow 6 inches over night, then have a high in the 60's the next day, causing all that snow to melt by the time you drive home. We'll get storms that absolutely stop anyone from going to work about every two or three years. But then you get to send pictures back to the family of snow banks that are taller than you are, so it all balances out. :D In the summers 92-96 is considered pretty hot, and we have no humidity at all. Colorado does have two laws that are anti-gun, but really aren't that bad. 1) We closed the gun show "loop-hole" after Columbine, and 2) we have a requirement that a CBI background check be done before a sale. Neither has caused much of an inconvenience to me though.

Jim March
October 4, 2004, 06:23 AM
"Business climate" and "pro-gun climate" are NOT the same things.

You need to check the business climate out VERY carefully. Alaska is out due to shipping costs, unless the items in question are of very high value - that's why Wild West Guns (WildAlaska) does OK there.

Don't rule out some of the Southern states that are trying to attract new business of every sort - Georgia maybe, or one of the Virginias. There seem to be a LOT of small gun and gun-related shops in Arizona and Utah.

You want Class3/NFA compatibility in case you grow in that direction. That rules out WA state and a lot of others...there's only 37 Class3 states, right?

Vermont is an example of where NOT to go. Other than excellent gun laws, the state is overall very socialistic(!) - think long and hard before opening any business there, gun or otherwise.

You need to think about "infrastructure issues"...depending on what exactly you're doing, you may need other businesses nearby such as injection mold suppliers, heat-treat and plate shops, prototype small-job machine shops or God knows what - identify what you need, make sure it's there. If there's significant aerospace industry around, that's a good sign, a lot of the metalurgy/machining/plating issues are going to be similar I'd suspect...that affects both suppliers and workforce.

<Scratches head>

I'll bet you're going to find Utah a top contender.

October 4, 2004, 07:59 AM
Nevada does have a few more hoops to jump through, but once the permits/licenses are aquired, its no big deal. The city is exploding right now, with property values going through the roof. New home values have more than doubled in many areas of the Las Vegas valley. The growth in population is tremendous. While Sin City may sound kinda liberal for most, the state is actually fairly conservative.
The climate in Las Vegas is HOT in the summer and mildly cold in the winter (lows in the high 20's-low 30's are the most common) It's very dry here (some love it, some don't) Traffic is bad, but improvements are happenening.

We already have a decent sized gun manufacturer/importer in Las Vegas. http://www.arsenalinc.com.
You might want to call and speak to someone in the know there. Might get some ideas of what you'd be up against. I'm always pushing for more small and diverse businesses here. I'll support them in any way I can. :) :)

October 4, 2004, 09:00 AM
**********. The mullahs in Sacramento will let you have any rifle you want. Unless, of course, it is an evil FAL, AR-15, AK, AUG, UZI, ect... They don't fire friendly bullets like the M1A, Garand, and Mini-14.

The mullahs are especially friendly when they ask you to register all your handguns. That automatically makes your guns safe.

And, you can carry a concealed weapon anywhere you want without a permit if you don't mind worrying about getting caught. We call it a "shall deny" state.

Come on down to the home of Boxer, Fienstein, Bustamonte, and 4 million illegal aliens. We are so friendly we can't stand it.

October 4, 2004, 10:07 AM
Texas :cool:

October 4, 2004, 12:37 PM
You might want to consider Louisiana. We are a pretty conservative state and are trying to attract all the businesses we can. You would have access to great machinists due to the oil industry and you would be near the biggest transportation hub in the country. Cost of living is also quite low compared to the rest of the country

October 4, 2004, 01:12 PM
Alaska, no question about it. Vermont carry plus Alaskan culture--a perfect match. No big gun makers, be we do have Wildalaska doing unusual things to existing guns.

I not only carry CCW with no problems, I routinely carry a four foot long rifle in the open with narry a problem. I did have a prostitue try to pick me up when I was toting it to my motel room in Spenard Saturday night, though. I informed her my heart already belonged to my Mosin.

October 4, 2004, 01:19 PM
Near Wichita (aviation industry) lots of small shops (oil drilling bit shops ect.). Plenty of machinists ect. Near refineries. Not too sure about other business climate, but gun laws are OK.

October 4, 2004, 07:51 PM
How many of the states mentioned by others have the equivalent of Wyoming Statutes Section 9-14-101, which provides:


9 14 101. Second amendment defense.

The attorney general may seek to intervene or file an amicus curiae brief in any lawsuit filed in any state or federal court in Wyoming, or filed against any Wyoming citizen or firm in any other jurisdiction for damages for injuries as a result of the use of fire arms that are not defective, if in his judgment, the action endangers the constitutional right of citizens of Wyoming to keep and bear arms. The attorney general is directed to advance arguments that protect the constitutional right to bear arms. Before intervening in any lawsuit pursuant to this section, the attorney general shall obtain the approval of the governor.

Then, take a look at this, from http://revenue.state.wy.us/

The state of Wyoming does not levy a personal or corporate income tax. Wyoming does not impose a tax on intangible assets such as bank accounts, stocks, or bonds, either. In addition, Wyoming does not assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Further, there is no legislative plan to implement any of these types of taxes.

Also, consider that I-80, I-25 and a major rail line run through the state assuring access to market, start up costs should be a lot cheaper than a lot of places, the cost of living is low, and educated people often are relocating because they can't find enough decent jobs.

January 14, 2006, 03:13 PM
How does oregon rate as a gun friendly state....?....i bealive preatty good what do you guys think?

January 15, 2006, 01:22 AM
DONT COME HERE......under tyranny in Minnesota.....save...save yourself...run....

January 15, 2006, 02:35 AM
Utah has a good business climate, and is very gun-friendly. Several firearms manufacturers are already established here (e.g. North American Arms).

Idaho has higher taxes, but most folks there still wonder why gun racks don't decorate the back window of EVERY pickup they see on the road. CCI has a manufacturing facility up in Lewiston, I believe.

Wyoming is kind of like Alaska must be: lots of open space, and lots of folks with "don't tread on me" attitudes. Freedom Arms sure chose a beautiful spot near Afton to build their factory, just a few miles south of the Tetons.

Rugers builds guns near Prescott, Arizona, and LEOs and legislators "get" RKBA there. Can't beat that warm weather!

Bottom line, if you're used to the gun-phobia of New York, Maryland, Illinois, or the PRK(alifornia), get ready to breathe free if you relocate to the intermountain west.

January 15, 2006, 03:09 AM
Washington State is a perfect example of how gun owners can be successful in a liberal state.
This is quite untrue.
Washington does not allow class III. No SBR, no sawed off shotguns, no full autos. On top of that, Washington will charge you a massive yearly tax for firearms manufacturing, far and miles above what is required by the Federal government.

Washington is NOT firearm or firearm manufacturer friendly. I'm considering a move to Oregon or Idaho after my career aspirations crystallize.

January 15, 2006, 07:47 AM
Unless you want to go in business in a gun friendly state as a matter of principle (which is admirable), I am not sure how important it really is. Look at Illinois. Due to the corrupt influence of the northern part of the state, it cannot be considered gun friendly at all. This does not stop DSA, Springfield, and Armalite from operating successfully.

Northwest Indiana might not be a bad choice. Indiana meets the gun friendly requirement and the surrounding population should make finding qualified employees a lot easier.

The Drew
January 15, 2006, 11:27 AM
Take a Look at PA, we have what are called Keystone oppurtunity zones which exempt the businesses from taxes for a certain amount of time. We also are a pretty gun friendly state where there are no requirements for a CCW other than passing a background check.

The only "bad" thing is that the state police keep sales records of handguns... but there is no waiting period or anything like that.

El Tejon
January 15, 2006, 11:32 AM
Indiana. Friendly business climate, help with start ups, outstanding location, and because of the heavy manufacturing base, very easy to find employees versed in metal working, gun friendly laws.

Old Dog
January 15, 2006, 12:06 PM
Koobuh stated Washington is NOT firearm or firearm manufacturer friendly.Some -- et moi -- would take issue with this statement. In terms of the average gun owner, Washington is a very firearms-friendly state.
- CPLs are shall-issue, for five year periods, relatively inexpensively with no training required;
- most law enforcement agencies here are quite pragmatic about gun issues and the cops are not spooked by armed citizens;
- even the media is a bit more understanding of gun-related issues and not quite so visibly anti-gun as is the norm in many states;
- There's no waiting periods for those with CPLs;
- there's no state registration requirements, no "FOIDs" or "gun-purchase authorization" or "firearms safety inspection certificate" required;
- Gun clubs are plentiful, as are indoor ranges;
- Gun lobbies and gun associations here are pro-active politically and highly visible;
- Aside from perhaps two or three major counties, the voter base tends to go pro-gun and conservative ...

You can always find something to bitch about in terms of the relative "unfriendliness" to gun-owners and gun issues in any state -- but don't try and say Washington is NOT firearm-friendly. Compared to most states, Washington is way ahead of the power curve. Sawed-off shotguns? Is this not a federal law? Class III? Would be nice, I'll grant you that. Firearms manufacturing? The tax system in place in this state affects far more industries than firearms manufacturing, and in the great scheme of things, of little import to the average gun-owner.

January 15, 2006, 04:45 PM
Just like parts of AZ, not all of Nevada is desert. :)

I believe Nevada is still one of the growing states in the union and it certainly is gun-friendly and without a state income tax. Makes it appealing. Just hope less left-wing type Californians don't move into it. :uhoh:

January 15, 2006, 05:11 PM
New Hampshire. Low taxes, very-gun friendly, skilled work force and close to major markets and distrubution points. Strum Ruger makes longarms, and Revolvers in Newport.

January 16, 2006, 12:30 AM
The Brady Bunch spends a lot of money learning which states rank WORST in their minds regarding being gun friendly. This is being discussed on another THR forum at http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=170224

The author has the 2003 results listed in his posting so you don't have to go to another website unless you want to confirm the grades he's posted.

Remember, A+ would indicate an ANTI-GUN atmosphere and an F would indicate the most PRO-GUN. Insteresting. Check it out.


January 16, 2006, 03:47 AM
I would go to Alaska. With the combo of the new 4oz freedom and good gun laws its a cool place to live. However its cold and bugs are everywhere I think. Plus if an ice age comes they will be SOL

Unfortunately, diety handbook thumping, do-gooders in the legislature intent on saving us from ourselves, have a bill pending recriminalizing marijuana possession as if the same policy worked before.:rolleyes:

We even took another step toward the slippery slope when they passed a bill making seatbelts a primary offense.

Oh well, I have the discretion not to enforce either and I suspect Hell will host the Winter Olympics before I do.

January 16, 2006, 04:56 AM
Arizona - lots of room out here. Only states more progun are Vermont and Alaska....:cool:

Both of which are separated from ConUS by "Enemy" territory, (Canada, New York, Jersey, etc.)

I am currently making a Map of Livable USA, (Based entirely on my own subjective standards.) After looking at Packing.org I was surprised to discover that Kansas and Iowa are completely off the list. They aren't Shall Issue. In fact, it looks like it is easier to get a CCW in California than Kansas.:scrutiny:

It is sad not to include Vermont and New Hampshire, on my list, but I don't want to have to drive though occupied territory to visit other states.

It would be nice if there was a matrix breaking down the issues by state and how they rate, (Kinda like the Brady grade in reverse.) The info on Packing.org is helpful, but it doesn't tell me anything about EBR bans, supressors or classIII.

OR and WA seem to have some of the Pacific Beauty of Cali without the oppressive legislation, but OR's Ginny Burdick is like their own little Feinstein, and I worry that OR and WA are just a bit behind Cali.

As for manufacturing, I did notice that Nevada promotes itself as being very-small business friendly with regard to taxes and such.

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