The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is not a resource many preppers would expect to be helpful when choosing where to locate their retreat, but maybe if you flip things around, it can become useful.
Sadly, like many other presumably well-intentioned folk who simply don’t like guns, the Brady Campaign distorts the truth in their attempts to push their anti-gun advocacy, and right-thinking people doubtless find it easy to be offended by their myopic half-truths and distortions.
The Brady Campaign publishes a more or less annual report that scores each state based on the gun laws in that state, awarding a score from 0 (actually, it is possible for a state to get -4) to 100. California scores top, with 81/100. Arizona, Alaska and Utah are at the other end of the scale, all three getting a perfect 0 (but let’s hope a state manages to dip into minus territory in the future!).
Here’s a link to their interactive state map. Click on a state to get a detailed scorecard for the state.
The data the Brady Campaign provides for each state is interesting and seems to be reasonably accurate. While it is far from a complete evaluation of all possible firearms related laws and restrictions (for example, although of perhaps less general interest, it doesn’t talk about things such as restrictions on silencers or full-auto weapons, or whether one can have loaded long guns in a vehicle, or whether it is necessary to volunteer you have a licensed concealed weapon on you when interacting with a law enforcement officer) it still provides a good overview of each state’s approach to gun laws.
For your purposes, you can probably simply flip their study around. The lower scoring the state, the more you’re likely to feel at home there.
The information on the Brady site also appears to be somewhat out of date. We rely on an excellent site, www.handgunlaw.us, whenever we need to research a firearms related issue. The site is fastidiously maintained and usually amazingly up to date, and whenever we’ve interacted with the site’s curator, he has been fast to respond and helpful.
The handgunlaw.us site also has links to each state’s specific legislation and other related information. Recommended.
Can we observe one curious thing. If you look at the most restrictive states for firearms ownership (below) these states also seem to be the states with the most firearms manufacturers. The current gun craziness is actually forcing some companies to now consider moving. If you find yourself talking to a manufacturer in a firearms-unfriendly state, ask them to move, too.
According to the Brady campaign, for our purposes the states with the least amount of onerous restrictions on firearms ownership are :
1= Alaska (perfect 0 score)
1= Arizona (perfect 0 score)
1= Utah (perfect 0 score)
4= Idaho (2/100)
4= Kentucky (2/100)
4= Louisiana (2/100)
4= Montana (2/100)
4= North Dakota (2/100)
4= Oklahoma (2/100)
10= Florida (3/100)
10= Wisconsin (3/100)
And the states with the most restrictions on firearms ownership
50 California (81/100)
49 New Jersey (72/100)
48 Massachusetts (65/100)
47 New York (62/100)
46 Connecticut (58/100)
45 Hawaii (50/100)
44 Maryland (45/100)
43 Rhode Island (44/100)
42 Illinois (35/100)
41 Pennsylvania (26/100)