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Firearms Law and the States

While each state has it’s own nuances regarding firearms and handgun carry permit law there are similarities in the types of laws that the states are enacting. They are things such as the following:

  • The Castle Doctrine
  • Emergency Powers Legislation
  • Firearms Lawsuit Preemption
  • Firearms Law Preemption
  • Right to Carry and Reciprocity
  • Right to Carry in State Parks
  • Workplace Protection
  • No Net Loss
  • The Right to Carry in Restaurants Serving Alcohol

Scroll down to see how the states treat these common subjects. Click on the links below the maps to see an enlargement of them.

Note: Each map will open in a new window. To return to view other items on this page simply close the enlargement windows.

Gun Laws and the States

Castle Doctrine Information

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The Castle Doctrine

This is a legal doctrine that arose from English Common Law that designates one’s place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one’s car or place of work) as a place in which one enjoys protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack. It goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place (his/her “castle”), and/or any other innocent persons legally inside it, from violent attack or an intrusion which may lead to violent attack.

No Net Loss

No Net Loss

These states have enacted legislation which requires that the state maintains at least the level of available public hunting land that currently exists.  It requires that additional lands be opened to hunting if land that is currently open to hunting is closed.  The end result is to assure hunters that the opportunities they now have will not diminish.

Emergency Powers Legislation

Emergency Powers Legislation Enacted

These laws prevent firearms and ammunition confiscation from law abiding citizens by local, county and state authorities during declared emergencies such as Katrina-like events.

Click Image to enlarge

Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition

Reciprocity Recognition – Outright recognition
State law which recognizes all valid carry permits issued by any state.
Reciprocity Recognition – True reciprocity
State law which provides recognition of carry permits from states that recognize permits issued by that state.
Reciprocity Recognition – Conditional reciprocity
State law that provides recognition of another state’s permit only when certain conditions are met.
Reciprocity Recognition – No recognition/reciprocity
State law that provides no recognition of carry permits issued by any other state.

Right to Carry States

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Right to Carry

The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), ruled that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. McDonald v. Chicago guarantees this right to all locals, not just Federal places. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment.”

Workplace Protection of Rights

Workplace Protection: Protecting Employee rights

These Laws permit a law-abiding individual to store their firearms in their locked motor vehicle while parked on a publicly accessible parking lot controlled by their employer or a business they frequent.

Carry in State Parks

Right to Carry in State Parks

States allowing carry permit holders to carry in state parks. Under the new Federal law, every federal park is subject to all the firearms laws of the state (or states) where the park is located.
Park visitors must know and obey state laws.

Firearms Lawsuit Preemption

The NRA-backed lawsuit preemption legislation protects law-abiding firearm manufacturers and retailers from reckless, predatory lawsuits.

 Thanks to the NRA for compiling the maps used on this page