Who’s In Control of Your Gun Laws…the Feds or Your State?

This is a discussion and question that might seem easy to answer but is being challenged all the time by individual states. And to add more complexity to the discussion, it’s important to know which states are most restrictive and which ones are least restrictive when it comes to firearms.

According to an article in Newsmax, “Gun Laws By State: How Federal Regulations Shape How States Can Legislate Weapons,” the answer of who is in control is being debated by many states. The basic discussion starts, according to the NRA, with a description that “Federal firearms laws generally regulate the sales, possession, and transportation of firearms and ammunition while other laws are left to the gun laws by state and local jurisdictions. Federal laws specify who may or may not possess firearms.”

But did you realize that because federal law never covered the issuance of concealed or open-carry permits, states can determine these laws…according to CNBC. The law governing these two hotly debated issues varies throughout all 50 states and is constantly under discussion.

The Washington Post also talked about how state legislatures have introduced some 200 bills to try and defy the federal control over firearms in their state. Many have said that even if there are federal laws governing firearms, they won’t do anything to help enforce these federal laws…meaning local police will essentially do nothing to enforce federal law, only state law. The Post went on to say…

“Particularly in Western and Southern states, where individual liberty intersects with increasing skepticism among gun owners, firearms are a political vehicle in efforts to ensure states’ rights and void U.S. gun laws within their borders. State legislators are attempting to declare that only they have the right to interpret the Second Amendment, a movement that recalls the anti-federal spirit of the Civil War and civil rights eras.”

So which state have the MOST RESTRICTIONS on Firearms? Here’s the list…

  • New York
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • New Jersey
  • Massachusetts
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland

Which states have the LEAST RESTRICTIONS on Firearms? Here’s that list…

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Utah
  • Wyoming
  • Georgia
  • Texas

Where is our state in these top lists? Any state not listed in these “extreme” lists sits somewhere in the middle of the pack with regard to their gun law restrictions. One thing for certain…this discussion and debate are not over yet and there will be much more jockeying over the next several years on this issue of who has control of what gun laws. Stay tuned…I will try and talk about these changes as they happen.

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