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Gun laws in the United States by state

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gun laws in the United States regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition. State laws (and the laws of the District of Columbia and of the U.S. territories) vary considerably, and are independent of existing federal firearms laws, although they are sometimes broader or more limited in scope than the federal laws.

State level laws vary significantly in their form, content, and level of restriction. Forty-four states have a provision in their state constitutions similar to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. The exceptions are California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. In New York, however, the statutory civil rights laws contain a provision virtually identical to the Second Amendment.[1][2] Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court held in McDonald v. Chicago that the protections of the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms for self-defense in one's home apply against state governments and their political subdivisions.[3]

Firearm owners are subject to the firearm laws of the state they are in, and not exclusively their state of residence. Reciprocity between states exists in certain situations, such as with regard to concealed carry permits. These are recognized on a state-by-state basis. For example, Idaho recognizes an Oregon permit, but Oregon does not recognize an Idaho permit. Florida issues a license to carry both concealed weapons and firearms, but others license only the concealed carry of firearms. Some states do not recognize out-of-state permits to carry a firearm at all, so it is important to understand the laws of each state when traveling with a handgun.[4]

In many cases, state firearms laws can be considerably less restrictive than federal firearms laws. This does not confer any de jure immunity against prosecution for violations of the federal laws. However, state and local police departments are not legally obligated to enforce federal gun law as per the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Printz v. United States.[5][6]

Common subjects of state laws

Firearm related matters that are often regulated by state or local laws include the following:

  • Some states and localities require that a person obtain a license or permit in order to purchase or possess firearms.
  • Some states and localities require that individual firearms be registered with the police or with another law enforcement agency.
  • All states allow some form of concealed carry, the carrying of a concealed firearm in public.
  • Many states allow some form of open carry, the carrying of an unconcealed firearm in public on one's person or in a vehicle.
  • Some states have state preemption for some or all gun laws, which means that only the state can legally regulate firearms. In other states, local governments can pass their own gun laws more restrictive than those of the state.
  • Some states and localities place additional restrictions on certain semi-automatic firearms that they have defined as assault weapons, or on magazines that can hold more than a certain number of rounds of ammunition.
  • NFA weapons are weapons that are heavily restricted at a federal level by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. These include automatic firearms (such as machine guns), short-barreled shotguns, and short-barreled rifles. Some states and localities place additional restrictions on such weapons.
  • Some states have enacted castle doctrine or stand-your-ground laws, which provide a legal basis for individuals to use deadly force in self-defense in certain situations, without a duty to flee or retreat if possible.
  • In some states, peaceable journey laws give additional leeway for the possession of firearms by travelers who are passing through to another destination.
  • Some states require a background check of the buyer when a firearm is sold by a private party. (Federal law requires background checks for sales by licensed gun dealers, and for any interstate sales.)
  • Some states have enacted red flag laws that enable a judge to issue an order to temporarily confiscate the firearms of a person who presents an imminent threat to others or to themselves.

Alabama

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes 13A-11-75 Alabama is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 19 years or older. A License to Carry Firearms is required to carry a firearm concealed on one's person or in a vehicle.
Permit required for open carry? No No 13A-11-7 May carry openly without permit, except handgun must be secured in a holster.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes 13A-3-23
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 13A-11-61.3 "...the Legislature hereby occupies and preempts the entire field of regulation in this state touching in any way upon firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories..."
NFA weapons restricted? No No 13A-11-54 It is illegal to carry an Any Other Weapon (AOW) disguised as a walking cane.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Alaska

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No AS 11.61.220
AS 18.65.700
Alaska is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on September 9, 2003.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes AS 11.81.300
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes AS 29.35.145
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes AS 18.65.810 Shall certify within 30 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? Yes Yes AS 11.61.220(a)(1)(A)(i)

Arizona

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No A.R.S. § 13-3108
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No A.R.S. § 13-3102
A.R.S. § 13-3112
Arizona is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on July 29, 2010.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes A.R.S. §§ 13-401 to 13-421
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes A.R.S. § 13-3108
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes A.R.S. § 13-3121 Shall certify within 60 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No A.R.S. § 44-1382

Arkansas

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No AR Code § 5-73-120
AR Code §§ 5-73-301 to 5-73-320
Arkansas is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older. Regular and Enhanced permits are issued. Enhanced permits are issued to those who complete a training course.
Permitless carry took effect on August 16, 2013.
Enhanced concealed carry permits allow for carrying in some areas such as carrying at public colleges, most public buildings, non-secure locations in airports, churches, and more.[7][8][9]
Permit required for open carry? No No AR Code § 5-73-120
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes AR Code §§ 5-2-601 to 5-2-621
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes AR Code § 14-16-504
NFA weapons restricted? Yes No AR Code § 5-73-207 Machine guns may not fire pistol cartridges of .30 in. or 7.63 mm or larger unless the gun is registered to an ammunition corporation.
Shall certify? Yes Yes AR Code § 5-73-112 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes AR Code § 5-73-120
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? Yes Yes


California

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes (Penal Code except when noted) Notes
State permit required to purchase? Partial Partial §26500  All firearm sales must be completed through a dealer. Firearm purchases require a Firearm Safety Certificate and proof of residency unless the individual purchasing the firearm is active duty military, honorably retired military, or a peace officer under Penal Code Section 830. Military reservists must provide proof of residency in order to purchase a firearm. The Firearms Safety Certificate can be purchased and completed at firearms dealers with DOJ instructors on the same day, differentiating it from a FOID or FID card system where one has to apply with the local police and await approval. Must be 21 to purchase any firearm.[10]
Firearm registration? Yes Yes §28150 The California Department of Justice ("DOJ") retains information about the purchaser and seller of all in-state firearm sales and transfers, and requires that any firearms imported into the state be reported to the DOJ.[11] Furthermore, the Attorney General is required by law to maintain a registry containing the fingerprints and identifying information of the transferee, and the unique identifying information of every firearm transferred in the state, pursuant to §11106.[12] All handgun serial numbers and sales are recorded by the state in the Department of Justice's Automated Firearms System, along with those of many long guns. While there is no requirement for California residents to register handguns owned prior to 1991 with law enforcement, §12025 and §12031 enhance several misdemeanor offenses to felonies if the handgun is not on file in the Department of Justice's Automated Firearms System. New residents must register handguns (purchased outside of California) with DOJ within 60 days. As of January 1, 2014, long gun serial numbers are also recorded, whereas previously only the sale was recorded. However, it is not required that owners of long guns purchased prior to 2014 register their firearms and it is not a crime to be in possession of an unregistered firearm.
Owner license required? No No None While the Firearm Safety Certificate is required for new purchases of firearms, ongoing possession of a firearm does not require a license or permit.[13] People moving into California are required, within 60 days, to file a New Resident Report of Firearm Ownership.[14][15] New residents are prohibited from importing assault weapons or any other weapons prohibited by California law regardless of whether they were lawfully acquired and possessed in the residents' prior state of residence.[16] The ban on importing large-capacity magazines was ruled unconstitutional[17] but the ruling is on hold while the case is under appeal.[18]
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes §30500, §30515 Illegal to possess, import, or purchase assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles, unless such weapons were acquired by the owner prior to June 1, 1989. While California's Assault Weapons Law does allow individuals who hold a Dangerous Weapons Permit to obtain, transport or possess defined assault weapons, the DOJ generally does not issue Dangerous Weapons Permits to ordinary citizens. Legally defined assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles listed by make and model by the DOJ must be registered. Their sale and transfer is prohibited. Military look-alike rifles that are not chambered for .50 BMG and are not on the DOJ roster are legal to purchase or possess, with some restrictions in configuration – known as "banned features". Active-duty military members residing out of state and assigned to duty in California may bring personally-owned assault weapons into the state. The military member's residence must be in a state that permits private citizens to own and possess assault weapons, and the firearms must be registered with the California Department of Justice prior to the servicemember's arrival in California by submitting the registration form with a copy of the member's Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders and an authorization letter from the installation commander.

With the passage of Senate Bill 880 and Assembly Bill 1135 in June 2016, the state's assault weapon ban has been expanded to include all semi-automatic center-fire rifles and shotguns that have a "bullet button" detachable magazine; effectively repealing a prior law that made "bullet button" magazines required on all newly manufactured weapons with detachable magazines. The sale or transfer of such weapons will be prohibited, effective January 1, 2017. Those purchased prior to January 1, 2017 must be registered with the DOJ by the start of 2018. The definition of types of weapons that are banned has been expanded, the exact definitions should be reviewed at the California DOJ website.[19]

Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes §32310

Section 32310 of the Penal Code states that any person who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, buys, receives, or assembles any large-capacity magazine from a parts kit is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment. Thus, the offenses listed can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor at the discretion of the prosecutor.[20] Large-capacity is defined as being able to hold more than 10 rounds. In November 2016 California voters approved Proposition 63. The referendum outlaws the possession of such magazines, requires background checks for all ammunition sales and mandates the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.[21] Under Proposition 63, mere possession of a large-capacity magazine is punishable as a misdemeanor with a $100 fine or an infraction with a $100 fine. This prohibition applies to magazines acquired prior to January 1, 2000 that were previously considered "grandfathered."[22] Importation, manufacture, lending, assembling a large-capacity magazine from a parts kit, or buying a large-capacity magazine remains chargeable as a felony or a misdemeanor.[23]

On June 29, 2017, a federal judge blocked the enforcement of Proposition 63's ban on the possession of large-capacity magazines, pending the outcome of litigation concerning the ban. Magazines that would have been subject to the Proposition 63 ban are legal for private citizens to keep until the injunction is either lifted and/or the ban is upheld by the courts.[24][25] On March 29, 2019, the entire large-capacity magazine law was blocked permanently by the district court; this includes the ban on possession, in addition to the ban on manufacturing, importing, selling, etc.[17][26] Following a stay request from Attorney General, Judge Benitez allowed the ban on manufacture, import, and sale of large-capacity magazines to be enforced while keeping in place the injunction against the enforcement of the ban on possession of previously legal large-capacity magazines, including all purchases made between the entry of the Court’s injunction on March 29, 2019 and April 5, 2019, 5:00 p.m.[27]

On August 14, 2020, a 9th circuit court ruled the ban on high capacity magazines unconstitutional. "Gun owners cannot immediately rush to buy high-capacity magazines because a stay issued by the lower court judge remains in place," according to the Associated Press.[28] However, this decision was vacated by the Circuit Court on February 25, 2021 until the case can be reheard.[29]

License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes §26150 "May issue," depending on jurisdiction. County sheriff's or local Police Chief's discretion, many counties are de facto "no-issue", while others are "shall-issue" in practice. CCW permits valid statewide. Out-of-state permits not valid in California. California's may-issue law has been held constitutional by an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of this holding.[30]
Open carry allowed? Partial Partial §26350 Long guns and handguns may be openly carried in unincorporated rural areas where firearm discharge is not prohibited by local ordinance. In a county with a population of less than 200,000 residents, a permit to carry a handgun "loaded and exposed" may be issued by the county sheriff, valid only in the issuing county. A person may also open carry if he or she "reasonably believes that any person or the property of any person is in immediate, grave danger and that the carrying of the weapon is necessary for the preservation of that person or property."[31]
Vehicle carry? No Yes §25610 A valid California Concealed Weapons License is required to carry a concealed handgun in a motor vehicle. Otherwise, handguns and assault weapons must be unloaded and locked in a case during transport. Long guns not classified as assault weapons may be transported in a vehicle without being locked in a case, but must be unloaded.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes §53701 Government Code Most but not all local restrictions preempted.
Castle doctrine law? Yes Yes California never requires a duty to retreat whether in one's own home or not. The state acknowledges a legal presumption that an intruder poses a deadly threat if in one's own home or property that is owned and controlled by oneself.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes §12220, §12020, §12020 Possession of automatic weapons or short-barreled shotguns or rifles prohibited without DOJ "Dangerous Weapons Permit"; permission rarely granted outside of film industry. Suppressors (aka silencers) prohibited. Destructive devices are prohibited unless are designated as curios & relics, in which case a collectors permit can be obtained. The only AOWs that are permitted are smoothbore pistols and firearms with a combination of a smoothbore and rifle barrel. C&R short-barreled rifles and C&R short-barrled shotguns permitted.
Peaceable journey laws? No No California courts have ruled that large-capacity magazines (LCM) that are disassembled or LCM parts are legal to possess. Otherwise federal rules are observed.
Waiting period? Yes Yes §26815(a)[2], §26950-27140 [3], §27540(a) [4],

§27600-27750 [5]

California has a ten (10) day waiting period for all firearm purchases, transfers, and private sales which must be conducted through a federal and state firearm license holder. That is, upon purchase, the purchaser must wait 10 days after the purchase before the firearm is released to the owner.

On August 25, 2014, the California's 10-day waiting period for gun purchases was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California which found that "the 10-day waiting periods of Penal Code [sections 26815(a) and 27540(a)] violate the Second Amendment" as applied to members of certain classifications (notably holders of concealed carry permits) and "burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs".[32] On December 14, 2016 this ruling was overturned by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.[33] The plaintiffs' petition for an en banc rehearing was denied April 4, 2017; on February 20, 2018 the Supreme Court certiorari petition was denied, meaning that the waiting period remains in effect.[34]

Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes § 27545 Private party transfers of firearms must be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale.
Red flag law? Yes Yes The police or a person's family member can ask a judge to confiscate the firearms of a person who appears to pose a threat to themselves or others for up to one year.[35] Such orders from out-of-state are also recognized. As of September 1, 2020, eligible petitioners will be expanded to include an employer, coworker, and school teacher or employee, and the maximum allowable duration will be extended to 5 years.[36]
Background check required for ammunition purchase? Yes Yes PC 30312, 30314, 30342, 30370 After January 1, 2018 all ammunition purchases must be made through a licensed ammunition dealer and no person may import ammunition from out-of-state unless they meet the requirements for exemption under PC 30314(b). This section effectively banned online and mail order sales of ammunition by requiring all transactions go through a storefront physically located inside California. Importing ammunition in violation of this section is an infraction for the first offense and a misdemeanor or infraction for any subsequent offenses.[37] After July 1, 2019, all purchases of ammunition are required to have an "ammunition purchase authorization" from the California DOJ. This section requires the ammunition purchaser to submit to a background check and to have an entry in the California DOJ Automated Firearms System that matches the information presented at the time of purchase.[38] Selling or delivering ammunition to a person without first receiving the "ammunition purchase authorization" is a misdemeanor.[39]
Home-built firearms restriction? Yes Yes PC 29180 After July 1, 2018, any person who wishes to manufacture a firearm must first apply to the California DOJ for a serial number and apply that serial number, once issued, to the firearm within 10 days. There are specific requirements laid out for how to inscribe or engrave the serial number given the material the firearm is made out of. Violation of this provision is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail for home-built handguns and 6 months in the county jail for any other home-built firearm.[40]


Colorado

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No DRMC § 38-130 website=FindLaw}}</ref>
Magazine Capacity Restriction? Yes Yes CRS §§ 18-12-302, 18-12-303  After July 1, 2013, magazines holding more than 15 rounds may not be sold, transferred, or possessed unless they were lawfully owned prior to July 1, 2013. Firearms with a tubular magazine which are either chambered in .22 rimfire or operated by lever action are exempt from this regulation, as are magazines "permanently altered" to limit the capacity to 15 or less. Boulder passed an ordinance in May 2018 banning magazines holding more than 10 rounds (15 for handguns).[42] [43] Vail banned magazines holding 21 or more rounds in 1994.[44]
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes CRS § 18-12-203 Colorado is a shall issue state for concealed carry. Permits are issued by local sheriff offices to county residents.
Permit required for open carry? No No CRS § 18-12;
DRMC §§ 38-117(b), 38-118
Legal without permit requirements except in Denver and other posted areas.
Concealed within a vehicle? Yes Yes CRS §§ 18-12-105(2b), 33-6-125;
DRMC §§ 38-117(f), 38-118, 14-92
No permit is required. Pistols may be carried with chamber and magazine loaded. Rifles and shotguns must be carried with an empty chamber if the owner is in possession of a valid hunting license and that hunting season is in progress. Rounds in the magazine are permitted during that hunting season. A loaded weapon in a vehicle and a spotlight is prima facie evidence that one was attempting to illegally take game. Wildlife officers have full law enforcement powers.
State Preemption of local restrictions? No No CRS § 29-11.7-103 Local ordinances are not preempted by state law, and Denver bans assault weapons and open carry.
NFA weapons restricted? No No CRS § 18-12-102 NFA items are defined as a "dangerous weapon". Subsection 5: "It shall be an affirmative defense to the charge of possessing a dangerous weapon...that said person has a valid permit and license for possession of such weapon."
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes CRS § 18-12-105.6; DRMC §§ 38-117(f), 38-118 Denver's restrictions on transport/possession of firearms in vehicles do not apply to persons traveling to or from other jurisdictions; see Trinen v. City & County of Denver, 53 P.3d 754
Castle Doctrine? Yes Yes CRS § 18-1-704.5 A legal resident of a property has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves, other occupants, and property from armed or unarmed intruders.
Stand Your Ground Law? No No
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes CRS § 18-12-112 For private party transfers of firearms, the seller must request that a licensed dealer perform a background check of the buyer, and must get approval of the transfer from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Transfers of antique firearms, bona-fide gifts or loans from immediate family members, and transfers to estate executors or trustees are exempt. Temporary transfers are strictly regulated.
Red flag law? Yes Yes HB 19-1177 The police may temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are threatening to harm themselves or others or have been accused of the same by someone who resides at the same address of the subject, and then get a court order afterwards.

Connecticut

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? Yes Yes CGS 29-33(b),
CGS 29–36(f), CGS 29-38m(c)
Certificate of Eligibility for Pistol and Revolvers, or Long Guns, or Ammunition required to purchase handguns, long guns, or ammunition, respectively, or a State Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers to purchase any of the above. Applicants must complete an approved safety course, and pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check and mental health records check prior to issuance of certificate. Certificates of Eligibility are granted on a Shall-Issue basis to qualified applicants, and are valid for five years. With the passing of Public Act 13-3, hunting licenses (which take approximately 12 hours to complete versus the eight hours the NRA Basic Pistol Course takes) may no longer be used to purchase ammunition or long rifles. Long guns and ammunition purchased outside of Connecticut are not subject to the long gun and ammunition eligibility requirements (even if one is a Conn. resident) other than the two-week waiting period must be observed for long gun transfers out of state, unless one has a valid hunting license or carry permit.
Firearm registration? Partial Partial CGS 53–202 Registration required for assault weapons purchased between September 13, 1994 and April 1, 2014 and for machine guns obtained before January 1, 2014.

There is a de facto registry of the sale (including the serial numbers) of handguns and long guns purchased in state that is maintained by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). Any transfer, be it from a dealer or private party, must be accompanied by an authorization number issued by the DESPP and a form containing personal and weapon identification (DPS-3-C) must be submitted to DESPP and local police. This form is collected and maintained on all guns purchased from FFL dealers as well. The DPS-3-C form is not required for long gun transfers made out of state, and there is no legal requirement/penalty to register firearms purchased out of state or lawfully obtained before April 1, 2014.

"Assault Weapon" law? Yes Yes CGS 53–202 Partial ban. Selective fire weapons, some .50 BMG variants, and semiautomatic center-fire firearms with one defined feature; banned weapons lawfully possessed prior to this date must be registered with DESPP. Registered weapons may only be sold or transferred to a licensed gun dealer, to the State Police or local police department, transferred to a recipient outside of Connecticut, or willed to a designated heir when the original owner/registrant becomes deceased. Assault weapons manufactured and lawfully obtained prior to September 13, 1994 no longer require registration with DESPP and may be sold or transferred to non-prohibited persons.[45] Exceptions exist for active and retired law enforcement and military members.
Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes 53-202w As of April 4, 2013, magazines holding more than 10 rounds are considered Large Capacity Magazines (LCM), and such magazines manufactured after that date may not be sold or transferred within the state. Existing owners of LCMs may possess such magazines if they declare and register them with the DESPP before January 1, 2014; Owners of registered LCMs may not load such magazines with more than 10 rounds except when inside the owner's home or on the premises of a licensed shooting range. Even if an individual has a permit to carry a pistol or revolver, they can never carry, other than at a shooting range, a pistol that has an LCM loaded with more than 10 bullets. Possessing an unregistered Large Capacity Magazine obtained prior to the ban's effective date is an infraction with a $90 fine for the first offense, and a Class D felony (punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or $5,000 fine) for subsequent offenses. Unlawfully possessing a LCM obtained after the effective date of the ban is a Class D felony.
Owner license required? No No CGS 23-37a(b) No license/permit is required to own any firearm/ammunition in Connecticut, except for grandfathered assault weapons manufactured and obtained between September 13, 1994 and April 4, 2013.
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes CGS 29–28 Shall-Issue, with Limited Discretion. Connecticut's pistol permit law specifies that issuing authorities May-Issue pistol permits to qualified applicants, but the state's courts have generally ruled that permits must be granted on a Shall-Issue basis to applicants meeting the state's qualifications for a pistol permit, as Connecticut does not require an applicant to "show good cause" for needing a permit. Issuing local authorities have limited discretion to deny a permit when he or she has personal knowledge of the applicant's character that would not otherwise be reflected on a background check. A denial on this basis would have to be justified with supporting evidence showing that the applicant is not of "suitable" character to be granted a pistol permit, but virtually all cases are thrown out if the applicant is not otherwise barred from owning firearms.

Connecticut has a two-step permitting process: a 60-day Temporary permit issued by local authorities and a 5-year Regular permit issued by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). Issuance of a Temporary permit is technically not a prerequisite to apply for a Regular permit, but in practice an applicant must await a decision from local authorities on the temporary permit application before applying to DESPP for the Regular permit. If the local permit is denied for any reason, instead one files an appeal to DESPP to have the state board re-examine the application. If the state board denies the permit (rare occurrence), a court appeal is possible. Permit needed to carry open or concealed. Exceptions for peace officers and Active-Duty military members. Out of state permits not valid in Connecticut, but non-residents may apply for a Connecticut non-resident carry permit through the mail. Non-residents must have a carry permit issued by a United States jurisdiction to apply.

Permit required for open carry? No Yes Connecticut is a Licensed Open Carry state. A Connecticut Permit to Carry Pistols or Revolvers allows the carry of handguns openly or concealed any place in the state that is not considered "off-limits" under state law. Despite this, local law enforcement have been known[citation needed] to detain carriers. There have been very few actual arrests and no convictions in recent history as a result of carrying unconcealed however. State law is silent on the open carry of long guns in public either with or without a permit, although some municipalities have enacted ordinances restricting or banning the practice. Various towns and the state police as well have articulated through training memos that open carry is legal and to not harass people who carry openly without some other cause.[46]
Vehicle carry permitted? No Yes A valid Connecticut pistol permit is required to carry a loaded weapon in a vehicle. Otherwise, the weapon must be unloaded and the firearm its ammunition must be stored in separate locked containers during transport.

As of October 1, 2019, handguns left in unattended vehicles are required to be stored in the trunk, locked safe, or locked glove box.[47]

Duty to inform? No No Connecticut is not a duty to inform state. Those who are carrying a pistol or revolver must carry their permit with them.
Castle Doctrine? Yes Yes sec_53a-20 A person in possession or control of premises, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be in or upon such premises, is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of a criminal trespass by such other person in or upon such premises; but he may use deadly physical force under such circumstances only (1) in defense of a person as prescribed in section 53a-19, or (2) when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson or any crime of violence, or (3) to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry by force into his dwelling as defined in section 53a-100, or place of work, and for the sole purpose of such prevention or termination.
State preemption of local restrictions? Partial Yes CGS 29–28 State pre-emption of local ordinances not explicitly specified in state law, but established by court precedence. Most municipalities have ordinances restricting or banning the discharge of firearms outside of firing ranges or designated hunting areas during hunting seasons. Some municipalities have restrictions or bans on carrying long guns in public places. The City of New London and the City of New Britain previously had ordinances that forbade concealed carry of handguns, which have since been repealed in both cities.
NFA weapons restricted? No No CGS 53–202(c) SBR, SBS, DD, suppressors are legal, provided they also comply with the assault weapons provisions, unless purchased before October 1, 1993. Machine guns are legal if purchased and registered with the state before January 1, 2014. Non-selective fire machine guns may be transferred to another resident within Connecticut.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No CGS 29–38(d) Federal rules observed.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes Private party firearm transfers require that a background check of the buyer be performed by a federally licensed dealer.
Red flag law? Yes Yes State law allows police, after investigating and determining probable cause, to get a court warrant and seize guns from anyone "posing an imminent risk of harming themselves or someone else".


Delaware

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes 11 Del.C. § 1441 Delaware is officially a "may issue" state for concealed carry, but mostly shall-issue in practice. Permits are generally issued to all applicants not barred from owning a firearm.[48]
Permit required for open carry? No No Open carry without permit is generally lawful. A 2014 Delaware Supreme Court ruling recognized that open carry was a long standing fundamental right, and could only be prohibited by local ordinances in effect prior to July 4, 1985. The city of Dover formerly required a permit from the police chief for a state concealed permit to open carry, but this was repealed in October 2015 in accordance with the ruling.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes* Yes* 22 Del.C § 111 Municipalities may regulate only the discharge of firearms and the possession of firearms within police stations and municipal buildings, unless the ordinance was in effect prior to July 4, 1985.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes SBRs and AOWs are legal. The city of Wilmington prohibits possession of SBRs within city limits. Machine guns, suppressors, Destructive Devices and SBS are prohibited for civilians.[49]
Peaceable Journey laws? No No Federal rules observed.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes 147th General Assembly: Chapter 20 Private party transfers of firearms to persons other than family members must be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. A transfer to a person who possesses a valid License to Carry a Concealed Deadly Weapon is exempt from this requirement.
Red flag law? Yes Yes House Bill 302 (2018) If a mental health professional deems that a person is a danger to themselves or to others, the police may get a court order to temporarily seize that person's firearms.

District of Columbia

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
Permit required to purchase? Yes Yes The firearm registration process also serves as a permitting process.
Owner license required? Yes Yes The firearm registration process also serves as a licensing process.
Firearm registration? Yes Yes All firearms except certain black powder firearms, must be registered with the Metropolitan Police Department. A background check and online training are required.
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes The Metropolitan Police Department shall issue a License to Carry a Handgun to a qualified applicant.
Open carry allowed? No No Open carry is prohibited.
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes Assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles prohibited.
Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes Illegal to possess magazines of more than 10 round capacity.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes Automatic firearms, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and silencers prohibited.
Peaceable journey laws? No No Federal law (FOPA) applies.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes DC Code §7–2505.02 Private party firearm transfers must be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. This only applies to sales made within the District of Columbia. Sales made by DC firearms owners outside of the District of Columbia must only conform to that state's transfer laws.
Waiting period? Yes Yes After purchasing a firearm, the buyer must wait ten days before taking possession of the gun.
Red flag law? Yes Yes
Duty to inform? Yes Yes


Florida

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Waiting period? Yes Yes Fla. Const. Article VIII § 5(b)
Fla. Stat. § 790.0655
The mandatory waiting period is 3 days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, or expires upon the completion of the records checks, whichever occurs later.
Individual counties can require a waiting period of up to five days.
This requirement is waived for holders of a Florida Concealed Weapon license.
Firearm registration? No No Fla. Stat. § 790.335
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Red Flag law? Yes Yes Fla. Stat. § 790.401 The police can get judicial approval to confiscate, for up to a year, the firearms of a person deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes Fla. Stat. § 790.01
Fla. Stat. § 790.06
Florida is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older. Machine guns are not considered concealed weapons.
Permit required for open carry? N/A N/A Fla. Stat. § 790.053
Fla. Stat. § 790.25(3)
Open carry of firearms is generally banned except for certain protected places and activities, including in the home, place of work, hunting, fishing, camping, or while practice shooting and while traveling to and from those activities.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Fla. Stat. § 790.33
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes Fla. Stat. § 790.161
Fla. Stat. § 790.222
Destructive devices are banned. Bump stocks are banned.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Purchase age restriction? Yes Yes Fla. Stat. § 790.065(13) The sale or transfer of a firearm to a person younger than 21 years of age may not be made or facilitated by a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer. The law restricting all long guns to those over 21 years old is being challenged in a lawsuit.[50]
The prohibitions of this subsection do not apply to the purchase of a rifle or shotgun by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, or a servicemember.


Georgia

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-129
Georgia is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes O.C.G.A. § 16-11-126
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-129
Open carry of long guns is generally permitted. Open carry of a loaded handgun is permitted only by individuals with a concealed weapons license.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes O.C.G.A. § 16-3-23.1
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes O.C.G.A. § 16-11-173
NFA weapons restricted? No No O.C.G.A. §§ 16-11-120 to 16-11-125
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Hawaii

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? Yes Yes §134-2 Must be 21 years old to acquire a permit to purchase.
Firearm registration? Yes Yes HRS 0134-0003 Must be registered with county police chief within 5 days of purchase or arrival to Hawaii. Registration not required for black powder and pre-1899 firearms. May not bring firearm into the state if under 21.[51]
Assault weapon law? No Yes Law bans assault pistols with two or more banned features. Does not apply to rifles or shotguns with a barrel length greater than 16 inches
Magazine capacity restriction? No Yes HRS134-8(c)

HRS134-11(3)

Any magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds that can be inserted into a pistol is prohibited. Members of organizations are exempt from the pistol magazine limit at places of target shooting.
Owner license required? No No No license required to own any firearms in Hawaii, but all firearms, including those brought into the state by new residents, must be registered.
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes HRS 0134-0009 May-Issue by statute, but No-Issue in practice. The chief of police may grant a permit "in an exceptional case, when an applicant shows reason to fear injury to the applicant's person or property." In practice, Hawaii is "No-Issue," as issuing authorities rarely or never approve applications for permits. In March 2014, the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled Hawaii's restrictive concealed carry policy unconstitutional. An en banc panel reversed the initial ruling in June 2015, holding that the Constitution guarantees no right to concealed carry in public.
Permit required for open carry? Yes Yes By law, Hawaii is a Licensed Open Carry State, but since licenses are rarely issued, the state is Non-Permissive for open carry in practice. The chief of police may grant a permit "Where the urgency or the need has been sufficiently indicated" provided that the person "is engaged in the protection of life and property." In practice, Hawaii is "No-Issue," as issuing authorities rarely or never approve applications for permits.

On July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Hawaii's laws restricting open carry are unconstitutional.[52][53] That ruling was vacated on February 8, 2019 and the case was reheard en banc on September 24, 2020. [54] On March 24, 2021, the en banc court ruled that Hawaii's restrictions on the open carrying of firearms are outside the historical scope of the Second Amendment and therefore the laws restricting open carry are constitutional. [55]

No laws against open carrying long guns.

State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Municipalities may enact and enforce local regulations only if they are identical to, and provide the same penalty as, state law.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes Machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and silencers/suppressors are prohibited from the average citizen. Certain Destructive Devices and AOWs are allowed with proper tax stamp and NFA paperwork from the ATF.
Peaceable journey laws? No No None Federal laws observed.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes HRS §134-2 A person who wants to purchase a handgun or long gun must obtain a permit to acquire the ownership of a firearm, which requires a background check of the applicant.
Red flag law? Yes Yes Hawaii passed a red flag law in late June 2019.[56][57]
Duty to inform? Yes Yes

Idaho

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No I.C. § 18-3302
I.C. § 18-3302K
Idaho is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Regular and Enhanced permits are issued.
Permitless carry took effect on July 1, 2016.
Permit required for open carry? No No I.C. § 18-3302 May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes I.C. § 19-202A
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes I.C. § 18-3302J
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Illinois

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? Yes Yes 430 ILCS 65 FOID (Firearm Owner's Identification card) required.
Owner permit required? Yes Yes 430 ILCS 65 FOID required.
Firearm registration? No No
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes Public Act 098-0063: Firearm Concealed Carry Act Shall-issue with limited discretion.[58] Concealed carry licenses are issued by the state police. Licenses issued by other states are not recognized, but nonresidents from states with "substantially similar" licensing requirements can apply for an Illinois nonresident license.
Open carry allowed? No No 720 ILCS 5/24
Vehicle carry allowed? No Yes Public Act 098-0063: Firearm Concealed Carry Act An Illinois concealed carry license is required for Illinois residents. Non-residents may carry in a vehicle if they are eligible to carry in their home state.
State preemption of local restrictions? Partial Partial Public Act 098-0063: Firearm Concealed Carry Act Preemption for the regulation and transportation of handguns and handgun ammunition. Preemption for laws regulating assault weapons, unless enacted before July 20, 2013.
Assault weapon law? No No Cook Co. Code of Ord. §54-211
Chi. Mun. Code §8-20-170
Cook County and the city of Chicago have separately banned the possession of firearms that they have defined as assault weapons, as have several Chicago suburbs, prior to the preemption deadline of July 20, 2013.
Magazine capacity restriction? No No No state-level restrictions. Some local jurisdictions have enacted various magazine capacity restrictions.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes 720 ILCS 5/24
720 ILCS 5/24-2
Automatic firearms, short-barreled shotguns, and suppressors prohibited. Short-barreled rifles allowed only for Curios and Relics license holders or members of a bona fide military reenactment group. AOW (Any Other Weapon) and large-bore DD (Destructive Device) allowed with proper approval and tax stamp from ATF.
Castle doctrine / stand your ground laws? Partial Partial 720 ILCS 5 Illinois has no stand-your-ground law, however there is also no duty to retreat. The use of force is justified when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary "to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony." There are some additional protections for defense against unlawful entry into a dwelling.
Peaceable journey laws? Partial Yes Public Act 098-0063: Firearm Concealed Carry Act Illinois has state preemption for the transportation of handguns and handgun ammunition. Non-Illinois residents are granted a limited exception to lawfully carry a concealed firearm within a vehicle if they are eligible to carry a firearm in public under the laws of their own state. Non-residents who are permitted to possess a firearm in their own state are not required to have a FOID card. Some localities have banned the possession of assault weapons.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes 430 ILCS 65 The seller must verify the buyer's FOID card with the Illinois State Police, and must keep a record of the sale for at least ten years.
Red flag law? Yes Yes Public Act 100-0607: Firearms Restraining Order Act
430 ILCS 65
Family members or police can petition a judge to issue an order to confiscate the firearms of a person deemed an immediate and present danger to themselves or others. The person's firearms must be returned to them within six months unless the court finds grounds to renew the suspension. Additionally, under certain circumstances the Illinois State Police can revoke the FOID of a person who has been determined to be a clear and present danger to themselves or to others.
Waiting period? Yes Yes Public Act 100-0606 After purchasing a firearm, the waiting period before the buyer can take possession is 72 hours.


Indiana

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Red Flag law? Yes Yes IC 35-47-14-6
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes IC 35-47-2-1
IC 35-47-2-3
Indiana is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Permit is also required to carry a handgun in a vehicle.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes IC 35-47-2-1
IC 35-47-2-3
Open carry of long guns is generally permitted. Open carry of a loaded handgun is permitted only by individuals with a license to carry a handgun.
On May 9, 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that detaining an individual based solely upon their possession of a handgun (in order to verify that they are licensed) violates the Fourth Amendment absent any other reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime being committed.[59]
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes IC 35-41-3-2
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes IC 35-47-11.1-2
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes IC 35-47-8.5-2 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Iowa

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No 724.15 Iowa law provides for a permit to acquire pistols or revolvers but it is not required to purchase firearms. The permit has a three-day waiting period before taking effect.
Firearm registration? No No 724.11 "Neither the sheriff nor the commissioner shall require an applicant for a permit to carry weapons to provide information identifying a particular weapon in the application including the make, model, or serial number of the weapon or any ammunition used in that particular weapon."
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No 724.5
724.7
Iowa is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on July 1, 2021.
Permit required for open carry? No No 724.5 May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine? Yes Yes 704
707.6
Civil immunity for use of "reasonable force" in self defense
Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes 704
707.6
"A person who is not engaged in illegal activity has no duty to retreat from any place where the person is lawfully present before using force..."
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 724.28 "A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance, motion, resolution, policy, or amendment regulating the ownership, possession, carrying, legal transfer, lawful transportation, modification, registration, or licensing of firearms, firearms attachments, or other weapons when the ownership, possession, carrying, transfer, transportation, or modification is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state."
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes 724.1 Machine guns and destructive devices illegal.
Suppressors legal as of March 31, 2016.[60] Short barreled rifles and shotguns legal as of April 13, 2017.[61]
Shall certify? Yes Yes 724.1A Shall certify within 30 days (suppressors only).
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Kansas

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No K.S.A. § 21-6302
K.S.A. § 75-7c03(a)
Kansas is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Regular permits are issued to those 21 or older, and Provisional permits are issued to those 18 to 21.
Permitless carry took effect on July 1, 2015.
Permit required for open carry? No No K.S.A. § 75-7c03(a) May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes K.S.A. § 21-5222
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes K.S.A. § 12-16,124
K.S.A. § 75-7c17
NFA weapons restricted? No No K.S.A. §§ 50-1201 to 50-1211 The Second Amendment Protection Act prohibits Kansas law enforcement from enforcing the NFA if a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Kansas and remains within the borders of Kansas. A firearm manufactured in Kansas must have the words "made in Kansas" clearly stamped on a central metallic part, such as the receiver or frame. Federal enforcement is still possible.
Shall certify? Yes Yes K.S.A. § 48-1906 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Kentucky

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No KRS § 237.109
KRS § 237.110
Kentucky is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on June 26, 2019.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes KRS § 503.050
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes KRS § 65.870
KRS § 237.115
No locality "may occupy any part of the field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, purchase, taxation, transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, storage, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, components of ammunition, firearms accessories, or combination thereof."
The following entities can restrict concealed carry, per law:
  • Postsecondary educational institutions
  • Any unit of government within the state in buildings that it owns, leases, or occupies – however, concealed carry is allowed in highway rest areas, public housing, and private dwellings
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes KRS § 237.075 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Louisiana

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes La. R.S. 40:95
La. R.S. 40:1379.3
Louisiana is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit, except local ordinances passed before July 15, 1985 are valid.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes La. R.S. 14:19
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes La. R.S. 40:1796 Local ordinances passed before July 15, 1985 are grandfathered in.
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? No Yes La. R.S. 40:1379.3

Maine

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No 25 M.R.S. § 2014
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Red Flag law? Yes Yes 34-B M.R.S. § 3862-A
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No 25 M.R.S. § 2001-A
25 M.R.S. § 2003
Maine is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on October 12, 2015.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit, except in state parks and some other locations.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? No No 17-A M.R.S. § 108
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 25 M.R.S. § 2011
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes 25 M.R.S. § 2013 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? No Yes 25 M.R.S. § 2003-A Only when carrying without a permit.

Maryland

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes Md Public Safety Article Section 5-117.1[62] A Handgun Qualification License is required, unless exempted (Active Duty/Retired Military with identification cards, Active/Retired Law Enforcement with department credentials, Federal Firearms Licensees); training is required, unless exempted; fingerprints are required; background checks are required; does not invalidate the requirement to perform a comprehensive background check for every handgun purchase transaction.[62]
Firearm registration? No Yes The state police maintain a permanent record of all handgun transfers. Automatic weapons must be registered with the state police.
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes Maryland is a "may issue" state for concealed carry. Applicants must demonstrate a "good and substantial reason" to carry a handgun. Permits are normally very difficult (but not impossible) for ordinary citizens to obtain. An applicant may be issued either an unrestricted permit or a permit with varying degrees of restrictions at the discretion of the issuing authority.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes Open carry is permitted with a carry license, but is not generally practiced except by uniformed private security officers. Long guns and antique handguns may be carried openly without a license.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Maryland has state preemption for most but not all firearm laws.
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes Md Criminal Law Article Section 4-303
Firearms Safety Act of 2013
Certain models of firearms are banned as assault pistols and assault long guns. It is illegal to possess an assault weapon or a copycat weapon with two or more specified features (folding stock, grenade/flare launcher, flash suppressor) unless owned before 10/1/2013, or received through inheritance from a lawful possessor and not otherwise forbidden to possess.[62]

Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition to assault weapon laws.[63]

Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes Illegal to purchase, sell or manufacture magazines with a capacity of greater than 10 rounds within Maryland. However, possession of magazines greater than 10 rounds is legal if purchased out of state. These may not, however, be transferred to a subsequent owner unless done so outside the state of Maryland.
NFA weapons restricted? No No Automatic firearms, SBSs, and SBRs must be owned in compliance with federal law. Law is silent in regards to DDs, suppressors, and AOWs.
Background checks required for private sales? Partial Yes GAM Public Safety, §5-124 All private transfers of regulated firearms (handguns or assault weapons) must be processed through a licensed dealer or designated law enforcement agency which must conduct a background check on the buyer.
Red flag law? Yes Yes [64]

Massachusetts

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? Yes Yes MA Ch. 140 Sec. 129C Firearm Identification (FID) or license to carry required. Permits/FID cards are issued by local police departments. Some issuing authorities (notably Boston) have required an applicant to justify the need for a firearm, and have denied purchase permits/FID cards based on insufficient justification of need. The discretionary issue of purchase permits/FID cards is currently being challenged in the state courts.
Firearm registration? No No Although registration is not specifically required by law, transfers of firearm ownership are required to be recorded with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS): by the seller if in state, or by the buyer if out of state. The Massachusetts EOPSS also provides the option to register a firearm, although, other than obtaining a firearm from out of state (a transfer of ownership), this is not required by law.
Owner license required? Yes Yes MA Ch. 140 Sec. 129C Firearm Identification (FID) or license to carry required.
License required for concealed carry? Yes Yes MA Ch. 140 Sec. 131 Massachusetts is a "may issue" state for carry; the issuing authority must provide written explanation for the denial of any application, which is subject to appeal. The issuing authority is the local police chief for most jurisdictions, who has discretion in issuing carry licenses based on an applicant's suitability and stated need. In most jurisdictions, applicants who pass a background check and complete required training are issued licenses, but the issuing authority may impose varying degrees of restriction on the license (e.g., hunting, carry to/from a range, firearms dealer, or gunsmith, only while on-duty (for security professionals), etc.). Towns closer to large cities (like Boston) are de facto restricted, whereas more rural (and some suburban) towns are more inclined to issue unrestricted licenses. Permits are valid statewide, provided the license-holder complies with restrictions (if any) imposed by the issuing authority.
License required for open carry? Yes Yes An individual with a Class A unrestricted license to carry firearms (LTC-A) does not have to conceal a handgun or long gun in public. Moreover, in 2013, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the holder of a LTC-A license is not responsible for alarm caused by licensed carry of a handgun, and that a permit cannot be revoked for suitability purposes under these circumstances.[65] If police demand to see the permit, it must be produced, per G.L. c. 140, § 129 (c). Failure to produce a LTC upon demand by law enforcement is probable cause for arrest.
State preemption of local restrictions? No No There is limited preemption for some laws.
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes A two point "banned features" system is what defines an assault weapon. These assault weapons are prohibited unless lawfully owned on or prior to September 13, 1994. Firearms that do not have two or more "banned features" are legal to purchase with an LTC or in some cases a standard FID so long as magazine restrictions are followed to what one's license allows.
Magazine Capacity Restriction? Yes Yes MA Ch. 140 Sec. 121 Illegal to possess magazines of over 10 rounds capacity. Pre-ban magazines manufactured before September 13, 1994 are exempt from this restriction.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes MA Ch. 140 Sec. 131 Suppressors are restricted only for law enforcement or licensed manufacturers. Some destructive devices are banned at the state level, while others are banned at a local level. DD's can be completely illegal or legal depending on what town one lives in. SBR's, SBS's, and AOW's are allowed with proper approval from the ATF. A machine gun license is required to possess a machine gun.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes MA Ch. 140 Sec. 128A The seller must verify the buyer's Firearm Identification Card with the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.
Red flag law? Yes Yes A judge may issue an order to temporarily confiscate the firearms of a person who appears to be at risk of harming themselves or another person.


Michigan

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes MCL § 28.422 For handguns, a Handgun Purchase Permit (issued by the sheriff in the county of one's residence) or a Michigan-issued Concealed Pistol License is required for private purchases.
Firearm registration? No Yes MCL § 28.432 Some handgun sales are required to be registered to local law enforcement. There are several exceptions, including, but not limited to, police and United States citizens holding a concealed carry permit from another state.
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes MCL § 28.425b
MCL § 750.227
Michigan is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No No MCL § 750.227 May carry openly without permit, except Concealed Pistol License required to carry in a vehicle.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes MCL § 780.972
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes MCL § 123.1102
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes MCL § 750.231a
Background checks required for private sales? No Yes MCL § 28.422a For all private handgun transfers, a Handgun Purchase Permit (issued by the sheriff in the county of one's residence) or a Michigan-issued Concealed Pistol License is required.
Duty to inform? No Yes MCL § 28.425f

Minnesota

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes §624.7131 Permit to purchase required to transfer/purchase long guns with a pistol grip and handguns through FFL dealers. A permit to carry also acts as a permit to purchase for Minnesota residents. Traditional rifles and shotguns may be purchased without a permit.
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No §624.7131 Persons 18 and older may purchase assault weapons with a permit to purchase (or permit to carry for persons 21 and older).
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes §624.714 Shall Issue. Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol required to carry handguns. Concealment is permitted but not required.
Permit required for open carry? Yes Yes §624.7181 Whoever carries a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun on or about the person in a public place is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. A person under the age of 21 who carries a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon on or about their person in public place is guilty of a felony. However, one may carry a pistol or a long gun openly with permit to carry a pistol because, the law states that the prohibition on carrying does not include the carrying of a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun by a person who has a permit under section 624.714.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes §471.633 Municipalities may regulate the discharge of firearms within their borders.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes §609.67 Machine guns and short-barreled shotguns, unless designated Curios & Relics, are prohibited in most cases. Some destructive devices are prohibited in most cases. Sound suppressors and short barreled rifles are legal.
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes §97B.045 §624.714, Subd. 9 Any legally possessed gun may be transported in a motor vehicle, provided it is unloaded and cased.
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Mississippi

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-101
Miss. Code Ann. § 95-3-1
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-1
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-7(2)
Mississippi is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older. Regular and Enhanced permits are issued. Enhanced permits are issued to those who complete a training course.
Permitless carry took effect on April 15, 2016, and applies to the carry of handguns in "belt and shoulder holsters and sheaths." Some forms of concealed carry still require a permit (e.g., without a holster, or in an ankle holster).
Enhanced concealed carry permits allow for carrying in all areas except for any police, sheriff or state highway patrol station; any detention facility, prison or jail; courtrooms during a judicial proceeding; and, any "place of nuisance".
Permit required for open carry? No No Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-101(14)
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-1(4)
May carry openly without permit. Handguns must be carried in a "a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster".
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-15
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-51
Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-53
"...no county or municipality may adopt any ordinance that restricts the possession, carrying, transportation, sale, transfer or ownership of firearms or ammunition or their components."
However, local governments may regulate the discharge of firearms, the carrying of firearms at a public park or public meeting, or the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots, and natural disasters.
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Missouri

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? No No RSMo 571.030 Missouri is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 19 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on January 1, 2017.
Permit required for open carry? No No RSMo 21.750
RSMo 571.037
May carry openly without permit, except localities can pass ordinances restricting open carry. Carry permits allow holders to carry openly anywhere in the state.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes RsMo 563
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes RSMo 21.750 Local governments can regulate the open carry and discharge of firearms. In December 2019, St. Louis passed an ordinance forbidding the carrying of firearms in city parks, athletic fields and facilities, and recreational facilities.[66][67] A lawsuit challenging the ordinance as a violation of the preemption law is expected.
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes
Background checks required for private sales? No No


Montana

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No MCA § 45-8-316
MCA § 45-8-321
Montana is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on February 18, 2021.
Permit required for open carry? No No MCA § 45-8-311 May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes MCA § 45-3
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes MCA § 45-8-351 Localities may regulate firearm discharge and the open or unpermitted concealed carry of weapons to a publicly owned and occupied building.
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No Missoula enacted a universal background check ordinance in 2016, however Attorney General Tim Fox opined that the ordinance is unlawful.[68] In October 2018, a state judge ruled that the ordinance was lawful[69] but the ordinance was struck down unanimously by the Montana Supreme Court on October 22, 2019.[70]


Nebraska

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2403 For handguns, a Firearm Purchase Permit (issued by the sheriff in the county of one's residence) or a Nebraska-issued Concealed Handgun Permit is required.
Firearm registration? No Yes Omaha, Neb., Code § 20-251 et seq.
Lincoln, Neb., Muni. Code § 9.36.030
The City of Omaha requires the registration of all handguns. The City of Lincoln requires reporting of firearms sales other than long guns commonly used for sporting purposes.
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1202
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2430
Nebraska is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit, but it may be restricted by local governments. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm must be clearly visible.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? No No
State preemption of local restrictions? No No Neb. Rev. Stat. § 14-102
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 15-255
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 16-227
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 17-556
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 18-1703
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2425
Nebraska has partial state preemption for most but not all firearms laws. Other than discharge ordinances, local firearms ordinances are preempted for individuals who hold a valid Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). These local ordinances are still enforceable against non-permitholders.
NFA weapons restricted? No No Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1203
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1220
Destructive devices are banned.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No Yes Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2403 For handguns, a Firearm Purchase Permit (issued by the sheriff in the county of one's residence) or a Nebraska-issued Concealed Handgun Permit is required.
Duty to inform? No Yes Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2440
Purchase age restriction? No Yes Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2404 In addition to federal law, state law prohibits sales of handguns to those under 21, including in private transactions.

Nevada

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No As of June 2015, Clark County no longer requires the registration of handguns. There is now state preemption for firearm registration.[71]
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes NRS 202§3657 - Application and PermittingNRS 202§360 - Prohibited Persons Nevada is a "shall issue" state for concealed carry.
Permit required for open carry? No No NV Constitution Article 1 Section 11


NRS 503§165 - Carrying loaded rifle or shotgun in or on vehicle on or along public way unlawful; exceptions.

Open carry is generally permitted throughout the state. For open carry in a vehicle, the firearm may be anywhere except concealed upon the person without a concealed firearm permit.[72][73]


Long guns carried openly in a vehicle may not have a round chambered, but may otherwise have a loaded magazine inserted or inside them.[74]

State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes NRS 244§364 - County of 700,000 or moreNRS 268§418 - City of 700,000 or moreNRS 269§222 - Town of 700,000 or more Local authorities may regulate the discharge of firearms. Handgun registration in Clark County was grandfathered in, until SB175 (signed into law June 2nd, 2015) removed the authority of the county to register handguns in Nevada.[75]
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No
NFA weapons restricted? No No NRS 202§275  Possession, manufacture or disposition of short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgunNRS 202§350  Manufacture, importation, possession or use of dangerous weapon or silencer18 USC §922(b)4 - Unlawful Transfer27 CFR §478.98 - Sales or deliveries of destructive devices and certain firearms. Possession and ownership of an SBR, SBS, machine gun (selective-fire weapon), or silencer, all NFA items, are subject to federal purview and regulation.[76][77]
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes In November 2016, Nevada voters approved Ballot Question 1, changing the law to require background checks for private sales.[78] Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt opined that the law is unenforceable.[79][80]

A revised version was signed into law on February 15, 2019 to fix the deficiencies of Question 1. The law is set to go into effect in January 2020.[81][82]

Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition.[83]

Red flag law? Yes Yes Police may confiscate firearms from those considered a threat.[84]


New Hampshire

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No NHRS XII § 159:14
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No NHRS XII § 159:6 New Hampshire is a "shall issue" state for residents and non-residents who are 18 years or older and is one of the very few states that will issue to non-citizens living outside of the United States.
Permitless carry took effect on February 22, 2017.
Permit required for open carry? No No NHRS XII § 159:6
NHRS XVIII § 207:7
May carry openly without permit. Loaded long guns prohibited in motor vehicles.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes NHRS LXII § 627
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes NHRS XII § 159:26 "Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, no ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting a political subdivision's right to adopt zoning ordinances for the purpose of regulating firearms or knives businesses in the same manner as other businesses..."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

New Jersey

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? Yes Yes A lifetime purchaser identification card is required for purchase of rifles and shotguns, as well as for purchases of handgun ammunition. A permit to purchase a handgun, valid for 90 days is required for each handgun purchase. Only one handgun can be purchased within a 30-day period. According to state law, purchase permits/identification cards are supposed to be granted on a Shall-Issue basis, but in practice many issuing authorities require the applicant to justify the need for a firearm before granting approval for the permit/ID card. Some issuing authorities have been known to arbitrarily deny purchase permits and ID cards.
Firearm registration? No Yes The NJ State Police Firearms Investigation Unit (NJSP FIU) maintains a record of all handgun transfers, except for inherited firearms willed to the transferee, or firearms brought to the state by new residents moving to the state. Firearm registration is voluntary, but since handgun purchase permits are also a form of register, there is de facto mandatory handgun registration for handguns purchased in-state. Purchases by NJ residents must either be from a licensed dealer in NJ or a private individual who is a resident of NJ. In both dealer purchases and private sales, a copy of the purchase permit is sent to the NJSP FIU. A NICS background check at the point of sale is only required for purchases from dealers.
Owner license required? No No No license is required to own any firearm in New Jersey, except an assault firearm or NFA regulated firearms
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes N.J. Admin. Code § 13:54 New Jersey calls its permit a "permit to carry a handgun" and is a "may-issue" by law for firearm carry, either openly or concealed, but permits are rarely or never granted to the general populace. Permit applicants must "specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks which demonstrate a special danger to the applicant's life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun." Then it must be approved by both the township's police chief and a NJ judge, whereas the applicant will not know who denied the $200 application to carry. As a result of this tough standard, New Jersey is effectively a "no issue" state unless one is a retired law enforcement officer or an individual with political connections. Armed security officers and armored car drivers typically get restricted permits limited to carry while on duty only. A letter of need from the security company is required.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes Open carry is allowed only with a permit to carry a handgun and is generally not practiced except by security officers and others who carry firearms on duty. While it is technically legal to carry long guns with a valid Firearm Purchaser ID card, it is generally frowned upon by law enforcement, except when hunting. One can expect to be detained and questioned in most places if carrying in this manner.
State preemption of local restrictions? No No There is limited state preemption for some firearm laws.
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes N.J.S.A 2C:39-1[85] New Jersey prohibits the possession of certain named firearms or "substantially identical" firearms deemed to be assault firearms, including possession of parts from which an assault firearm may be readily assembled. Firearms classed as assault firearms but acquired before May 1, 1990 and registered with the state are legal to possess. Police officers may possess assault weapons for duty purposes and may possess personal assault weapons with recommendation by their agency.
Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes Magazines are limited to 10 rounds for semi-automatic pistols and rifles, and 6 rounds for semi-automatic shotguns.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes N.J.S.A 2C:39-3(a-c)[86]; N.J.S.A 2C:58-5[87] Possession of short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, destructive devices, and suppressors are prohibited to the average citizen. Law is silent on AOWs. Possession of a machine gun requires a state license, which is granted on a may issue basis by a county superior court judge. Machine gun licenses are extremely difficult to obtain.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes Private firearm sales require a background check conducted through a federally licensed gun dealer.
Red flag law? Yes Yes A judge may issue a gun violence restraining order authorizing the police to confiscate a person's firearms if the judge determines that the person poses a significant risk of personal injury to himself or others. In recent practice, New Jersey has extended that petition to anyone to Red Flag a gun owner.

New Mexico

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No New Mexico does not require any permit to purchase a long gun or handgun.[88]
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No There is no magazine capacity restriction.[89]
Owner license required? No No
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes NMSA 29–19–4 Shall-issue to full-time and part-time residents (who hold a valid New Mexico ID/Driver's License), with passage of a criminal history check and mental health records check, and completion of 15-hour handgun safety course that includes live-fire instruction. Active military and law enforcement members and veterans honorably discharged within 20 years of permit application are exempt from training requirement.[90] Permit required to carry concealed loaded firearm on foot. No permit needed for open carry, concealed carry of an unloaded firearm, or transport of a loaded firearm either concealed or openly in a vehicle. Unlawfully carrying a concealed firearm is a petty misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 6 months in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. Except for active-duty military members and dependents permanently stationed in the state, New Mexico does not issue CHLs to non-residents.
License required for open carry? No No It is legal to open carry a loaded rifle and/or handgun in New Mexico without a permit.[91]
Vehicle carry permitted? Yes Yes A loaded firearm may be carried/transported either openly or concealed in a vehicle without a permit.
Out-of-state permits recognized? N/A Partial NMSA 29-19-12 New Mexico recognizes permits from states with reciprocity agreements (currently 24 states).[92] New Mexico law limits reciprocity agreements to states with licensing standards that are substantially similar or more restrictive than New Mexico's.
Duty to Inform? No No NMSA 29-19-9 Although not mandated by state law, it is customary in New Mexico to inform law enforcement officials when transporting firearms. Those who are carrying a loaded pistol or revolver concealed while on foot must carry their CHL with them and present it upon demand by law enforcement.
Concealed Carry on College Campuses? No No NMSA 29-19-8
NMSA 30-7-2.4
Firearms and ammunition may be stored in a locked vehicle while parked on campus, and may be carried while driving in a vehicle on campus, but may not be carried on foot while on campus property or stored in an on-campus facility. Exceptions exist for university-sponsored shooting events and ROTC programs.[93]
NFA weapons restricted? No No
State pre-emption of local ordinances? Yes Yes NMSA 29-19-10 As stated in Article 2, Section 6 of the New Mexico Constitution. Tribal laws on Native American reservations not pre-empted. Some tribes recognize New Mexico firearms laws, while others do not and have far more restrictive firearms policies. Additionally, some local jurisdictions have enacted ordinances restricting or banning the discharge of firearms within their boundaries.
Castle Doctrine law? Yes Yes NMSA 30-2-7 New Mexico's self-defense statute (NMSA 30-2-7) is vaguely worded and does not specifically address Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground situations.[94] However, Castle Doctrine has been established on a limited basis by a 1946 New Mexico Supreme Court ruling, which states that when a person reasonably feels "threatened with an attack need not retreat. In the exercise of his right of self defense, he may stand his ground and defend himself."[95] Currently, the courts have limited the scope of Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground to self-defense situations occurring inside the defender's home, and neither law nor court precedence provides the defender immunity from lawsuits by the aggressor arising from the use of lethal force in self-defense. Additionally, judicial precedence in New Mexico has established that the use of lethal force is not justifiable in defense of one's property alone.
Duty to Retreat? No No NM UJI 14-5190 A person who is threatened with an attack need not retreat. In the exercise of his right of self defense, he may stand his ground and defend himself.
Opt-Out statute? Yes Yes NMSA 29–19–12; NMSA 30–14–6; NMAC 10.8.2.27 Property owners may prohibit the carrying of firearms onto property they lawfully possess by posting signage or verbally notifying persons upon entering the property. Violating these "gun-free" establishments is a full misdemeanor punishable by less than one year in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 (Criminal Trespass - NMSA 30-14-1).
Peaceable journey laws? No No One may travel through or within New Mexico with a loaded weapon in a vehicle. Federal law pre-empts Native American reservation laws. FOPA is observed.
Red Flag Law? Yes Yes NMSA 40-17 [96] *Effective July 1, 2020. Senate Bill 5 would allow law enforcement officials to petition a judge to order the temporary seizure of firearms from an individual where there is probable cause that the individual will cause harm to themselves or others. Under the law, the subject has the option to surrender his or her firearms within 48 hours of the order, to law enforcement or to a licensed firearms dealer for safekeeping until the order expires or is rescinded. The judge will then schedule a hearing within 10 days to determine based on the preponderance of evidence if the weapons should be returned to the owner, or to issue an Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order (ERFPO) for up to 1 year. New Mexico's Red Flag law also allows for an individual subject to an ERFPO to sell or transfer seized/surrendered firearms to a licensed firearms dealer or other non-prohibited buyer, after the buyer has passed a NICS background check.[97][98]
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes NMSA 30-7-7.1 Effective July 1, 2019. Senate Bill 8, which establishes a requirement for NICS background checks for private-party transfers was signed into law on March 8, 2019. Exceptions will exist for active/retired LEO transfers and transfers between immediate family members.[99][100]

Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition to universal background check laws.[101]

New York

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes S 265.20, S 265.01 No NYS permit is required for long guns. Handguns require a permit. Permits are issued by County or State Supreme Court judges/justices outside of New York City, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, with a background check. Permits for those wanting to carry concealed are issued on a "may issue" basis, whereas permits to merely purchase and possess handguns in the home are issued on a "shall issue" basis. There is an application fee for each permit, as well as an amendment fee for each handgun added to the permit. NOTE: Different laws apply for NYC
Firearm registration? No Yes S 700.00[citation needed], S 265.01 No registration for long guns. All handguns must be registered under a license. There is a $3 registration fee. Handguns are registered with purchase permit. The serial number and sale is noted down. It is illegal to possess any un-registered firearm. Antique weapons are exempted from this. All handguns must travel in the manner one's license is issued. No record is needed of previously owned handguns with law enforcement. *All rifles classified as assault weapons must be registered with the state by January 15, 2014. NOTE: Different laws apply for NYC
Owner license required? No Yes S 265.20, S 265.01 No license is required for long guns; however, New York State requires a license for handgun ownership. Handgun licenses are normally restricted to three types: residence or business premises permit (must issue generally), Target & Hunting, and Unrestricted Carry. Target and hunting allows carry while engaged in those activities. Unrestricted allows carry at any time. All permits issued outside of New York City are not valid in New York City EXCEPT for retired police and federal law enforcement officers with that status marked on their permit and for armored car guards on duty. The minimum age to be issued a handgun license is 21 unless one is a former or current member of the armed forces or law enforcement. NOTE: Different laws apply for NYC
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes S 400.00 New York counties, and some police departments, issue pistol licenses on a "may issue" basis. Discretionary issuance policies vary widely across the state. Generally, it is harder to obtain a license in counties closer to large New York cities. Most counties that aren't a part of downstate New York have shall/reasonable issuance policies, but may administratively restrict time or place of carry (such as only for target shooting or hunting). It is not a crime to carry a weapon under a Target or Hunting permit for other purposes, but if caught or reported the permit will likely be revoked. Concealed carry without any kind of permit must be charged as a felony unless the weapon is unloaded and no ammunition for it is in possession of the person carrying. All permits are valid throughout the state, except in the City of New York, unless validated by the police commissioner of that city, or by armored car guards, retired police officers and retired federal law enforcement officers as specified in the Criminal Procedure Law. NY Penal Law 400 (6). While New York law does not allow issuance of pistol licenses to non-residents, 2013 federal appeals court and State appeals court rulings clarified the residency requirement. This clarification allowed those domiciled outside of the state with a part-time residence in New York to be issued a permit at the discretion of the licensing officer.[102]
Open carry allowed? No No S 265.35, S 265.01 The law is extremely vague on open carry. Open carry in public is not legal in most instances. While no law specifically bans open carry, a license to carry is issued to carry concealed as per penal law 400. Therefore, pistol permit holders must carry concealed. Open carry permitted while hunting and possibly on one's own property. Open carry of unloaded long guns is not explicitly prohibited by any law, but is generally not practiced. It is illegal to transport a loaded long gun in a motor vehicle, except in some scenarios while hunting.
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes S 265.00, S 265.02 Possession of assault weapons is prohibited, except for those legally possessed on January 15, 2013 and registered with the state by January 15, 2014 or classified as an antique assault weapon. New York City, Buffalo, Albany, and Rochester have enacted their own assault weapon bans. Law enforcement and retired law enforcement are exempt from the assault weapons ban.
Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes § 265.02 Magazine size limited to 10 rounds. Law enforcement and retired law enforcement with last service weapon only, are exempt from the 10 round limit. Also exempt are antique high-quality magazines if registered to an associated antique assault weapon. Under the NY SAFE Act (signed on the 15th of January, 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo) the magazine law was changed. A legal provision that mandated no more than 7 rounds that may be loaded into the magazine was struck down by a federal judge on December 31, 2013.
Title II (National Firearms Act) weapons restricted? Yes Yes S 265.02, S 265.02 Ownership of machine guns, suppressors, short-barreled rifles, AOW's and short-barreled shotguns are prohibited to the average citizen. Destructive devices are permitted except for rockets with greater than 3 ounces of propellant, which are prohibited. AOW's disguised as non-firearms are illegal.
Castle Doctrine Law? Yes* Yes* § 35.20 *New York has a castle doctrine law. It allows for the "use of (non-lethal) physical force in defense of premises and in defense of a person in the course of burglary." Lethal force is governed under §35.15.
State preemption of local restrictions? No No None New York preempts only handgun licensing.[103] Places such as Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and most notably New York City have put in more restrictive gun laws, such as licensing of long guns and 5-round magazine limits.[104][105][106]
Peaceable journey laws? Yes Yes S 265.10 With certain restrictions (see below), most notably magazines are not exempt. FOPA is complied with by police agencies in New York after losing some false arrest lawsuits.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes NY Gen Bus L § 898 (2012) For firearm transfers between private parties, a licensed dealer must conduct a background check, provide documentation of the check to the New York State Police, and keep a record of the transaction.[107]
Red flag law? Yes Yes Family members, school officials or law enforcement can ask courts to temporarily block someone from buying or owning a gun.[108]


North Carolina

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes § 14-402
§ 14-403
For handguns, a Pistol Purchase Permit (issued by the sheriff in the county of one's residence) or a North Carolina-issued Concealed Handgun Permit is required. Presenting either of these exempts the buyer from the on-the-spot NICS background check.
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes § 14-269
§§ 14-415.10 to 14-415.27
North Carolina is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No No § 160A-189 May carry openly without permit. The preemption laws do not encompass open carry, and some municipalities have banned it.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes § 14-51.3
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes § 14-409.40
§ 14-415.23
Municipalities may ban firearms from government buildings.
NFA weapons restricted? No No § 14-288.8
§ 14-409
Shall certify? Yes Yes § 14-409.41 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No Yes § 14-402 For all handgun transfers, a Pistol Purchase Permit (issued by the sheriff in the county of one's residence) or a North Carolina-issued Concealed Handgun Permit is required.
Duty to inform? No Yes § 14-415.11(a)

North Dakota

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No 62.1-03-01
62.1-04-03
North Dakota is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Class 1 permits are issued to those 21 or older, and Class 2 permits are issued to those 18 or older.
Permitless carry (for residents only) took effect on August 1, 2017.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes 62.1-03-01 Open carry of long guns is generally permitted. Open carry of a loaded handgun is permitted only by individuals with a valid concealed weapons license. Non permit holders may carry provided the handgun is unloaded and in plain sight.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes 12.1-05-07
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 62.1-01-03 "A political subdivision, including home rule cities or counties, may not enact a zoning ordinance or any other ordinance relating to the purchase, sale, ownership, possession, transfer of ownership, registration, or licensure of firearms and ammunition which is more restrictive than state law."
NFA weapons restricted? No No 62.1-01-01 Binary triggers are not considered machine guns.
Shall certify? Yes Yes 62.1-05-03 Shall certify within 30 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? Yes Yes 62.1-04-04 Only when carrying without a permit.

Ohio

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No O.R.C. 2923.11
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes O.R.C. 2923.125 Ohio is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No No O.R.C. 2923.16 May carry openly without permit. No loaded firearms may be transported in vehicles.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes O.R.C. 2901.09
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes O.R.C. 9.68
NFA weapons restricted? No No O.R.C. 2923.17
Shall certify? Yes Yes O.R.C. 311.43 Shall certify within 45 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? No Yes O.R.C. 2923.12
O.R.C. 2923.126
O.R.C. 2923.16
Purchase age restriction? Yes Yes O.R.C. 2923.211(B) In addition to federal law, state law prohibits sales of handguns to those under 21, including in private transactions.

Oklahoma

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Red Flag law? No No § 21-1289.24c Oklahoma has an anti-red flag law.
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No § 21-1272
§ 21-1290.5
Oklahoma is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry took effect on November 1, 2019.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes § 21-1289.25 "A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes § 21-1289.24 "No municipality or other political subdivision of this state shall adopt any order, ordinance or regulation concerning in any way the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, keeping, possession, carrying, bearing, transportation, licensing, permit, registration, taxation other than sales and compensating use taxes or other controls on firearms, knives, components, ammunition and supplies."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes § 21-1289.30 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Oregon

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
---
Firearm registration? No No ORS 166.412(7)(a) The Oregon State Police maintain a record of firearms sales from FFL holders for a period of 5 years, after which the records are destroyed.
Owner license required? No No
---
Minimum age to purchase firearms. 18 21[109] ORS 166.470 Oregon law prohibits any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring any firearm to anyone under 18 years of age (ORS 166.470(1)(a)), except:
  • A parent or guardian, or another person with the consent of the parent or guardian, may transfer a firearm other than a handgun to a minor. (ORS 166.470(3)(a))
  • The temporary transfer of any firearm to a minor for hunting, target practice, or any other lawful purpose. (ORS 166.470(3)(b))
Minors allowed to possess firearms? Yes, with exceptions Yes, with exceptions ORS 166.250 Minors may:
  • ...possess a firearm other than a handgun if the firearm was transferred to the minor by the minor’s parent or guardian or by another person with the consent of the minor’s parent. ORS 166.250(2)(a)(A)
  • ...not possess a firearm if they are under 18 years of age, and while a minor, committed the equivalent of an adult felony or a misdemeanor involving violence, within four years of being charged with possession. ORS 166.250(1)(c)
  • ...may also possess any firearm temporarily for hunting, target practice, or any other lawful purpose. ORS 166.250(2)(a)(B) ( and ORS 166.470(3)(b); see above)
Assault weapon law? No No
---
No Oregon state laws define or regulate assault weapons.

Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition.[110]

License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes ORS 166.291 Oregon is a "shall-issue" state for residents. Technically sheriffs "may issue" licenses to non-residents of contiguous states; however, in practice most county sheriffs either adopt very restrictive criteria for issuance to non-residents or simply refuse to issue licenses. Carrying of a concealed firearm is prohibited by ORS 166.250, however holders of a valid Concealed Handgun License are exempt from this law. (see ORS 166.260).

In 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that public universities no longer have the authority to prohibit firearms on their grounds, however may still prohibit them inside buildings. This effectively legalized campus carry on grounds.

License required for open carry? No No Or. Const. Art. I § 27

ORS 166.250(3)
Open carry of firearms is legal statewide without a permit.

However, Oregon law allows a city or county to regulate open carry of loaded firearms in public places, but holders of concealed carry permits are exempt. (ORS 166.173) The cities of Portland,[111] Beaverton,[112] Tigard,[113] Oregon City,[114] Salem,[115] and Independence,[116] as well as Multnomah County,[117] have statutes which do not allow open carry of loaded firearms (unless one has a concealed carry permit).

State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Or. Const. Art. I § 27

ORS 166.170
The authority to regulate the sale, acquisition, transfer, ownership, possession, storage, transportation, or use of firearms or any element relating to firearms and firearm components, including ammunition, is vested solely in the State Legislative Assembly.
NFA weapons restricted? No No ORS 166.272 Possession of NFA restricted firearms and non-firearm items is legal, but owners must comply with the NFA regulations. (ORS 166.272(3))
Peaceable journey laws? Yes Yes
---
The State of Oregon recognizes federal law, Title 18 U.S. Code § 926A
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes SB941 (2015) at the Wayback Machine (archived November 15, 2017) Private party firearm transfers must be conducted through a licensed firearm dealer while both parties are present. The dealer is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale.
Red flag law? Yes Yes Or. Law Chp. 737 (2017) If a person appears to be in imminent danger of hurting themselves or another person, a police officer or a member of the person's family or household may petition the court for a one-year order that would prohibit the person from possessing a deadly weapon.

Pennsylvania

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No Partial 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111.4 "...nothing in this chapter shall be construed to allow any government or law enforcement agency or any agent thereof to create, maintain or operate any registry of firearm ownership within this Commonwealth."
Nevertheless, all handgun buyers in the state must undergo a PICS check at the point of sale, a record of which is maintained by the state police in a "sales database". The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled this is legal under the aforementioned statute, as it is not a comprehensive record of all handgun ownership within the state — gun owners moving into the state are not required to register their firearms.
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109 Pennsylvania is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older. A License to Carry Firearms is required to carry a firearm concealed on one's person, in a vehicle, or during a declared state of emergency.
Permit required for open carry? No No 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107
18 Pa.C.S. § 6108
May carry openly without permit, except LTCF required in Philadelphia (City of the First Class), in a vehicle, or during a declared state of emergency.
On May 31, 2019, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that carrying a firearm is not reasonable suspicion to detain someone.[118]
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes 18 Pa.C.S. § 505 "An actor who is not engaged in a criminal activity, who is not in illegal possession of a firearm...has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force..."
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120 "No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(b)(14)-(15) Non-residents may carry in a vehicle if in possession of a valid carry permit from any state. Otherwise, federal rules observed.
Background checks required for private sales? No Yes 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(c) All private party transfers of handguns must be processed through a licensed dealer, or at a county sheriff's office. In either case a background check is required.

Rhode Island

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–35 All purchasers of handguns must complete and pass a safety exam managed by the RI Department of Environmental Management, at which time they will receive a DEM issued "blue card" allowing purchase (R.I. Hunter Safety Education card is equivalent). Exempt are active duty military members, active and retired law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and persons licensed to carry a concealed firearm by RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–11.[119]
Firearm registration? No No RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–41 Explicitly illegal under state law.
Assault weapon law? No No None
Owner license required? No No None
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–11
RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–18
Rhode Island is a hybrid "shall issue" and "may issue" state for carry. Licenses may be granted either by local authorities or by the state's attorney general's office. Licenses granted by local authorities are "shall issue" while those issued by the attorney general's office are "may issue" under state law. Until recently, most local authorities had been deferring to the attorney general which effectively blocks most issuance, unless one is a retired law enforcement officer.

The practice of not issuing permits on a true "shall issue" basis has been the subject of recent litigation. In April 2015, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that a police chief must accept and review carry permit applications and must render a decision and the reasons for that decision. More significantly, the court ruled that the issuing authority must "show cause" for denying an applicant a carry license.[120]

Permits issued by local authorities and the Attorney General's office are valid for concealed carry statewide.

License required for open carry? No Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–18 Open carry of handguns is permitted for only those with a carry permit issued by the attorney general. Open carry not permitted for those whose handgun carry permits were issued by local authorities. Long gun open carry with or without a permit is not prohibited by law.
Vehicle carry? No Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–8 Permitted with a valid Rhode Island Pistol Permit. Non-residents may carry in a vehicle with a valid concealed carry permit issued by another state while traveling through Rhode Island without any intent to stop while in the state.
Out-of-state permits recognized? No Vehicle carry only RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–8 Non-residents may carry in a vehicle with a valid concealed carry permit issued by another state while traveling through Rhode Island without any intent to stop while in the state.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–58
Castle Doctrine Law? Yes Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–8–8 No duty to retreat while in one's home
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–8
RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–20
It is a violation of state law to possess any NFA weapon or silencers with the exception of Class III FFLs.
Peaceable Journey laws? No Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–8 One may possess a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle without a RI permit as long as one possesses a carry permit from another state and is merely transiting through Rhode Island without any unnecessary stops. Long guns must be unloaded while in a vehicle. FOPA is observed.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–35
RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–8
For all firearm transfers, the buyer must pass a background check. Exempt are active law enforcement officers and those licensed to carry a concealed firearm by RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–11.
Red flag law? Yes Yes The police may petition the Superior Court to issue an extreme risk protection order if they receive credible information of a significant and imminent risk. A judge may issue a temporary gun-removal order, but a hearing is required within 14 days to determine if a one-year ban on buying or possessing a firearm is warranted.

Some localities have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition.[121]

Waiting period? Yes Yes RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–35 After purchasing a firearm, the waiting period before the buyer can take possession is 7 days. Exempt are active law enforcement officers and those licensed to carry a concealed firearm by RI Gen. Stat. 11–47–11.

South Carolina

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes SC Code 23-31-210 South Carolina is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No Yes SC Code 16-23-20 Open carry of long guns is allowed without a permit. Open carry of a handgun will be permitted by individuals with a concealed weapon permit beginning August 16, 2021.[122]
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes SC Code 16-11-440
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes SC Code 23-31-510 "No governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision in the State may enact or promulgate any regulation or ordinance that regulates or attempts to regulate: (1) the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, ammunition, components, or any combination of these things..."

Columbia passed local ordinances enacting a red flag law and prohibiting firearms within 1000 feet of school grounds. On December 2, 2019, Attorney General Alan Wilson opined that both ordinances are likely a violation of preemption.[123][124]

NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? No Yes SC Code 23-31-215


South Dakota

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No South Dakota law provides for a Gold Card permit that allows people to skip the NICS check but it is not required to purchase firearms. It is also equivalent to a regular carry permit in terms of reciprocity.
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No SD 23-7-7 South Dakota is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Enhanced permits are issued to those 21 or older, and regular permits are issued to those 18 or older.
Permitless carry took effect on July 1, 2019.
Permit required for open carry? No No
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes SD 22-18-4 "A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this section does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use force."
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes SD 7-18A-36
SD 8-5-13
SD 9-19-20
No county, township, or municipality "may pass an ordinance that restricts or prohibits, or imposes any tax, licensure requirement, or licensure fee on the possession, storage, transportation, purchase, sale, transfer, ownership, manufacture, or repair of firearms or ammunition or their components."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Tennessee

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No T.C.A. § 39-17-1307
T.C.A. § 39-17-1308
T.C.A. § 39-17-1351
T.C.A. § 39-17-1366
Tennessee is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older. Concealed and Enhanced permits are issued. Enhanced permits are issued to those who complete a training course.
Permitless carry (for residents only) took effect on July 1, 2021.
Permit required for open carry? N/A No T.C.A. § 39-17-1307
T.C.A. § 39-17-1308
May carry handguns openly without permit (residents only). Long guns may only be carried unloaded.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes T.C.A. § 39-11-611
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes T.C.A. § 39-17-1314
T.C.A. § 39-17-1359
Local governments may post signs to prohibit carry on government property. Local governments may not, however, prohibit firearms in locally owned/operated parks and other recreational areas.
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes T.C.A. § 39-17-1361 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No


Texas

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No Tex. Government Code § 411.172
Tex. Penal Code § 46.02
Texas is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permitless carry will take effect on September 1, 2021.
Permit required for open carry? No No Tex. Penal Code § 42.01(a)(8)
Tex. Penal Code § 46.02
Handguns must be carried in a holster. Open carry on college campuses is prohibited.
Permitless carry will take effect on September 1, 2021.
Campus carry? No Yes Tex. Government Code § 411.2031
Tex. Penal Code § 46.03
May carry in parking lots, parking garages, outdoor walkways on campus.
Public four-year universities (as of August 1, 2016) and public two-year colleges (as of August 1, 2017) must allow concealed carry in campus buildings as well. Universities will be allowed to designate certain sensitive areas as "gun free zones"; these will be subject to legislative analysis.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes Tex. Penal Code § 9.32
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Tex. Government Code § 411.209
Tex. Local Government Code § 229.001
Tex. Local Government Code § 236.002
NFA weapons restricted? No No Tex. Penal Code § 46.05
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a)(2)
Tex. Penal Code § 46.15(b)(2)
Background checks required for private sales? No No
Duty to inform? No Yes Tex. Government Code § 411.205


Utah

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No UT Code § 53-05-704
UT Code § 76-10-504
UT Code § 76-10-523(5)
Utah is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Regular permits are issued to those 21 or older, and Provisional permits are issued to those 18 to 21.
Permitless carry took effect on May 5, 2021.
Permit required for open carry? No No UT Code § 76-10-502
UT Code § 76-10-505
UT Code § 76-10-523(5)
May carry openly without permit if 21 or older.
For those 18 to 21: Open carry of a loaded firearm (e.g., a live round of ammunition in the firing chamber) is allowed with a permit. Open carry of firearm without a permit is allowed as long as the gun is at least two actions from being fired, e.g. 1) rack the slide to chamber, and 2) pull the trigger; or must carry with no bullet in the next chamber in a revolver, so have to pull the trigger twice to fire.
Castle Doctrine law? Yes Yes UT Code § 76-2-405 Force in defense of habitation.

"(1) A person is justified in using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's unlawful entry into or attack upon his habitation; however, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if: (a) the entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth, and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person, dwelling, or being in the habitation and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; or (b) he reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony. (2) The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony."

Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes UT Code § 76-2-402 Force in defense of person – Forcible felony defined.

"(1) (a) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person or a third person against another person's imminent use of unlawful force. (b) A person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the person or a third person as a result of another person's imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes UT Code § 53-5a-102
UT Code § 76-10-500
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes UT Code § 53-5a-104 Shall certify within 15 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? Yes Yes UT Code § 76-10-523(4)
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Vermont

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No Must be 21 to purchase any firearm. May purchase long guns at 16 if purchasing from someone other than a federally licensed firearm dealer and the purchaser presents a certificate of completion of a hunter safety course approved by the Vermont Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife.[125]
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine restriction? Yes Yes A gun control bill, passed on March 30, 2018, bans sale or possession of magazines of more than 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for pistols.[126] It was signed by Governor Scott on April 11. Previously owned high capacity magazines are grandfathered.
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No Vermont Firearm Laws May carry open or concealed without permit as long as one is a citizen of the U.S. or a lawfully admitted alien, and not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law.
Permit required for open carry? No No
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 24 V.S.A. § 2295
NFA weapons restricted? No No Vermont legalized suppressors on June 17, 2015.[127]
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes [128]
Red flag law? Yes Yes [128]


Virginia

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No § 18.2-295 Fully automatic firearms (machine guns) are required to be registered with the state police.
Owner license required? No No Proof of age and citizenship required for the purchase of "assault weapons".
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes § 18.2-308 Virginia is a "shall issue" state for concealed carry. Permits are issued to residents and non-residents. As of January 1, 2021, the option of obtaining training via an electronic, video or online course will be removed.[129]


In a vehicle, a firearm is exempt from the requirement for a concealed carry permit if the firearm is "properly secured in a container or compartment within the vehicle" (ie glove box, center console, trunk, etc). The container/compartment does not have to be locked, the firearm may be within the reach of the driver or a passenger, and the firearm may be loaded.[130] This does not preempt an employer from prohibiting firearms "at a place of employment if there is a company policy or signage prohibiting firearms on the premises."[131] Furthermore, a "county or city may by ordinance make it unlawful for any person to transport, possess or carry a loaded shotgun or loaded rifle in any vehicle on any public street, road, or highway within such locality." However, this does not "apply to duly authorized law-enforcement officers or military personnel in the performance of their lawful duties, nor to any person who reasonably believes that a loaded rifle or shotgun is necessary for his personal safety in the course of his employment or business."

Permit required for open carry? No No § 15.2-915.2

§ 18.2-287.4
§ 18.2-282

Open carry is generally allowed without a permit for people 18 years of age and older. The following cities and counties have exceptions that disallow the open carry of "assault weapons" (any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or is designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock) or shotguns equipped with a magazine that holds more than 7 rounds: the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach and in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, and Prince William. These restrictions do not apply to valid concealed carry permit holders. Stated differently, one may open carry an assault weapon/shotgun with more than 7 rounds with a permit in the aforementioned locations, but do not need a permit to do so in any other locality in Virginia.


In a vehicle, a firearm may be considered "openly carried" if the firearm is openly visible, though this is not as well established as the "secured in a container/compartment" rule mentioned above.

State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes § 15.2-915 Virginia has state preemption for most but not all firearm laws. As of July 1, 2020, local governments have expanded power to ban firearms in certain sensitive areas, such as government buildings and public events.[132]
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes § 18.2-308.2:2

§ 18.2-308.2:01 § 18.2-308.7

Proof of age (18+ for long arms, 21+ for pistols) and proof of citizenship (or permanent residence license) are required for the purchase of "assault weapons". "Assault weapons" are defined as a semi-automatic, centerfire, firearm equipped with a folding stock, or equipped at the time with a magazine capable of holding more than 20 rounds, or capable of accommodating a silencer/suppressor.
Magazine restriction? No No § 18.2-287.4

§ 18.2-282.

Magazines capable of holding more than 20 rounds are legal but, they make the firearm an "assault weapon", subject to law accordingly.
NFA weapons restricted? No No § 18.2-308.8
§ 18.2-308.5
§ 18.2-295
Fully automatic firearms (machine guns) must be registered with the state police. Plastic firearms and some destructive devices (such as the striker 12 shotgun) are prohibited outside law enforcement. SBS, SBR, AOWs, and suppressors are legal with NFA paperwork.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes 18.2-308.2:5 As of July 1, 2020, firearms sellers, with some exceptions, must obtain criminal history information from the Virginia State Police to determine if a firearm buyer is permitted, under applicable state and federal law, to purchase or possess firearms. Notably, the law does not apply to transfers of firearms in which nothing of value is exchanged for the firearm.[133][134] The penalty for noncompliance with the law is a Class 1 misdemeanor. In Virginia, Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine.[135]
Red flag law? Yes Yes A judge can issue an Extreme Risk Protective Order, enabling the police to temporarily confiscate the firearms of a person deemed to be at high risk of harming themselves or others.[136]


Washington

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Revised Code of Washington Notes
State permit required to purchase? Partial No Must be 21 to purchase a pistol or semiautomatic rifle; Starting July 1st, 2019 purchase of a semiautomatic rifle will require that the purchaser provides proof that they have completed a recognized firearm safety training program in the last five years.[137]
Firearm registration? No Partial

RCW 09.41.110(9)(a) and (b)

Retail dealers must record and report all retail pistol sales to local police/sheriff and to state department of licensing, and must record and report all semiautomatic rifle sales after July 1st, 2019.[138]
Owner license required? No No
Constitutional Right to Bear Arms? Yes Yes WA Constitution art. 1 sec. 24
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes RCW 09.41.050 CCW Reciprocity Washington is a "shall-issue" state and will grant concealed carry permits to all applicants who meet the criteria. There are no training requirements.
Permit required for open carry? No No RCW 09.41.050 (in vehicle) Open carry is lawful in Washington without any permit. Open carry of a loaded handgun in a vehicle is legal only with a concealed pistol license. Open carry of a loaded long gun in a vehicle is illegal, regardless of CPL possession.

On January 31, 2019, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled that the mere possession of a handgun is not sufficient for conducting a Terry stop.[139]

State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes

RCW 09.41.290 RCW 09.41.300

State law does not allow more restrictive local laws.

Seattle and Edmonds have passed ordinances mandating safe storage of firearms when not being carried or used. Seattle's ordinance also has reporting requirement for lost or stolen firearms within 24 hours. Both cities are being sued for violation of state preemption.[140][141] Edmonds had its ordinance struck down in October 2019.[142]

Assault weapons law? Yes Yes Additionally, I-1639 was passed by voters in November 2018, redefining all semiautomatic rifles as "semiautomatic assault rifles." Some local counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in opposition.[143]
Magazine capacity restrictions? No No
NFA weapons restricted? Partial Partial

RCW 09.41.190 RCW 09.41.220 RCW 09.41.225 RCW 09.41.250(1)(c)

Machine guns and short-barreled shotguns—unless purchased before July 1, 1994—are illegal for non-law-enforcement possession. Suppressors, destructive devices and any other weapons are lawful to possess and use if registered properly with ATF. Short barreled rifles are lawful to possess and use if registered properly with the ATF, as of June 12, 2014.[144]
Peaceable Journey laws? No No

RCW 09.41.050 RCW 09.41.060 18 USC § 926A CCW Reciprocity

Federal travel-with-a-firearm laws apply. Some out-of-state CCW licenses valid, otherwise carry must be open or, in a vehicle, unloaded.
Castle Doctrine / Stand your ground law? Not defined - de facto RCW 9A.16.050, RCW 9A.16.110 The Washington State Supreme Court ruled "that there is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be."[145][146]
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes Initiative 594 (2014) Private party firearm transfers must be conducted through a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale, unless one of the specifically enumerated exceptions in RCW 9.41.113.[147]
Red flag law? Yes Yes The police may temporarily take guns away from people a judge deems a threat to themselves or others without notice to the defendant. If the defendant does not appear to request the restrictions be lifted, they will remain in place.[148]

West Virginia

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No § 61-7-4
§ 61-7-7
West Virginia is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Regular permits are issued to those 21 or older, and Provisional permits are issued to those 18 to 21.
Permitless carry took effect on May 24, 2016.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes § 55-7-22
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes § 8-12-5a "Neither a municipality nor the governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance or otherwise, limit the right of any person to purchase, possess, transfer, own, carry, transport, sell, or store any deadly weapon, firearm, or pepper spray, or any ammunition or ammunition components to be used therewith nor to so regulate the keeping of gunpowder so as to directly or indirectly prohibit the ownership of the ammunition in any manner inconsistent with or in conflict with state law."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Shall certify? Yes Yes § 61-7-16 Shall certify within 30 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

Wisconsin

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No Yes Wis. Stat. § 175.35 A purchaser is prohibited from receiving a handgun from a FFL dealer until they’ve been approved through the state de-facto permitting scheme which is to pay a State background check fee to the state DOJ for it to conduct an additional background check (over and above the Federal 4473).
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A Yes Wis. Stat. § 175.60
Wis. Stat. § 941.23
Wisconsin is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 21 years or older.
Permit required for open carry? No No Wis. Stat. § 947.01 May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? No No Wis. Stat. § 895.62
Wis. Stat. § 939.48
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes Wis. Stat. § 66.0409
NFA weapons restricted? No No Wis. Stat. § 941.27 Machine guns may not shoot pistol cartridges and may not be possessed aggressively or offensively.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No Wis. Stat. § 167.31
Background checks required for private sales? No No


Wyoming

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No W.S. § 6-8-104 Wyoming is a "shall issue" state for citizens and permanent lawful residents who are 21 years or older. Residents of states that have reciprocity with Wyoming and who possess a permit can also apply for a Wyoming permit.
Permitless carry took effect on July 1, 2011.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes W.S. § 6-2-602 "A person who is attacked in any place where the person is lawfully present shall not have a duty to retreat before using reasonable defensive force pursuant to subsection (a) of this section provided that he is not the initial aggressor and is not engaged in illegal activity."
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes W.S. § 6-8-401 "Except as authorized by W.S. 15-1-103(a)(xviii) and 21-3-132, no city, town, county, political subdivision or any other entity shall authorize, regulate or prohibit the sale, transfer, purchase, delivery, taxation, manufacture, ownership, transportation, storage, use, carrying or possession of firearms, weapons, accessories, components or ammunition except as specifically provided by this chapter. This section shall not affect zoning or other ordinances which encompass firearms businesses along with other businesses. Zoning and other ordinances which are designed for the purpose of restricting or prohibiting the sale, purchase, transfer or manufacture of firearms or ammunition as a method of regulating firearms or ammunition are in conflict with this section and are prohibited."
NFA weapons restricted? No No W.S. §§ 6-8-402 to 6-8-406 Wyoming Firearms Freedom Act, passed in 2010, prohibits any government servant from enforcing the NFA if a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition is owned or manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and remains within the borders of Wyoming. A firearm manufactured in Wyoming must have the words "made in Wyoming" clearly stamped on a central metallic part, such as the receiver or frame. While federal enforcement is still possible, the law penalizes federal agents from enforcing such laws.[149]
Background checks required for private sales? No No

United States Territories

American Samoa

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
Permit required to purchase? Yes N/A A license is required to possess or import long guns or ammunition. Handguns are prohibited for civilian possession despite D.C. v Heller and McDonald v Chicago.
Firearm registration? Yes Yes All firearms must be registered with the American Samoa Public Safety Department.
Assault weapon law? No No All handguns and centerfire firearms banned; Only 12, 16, 20 and 410 gauge shotguns and shotgun shells and 22 caliber rifles and their ammunitions are allowed
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Concealed carry allowed? N/A No Concealed carry is illegal.
License required for open carry? Yes Yes Open carry is legal for holders of a valid License to Possess which are required to purchase and possess firearms;[150] though Licenses to Possess have been restricted to only shotguns and rimfire rifles since 1991, effectively banning handguns.[151] Licenses issued for handguns and other firearms prior to 1991 are grandfathered as long as they remain valid.[152]
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes Explosive weapons, machine guns, gas guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and silencers are prohibited.[153]
Peaceable journey laws? No No Federal law (FOPA) applies.

Guam

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
Permit required to purchase? Yes Yes 60103, 60106 FOID required.
Owner License Required Yes Yes 60106
Firearm registration? Yes Yes 60110
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes 60109 Shall Issue. Bill 296-32 passed by legislature for shall issue,[154] signed by Governor.[155]
License required for open carry? Yes Yes FOID required.[156]
Assault weapon law No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes SBR, SBS, Machine guns, and silencers are prohibited. Destructive devices and AOW's are legal with NFA tax stamp.
Castle law
Yes[157]

Northern Mariana Islands

Subject/law Long guns Hand­guns Relevant statutes Notes
Permit required to purchase? Yes Yes A license is required to purchase guns or ammunition.
Firearm registration? No No Registration of firearms has been ruled unconstitutional.[158][159]
Assault weapon law? No No Ban on assault weapons was ruled unconstitutional.[158][159]
Magazine capacity restriction? Yes* Yes* No magazines over 10 rounds. The Attorney General's Office has allowed the US Postal Service in the CNMI to issue standard capacity magazines which hold more than 10 rounds. [160]
License required for concealed carry? N/A No Concealed carry is banned.
License required for open carry? N/A No The general ban on carrying operable firearms in public was ruled unconstitutional. Lawful gun owners may carry loaded handguns openly as long as other laws are not violated, such as gun-free zones.[158][159]
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes Short barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles, machine guns, suppressors, and grenade launchers are prohibited.
Peaceable journey laws? No No Federal law (FOPA) applies.

Puerto Rico

Subject/law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
Permit required to purchase? No No Permit is required to take possession of, but not purchase, a firearm in Puerto Rico.
Firearm registration? Yes Yes
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? Yes Yes As of January 1, 2020, the owner license and carry license are the same.[161]
Permit required for concealed carry? Yes Yes As of January 1, 2020, shall-issue.[161] Previously may-Issue according to law, but permits were rarely granted to ordinary citizens. Unrestricted concealed carry was technically allowed from June 20, 2015 to October 31, 2016 following a lawsuit challenging Puerto Rico's restrictive gun laws. The lower court ruling striking down many of the territory's laws was appealed by the government to the appeals court, which reversed the lower court's decision. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of the appeals court ruling from the plaintiffs in the case, effectively restoring Puerto Rico's restrictive permitting policy for concealed carry.[162]
Open carry allowed? No No Permitless open carry was technically allowed from June 20, 2015, to November 16, 2016, following a lawsuit challenging Puerto Rico's restrictive gun laws. The lower court ruling striking down many of the territory's laws was appealed by the territorial government to the appeals court, which reversed the lower court's decision on November 16, 2016. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of the appeals court ruling from the plaintiffs in the case, effectively restoring Puerto Rico's ban on open carry.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Peaceable journey laws? Yes No Federal law (FOPA) applies.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes

U.S. Virgin Islands

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
Permit required to purchase? Yes Yes A license is required to purchase any firearm or ammunition.
Firearm registration? Yes Yes All firearms must be registered with the Virgin Islands Police Department.
Assault weapon law? Yes Yes Assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles prohibited.
Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
License required for concealed carry? N/A Yes The territory currently has a "may issue" policy for concealed carry permits. To obtain one, the applicant must meet a stringent set of requirements, so few people receive permits.
Open carry allowed? No No Open carry is prohibited.
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes Automatic firearms and short barreled shotguns are prohibited.
Peaceable journey laws? No No Federal law (FOPA) applies.

See also

Note: Please see many links in the box at the top of the page called "Firearm legal topics of the United States of America".

References

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