We often report on various states and cities that have strict gun control laws. We’ve mentioned cities like Chicago, New York, Baltimore and Washington DC to be among the worst. We’ve also mentioned states like New York, Colorado, California, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts to be the most anti-Second Amendment states in the nation. It’s really sad to include Connecticut in that list since they are the home to some of the nation’s first and most respected gun manufacturers.
But how does one go about determining which states are the worst for gun rights or is it just a matter of personal opinion? Do we only talk about the ones that seem to be in the news more than others or just those with higher crime and gun violence rates?
“Do you have to ask government permission to purchase a firearm?”
Some states do require a person to obtain a permit (permission) just to purchase a gun of any kind and some just require a permit for purchasing a handgun. Gun Watch found that there are 12 states that require a permit to purchase any kind of gun, and started their listing of the worst states for gun rights with them. They are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington. They also gave honorable mention to Maryland since they do require a permit to purchase a handgun, but not a rifle or shotgun.
Note that these states have been traditionally governed by liberal Democrats in the governors’ mansions and state legislatures.
The second question they asked helped to narrow down the baker’s dozen (13) states listed as guilty by the first question:
“Does the state claim the power to arbitrarily deny people the right to bear arms outside of the home, even after jumping through the hoops to obtain a permit?”
In some states, various agencies or arms of the government, have the power to further determine if a person is worthy of being given the privilege of purchasing a firearm. Those agencies may include a local or state board or committee, police chiefs or others. These agencies generally try to determine if a person wanting to own a firearm has ever committed a felony or been convicted of a misdemeanor for domestic abuse or if they have ever spent time or been referred to or committed to a mental hospital or institution. Even if you pass these filters with flying colors, the agencies or groups can still deny the person the right to own a firearm simply because there is something about the applicant they don’t like. If the applicant is a member of a conservative organization that the agency or group does not like, all they have to do to deny the application to purchase a gun is to list ‘good reason’.
Having used question two, they filtered the baker’s dozen list down to six states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
They eliminated Delaware because although the state is listed as a ‘may issue’, in fact they appear to be more of a ‘shall issue’ state by their record, thus paring down the list to 5. Then they eliminated California and Massachusetts for the following reasons:
“Massachusetts requires a permit to buy a gun. They require a permit to carry a gun. One permit will allow you to do both, so people are opting for that permit instead of alternatives that are only slightly less onerous. Because of this, the number of people with Massachusetts carry permits is a respectable 7.6% of adults. Getting a permit may be difficult in Massachusetts. A permit is not guaranteed. Most Massachusetts residents who want one can get one and may bear arms. Massachusetts gets dropped off the list.”
“California bans private sales. You must go through a government controlled dealer to legally buy a gun. You have to register guns that you make yourself. But California does not require a special state permit to buy a gun. Many areas of California issue concealed carry permits on essentially a ‘shall issue’ basis. California is a contender because of the insane and recent spate of anti-rights laws, but they are off the list of the top three.”
Just three states left as being the worst states for gun rights in the nation – Hawaii, New Jersey and New York, and here is why:
“New Jersey is the worst of the three. While they issue more permits to carry than Hawaii, the permits nearly all go to retired judges, police officers, and people with considerable ‘pull’ (political connections). It is extremely difficult to obtain a New Jersey carry permit. New Jersey had about 1200 permits active in 2016. All other states issue more carry permits than that. All firearms ownership and use in New Jersey is controlled by statute. That is, everything about firearms that is not permitted, is forbidden. There are regular stories about people with innocent intentions being caught up in firearms laws that defy common sense. New Jersey is the only state that defines a tubular magazine fed .22 hunting rifle as an ‘assault weapon’. For a while, a Daisy BB gun was considered an ‘assault weapon’ in New Jersey. A large, subjective part of what makes New Jersey the worst, is the state structure seems quite willing to ignore their own rules, such as time limits on issuing permits. The impression is the rule of law is more the rule by local power brokers in New Jersey. New Jersey is one of the six states that has no right to keep and bear arms provision in the state constitution.”
“New York might not have made the list except for the ‘SAFE’ Act passed in 2013. New York eliminated the New York State lifetime handgun permit. Permits now have to be renewed every five years. The SAFE act requires that all firearm purchases go through a government dealer, with extremely limited exceptions. The act requires that all ammunition purchases be done through a licensed dealer, a provision that is not yet fully law in California. There is widespread resistance to the SAFE Act, especially in upstate New York. But 43 percent of New York State residents live in New York City, where it is very difficult to obtain a permit to even purchase a pistol, let alone carry one. In California, while it is very difficult to obtain a permit to carry in the urban centers, it is much easier to purchase handguns legally. In California, carry permits are valid throughout the state. State carry permits in New York are not valid in New York City. Stories where New York authorities ignore their own firearms law to impose more stringent restrictions are rampant. New York is another of the six states that have no right to keep and bear arms in the state constitution.”
“Hawaii is as bad as New Jersey for most of their firearm laws. They are worse when it comes to issuing carry permits. In a fair number of years, there are no permits issued to private citizens for self defense for the entire state. You have to apply to a permit authority to buy any firearm legally. The authority to buy long guns only lasts for one year. The authority to buy a handgun only lasts for 10 days. There are a fairly large number of long guns that were grandfathered in the law before July 1, 1994. They are not required to be registered. No one knows just how many exist. Hawaii has a better reputation for following their own rules than New Jersey or New York. The Hawaii Constitution’s right to bear arms provision is a copy of the Second Amendment.”
Realize that Hawaii is the supposed birthplace of Barack Obama and the judge that is overreaching his authority by using his personal agenda to block President Trump’s immigration and refugee ban.
New York is the home of gun hater billionaire Michael Bloomberg and the latest political home of Hillary Clinton.
New Jersey may have a professed Republican residing in the Governor’s mansion, but Chris Christie has acted more like a liberal Democrat than a conservative Republican.
If you live in any of these 13-12-6 or 3 states, you may give some serious thought to moving to a more gun-friendly state.