How Gun Friendly Is Your State?

Last week at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show), Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson proudly announced that Remington Outdoor Company and Sig Sauer are expanding operations in his state, creating more jobs. In the one post I read about the firearm company’s expansion, it listed Arkansas as being the third most gun friendly state with 42 registered firearms owners per 1,000 residents.

That got my curiosity going and set out to find out who the number 1 friendliest state for gun owners was, where my current state of residence falls on the list and who are the least friendly states for gun owners so I turned to Guns and Ammo to see what they said.

I have to admit that I was pleased to see that my home state that I refer to as God’s country topped Guns and Ammo list as being the friendliest state for gun owners. Based upon their ‘strong laws with an unmatched shooting culture and strong industry presence’, Arizona was ranked number 1.

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“Arizona gets full points in every category with both permitless and permitted carry, strong self-defense laws, a ‘shall sign’ NFA statue and a thriving competitive shooting scene. Whether you’re into ISPC-style shooting, 3-Gun, long-range rifles, Cowboy matches, shotgunning or just shooting machine guns in the desert, Arizona has everyone covered.”

Number 2 on Guns and Ammo list was a huge surprise to me. I would never have considered Vermont as a gun friendly state and according to the site, they are rapidly losing their gun-friendly status because a large number of New Yorkers are moving to the Green Mountain state and they are bringing their anti-gun views with them. Additionally, Mayor Miro Weinberger of Burlington is strongly backed and loyal to perhaps America’s number one anti-gun fanatic, Michael Bloomberg.

I expected to see Arkansas listed as number 3 on Guns and Ammo list, but they came in at a distant number 31, but then I realized that the listing of Arkansas as number 3 in the first article was based mostly on registered gun owners per capita. Guns and Ammo placed Alaska as number 3, followed by Utah as number 4 and Kentucky, my current state as number 5. The site stated:

“Kentucky has always done well in the gun rights rankings with statutes and a culture consistently friendly toward gun owners. The state gets full points for its Castle Doctrine law, and G&A last ranked it as number 11 nationally in CCW. Kentucky passed a bill this year modernizing some of the training standards for its CCW permits, making the process to obtain a permit potentially even easier. Kentucky has a CLEO ‘shall sign’ law in place and gets full points in the tactical firearm column. With a strong 47 points, its score remains unchanged for 2015.”

Filling out the rest of the top 10 is Wyoming at number 6, Alabama number 7, Kansas number 8, Missouri number 9 and New Hampshire as number 10. Like Vermont, New Hampshire was a surprise to me, but Guns and Ammo justified their choice saying:

“A bill establishing permitless carry has passed out of both houses of the legislature in the Granite State, but a veto by Gov. Maggie Hassan is likely. New Hampshire finished eighth in our ‘Best States for CCW’ review, so it still gets strong points for CCW laws. Permits to carry in New Hampshire are inexpensive, quick to obtain and enjoy good reciprocity. The state gets full points in the Castle Doctrine column and, unlike most of the Northeast, does not restrict tactical firearms, magazine capacity or NFA items. There’s virtually no gun-related crime in New Hampshire, so it must be doing something right.”

So who finished in the bottom 10 of the least friendlies states for gun owners? Actually, I’m going to expand this to the worst 12 states for reasons that should be obvious once you see them.

Number 40 least friendly state for gun owners is Washington. Like many western states, Washington is mostly a rural state governed by a few large cities generally run by liberal Democrats.

Following Washington at number 41 is Delaware followed by the tiny state of Rhode Island at number 42. I expected Illinois to be lower on the list of friendly states, but Guns and Ammo listed them at number 43 due to the distinguishing between Chicago and the rest of the state.

“Illinois has gone from one of the worst states for gun owners to ‘not so bad as long as you don’t live in Chicago’ these last few years.”

Living in Chicago could be a deadly decision with as many as 50+ shootings a weekend making them one of the most dangerous cities to live in.

Maryland is next at 44 and is not a big surprise as they have recently passed a wave of anti-gun laws. They are followed by Connecticut at number 45, reason being:

“Connecticut residents have witnessed serious erosions in their state’s gun laws over the past few years, and the trend continues this legislative session. Licensing requirements are in place for all firearms, and handgun owners are required to have a permit to possess a handgun anywhere outside the home. Mere possession of an unregistered magazine holding more than 10 rounds is a felony, and tactical rifles must be registered and grandfathered in.”

California came in at number 46 due to their recent efforts to ‘restrict the rights of their gun owners’. Behind California, is Obama’s supposed but as yet undocumented birth place of Hawaii at 47. Number 48 is Massachusetts and number 49 is New Jersey, who just so happens to be governed by presidential candidate Chris Christie who claims to be a conservative Republican.

Coming in at number 50 is none other than New York. Hands down, New York is the least gun friendly state in the US, described by Guns and Ammo:

“All we can say that’s positive about gun laws within the Empire State is that they haven’t gotten any worse this last year.”

When Greg Abbott was still Attorney General of Texas, he ran ads in several New York media outlets inviting New York gun owners to consider moving to Texas where their Second Amendment rights would be religiously guarded.

However, Guns and Ammo had one more location on their list. Coming in at number 51, THE least gun friendly location in America is none other than Washington, D.C. The nation’s capital, home of those who are tasked to protect the US Constitution and Bill of Rights at all cost is the most hostile environment for the constitutional rights of all Americans, especially when it comes to owning and carrying firearms.

According to Guns and Ammo:

“While D.C. is hardly a home for America’s gun owners, things have improved slightly in the last few years. After the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the District’s ban on carrying a firearm outside the home for self-defense was unconstitutional, D.C. abandoned its attempt to enforce an outright ban on the carrying of handguns. Instead, the District is in the process of imposing a ‘may issue’ permit system that is unlikely to issue many, if any, permits to law-abiding citizens within the city. D.C. residents must still register all firearms with the Metro Police Department, and legal shooting opportunities within the District are nonexistent. If you’re a gun owner looking to move to the D.C. area, take a hard look at Northern Virginia instead.”

So how gun friendly is your state according to Guns and Ammo? If it wasn’t listed above, then go to their website to find out. Depending on what you learn, it may not hurt to consider moving to a more gun friendly state if you value your Second Amendment rights.



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