In the United States, gun laws are a contentious issue. This is because of the varying opinions in place, with part of the population calling for gun restrictions laws while the other part being pro-gun rights and calling for more laxity. With calls to change the federal gun laws having not been implemented, the gun control laws vary across the states. Some states have strict policies to strengthen gun control, citing an increase in mass shootings across the country. Others have less stringent laws regarding gun ownership and carrying, citing the second amendment that gives every citizen of the United States the right to bear arms. If you are looking to become a gun owner, it is essential to know what the laws are regarding gun ownership in any given state. With the many changes happening in gun laws, it can be overwhelming, trying to figure out which are the gun-friendly states. At the most fundamental level, the less the gun restrictions a state has, the more gun-friendly it is. Read on to learn what are the most gun friendly states

States with the strictest gun laws

In the USA, federal laws regarding control of guns do not touch on firearm sales regulation. This is because lawmakers still cite the second amendment to mean that every citizen in the USA has the right to bear arms. Heavy penalties exist for gun owners who transport their guns from a loose gun policy state to any of the second amendment sanctuary counties, especially since these states tend to neighbor each other. For states that have implemented strict laws, the main aim is normally to promote public safety, which has inhibited the growth of the firearm industry in these states. Statistics have shown that these states have reduced incidents of incidents like public mass shootings and are not considered gun-friendly states. With the varying federal law changes, it can be hard to keep track of which states have strict laws. Below is a list of some of the states with the strictest gun laws

  • California and Illinois state

California is famously known for its strictest gun legislation. You need to be 18 years to possess a gun, but you have to be 21 years to purchase one. Background checks and gun registration is required during private firearm sales. After purchase, there are ten days waiting period. Open carry is prohibited, and carry permits are only issued on condition that you uphold concealed carry permits. As a may-issue state, you can apply for a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed weapon, and it’s up to the local authorities to decide whether to agree to it or not. It is also illegal to have guns on campus, and in schools; this has discouraged the gun sales growth of the gun industry.  If you are convicted of a violent case, you cannot own a gun for about ten years after the conviction. The state also has in place the assault weapons ban. Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) Card is a permit to purchase given to anyone above 21 years old who wants to own a gun. During private gun sales, background checks are required. However, registration of guns is not a requirement. There is a waiting period of seventy-two hours after every purchase. Open carry is prohibited. Concealed weapons can be carried with a concealed carry permit, but they are prohibited in some places such as schools and social places such as bars and public transportation. Any individual who is convicted of domestic abuse will have their FOID card revoked. The state also has a red-flag law that states that people who are considered a danger to themselves and those around them can have their guns taken away.

  • NewYork and New Jersey

New York is not one of the gun-friendly states as it has strict gun legislation. For you to be able to possess a long gun in New York, you need to be sixteen years. However, you need twenty-one years to possess a handgun while residing in New york. Background checks are mandatory during private gun sales, and a purchase permit should be presented. Registration is also required for handguns. Even though there is no waiting period, handguns may take up to half a year to be processed in New york. Open carry is illegal but a shall-issue state; you can apply for a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed firearm. It is illegal to carry a gun either openly or in concealment on campus without the institution’s fore authorization. New Jersey also enforces the ban on assault weapons. The legal age to get a handgun is 21 years, while for long guns, it’s 18 years. It is mandatory to carry out background checks during private gun sales, with a  handgun purchase permit taking about seven days for processing. Open carry is illegal and, therefore, a purchase permit is needed both for open carry and conceal carry. The New Jersey state also has in place a red flag law and a ban on assault weapons. Guns are banned from educational facilities, and no student is granted a purchase permit.

Gun laws by state map

If you do not have a minimum age to possess a gun in some states , you cannot own one as it is not one of the gun-friendly states. This has seen legislation around gun control moved to the state level, bringing about varying degrees of strictness in each state. It is the job of every gun proprietor to understand what the gun control laws or the state rifle laws are for the state you live in or for any state you will be going to with your gun.  If you want a clear picture of all states with their gun laws, you can check out the gun laws by state map.

  • Maryland and Connecticut

As a buyer, you need a purchase permit, and you need to be 21 to purchase a handgun and 18 to purchase a rifle or shotgun. Sellers cannot make gun sales from those below these ages. Registration is required for all handguns, while gun purchases have a waiting period of 7 days before gun sales are made. Background checks are partially required before any gun ownership can be granted. Open carry is illegal, while a permit to purchase for concealed carry is generally very hard to obtain, without any good cause. Assault weapons are banned, and guns are not allowed in schools and on campus. The state also has in place a red-flag law. With no minimum age to possess long guns, you need to be 18 and have a purchase permit for gun purchases in Connecticut. For handguns, you need to be 21 years and have a purchase permit and a carry permit. For private gun sales, extensive background checks are a requirement. After making your gun sales, the customer has no waiting period to use it after purchase. Connecticut has partial bans for both gun registrations and assault weapons. For open carry, it is legal for long guns, but a carry permit is needed for handguns. For a concealed weapon, you can carry it without a permit. Connecticut was the first state to enact the red-flag law in 1999.

  • Massachusetts and Hawaii

With firearms registration not required after purchase, you need to be 21 to purchase and possess a handgun and 18 for long guns. Gun sales are only made if a customer has a permit to purchase, and there are no waiting periods after a purchase. It is illegal to openly carry your firearms, and you need a carry permit to carry a concealed gun. The state also has in place a red flag bill and a ban on assault weapons. Firearms are prohibited on campus grounds. In Hawaii, the age requirement for gun possession and purchase is 21 years, and sellers are restricted from making gun sales for those below 21. After purchase, the waiting period ranges from 14 to 20 days, with registration required for not only some but all firearms purchased. You need a carry permit for you to openly carry firearms or to carry concealed firearms. In practice, this purchase permit is rarely offered unless the applicant presents a good enough reason or is engaged in protecting life and property. Carrying guns on campus is only prohibited for students. The state officials are also permitted to seize the firearms of anyone considered a threat. The state also has in place the assault weapons ban.

States with best gun laws

Mississippi scored dead last on the Law Center’s state scoreboard to Combat Gun Abuse, and the state has lately loosened some of its gun controls. It is considered one of the states with best gun laws. Permits are not necessary to carry a weapon, either freely or covertly. Mississippi state eliminates cover-up carry permit fees for any who wish to receive them. Mississippi does not authorize or heavily control gun dealers. Mississippi is a pro-gun state. If a gun is carried in a holster, purse, sheath, handbag, or suitcase, one does not require a carry permit. Buying a gun in private gun sales in Mississippi is also relatively easy since no purchase permit is needed or background checks. The guns sellers do not need to have any.  licenses to trade in guns. The price of concealed permits has also been reduced, making it easier for gun owners to get one. Mississippi is also among the shall-issue states in the country.

  • Georgia and Montana State

Georgia is a Peach State which is located in the most conservative region of South America. It has very accommodative laws governing gun ownership. Individuals who own guns are protected and can carry their arms everywhere, including schools, colleges, and hospitals. In case you’re an inhabitant, you can have confidence all neighboring states will respect your grant as well, due to the Stand your ground laws and the  Castle Doctrine laws that protect you wherever you go. Georgia has conveyed laws that are considerably more careless than different states. Generally, it would be best to note that Georgia has bureaucratic regulations that preclude gun-carrying to areas such as the National Park and government buildings or legislative structures.  However, there might be more zones for gun proprietors to move around within Georgia than in other states legitimately. Georgia is one of the shall-issue states. Montana is an enormous Sky Country that has gun-friendly laws; it is famous for its outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting. This state does not have a concealed carry reciprocity map. Thus, both its residents and those visiting are not allowed to carry concealed guns even though they have CCW reciprocity laws governing them in their respective states. This means that the neighboring countries respect the same. While in Montana, you should note that they prohibit gun-carrying in some places such as Banks and ATM. They additionally have a subsection of rules where a landowner can disallow gun possession. In case you’re leasing, you should request to maintain a strategic distance from unpleasantries. Besides a couple of laws governing gun ownership, Montana is an extraordinary state for gun proprietors.

  • Kentucky, Utah and Vermont  state

Kentucky is positioned five on Guns & Ammo’s list of gun-friendly states. The state law allows a carry permit to someone who meets the minimum requirements. Kentucky has no legislation restricting weapons ownership by individuals convicted for offenses of domestic violence. That is through federal law that prevents them from possessing guns. Kentucky state is known for its Stand your ground laws and the Castle Doctrine laws and shall issue states. Utah does not mandate the submission of mentally ill persons to the weapon database used during background checks. Utah prohibits municipal councils from passing gun laws and does not require missing or stolen weapons, thus falling in the list of gun-friendly states. Utah State also has robust Castle Doctrine laws and Stand your ground laws.

On the other hand, Vermont is considered one of the safest places to live in the country. Open carry laws are in force in this state as carry permits are issued to residents. Residents also have no restrictions on magazine sizes. Gun owners can quickly bring their guns anywhere within the state, including but not limited to some places such as the place of worship, restaurants, or even pubs. States such as Vermont have laws that allow new gun owners not to carry their permits or have a background check when getting a gun. Loose gun laws also allow children as young as sixteen to acquire certain guns, with no background checks or registration of guns carried out, thus, promoting the growth of the gun industry.

Which state has the most guns per person? 

Here is a glance at statistics on per capita guns, centered on the national Firearms Registry and Transfer Record of the ATF, and U.S. data as of 2021. From the survey, while the most available list of this kind is the National Weapons Register and Transfer Registry of the ATF, it is not all-inclusive. These states are the most gun-friendly due to their favorable gun laws. However, certain weapons fall beyond this scope, and many are not licensed, which means that gun ownership polls come to varying conclusions. According to Zerohedge, the increased sales of guns and the growth of the gun industry in the USA has made the country to transform into a violent mess. If you are wondering which state has the most guns per person with best gun laws, check out this list below for a peek at the findings.

  • Georgia, New Hampshire, Indiana, and Kentucky state

In the number 13 slot, Georgia is tied with New Hampshire with the same numbers of guns per capita, but many individual guns in the state. There are 14.6 arms for every 1,000 people in both Georgia and New Hampshire. These two states permit the shall-issue laws to be in place. In Indiana, the shall issue permit is in force, and thus it is considered a friendly state to own a gun.  There are 14.1 arms for every 1,000 people in Indiana.   Kentucky is position 16, with 13.5 weapons for every 1,000 people. Kentucky is also a friendly state with a  shall-issue permit that allows its residents to freely own guns.

  • Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado state

There are 12.9 weapons for every 1,000 people in Utah. That’s 37,490 licensed guns out of 2,900,872 individuals. Texas is position 18, with 12.8 arms on record for every 1,000 people. It’s 337,309 guns out of 26,448,193 people. The actual numbers are likely to be higher since Texans are not forced by law to report their firearms. The ATF should, as such, only count those who call for background checks. There are 12.3 arms for every 1,000 people in Oklahoma. Colorado has shall-issue laws for its residents. These laws permit residents to own weapons openly. This has increased the number of those owning guns to 12 arms for every 1,000 residents in Colorado.

  • South Carolina, South Dakota, Ohio, and Oregon

South Carolina residents do not require a permit to own a gun; this has led to 11,6 arms for every 1,000 people in this state. South Dakota falls in at position 22, and its residents do not need a permit to openly carry a weapon. This state has 9,677 licensed weapons for 844,877 individuals scattered. Ohio is tied for position 23 with Oregon since it has the same number of weapons per capita. Because of the much greater population, the total number of licensed weapons in Ohio is much larger than in Oregon. There are 11.4 arms for every 1,000 people in Oregon.

  • Connecticut, Tennessee, and Montana and North Carolina state

At number 25, there is a tie among Connecticut, Montana, and Tennessee, with 11.3 guns per 1,000 people. For 3,596,080 individuals, that’s 40,740 licensed firearms. There are 11.3 firearms for every 1000 persons in Montana. Montana has shall-issue laws that permit its residents to freely own guns. Tennessee falls in number 25, with 11,3 firearms for every 1,000 people. That is 73,320 licensed weapons amongst 6,495,978 individuals. There are 11,1 firearms for every 1,000 people in North Carolina. That is, 109,388 licensed weapons spread among 9,848,060 individuals.

  • Kansas, Florida, Minnesota, and North Dakota state

Kansas is a gun-friendly state; there are 11 weapons for every 1,000 people due to its pro-gun laws that are in place. Gun registration is not mandatory in Kansas; however, there are 31,926 licensed guns scattered among 2,893,957 individuals. Florida falls in at number 30, with 10.2 weapons per 1,000 people. That is an astounding 199,828 licensed weapons spread among 19,552,860 citizens. Registration of guns in Florida is not compulsory, and the gun laws in place allow individuals to move around without a permit. There are 9,5 arms for every 1,000 people in Minnesota. That is, 51,658 registered weapons spread across 5,420,380 individuals. There are 9,5 arms for every 1,000 people in North Dakota. That is, 6,863 licensed guns distributed across 723,393 individuals.

State with highest gun ownership

There are several states that have a high number of gun ownership. These states are motivated by the fact that their legislation allows them to easily purchase and own a gun. These states are considered loose in terms of gun control measures put in place. Young adults in these states own firearms without any condemnation from the public or its state government. A good example of a state with highest gun ownership is wyoming.

  • Wyoming, Washington D.C, Arkansas, and New Mexico states

 Wyoming has the largest number of licensed firearms per capita than any state in the United States. There are 195.7 weapons for every 1,000 residents, around three times the amount of second-place D.C. The gun industry in Wyoming is a booming one due to a large number of sales made. The sales can go up to 114,052 licensed guns in a state with a population of just 582,658 individuals. The District of Columbia is number two in the country, with 66.4 arms for every 1,000 inhabitants. In Arkansas, there are 41.6 firearms for every 1,000 residents of Arkansas; it is one of those states that have the least gun laws. That is a total of 123,130 licensed weapons for 2,959,373 individuals. New Mexico falls in at position four, at 40.5 arms for every thousand residents. that is 84,471 licensed weapons with 2,085,287 residents.

  • Virginia, Idaho, Alabama, and Nevada state

In Virginia, the gun industry is also doing well; sales can go up to 30.1 firearms for every 1,000 individuals in this state. Virginia has gun-friendly laws, and issues permit gun owners to purchase them freely. With 24.2 arms for every 1,000 inhabitants, Idaho has gun laws that permit residents to own guns. Alabama is one of the pro-gun states; thus, it has 20 firearms for every 1,000 residents, a total of 96,744 licensed weapons among 4,833,722 individuals residing in Alabama state. Alabama residents are permitted to carry a gun openly without any permit. Nevada has gun laws that permit individuals to openly carry their weapons; it has 19.5 arms for every 1,000 people.

  • Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, and Pennsylvania state

There are 15.2 weapons for every 1,000 people in Alaska. The gun laws in Alaska are quite favorable, leading to 11,167 licensed guns owned by individuals out of the 735,132 individuals. Louisiana falls in at position 10, with 15.1 weapons for every 1,000 inhabitants. The Laws in Louisiana permit gun owners to carry their weapons openly. Maryland and Pennsylvania tie in the 11 spots; they both are pro-gun states that permit their residents to openly carry weapons.  There are 15 arms for every 1,000 people in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

  • Arizona, West Virginia, Illinois, Maine,and Washington

Arizona has gun-friendly laws; as a gun owner, you are granted an open carry permit with no registration required; thus, it is considered a gun-friendly state with a shall-issue law in place. There are 9.4 weapons for every 1,000 people in Arizona. This means that  Arizona has about 62,527 registered weapons spread among its 6,626,624 individuals. The gun-friendly laws in Arizona have encouraged many people to purchase guns. West Virginia has an average of 9.4 weapons for every 1,000 citizens. This state has 17,429 licensed weapons spread among 1,854,304 individuals. As for Illinois, there are 9.2 arms for every 1,000 residents. That is 118,295 licensed firearms distributed across 12,882,135 individuals. The pro-gun laws and open carry permit laws have led to the growth of the gun business in Illinois. On the other hand, Maine has an average of 8.7 firearms for every 1,000 residents. That is 11,509 licensed firearms distributed across 1,328,302 individuals. Washington is also known for its high number of weapons per person. There are 8.6 arms for every 1,000 people in Washington. That’s 60,009 licensed weapons spread across 6,971,406 individuals.

  • Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin state

There are 3.8 weapons for every 1,000 residents of Rhode Island; this number has grown since gun registration is not required. An open carry permit is considered legal if issued by an attorney general. In Massachusetts, there are 4.9 weapons for every 1,000 inhabitants; these weapons require registration and an open carry permit for you to have it in public. On the other hand, Nebraska allows open carry without a permit, and there are no laws requiring registration of guns; thus, there are 7.4 guns for every 1,000 people who are not registered. Michigan also has no registration systems in place, and an open carry permit is not necessary; this has led to 4.3 guns for every 1,000 residents in this state. Wisconsin has friendly gun laws, open carry without a permit is okay, and no gun registration is required. Being a pro-gun state, Wisconsin has seen the growth of guns: 44,705 licensed weapons spread across 5,742,713 individuals.

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