most gun friendly states?


September 2, 2008, 01:38 PM
In general, what are the most gun-friendly states?

I've lived in Maryland, Virginia, and Michigan, in that order. I think most of us here know enough about Maryland that I'm not going to get into it; I hear it's only gotten worse since I left 10 years ago. Virginia was by far the best, even with one handgun per month law; lots of gun stores and gun shows with decent stuff, lots of places to shoot, private sale of a handgun was like private sale of a lawn mower. Michigan gun stores are OK, Michigan gun shows suck, good ranges are far and few; purchasing (and registering) a handgun is kind of a pain, but overall it's not that bad and certainly better than some states from I've read. Full auto was recently allowed and suppressors still are not (how lame).

In the near future I'm going to relocate (for various reasons) and definately want to move to a gun friendly state, so what are my choices? I've considered Washington state, Texas, Arizona, and Wyoming; I've heard Utah is pretty good. Any others? Anything stand out as really good or really bad in these states I mentioned or anywhere else? Please discuss.

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Josh Aston
September 2, 2008, 01:47 PM
Alaska and Vermont are the best as far as gun laws go.

Out of the ones you're considering I know nothing about Washington or Wyoming. Arizona is more gun friendly than Texas, but Texas is working on getting that changed. Texas doesn't allow open carry yet, Arizona does. Any of your choices is going to be better than Maryland.

September 2, 2008, 02:04 PM
the true New England states (ME, VT & NH) are very good.

The mob. run, socialist states (MA, CT & RI) suck.

September 2, 2008, 02:08 PM
Nevada is pretty good. We have shall issue for concealed carry, instant background check for purchases so no waiting periods, only Clark County has handgun registration but that is done on the spot, NFA items are good to go, and you can also open carry. However open carry is not recommended on the Strip in Vegas.

September 2, 2008, 02:12 PM

1) Alaska
2) Vermont (but being partially surrounded by NY and MA is a big problem for travel)
3) Wyoming, Utah, Idaho tie
6) Arizona
7) Montana
8) Nevada
9) Texas

This is just off the cuff, not based on detailed research. NH probably belongs in or near the top 10, but I've never studied its laws much as I've never thought about moving to NH.

September 2, 2008, 02:17 PM
The mob. run, socialist states (MA, CT & RI) suck.

Living in CT, I'd have to say it's a lot better than what I thought it was going to be. Pretty much shall issue to get a carry permit and it's easy to get, no restrictions on magazine capacity, hollow points, etc. No handguns are banned by name like in MA. Full auto stuff here is legal. Yes, CT still has a stupid, bastardized AWB, but you can have all sorts of "assault weapons". Any AR-15/M-4 unless it's a post ban Colt, which is insane since they are in Hartford, CT. Can have any AK as long as it's not chambered in 7.62. A lot more people are gun friendly here than I thought as well. Plenty of places to shoot, too. Very few off limits places for carry. Can even carry legally into a bar. It's also in the CT Constitution regarding bearing arms. "SEC. 15. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."

I lived in AZ for years and my family is still there. VERY gun friendly except for one hugely stupid law where you can't carry into ANY establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on site. So, pretty much any "adult" restaurant is a no no, even the chain ones like Chili's, Friday's, Outback, etc. AZ is not like FL where you can carry into places like that, but you only have to stay out of the bar area. They are working hard to get this changed and I hope they do. Another good thing about AZ is they have their permit system down pat. It only took nine days from the time I dropped my renewal paperwork in the mail until I had the actual permit here in CT and it was over a holiday weekend. It was only $43 and they bumped it up from 4 to 5 years.

September 2, 2008, 02:18 PM
Alaska > Vermont

Vermont does not allow silencers.

I would not put Texas on the list, the CCW restrictions are among the worst.


September 2, 2008, 02:28 PM
Alaska has great laws thats for sure, but I suspect you wouldn't like it here.

Consider the often over looked Oregon. The carry laws are very good (bars and schools ok) and if you have the loot you can get machine guns and silencers if you want. Plus, there are lots of private and public ranges, as well as BLM lands to shoot on.

September 2, 2008, 02:51 PM
Arizona doesn't have the best laws (pretty good though), but IMHO we have some of the most gun friendly people around.

Open carry, evil black rifles, etc. don't really raise any eyebrows with police or regular folks.

September 2, 2008, 03:02 PM
Yeah, until you run in to the [folks] from CA or Prescott College students. :rolleyes:

I know as I used to live in Prescott years ago (Dosie Pit was my second home) and it was getting bad then. Can't imagine what it's like now. When I first moved there in 1987, they still had hitching posts around the court house/Whiskey Row for horses and you'd see "old timers" dressed up in cowboy garb with twin six shooters all the time. Been back many times, including over the last holidays, and haven't seen it again except for one guy at The Palace, but I think he was the owner because I've seen him there more than once and he's always been the only one carrying. Unless he's a reserve cop or something they were just non-firing replicas because you cannot carry into any establishment selling alcohol for on-site consumption and I doubt he'd carry real ones so blatantly. Can't remember the last time I saw just a regular person open carrying, either.

September 2, 2008, 03:07 PM
Idaho and Utah are also very friendly. Go to the Library and check the most recent issue by the Justice Dept. of all the state firearms laws. It will tell you about each and every state. Or if you know someone with an FFL, they will have a copy. They receive a new and updated one every year.

September 2, 2008, 03:33 PM
Florida is very gun-friendly. One of the first shall-issue states, famous for our "castle doctrine" and "stand your ground" laws, relatively easy permit process, few regulations on travel in your vehicle, preemption laws.

Certain areas of the state are not so gun-friendly (mostly SE FL/Miami where all the NYers come to retire), which our preemption laws ameliorate somewhat, but since local police and prosecutors have discretion over when and if they will arrest and bring charges against someone, they could conceivably cause trouble.

Now whether you can stand the heat and humidity is another story (I've leved here 13 years and I still can't stand our summers).

September 2, 2008, 03:35 PM
Thanks for the quick responses so far, heard a few suggestions I never thought of (the true New England states). I would actually love Alaska EXCEPT for the cold.

September 2, 2008, 03:35 PM
Look at the Brady Bunch ratings for the states. Look at the bottom of the list and go from there ;)

September 2, 2008, 03:35 PM
see -

September 2, 2008, 03:36 PM
Don't forget PA.

September 2, 2008, 03:39 PM
Utah! Decent gun laws (and making progress) plus an economy that always beats the national average!

September 2, 2008, 03:40 PM
Indiana is a very gun friendly state as far as the law is concerned. Being a very rural state, most Hoosiers have grown up around guns. Indiana has a lifetime gun permit available as well which may be unique and gives reciprocity to all the other states' permits.

Indiana is a "shall issue" state with regard to CCW and OC (we make no distinction in fact under most circumstances) and we have a version of a castle doctrine here as well.

We have huge gun shows in Indianapolis every 3 months and small guns shows in just about every county fairground all year long.

Indiana is a very good place to own a gun, buy a gun, shoot, and hunt.

In my experience, we get about a C- in terms of good shooting ranges though...our only negative in this context.

Joe Gunns
September 2, 2008, 03:42 PM
I would consider WA State as one of the better, but not the best gun-states. Shall issue ccw, there are good ranges, the Washington Arms Collectors has two monthly gunshows that are pretty decent. Lots of huntable areas. Down side's are no full autos, silencers OK until attached to a firearm, and Puget Sound politicians are knee-jerk liberal. There are always a slew of gun limitations introduced in the legislature, but we have a very good political action team that has been effective in blocking them and pushing back with pro-gun bills. Even when the Dems had strong majority control in the legislature and the governor's chair most of the bad bills don't even make it out of committee.

September 2, 2008, 04:16 PM
One thing I forgot to add about AZ is they now recognize all other permits. Resident/non-resident...doesn't matter. With a CT and FL permit, I didn't even need to renew it, but I did it to support my home (and favorite) state. Besides, I'll retire/move back to AZ in 10-15 years, so keeping it current at $43 a pop (2 or 3 times), it's still much less expensive (and hassle) than letting it expire and have to start at ground zero all over again for an initial application because I will need the AZ permit when I become a resident again.

September 2, 2008, 04:20 PM
The Brady Bunch rated Kentucky as F- once. We slipped to a plain old F. We need to get our minus back.

The Bushmaster
September 2, 2008, 04:26 PM
I'm not that sure of my home state, Oregon. It won't recognize my adopted state's (Missouri) CCW...

September 2, 2008, 04:32 PM
The work has already been done for you. For our purposes, the lower the ranking the better. ;)

We have a three day waiting period on handgun purchases, a prohibition on open carry, and a few irritating (but not entirely problematic) conditions related to unlicensed car carry. That's really about it.

Major pluses include one of the most reciprocal CCW permits issued by any state and a very thorough castle doctrine.

Strangely enough, for having spent more than a decade in a state that some once termed "The New Wild West," I have yet to be threatened by somebody brandishing a firearm. For that matter, I haven't seen anybody threaten anybody else or fire at anybody else.

September 2, 2008, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the link. My state, TN, is tied for 35th place! That's good but no time to rest on our laurels. We'll do worse next year!

September 2, 2008, 04:47 PM
We have a three day waiting period on handgun purchases

That's easy to fix in FL. All a person has to do is get their carry permit and the wait goes away. Same thing here even in CT in the liberal north east.

September 2, 2008, 04:51 PM
It is interesting that this question has never been asked before :P

New Hampshire.

September 2, 2008, 04:53 PM
Free Republic of Montana...I mean...the state of Montana, Alaska, Vermont.

September 2, 2008, 05:54 PM
Wheres the folks from NC? We are pretty gun friendly down here too!

September 2, 2008, 06:14 PM
Yeah, but from a legal standpoint, NC has a LOT of restrictions on where you can/can't carry. You'd think GA would be pretty gun friendly, but they're the same way, too.

It goes beyond the "gun friendly people" attitude when a slip up can put your ass in jail.

Some NC laws about places where carry is prohibited:

"Assemblies and establishments where admission was charged. 14269.3"

- No movie theaters, museums, concerts, sports games, amusement parks, county fair, etc???

"Assemblies and establishments where alcohol is both sold and consumed. 14269.3"

- No "adult" restaurants??? Even crappy chains like Friday's, Chili's, Ruby Tuesday's, etc sell booze. Sports areas, dinner theaters, and assemblies? Does that include an entire indoor shopping mall that has an alcohol serving restaurant(s)? Heck, I can legally carry in a BAR here in CT.

"Financial Institutions. 14415.11(c)"

- So, is a payday loan place or a pawn shop considered a "financial institution"??? Even liberal CT allows actual BANK carry.

"Events Occurring in Public: It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with,
or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon
any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon. 14277.2"

- Come on...can't carry at a parade??? Again, even in CT I can legally carry in any hospital, public or private regardless of whether a "demonstration" is going on. They can post signs, but that doesn't make it illegal as CT has no signage laws. Just leave or get charged with trespassing if you're "made". Also, "events occuring in public" sounds pretty broad and can be interpreted in many ways. What about a free concert in the park? Sounds like you can't carry there, either.

"Areas of emergencies or riots. 14288.7"

-Who determines that and how is a person to know ALL the time when such a condition exists, especially if you happen to drive through one and get stopped at a checkpoint or something??? Sounds EXACTLY like the situation you'd want to be carrying.

"Where notice of carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous
notice or statement. 14415.11(c)"

- So ANY big "no guns" sign is enforceable by law just by simply walking past it??? Even in Texas, which has the force of law behind signs, a business has to comply with the 30.06 requirements EXACTLY regarding the wording, size of the text, color, etc. Even in liberal CT, I can walk past signs (only seen one) and not break the law.

"Schools, public or private, all levels including universities. This also applies to all property
owned by any school. 14269.2"

- So NO carry ANYWHERE, including baseball, football, etc games, parking lots when dropping off/picking up kids??? "School property" can be tricky because institutions, especially colleges, have "property" that are not at the main campus. A lot of states don't prohibit that...just carry into the actual academic facilities.

Not bashing NC as a state, but they are FAR from being legally friendly regarding carrying. Also, there is NO concealed carry in state parks/forests, wildlife management areas, and you MUST notify an officer if you are carrying. Don't have to even do that in liberal CT.

Here's the reference. Click on NC at the top.

September 2, 2008, 11:15 PM
Check out those states as far as gun friendliness. Most counties in Alabama issue concealed pistol licenses for a simple fee to the sheriff and state law does not limit you to where you can carry, like many states. YOu can legally carry inside schools, bars, sporting events, and as far as i know, even have a drink in a bar while carrying as long as you aren't drunk. Some county sheriffs put restrictions on the licenses, but it is questionable if they are legal.

Pennsylvania is another state with a lot of firearm freedom. Oregon is great too b/c, like AL, you can carry in schools. Utah is the same.

I don't know why Texas is quoted as gun friendly, but there are some restrictions down there where you can carry. It is nice that you can carry a loaded long gun w/o a license and also recently a concealed pistol in a car w/o a license.

It all depends on where you want to live and what you want to put up with as far as jobs and taxes.

September 3, 2008, 06:50 AM
VA is great, coming from NY and NJ, VA is like Disneyland LOL

Golden Hound
September 3, 2008, 07:14 AM
I say Indiana definitely, the only problem is there's no actual shooting range in my town (Bloomington) so I have to drive an hour up to Edinburgh. But this is a left-leaning town, although I do like living in it.

September 3, 2008, 07:29 AM
I'm not having any problems in Ohio.
I own several dozen firearms, no wait-period to buy a gun (my personal best is 1 minute 22 seconds to be approved on the phone), have my choice of many public and private ranges nearby, plenty of public hunting areas, got my CHL 4 days after I applied for it, Ohio has superseded all those goofy city ordinances, plenty of gun shows and good gun shops around, and Ohio's version of the Castle Doctrine goes into effect next Tuesday. I've no plans to move.

September 3, 2008, 07:39 AM
Kentucky is very gun friendly, one of the best. Alaska is probably the #1 gun friendly state, as they do not require a license to carry concealed.

Ala Dan
September 3, 2008, 01:30 PM
Att: razorback2003 My Friend-

I respectfully disagree with your comment regarding the right to carry
in schools in Alabama; as somewhere I think there is a law that
prohibits carry of a firearm within 1,000 yards of a school. It may be
some type of federal law instead of a state law, I can't recall~? :uhoh:

September 3, 2008, 01:45 PM
3) Wyoming, Utah, Idaho tie
WRONG ;). Salt Lake City has a ban on machine guns and suppressors. IDAHO WINS!! kinda

September 3, 2008, 01:55 PM
as somewhere I think there is a law that
prohibits carry of a firearm within 1,000 yards of a school. It may be
some type of federal law instead of a state law, I can't recall~?

No federal law regarding this. They tried to pass it in 1994 along with the AWB, but the Supreme Court struck it down. States make the rules. In some states, you can have a loaded gun in your car when dropping off/picking up your kids. Just can't go into any buildings with it and some states say it can't leave the car at all. That was a very dangerous bill and I hope nothing like it ever comes up again. They wanted a gun free zone for 1/2 mile radius around any and all schools. Including people who home schooled! That's a lot of area and many schools are located in suburban neighborhoods. The bill said you could have guns in your home, but once you took them off your property, you'd be in violation of the law. Besides, I'll bet 99% of any normal drive/trip a person takes brings them within 1/2 mile of a school. Private, public, etc...doesn't matter...all illegal. Then there's the people who either own or work at all the businesses within 1/2 mile of a school(s).

Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, many of the gun friendly states have a lot of Indian reservations/land. The tribal police make the rules/laws there and some may not be so friendly to "White Man with Hidden Boom Stick". For example, between Prescott and Prescott Valley in Arizona, a lot of business like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Golden Corral, Red Lobster, Gateway Mall, etc built on Indian land outside of the Prescott city limits to avoid taxes. Now, we have freedom of travel going through that area, but the jury is still out as to what would happen if someone got caught carrying in one of those places on Indian land. The businesses only lease the property, so that nation (Yavapai?) still owns it. It was brought up when I took the CCW course at Gunsite and even they couldn't give a definitive answer.

September 3, 2008, 08:15 PM
Att: razorback2003 My Friend-

I respectfully disagree with your comment regarding the right to carry
in schools in Alabama; as somewhere I think there is a law that
prohibits carry of a firearm within 1,000 yards of a school. It may be
some type of federal law instead of a state law, I can't recall~?I believe you are referring to the "Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1995."

Cases under that act are hardly ever prosecuted, partly because it would be struck down as unconstitutional under the Interstate Commerce Clause; a virtually identical law (the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990) was struck down in US vs. Lopez. Even if it were upheld, there is an exception to the GFSZ Act if you have a permit issued by the state or a subdivision thereof where the school is locate.

WRONG . Salt Lake City has a ban on machine guns and suppressors. IDAHO WINS!! kindaIs this a statutory ban (which I believe would be invalid under the Utah preemption statute) or simply a case of the CLEO refusing to sign off on NFA paperwork?

September 3, 2008, 08:26 PM
Iowa also has a ban on supperessors and machine guns. And no, there's no getting around it. Don't even try. You will never get out of jail, ever.

September 3, 2008, 08:52 PM
The work has already been done for you. For our purposes, the lower the ranking the better

CO would have done better on that list if we didn't have the stupid "gun show loophole" law that past after columbine. That is the only law we have that is stricter than federal, and CCW is pretty lax; No K-12 schools, no Gov't. buildings and no place where metal detectors are permanently installed at entrances.

MG's and other NFA stuff is up to the local sherriff, as anywhere else, but most counties here are GTG.

September 3, 2008, 09:28 PM
Here in Idaho I have yet to come into contact with anyone that is anti-gun that I couldn't convince otherwise. It just makes sense here. Here in Pocatello you don't even need to take a class to get a CCW. However your CCW is only good in a few western states. This monday I woke up early to hunt forest grouse and had to stop at the gas station before we headed out. Just about everyone at the gas station was wearing a pistol on their hip. That kind of a thing is common in the early mornings during hunting season. I see it less often during normal hours of the day. I have also seen it in Utah. If you are interested in hunting as well, Idaho beats Utah by a ton. The price for a hunting license and for tags are a TON more in Utah than they are in Idaho. A resident hunting license in Idaho is $12.75. I hunt coyotes, rockchucks, rabbits, foxes, grouse, and racoons for just $12.75 a year. Deer tags are around $20 bucks. I used to live in Utah and I can't remember how much the licenses and tags were there but I remember how happy I was when I moved to Idaho and saw the huge price differences. I like Idaho's laws and the country aint bad either.

September 4, 2008, 09:19 AM
Kentucky got a 2 pionts according to the 2007 score card, we can do better, let's try for a one or even a 0, one can only dream.

September 4, 2008, 10:05 AM
Having lived in upstate New York most of my life, I know first hand the restrictive nature of that state. Moving to North Carolina was like a breath of fresh air but we need to be vigilant because the the evil gun grabbers are at work everywhere.


September 6, 2008, 03:16 AM
Dont forget about Nebraska. I cannot think of too many things we cant have.................... besides a pro football team. but who needs those? :D

September 6, 2008, 04:38 AM
I'm very happy here in Arkansas, it blew my wifes mind when we went buy a pistol together and walked out of the store with it. She grew up in a shooting family in CA and couldn't believe no waiting period. Just about everyone I know owns a gun, or doesn't raise an eyebrow when they find out I do.

September 6, 2008, 06:47 AM
I am not going to their web site but I have heard Kentucky and Oklahoma were tied for last on Brady. Therefore they may be the best. I know Kentucky is great.

September 6, 2008, 12:16 PM
vermont. :)

September 6, 2008, 12:18 PM
Alaska > Vermont

Vermont does not allow silencers.

we may not allow silencers, but we ARE part of the continental us :)

September 6, 2008, 10:06 PM
Gotta love Oklahoma......tied with Kentucky for last place on the Brady rating system......

September 6, 2008, 10:52 PM
Alaska > Vermont

Vermont does not allow silencers.

we may not allow silencers, but we ARE part of the continental us

In Vermont, we prefer our guns to be loud,

I think, technically, Alaska is part of the North American continent, but they sure ain't contiguous.:neener:

September 7, 2008, 07:33 AM
Missouri is not bad either. Tied for 44 in the Brady list. We just did away with the daconian Sheriffs permit to aquire a handgun, have CCW, and also recently enacted a Castle Doctrine law.

September 7, 2008, 07:38 AM
SC is about middle of the road.

Could be a lot better, could be a lot worse.

NC is about the same.

September 7, 2008, 08:19 AM
I always see mention of Texas and Arizona, but what about New Mexico? I've lived here 4 years and have seen at least a few people who open carry. I'm not sure about the laws in any of the large cities; Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, etc... does anyone here know better?

FWIW, New Mexico is a beautiful state-- bordered by (humid)Texas, (dry)Arizona, (blizzard)Colorado, and (***)Mexico. Honestly, the weather here is unlike any place else. I may _never_ leave. Paradise.

Arrogant Bastard
September 7, 2008, 12:11 PM
I would not put Texas on the list, the CCW restrictions are among the worst.

I haven't done any research, but can you give comparative specifics?

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