IPFS

Most Gun Friendly States in 2024

Written by Sam Jacobs Subject: Gun Rights

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How does your state rank in terms of encouraging legal gun ownership? Our results are surprising! We took into account the current gun laws, current legislators' past voting history, 2A-centric taxes, and more to bring you this comprehensive list for 2024.

Ranking Factors: What Did We Measure?

There is a philosophical divide which underpins debate on legal gun ownership in the U.S. To understand that divide, it's useful to keep one key metric in mind: Civilians possess an estimated 433 million guns in the U.S., according to the NSSF. How many of those guns are legally owned vs. illegally owned isn't clearly defined yet how lawmakers calibrate their efforts to uphold the rights codified in our Bill of Rights and promote public safety must start with that metric in mind.

Why is this? Because on one side you have lawmakers who celebrate passing more laws restricting legal gun ownership irrespective of their past efforts and often do so citing heinous acts which are already illegal as justification for their additional legislative efforts. Based on their actions, it's fair to conclude this side doesn't like civilians legally owning guns - and they want fewer guns in America, period. Thus they make it harder for their constituents to legally exercise their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

On the other side, you have lawmakers who believe in empowering their constituents to protect themselves and their property from illegal acts. Violating a restraining order is a crime in all 50 states. Yet how the victim defends themself against the perpetrator belies a hard truth: Are they allowed to protect themselves from an illegal act with a firearm they legally own? It often depends on where they live in.

In certain states, you have lawmakers seeking to expand legal access to firearm ownership because they believe that "the only thing which stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". In other states, you have lawmakers who believe that more laws, not more legally-owned guns in the hands of their constituents, is the best option to combat violent crime.

Once you understand this philosophical divide, then ranking the U.S. states according to their recent legislative efforts in support of legal gun ownership becomes a clearer task.

We believe that more legally-owned guns being permitted for use in more places by those who are not convicted felons, severely mentally ill, or substance abusers leads to less violent crime - and thus we've investigated the laws, the taxes, and the lawful usability of firearms to bring you the answer as to which states are the best for legal gun ownership by analyzing the following factors:

Current Gun Laws

Current Purchase Laws

Current CCW Guidelines

Reciprocity between other states

Sales Tax

Current Governor's voting history

Stand Your Ground Laws

Your ability to legally use your gun when you need to is as important as your ability to purchase it.  If we consider only purchasing requirements, we neglect carrying requirements and use of force thresholds.  Thus it's important to look at each state's current laws for language regarding Stand Your Ground and Duty to Retreat because they are defined differently. 

It's also important to note that, while the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it Constitutional to implement some gun laws, the high court has also made it clear that placing unnecessary hardships on those who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights is unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, the court used broad terminology and some states still have a plethora of laws, regulations, and restrictions placed on firearm owners. However, many states are moving toward open carry or permitless carry laws, but only time will tell if the states on this list will remain here, or move to our Worst States for Gun Ownership list.

Report Highlights

New Hampshire is #1 thanks to its incredibly relaxed gun laws, low crime rates, and lack of state sales tax.

West Virginia is #2 due to recent legislative actions to remove firearm restrictions and reduce sales tax on firearms and ammunition.

Arkansas, Montana, and Mississippi are #3#4, and #5, thanks to their pro-2A governors, stand-your-ground laws, and relaxed carry and conceal requirements.

Arizona, Kansas, and Utah all dropped in the rankings to #25#24, and #23 due to their current governor's Second Amendment stance.

Some states ranked better than others due to the current governors' past and present 2nd Amendment voting history.

For more read the full report of the most gun friendly states in 2024

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