Do you live in a state that still holds high regard for the Second Amendment?

Best and Worst States For Gun Owners

Image: Brady Campaign

The map seen above comes from the Brady Campaign, a group pushing for more stringent gun laws. Based on Brady’s scoring system, red states have the most relaxed laws when it comes to gun ownership. Green states are those with the toughest limitations for anyone hoping to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed gun rights.

The Brady group scores states on a variety of topics - things like state license requirements and background checks on all purchases. No state scores a perfect 100 with Brady, but California gets an 81, and that is before any new laws that will get put in place following the Sandy Hook massacre.

Best and Worst States For Gun Owners

Image: Brady Campaign

At the top of Brady’s “best” (the most restrictive) states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Hawaii

Leading the “worst” list (according to Brady) are three states that might be considered the “best” states for gun owners. All three scored a ZERO on the Brady checklist. Getting a zero is probably like scoring 100 in the eyes of a firearms fan. Meet the “zeros”:

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Utah

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 best states for gun ownership (based on Brady) appear to be:

  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin
  • Texas
  • Wyoming
  • Mississippi

If you are a gun owner, it is likely that you already know the laws in your state because you had to jump through whatever hoops required in order to secure a firearm. But what do you know about gun laws in the rest of the country?

  • If you have to move to another state, will you be able to bring your guns with you?
  • What about traveling with a gun? Can you drive across country with a weapon? (Air and train travel have specific limitations.)
  • If you have a concealed carry permit in one state, is it recognized in other states?

Considering concealed carry rights, unlike a drivers license, not every state respects or acknowledges the concealed carry permits from other states. If you are planning on moving or traveling to another state, and you want to bring your weapon(s) with you, it is wise to constantly look into the laws of the place you are going. At least one website is attempting to stay abreast of the changes in the laws.

The map below is all about “concealed carry” rights. The light blue colored states “shall issue” permits, the khaki-colored states are those that “may issue” ccw permits, the yellow states require that you be a resident of the state in order to get a carry permit. And the red states (there’s only one state – Illinois and the District of Columbia) are places where citizens cannot even apply for a carry permit.

Best and Worst States For Gun Owners

Image: Handgunlaw.us website

(We do realize that the Illinois ban was overturned in December of 2012, and the state has 180 days to come up with a new plan. An appeal is expected soon.)

There’s even an iPhone and Android app called “legal heat” that you can download on your phone to carry every state’s concealed carry laws with you.

As changes to gun laws in states are constantly evolving, we recommend that you always keep up with the laws in your state and community.