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Strictest Gun Laws by State 2020

The federal government of the United States has very few laws that regulate the sale of guns. There have been pushes to introduce federal legislation on gun control, particularly after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. However, many lawmakers still interpret the second amendment to mean that they should not regulate guns at all. There are some gun attachments – such as high-capacity magazines – that are banned at a federal level. However, for the most part, gun laws are governed by states.

Some of the most lenient gun laws are known as open carry laws, meaning that someone can openly carry a firearm in public. Some of the strictest gun laws require the person to pass a background check and undergo training before being able to purchase a gun. Some states have little to no regulation on guns at all.

California is the state with the strictest gun laws, and it also has the seventh-lowest rate of deaths by gun violence. In addition to regulation on who can purchase a gun and what kinds of firearms may be legally obtained, California gun laws allow for funding to community programs that have been able to reduce gun-related violence. Other states with strict gun laws include Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Some of these states require background checks and a waiting period before someone is allowed to purchase a gun; some require that the person undergo training first.

The states with the most lenient gun laws are New Hampshire, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Montana, West Virginia, Alabama, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska, Kansas, South Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Idaho, Wyoming, and Mississippi. Many states are trying to enact legislation to promote gun safety, as gun violence continues to be a leading cause of death throughout the country.

Many states that have tight gun laws are surrounded by states that do not have strict gun laws. As a result, guns are often brought in from neighboring states, usually illegally. If you want to obtain a weapon, check with your state’s laws and make sure that you comply with them. Bringing in a firearm from another state that has looser rules can land you into much trouble. Gun laws are very controversial, and you probably have strong feelings about them, whether you are for gun control or not. However, keep in mind that gun laws are first and foremost to promote public safety, and abiding by them is in everybody’s best interest.

Strictest Gun Laws by State 2020

Strictest Gun Laws by State 2020

State Gun Law Ranking 2019 Strictness Grade Gun Death Rate Gun Death Rate Ranking
California1A7.4544
New Jersey2A4.7546
Connecticut3A-4.9145
New York4A-4.0347
Hawaii5A-4.0348
Maryland6A-11.6133
Massachusetts7A-3.4649
Illinois8A-10.7836
Rhode Island9B+3.2850
Washington10B+10.3238
Delaware11B11.5534
Pennsylvania12C+12.4729
Minnesota13C+7.7943
Colorado14C+15.1419
Nevada15C+17.8410
Oregon15C+11.6832
New Mexico17C20.756
Nebraska18C9.0541
Iowa19C8.6242
Michigan19C12.8226
Wisconsin21C-10.1340
Florida22C-12.8127
Vermont23C-12.6328
North Carolina24D13.2623
Ohio24D13.0525
Virginia26D11.7631
Utah27D13.1424
Indiana28D-14.7120
Tennessee29D-17.8211
New Hampshire30F10.6637
South Carolina31F17.5112
Georgia32F15.7217
Louisiana32F21.314
Maine34F10.3239
Montana34F17.2713
Texas34F12.2230
West Virginia34F18.119
Alabama38F21.702
North Dakota39F11.3635
Arkansas40F18.968
Oklahoma40F16.7115
Alaska42F20.747
Kansas43F14.6521
South Dakota44F13.5022
Arizona45F15.2918
Kentucky46F16.8114
Missouri46F21.343
Idaho48F16.6116
Wyoming48F21.095
Mississippi50F22.811