The Best and Worst States for Gun Owners

Guns and Ammo magazine recently published their annual ranking of the best and worst states for gun owners. The magazine has been publishing the annual study since 2013. For those of us immersed in the firearms community the rankings are not surprising. Nevertheless, there is some interesting information in the article. For those without access to the magazine I offer the following brief overview.

Overall Americans believe in and support the Second Amendment (2A). Most Americans understand the role guns played in our history and the role they play today. Most Americans understand the right to self-defense and that the origin of that right was not within the government.

The problem is that most Americans are not vocal and don’t feel the need to force their opinions on others. With a mostly corrupt mainstream media (MSM) that lacks integrity and employs very few investigative journalists, the public has been grossly misinformed regarding guns and gun owners. The extremists that currently control the Democratic party have used fear generated through misinformation to promote gun control as a political weapon. The desired effect is to create the belief that the public wants their fellow citizens disarmed. The information in the article says otherwise.

Despite what the Democrats and the MSM would have you believe; America has been steadily moving in a pro-2A direction for at least the past twenty years.

In 2013 there were three states that allowed concealed carry without a permit. Today, just eight years later, there are twenty-one. There are over 20 million concealed carry permit holders in America, a number that continues to increase rapidly. Firearms sales continue to set new records almost monthly and have been doing so for several years. The most rapid growth in new firearms and concealed carry permits is seen in women and minorities especially blacks and Asians.

Guns and Ammo awarded each state from one to ten points in each of five categories and then ranked each state based on its score. The categories were:

  • Right to Carry – States are evaluated on may/shall issue, training requirements, cost, reciprocity, locations where carry is prohibited. May issue states that rarely issue are graded accordingly.
  • Black Rifles – States are scored here on if or how they restrict firearms based on appearance such as bans on so called assault weapons, limits on magazine capacity, or limits on other common features such as collapsible stocks.
  • National Firearms Act (NFA) – Scoring here is based on if and to what extent a state further restricts items (machine guns, short-barreled rifles or shotguns, any other weapons, or destructive devices) covered under the NFA.
  • Castle Doctrine – This category deals with use of force laws and how well the state protects citizens from criminal and civil liability in use of force incidents. Points are also awarded or not based on duty to retreat and if the state allows use of force wherever a citizen has a legal right to be.
  • Miscellaneous – This category allows for more subjective scoring for a state. Points may be awarded for the overall gun friendliness of the culture and environment, preemption statutes, availability of shooting ranges, competitive shooting opportunities, and other gun related areas.

The top five best states for gun owners:

  1. Wyoming
  2. Idaho
  3. Montana
  4. Utah
  5. Arizona

And the five worst states for gun owners:

  1. California
  2. New Jersey
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Hawaii
  5. New York (51 because Washington DC is included ranked at 46)

Those of us living in California aren’t surprised at being 47th on the list. Just for perspective, number one Wyoming scored a total of 50 points, California scored a total of 10. Also, for perspective, only nine states scored less than 25 points while only eighteen scored less than 40 points.

Overall, the country is in pretty good shape regarding the 2A. There is however a very determined, very vocal minority who want to see Americans disarmed. It is therefore up to Americans to stand up and ensure that these people are not successful. The primary purpose of the 2A aside from guaranteeing a means of individual self-protection is to ensure the people have the means to resist a tyrannical government should that need ever arise. Should we ever lose that ability, America and the world will likely have a very dark future.

The right to self-defense is a basic human right. Gun ownership is an integral part of that right. If you want to keep your rights defend them by joining San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO) in San Diego, Orange County Gun Owners (OCGO) in Orange County, San Bernardino County Gun Owners (SBCGO) in San Bernardino County or Riverside County Gun Owners (RCGO) in Riverside. Support the cause by listening to Gun Owners Radio live on Sunday afternoon or on the internet at your leisure. Join the fight and help us restore and preserve our second amendment rights. Together we will win.


©2021 Joseph T Drammissi

This article and more of Joe’s work covering the Second Amendment and other topics can be found on Substack at


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