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I’ve been contacted by an Arkansas-based freelancer knocking-up an article for The New Republic on gun guys goin’ south. Mr.ย Winkler asked me a few questions on my migration motivation, but bemoaned the fact that he could only find three of us gun guy types leaving the anti-gun North for the pro-gun South on account-a firearms freedom (amongst other factors, obviously). So how about it? Any y’all planning on bailing on a pro-disarmament state—New York, California, New Jersey, etc.—for more firearms friendly climes? If y’are, please leave a comment and ping me at [email protected], if’n you’re OK with an anonymous chat with the southern scribe.

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    • I done it myself a couple years ago, though not explicitly for gun rights; I was generally fed up with the way things are done in the northeast and wanted to find a place where I could afford a decent house and a bit of land for 1/4 of my takehome. Of course, once I got here I got my CHL as quickly as I was legally able to ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. We abandoned The Peoples Republik of Kalefornia almost 8 years ago, returning to the land of our birth. The kids weren’t too hot o the idea at the time, but after a few months of living in freedom they both wondered why any sane person would voluntarily live in that socialist cesspool.

    • People used to kid me about how I seemed glued to the South and to our Southern way of looking at things. Now I’ve had a couple of Northern friends contact me and ask some serious questions about my home in Mississippi. With a Governor who’s been very vocally pro gun and a Speaker of the House who has been sending invitations to gun companies to “come visit,” I’m in the right place and don’t plan to leave.

      I don’t hear a lot of redneck jokes anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • PS: I’d talk on the record, but if I say anything, I don’t want to be anonymous. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and I’m not afraid of the truth.

  2. PA is pro-gun, so is Vermont and New Hampshire. Just because we’re northern states doesn’t make us anti-gun.

    • Don”t count on VT or NH being bastions of safety. Lots of statists from MA are moving in and they bring their diseased ideas with them, voting the same way they did in thr peoples republik of ma…. and then wonder what happened to that liberty loving state they moved to.

      • No place is safe – just look at Colorado. I also have a bad feeling that Arizona is not terribly far off either.

        • I’m really concerned for the future of AZ once Gov. Brewer’s term limit hits. The divide over guns is getting larger in AZ, with few people undecided. The next gubernatorial election will be pretty important.

          That’s not to say it’s all doom and gloom, AZ has continued to expand the right of the individual to keep and bear arms, as well as to protect the innocent from litigation after defending themselves.

        • Arizona will likely switch blue at some point – it’s a simple matter of demographics. A blue State can still be pro-gun, but I am not convinced this will be the case here once it happens.

        • New Mexico has a large Hispanic population, but the State doesn’t strike me as anti-gun. Each State is different.

        • Things here are going to get real interesting next election. She’s not perfect but of the last few governors Brewer’s been my favorite and it’s a shame she can’t run again. I do have to say I got a real kick out of Rose Mofford. She rocked the beehive with no apologies.

          Arizona politics can be really strange. We managed to legalize medicinal marijuana AND Constitutional Carry in the same year. Find that anywhere else.

    • As a former Masshole I can attest that while getting used to the speed of the drivers here in SC can drive a man to the bottle. The easy-going gun laws and general friendly attitude of the low country are pretty fantastic. I do miss my original home in WV though, nothing like that mountain rocky high.

  3. I left California 13 years ago and have NEVER looked back! I may not have been born in the South, but I got here as fast as I could! Ain’t nothin’ like South Kakalaki!

  4. more people are moving south because they don’t have money for important stuff, like heat and food. what ever your reasons, you are all welcome here in Dixie.

  5. I moved from CA to NC 10 years ago, although it was due to necessity rather than preference and had nothing to do with guns. Took another 9 years of living in rural NC to stop thinking firearms turned people into redneck, skullforking commie-Nazi psychos. You live, you learn.

  6. How many here are planning on moving West, into the desert/mountain areas?
    (such as Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana)

  7. I’m trying to put together a 5 year exit plan from New Jersey.

    Where will I go? Not sure yet… Tennessee or South Carolina maybe. The big problem is finding a place that has nice land (for my backyard shooting range, of course) but is still close enough to a town/city with decent engineering jobs.

    Arizona is nice, but I probably couldn’t live in the desert. I like trees and forests.

    • Utah, it’s got all the needs you just described. You can have a shooting range backyard in places like Santaquin or Tooele and still commute to engineering firms in the larger cities.

      • Plenty of private/home shooting ranges in TX as well, my CHL instructor had a few acres set aside for running pistol classes. I actually looked into buying a house with ~10ac and a 25yd pistol range, but the area didn’t get high-speed internet :/

    • You should look at Texas. I live north of McKinney in a really small town that is slightly rural. We have lots of land all around us and it only takes 10 minutes max to get to civilization.

      Oh and we have trees. If you go further south there is also the hill country near San Antonio.

      • Always a thought in the back of my mind… considering the “main” office of the company I work for is located in Plano.

        • I pass through Plano everyday on my way to work in North Dallas. Plano from Melissa would be a 20-40 minute commute depending on traffic (my curent commute is 30-60 minutes). There are a buch of little semi rural towns all around the north side of the DFW area.

        • (In reply to pillager1900 below)

          I’ve been through a few of those small towns when I traveled to our Plano office. Our VP at the time brought us to dinner at a little hole in the wall in Celina (I think the place was called Lucy’s of something like that).

          It’s just a mental hurdle to make the big change from NJ to TX !

  8. Maine is still holding on. Even though there is a heavy Democrat base, we have managed to defy the odds and retain all gun rights. Most of the Dems are pro-second amendment. Probably has a lot to do with the large agrarian/hunting/rural element of the state. Not that it can’t change, but it has in fact held on. On the up side, the state is considered either the number one safest state for residency or at least one of the top states.

    Maine is listed as the second poorest state in the Union and its manufacturing base is now nonexistent. We are also so far removed from the core of the 48 that there is a general feeling of isolation and uniqueness. Also the population is in decline for three years running with no end in sight.

    I believe all of this buffered by the sense of isolation is keeping the left’s hand off of the firearms issue, for now.

    Having said that; Texas would be my choice. Virginia my second choice because I have a history there.

  9. Moved to NV for other reasons now I’m a gun addict and would base my next move on the state’s firearms friendliness… for this looking for a good economy, check out northern nevada…

  10. I am not, but only because I have a very nice job with a very nice company here in Ohio. Plus Ohio’s pretty gun-friendly. If/when I’m no longer tied to this job for some reason, I’ll give a serious look at moving a bit south and west.

  11. Celebrating my 10th full year as a Texan after my own personal Exodus out of Massachusetts. Quite literally the best life decision I’ve ever made.

  12. Stop running away from your anti-firarm states. That is how they win. Stay and fight, otherwise there will be less and less firearm friendly states left. That is one of the main reasons I refuse to leave Illinois. They win if I leave.

  13. I’m staying in California to fight the fight. That and I don’t want to leave fast internet and 4G phone coverage, as well as the biotech industry where I make my living.

    • We have all of those in the South and Southwest. Why would you think we don’t? Houston has the largest medical complex in the world.

      • I know you do. I’ve been to Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and many other places in the Southwest and South and, for the most part, enjoyed my time in each place. But I love living in California and to move because you can’t have a certain type of gun is not a good enough reason for me. Yes, California has rather draconian anti-gun laws, but I have a Benelli M4 Tactical and a Nighthawk 1911, neither of which is even capable of exceeding the 10 round limit, and there are a number of other firearms that I can legally own if I choose. But if I can’t enjoy and/or defend myself with those that I have…

    • I relocated north from the SF Bay Area to a more rural county – our sheriff is effectively shall-issue for CCW, and has released a statement he won’t be enforcing new unconstitutional gun laws. I’m pretty happy there, but if CA gets much dumber I don’t think I’ll stay forever; the county sheriff isn’t the only LEO, and there’s nothing he can do about stupid laws re ammunition sales or gun registration/confiscation.

      If I have to pick between my guns and my cellphone, I’ll pick the guns every time.

      • It’s not like I’m staying JUST because of that. I’m naturally stubborn and I don’t like the thought of being “forced out of” anywhere, I’d rather stay and lend my voice.

    • Don’t tell liberals about, that is like the hidden secret. Although the Marion county seems more liberal( downtown ) we still got plenty of good Hoosiers. Plus when I moved up there it seem more Southern then most Southern states. A lot of square field I must say lol.

  14. I’m making my move from NY to Nevada. I’ve listed my house, sold my biggest and bulkiest items and halted the ads for my local business. I’ve contacted a Nevada Realtor and have put the wheels in motion in an irreversible way. I made the decision based on the SAFE Act–partly because of specific legislation, but in larger part because it could be passed in the manner that it was. I live in a rural area 5 hours from NYC but am still subject to Bloomberg’s whims. The mayor of NYC makes the snowballs and the governor throws them all over the rest of the state. The entire state has been bought and paid for by Bloomberg. Our governor has absolutely no accountability nor any regard for the will of the people. Just like that guy in the White House..

  15. hymmmn, i just live, where i “Want”!… And take my Guns, with me!… [Fortunately, i Now prefer, the Comforts, of a Warm Climate, with both Atlantic, and Gulf, Waters!]. Take, a “Wild Guess”, where my “Hailng Port”, is?… lol

  16. Looking to move from MD to WV right now. Looking at buying a house but there are a lot of ducks to get in a row first. Has to get a place and either find a new job or have the debts in such a way as to allow my wife to not have to work. There is a lot that goes into moving states unless you are lucky enough to work near a state line and it is just a mater of moving to a new house.


  17. Trying to leave MI(which admittedly isn’t that bad gun wise) for Kentucky.

    Jobs, culture and costs all better in Kentucky, plus permitted car carry and full NFA(MI bans sbr/sbs and restricts some destructive devices) along with no handgun registration

  18. Trying to leave MI(which admittedly isn’t that bad gun wise) for Kentucky.

    Jobs, culture and costs all better in Kentucky, plus permit free car carry and full NFA(MI bans sbr/sbs and restricts some destructive devices) along with no handgun registration

  19. Except for a couple of years abroad in Japan, I’ve lived all my life in WA state. I quite enjoy it and don’t plan on moving soon… no place is perfect, but I really do think life here in the Evergreen state is quite nice.

    Best kept secret in the lower 48 states… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Yes, this. I’ve lived here in the Evergreen state since the first Reagan administration, then stationed here for my duty postings. We just made suppressors legal recently, and just blew some civilian disarmament legislation out of the water. Both sides of WA have their charms, plus our jobless rate is falling west of the Cascades. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Moved from NJ to PA solely for the reason of firearms freedom. Best decision I ever made!

      • I lived in Delaware for ~5 years.. IIRC it’s open carry outside of Wilmington and possibly Newark? I’m certainly glad not to be paying their recently-jacked income tax now though! When that passed it was just the last in a bunch of straws that broke and got me looking to move to TX in earnest.

        I think DE’s wacky witness system for concealed carry licensing is a bit dopey though.

  21. Come see us in South Carolina. The Greenville-Spartanburg area is your engineer/techie corridor. Lots of forests & we’re up to our you-know-whats in deer.

    And…..unlike PA, IL, NY, & other states, SC is not dominated by the politics of any one city.

    • In addition to a company location in Plano, TX (that I mentioned above), we also have a facility in Liberty, SC. So I guess I do have some easier job options if I decide to make the big move. Greenville is on my list to take a look at/visit someday because I’ve really spent most of my SC vacation time in the Myrtle Beach area.

  22. The sucking sound of thousands of people leaving the north won’t reach a climax for some time. Most people can’t simple pull up stakes and leave town in a matter of 3 months. I have a business that requires me to be present in NY. Our family is here and I really don’t mind the climate… 9 months of the year.

    We are waiting to see what happens in the courts with the SAFE act before we decide what we are going to do. Then the question is where do you move? I’ve been all over the eastern seaboard to vacation but I wouldn’t want to live year round in a tourist destination. How do you find a home 1000 miles from where you live?

    More power to the guys who can leave right now but for my family this is a major decision.

    • If our senator Bill Nelson gets into our Governer seat, I will be moving to TEXAS!! And me and my wife just closed on a house here in FL. I told my wife, my enjoyment and hers of the 2nd admendment is very important, and for so many reasons, she could tell I was almost in tears to leave our new home! But thats when she said,”my dad flew a HUEY in Veitnam for 4 tours, one of which was during the TET OFFENSIVE. He transported day and night nonstop resupplying Marines and carring out the wounded and dead for 6 days of hell.” She said FREEDOM ISNT FREE, IF WE NEED TO LEAVE BECAUSE OF THESE ANTI AMERICAN POLITICIANS, WILL SIMPLY LEAVE!!!! God Bless a WIFE LIKE HER!! Shes a true American, I was very proud!!

    • My wife and I are starting to put together a 5 year plan to move to Alabama or Georgia. I lived in South Carolina, them moved to Illinois for a job. Stupidest thing I ever did.

  23. As a life long New York City resident (except for a small stint in Chicago, another bastion of 2nd amendment freedom,) my 5 year plan is a move to the tenessee/georgia area. Colorado was on my horizon, but exited due to the recent mag changes (wife and I had already decided on the steamboat springs area,) luckily my wife is southerner from nw georgia so she is more than happy with the change. Btw I could probably qualify for a full carry in nyc, definitely a conditional carry, but I choose not to due to the draconian conditions that accompany the permit.

  24. As much as I hate to give up on our brothers living behind enemy lines, we have to be practical and realize that it’s easier to keep a state gun-friendly than it is to transform a non gun-friendly state.

    Seeing what happened to Colorado, I’d hate to see that happen in VA, NC and SC, which are not nearly as safe as you may think. The warmer climates, cheaper real estate and good economies (relatively speaking) are drawing more and more left-leaning voters to these states and we could use some reinforcements to the pro-gun voting blocks.

    The Blue Ridge of VA has some of the prettiest scenery in the country and beautiful properties. The Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham areas in NC have plenty of job opportunities from finance to engineering/technology and many large corporate HQ’s. Charlotte is a few hours from the mountains, a few hours from the coast, and just over the line from SC if you’d like to own some great hunting property down there.

    I commend anyone who’s choosing to stay home and fight, but if you’re heading South we welcome you with cold beer and cheap gas.

  25. I left NJ for PA last year… Still have to work there till I get orders, but I will not spend a dime there. I even go so far as to pack a lunch so I don’t have to buy local at work. Love my job, Love my Squadron… Hate NJ

  26. Leland,
    I’m with ya in MS… down on the Gulf Coast.

    EDIT: RF, my replies are ending up way down here instead of right below the target. How do I adjust elevation?

  27. I’m planning to leave PA for a variety of reasons. Weather sucks, job market sucks. Gun laws are actually better than average here (not perfect but not bad either).

    But it’s mostly for the weather and the jobs. If I never see snow again in my life it’ll be too soon, and nobody up here is hiring. As soon as I save up the cash needed to go, I’m gone.

  28. I didnt move here for 2A freedom but when I found out just how free I was compared to my home state (Comunisticut) I felt like I struck gold.

  29. I’m staying put in e lovely NH. But I invite anyone living in that uptight state to the south to move up to the freer lands of the Granite State. Do me one solid and leave your liberal, progressive attitudes where they belong- in Mass. And to clarify, I don’t take any issue with progressive ideas such as women’s rights and gay rights. Those are just great.

  30. How can you guys forget about Oklahoma? Considered the most conservative state in the country. Research a little. It might surprise you.

    • Amen. We are the sensible part of the country here, and right in the middle too. OKC is the best kept secret in the nation, Tulsa isn’t bad either, but like Austin TX, it’s the blue bastion in an otherwise red state.

      Everyone is welcome, but leave the liberal politics where you came from.

    • This! I live in Texas & I’m looking at buying getaway property in Oklahoma. Lots of water, lower prices, and not a single county went for Obama last election. Hard to beat that!

  31. California and Hawaii are pretty far south, and Wyoming, Minnesota and the Dakotas ain’t.

    I like Kansas.

  32. Left the peoples republic of California nine months ago for the greener pastures of oregon to the north. Now I find myself pushed once again and am headed Nevada way. Just got hired at Frontsight.

  33. A couple years ago I set a date to move to Wyoming from California. Now I’m 4 months away. I had this plan before Sandy Hook, so I guess I don’t really count

  34. More blue states go deep blue because we People of the Gun concentrate in a few gun friendly states and more of our federal level reps and senators go deep blue and soon enough we have a repeat of the 68 gca or something worse.

    How many wars have been won by running?

  35. The Mrs. and I are seriously considering a move across the Potomac, what a difference a move of 25 miles would make.

  36. I have the option to move from MD to TX for work, I’d like to do it but the wife doesn’t want to move further from her family. The decision isn’t based entirely on guns but it does have a factor. I used to be a Dem and MD is moving to far to the left for me. After seeing the results of these policies in CA and NY, I don’t feel as safe as I used to due to the anit-gun crowd, taxes will definitely go up, crime will continue to rise, and I am worried that my houses will not appreciate in value as I had hoped. I can sell off everything now and move to Texas, buy a house and be debt free.

  37. Wisconsin has done a 180 in recent years so I’m good for now. Wife’s from the South so a move, if needed, is not out of the question.

  38. We’re planning on moving out of California as soon as I get a job in a preferable state. We were very interested in the Denver area, with job interviews, but stopped looking there due to the new gun legislation. Now Washington state looks to be the frontrunner. So we’d actually be moving North. Of course there are several factors influencing this move, but gun freedom is certainly one of them.

    • If it works out, I’ll be glad to have one more ally to help defend our excellent gun laws. Good luck with the job hunt.

  39. I’ve only lived in two states, pro-gun Virginia, which is sometimes Republican, sometimes Democrat – and pro-gun New Mexico, which is ever so slightly Republican.

  40. My father literally signed the offer contract this morning and bout him almost 30 acres in Florida, I am coming with , leaving NJ that we’ve both lived our entire 62 and 32 year old lives, … It’ll be FINALLY about time I can apply for a CCW permit, maybe a suppressor for my new AAC-SD .308 , and possibly even my dream firearm, if I ever can save up, for a HK MR556 A1 w/ the 10′ bbl 416 upper… We can’t SBR nor suppress nor anything in the NFA… nor can we even exercise the right to protection , NJ basically does not allow any carrying of firearms.. the permit system was set up to deny unless Judge approves , which does not happen unless you’re a seriously important person or seriously close friend of the judge. To be honest, I used to love and defend New Jersey, my area is a beautiful place and In the central Jersey area by the Delaware, I’m 30 mins from Philly and 1 hr from NYC…. but for the last few years, its become so bad , I would not even say I was representing New Jersey if I was nominated for the Presidency . Florida here we come, the only thing from up here I will still be proud of is Penn State (and even that is a damned difficult job these days!)

  41. Man, Goin’ South was a shitty movie…

    Oh, right, the topic: Well, I was born and raised in Baton Rouge and moved to Connecticut for a few years. I liked the fact that they had actual terrain instead of flat grassland and actual seasons as opposed to a nine-month-long summer, but I don’t miss much else about the place. Now that the cradle of liberty is gradually trying to turn itself into a police state, I miss it even less.

    So it was back to Baton Rouge for me. Wanna come with, Connecticut yankees? Sorry, but ya can’t get theah from heah.

  42. I retired to Delaware from NJ last year. I never considered buying a firearm in NJ. In Delaware you can purchase a rifle or a handgun in the same day. You can purchase three handguns a month (as far as I’m aware) and as many rifles shotguns you want. IF you pass the background check. Hopefully that won’t change.

  43. Planning to leave southern Illinois as soon as I’m eligible for early/deferred retirement in 7 years (maybe less, if a buyout is offered). If Chicago wasn’t attached and wrecking the place, I might stay longer, but as it is, I’m bound for either of the Dakotas. Plenty of jobs, low taxes, and gun friendly laws. I can deal with the cold.

  44. Left the Floridiots 10 years ago for Tennessee and happy to be in Barrett’s neighborhood now.

  45. The guy fixing up my local range (Ardsley/Scarsdale border) put his house on the market a day or two after the passage of the SAFE act. He’s looking to move to PA. Some of the older guys at my range accelerated their plans to move because of it, too – they’re headed to NC and Florida. I’m in “stay and fight” mode for now, but would seriously consider FL, NV or AZ.

  46. I left Illinois 7 years ago for South Carolina. I came here to go to school but I stayed here mainly because it’s nice to live with people who tend to understand and appreciate freedom.

  47. Still in California. However I spent last weekend in Texas on a recon trip. Checked out Austin and Corpus Christi.

  48. The cook and I were talking about a move last year the kids have gone south and aint coming back and to escape NY taxes they are actually destroying us. Since jan 15, 2013 our highly intelligent governor has sinched the plan. I have been scouring google earth and have found a few country properties I love in Kentucky. The plan is to be all set up there in time for retirement. Which will be a lot sooner if we get to hell outta NY!

  49. I left California for the military and had considered going back (briefly) however, with the dingbats running that state I decided it was in my best interest to become a resident of Utah. My last duty station was Utah and I decided I liked what this state has to offer. Morals, non-restrictive gun laws, and many fellow sportsmen.

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