State letter grades - RyanM style


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RyanM
October 2, 2007, 02:07 PM
People seem to like using the Brady grades to determine how "gun-friendly" a state is, but those really aren't very good criteria. They basically only tell you how many hoops you have to jump through to buy a gun. So I've made my own grading system, based on ease of getting CCW, and regulation of NFA weapons. Each state gets two grades, based on these two.

For CCW:
A = unrestricted CCW, no permit required
B = Shall-issue (or effectively shall-issue), $10 per year or less for the initial permit
C = Shall-issue (or effectively shall-issue), between $10.01 and $25 per year for the initial permit
D = Shall-issue (or effectively shall-issue), $25.01 or greater per year for the initial permit; or may-issue regardless of cost
E = No-issue (or effectively no-issue)

I could have included things like fingerprint and training requirements, but it seems like additional requirements pretty much only occur in the higher priced states (or the may-issue states). So cost is a very good indicator of the number of hoops you have to jump through, as well.

For NFA:
A = all types of NFA weapons unrestricted at the state level
B = machine guns unrestricted, one other type of weapon restricted
C = machine guns unrestricted, two other types of weapon restricted
D = machine guns only restricted; or three non-machine gun types restricted
E = machine guns and any other types restricted, or greater than 3 non-machine gun types restricted

"Restricted" means any type of restriction whatsoever. For instance, VA requires state registration of all machine guns. That means they get a D. Them's the breaks.

State - CCW - NFA
AL - C - C
AK - A - A
AZ - C - A
AR - D - D
CA - D - E
CO - C - B
CT - C - D
DE - D - E
FL - C - A
GA - B - B
HI - E - E
ID - C - A
IL - E - E
IN - B - C
IA - D - E
KS - D - E
KY - C - A
LA - C - E
ME - B - A
MD - E - E
MA - D - E
MI - C - E
MN - C - E
MS - D - B
MO - D - E
MT - C - C
NE - C - B
NV - C -A
NH - B - A
NJ - E -E
NM - C - A
NY - D - E
NC - C - E
ND - B - E
OH - C - A
OK - C - A
OR - C - B
PA - B - B
RI - D - E
SC - C - A
SD - B - A
TN - D - B
TX - D - A
UT - C - A
VT - A - B
VA - B - D
WA - C - E
WV - C - A
WI - E - E
WY - C - A

If you think these requirements are too strict, check how many As and Bs there are. Some states do manage to score well.

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The-Fly
October 2, 2007, 02:24 PM
something your list overlooks, is how friendly the ccw laws are in regards to no carry zones. Some state's carry laws are so restrictive that a permit there is almost worthless (NC, KS, GA come to mind). Other states, while maybe a bit pricey, have excellent carry laws and almost zero no carry zones (CO, UT, MT, WY).

I'd much rather live in a state thats a bit pricey for the permit, but lets you carry damn near anywhere, then a cheap state that has so many restrictions that you might as well leave it in the car or gun safe.

News Shooter
October 2, 2007, 02:26 PM
I always kick myself for sticking up for this miserable state, but MA is a MAY issue state.

RyanM
October 2, 2007, 02:33 PM
something your list overlooks, is how friendly the ccw laws are in regards to no carry zones. Some state's carry laws are so restrictive that a permit there is almost worthless (NC, KS, GA come to mind). Other states, while maybe a bit pricey, have excellent carry laws and almost zero no carry zones (CO, UT, MT, WY).

I'd much rather live in a state thats a bit pricey for the permit, but lets you carry damn near anywhere, then a cheap state that has so many restrictions that you might as well leave it in the car or gun safe.

Whoops, you're right. Forgot about that. I'll probably revise the list later, when I feel like doing more research. I'm too used to living in PA. You can carry in bars, churches, even courthouses and schools in some jurisdictions, here.

---------

I always kick myself for sticking up for this miserable state, but MA is a MAY issue state.

Yes, but how many people do you know with a CCW, who are not police officers, police detectives, very rich and influential private detectives, judges, politicians, celebrities, etc.? I was under the impression that MA is only "may-issue" inasmuch as NYC, HI, and MD are. I also gave an E to NJ for that reason. Technically may-issue, effectively no-issue, at least for the peasantry.

Jury's still out on RI and DE. Need to do more research.

kungfuhippie
October 2, 2007, 02:35 PM
I'd like to point out that Ma, NJ, WI, Il, HI, and MD all get worse grades than CA and RI, NY, MO, KS, IA, and DE all tie CA
So why must we only bash CA?
CA has very CCW friendly laws, too bad it is a may issue state.

jerkface11
October 2, 2007, 02:35 PM
You've got Alaska on there twice and no Arkansas

News Shooter
October 2, 2007, 02:36 PM
Trust me, there are plenty of regular CCW's in MA. If you live in Boston it helps to have clout, but the rest of the state is semi-normal. They just make it hard to get is all.

RyanM
October 2, 2007, 02:38 PM
You've got Alaska on there twice and no Arkansas

Those darn two-letter abbreviations. Fixed. At least I didn't screw up the Ms. There are way too many states that begin with M. Think we could sell Massachusetts to Canada, and Maryland to England, or something like that?

-------------

Trust me, there are plenty of regular CCW's in MA. If you live in Boston it helps to have clout, but the rest of the state is semi-normal. They just make it hard to get is all.

Okay then, didn't know. Don't live there, and have no intention of ever moving there! I'll just bump MA up to a D.

How about NJ, anyone want to speak up for Joisey? I live in SW PA, so I don't know. More familiar with OH and WV.

MrPeter
October 2, 2007, 02:46 PM
I didn't know Montana was that bad? I need to do more research before deciding where I want to move. VT is looking better and better.

RyanM
October 2, 2007, 02:52 PM
Montana isn't too bad. Keep in mind that only two states managed to score an A in the CCW department. Montana I have down as $12.50/yr for the initial permit, $6.25/yr for renewals. Don't know how many years the permit is good for, probably 4 or 5. For NFA, Montana bans large-bore destructive devices (primarily detatchable magazine-fed semi-automatic shotguns), and explosive destructive devices (grenades, rocket launchers, etc.)

Also keep in mind that a "C" means "average." And average in the US of A is pretty darn good compared to the rest of the world. I'd have no reservations about living in a C state, as long as I can get a good job, the cost of living is tolerable, and other, non-RKBA political requirements are met.

Dope
October 2, 2007, 06:23 PM
Hmph. I could've sworn MA did not restrict machine guns beyond normal NFA measures. I know people in the state who own them. I'm assuming by "restricted" you mean "you can't own them, period". If my assumption is incorrect, please correct me.

MA is surprisingly good about CCWs. Everyone I know who has applied has gotten one without any fanfare. It is $100 for 6 years. Plus, we have some of the least restrictive CCW rules as far as where you can carry. It's pretty much just schools and federal buildings. Not that that changes your rating any, because it's still a "may issue" state.

Dope

Zundfolge
October 2, 2007, 06:28 PM
So why did Colorado get a B on NFA goodies?

kingpin008
October 2, 2007, 06:34 PM
You're also wrong on Maryland. Full auto and suppressors are indeed legal here, as long as you're willing to jump through the ATF hoops like everyone else.

We also have a fair number of CCW holders - granted it's like pulling teeth to get one, you still can.

I'd revise the list a bit more, if I were you. :)

damien
October 2, 2007, 06:35 PM
I'd like to point out that Ma, NJ, WI, Il, HI, and MD all get worse grades than CA and RI, NY, MO, KS, IA, and DE all tie CA
So why must we only bash CA?
CA has very CCW friendly laws, too bad it is a may issue state.

Because this grading scale doesn't tell the whole story. CA has a .50 cal ban, a magazine capacity limit, an "assault weapons" ban, a one-handgun a month limit, a training requirement, a long waiting period, a gun "safety" requirement that causes a lot of manufacturers not to sell there, and now this microstamping BS.

http://www.stategunlaws.org/viewstate.php?st=CA

In addition, about 90% of the state, by population, lives in effectively no-carry counties.

I would rather be in MA, WI, or IL, than CA. NJ, MD, and HI are the only states that really compare to CA in terms of anti-gun BS.

I live in Illinois, and the no-carry crap sucks, but otherwise it ain't all that bad. We have no "assault weapons" ban, no .50 cal ban, no purchase limits, a 3-day max waiting period, no training requirement, no magazine limits, no gun "safety" tests by the state.

In Illinois, gun stores also hand you the spent casing so many gun manufacturers now package with the gun instead of sending it to the state crime lab.

We also have a great selection of gun stores that keep prices reasonable in the Northern Illinois area because we have a population of 9.5 million people in a relatively small area.

California blows goats.

strat81
October 2, 2007, 06:36 PM
Nebraska is $100 for the initial permit. We also have no preemption and some lousy no-carry rules.

I'd also change "E" to "F".

Crunker1337
October 2, 2007, 06:37 PM
NJ gets two Es - big surprise.

RioShooter
October 2, 2007, 06:49 PM
I appreciate your effort to clarify the disparity between states, but in your system CA and TX both score a D on CCW. For those two states to score the same does not reflect reality. There's more to CCW than cost.

For example, my Texas CHL allows me to carry in most of the other states, EXCEPT CA.

Thanks again for all of your effort, but TX and CA are two different worlds and should not be considered to be in the same class with each other.

ilbob
October 2, 2007, 06:52 PM
I live in Illinois, and the no-carry crap sucks, but otherwise it ain't all that bad. We have no "assault weapons" ban, no .50 cal ban, no purchase limits, a 3-day max waiting period, no training requirement, no magazine limits, no gun "safety" tests by the state.

I live in Illinois too.

He was grading CCW, and since normal law abiding citizens are not permitted to do so in Illinois, we fail the grade.

damien
October 2, 2007, 07:01 PM
He was grading CCW, and since normal law abiding citizens are not permitted to do so in Illinois, we fail the grade.

I wasn't responding to the OP. I was responding to the quote by kungfuhippie and I made that completely obvious by quoting him at the top of my post.

I agree with the OP's assessment of carry/NFA laws in IL. I don't agree with kungfuhippie's implication that CA is about as gun friendly as IL. That is not true.

Harvster
October 2, 2007, 08:25 PM
CCW is too broad a category for one rating. As others have pointed out, besides cost, prohibited areas of carry, preemption, etc, are different everywhere. CCW needs to be broken up into more categories, such as Obtaining a permit, places open to carry, maybe even carry in cars etc.

JoeG52
October 2, 2007, 08:38 PM
PA rates a D for CCW because of the cost.



License fee is $46.00. Check or money order only. Make Checks payable to “Sheriff of Chester County”.

RyanM
October 2, 2007, 09:23 PM
Hmph. I could've sworn MA did not restrict machine guns beyond normal NFA measures. I know people in the state who own them. I'm assuming by "restricted" you mean "you can't own them, period". If my assumption is incorrect, please correct me.

Any form of restriction whatsoever. Massachusetts requires a state-issued license for machine gun ownership, and other NFA weapons are limited to short-barreled rifles and large-bore destructive devices only.

---------------

So why did Colorado get a B on NFA goodies?

A state-issued permit is required for explosive destructive devices. I was really tempted to not count regulation of EDDs for the NFA section, but, just because I personally don't have any interest in them, and they're nearly impossible to legally buy, doesn't mean that regulation of them is fine and dandy.

---------------

You're also wrong on Maryland. Full auto and suppressors are indeed legal here, as long as you're willing to jump through the ATF hoops like everyone else.

We also have a fair number of CCW holders - granted it's like pulling teeth to get one, you still can.

Everything I've heard suggests that Maryland CCWs are only possible to get if you can provide documentation of an actual stalker, or are a private detective, or are extremely rich, or something like that.

Also, Maryland requires registration of all machine guns, and completely bans explosive destructive devices, thus it gets an E.

---------------

For example, my Texas CHL allows me to carry in most of the other states, EXCEPT CA.

Thanks again for all of your effort, but TX and CA are two different worlds and should not be considered to be in the same class with each other.

That may be your opinion, but personally, I personally refuse to live in either CA or TX. $140 in fees, fingerprinting, massive background checks, and exorbitant training fees may be reasonable to you, but they aren't to me.

Plus, as has been mentioned, CA's CCW laws are actually not that bad. The main problem is that they're may-issue. But if you live in a rural area, that's not a problem either. Outside of the major cities, CA CCWs are quite easy to get.

----------------

PA rates a D for CCW because of the cost.

License fee is $46.00. Check or money order only. Make Checks payable to “Sheriff of Chester County”.

It's $25 in the vast majority of counties, including the one I live in, according to http://www.pafoa.org. They hiked the price this year, up from $19. That's still only $5 per year. And even if you have to pay $46 for some bizarre reason, that's only $9.20 per year; still low enough to be a B.

FieroCDSP
October 2, 2007, 10:24 PM
I don't think we need a new system. The Brady system works just fine. You just have to ask yourself which side of the system you want to be on. If you don't like guns, an A or B rating is perfect for you. If you're a rational being, the lower the score the better. I've been wishing we could get Ohio down to an F.

Dope
October 3, 2007, 12:22 AM
Having never visited the Brady site before, I decided to check it out. I too was confused by their grading system. I sent them this email to help them out:

Hello,

Just wanted to mention a slight problem with the website. I've been looking at possibly relocating recently and have found your grading system very useful. The only problem is, the grades seem to be accidentally backwards. It seems like the states with more gun control grade better than states with less. That seems to contradict common sense.

Oh well, not a big deal. I just check out all the states that are at least a D :) I'm sending this to help correct the error and prevent from confusing visitors to your site.

All the best!

Hopefully they'll fix this odd error on their site.

Dope

Gunnerpalace
October 3, 2007, 12:45 AM
We can own full-auto here in MI.

Zoogster
October 3, 2007, 02:05 PM
I live in Illinois, and the no-carry crap sucks, but otherwise it ain't all that bad. We have no "assault weapons" ban, no .50 cal ban, no purchase limits, a 3-day max waiting period, no training requirement, no magazine limits, no gun "safety" tests by the state
Yet you need a FOID, which is one of the most intrusive requirements in the country. You have to get a special ID just to purchase a firearm, any firearm. You must posses that ID, and it is subject to renewal and state bureaucracy, meaning your continued lawful use and possession of arms is tightly controlled.


MA is surprisingly good about CCWs. Everyone I know who has applied has gotten one without any fanfare. It is $100 for 6 years. Plus, we have some of the least restrictive CCW rules as far as where you can carry. It's pretty much just schools and federal buildings. Not that that changes your rating any, because it's still a "may issue" state.

Perhaps that is because by the time someone actualy gets a firearm they have dealt with more BS, scrutiny, backgrounds checks, and discretionary permission than the CCW requirements of many places? You must also renew your license just to continue to legaly posses a firearm. Combined with extremely restrictive transport and storage laws, and one of the worst jury selections if you ever actualy do need to defend yourself and I would not call MA friendly by any means.
Guns are classified into catagories and even a standard pump or semi shotgun with 6-10 round capacity is a "large capacity" firearm in MA requiring a class A license (as opposed to the class B which is still more trouble than a CCW in some states). The same firearm in CA could be purchased by someone with no license whatsoever walking into a store, purchasing it and picking it up 10 days later.
You even have to notify 3 seperate government entities if you move because you are an evil firearm owner that must be tracked.
Anyone that would call MA decent in reference to guns is crazy. It is definately in the top 4 of most restrictive states in the US, if not higher.


CA has very CCW friendly laws, too bad it is a may issue state.
That is because it is still a relic leftover from when CCW was only granted to Peace Officers or retired Peace Officers and a select few elite citizens ( the practice still continued in most well populated counties).
New laws make exemptions for officers on many things so they no longer need a CCW. If the state ever became may issue, or issuing became more common then the rules would be revised I imagine. The ability to get a CCW in a hardly populated eastern rural county and then excercise it while traveling through an extremely anti gun location like San Francisco (which does not even like locked up guns in the home and has actualy voted to ban handguns entirely, and is only kept in this world because it must still exist within the state...) would vanish.
Like I said the current form of CCW is a relic, existing before the time when normal citizens were granted CCWs anywhere, even rural places. If it became may issue, or even more common, I imagine they would suddenly be restricted to the county they were issued in and not valid statewide.

Dope
October 3, 2007, 02:45 PM
Oh I agree 100%, I was just speaking on the aspects of CCW when I said it was "decent". Some states are very lenient but don't let you CCW almost anywhere. It's kinda backwards here. Keep in mind that I've lived in MA all my life so my perspective on what is "decent" is warped, given what I'm used to.

Just FYI, not to nitpick but a 6-10 round capacity shotgun is still a Class B license (Class A only adds large capacity handguns). Still ridiculous regardless.

Dope

Zoogster
October 3, 2007, 02:51 PM
Just FYI, not to nitpick but a 6-10 round capacity shotgun is still a Class B license (Class A only adds large capacity handguns). Still ridiculous regardless.


Here is MA definition of large capacity: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/education/hed/hed_gun_laws.htm
"A weapon is large capacity if it is a semi-automatic handgun or rifle that is capable of accepting (or readily modifiable to accept) any detachable large capacity feeding device that holds more than ten rounds, OR if it is a shotgun capable of accepting more than five shotgun shells, OR if it is an assault weapon."

So a common pump or semi shotgun with a 6+ round capacity as a large capacity weapon.
In fact if one wanted to nitpick since the wording says "capable of accepting...shotgun shells" it could be stretched to include the one in the chamber under the law in regards to shotguns, even though it generaly is not interpreted that way. That is because in reference to the handguns and rifles it refers to the detachable magazine capacity and does not include the chamber, but in reference to the shotgun speaks of the shotgun's overall capacity.

However you are right in that they make a distinction that it is a large capacity shotgun, without requiring a different license. I guess defining as "large capacity" is to trigger other restrictions and laws...

Dope
October 3, 2007, 03:46 PM
Yeah, MA gun laws are pretty boggling. I swear they are written in a way to be intentionally confusing just to try to scare people away from ownership.

Dope

ryan in maine
October 3, 2007, 03:53 PM
Maine is going to get big when global warming kicks in. Lemme tell ya. =P

Gary G23
October 3, 2007, 04:07 PM
The cost of CCW is not a big issue to me. I moved to KY because of the Brady F rating. This is heaven compared to Illinois.

Zoogster
October 3, 2007, 04:15 PM
Yeah, MA gun laws are pretty boggling. I swear they are written in a way to be intentionally confusing just to try to scare people away from ownership.
Ah I got it. I was thinking class b was the minimum, but actualy the FID itself is. One must have not just a license which expires which they must purchase and register for (FID) but an additional class B to have the same exact shotgun 6-10 round cap which anyone would a clean record could walk in and buy in CA with no requirements whatsoever. That was my intended point :neener:

Any state where your right to even possess or transport is dependent on renewal of a license is very far from a free state.
So whether it is a FID, FOID, FLID, FUGGLE, FOODLE, or FLABBLE, the right to mere ownership is tetering on the brink in such a state.

damien
October 3, 2007, 05:11 PM
I live in Illinois, and the no-carry crap sucks, but otherwise it ain't all that bad. We have no "assault weapons" ban, no .50 cal ban, no purchase limits, a 3-day max waiting period, no training requirement, no magazine limits, no gun "safety" tests by the state

Yet you need a FOID, which is one of the most intrusive requirements in the country. You have to get a special ID just to purchase a firearm, any firearm. You must posses that ID, and it is subject to renewal and state bureaucracy, meaning your continued lawful use and possession of arms is tightly controlled.

What, as if I am not aware of this? The fact though is that the vast majority of the time, they get back to you in about 3 weeks with the card. The FOID is easier to obtain than a driver's license. No test is required. Any gunshop is happy to help you send in the simple one-page form because they know they are getting a new customer. I stand by the other lack of restrictions that I mentioned. IL isn't great, but it is far better than CA, HI, MD, NJ, MA, and probably a few other states that put out a maze of restrictions on firearms and magazines that you may not possess and may be a felony if you do.

In Illinois, I can transport my AR-15s with their 30/100 round magazines and my "junk" gun and my .50 cal rifle while on my way to buy 10 handguns at once, without any fear that I am doing something wrong, as long as they are unloaded and in a case (and I have that nasty FOID card).

snorko
October 3, 2007, 05:42 PM
I, of course, wish to argue for and defend my state, Indiana. Let us remember the fee for the carry lic. is good for, I think, 6 years and we have the only LIFETIME permit in the Nation.

As to the NFA stuff, why do we get a C. there is nothing you can not own and no State paperwork for class III items. machine guns, sub-guns, crew served weapons, canon, etc. all welcome!

scurtis_34471
October 3, 2007, 07:42 PM
Sorry, but the grading criteria make very little sense.

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