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Concealed Carry State Rankings 2013

As I’m sure most of you are aware, gun laws, and specifically concealed carry laws, differ from state to state. Because each state is allowed to regulate the carrying of firearms, there’s quite a bit of confusion about what’s legal and where. For example, most folks outside of Texas assume that Texas is extremely gun friendly and that you can pretty much carry whatever you want, however you want. In reality, that just isn’t the case, and there are much more gun friendly states.

There are a lot of great resources out there to help you navigate the complicated mess that is this nation’s firearms laws, such as Gun Laws by State,, and If you’re considering moving, or you’re going to travel with firearms, the aforementioned sites are very helpful.

Additionally, there’s another resource you might want to add to your list. Last week, Guns & Ammo came out with a concealed carry state ranking that I found both interesting and informative.

Top 10 States for Concealed Carry

According to Guns & Ammo, the top 10 states for concealed carry are:

  1. Arizona
  2. Utah
  3. Wyoming
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Vermont
  6. Alaska
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Alabama
  9. North Dakota
  10. Indiana

There were a few surprises for me on this list. First, I was surprised that Arkansas isn’t in the top 10. My understanding before reading the article was that Arkansas was one of the five states that allows Constitutional Carry (legal to both open and concealed carry of a properly holstered handgun without a permit), but according to Guns & Ammo:

While some folks claim Arkansas is now a permitless carry state due to recent court rulings, the State of Arkansas claims permitless carry and open carry remain illegal under the new laws. It appears cleaning up the language in the current law will require another court case to set the record straight.

Another surprise for me was how high Pennsylvania ranked. I’ve always considered PA a gun friendly state, but I didn’t realize it was THAT gun friendly.

You can check out all of the state rankings along with the scoring system used here and see where your state ranks.

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26 Responses to Concealed Carry State Rankings 2013

  1. Patrick Moore October 30, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    i’m thankful our AG in WV is working to improve our status on the list:

    • Hillbilly Bob October 30, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Any idea as to what the “Big news” that is coming from your AG?

      • Patrick Moore October 30, 2013 at 11:36 am #

        Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today announced that the Office of Attorney General recently entered into reciprocity/mutual recognition agreements regarding concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) with the states of Iowa and New Hampshire

  2. Hillbilly Bob October 30, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Well Ohio has HB 203 coming up and our state org is pushing HB 203
    There are some very good changes on 203 but then BFA wants a federal background check where right now we only use an Ohio background check
    I am 100% involving the feds in our state CHL programs, the feds will be involved in Ohio’s CHL’s and we all know what happenes when we let the feds into state politics
    BFA’s biggest reason to involve the feds is because we don’t have reciprocity with Texas and Guns & Ammo ranked Ohio low because of that
    Welllllll screw Guns and Ammo and screw reciprocity with Texas
    So we have people in Ohio that are eligible for a CHL under Ohio law but when we switch to the fed involvement and guidelines many people will become ineligible
    Screw Guns & Ammo, the feds and reciprocity with Texas, we will gain reciprocity with Texas because of the federal background check but we will lose states we already have because of other reasons
    Fuck it, I am done giving money to BFA and any damn orginizations that support more federal involvement into our gun rights

    • Hillbilly Bob October 30, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      I don’t want people to get me wrong on my initial long post as we have some good things in our HB 203 such as stand your ground being the biggest but getting the fed guidelines hammered into our state gun rights will end up biting us right in the ass

  3. Al Cohol October 30, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Wait, California isn’t in the top 10?

    • TK October 30, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      He has jokes!

  4. Josh October 30, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    What about CO? In my county alone they’re issuing like 12,000+ permits a year…

    • milehisnk October 30, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Colorado was ranked 40th. If you click the link, we should have been about 32nd because they measured things incorrectly. What hurt us the most, though, is how expensive our permits are. They also underrated our SYG/Castle Doctrine score, despite CCW trainers from virtually every other state saying we have probably the best castle doctrine in the nation.

    • TK October 30, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      You mean the state that just passed legislation to limit magazine capacity (yes I know about the recalls)? Colorado also forces you to demonstrate “proficiency”.

  5. billy October 30, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    I lived in PA. To get my ccw I walked into the Sheriffs department, filled out a form and walked out with my permit 10 minutes later. Not bad.

  6. Ben October 30, 2013 at 10:18 am #

    PA is great. Anywhere but Philly anyway. I live in Western PA and, same as billy, $19 and 15 minutes is all it takes. OC is legal in many areas as well without any sort of permit.

    • Patrick Moore October 30, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      i’ve had my out-of-state PA permit for about 12 years now…easy to get and renew. Good for PA!

      • Hillbilly Bob October 30, 2013 at 11:41 am #

        i have my PA. license also, I got it right before they stopped the mail in application and changed it to we have to go to PA. now to get them
        I still have 2 or 3 years left on mine I think so i am good for now
        The license was cheap, I think i paid $20 for mine?

  7. keystoneclimber October 30, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    PA gets a bad wrap from Filthadelphia which most of us just consider an extension of NJ. We love our guns here!

  8. Cat October 30, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Ny should be ranked lower! It may not charge a lot for the application, 10-20 depending on which county you live in… But to PROCESS said application cost is well over 100 dollars. Which also varies county to county. NYC is a different beast all together! You have to have a permit for shotguns and rifles – with a ton of restrictions – then if you want a handgun, that’s another license! Every time a city person wants a handgun they have to apply for approval and get a certificate to present the FFL. Afterwards said firearm is registered with the city cops and inspected.

  9. Erik Block October 30, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    California blows. At least the state I want to move to is the in the top 5. I knew that already but this just cemented it.

  10. Andrew October 30, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    I’m not sure why Alaska only got 8 points for Stand Your Ground. Perhaps this check was done longer than a few months ago (though it says current as of Oct. 24). Our current SYG mirrors that of Florida (which got a 10) in addition to a law banning the enforcement of Federal gun/magazine restrictions should they occur. This would put AK as tied for 4th. I guess the disclaimer about laws being hazy could be to blame.

  11. depotmsa October 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

    Florida is the gun state and it’s not on this list !

  12. hardh8 October 31, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Cali isn’t in the top ten? I’m shocked. On the other hand, except for illegal aliens, what is california the top 10 in?

  13. ND in ND October 31, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Glad to see ND in the top 10 — Going to be getting my ND CCW soon – unfortunately they’ve had a 475% increase in permit applications and are running MONTHS behind. The AG says they are working to increase staffing and get the turnaround time into the legally mandated 60-day window.
    I am a retired LEO and have ‘qualified’ under the LEOSA provisions, even though my former department would not issue me a CCW for HR218 (Federal) and says I have to return to CA to qualify for my CA CCW, which is expiring. Luckily, I will be traveling there in the near future and will get it taken care of while there.

  14. JM November 17, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Freedom here in AZ…ccw, hmm, not sure, what is that? (Hahaha). On a serious note, I thought Montana would have been ranked #2, or at least in the top 10. Unless something changed, I thought there was no ccw permit necessary in Big Sky country?

    • Brandon November 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Concealed carry in town is the only scenario where a permit is required. Concealed carry outside of town is legal, and open carry is legal everywhere.

      • JM November 17, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

        Thank you for the information.

  15. Hillbilly Bob November 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Why would anyone listen to Guns & Ammo anyway? Editor Jim Bequette just fired himself and writer Dick Metcalf because of their anti 2nd Amendment sentiments and article in G&A magazine
    Ohio has some stupid shit attached to our new HBs coming up and in the videos of the hearings in our Capitol these “Pro Gun” lobbyists say “We want to change some of the laws because G&A ranks us low on their list”
    So Ohio is inviting the Feds into our gun laws and making some Ohio citizens instant criminals banned from owning a gun because of non violent crimes because G&A ranks us low?

    • Brandon November 18, 2013 at 8:42 am #

      In light of the recent G&A nonsense, valid points.