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19th Apr 2021

THE TOP 10 MOST GUN FRIENDLY STATES

Source Credit to guns.com | ANNETTE DOERR

Let’s face it, we live in a difficult time to be legal gun owners. It seems almost daily the news is filled with stories of new pending legislation making it more and more difficult to purchase the firearms we want, when we want. While some states are holding their own, many have turned from once gun-friendly safe havens to more anti-gun leaning.

If you have the misfortune of living in an anti-gun state and you’re considering voting with your feet and moving to a more gun-friendly state, we’ve outlined what we believe are 10 of the gun-friendliest states for you to consider. There is no perfect state, it all depends on what’s important to you, whether it’s hunting, concealed carry, or both. If you are looking to get out of an anti-gun state, here are the top 10 most welcoming states for gun owners.

The following information was accurate at the time of the original publication. As the gun grabbers are always looking to push anti-gun legislation through, be sure to check with the state itself for accurate and timely information.

10. TEXAS
texas is a gun friendly state
Texas has always been known as a gun-friendly state. (Photo: The White House)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 35.7
  • Constitutional Carry: No, but Texas is a “shall issue” state, and bills are pending.
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 1,591,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 1
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 3.9

9. MISSOURI
gun friendly state missouri
The "Show-Me State" has always been gun friendly. (Photo: Gary Todd/Public Domain)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 27.1
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 2,525,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 5.7
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 7.9

8. KANSAS
kansas is a gun friendly state
Kansas is underrated as a beautiful state that doubles as a gun lover's paradise. (Photo: Patrick Alexander/Public Domain)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 32.2
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 420,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 0.8
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 8.5

7. KENTUCKY
kentucky is a gun friendly state
It's no wonder the birthplace of Lincoln also is gun friendly. (Photo: U.S. State Dept.)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 42.4
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 804,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 3.2
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 7.5

6. OKLAHOMA
oklahoma gun friendly
The Sooner State has been gun-friendly for a long time. (Photo: USDA)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 31.2
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 932,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 2.1
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 14.2


5. ARIZONA
gun friendly arizona
Arizona is as beautiful as it is gun friendly. (Photo: Bernard Spragg/Public Domain)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 32.3
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 32,539,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 44.8
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 4.2


4. IDAHO
idaho is gun friendly
Idaho is known for its beauty and being gun friendly. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 56.9
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 34,807,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 65.8
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 16.5

3. MONTANA
montana is gun friendly
Montana has always been known as rugged and independent, so gun ownership fits right in. (Photo: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 52.3
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 30,065,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 32.3
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 21.1

2. WYOMING
wyoming is gun friendly
Wyoming is known for its natural beauty and its gun-friendly nature. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 53.8
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 31,403,000
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 50.5
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 22.7

1. ALASKA
alaska is a gun friendly state
Alaska is known as "the last frontier" to many, so it seems natural that it's a gun-friendly state. (Photo: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Gun Owners: 61.7
  • Constitutional Carry: Yes
  • Castle Doctrine: Stand Your Ground / No Duty to Retreat
  • Magazine Capacity: No limit set by state
  • Waiting Period: No
  • Universal Background Check: No
  • Open Carry Permitted: Yes
  • Public Hunting Land (in acres): 271,174,999
  • Percent of State Available to Hunt: 74.3
  • Percent of Residents With Paid Hunting Licenses: 12.3


EXPLAINING THE CRITERIA


Many factors come into play when determining what makes a state "gun friendly." Some of the criteria to consider include legislation put forth by the individual states in an attempt to curtail the sale or purchase of certain types of firearms, as well as rules within those states on factors such as constitutional carry, castle doctrine, universal background checks, long-gun restrictions, magazine capacity limits, pending legislation, etc. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are plenty of hunters that do not conceal carry. Access to quality, public hunting land is a huge consideration.

Constitutional Carry: In the United States, at the time of publishing, 19 states now recognize Constitutional Carry, and at least nine additional are considering it. Constitutional carry allows legal carrying of a handgun without a permit if you are otherwise lawfully permitted to do so (proper age, no criminal history, etc.). Typically, Constitutional carry only relates to handguns, and not long guns or other weapons.

Castle Doctrine / Stand Your Ground Laws: Each state has their own interpretation of castle doctrine and stand your ground law requirements. Depending on the state, you may or may not have a duty to retreat and/or use necessary force to stop an attack in your home (or in some states, your vehicle) including using deadly force. By definition, castle doctrine designates a person's home and/or any legally occupied place as a place in which that person has protections in certain circumstances, to use force, including deadly force, to defend oneself against an intruder, free from legal prosecution.

Magazine Capacity Limits: Several states now regulate how much ammunition your magazine can hold. This is generally done with the assumption that it will somehow deter or limit criminal activity, which relies on criminals actually following the law. Instead, these laws simply limit the freedoms of law-abiding citizens.

Waiting Periods: Waiting periods are the time it takes for the buyer to take possession of a firearm after purchasing it. Some states vary from 10 to 14 days, while others have no waiting period or a shorter number of days. Waiting periods are a common barrier that discourages gun ownership.

Universal Background Checks: Universal background checks require almost all firearms transactions to be recorded and go through the NICS process (National Instant Criminal Background Check System), including those between two private parties. Universal background checks are not required by U.S. federal law, but at least 22 states and the District of Columbia currently require background checks for at least some private sales of firearms.

Open Carry: Open carry is the ability to carry a firearm in public that is fully visible by a casual observer. It is the opposite of concealed carry.

Public Hunting Land: State lands, including state parks, nature preserves, wildlife management areas etc., are often open for hunting. Each state has its own set of rules regarding permits, tags, lotteries for permits, resident and nonresident permit procedures. States set their own calendar for hunting season and dictate what type of game may be hunted during any given season. A permit is generally required on public land.

Knowing where your state stands on 2A issues and taking an active role in supporting the organizations that fight daily for your rights can help keep the anti-gunners from stripping us all of our rights. If you’re considering moving to one of the states that still supports our right to defend ourselves, make sure you stay involved. Never get complacent. New legislation pops up almost daily, and it’s rarely gun-friendly. You can make a difference if you get involved.