Every state's gun laws
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
The debate over what the statement means may never reach a clear answer. Each state has a different interpretation, which means different regulations or requirements to carry or own a firearm. For example, Nebraska requires that residents undergo background checks before purchasing a firearm while Alaska does not. Some states have outlawed the private sales of firearms and many others allow them.
To provide a comprehensive overview of each state's gun regulations, Stacker compiled data from multiple sources, including Guns to Carry Giffords Law Center and the National Rifle Association. The states are organized alphabetically, not in terms of the strictness or ease of their gun laws. It is also important to note that the term "carry" means the concealed carry of a firearm.
Read on to see how your home state regulates firearms. Are there magazine size restrictions? What about rules related to antique guns? Also be sure to look for the states that require its residents to pass a safety exam in order to buy a gun.
Licenses and permits to carry or purchase are not required for rifles and shotguns in Alabama. Handguns require a permit to carry, but not to buy, according to the NRA. Gun owners are allowed to open carry in the state as long as handguns are kept in a holster. There is also no limit on the number of firearms that can be purchased at one time, according to Giffords Law Center.
Guns to Carry gives Alaska gun laws a five-star rating in friendliness toward gun owners. There are no permits or licenses required to buy or own a rifle shotgun or handgun. Owners can open carry in the state as well.
Gun owners can open or concealed carry a firearm in the state without a permit, according to the NRA. Groups can also not bring a lawsuit against a firearms manufacturer in the state. Arizona does not restrict magazine size or require background checks on private gun sales.
Handgun owners in Arkansas must have a permit to carry their firearm. Otherwise the state does not require people to have a permit or license to purchase firearms. There are also no laws against owning or selling assault weapons or large ammunition magazines, according to the Giffords Law Center.
California requires gun owners to have a permit in order to purchase and to register their firearms. A person can only purchase one handgun a month, according to Giffords Law Center, and all gun sales must go through a licensed dealer. Magazines are limited to 10 rounds.
Rifles shotguns and handguns do not require a permit to purchase, nor do they need to be registered in Colorado, but handgun owners must have a permit to conceal carry their firearms. According to Guns to Carry, magazines are limited to 15 rounds and background checks are required for private gun sales.
Delaware requires citizens to have a permit to own a handgun, although the firearm does not need to be registered. There are not restrictions on magazine size, but all sales must be done through a licensed dealer. According to the NRA, it is a felony in Delaware to "knowingly transport or possess any firearm manufactured after 1973 on which the serial number has been altered or obliterated."
District of Columbia
Washington D.C. does not require a permit to purchase rifles shotguns or handguns; however gun owners in the district must register all firearms. Background checks are also required on all private sales, according to Guns to Carry.2018 All rights reserved.