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Is it that time again? My, how time flies. The Bradys have just released their 2011 rankings of the states’ gun laws based on ATF trace data and the extent to which gun rights are abrogated. “Guns don’t fall from the sky into the hands of criminals,” as Dennis Hennigan is quoted in their press release. That may be the most factual, common sense sentence to pass his lips on the subject of firearms in decades. Surprising almost no one, California takes the Bradys’ highest honor with a score of 81. And in their topsy turvy, bizarro world view, the “losers” with scores of nada were…Alaska, Arizona and Utah. The really good news: 31 of the 57 states had single digit scores. So go on. Thumb through their rankings to see how your state fared. You know you want to.

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  1. So this is like golf, right, lower is better?

    ETA: Is there an over/under on which state is going to get into negative numbers first? I say Arizona.

    • AZ no question. There is legislation on the books to force colleges to accept Concealed Carry, with a permit, on their grounds, with provisions to bar it in buildings provided the building has storage lockers for the guns. A more vaguely worded bill was shot down by the governor last year for being vague. So this one is going to pass.

  2. Why is it that the states that make it the most difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain a concealed carry license (California, New York, NJ, etc.) are at the top of The Brady Campaign’s scorecard? I know correlation doesn’t equal causation, but that strikes me as a bit . . . odd.

    • I find in shocking (yeah I know, I should know better) that even this data is twisted and construed even more to serve their agenda. There is no reason for the States to pass most of those laws regarding FFLs as Federal Law already requires them. Maryland’s assault weapons ban scored lower than CAs? Interesting since MD wrote their list by taking CA’s list and adding guns to it. I’m sure MD getting a “lower” score has nothing to do with fears of them changing gun laws due to lawsuits they are facing while also being surrounded by DC and VA who have “weakened” their laws lately.

      Anyway it’s a great list, the scores relate the the chances I will never live in that state, i.e. Cali 81% I’ll never live there.

      • Um, no. Maryland does not have an assault weapon ban. We have an “assault pistol ban”, which you can bypass by AOW’ing your pistol, but it only applies to a set list of guns (TEC-9, micro-Uzi pistol, etc.). An AR-15 is just a seven day wait, like a handgun. In fact, almost nothing (including “high-cap” magazines) is actually banned from possession in Maryland… you can also have all the NFA toys you want.

    • Bah… I don’t agree with any of their recommendations, but one. The private sale thing. You know my record on that Mr. Farago. Everyone on this site agrees that felons shouldn’t be able to buy guns. But a felon can buy a gun from a private seller, and in alot of states, including Virginia, there is no legal requirement that the seller actually verifies that the guy isn’t a felon. If a seller privately sells a gun to a felon, who simply said “no” when asked if they were a felon… no liability on that person. That bothers me, alot. Yall can throw up every scenario you want of black market sales, etc… That is all illegal. Right now, I can sell my Glock to a total stranger with only a verbal confirmation that hes not a felon. If I sell booze privately to a 19 year old, even if he shows me a fake ID, I can go to jail. If I sell cigarettes to a fake ID toting 14 year old, I can go to jail. Sell a gun to a criminal, who just says “no”. No liability. Minimal background checks can be conducted via the internet now for cheap, I know, because my company uses a service to do this before hiring anyone for less than 3 bucks per check… and yet, not even a minimal requirement in so many states.
      The second amendment means that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. Where does it say in the constitution that felons don’t have that right? Where does it say in the constitution that felons lose their constitutional rights? If you want to be purists about it, then maybe felons should still be able to vote and own guns…
      Yet any other commonsense measure, as basic as this, gets shouted down here. Sorry to be the turd in the punchbowl, but no one has provided a commonsense counterpoint to this, other than just saying, “criminals will get guns no matter what, so whats the point of regulating private sales!!!??” Thats a cop-out.

        • Would you personally sell a firearm to someone you don’t know, based on their word that they aren’t a felon? Or do you think its irresponsible?

  3. I wonder how this data would look if one were to compare it to violent crime data to see what correlations could be found.

  4. Ahhh, just look at those beautiful red states. Good to see that the majority of the US still has its head on straight. Though the 6 states that are green are concerning to me. Hope the ignorance isn’t contagious

    • I’ll trade this straight-up for the electoral map in November. If this many states are red, life will be on the upswing.

  5. If everything is backwards, then Texas scored 96 out of a possible 100! Woo Hoo!

    However, there are a few things in the scorecard I actually agree with or have questions about.

    Don’t FFL gun dealers already have a requirement to keep records to whom they sell?
    Why would Brady want a state license to sell firearms when the FFL is already required?
    What are the arguments against reporting stolen weapons from either a dealer or from private individuals?

    Everything else is a farce.

    • “Don’t FFL gun dealers already have a requirement to keep records to whom they sell?”

      Yup. They are also required by Federal Law to have approved security systems, and can be inspected at any time by any law enforcement agent. Apparently ignoring exesisting Federal Laws and crying about States not passing frivolous duplicate laws helps raise the panic and fear levels and there for their support.

  6. I like how Alabama gets a slightly “higher” score than the surrounding states because the law is technically “may issue”. In practice most all counties are shall issue.

  7. This probably does not surprise anyone, but there is a blatant lie on their scorecard for my state, MA. We get zero out of 17 points for “background checks on all guns”, when in fact, every private gun transfer, from anyone, to anyone, anywhere, anytime, has to be between licensed individuals, meaning they pass the background check. If they did something to be “prohibited”, even just arrested, the cops yank the license immediately. Further, every transfer is registered, anytime, anywhere, even at gun shows. So really, MA gets an 82. So my state is much more wretched than their score would indicate.

  8. COMMIEFORNIA and THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF NEW YORK have some of the worst gun violence in the country, and their criminals don’t give two $hits about any of their silly laws.

    • Still waiting for the headline, “Crime Spree Stopped By ‘Bullet Button’ Magazine”, or “Mass Public Shooting Averted By Loaded Chamber Indicator”. How about “Magazine Limit Rule Thwarted By Felon With Two Illegally-Owned Guns”?

      Maybe in ‘The Onion’. In real life, there seems to be little to no correlation between public safety and the laws generated by the fevered imaginations of people whose means (gun control) will not render the ends they seek.

  9. So, here’s my question – Isn’t Illinois the only state (besides D.C. which really doesn’t count) that absolutely forbids CCW? Seems to me that prohibition alone would get it a top rating.

    • Was wondering about that myself. There are NO CCWs in Illinois, and I hear even getting a FOID is a pain, to say nothing of the restrictions in Chicago. Although it is nearly impossible in some counties in California to get a CCW, others are nearly shall issue, resulting in about 30,000 licensed carriers in this state.

  10. Just when I was grumbling again about how living in Utah is a PITA, the Brady Campaign comes along to show me the upside. Thanks Bradys.

    • As a Utahn stranded in the PRK, I am jealous of the fact that you get to be pissy about living in Utah. Sad face. Oh well, a third consecutive score of zero couldn’t make me more proud of my home state. I’ll move back, one day…

  11. Here, in the beautiful Peoples Republic of Kalifornia, we have no guns and therefore no crime at all. Rumors you’ve heard about the high murder rate in cities like Oakland, Stockton, Richmond, and Compton, are all lies spread by jealous capitalist states.

  12. First… 97! Woohoo! We even got a 2 point demerit because my doctor can’t ask me if there are guns in my house, which is none of her business. (Honestly, I don’t think this needed a law, as I’m perfectly comfortable telling her it’s none of her business.)

    Second… Holy shit, that list makes my gut churn. I went through and read it as “this is what these morons, er… poor misguided souls want to do to my RKBA.” It’s almost literally nauseating what they want if they can get it (e.g. permit to buy/sell ammunition, or ammunition sales record keeping). I view regulations like that as more egregious than “one gun a month” laws. OGAM laws have a stated goal of less guns in circulation, which I can at least appreciate as a legitimately stated (if misguided) goal. Ammo registration is in the “make it obnoxiously difficult/annoying to own a gun” class of laws, passed in the hopes that people will decided it’s not worth the trouble.

  13. They up-coded PA a bit by misinterpreting two of our laws, it appears. PA laws are very CC friendly in my view. If I could think of a legal way, I think we ought to send them some Prozac, on humanitarian grounds.

    • Its pretty obvious that gun ownership rates and gun crime incidence has no correlation. I wonder if rates of absent fathers/broken families would prove to be a better indicator.

    • D.C. blows everyone else out of the water with 21.9 homicides per 100,000 and as far as I could find it’s ratings are conspicuously absent from the Brady map. They claim they’re “still organizing” in that area.

      • The numbers for violent crimes there is outrageous. 1,330.02 per 100,000 residents according to the FBI.

  14. Dangit! Missed it by two points. But I guess I’m OK with the fact Idaho’s only points came from colleges not being “forced” to allow guns on campus.

  15. Hot damn, this will just encourage the Kalifornia legislature to score even higher next year.
    I can hardly wait for improved scores, that will be something to be proud of.

  16. Thats adorable, my state is green, and I live next to #9 on the fbi’s most dangerous cities list. Springfield ma, where kevlar is more important to surviving then food.

    It takes around 9 months to get a gun legally here(only possible if you live in certain towns/cities), I could have one off a street dealer for less then it costs to get a LTC in 2 hours.

  17. My first thought when I saw that Texas had managed a 4 is “How the hell did we screw up and get four points?”

    In fairness, we got 2 for ‘extra credit’ for disarming prohibited persons if they have weapons, which honestly I’m pretty cool with. We picked up 2 points for not forcing colleges to accept legal handgun carry. There was an attempt to change that, the attempt was unsuccessful, but life is long. Constitutional carry is not out of the question here, the trajectory has been to make life easier on CHL holders and with 461,000 active permits, it shows. I doubt full “Constitutional Carry” as in VT and AZ is in the works simply because TX has no income tax and the CHL licenses are a money maker for the state.

    If we can get Campus Carry AND adopt a gag rule on doctors, we’ll be at zero. Personally, I think they should have docked us for having a governor who not only carries a handgun but talks about it, but that’s just style points I guess.

    Gotta have goals!

  18. So… Why don’t we take the original data, reverse the color scheme, and call it a “respect for the 2nd Amendment” graph? I suspect we could do this legally as long as we cite the Brady Bunch for thier “contribution” of the original data.

    Just a thought.

  19. Strange, PA is ranked moderate but there don’t seem to be much of any restrictions–shall issue state within 40 days, NO TESTING REQUIRED for carry permit, reciprocity with just about everybody who does reciprocity, no wait period, no limits on #s of guns, no hi-cap limits, effective instant background check system in place–about the only “moderate” regulation I can think of is that background checks are required for person-to-person handgun sales.

    • I thought similarly. I will note though in response to “reciprocity with just about everybody who does reciprocity” that PA doesn’t have reciprocity with most (all?) states that have a training requirement, since PA doesn’t have a training requirement.

    • As I found out the other day, they also do not run your finger prints when applying for a license. They may collect and file them, but that is it.

  20. Well in Virginny, with the repeal of purchasing 1 handgun a month law (without CCW), next year in the red? That would be nice club to join.

  21. Well my state scored a 4 (KS). If we work hard enough we can get that score cut in half (campus carry).

  22. Ohioan here – sadly, we got 7 points. However, 3 of those are for having “mandatory reporting of firearm theft” (which is entirely unenforceable). 2 are for not forcing employers to allow you keep a gun in your car (though we have a proposed law to change this as well as removing the duty to inform for CCW), and the last 2 are for colleges not being forced to allow guns on campus.

    I’m surprised they didn’t give Ohio bonus points for our only stupid gun regulation regarding a “large” magazine magically turning a semi-auto weapon into a full-auto weapon.

    • If I’m not mistaken.. Isn’t large capacity considered 31 rounds? That 1 magic bullet can ruine your day.

      • Yup. What’s more impressive is that that extra bullet modifies the weapon to allow burst / full auto fire. Makes me want to go grab a drum magazine and test their claim.

  23. HAHHAAHAHAH!!!!!!

    Ok my state is SOLID green. California. Let me tell you something about the laws here..
    First off, I live in Venice Beach. Its not the greatest part of town, but its very very far from the worst. In the last 4 months there has been something like 5 or 6 shootings in and around Venice. All gang related. I own firearms in this state, and I found it to be fairly simple. The 10 day waiting period makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE when you already own a bunch of guns. We have some of the highest gang related firearms deaths in the country. Dont quote me on that, but it sounds like every other day some poor fool gets caught up in some stupid gang crap. That said, our gun laws have DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I say again, NOTHING, to keep guns out of criminals hands. As one of your readers mentioned, he could get a pistol off the street in 2 hours, here, you could probably do the same, only you might get killed in the process. These thugs have no regard for LTC laws, magazine capacity laws, On/Off list, 10 day waiting periods, and I hate to say it, I might be profiling when Pedro’s girlfriend is buying a gun at a gun store and hes got gang tats up and down his arms, rocking a tipped LA hat and jersey. Talking all “yeah yeah.. yeah dats the one man… Oh man thats a nice one esse, yeah, baby, you want that one?” Mind you she looks like a woman who’s pretending to be interested in football “Oh is it that one?” Not asking any questions, letting her man do all the talking. Straw buys left and right IMO. Sure it might be “profiling” but sadly, it’s often true. All the laws have done is make it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase firearms. Just like anything that is illegal theres always a black market, and its often easier to find than you would think. Heres a great video to watch… Yeah… Orange County, Long Beach, Compton, Inglewood, Hawaiian Gardens, Palm Beach, I guess thats where gun laws dont apply.

    Thanks California. *finger*

  24. Yesterday, Oregon’s House or Senate voted overwhelmingly that the mass media does not have a constitutional right to acquire the names of those who apply for a concealed carry permit just so they can publish a list. How is that list news? The mass media keeps wondering why the new Internet micro media and blogs are kicking their left-wing media ass in taking away their viewers.

  25. 57 States. How can we trust this data. Did President Obama furnish the number of states for this article?

    • Good one. I recall that comment during the campaign. Was it Hillary or Pelosi who made the comment that 500 million Americans are losing jobs each month? I think it was Pelosi.

  26. Gem from the Brady website:

    “California continues to blaze legislative trails in saving lives, rising to a high of 81 points on the 2011 Brady State Scorecard rankings of state gun laws. California’s universal background check system, retention of purchase records, limiting handgun purchases to one a month, and an assault clip ban are just some of the laws that provide a road map to preventing gun violence.”

    Maybe I simply watched too many episodes of that show “GangLand” featured on the History Channel a few years ago, but it seems to me that California is one of the worse states for gun violence.

  27. AZ is sitting pretty at 0. Hopefully this year we’ll get campus carry and bring us down to the negative numbers!

  28. With a little work we may just make them run out of red ink (pixels?) in a year or 2. Wouldn’t that be a world you’d want to live in?

  29. Dang, that’s annoying. Idaho still has a “2”. We really need to get “Vermont carry” passed, and get rid of the “no guns on college campus” BS. Well, it’s good to have goals.

  30. Delaware scored nice and low despite a may issue policy and other silly restrictions. I like their criteria for scoring, chock full of unconstitutional ideas and meaningless rules. Funny how preventing gun violence doesn’t seem to include criminal control to these people.

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