State Gun Laws

Alabama Gun Law

Alabama Gun Law


Gun laws vary significantly from one state to another. Some states have established strict firearm possession regulations and registration procedures. Other states, including the state of Alabama, maintain relatively lax gun laws. Alabama gun laws do not require an individual to obtain a permit in order to purchase a shotgun, rifle, or handgun.

In addition, an individual does not need to register his/her firearm in the state of Alabama and he/she does not need a license to possess the firearm. If an individual wants to carry his/her shotgun or rifle, he/she does not need a permit to do so. However, an individual will require a permit to carry a handgun. Alabama law prohibits individuals from giving or selling a handgun to a minor who is under the age of 18. It is also illegal to sell a firearm to an individual who is a convicted criminal, a heavy drinker, a drug user, or who is mentally unfit to carry a firearm.

Kansas Gun Laws

Kansas Gun Laws

Firearm laws in Kansas do not make it necessary for individuals to register their firearms. Furthermore, Kansas firearm laws do not require the acquisition of a permit in order to purchase guns. The age requirement to purchase firearms in Kentucky is eighteen. However, it is illegal to sell any kind of gun that has a barrel that is less than twelve inches to anyone under the age of eighteen.

Kansas law on firearm adheres to the common notion of not allowing the sale or transfer to any person that has been previously convicted of a felony charge. There are further restrictions imposed upon felony-related charges or convictions that are added to the initial prohibition of firearms sales to convicted felons. A ten year disqualification clause is used to further restrict the possession and purchase of firearms by felons.

The clause states that no person that has been convicted of a felony, which includes any minors convicted of a crime that, if tried as adults, would constitute a felony conviction, are prohibited from the purchase and possession of guns. Specifically, the clause is structured to target individuals with felony charges that also involved the possession of a gun.

Any person convicted of such a crime within the past ten years can not be in the possession or attempt the purchase of firearms and weapons. Other felony convictions, not involving guns, require that the individual must have not been found guilty of the charges within the pass five years, and that the charges be dismissed or pardoned.

Kansas firearm laws regarding possession require that a person be at least 18 years of age. Minors under the age of 18 may possess firearms if under the supervision of a parent, legal guardian, or qualified instructor.

A minor engaged in activities such as hunting, trapping, and competition shooting are allowed to possess firearms during the activities. This also includes the transportation of the firearm to and from the locations of such activities–including their related safety and instruction courses or classes–with the consideration that the firearm be unloaded and not in the immediate reach of the individual. Possession of firearms at the minor's place of residence is also allowed, in so far that permission is granted by a parent or guardian. Kansas firearm laws place a strict focus on situations that involve people convicted of felonies and the involvement of firearms.

The possession laws reflect the stringent policies instituted by the legislative structure in procuring or purchasing by convicted felons. These laws and regulations exist in order to prevent individuals with criminal history becoming repeat offenders, as well as address reducing and someday eliminating gun-related crimes in the state.

A firearms license is not needed to carry shotguns or rifles, but in the case of handguns, a person must apply for the appropriate license to be able to carry a concealed weapon. Generally speaking, Kansas firearm laws do not allow the open carrying of handguns. In order to be considered for eligibility by the state for a firearms license, a person must be at least 21 years old and a resident of the state for at least six months. Non-resident applicants are only eligible if they are on active duty in the military. Individuals will be considered as ineligible for a firearms license if:

     The individual has been convicted of a felony.

     Physically unable to handle a handgun effectively and safely.

     Has shown a history or been convicted of a crime involving illegal drugs or substances and/or alcohol.

     History of domestic violence.

     Is not a citizen of the United States.

     Currently under a restraining order.

Upon meeting the requirements, an application form is submitted to the attorney general. An applicant must also attend a safety and training, for which he/she is responsible for paying the necessary fees. Any person that has a current and valid license to carry in other states may do so in the state of Kentucky, as long as they observe the laws of stricter value of the two states. The District of Columbia is exempt from this particular regulation.


Louisiana Gun Laws

Louisiana Gun Laws

Like many states in the South, Louisiana possesses a casual stance towards gun laws. When compared to other jurisdictions, a prospective firearm purchaser in Louisiana will encounter less regulation and restriction in regards to purchasing, and registering a gun.

A popular movement known as the Brady Campaign (a spin-off of the Brady bill which required background checks for all firearm sales), creates a scorecard for all 50 states based on their particular laws towards obtaining a gun license and gun permit. The higher the score, the stricter the policy and vice-versa. Out of a possible 100 points, Louisiana managed to score a 2.

When purchasing a firearm in a Louisiana gun shop, a buyer will encounter limited procedural barriers. Louisiana is commonly referred to as a "gun loving state." The only necessary requirement for purchase is a valid driver's license, which can prove the buyer meets the federal age limits: 21 for handguns and 18 for shotguns or rifles. There is no gun permit required to purchase a firearm in the state, nor is a gun license mandatory to detail ownership. Registration of long guns or handguns is also not required under Louisiana law.

There are no restrictions on long guns in the state; the only areas where an individual cannot carry a loaded shotgun or rifle are on college campuses, or properties that specifically designate the barring of weapons. Areas such as schools, hospitals, municipalities, and places of worship often disallow carrying privileges. It is also permissible to transport loaded long guns in an automobile without a gun license.

The most complex variation in Louisiana gun law revolves around a gun permit to conceal a loaded handgun. To qualify for a concealed gun permit an individual must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of Louisiana for at least 6 months, pass a basic weapons training course, take safety classes, and possess no background of felony convictions, alcohol or drug abuse, and mental illness. Once approved the permit takes 10 days to issue and is valid throughout the state for 4 years. 

Similar to purchasers of firearms, gun dealers in Louisiana face limited restriction. Louisiana requires no state license for gun dealers, nor requires records to be kept which would document information about the buyer and the weapon sold. Police inspections, or security precautions are also not placed on owners of retail gun shops in the state.

There is no limit or restrictions on bulk purchases-most states institute a one handgun per month policy. Louisiana also does not require a background check on any sort of firearm purchase. Louisiana gun law also places no restrictions on ammunition, assault weapons testing, childproofing of weapons, or guns at the workplace.

Although Louisiana has adopted a lenient stance in regards to the obtainment of a gun license or gun permit, there are still miscellaneous laws imposed to prevent the sale and transfer of illegal guns. It is illegal to tamper with, or remove any numbers on a firearm, which aid in the identification process.

If serial numbers are altered, the gun becomes "hot", and selling, transferring, or purchasing such a weapon is considered illegal under Louisiana gun law. It is also illegal to operate any form of firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Louisiana. These laws are enforced to the fullest extent, and are crucial in limiting the amount of illegal murders via firearm in the state.

Based on a ratio of population over amount of violent crimes, Louisiana currently ranks as the fourth most dangerous state in the country. With one violent crime per every 137 citizens, Louisiana is only behind Nevada, South Carolina, and Tennessee in this useful statistic. Granted, there are many cultural and economic factors that go into these numbers; however, one can assume that the absence of regulations in the gun license or gun permit process only augment the state's high violent crime statistics.



Maryland Gun Laws

Maryland Gun Laws

According to research on firearm restrictions, Maryland gun laws rank among the most stringent in the nation. That being said, many state officials feel more needs to be accomplished to further prevent dangerous individuals from maintaining access to guns. Two distinct classes of guns and regulations exist in Maryland-hunting firearms and handguns. They will be broken down as follows:

Rifles and Shotguns:                                                                       

     Permits to purchase and carry shotguns and rifles are not required                  

     A license and registration at the time of purchase is not required

     Background checks are not required at time of purchase

Handguns and Assault Weapons:

     There is no permit required to purchase a handgun

     Registration of handguns is required under Maryland gun laws

     No license is required at time of purchase

     A permit is required to carry a handgun under Maryland gun laws

     A background check is required to purchase a handgun

The difference with these groups exists to dissuade the sale of handguns. Purchase of handguns or assault weapons are subject to disapproval from the state and law enforcement during a seven day waiting period.

During this time, the authorities will review the prospective buyer's application which includes questions pertaining to the expected use of the weapon, criminal history, and a description of the gun being purchased. The administrators will review the application, and if denied, the sale of that particular gun will be dissolved. An appeal is offered where further documentation must be sent to the secretary of police.

A permit is also mandatory to carry a handgun, but the requirements to obtain such a right are minimal. Fingerprints, safety training testing, and law enforcement are not involved in the permit process. The logic for a discrepancy between the two permits is simple-the process to purchase a handgun in Maryland is difficult; instituting a rigorous application process to conceal would be redundant.

Maryland law on gun is rigid for distributors of firearms. In addition to extensive record keeping which is later filed by the state, a license is required to sell all firearms under Maryland gun laws.

Limits on bulk purchases are also present-a buyer can only purchase one handgun per month with no exceptions. Maryland gun laws are also very strict in regards to guns in public places, juvenile purchases (must be 21) and child safety locks present on all firearms. These restrictions are among the most strict in the country, and have helped to control the illegal firearms market.

Although mostly strict, there are casual aspects to Maryland's gun laws. Inspections by police are not permissible on gun dealers, nor are security precautions required by the state for retail gun stores. Although ballistic fingerprinting is present under Maryland gun law, there is no mandatory micro-stamping on semi-automatic handguns.

Even with such strict restrictions on guns, Maryland routinely ranks among the most dangerous states in terms of violent crime statistics. One in every 156 citizens is the victim of a violent crime, while one in 11,427 is murdered.

These bleak numbers can be mainly attributed to Baltimore's struggles and failure to revitalize. Numbers may be misleading given the presence of dangerous urban landscapes. Although unpleasant, one can only imagine how the statistics would look if Maryland gun laws were mitigated.  


Massachusetts Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Comparatively speaking, gun control in Massachusetts is among the most comprehensive and strict. Percentage wise (population divided by murders) violent crimes in Massachusetts is among the lowest in the nation. Similar to Maryland, Massachusetts gun laws are strong in regards to permits and restrictions on dealers, but lack in background checks for prospective purchasers. The permit and license requirements are incredibly complex and must be analyzed in depth.

Gun control in Massachusetts is strong because of the requirements necessary to purchase a license and permit. Fingerprinting, safety training, testing, waiting periods, and law enforcement are involved in the process of obtaining a permit. Permits are required to both purchase and carry all classes of firearms in the state. Procedures revolving licenses are much more complex.

There are a total of 5 licenses one can receive in Massachusetts. An RFID, which is a restricted license only permits the individual to carry mace or pepper spray; an FID, which allows only long rifles, mace, and pepper spray; a Class B license which only permits the purchase of long rifles and hand guns with small chambers (no more than 10 rounds.) Concealment of weapons is not allowed with a Class B license.

Class A licenses allow for an individual to purchase any legal fire arm in the state of Massachusetts with concealment privileges granted. The 5th license, according to Massachusetts law on guns, is only issued for automatic weapons and can only be obtained if a law enforcement position is held.

A license of ownership must be present at the time of application or purchase. Class A and B carrying licenses take 30 days to process and require the individual to be at least 21 years of age. All weapons and firearms licenses require applications, fees, interviews, and fingerprints to be conducted at the jurisdiction's local police department. The integration of law enforcement in the license process makes Massachusetts gun control unique and rigorous.

Massachusetts gun laws are perhaps most rigorous for gun dealers. To curb firearm trafficking and the sale of illegal firearms, the state has adopted the harshest laws for gun stores in the nation. The more strict that laws are for the supplier, the harder it is for the buyer to purchase. A simple equation, a dealer must be licensed, keep records, communicate with the state, allow police inspections, and follow numerous security precautions to be considered a legally licensed dealer.

Although the gun control laws are cohesive in Massachusetts, there are limited regulations on background checks. A license and permit require waiting periods and law enforcement participation, but the application itself is not extensive.

Massachusetts gun control laws rank as the 4th toughest in America, but significant points were lost in the Brady scorecard based on the absence of a universal background check for the purchase of any firearm. A total of 17 points are removed from their total score. Under the same umbrella, there is no ballistic fingerprinting or micro stamping required on weapons that were used during crimes.

Perhaps nitpicking an otherwise complex stance-gun control in Massachusetts has greatly combated the issue of illegal guns. Massachusetts gun regulations are a testament to how the state operates. Considered a revolutionary government for the union, Massachusetts has greatly advanced gun control into the next phase of regulation and restriction.  

Michigan Gun Laws

Michigan Gun Laws

Michigan, perhaps the state hit hardest by the economic downturn, has actually experienced a drastic decrease in violent crimes. In 1990, Michigan had over 74,000 violent crimes and over 1,000 murders occur annually. Two decades later, those numbers have been cut by nearly 40% and 50% respectively-50,000 violent crimes in 2009 and 542 murders.

With a significant increase in unemployment, foreclosures, and poverty, one would expect a similar spike in violence. This has yet to occur in Michigan however, and can be attributed to the state's tough stance on ownership and carrying of firearms. Michigan gun laws revolve around "common sense" issues-meaning strict requirements for a gun license and permit.

Because the state is a popular grounds for hunting, the Michigan law on guns is very lax in regards to rifles and shotguns. A permit is not required to purchase or carry such firearms, and there is no gun license or registration required as well. Handguns are an entirely different issue, as Michigan has taken a serious stance on pistols and purchasing requirements. According to Michigan gun laws, a permit is required to both purchase and carry handguns.

In order for an individual to purchase a handgun from a dealer or private seller, the buyer must obtain a gun license from his/her local police department. Requirements for the buyer include: Must be at least 18 years of age, resident of Michigan, clean criminal background, mentally stable, and score at least a 70 percent on a safety exam. Within 10 days of delivery, the firearm (unloaded) and gun license must be brought to the local police authorities so a safety inspection certificate can be drawn up. Copies of the gun license will be recorded and held by the authorities for up to 6 years. 

According to Michigan gun laws, possession of a handgun also requires strict guidelines to be followed. If an individual is in possession of a handgun, he must immediately bring it to the local police authorities where it will be inspected and recorded thoroughly. During this process, thumbprints of the owner will also be taken so the firearm will be linked to that individual.

Carrying a handgun in the state is perhaps the most complex subtopic of Michigan gun laws. A state license is not required for carrying a handgun in the following instances: If the gun is being transported in the trunk of a car, if the gun is being carried in one's home, or if it is considered to be an antique.

Michigan gun laws require that handguns must be empty or in a case if transported. All other instances in regards to carrying require a gun license. In order for a license to carry to be obtained, one must fill an application under oath in front of a county clerk. Fingerprints are also required and administered by the local sheriff. The license to carry is valid for three years and is issued within 30 days of the application. 

Michigan gun laws are also strict on gun dealerships and distributors. Given its location Michigan is susceptible to the creation of illegal gun markets and trafficking. Although a state license is not required for Michigan dealers, thorough records must be kept and delivered routinely to the state. Police enforcement is also warranted under law, and inspections are made annually. Michigan gun laws fail in regards to bulk purchases, restrictions on ammunition, child safety precautions on firearms, and the sale of assault rifles.

Michigan gun laws are efficient and effective because of the role law enforcement and the government plays. There is no disconnect between dealers, authorities, and the state's government. Some say government intervention is unconstitutional in regards to the right to bear arms, but the numbers don't lie.

Kentucky Gun Laws

Kentucky Gun Laws

Kentucky gun laws state that an individual is not
required by law to register firearms. Also, firearm laws in Kentucky do not require a permit to purchase any kind of firearm.
The requirements to be eligible for the purchase of firearms–which includes shotguns, rifles, handguns, and any firearm legally permitted–is restricted to those who are legal citizens of the United States. Though it is not strictly stated in the written law of Kentucky firearms, it can be assumed that the age requirement to purchase a weapon is to be at least 18 years of age.
Kentucky residents may also purchase firearms from any licensed dealer, manufacturer, or shop in any other state. This also includes a firearms purchase or transaction between individual people or private parties, as long as state and federal laws are followed and observed.
There is no firearms permit necessary for the possession of firearms in the state of Kentucky. The carrying of shotguns and rifles is also permitted without a license, however, to carry a concealed handgun, an individual must have a license to carry a concealed weapon.
The open carry of a handgun is allowed for the exception of areas that are restricted, or specifically disallow open carry on their premises. Individuals that are currently under service to law enforcement, the military, or is a mail carrier are also permitted to carry a concealed firearm while on duty.
The state of Kentucky considers a concealed weapon one that is not easily visible and within immediate access for use by the person. This also extends to firearms in vehicles placed underneath the driver’s seat. A weapon located in the glove compartment, whether the compartment itself is locked or unlocked, is not considered under the state’s definition of a concealed weapon.
Those who wish to apply for a concealed weapons license must be at least 21 years old, a resident of Kentucky for at least six months, and a citizen of the United States. U.S. citizens who are currently listed to be on active duty for the military and assigned to the state of Kentucky for a period of at least six months are also eligible. Reasons for applicant to be considered ineligible for a concealed weapons license include:
Convictions of crimes punishable by incarceration for a term over one year.
Convictions of domestic violence misdemeanors.
Two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances within three years of the date of application.
Owing child support that is greater or equal to the amount to be paid in one-year’s time.
Warrants or subpoenas relating to child support or paternity cases.
Convictions involving Assault in the fourth degree or terroristic threatening in the third degree within three years of the application date.
Applicants for the concealed weapons license must also complete a firearms safety course that is conducted by the Department of Justice Training.
The course is not to be over eight hours long, and covers areas such as instruction, care, and cleaning of handguns, marksmanship, and target practice. In order to complete the test, the applicant must successfully hit a target at least eleven times out of twenty shots fired. The application is valid for five years, and the applicant is responsible for any required fees.
Even with license, it is prohibited for an individual to carry concealed firearms into public facilities such as schools, police stations, courthouses, day care centers, and any businesses that sell alcohol for consumption on the premises.

State Gun Laws

State Gun Laws

State gun laws in the U.S. can vary on a wide basis, in that state legislatures may choose to interpret widely or narrowly the basic provisions carried in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, particularly in the sense that the historical relevance of that article’s phrasing and language to contemporary “law and order” concerns has been much debated and contested.
In this regard, people looking into gun laws by state, such as might be interesting and relevant to them for personal reasons, such as those arising either over safety or an enthusiasm for sporting activities, should attend to the state gun laws contained in a specific area’s constitution or its, otherwise defined, body of laws. 
It should be noted that state gun laws can be passed outside of the restrictions or permissibility already put in place by the specific statutes also passed on these concerns at the level of the federal government.
In this regard, state gun laws may establish more stringent restrictions on the permissible access to and possession of firearms on the part of the state residents, such as in the form of the bans placed on firearms considered more deadly and less suited to permissible self-defense concerns than ordinary handguns, and as such referred to as assault weapons.
Gun laws by state frequently place legal restrictions on gun ownership which closely mirror the provisions contained in the Second Amendment, albeit without the historically specific language of militias. State gun laws are frequently more permissive than those passed at a federal level.

Minnesota Gun Laws

Minnesota Gun Laws

Although Minnesota constantly ranks among the safest places in America, the state has fairly liberal gun rights. Minnesota gun laws are neither complex nor revolutionary, but instead fairly basic for a Midwest state. Like Michigan, the gun rights towards users of shotguns and rifles is completely casual.
There is no permit, license, or registration required for such firearms. Laws in regards to possession, purchase, and registration are basically non-existent for hunting weapons. Laws do require that these weapons be carried only in areas that allow target practice or hunting. The laws associated with handguns and semi-automatic weaponry are not as lax and should be detailed.
Under Minnesota gun laws, handguns require a permit to purchase and to carry. Gun rights in Minnesota are strict in regards to purchasing and carrying, but not licensing and registration-licensing and registration of handguns is not necessary.
Permits of purchase in Minnesota require a few basic restrictions to be met. Once purchased, a mandatory seven day period takes place in order for gun rights to be obtained. Buyers must be at least 21 years of age; complete an application; not show up in Minnesota’s gang database; must be a resident of the county in which the individual is requesting a permit; and lastly, must provide a certificate upon completing authorized firearms training.
In addition to a carrying permit, a transferee permit will allow an individual to purchase a gun legally. This alternative form requires an application process that takes 7 days to review and requires basic information as well as a common background check. All handguns purchased in Minnesota are documented in the state’s system, long guns purchased will be documented in the federal system. Minnesota gun laws also require a record of sale, and a permit to conceal and carry such firearms. 
Gun rights in Minnesota are strict in regards to concealment. Application for a permit to carry a concealed weapon is completed at the local sheriff’s office. The application is a standardized statewide form and it includes basic information along with a list of the applicant’s past 10 year residency history. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, a US citizen, and pass a basic firearms training course. Minnesota gun laws require a fee of $100 and a 30 day waiting period for either denial or approval of the permit. Concealed weapons (permit or not) may not be brought to places of education, worship, childcare centers, or private property where appropriate signs are posted.  
Perhaps the strongest part of Minnesota gun law is the connection between firearms dealers and law enforcement. The sale of firearms in retail shops and gun shows are inspected by the police, and security precautions are required.
Minnesota is a border state, restrictions must be present to dissuade gun trafficking and smuggling over country lines. Although concealment and purchasing require a permit to establish gun rights, there are no restrictions placed on ammunition, magazine size, assault rifle sale, or bulk purchases. More can be done to prevent illegal selling and trafficking, but Minnesota gun control laws are respectable compared to rest of the nation.

Mississippi Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Laws

Like many states in the deep south, gun laws in Mississippi are lenient and often times abused. Per every 100,000 residents of the state there is 12 murders by firearms-third highest ranking for such a statistic. According to the Brady scorecard (which ranks states gun control laws from 1 to 100), Mississippi scored a meager 6. 

Mississippi law on guns does not require a permit to purchase handguns or long guns. Registration and licensing for both forms of firearms is not required as well in the state. The right to carry a handgun is the only complexity within the gun laws in Mississippi. A permit is not required to carry a rifle in the state, but can be disallowed in specified areas such as schools, places of worship, or government buildings. 

Slight intricacies revolve around possession for firearms in the state, but such restrictions pertain only to former convicts. Unless a pardon has been granted, the right to carry a gun will be considered unlawful for any individual convicted of a felony. In addition to a pardon, a former convict can possess a gun through a rehabilitation certificate.

The application process must be completed at the court in which the individual was previously sentenced. If grounds for rehabilitation can be proved following jail time, the right to possess a gun will be permitted in the state.

Gun laws in Mississippi are fairly complicated in regards to carrying a concealed pistol. It is considered legal for any person over 18 years of age to carry a concealed firearm within his home or place of business. The right to carry a gun will also be upheld (concealed or not) during any sporting event that requires the use of a firearm. All other instances where a weapon is concealed will require a license. The application process for concealment is quite lengthy and will be issued 120 days after request.

The applicant must be at least 21 years of age, live in Mississippi for a minimum of 12 months, possess a clean criminal background with no history of drug abuse, and show no signs of mental instability. Once the background check is administered, the applicant must submit fingerprints, a full-face photograph, and a fee of roughly $100. If granted, the license is valid for 4 years, but does not authorize the right to carry a gun in places such as schools or colleges, places of worship, athletic events, parades, or public parks. 

Gun laws in Mississippi are more rigorous for dealers of firearms than buyers. Although a state license is not required to distribute; merchants, dealers, or pawnbrokers must keep a record of all sales. These records must include date of sale, description of firearm, type of caliber, and the name of the purchaser.

To avoid the sale of illegal guns, these documents are susceptible to random police inspection. Although stringent, dealers have freedom in regards to the specifications of each firearm sold. There are no restrictions or limitations on ammunition, caliber, or magazine size.