State Gun Laws General Information
This State Gun Laws article which is separated into three distinct sections was not written by any attorney or legal representation, and is not specific to any particular jurisdiction or is to be viewed as a legal guide on which to rely upon. Rather, this state gun laws article is simply a starting point to provide you with some thoughts for consideration in your research for your particular state gun laws or with reciprocity agreements with any other state.
Many times state attorney generals and local attorneys may have different legal interpretation of the law and its actual application under any given circumstance or set of facts, it is incumbent upon yourself to do a thorough research of any state gun laws where you may be carrying or planning to carry a concealed handgun. When in doubt or if you have a legal questions always get a legal opinion from a licensed attorney that is current on ALL State gun laws in the state that you are considering living in or plan on carrying an open carry or concealed carry handgun.
Which state has the strictest gun laws?
Currently the state of California has the strictest gun laws, regulating very specific make and models of guns that can be sold in the state, California also requires a registration to be able to even purchase a firearm and now even ammunition! It is a long and drawn-out process to obtain the proper paperwork and registration to purchase a firearm and ammunition in the state of California, even the number of firearms and the amount of ammunition you can purchase is regulated,
There are several other states which also have extremely strict gun laws which include: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Most of the states with the strictest gun control laws have the lowest per capita ownership of guns because of the difficulty in obtaining the registration and licensing required to legally make a purchase of a firearm.
The statistics that are usually quoted are those of only law abiding citizens whereas the criminal element continues to obtain firearms illegally, and in most of these liberal states with anti-gun gun laws have some of the highest gun violence rates within the country, primarily because the law abiding citizens are unarmed, example; Chicago Illinois and New York City!
What states in the country have the most lenient gun laws?
The majority of states that have lenient gun laws are examples of state governments typically run by conservatives and supporters of the constitution and second amendment is growing across the country.
Some of the states with the most lenient gun laws are; Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, Missouri, Kentucky, Arizona, South Dakota, Kansas, Alaska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alabama, West Virginia, Montana, Maine, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and New Hampshire
What states can you carry a gun without a concealed weapons permit?
The number of states that are allowing the caring of a concealed weapon without a permit has grown significantly in the last couple of years currently as of mid 2021 there are 21 states that allow permit-less concealed carry of a firearm, those states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. There are several other states that currently have Legislation to authorize permit-less carry and is expected to be an active before the end of 2021
Can you carry a gun across state lines?
Although federal law does allow an individual to transport a legally acquired firearm across various state lines for legal purposes and no permit is needed at the federal level it is still up to the individual states to allow a firearm to be transported within the state boundaries within their individual state firearm gun laws.
If you are not carrying a concealed weapon, and are simply transporting a firearm of any type across a state line there are some very strict rules each state may have in the proper way in which a firearm can be carried if at all. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and you can run into a lot of legal entanglement if you are not properly prepared and informed on how to transport a firearm through any state.
If you have a valid concealed carry permit you will need to see if your permit is on the reciprocity list with the state from which your permit was issued and with each state that you’ll be traveling through. You must be very cautious because there are some states that if you transport a firearm within their state lines and you do not have a permit you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony!
What states actually give you the right to bear arms?
There are 44 states that in their state constitution gives the citizens the right to possess and bear arms.
The states that have nothing in their state constitution regarding the right to bear arms are: California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York.
What states require all guns to be registered?
Currently there are six states including the district of Columbia that require registration of some or all firearms owned by an individual. The states are Hawaii, California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut
We Provide State Gun Law Information On All 50 States
In the links below to each of the 50 states we have placed information specific to each individual state in the following areas;
The first section provides information if different permits or registration is needed for firearms or any special notation on ammunition.
The second section is regarding self-defense law review which may be unique to each individual state, in this section it is imperative that you consult with an attorney for a full legal opinion, this is needed as in many states case law can lead to a change in the state statues.
The third section is in regards on how to obtain a concealed carry permit in each individual state and it provides some basic information and links to the individual states website pages where you can learn about the actual application process and cost of obtaining a concealed carry permit, there are also links to specific state gun laws on each states official website.
We Keep You Updated On All State Gun Laws
We update these state gun law pages on a regular basis as laws concerning firearms and concealed carry, ammunition, and reciprocity change frequently. We also welcome input from our readers and any information they have regarding state gun laws or any new information that they may come in contact with.
Once we verify the validity of any new information and if we feel it is relevant to our website will be happy to post it here!
More On This Article Contains Our "State Gun Laws Matrix"
See the bottom of this page to choose YOUR state for additional information and to view "The Gun Laws Matrix".