The 11 Best States for Gun Owners

The 11 Best States for Gun Owners

Best States for Gun Owners

Gun laws can vary wildly from state to state. Depending on where you live, you might either be frustrated with your state’s iron-clad gun laws, or praising your lawmakers for standing up for your rights. Did your state make this list? We have ranked what is, in our opinion, the top 11 states in the country for gun owners. Our determinations are based primarily on the state’s gun laws, whether they have any restrictions placed on modern sporting rifles like the AR-15, the amount of states that recognize carry permits issued in that state, and other details. Also, “no-net loss” laws (which protect hunting land) and laws protecting the privacy of gun owners are also considered.

The states on this list do not require a permit to purchase, do not license gun owners, do not have a state-level firearm registry, and do not require a permit to carry long guns. Some states do require a permit to carry concealed handguns. With the exception of Florida, all listed states also allow open carry of handguns. Included with each entry is an excerpt from or related to the state constitution. Information is provided by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

Without further fuss, here are our top 11 gun states in loosely ranked order.

11. Vermont
“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.”
• Permit to carry: no
• Castle Doctrine: no law
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: no provisions
• Right to carry in restaurants: legal
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

10. Montana
“The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.”
• Permit to carry: Conditional
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: conditional

9. Florida
“The legislature of the State of Florida, in a declaration of policy incorporated in its “Weapons and Firearms” statute, recognizes that adult citizens of the state retain their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms for hunting and sporting activities and for defense of self, family, home, and business and as collectibles.”
• Permit to carry: yes
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: enacted
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: true reciprocity

8. Wyoming
“The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.”
• Permit to carry: no
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: conditional

7. Georgia
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.”
• Permit to carry: yes
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: enacted
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: true reciprocity

6. Oklahoma
“The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited, but nothing herein contained shall prevent the legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.”
• Permit to carry: yes
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

5. Kentucky
“All men are by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned: … 7) the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state, subject to the power of the general assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.”
• Permit to carry: yes
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: enacted
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

4. Kansas
“The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and : security; but standing armies in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.”
• Permit to carry: yes
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

3. Utah
“The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the State as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.”
• Permit to carry: no
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: legal
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

2. Arizona
“The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.”
• Permit to carry: yes
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: legal
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

1. Alaska
“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. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or political subdivision of the State.”
• Permit to carry: no
• Castle Doctrine: enacted
• No-Net Loss: no legislation
• Right to carry confidentiality: provisions enacted
• Right to carry in restaurants: partial ban
• Right to carry reciprocity and recognition: outright recognition

SOURCE: OutdoorHub.com