We found that Alaska was the best state in the country for responsible firearms owners and operators. Aside from basic federal gun laws, there are few, if any, national regulations on gun ownership — much of the discretion being left to those who practice responsible gun use. Yes, the South and Midwest dominate the list — thanks to a combination of pro-gun laws, high gun ownership, and strong economic activity around the gun industry. Read on to see how these states have earned their place — and which states are least gun friendly. The U.S. federal government has very few laws governing the sale of firearms. Steps have been taken to introduce federal gun control laws, particularly after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. However, many lawmakers still interpret the Second Amendment to mean they shouldn`t regulate guns at all. Certain firearms accessories — such as high-capacity magazines — are prohibited at the federal level.
In most cases, however, gun laws are regulated by the states. During this year`s legislative session, Watts said the organization would work with lawmakers in hopes of passing such legislation in at least 14 states. States like California, Michigan and New Jersey are working on the first legislation of its kind that requires parents to be informed about secure storage. What are the best states for responsible gun owners? With the help of data visualization agency 1Point21 Interactive, we analyzed each state`s comprehensive gun laws, cultures, and feelings to determine where responsible gun owners can preserve their freedoms through state laws and oversight. Utah`s lax gun laws earned the state an “F” grade on the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence`s state scorecard. The state does not require people with mental illness to be reported in the database used for gun background checks and prohibits local governments from enacting gun laws. Utah also does not require reporting of lost or stolen firearms. The state has taken no action to combat gun violence and has tried to weaken gun laws, Everytown reported.
Idaho has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country and snatches the #2 spot from it. Idaho is a fairly sparsely populated state with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy hunting and other shooting sports. Not surprisingly, states with the strictest gun laws generally have the lowest rates of gun ownership. Massachusetts and New Jersey have the lowest rate of gun ownership in the United States (14.7%), Hawaii (14.9%) and New York (19.9%). Among the eight states with at least an A-, the highest rate of gun ownership is 30.2 percent in Maryland. While the approval process is still relatively comprehensive, like most states joining the lower echelons of DC, this easing of restrictions could be a promising start for greater empowerment of responsible gun owners — a reversal of the trend for overall gun sentiment in the nation`s capital. Over time, hopefully, this shift in mood may spill over to other states that have expressed dissatisfaction with gun ownership as a whole. In our study, states that preserved a gun owner`s right to self-defense scored the highest, and those that enforced the requirement to remove laws scored the worst. Hawaii was also fourth in Gifford`s ranking of gun laws. It ranked second in Everytown`s ranking for overall gun law strength, and it is tied with New Jersey for the lowest rate of gun ownership, as only 9 percent of Hawaiians have guns in their homes.
Arizona is the most gun friendly state in the country. While Arizona employs only 3,476 people in the gun industry, they earn a solid average salary of $51,985. Arizona also has the 6th most flexible pleasure laws in the country. The state has made it harder for local police to enforce federal gun laws and lacks universal background check requirements, assault weapons restrictions and open carry regulations, as well as other guidelines recommended by Giffords. “I`ve seen first-hand in California that the work we`ve done to strengthen gun laws has been both life-saving and effective,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “Gun laws work, and we need them at every level to ensure that offenders, domestic offenders, and people with mental health issues can`t just go to the neighboring state to circumvent the very laws that are supposed to keep guns out of their hands.” Everytown named a list of five core laws that have proven most effective in reducing gun violence rates. These include background checks and/or small arms purchase permit requirements; permission to carry hidden weapons in public; safe storage of firearms; the rejection of “Stand Your Ground” laws; and passing “tail risk” laws that temporarily deny a person access to firearms if there is evidence that they pose a serious danger to themselves or others, according to Everytown. Gun violence has increased overall during the pandemic. More than two-thirds of the country`s 40 most populous cities recorded more homicides last year than in 2020, and most of them were due to gun violence, according to a CNN analysis of police department data.
In many cities, the rise in murder rates continued through 2021. Alaskan residents can carry a firearm openly or secretly without a permit. Local governments do not have the power to regulate firearms. And there are no limits to the number of guns you can buy at a time, nor to wait times before gun purchases, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Few gun restrictions combined with a strong hunting culture have earned Alaska the 3rd spot on Guns & Ammo`s list of the friendliest states for gun owners. The state has the second most closed gun law in the country, after the Brady campaign to prevent gun violence. California leads the country with stricter gun laws than any other state with an “A” score in the latest 2021 scorecard from Giffords, an organization dedicated to ending gun violence. In Arizona, there are few restrictions on the possession and sale of firearms. You do not need a licence to buy a handgun or rifle. The State does not require the registration of the property. And you can carry a handgun, hidden or open, without permission. These and other factors earned it the top spot on Guns & Ammo`s list of pro-gun states.
It ranked 47th out of 50 (50 being the weakest gun laws) on the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence`s state scorecard. Vermont has a reputation as a liberal state, but it defies the blue state`s tendencies when it comes to gun laws. It is the second most gun friendly state in the United States, after Guns & Ammo. And recent efforts to impose more restrictions on weapons have met with strong opposition. It`s the only state where people can buy certain types of guns as young as 16, and there are no laws preventing people from bringing guns into places of worship, bars or restaurants where alcohol is served, or polling stations. Unlike most other states in the Northeast, there is also no law regulating the sale of firearms at gun shows. Here`s a closer look at some of the states with the strongest and weakest gun laws in the U.S. In the Deep South is Alabama, the 7th pro-gun state in the country. Alabama is a state that prides itself on being a country, with all the attributes that come with it, including gun ownership. They are the most gun friendly states in the country. As a region, the South and Midwest take the cake for the most gun friendly states. Overall, these states have fewer restrictions on weapons and strong economic activity in the arms industry.
Everytown`s research shows that 21 of the nation`s states have rejected stand-your-ground laws, which allow individuals to use lethal force in public to defend themselves, even if they can safely escape the situation. A study released in January by a leading nonprofit focused on gun violence prevention found that there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths. including homicides, suicides and accidental murders. Gun laws are at the heart of a series of mass shootings across the country and renewed interest in reform efforts. Massachusetts has adopted 37 of the 50 policies and has the second lowest rate of gun deaths, while Missouri has only eight gun safety policies and the fourth highest rate of gun deaths in the United States. Louisiana and Wyoming are among the five states with the most gun deaths and the weakest gun safety laws. Missouri is a Southern or Midwestern state, depending on who you ask. Given that both regions are known for their love of guns and gun ownership, it`s no surprise that Missouri is the 9th pro-gun state.
Missouri has the 6th highest number of gun jobs in the country and carrying without a license. Texas has gradually eased restrictions on gun ownership in recent years. Last September, a law went into effect that allows most Texans who legally own a gun to carry it openly in public without obtaining a license or training. Texas ranks 34th out of 50 states in the Everytown Gun Law strength ranking. Some local leaders, such as Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (D), have pushed for stricter gun laws in the state. Over the past year, Everytown has worked successfully to pass secure storage laws in Maine, Colorado and Oregon, among others, according to Watts. The states with the most lenient gun laws are New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Montana, West Virginia, Alabama, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Idaho, Wyoming, and Mississippi.