Although we are proud of our ranking, WE CAUTION ALL VISITORS (and residents for that matter) to find out the laws of the State of Arizona before you come packing heat under your coat. For example you can still be charged if you use your weapon and injure or kill an innocent third party. You can check with an attorney, but make sure he’s a Republican. I have heard a lot of nonsense about our concealed carry law from regular well-intentioned “law abiding” citizens.
Guns and Ammo examined States on what they consider five categories of gun friendliness. There were ten points awarded for each category. Arizona topped their list, though not with a perfect score.
Arizona got a 49 because while Arizona law allows open or concealed carry (with or without permit), when you get stopped you must inform the police officer or Sherrif’s Deputy that you are carrying concealed. This is really a non-issue to the legal Arizona citizens legally carrying.
It should be noted, too, that when you do inform the officer, he may ask you to surrender it for the duration of the stop. Most probably won’t except for Phoenix and Tuscon.
The top ten State from the bottom up are:
10. New Hampshire
Some of the bigger surprises are the States that scored low because no open carry is allowed. In the Clinton State of Arkansas no open carry is allowed and you do not have a full right to defend yourself. This is, of course, in contrast to the decision in Washington D.C. v. Heller.
South and North Dakota came in at 27th and 26th respectively. Wisconsin is the center of the fifty States. (Washington D.C. was considered as a 51st State and, no surprise, came in dead last (no pun intended) with a score of zero). Nevada coming in a 22nd is interesting.
Texas came in 15th which was a complete surprise—especially since they do not allow open carry. They have a restricted Castle Doctrine, as well. the G&A web site noted:
Texas is known as a very pro-gun state, but only ranked 30th in the nation with gun owners making up 36 percent of the population.
Montana came in 11th and their Democratic governor recently signed a Constitutional carry law. i guess when you have the third largest gun owning population in America, you listen to your constituents. They also mentioned the 2009 Montana Firearms Freedom act which allows people to manufacture and sell guns that must remain in Montana without Federal interference. Arizona followed up with a similar law.
I recently spoke with a visitor from the 49th State of New Jersey who was stunned that I was allowed to open carry. The lady was even more astonished when I informed her that Arizona law also allows us to use our weapons to protect citizens and visitors from criminals.
Actually I think she was more astonished that there are actually sane people who carry weapons in stark contrast to the media lunacy.