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Gun Laws By State - Which States Your Permit Works In.

Everything you need to know about gun laws in US states.

Knowing local gun laws is one of the most essential thing to do before buying you buy a new gun. Below, we have shared a complete list of gun laws by State. This will be helpful to know the gun laws quickly when buying a new gun.

Note: Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before buying, carrying or using any firearm or firearm-related product to ensure compliance with the latest laws and regulations.

Gun Laws By State

Overview : A Quick look at state gun laws

Gun laws in the United States regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition. Most gun legislation is enacted at the state level, and these laws are independent of Federal firearms laws. In the USA, there are different gun laws for other states.

This has resulted in a wide variety of gun laws in all the US states, with each state taking a different approach to issues such as permits, carry laws, sales, and self-defense laws.

In some states, firearm laws can be much less restrictive than federal laws. However, individuals are not exempt from federal laws because state laws are less restrictive.

In most cases, it is left to the discretion of local law enforcement as to whether they will enforce federal laws. The Supreme Court has ruled in Printz v United States that local law enforcement is not obligated to enforce federal firearms laws.

Forty states have a provision that protects the right to own firearms, similar to the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

Some states that do not have this protection are California, Minnesota, Maryland, Iowa, New Jersey, and New York.

A Quick Guide of Gun Laws by State

Below, we are going to share the details about the gun laws by different states. Click a particular state you want to know about.

Alabama is a shall-issue state that issues concealed weapons permits at the county level by the local sheriff's office. No permit, background check, or firearms registration is required when buying a handgun from a private individual. Additionally, Alabama allows open carry without a permit.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

In Alaska, it is legal to carry firearms without a permit, making it a permitless carry state. The state does not require firearms registration or background checks when purchasing a handgun from a private individual.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

The gun laws in Arizona are relatively lenient compared to many other states, allowing residents to carry a wide range of firearms including handguns, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and other explosive-based weapons.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

The gun laws in Arkansas are among the least restrictive in the country, and the state has a high rate of gun-related deaths. In 2021, the concealed carry permitting requirement was repealed, despite the state's ongoing problem with gun violence.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

The State of California permits gun ownership under the Second Amendment of the Constitution but has the authority to regulate and restrict certain types of firearms and individuals to ensure public safety.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Partial Partial
Required Firearm registration? Yes Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Partial Partial
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

The state of Colorado permits residents aged 18 and older to own or possess firearms and ammunition, but has a clause excluding concealed carry from its state right to bear arms provision.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, with requirements for training, background checks, and permits to purchase firearms and ammunition. The state also has a ban on certain types of semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Yes Yes
Required Firearm registration? Yes Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Partial Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Delaware has strict gun safety laws including training, background checks and minimum age requirements for firearms purchases, and a ban on certain firearms and magazines. However, legal gun owners can carry firearms almost anywhere in the state and openly carry handguns without a permit.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need Permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

The District of Columbia has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States, which include mandatory firearms registration with the D.C Metropolitan Police Department.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Yes Yes
Required Firearm registration? Yes Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? Yes Yes
Need License for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? No No
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

The state of Florida allows residents and non-residents to apply for a concealed weapons license which is issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).

Florida is considered a shall-issue state, which means that the state must issue a concealed carry license if the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? No No
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Georgia is a shall-issue state that permits concealed weapons licenses issued at the county level. Handgun purchases from private individuals do not require a license, background check, or firearms registration.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Hawaii is now a shall-issue state for concealed carry permits since the Supreme Court's ruling on NYSRPA v Bruen in June 2022. The permits are issued at the county level by the Chief of Police, and Hawaii permits open carry and concealed carry of handguns with a license to carry.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Yes Yes
Required Firearm registration? Yes Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

In Idaho, concealed weapon licenses are issued at the county level by sheriffs, making it one of the shall-issue states for concealed carry. Additionally, no license, background check, waiting period, or firearms registration is required for the purchase of firearms from private individuals.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Illinois is a shall-issue state, but with a unique provision that allows law enforcement to object to the issuance of a concealed carry license if they believe the applicant poses a danger to public safety. Open carry of a handgun on one's person or in a vehicle is illegal in Illinois.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? FOID Required FOID Required
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner permit? Yes Yes
Need a License for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? No No
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Indiana is a permissive state with regards to gun laws. It is a shall-issue state where licenses for concealed carry are issued by the Indiana State Police. The state does not require a license to purchase a firearm, and there is no firearm registration. Both open and concealed carry are legal without a permit in Indiana.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a License for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

The state of Iowa allows permitless carry and is also a shall-issue state, meaning that permits for concealed carry are issued as long as the individual meets certain requirements. There are two types of permits available - professional and non-professional - with different age requirements. No permit is required to purchase a firearm, and there is no requirement for firearm registration.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a License for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? No No

The gun laws in Kansas, which is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Kansas does not require licenses for purchasing handguns and does not have any firearms registration laws. Private sales do not require background checks, but purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms Dealer requires a background check, except for Kansas concealed carry handgun license holders.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a License for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Kentucky, is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Licenses are processed by the State Police. Kentucky does not require a license for purchasing firearms from private individuals, has no waiting period, and no firearms registration laws. However, a background check is required when purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms Dealer.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a License for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Louisiana is a shall-issue state. Concealed weapons permits are processed by the Department of Public Safety. Louisiana does not require a permit, background check, or firearms registration when purchasing a handgun from a private individual. Additionally, Louisiana allows for open carry of firearms in public, as it is not prohibited by state law.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Maine is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Concealed weapons permits are issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety through the Maine State Police. Maine does not require a permit, background check, or firearms registration when purchasing a handgun from a private individual.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Maryland has become a shall-issue state since the Supreme Court's ruling on the NYSRPA v Bruen case on June 23rd, 2022. Concealed weapons permits in Maryland are issued at the state level by the Secretary of the Maryland State Police. In addition, a permit to purchase, a background check, and firearms registration are required when buying a handgun from a private individual in Maryland.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No Yes
Required Firearm registration? No Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? No Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Partial Yes

Massachusetts laws are among the most restrictive in the entire country. Massachusetts has the sixth-strongest gun laws in the country and the lowest rate of gun deaths.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Yes Yes
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? Yes Yes
Need a permit for concealed carry? Yes Yes
open carry allowed? No Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Michigan is a shall-issue state. Licenses to carry firearms are issued at the local level by county clerks. Michigan requires a license to purchase a pistol or a background check to buy a handgun. The state allows only residents to purchase handguns, but non-residents can buy long guns.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No Yes

Minnesota, operates a shall-issue policy. The Sheriff's office has limited discretion to deny a permit to carry, but only if there is a substantial likelihood that the applicant would be a danger to themselves or others if authorized to carry a handgun.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No Yes
Required Firearm registration? No Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No Yes

Mississippi is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Concealed weapons permits are issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety. Mississippi does not require a permit, background check, or firearms registration when purchasing a handgun from a private individual.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No Yes
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Missouri is a shall-issue state, which means that concealed carry permits are issued to applicants who meet certain requirements. Missouri allows permitless carry, which means that individuals can carry firearms in public without a permit.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

In Montana, individuals are allowed to carry firearms without a permit in public places, as it is a permitless carry state that follows shall-issue policies. Concealed weapons permits are issued by the county sheriff's office. There is no requirement for a permit, waiting period, or firearms registration when purchasing a firearm from a private individual in Montana.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Nebraska is a shall-issue state that issues permits at the state level through the State Patrol Department. In Nebraska, individuals are required to obtain a handgun certificate or a concealed carry permit to purchase a handgun, even in private sales.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No Yes
Required Firearm registration? No Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Yes No
Required background checks for private sales? No Yes

Nevada is a shall-issue state, where concealed carry permits are issued at the county level. When purchasing a handgun from a private individual in Nevada, there is no requirement for a permit or firearms registration. However, since January 2, 2020, all sales must be conducted through a licensed federal firearms dealer, which requires a background check.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

New Hampshire is a permitless carry state that follows shall-issue policies. In New Hampshire, residents apply for a permit at the local law enforcement office, while non-residents apply to the State Department of Justice.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? N0 No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

In New Jersey, concealed weapons permits are issued at the local level by municipal police departments or the NJ State Police. Applicants are required to obtain approval from their local police chief and present their application to a superior court judge, who will make the final decision on whether to issue the permit.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Yes Yes
Required Firearm registration? No Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes No
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

New Mexico is a shall-issue state that issues concealed weapons licenses at the state level through the Department of Public Safety. When purchasing a handgun from a private individual in New Mexico, there is no requirement for a permit or firearms registration. However, as of July 1, 2019, background checks are required for private sales of firearms, in accordance with SB-8.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a License for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

In New York, a permit to purchase, a background check, and firearms registration were required to buy a handgun from a private individual. It's important to note that laws and regulations can change over time, and the information provided in the previous paragraph may not reflect the current state of gun laws in New York.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Partial Yes
Required Firearm registration? No Yes
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No Yes
Need a License for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? No No
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

North Carolina is a shall-issue state, where concealed handgun permits are issued at the county level by the local sheriff's office. In North Carolina, open carry is legal without a permit, although counties may regulate the display of firearms on public roads, sidewalks, alleys or other public property.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No Yes

North Dakota is a shall-issue state where concealed carry licenses are issued at the state level by the attorney general, although law enforcement has some discretion in issuing licenses to individuals who they believe pose a danger to themselves or others.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Ohio is a shall-issue state, where concealed weapons licenses are issued by the county sheriff at the local level. In Ohio, there are no requirements for permits, background checks, or firearms registration when buying a handgun from a private individual. Both open and concealed carry are legal without a permit in Ohio.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Oklahoma is a shall-issue, permitless carry state where licenses are processed by the local sheriff's office at the county level. In Oklahoma, there are no requirements for permits, waiting periods, or firearms registration when purchasing a firearm from a private individual.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? No Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Oregon is a shall-issue state where concealed carry applications are processed by the local sheriff's office at the county level. Although the sheriff has some discretion in issuing the license, the state does not require a license to purchase a firearm.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? Yes Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Pennsylvania is a shall-issue state where concealed weapons licenses are issued by the sheriff's office or the chief of police in a city of the first class. The state does not require a permit to purchase firearms, and there is no comprehensive firearms registration.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No Yes

Rhode Island is a shall-issue state for concealed carry licenses, but the attorney general also has discretion to issue such licenses. Concealed carry licenses are issued at the local level by either the police chief or the attorney general. Open carry is only legal in Rhode Island with a Rhode Island LCCW issued by the attorney general.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a license for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

South Carolina is a shall-issue state for concealed weapons permits, which are issued at the state level by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Private handgun sales do not require a permit, background check, or firearms registration.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes No
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

South Dakota is a shall-issue, permitless carry state where no permits, firearms registration or background checks are required to buy a handgun from a private individual. Open carry is legal in the state without a permit. Permits for concealed carry are processed at the county level by the sheriff’s office.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Tennessee is a shall-issue state for concealed weapons permits, which are issued by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security. No permit, background check, or firearms registration is required when buying a handgun from a private individual in the state.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Texas is a shall-issue state where concealed weapons licenses are issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety. No permit, background check, or firearms registration is required when purchasing a handgun from a private individual. From September 1, 2021, permitless concealed carry and open carry is legal for individuals who are at least 21 years old and can lawfully possess a handgun.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Utah is a shall-issue state with permits issued by the Bureau of Criminal Identification. No permit, background check, or firearms registration is required when purchasing a handgun from a private individual. On March 24, 2022, Governor Spencer Cox signed SB 115 into law, which grants Utah greater control over its gun laws.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Vermont is a constitutional carry state, meaning no permit is required to carry a firearm openly or concealed. All gun sales, except those to family members, must be completed through a licensed firearms dealer.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Virginia is a shall-issue state for concealed carry permits, with applications processed at the circuit court or by the State Police for non-residents. No permit or firearms registration is required for private handgun sales as long as both parties are Virginia residents.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

Washington is a shall-issue state, and licenses for concealed carry are issued by the sheriff or police department. Additionally, any private sale of firearms in Washington must be completed through a Federal Firearms License (FFL), and a background check is required.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? Yes No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? Yes Yes
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? Partial Partial
Required background checks for private sales? Yes Yes

West Virginia is a permitless carry state and a shall-issue state for concealed weapons licenses issued at the county level by the sheriff’s office. Private sales of handguns in West Virginia do not require a permit, background check, waiting period, or firearms registration.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Wisconsin is a shall-issue state where concealed carry weapons licenses are issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ). No permit, background check, or firearms registration is required for buying a handgun from a private individual in Wisconsin.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA Yes
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

Wyoming is a shall-issue state, where concealed firearms permits (CFP) are issued by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) after processing the application by the local county sheriff's office. No permit is needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual, no background check is required.

Subject/Law Long Guns Handguns
Need State Permit To purchase? No No
Required Firearm registration? No No
Any Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Required Owner license? No No
Need a permit for concealed carry? NA No
open carry allowed? Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Required background checks for private sales? No No

That's a quick look at gun laws by state. To check the complete gun laws you need to check individual state laws at here: Gun laws in the United States by state

Firearm Carry Laws- Concealed And Open Carry

Let's give a quick look at firearm carry laws.

There are two ways firearms are carried in the United States, concealed carry and open carry. The names are self-descriptive, with an openly carried handgun visible to everyone and a concealed-carry firearm hidden from view.

No federal law has ever covered the issuance of permits to carry firearms in the United States. It has been left to all the 50 individual states in the US to determine how they will issue permits or if a license is even required to open or concealed carry firearms.

All states will allow, in theory, the carrying of firearms. However, some states make the application process so difficult that, in practice, a regular citizen is banned from having a handgun.

These states usually have a "May Issue'' policy, such as Hawaii, California, New York, and a few more.

Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed carry laws are mostly grouped into three categories or issue policies. Until recently, there were four categories, but the fourth category, “No Issue,” has been banned from the US by court rulings that it was unconstitutional. The three other types are;

  • Permitless - This does not require a permit to carry a firearm and is often called Constitutional Carry.
  • Shall Issue - Requires a permit to carry a firearm. Applicants only have to meet the requirements set by law, such as minimum age, training, background checks, etc.
  • May Issue - Again, a carry permit is required, but laws can be restrictive and, in some states, impossible to comply with. Often an applicant will be asked to demonstrate a justifiable need for a permit to be issued. It is left to the discretion of law enforcement as to whether a license to carry will be given, and a few states, such as Hawaii, will refuse to issue a permit to anyone.

The May Issue states slowly disappeared with court rulings against their gun policies. Recently (June 2017), the District of Columbia was forced to switch from a May Issue to a Shall Issue policy by the federal courts, and that was a final ruling. So the remaining May Issue states days are numbered.

Open Carry Laws

The laws vary greatly for each state, with states that do not have an open carry law or require a permit to an outright ban on open carry. In the states with no open carry law, you will often find that the local authorities have ordinances to regulate the open carrying of firearms.

There are often exceptions in some states that ban open carry, such as Florida, which allows open carry while hunting, hiking, or fishing. New York and Illinois also have similar exceptions. Then other states like Texas will ban handguns from being openly carried but not long guns.

State Laws on Trading Handguns

  • Some states require a firearm permit, which may be limited to handguns or extended to long guns and ammunition including 9mm &  more.
  • Background checks are mandatory for anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
  • However, private firearms sales are exempt from this requirement, creating a loophole allowing individuals to acquire guns without undergoing a background check. To address this issue, 18 states have enacted legislation to extend background checks to cover private sales through licensed dealers or local police.
  • These laws vary by state and may apply to only handguns or long guns.
  • The 18 states requiring background checks on private gun sales are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington.

Read complete laws here: https://ascentlawfirm.com/firearm-purchasing-requirements/

In conclusion, understanding the gun laws by state and any states you may travel to with your firearm is crucial for responsible gun ownership.

Each state has its own laws regarding permits, background checks, and private sales, and it is important to be aware of these laws to avoid potential legal consequences.

Disclaimer: The above information should not be construed as legal advice. We provided this only for informational purposes. We strive to provide the most accurate information we can. If there are any errors, please let us know.

As laws can vary greatly from state to state and change over time, please confirm state gun laws before purchasing.

Author:
Lisa Earnest

Lisa Earnest

May, 04, 2023

Lisa Earnest has been a part of the Bulk Cheap Ammo team since 2018 and serves as the editor of Bulk Cheap Ammo content.

With a flair for language and an unwavering dedication to shooting sports, Lisa's diverse expertise combines to create an unforgettable experience for our audience.