Which States Have the Least Restrictive Gun Regulations?

All Americans, regardless of which state they may live in, have the right to bear arms granted by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, each state has the ability to enact and enforce more specific laws and regulations that apply to legal gun owners residing in that particular state. Understanding these laws may not be as simple as you might expect, which is why enrolling in a firearms safety course is beneficial. Below, we take a closer look at which states have the fewest gun laws, which ones are more gun friendly, and the ones that are more restrictive.

Alaska Tops the List (Based Solely on Gun Laws/Freedoms)

According to a gun-friendly index (GFI) used by AZ Defenders to create a ranking of states by the number of gun laws, Alaska is the state with the fewest. This is based on a review of gun-related regulations and laws in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Alaska offers the following gun-friendly benefits:

• No waiting period
• No universal background checks
• Legal open carry

Alaska is also a constitutional carry state, one of 20 states currently in this category. This means a license to carry, or LTC, isn’t officially required if other basic requirements are met (e.g., being at least 21 years old to open or conceal carry a loaded handgun, not being a convicted felon, etc.).

It should be noted that several other states have gun laws and freedoms similar to those that apply in Alaska, according to the GFI. These include:

• Arizona
• Wyoming
• Oklahoma
• Kentucky
• Kansas
• South Dakota
• West Virginia
• New Hampshire

D.C. Tops the List with the Most Gun Laws/Restrictions

Conversely, the District of Columbia has the most restrictive gun laws, based on the same GFI. For instance, gun owners in D.C. are subjected to a 10-day waiting period. Additionally, universal background checks apply to all firearms sales, and open carry isn’t permitted. On a positive note for firearms owners in D.C., this is a “shall issue” location, meaning a license to carry must be issued if you meet the requirements.

Other more restrictive locations include:

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

Arizona is the Most “Gun-Friendly” State

Based on data from the 2021 Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report, Zippa.com considered some other factors in addition to gun laws, regulations, and restrictions to determine gun friendliness by state. On this list, Arizona, which has six laws considered gun friendly, tops the list of most gun-friendly states. This is based on additional factors that include the number of firearms-related jobs, the average wages of jobs involving firearms, and firearms per capita.

For the most part, states in the South and Midwest dominate the list of states considered especially gun friendly based on the factors mentioned above. Idaho comes in second on this list, followed by:

• Texas, which will be a constitutional carry state in September 2021
• Arkansas
• New Hampshire
• Georgia
• Alabama

Mississippi, Missouri, and South Carolina are additional states considered to be on the gun-friendly side. On the other end of things, Delaware tops the list of least gun-friendly states, followed by Hawaii, Iowa, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. 

If you own a firearm, it’s essential to know the gun laws in your jurisdiction and understand how to handle, store, and shoot your gun legally and safely. Fortunately, Gun Safety Training Pros offers an exceptional online gun safety course. If you want to learn how to handle a gun and shoot it safely, we can help. For more information, contact one of our knowledgeable team members today at info@GunSafetyTrainingPro.com.

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