Considerable disagreement has been triggered by questions about who has the friendliest gun laws by state.
People at times reach different conclusions depending, in part, on what issues they consider. Those include what types of guns states allow, what steps a person has to take to acquire a gun, what rights a resident has to use a gun against an intruder, and whether the state allows concealed carry and open carry.
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Here are seven states both gun rights enthusiasts and gun control advocates have indicated are among the most weapon-friendly.
– Arizona has the nation’s most lenient gun laws, according to a scorecard put out by the Brady Campaign
, the nation’s largest citizens’ lobby to prevent gun violence, working in partnership with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Meanwhile, the magazine Guns & Ammo
identified the Grand Canyon State as the best state for gun owners, noting that both concealed carry and open carry there are legal without a permit.
Arizona’s gun laws came under fire after Jared Loughner used his concealed weapon in January 2011 to kill six people and wound 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, near Tucson. The Washington Post
reported the Brady Campaign’s Brian Malte said Loughner was in full compliance with Arizona law up — until he started firing.
In the state known as the Last Frontier, no permit is required to purchase a gun, own a gun, or even carry a gun, according to Weapons.About.com
. The website states that Alaska also has Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws, allowing a person to use deadly force against anyone forcibly and unlawfully entering their home and trying to harm them.
The Brady campaign ranked Alaska as having the nation’s second most lenient gun laws while Guns & Ammo identified it as the second best state for gun owners.
The Sunshine State, also referred to as the “Gunshine State,” passed landmark concealed carry legislation in 1987, according to Guns & Ammo. The magazine said Florida has since continued to move the ball forward for gun owners on issues such as use of force legislation, shooting range protection, and even the firearms rights of adoptive parents.
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However, the February 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford brought criticism of the state’s Stand Your Ground law.
The Beehive State does not require permits or registration to buy a gun, own a gun or carry a gun openly, according to Weapons.About.com.
The Cowboy State has the highest percentage of gun owners in the nation at almost 60 percent, according to Guns & Ammo. Open carry is legal there, as is the use of suppressors for hunting, the magazine reported. The Brady Campaign concluded Wyoming had the nation’s third most lenient gun laws.
At a time when multiple states have been toughening gun laws, the Peach State recently passed laws eliminating the state licensing requirement for dealers, simplifying the concealed carry permit process, and strengthening the right to use deadly force, according to Guns & Ammo.
The Lone Star State has the reputation of being one of the most gun-friendly states in the union, and that stereotype is pretty much on the mark, said Guns & Ammo. It indicated Texas law does not require any unique license to purchase or own firearms, but residents can only purchase long guns from contiguous states.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.
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