Thomas Robinson

10 States Clamping Down Hard on Guns, and the 11 Letting Them Loose

It’s no secret that gun rights are as American as apple pie. After all, it’s in the Constitution! But today, we’re going to look at ten states with the tightest restrictions, along with eleven of the ones that are the most lenient. This data comes from research by Wise Voter.

States With the Strictest Gun Laws: California

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The Golden State shines brightly as the state with the strictest gun laws. Here, getting a firearm is nowhere near as easy as catching waves. Californian background checks are as thorough as a Hollywood script review, and the waiting period gives you enough time to binge-watch your favorite series.

New Jersey

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In New Jersey, the gun law game is as tight as their traffic jams. Imagine trying to get a parking spot in downtown Newark during rush hour – that’s how difficult getting a gun is in this state. Sure, you can do it, but you’ll need a lot of patience and determination to do so. Every step, from paperwork to waiting periods, requires a lot of work.


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Like California, Connecticut leaves no stone unturned with gun control. Here, if you want a gun, you can expect a lot of background checks and other paperwork. The state prides itself on making sure that any potential gun owners are carefully vetted. They’re really firm over gun safety and responsibility.


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Hawaiian officials are guardians of both the state’s natural beauty and its residents’ safety. The path to gun ownership here is a test of patience that involves upholding the Aloha spirit of respect and responsibility. They want every gun owner to understand the weight of the privilege they are applying for, just as they respect the power and beauty of the ocean.


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In the Land of Lincoln, securing a firearm is a mini boot camp of paperwork and protocols. Illinois makes you take a background check and also ensures you know everything on the A to Z of firearm safety. By the time you’re able to get a gun, you could probably run a class on gun safety!


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Applying for a gun in Maryland is like applying for a high-security clearance. Like the other states, Maryland runs deep background checks on any applicants so that every gun owner is as reliable as their famous Old Bay seasoning. However, research shows that these restrictions haven’t been able to stop gun violence in the state.


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In Massachusetts, to get a gun, you need to be vetted and also go through mandatory safety training courses. Any applicants need to provide character references to show that they’re a person of good standing in the community. State officials want to make sure applicants are prepared legally, morally, and ethically for the responsibility of owning a gun.

New York

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Getting a gun in New York meant attending an interview first. This personal touch is meant to ensure that any applicants aren’t just checked on paper – they want to make sure their intentions and attitude fit the bill, too. Also, you have to show a specific need for a gun as well. In New York, gun ownership is more of a privilege.


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Like the other states, Colorado citizens have to do a background check to get a gun. They also need a mental health evaluation to make sure any applicants are suitable to own a firearm. The state also has educational requirements, including a hunter’s safety course for those under a certain age.


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Delaware’s approach to gun safety is similar to New York’s. You have to have a background check, a mandatory firearms training course, and a reason why you should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. It seems that state officials want people to know about the laws and responsibilities of having a gun.

States With the Most Lenient Gun Laws: Wyoming

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In Wyoming, it’s pretty straightforward to get a gun. The state has minimal restrictions due to state officials’ belief in individual freedoms and the Second Amendment. Here, the application process is designed to be efficient so that residents can quickly exercise their rights to bear arms without having to jump through hoops.

West Virginia

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In West Virginia, they keep the path to gun ownership pretty simple. The regulations here are meant to allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their rights to personal freedom and self-defense. State officials have tried to streamline the process so the citizens don’t have to deal with a lot of red tape.


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Utah takes the cake for being laid back, with gun laws that are as open as the state’s stunning national parks. Fancy carrying a concealed weapon without a permit? It’s no problem in Utah! The state’s approach to gun laws is the perfect blend of modern convenience and old-school liberty.


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In Texas, the state flower might as well be a gun! Here, they’ve got a simple approach to life – carry openly, carry proudly. The state respects your right to bear arms as much as it respects a good barbecue. No matter where you go, you can be sure that most Texans will greet your gun with a warmness you can’t find elsewhere.


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Tennessee has a state soundtrack of liberty. Here, gun laws sing as sweetly as country music. For most residents, carrying a gun is part of the local charm, and regulations are as smooth as Tennessee whiskey. It’s the kind of place where freedom and friendliness meet in the best way possible.

South Dakota

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In South Dakota, it’s not just the faces on Mount Rushmore that are set in stone. State officials are committed to providing easy gun ownership for its residents. In this state, the gun laws are as open as the Great Plains. However, according to Everytown Research, the state has a higher-than-average rate of suicides by gun.

South Carolina

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South Carolina is where the tea is sweet, and the gun laws are even sweeter. This state offers a Southern welcome to any law-abiding citizens looking for a firearm. It’s the perfect example of Southern charm, with just a touch of firepower. Like other states on this list, it has a pretty relaxed approach to open carry.


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In Oklahoma, gun laws are as free as the wind, with a spirit of independence that’s stronger than a tornado. Here, state officials respect the right to bear arms, and they allow their citizens to experience true freedom. If Oklahoma’s gun laws were a song, they’d be a country ballad about love, liberty, and the joy of having a firearm by your side.

North Dakota

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North Dakota’s citizens are known for being friendly, and so is its approach to gun laws! The state is the perfect example of the northern frontier, a true mix of freedom and open spaces. It’s the kind of place where saying hello might involve a tip of the hat and a casual conversation about your favorite rifle.

New Hampshire

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For New Hampshire residents, gun laws are as liberating as the state’s rugged mountains. If you take “live free or die” to heart, this is the state for you. Everybody knows how stunning a New  England fall is, and the only thing more beautiful is being able to exercise your Second Amendment rights without worry.


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Oh, Montana, the state where the sky is as limitless as the gun laws. This state offers a big welcome to anyone looking for a place where freedom is as vast as the horizon. This is a state where you can gaze at the stars with the comfort of having a rifle by your side. You can visit the great outdoors with the great right to bear arms.

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