The Most Gun Friendly States of 2016
Not all states are equal when it comes to being friendly to law-abiding gun owners. Some states have terrible reciprocity, others make it very hard to obtain a concealed weapons permit. After long deliberation, here are some of the best states to live for those who open or conceal carry a handgun on a daily basis.
Arizona – The Grand Canyon State
Lying in the desert Southwest is a gun owner’s paradise known as Arizona. The Grand Canyon state has a culture in which guns are fully ingrained into the way of life. The majority of people are comfortable around firearms and with those who choose to carry.
Arizona does not require a permit for anyone to carry a gun whether it is concealed or not. The state also has a “shall-issue” policy for people to obtain a permit to use in other states with a CCW reciprocity law. In addition, Arizona has both Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws in place and offers great legal protections for gun owners.
Add in the plethora of great shooting ranges and facilities in the state, and Arizona makes a great place to live for anyone who wants their Second Amendment rights to not only be protected, but also embraced.
Alaska – Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach
The vast wilderness of Alaska makes it a dangerous place to people to live. Owning, carrying, and using a firearm is a part of many Alaskan’s everyday lives in order to survive. With help often hours away, it makes sense that the state would have very lax gun laws.
Alaskan residents can carry a weapon, either openly or concealed, without the need for any type of permit. Gun owners do not have to register their weapons and state laws preempt any local laws. The main restriction on gun ownership in Alaska is that it is considered unlawful to carry a gun while intoxicated or while at a business that serves alcohol for onsite consumption. Restaurants are exempt from that rule as long as the gun owner does not drink while there.
Other than that one small caveat, Alaska is one of the best states for gun owners. Not only because of their relaxed gun laws, but also because of the ample hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Vermont – naturally
The strong hunting tradition in Vermont has led to the state featuring some of the most permissive gun laws in the country. Vermont has what is known as “Constitutional Carry.” In essence, that means that the United States Constitution acts as a gun owner’s permit for carrying either openly or concealed.
Vermont’s pro-gun stance was even in place before the federal Bill of Rights was passed. The Bill of Rights in the Vermont Constitution of 1777, when the state was still an independent entity, included the right for citizens to bear arms.
Local governments within Vermont cannot create laws that are more restrictive than state laws in any way. Both residents and non-residents are able to carry a firearm concealed or openly while in Vermont. All of these things add up to make Vermont a great state in the usually restrictive Northeast to live for gun owners.
Utah – Life Elevated
The permissive gun laws in Utah are designed to protect the Second Amendment rights of its citizens. That alone makes it an ideal state for gun owners. Open carry is legal and concealed carry permits are given out on a “shall issue” basis.
Residents may carry concealed with no permit as long as their gun is at least two mechanical actions away from being fired. This means that a Utah resident could carry a concealed handgun with no round in the chamber as it would at least take chambering a round and pulling the trigger to fire a shot.
However, concealed carry permits are highly sought after in Utah given that 30 other states recognize a concealed carry permit issued in Utah. The pro-gun outlook and political conservatism that is most popular in the state make Utah a prime destination for gun owners.
The states listed above are not the only ideal places for gun owners to live. Some other very pro-gun states include Texas, Georgia, Wyoming and Montana among others. So if you are unhappy with the gun laws in your state, consider tightening up your gun belt and moving to a more gun friendly state.
About The Author
Brian Belko is a freelance writer and blogger. His primary areas of focus include the outdoors and shooting sports. In addition to his freelance work, Brian also writes for Wide Open Spaces and is on the Pro Staff at Military Hunting and Fishing. When he isn’t busy writing, Brian enjoys fishing farm ponds for bass and hitting the spring woods during turkey season.