Gun Laws In U.S And The Best States For Gun Owners

States with the Best Gun Laws?

Gun violence is not new news in the United States. As gun violence has increased significantly over the last couple of years, the local authorities are coming up with new regulations to control gun violence. However, while imposing new rules and regulations, we also must avoid over-the-top restrictions for respectful gun owners. If you are a gun owner, you can understand what the laws say in such cases when you speak to a criminal defense lawyer in your state.

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. – U.S. Constitution – Second Amendment

Federal law requires that every state have regulations for firearm purchases. This involves a background check on any person purchasing a gun. However, some loopholes allow individuals to sidestep these control measures. A few states in the United States have set strict laws to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands. Some states, such as Montana and Idaho, have weak gun controls. Therefore these two states can be the best places for gun owners.

Factors Used To Determine The States with Best Gun Laws

All states vary when it comes to comparing the parameters around gun-owning. Some states will weigh better than others depending on the factors deemed more important to gun owners. These bases of comparison involve:

Waiting period

This is the period that consumers must wait before they can receive firearms. The waiting period may vary from no waiting time to complex gun ownership processes that may extend the waiting time. The waiting time might be extended due to complicated registration procedures, interviews, permit applications, and final approval from the government.

Background Checks

Federal law requires licensed firearm dealers to conduct a thorough background check on consumers intending to buy firearms. However, the same rule doesn’t apply to private transactions. The universal background checks are designed to mandate background checks for all gun purchases regardless of the licensed dealer. However, they find these laws overreaching in gun-friendly states.

The Right To Carry

Different states have different laws regarding carrying firearms. Some laws prevent carrying firearms and carrying a concealed weapon (CCW). This may be an effective way to reduce gun violence. Most states with strict firearm regulations pass legislation to introduce restrictions that most consumers find impractical and inconvenient. The states with narrow limits and those practicing constitutional carry laws are the most preferred by gun owners.

Right To Carry
Right To Carry States

Restrictions And Bans

To limit firearms availability to irresponsible gun owners, most states try to place bans on certain types of firearms. However, in doing so, they might prevent access to all consumers. The limitations may include restrictions on the magazine’s capacity and a ban on certain types of rifles that are considered assault weapons.

Gun Culture

Another factor most gun owners consider is the level of gun culture within states. A few things can determine this:

  • The acceptance of firearms in the state’s residents’ everyday life
  • The politics of the state
  • The number and size of hunting grounds and shooting ranges available in the state

What states have Strict Gun Laws?

The state with the most restrictive gun laws and the worst place for responsible gun owners is New York. This is because the state has implemented many restrictions and limitations that even responsible gun owners are subjected to. Other states include:

  1. California: California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the United States, including an “assault weapons” ban, waiting periods for firearm purchases, and requirements for background checks on ammunition buyers.
  2. New York: New York has stringent gun laws, particularly in cities like New York City. The state has restrictions on assault weapons, and high-capacity magazines, and requires a pistol permit to possess handguns.
  3. New Jersey: New Jersey has strict gun laws, including a permit system for handguns, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and assault weapon restrictions.
  4. Massachusetts: Massachusetts has comprehensive firearm regulations, including licensing requirements for handguns, restrictions on assault weapons, and a limit on magazine capacity.
  5. Connecticut: Connecticut has strict gun laws, including an “assault weapons” ban, restrictions on magazine capacity, and background checks for all firearm sales.
  6. Maryland: Maryland has relatively strict gun laws, including an assault weapons ban, background checks for all firearm transfers, and a handgun qualification license.
  7. Hawaii: Hawaii has strict gun laws and requires a permit to acquire firearms, which is issued at the county level, and background checks for all firearm purchases.
  8. Rhode Island: Rhode Island has various gun control measures, including background checks for all firearm sales and a ban on some semi-automatic firearms.
  9. Illinois : Illinois has relatively strict gun laws, with requirements for a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card to purchase or possess firearms and restrictions on concealed carry.
  10. Delaware: Delaware has some restrictions on firearms, including background checks for all gun sales, a waiting period for firearm purchases, and a permit requirement for concealed carry.

States with the Best Gun Laws

The states conducive to responsible gun owners are considered gun-friendly and rated high based on the most important factors to gun owners. They have few limitations and fewer restrictions on gun laws.

  1. Arizona: Arizona is known for having relatively lenient gun laws and a strong pro-Second Amendment culture.
  2. Vermont: Vermont historically had very relaxed gun laws, with no permit required to carry a concealed firearm. However, laws may have evolved since my last update.
  3. Wyoming: Wyoming is often cited as one of the most gun-friendly states, with a strong tradition of gun ownership and lenient regulations.
  4. Alaska: Alaska is known for its strong gun culture and open carry laws.
  5. Idaho: Idaho is another state with a robust gun culture and relatively relaxed gun laws.
  6. Kentucky: Kentucky is often regarded as being supportive of responsible gun ownership.
  7. Kansas: Kansas has a history of supporting gun rights and has enacted laws that are favorable to responsible gun owners.
  8. New Hampshire: New Hampshire generally has gun-friendly laws, including constitutional carry.
  9. Utah: Utah is often cited as being supportive of the Second Amendment and has relatively relaxed gun laws.
  10. Texas: Texas has a strong gun culture and has passed various laws favorable to gun owners.

McClure-Volkmer Act

Citizens of the United States requested the right to bear arms through the addition of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. However to protect citizens from themselves and to ensure safety for all other citizens, the federal government has created many additional acts and requirements according to gun safety and protection.

Each act and requirement passed by the federal government is legally required of all US citizens, regardless of their state or other firearm laws in their states. The Firearm Owners Protection Act, also called the McClure-Volkmer Act, was added by Congress in 1986. This act opened interstate sales for long guns, allowed the transportation of certain firearms from state to state, made it illegal to transfer any kind of firearm to prohibited individuals, and disallows the government from creating gun owner lists through dealer records.

The McClure-Volkmer Act also limits the inspections of dealers through the ATF without first acquiring a search warrant, allowed FFL holders to carry out business away from business locations, allowed the US Postal Service to ship and carry ammunition, stopped the recordkeeping of ammunition sales, prohibited civilians from full-auto firearm possession if manufactured after May 1986, redefined the term machine gun, increased the penalties for machine gun use, eliminated the requirement for FFL when purchasing dealer ammunition, and increased penalties for drug offenses associated with firearms.

Federal Firearms License

The United States government requires that individuals engaging in the business of firearms first obtain a Federal Firearms License. The business of firearms can include the sale or manufacture of ammunition of firearms. FFL holders may then engage in interstate sales legally. Such licensure became a requirement for all citizens in 1968 when Congress passed the Gun Control Act.


The Second Amendment states that American citizens have the right to possess firearms for the reason of self-defense. This is also called the right-to-carry. However, only forty-four state constitutions respect this right-to-carry to its full effect.

Some states have “shall issue” laws that require individuals to carry permits in order to possess and carry a firearm.

Shall issue states state that any individual who meets the necessary requirements for obtaining a permit be issued a permit, as a standard. Certain kinds of firearms are also illegal in some states, while not in others though no federal law prohibits such firearms, like sawed-off long guns.

However all states, under federal requirements, disallow previously convicted individuals from possessing firearms legally without first regaining this right. The federal government allows each state to include more provisions, though most states have similar right-to-carry laws to the Bill of Rights. Such laws must be in accordance with all federal firearm laws and may not contradict federal requirements.

Other Laws

The federal government has also instituted further Acts of protection. The Brady Handgun Prevention Act followed the attempted assassination of President Reagan. The Brady Law requires criminal background checks for handgun permits through the Attorney General. The National Firearms Act places taxes on rifles, long guns, and handguns, while the Gun Control Act defined the term firearm and who has the right to own one.

Gun Laws by State


Alabama Gun Laws

In the state of Alabama the sale, giving, lending, or delivering of a handgun to any person under the age of eighteen, any person who has been convicted of a…

Alaska Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Alaska According to many firearm consumers, Alaska is one of the best states in the United States for responsible firearm operators. They have basic federal laws related…

Arizona Gun Laws

Arizona Gun Laws Just like Alaska, Arizona has massive levels of firearms acceptance of firearms as a state’s culture. Over 40% of households in Arizona hold at least one gun….

Arkansas Gun Laws

Gun Law in Arkansas As widely interpreted, the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows citizens to “keep arms.” Even with that type of protection for gun owners, individual states…

California Gun Laws

Gun Laws in California According to California law, all firearm sales, gun show sales, loans, and transfers must go through a licensed California firearms dealer. This also includes the private…

firearm Transportation state lines

Can you carry a gun across state lines?

The question of whether you can carry a gun across state lines is a complicated one, as it depends on a variety of factors. The short answer is no; you…

Colorado Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Colorado The state of Colorado does not require that state citizens register for firearms. Actually Colorado prohibits, according to state law, the registration of firearms through state…

Connecticut Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Connecticut Ownership of firearms in Connecticut is governed by the Department of Public Safety’s Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. There are two different sets of regulations for…

Delaware Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Delaware In Delaware, prospective purchasers of handguns and non-shotgun long guns must be of legal age (21 and over), possess valid state identification, and successfully pass a…

Florida Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Florida The state of Florida does not require that individuals purchasing rifles, handguns, or shotguns acquire permits. Registration of rifles, shotguns, and handguns is also unnecessary. The…

Georgia Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Georgia Georgia is described as a “shall issue” state when it comes to carrying a firearm. This means that carrying a concealed weapon requires a permit, but…

Hawaii Gun Laws

In the state of Hawaii the gun laws and state statutes regarding sell, possess, or carry firearms are strict and specific. Violating these gun laws will result in criminal offense…

Idaho Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Idaho Idaho gun laws specify who is allowed to own a gun and whether or not you need a permit. These laws cover everyone from adults to…

Illinois Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Illinois The state of Illinois has a child access prevention law for all firearms as well as a juvenile possession law and a juvenile sale and transfer…

Indiana Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Indiana The firearm laws of Indiana are the least restrictive laws however, don’t assume that you can possess, buy, or carry an unlimited number of rifles, handguns,…

Iowa Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Iowa In the state of Iowa the amount of gun laws are far less than most states. These laws are not as extensive and/or as strict as…

Kansas Gun Laws

Firearm Laws in Kansas In Kansas, firearms laws are relatively permissive compared to other US states. Here are some key provisions: Open carry is generally allowed for individuals legally to…

Kentucky Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Kentucky In the state of Kentucky, gun laws do not require an individual to have a permit before purchasing rifles, shotguns, or handguns. The law also states…

Louisiana Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Louisiana Louisiana does not require that individuals first obtain a permit before purchasing a handgun, shotgun, or a rifle. However it is illegal in the state of…

Maine Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Maine In the state of Maine gun laws there exist specific laws regarding different forms of firearms. Within these laws are stipulations for minors. The following are…

gun laws maryland

Maryland Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Maryland In Maryland, citizens have the right to lawfully carry concealed weapons. The state police are responsible for issuing permits to those who qualify, and a background…

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Law Details Every state has the right to pass their own gun laws. Within every state, each separate town or city can also enact specific firearm restrictions. Several…

Michigan Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Michigan Unlike other states, Michigan does not require a permit to purchase shotguns or rifles but does require a permit to purchase handguns. No registration is necessary…

Minnesota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Minnesota The state of Minnesota has a juvenile possession laws and juvenile sale or transfer laws in place along with a Child Access Prevention law. Minnesota does…

Mississippi Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Law Details To a certain degree, the level of gun restrictions depends on a particular state’s history and culture with regard to gun ownership. States where hunting has…

Missouri Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Law Details Although there are many common elements regarding gun laws throughout the country, particular states have specific firearm restrictions which originated from their state legislatures. Typically these…

Montana Gun Laws

Guns Laws in Montana Although the state of Montana had stricter written laws regarding concealed carry provisions, they are almost like a formality as they do not put complex procedures…

Nebraska Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Nebraska Purchasing firearms in the state of Nebraska does not require a permit. As long as shotguns, handguns, and rifles are purchased from a licensed dealer, no…

Nevada Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Nevada The state of Nevada has gun laws unlike other states, despite having child access prevention laws, juvenile possession laws, juvenile transfer laws, and juvenile sale laws….

New Hampshire Gun Laws

Firearm Laws in New Hampshire Some state laws state that carrying any weapon requires a special permit, but New Hampshire only issues licenses to carry revolvers or pistols. No licenses…

New Jersey Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New Jersey New Jersey law stipulates that those who own firearms are required to have Firearm Purchaser cards before any kind of shotgun, rifle, or handgun can…

New Mexico Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New Mexico The state of New Mexico has many laws in regards to firearms and how they are to be legally used. This includes those outlines in…

New York Gun Laws

Gun Laws in New York New York is often named as the most difficult state for acquiring firearm permits of all the United States, though Maryland and New Jersey are…

North Carolina Gun Laws

Gun Laws in North Carolina Obtaining a handgun in North Carolina is more difficult than it seems. A permit is required for all handguns, including obtaining a handgun through inheritance,…

North Dakota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in North Dakota Like many other states, North Dakota has been deemed a “shall issue” state in regards to concealed carrying. Permits are to be issued to applicants…

Ohio Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Ohio Ohio is a shall-issue state when it comes to carrying handguns. This means that county sheriffs are responsible for issuing concealed handgun licenses at the county…

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Law Details The United States Constitution only mentions the right to “keep and bear arms” in one amendment. However, the Constitution also says that any law that isn’t…

Oregon Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Law Details The rural landscape of Oregon provides for an ideal hunting ground. The hunting traditions and firearms have been passed down through the generations. The result is…

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Pennsylvania Certain states are known for their hunting preserves and have what are considered by many to be “friendly gun laws.” Other states have residents who trade…

Rhode Island Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Rhode Island Local licensing authorities have named Rhode Island as a “shall issue” state, and many licensing issues in regards to MAY issuing are handle by the…

Gun Laws South Carolina

South Carolina Gun Laws

Gun Laws in South Carolina Like many other states, South Carolina is considered a “shall issue” state in regard to concealed weapons permits. Handguns, rifles, and shotguns do not require…

South Dakota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in South Dakota South Dakota is classified as a “shall issue” state in regards to carrying concealed weapons. Permits are to be issued to those who qualify through…

Tennessee Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Tennessee The state of Tennessee does not necessitate that handguns or long guns have a state permit before a purchase is made. Long guns and handguns are…

Texas Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Texas As of September 1, 2021, Texas residents aged 21 and above now have the legal right to openly carry handguns in a holster without a permit,…

Utah Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Utah In opposition to other states, Utah has several restrictions that not many others do. However, there are no state permit requirements for purchasing handguns and shotguns….

Vermont Gun Laws

Of all the United States, Vermont has one of the lowest restrictions on firearms. No state permit is necessary to purchase rifles, handguns, or shotguns. Rifles, shotguns, and handguns do…

Virginia Gun Laws

Virginia has preempted firearms laws that govern the entire state. Local law enforcement has the right to regulate any firearm discharge, the transporting of loaded shotguns and rifles, the fingerprinting…

Washington Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Washington State Many states in the United States are considered to be “shall issue” states, but Washington is one of the first to have this decree. Through…

West Virginia Gun Laws

Gun Laws in West Virginia Residents of West Virginia are not required to have a permit before purchasing any kind of long gun or handgun. Registration is also not required…

Wisconsin Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Wisconsin A majority of the United States allows state residents to carry concealed weapons on their persons. However the state of Wisconsin does not allow its residence…

Wyoming Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Wyoming As part of American history, some states have the unique distinction to be deemed a “frontier state.” This meant that they were part of the massive…

Federal Concealed Carry Permit

Is there a National Carry Permit or federal authority to carry a handgun throughout the United States?

A common question for attorneys who handle firearms cases is about obtaining a national license to carry a handgun.

Except for qualified active duty or retired law enforcement officers, there is no such license. A national civilian carry license is introduced in almost every session of Congress. Such bills, however, have never had a statistical chance of passing.

If a national license were to pass Congress and become law, it would almost certainly be riddled with exceptions. These would logically include local, state, and federal property and buildings.

The exception for qualified and retired law enforcement officers was made shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The discernible difference between these bodies is that law enforcement officers receive some consistency in their training in constitutional law, deadly force, and firearm qualification.

While an FFL may be able to transport and ship firearms across the United States, this does not imply a national license to carry. In other words, an FFL is not a last-ditch effort to carry across the country.

The current method of carrying a handgun in another state is through reciprocity. This is a state-to-state agreement known as a compact. This allows one state to recognize the license of another. It is important to note, however, that when engaging in reciprocal carry in another state, one must follow the laws of the reciprocal state, as well as any local rules and regulations if there is no preemption.

Federal laws apply in all states to federal property, lands, and areas chosen by Congress to regulate, which typically overlap with concurrent state regulation. Guns in school zones, airports, and on aircraft are two common examples.

FAQs on States and Gun Owners

What is the best gun-friendly state to live in?

The best gun-friendly state to live in depends on a number of factors, including local laws and regulations, the availability of hunting opportunities and recreational shooting areas, safety considerations, and other personal preferences. Generally speaking, some of the most prominent gun-friendly states include Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Which US state has the most liberal gun laws?

Alaska has some of the most liberal gun laws in the United States. In addition to allowing adults over 21 to carry concealed firearms without a permit, Alaska also allows individuals to purchase long guns without a background check.

What is the safest state from guns?

While no state is completely “safe” from firearms-related incidents, some states have strict gun regulations and lower rates of gun violence than others. Among these states are California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

What state uses guns the most?

According to data from the Small Arms Survey, the United States has by far the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. In terms of regional statistics, there is significant variation in the level of gun ownership between states – with more rural states such as Alaska having higher levels of gun ownership than their urban counterparts.

Which state has the toughest gun control?

California has the most stringent gun control measures among all US states. These measures include stringent registration requirements and comprehensive background checks for all firearm purchases, as well as restrictions on carrying firearms in public places and bans on certain types of weapons.

What states in the US don’t allow guns?

Generally speaking, no state forbids firearms completely (except in certain federal buildings). However, some states – such as California – have enacted laws that severely restrict access to firearms and impose other restrictions related to storage, transport, and usage.

What states have lowest gun violence?

The lowest gun violence can be found in states like Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. These states have implemented strict regulations on firearm ownership and usage which results in comparatively lower incidents of gun violence.

What state has the most death by guns?

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mississippi had the highest rate of deaths due to firearms among US states in 2019. Specifically, there were 19.2 firearm deaths per 100,000 people in Mississippi that year.

What state is the easiest to own a gun?

Some of the states with the least restrictive gun laws include Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma, Vermont, Arkansas, Kansas, and Kentucky. These states generally lack waiting periods, registration requirements, or any other forms of strict regulation when it comes to purchasing or owning a firearm.