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I’ve moved the Big D to Austin. TTAG’s Managing Editor joins Tyler Kee, Jonathan Taylor and myself in America’s live music capitol. Jeremy S. is thinking about moving here. And now Sara Tipton and her family are looking to leave California for a more hospitable home. I’ve invited her to see the Texas Hill Country and sung Texas’ praises to the roof. While I think The Lone Star State is the be-all, end-all – America how it used to be – I’m seriously myopic. And happy. Anyway, where do you think the gun-loving, freedom-seeking Ms. Tipton should live? Here’s a list of her criteria . . .

I want firearms freedom. It would be nice to have land available to shoot or drive my jeep on (trails) or take the dirt bike out. I also like small towns. Less people is ideal. Less for them to judge me. I prefer to be around fewer laws. New York and Cali make me cringe. I like hunting and where I can ride a motorcycle for at least a few months.

I want small government fees. Low vehicle registration fees and low local taxes. Weather isn’t as important as freedom. Not to me anyway. Schools…I can take or leave. If they are bad or unaffordable, I’d have no issue homeschooling. But that’s a plus. And I love cooking. So restaurants aren’t high on my list either, although I love sushi every now and then.


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    • New Hampshire. the Live free or Die state. No income taxes. No sales taxes. Reasonable property taxes. Low car registration. Cheap Auto Insurance. Less gun laws then Texas. Carry Permit is $10 and then have to issue in 14 days other wise you can sue the police chief for damages (it’s in the law). Only the state legislature can pass laws forbidding guns. Can’t have guns in court, post offices and schools. That’s it. Quality of life is good. Low crime. Less murders. Highest per capita number of federal machine gun permit in the nation. No permit required to buy guns. Kids can own guns given to them by a relative and even get a carry permit (no age in law) Kids have to be 18 to buy rifle or 21 for handgun from a FFL gun store. Tons of food and retail everywhere

    • I was going to say New Hampshire. No sales tax or income tax, hopefully soon to be constitutional carry. Currently permitless open carry. Good hunting. No seat belt or helmet laws for people above 18. Full NFA. No knife laws.

      • I would say NH or ME, if only for NFA stuff. and I think Maine just passed hunting with supressors, though it has a sunset. But plenty of land available. Especially in COOS county in NH.

      • I almost can’t imagine driving an auto without fastening my seat belt. No seat belt laws are not a + for me!

        • This is a non sequitur. The lack of a seat belt law shouldn’t stop you from buckling up when you drive.

        • Wake up and smell freedom!

          You don’t need a law requiring you to wear a seatbelt. I wear one all the time, but don’t need a law to make me do it.

          I brush my teeth and floss everyday, but don’t need the government to require me to do it.

    • Where? Obviously New Mexico. Permitless OC. CC of an unloaded weapon with a mag in your pocket, Shall Issue CC with a class.

      Real acceptance of OC, even in Albuquerque. I’ve OC’d for seven years and not one instance of hassle with the police or populace.

      No assault weapon restrictions, no NFA full auto or suppressors restrictions except those by federal law.

      The lowest population density outside of Alaska with some of the largest roaded and roadless wilderness areas outside of Alaska.

      Great hunting, very low humidity, four seasons without killer winters like back east or killer summers like Pheonix.

      Low taxes, low land prices, no smog certificates of vehicles outside of Albq. , no helmet laws, (but I wear one anyway.)

      Real cultural diversity with some of the largest populations of native americans and Hispanic cultures as well as tranplants from other states yet the people here are proud Americans and very accepting of the Christian faith as well as American Indian Teachings.

      The Land Of Enchantment.

    • The area around Florence is nice, but has a lot of suburbs. The area to the West of Lexington is actually much nicer. I like the area around Keeneland Race Track. My father in law was from Greensburg Kentucky and it it is nice, but fairly rural. The Lexington area would be a good place to live and it is not a dumpy area. The city of Lexington seems fairly nice for the most part. Kentucky gun laws are pretty lax and are much better than Texas. Lexington Winters are not as stiff as SE Indiana and it is not ridiculously hot in the Summer. People are friendly and you are in gun country. The scenery around Lexington is rolling hills and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains are minutes away.

  1. Wisconsin isn’t so bad. Low vehicle registration fees and plenty of open spaces. Get yourself a snowmobile for the winter months and you’re good to go!

    • I’ll second Wisconsin. With Walker repealing the 48 hour waiting period on handguns freedom is increasing.

    • Plus, if you really get out in the boonies, you’re still not that far from anything (unless you’re way up north) and your taxes are still quite low. It’s SE Wisconsin cities where property taxes are pretty high.

        • I’d say there are more leftist lunatics in Wisconsin than in Texas. After all, the whole “white priveledge” thing came from Wisconsin, from what I can tell.

        • Somebody was hanging around Madison.

          Really strong outdoor tradition here. Hunting, fishing, biking. Handguns have an additional fee when buying from an FFL, but CCL are shall issue and there is constitutional carry. If you’re looking for rural and small town- go an hour outside of the big cities and you should find a nice place. Reloading, shooting, and hunting all very alive here.

          Granted I moved here from NYC and anything feels free after that, so I might not be the best advocate.

        • I’ve blogged about most of the areas around Arizona(link in my name). Living on the Mongollon Rim would be really nice. We have more beach here in Arizona than most states. Oddly, even more than California, PLUS California isn’t that far of a drive. Technically, if she had an RV, and a job where she could work from home, I’d do that. We have so much open land that she could live full time in an RV and never have to settle down. During the summer months, the Mongollon Rim would be perfect. Or heck even near Tucson on the mountain. Then during the winter, migrate to the lower elevations

          Just make sure she leaves the California in California
          If that’s what she wants, then she needs to move to Austin haha.

        • The White Mountains are spectacular. Was just up there last week doing a bit of camping and fishing a creek for trout.

          Arizona has some outstanding Jeep trails and I should know – I take my 2000 Wrangler out to enjoy them as often as I can. Sedona is home to some of the best, most beautiful trails Arizona (and the nation for that matter) has to offer. Look into Broken Arrow and Soldier’s Pass. I’ve run them several times and they’re tops.

          No better gun freedoms in the nation, plenty of public land to shoot on and still a days drive from Cali if you have family, friends or places there you’d still like to visit. Payson, Heber/Overgaard, Pine, Prescott and Show Low would be worth looking into. They’re all smaller towns in the higher elevations so you can avoid the blistering stuff down in the Valley where I live.

          The only fly in the ointment is our taxes aren’t exactly the lowest but probably less than California.

        • I was thinking the same thing. If she lives in Lassen county, I’d say Flagstaff, Prescott, or Show Low would be an easy transition. Although, if Chester wasn’t in CA, I’d move there in a heartbeat.

        • I’m hoping to bail out of the former golden state. What can y’all tell me about Sedona, Az? Looks nice and it’s only 30-50 minutes from Flagstaff.

        • I’m surprised AZ wasn’t the first mentioned. It checks everything on the list.

          Firearms freedom is exceptionally good here. Shooting is cheap and easy. I have a membership at Rio Salado Sportsmans Club (outdoor range) where $5 gets you a lane for as long as you want it. There’s also a lot of open land where outdoor shooting is possible (just be sure of the land owner, current policies and fire restrictions). I broke in my KSG by driving my Tacoma through 4WD country on BLM land, finding a secluded spot where I wouldn’t harm the cacti and testing a variety of loads until the sun got low. It was a sublime day.

          Places for jeeps and dirt bikes? AZ has them aplenty. You can ride motorcycles pretty much year round; there’s a huge variety of scenery if you’re just looking to tour–everything from wide open spaces to desert lakes, mountains, pine forest, etc.

          Registration on my 2000 Tacoma last year was less than $60 and that includes $25 for a custom plate.

          Small towns? Well, how small are you looking to get? Phoenix is huge. Tucson is still big but with a decidedly smaller feel than Phoenix. Prescott, Payson and Flagstaff are smaller still, but have enough grocery stores and restaurants for comfortable living. Or there are plenty of truly tiny dots on the map, right down to buying some acreage and setting up a trailer, if that’s your thing.

          There are good schools here (at what level are you looking)? I grew up here and went to some. Though I’m not sure as to good schools + small towns.

          There are also good restaraunts, but they’re less the norm. Phoenix favors chain restaraunts, but there are some excellent independent places if you look. I’ve had better luck in Tucson, generally, particularly with Mexican food.

          Finally, the weather. Elephant in the room? Not really. Swimming pools and ice-cold drinks do more to cure hot days here than any amount of layering can cure the harshest of winter days in cold country. And no shoveling heat or rusting out vehicles from road salt. Visit the lakes or drive up north where the temperature drops. Options abound.

    • I’d second Idaho. Idaho is where she want to be. Eastern Washington is pretty good too, and closer to quality sushi. No state income tax in WA, lots of open empty land for shooting and motorsports, open carry ok, and no training crap required for CCW (but I-594 is a serious downer). Short barreled rifles and suppressors have recently been legalized in WA.

      Arizona/Montana/Wyoming are all good for freedom and outdoors loving folks. Utah is great if she is LDS but ok if she isn’t. Southern Oregon is close to where she lives now, and is light-years better than California on gun rights.

      Texas/Tennessee/Florida are all good options too if she is willing to move that far.

      • The ATF has recently been denying SBR applications because WA law says you cannot manufacture one (but you CAN “acquire one in compliance with Federal Law”). And 594 is extraordinarily bad law. At least it’s unenforceable, but still not something anyone should have to worry about.

        I vote Idaho or Utah. I particularly like Idaho.

        • Yep, Sara belongs in Idaho.

          I just wish they didn’t have an income tax, or sales tax on food.

          Also, the Treasure Valley (Boise area) is a bit crowded with former Californians fleeing that sinking ship.

          I love the South too. There is a lot to say for the warmer weather, the color green (and Spanish moss on Live Oak trees). But, that humidity is rough. The intermountain west is a bit dry and brown.

      • I agree with all of this. Idaho is great for everything she has stated, except sushi. Washington and Oregon are good for basically everything including sushi, except not quite up to snuff (when compared to Idaho) on the firearms freedom aspect (no full auto in WA, lots of weird nuances on stuff in OR).
        The only part I disagree with is limiting it to Eastern WA. The rural parts of Western WA are just as firearm friendly, with a significant advantage in the sushi access requirement. Also; if you like green stuff, even the greenest parts of Eastern WA are pretty brown compared to Western WA.

        I have no real personal experience with the E or SE US, but I hear very good things for all of this (except sushi) in Vermont and most states West Virginia and south.

        • You are right, rural Western Washington is great too, but I’d stay away from Seattle-Olympia. Western WA is prettier and closer to good Sushi than Eastern WA. Eastern WA really is much more like Idaho and the Intermountain West.

          Seattle and Portland sure do have great Asian food. Spokane/Yakima/Tri-Cities can’t match the Westside for Asian food.

        • I’d have recommended Washington until recently as well, but it’s gotten stupid and I fear more stupidity is in our future. Idaho sounds like a great choice to me. Almost everything on the list is checked off and sushi can be satisfied with a short trip to the coastal areas of the Northwest.

          Maybe at some point we can take Washington back and if so, rural Western Washington would be a great choice. Heck, even King County has areas that would be a great fit. People forget that the county runs almost all the way into the mountains, so there are areas that are well off the beaten path that are nevertheless half an hour from great sushi restaurants. For now, however, I really can’t recommend it.

      • Portland is making sure Southern Oregon is becoming California. Just like LA and SF made sure the rest of California became California.

        I’m looking at Wyoming or Idaho. If she’s up in Lassen, Reno/Sparks could be a good transition.

      • Josephine County Oregon…The population in Grants Pass is 35K. No sales tax, low vehicle registration fees, low property taxes. The Sheriff’s department was partially disbanded a few years ago due to budget cuts. I believe there are just 2 full time sheriffs on patrol for the entire county. It kind of feels like the wild west. The LEO’s I’ve encountered are friendly, small town types. We have gun freedom here. I can walk in and buy a gun and walk out 10 minutes later. CCW permits take just a matter of weeks to obtain with a 1 page application. It’s close to California and it’s beautiful with plenty of water.

      • The lds thing is really not much of an issue here. Nice people and after they get to know you(even a punk like me) they are pretty accepting. Just like anywhere and with anyone. Show them you are honest and are worth your salt and they are A ok. In some places it can be funny to see the lack of places open on Sundays but with big chains it’s not a big deal.

        Nevada, Washington, Montana, and Colorado… Close but no cigar for me. The liberal disease has infested enough to hurt future gun ownership. Wyoming is the best I know of as far as firearms law but much of the state can be pretty desolate and windy/cold in the winter. Same with Idaho I suppose.

    • I really want to move to AZ, especially somewhere in the mountains like Flagstaff or Payson, but I wan’t to make retirement at my current job first.

    • Just a note about AZ, depending on the age and market value of your vehicle, the vehicle tax can either be quite low or stupidly high.

  2. She should live wherever she bloody well chooses. She’s a bright lady, she can get the info and make an informeinformedinformed decdecision
    OkOkaOkay iI hate my phophonephone now.

  3. Try Northern Colorado. Small town America, close enough to the mountains for every kind of outdoor activity out there. Gun friendly, though Denver is a black hole… I love it here, as I can open carry without even a second glance. Look at Ft. Collins or Greeley, and the surrounding areas. Our sheriffs refuse to enforce 30rd bans

    • The Western Slope of CO is a great place. As far from the Denver “Flagpole” as you can get.

      Lots of 4WD trails (and close to Moab, UT, without the high costs), camping, forests, BLM ranges, private ranges), reasonable cost of living, though wages are slightly suppressed. A good buyers’ market for housing. USFS/BLM own about 65% of the land in Mesa County.

      If you go to the front range, get your CO tags on ASAP. “Don’t Kalifornicate Colorado” still prevails in some areas.

    • Stay the hell out of Santa Fe (filled to the brim with hippies) and Albuquerque (Weird Al lied–the air does not smell like warm root beer and the towels are not oh-so-fluffy!)

  4. Sara should consider South Dakota (says a former resident and probably future resident).

    More deer (and antelope) than people.
    Firearms friendly (road hunting of pheasants is legal, so loaded shotguns are in most vehicles from October through December).
    No state income taxes
    No state business income taxes
    Great wide open places for using the Jeep and hiking, etc.

  5. Sara, come to Alabama. It meets all your criteria. Here in North Alabama you get to see the seasons change, too. Low taxes and cost of living make AL number 3 or 4 on the lists of top retirement destinations.

    • My suggestion would be N. Alabama as well. I left those major population centers three years ago and found this place to have all of what Sara listed.

  6. Don’t come to Vermont!

    Your motorcycle riding will be limited to the July 4th holiday weekend, along with any other summer activity.

    Just kidding.

    I’d recommend Vermont so long as you stay out of Burlington/Chittenden County, Rutland, and probably half the college towns.

    My other consideration is staying as far away as reasonably possible from any of the big cities, like, for example, Austin, Houston, Dallas, etc., or over here, Boston, NYC and Montreal. Those places will be death traps in the not-too-distant future.

    Another thought that may or may not be germane; this state takes turns with Wyoming, Maine and Iowa as the whitest state in the Union every year. That could be bad or good, depending on one’s POV.

    No gun laws to speak of, other than carrying machine guns into church would be sorta frowned upon currently (maybe not much longer) and the ‘castle doctrine’ is pretty vague here; also silencers/suppressors are a no-go, currently. We’ll see about that. But CC and OC are A-OK.

    Another thought: the state is heavily Catholic but mainly non-practicing, from what I can see over twenty years. And about a third, like NH, Franco-American.

    That’s my deux piastres, anyway. Bon chance!

    • An area with a million and a half people doesn’t really fit her low population density requirement. The middle Tennessee area is nice though and she’d probably enjoy Hickman/Robertson/Cheatham counties just to the north and west of Nashville.

  7. If you can afford it and dont mind a winter rural montana would always be my choice. no sales tax. any speeding less than 18 over is a 20 dollar fine that does not go on your record. open carry, concealed carry, hunting, etc. tons of great roads for street riding. some of the most incredible dirt biking. lots of jeeping, something texas lacks, texas has very little public off rod lands if any, all private and pay. Most of montana is still old west in feel and the people are great, stay away from major cities. To me montana is what people think texas is. texas is not the bastion of freedom people think it is, it is getting better every year but too hot for me.

      • Not to mention that the population is only 975,000 people of whom 109,000 are veterans! The western side is beautiful with easy access to Yellowstone and Glacier plus wilderness areas and forests. This, from a died in the wool Texan!

  8. Sounds like she was describing small town Michigan to me. Never had an issue with open carry or concealed carry. Plenty of places to shoot and hunt and LOTS of outdoor stuff to do all year round. Buying 10 acres a little bit outside of town means no hassles and a personal shooting range. The only concern would be employment. As mentioned previously, employment drives location on a move like this.

  9. Pennsylvania has some awesome cool towns in the Lancaster area, and much of central and western PA would meet your criteria. Basically anywhere except the cities (Pittsburgh, Philly, Harrisburgh). We are the friggin birthplace of American Freedom. Hell, we even have the damn Liberty Bell.

    • Yeah but this is a crap state for motorcycles. The roads are terrible and you only get 3-4 good riding months out of the year (the rest of them are either too cold, too snowy or too wet)
      And good luck finding a place to shoot that doesn’t have strings attached. And with a Democrat AG and Democrat governor (along with a notable blue shift in the populace in general) expect PA to be the next Second Amendment battleground.

      • If a $40/year membership in a private club to have a place to shoot is strings attached, I’ll take it. For me the biggest drawback is not the gun environment (our AG has lost all credibility) although we did have a setback with Act 192 today on enforcement of the state preemption law. North central PA has some beautiful countryside for your off road pleasure.The biggest drawback is the cost of living compared to a lot of other states with the similar amenities. The schools are half decent but you’ll pay for it thanks to that asshat Tom Ridge.

      • Aww man you are so right about the roads. Have to be the worst in the country, and barely navigable for a motorcycles. And you’re bumming me out on the 2A stuff. This is all about the cities. Let them do whatever they want, but leave the rest of us alone. ugh.

    • Yeah…. We’re so fucking free we can’t even hunt with Semi-Auto rifles or hunt on Sunday…. PA is a joke for firearms freedoms. Look at what Toomey is doing as Manchin’s butt buddy.

      • I hear ya. Would like to take my M1A out for a hunt one of these years. Our knife laws suck too. I said we are the birthplace of freedom, not the bastion of it. But it sure beats the hell out of NY, NJ, or MD – right? Besides, I aint movin.

        • I don’t think I’ve ever read up on the PA knife laws. I live in the rural part of south central PA so its pretty relaxed as far as stuff like that goes. Way better than the surrounding states though I’ll give ya that. If they would fix those 2 things I think we’d have it golden. Background checks for handguns annoy me only because its an extra $25 bucks tacked onto the cost of the firearm. Generally NFA friendly even for hunting with silencers. Its not all bad but why not strive for perfection?

        • @billy.hill – Oh man, you ever want to get your head twisted in a knot, try reading the PA knife laws. Lots of good info out there on them. Some crazy stuff. I’m not too far away from you, and like you, they are pretty cool out here locally – but I still don’t violate any laws of course. Basically – stay away from daggers. And agree with you on semi-auto and on Sundays. Hopefully they’ll be able to push through the semi-auto law change, but not holding out hope for Sundays. The farmers have a big say and the old Blue Law mentality still has it’s hold in PA (which actually, might not be all that bad, all things considered). Sucks we can’t buy liquor on Sundays, but at least we can pump our own damn gas! (cough, cough, new jersey sucks, cough cough)

      • There’s a bill to legalize semiautomatic rifles for hunting floating through the legislature right now, I’d say it has an even chance as Pennsylvania is the last state to have a problem with it (it’s even legal in NY). Chances are much worse for Sunday hunting because there is a strong farm lobby opposed to it. It makes no sense to me for private landowners who can set their own rules to have an objection but there it is. The strongest rationale I’ve heard is so they can go out and poach on their own property on Sunday.

    • Missouri isn’t a bad choice if you avoid the big cities Democratic political machines are busy destroying (Kansas City and St Louis).

    • Missouri, about 45 minutes to an hour west of St. Louis, 45 minutes south of St. Louis or about 45 minutes east of Kansas City. Freedom, great ranges, land you can do what you want on, great gun people, etc.

    • Apparently you can load rounds into, and rack a shotgun that you just bought – in the store – welcome to Missouri!

  10. Newcastle, in Craig County, western Virginia. Lots of Natural Forest land, trails and a shooting range. Not a lot of jobs and about an hours drive to what you’d want in a city, but a nice little community that cares about low government and the best education they can afford (see jobs comment above.)

    Likely to get significant snow but the fall is breathtaking and you can ride April into October.

    • Absolutely, especially south of OKC. If you live close enough to a Norman you’ll have some great options for dining out and if you live outside of Norman you’ll have nearly all the land you could want. Small towns, conservative politics, extremely gun friendly… Hunting can be hot or miss.

    • Yep, Oklahoma is OK.

      BRAUMS Ice Cream!

      I’d tend to go East of OKC/I-35 since it is greener and more forested out that way. Folks in Oklahoma tend to be friendly.

      Just make sure you end up close to a: BRAUMS Ice Cream Store!

  11. Wyoming, Idaho, Montana…. No income tax in WY, no sales tax in MT. Place yourself correctly, and you can benefit from both. As for bikes, in ID 12 year olds ride (plated, even) MXers to practice if their parents are too busy to take them. Unless they just drive daddy’s chipped diesel truck past the sheriff’s station to the track themselves, that is.

    The Rockies north of CO ain’t Kandahar wrt general lack of harassing tax feeders, but they’re a lot closer than anywhere in TX I’m aware of.

  12. Utah.

    I never did do any adventures, but there’s plenty. Bonus for all the federal land you can go shooting on. Keeps range costs down. Considerably. I am now in NC and cannot believe what it costs just to get to a range, much less shoot there for an hour. You’re surrounded by desert and mountains. Geode beds. Many federal parks down in southern UT most of which are out of this world cool. Really wish I’d spend some time down there in goblins and arches. And playing in sand rails and stuff. Ah well.

    Cost of living is low. Big clumps of people with lots of low population areas as you scatter out towards the mountains. So you have everything you want pretty close, but you can get away from the urbs and suburbs pretty easily I think. Actually I’d love to settle down in one of the smaller less populated areas. It’s a desert. So nice and safe for Motorcycles in the summer. No dice in the winter.

    Really low crime rates. LOVED that. Even in the crap part of Orem I was never super worried. Though stuff did go down near us.

    Taxes were pretty low iirc. Maybe do your own research there for comparison.

    It’s largely a free state. Open carry “unloaded”. So that’s crap. Will get that fixed eventually I open. Concealed carry permit system is pretty great. One of the few states where they don’t prohibit in schools and stuff.

    Cons: Cold. Not as cold as many other places, though, so if you don’t mind some snow, it’s pretty nice most of the time.

    For reals didn’t realize how much I loved UT until I left. :/ Would not mind going back post-school.

  13. Literally anywhere in Kansas fits what you are looking for (minus access to fresh sushi).

    From the center of any city save KC or Wichita you can be in near complete isolation in about a 15 minute drive.

    No permit needed to carry open or concealed beginning July 1st, statewide (counties and cities can’t restrict it).

    Massive whitetails (, mule deer, antelope, coyotes, pheasants, quail, turkey, and lots of small game. Quite a bit of public hunting land as well.

    • Well, in most of Kansas sushi is a no go but Wichita and KCK have enough places to get it. Public hunting is also not all that bountiful unless you count WIHA which I like better because it’s public access to private land. I don’t ride a dirt bike anymore but it’s a good state for street bikes if you’re like me and like visiting small towns in the middle of nowhere with smaller more offbeat attractions. When I did ride a dirt bike I went to a local club with a motocross track and a circle track. Taxes aren’t bad and if you live close enough to a boarder there’s always the option of Colorado or Oklahoma for four wheeling and trail riding most people I know around Wichita go to Waynoka OK for the dunes (also an option on a dirt bike).

  14. Southern Idaho. We fit the description perfectly, and have lots of small towns that within an hour of larger cities. Not that I’m lobbying for any particular location, but Elmore County, Idaho, has the highest percentage of military veterans of any county in the US. And is, not surprisingly, a very safe place to live. Did I mention most of the southern half of the state is public land with lots of dirt roads? And if you pick your property carefully (backstops important), you can have your own shooting range. And no carry permit is required for carrying outside any incorporated town (we are working on Constitutional carry). Did I mention elk hunting? And as many gun stores as gas stations (slight exaggeration)? And did I mention our extremely low humidity (usually below 25% in the summer)?

  15. I live in Texas, as soon as I can pull up roots, I am going to Montana. You can always make your own sushi! P.S. I love my nation of birth (Texas) but i feel Montana may be better suited for the need for solitude.

  16. Texas has most of the qualities mentioned BUT you should probably rule out Austin. Although there is no state income tax, property taxes run 2.5-3% annually, which didn’t seem so bad when houses could be bought for $100K back in the 90s; now that those houses costs $500K, that’s a significant tax bill. Also note that Texas has no equivalent to California Prop 13–your assessed value is set by the market. The homestead exemption lets you defer the increase in your tax bill, as it is only allowed to rise 10% per year, but eventually your tax bill catches up with the full market value of your property. If that $500K house becomes worth $1M your tax bill goes to $30K.

    The trick is to buy property that is inexpensive relative to your income. If you buy all the house you can afford, you might actually pay more taxes than most States that have an income tax.

    From what I’ve seen, Seattle actually has a good balance of low property taxes and no income tax; not as gun-friendly as Texas, though, and the weather sucks.

  17. Part of me thinks people like Sara should stay in California and fight fight fight, but as I am comfortably enjoying my freedoms on the opposite coast, I’d be a hypocrite to urge it. Virginia has everything on the list and needs liberty-minded folks to counter the exodus from the north (what made you leave Massachusetts and why do you want it in Virginia?). And the western part of the state is (relatively) sparsely populated and firearms-friendly. (We often get blamed for NYC’s “gun problem.”) But we are not the libertarian paradise that the mountain and plain states seem to be. If you want a good balance of cosmopolitan and country, Western Virginia’s got everything Austin has, plus constitutional OC, no 30.06 laws and the best state motto ever.

    • Sic semper tyrannis – I have to second Virginia. As a transposed northerner from NY married to a WV country gal, Virginia is a great place to live. “Low vehicle registration fees” might be an issue for you Sara, we have annual personal property tax on vehicles. Plenty of land for sale in south western area though.

      • True we have the car tax, but as an ex-Californian, I can report Sara’s property tax and auto insurance would go down by 66%, plus no bothersome emissions testing.

  18. As great as Texas is, it’s pretty much “pay to play” for most of the activities you want to do. 84% of the land is privately owned.

  19. Eastern Iowa is where I call home. Mississippi river, white tails, turkey, yotes, and some good B roads. Shotgun only for deer, but across the river in Wisconsin you can use rifle. Check out Dubuque, Davenport, Guttenberg, and the surrounding areas. And as a bonus we are a “Shall Issue” state!

    • Dittos

      I can’t think of a single Komifornia transport I come across in the last decade. Find somewhere similar and don’t try to change it into the cesspool you left behind (as in vast sections of the US NW of Denver).

  20. I live in Central New York for most of my life and then school brought me to Central Virginia. Now that I am a little older I can look back and see how oppressive NY really was.

    Based on Sarah’s list of requirements:
    1. Central Virginia offers firearms freedoms and is 2nd Amendment friendly
    2. The Blue Ridge Mountains offer land for shooting and off roading.
    3. Towns can be found in all sizes depending on what her definition of “small” is.
    4. It is not hard to find a place to live that has “less people” but also be close to necessities (grocery, food, gas)
    5. Central Virginia offers fewer oppressive laws compared to NY, CA, or any larger city
    6. Some sort of hunting is available almost all year round.
    7. With the exception of a afternoon thunderstorm in the summer and 2-4 days of snow per year the weather allows for 7-8 months of motorcycle weather a year.
    8. The area I live in currently was just announced to have the best overall cost of living according to a Virginia state index.
    9. I live in a college town which could be a pro or con depending on how you look at it but education and employments opportunities are plentiful
    10. There are plenty of local and chain restaurants for eating out but more importantly local farms supply some of the freshest meat, eggs, and vegetables to use at home for cooking.

    I am partial to the east coast simply because all of my family and my wife’s family live on this side of the country. I have come to love Virginia more than I expected when I first moved here for school.

  21. Maryland!

    Just kidding…stay as far as you can from Maryland. I am seriously exploring Texas as my own retirement destination.

  22. I can’t offer any advice, other than definitely not Connecticut… the gun laws suck, taxes painfully high and the economy is at best stagnant.

    It seems like everyone (who isn’t a state employee) is fleeing the state for friendly climes in southern or western states. Georgia and Texas are on my short list.

  23. Eastern Oregon. Say, prineville or Pendleton. No sales tax, low registration fees. Great hunting. Can ride or jeep some great places.

  24. You guys make Montana sound like a winner. I hate a lot about Michigan, high taxes, shit roads, handgun registration…as much as I hate the bad there is some good. It is like pulling teeth trying to get my wife to consider moving

  25. The truth is , West Virginia is the best state in the United States if you have a reasonable reliable income , your not a coal miner and you like to hunt . Reasonable taxes verses per cap income , cost of living is fair to low , people are great , better than most anywhere I’ve been . Open carry state with highest gun per person ratio in the world . You can still find a fifty acre farm with house , barn , outbuildings , well and electric and in some cases , mineral rights , for less than $70,000.00 . Just did it . I was born here and lived in state for past 30 years . I’ve also lived in California , Kentucky and Ohio . I traveled through and stayed in nearly every other and WV is tops . No glamor or glitz just basic Americana . You would be welcome . God bless .

  26. I am also considering a relocation. My requirements are a respect for my rights and someplace they don’t use road salt in the winter (I can handle some occasional light snow, but I don’t want my car to rust away to nothing). Also looking for a good job market as I am currently less than employed.

  27. It’s easier to say where not to go. The west coast (emphasis on coast), the northeastern coastal states and D.C., and the Great Lakes region.

  28. In particular you mentioned small towns.

    Research carefully the areas you are considering.

    Parts of rural America have a serious Meth problem, not just consumption but manufacturing and trafficking. That could be problematic if you like to go exploring in the countryside and stumble across someone’s business endeavor.

    Another thing to consider is the general direction the area is going. Is it ascendent, stable, or on the way down? That will impact the future value of the property.

    Another thing to consider is how close to high quality healthcare, as in distance to a trauma center. That could literally save you and your family’s life.

    Just my .02 and every penny…

  29. Wyoming is pretty great. I moved from central California to Laramie 2 years ago and couldn’t be happier. 30k people in Laramie, 20 minutes from good hikes, pretty good restaurants for a small town, 45 minutes from beer mecca in Fort Collins, CO. No state income tax and city sales tax has a 6% cap on it.

  30. Thought about Texas and consulted with people who moved there and now plan to come back to CA. One CFO relayed a 12% increase in income. The mistake is folks upgrade home square footage and that gives most savings back in energy, water & pest control cost. He calculated a gain of $200 monthly savings. Frankly it’s not enough for me to move and loose vertical dirt. And for the weather…98 degrees at 11:59 pm with 80% humidity is a deal breaker as well.

    Hold your ground, jump into the legislative trench and let’s battle together.

  31. stay in california and help fight. i moved to texas from fresno in 2009 like a quitter and a coward. dont be like me.

    also, i know of precious few texas public lands, and even fewer where shooting is permitted. maybe someone could enlighten me if im mistaken?

  32. Central GA. Lots of small towns and places to hunt/fish. 1 to 1 1/2 hours away from Atlanta. Sure, its hot and muggy in the summer, but its an unusual year if you see ice on the ground in the winter.

  33. The Reno area would be good. Excellent fishing, wheeling, skiing, shooting, MTBing, and decent weather. All the benefits of California, and none of the BS.

    It’s an outdoor/sportsman’s mecca with enough of an ill deserved bad reputation that it keeps casuals out.

  34. You can consider Central or Northern Maine. Anything north of Augusta is acceptable. Cheap plentiful land? I paid under 100k for my 4000 sq. ft. house on 33 acres. My property taxes are reasonable. Small towns? My hometown has a population of 349. Lots and lots of towns like mine up here. Firearms laws are great here. Nothing is banned, shall issue, no local registration, sheriff always signs NFA. I love the weather, averages 85 in the hottest part of summer. I could never live in in those places where it gets over 100, I’d melt. Large hunting community, and a lot of riders. Only thing on your list we don’t have up here is low vehicle fees, 5% excise tax on vehicle registrations every year…… Yea, it sucks, but it’s the price we pay to live the way we want. I practically dragged the little lady up here and she was convinced she would hate it, being so far away from everything. She has totally changed her mind. She still complains from time to time about the crappy internet and the snow, but otherwise, really loves the laid-back, friendly and most of all, private way of life.

  35. Check out the region around the common borders of NC, SC, GA, TN, & VA. Perhaps a bit of AL & KY as well.

    The further south, the longer the motorcycle season. Sushi may be an issue unless you’re willing to go to one of the bigger cities with fancier restaurants once in a while.

  36. I know we’ve debated the move-versus-stay conundrum a lot, but the bottom line is that we are a highly mobile society, and GENERALLY the good outweighs the bad. It’s gotten to where it’s easier to cross certain slave states off the list, too. California, New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Illinois are to be absolutely avoided, all on account of their asinine gun laws and or endemic corruption. Probably Rhode Island and Delaware, too.

    Most everywhere else you can pretty much own guns without needless hassle. I’d let the job market decide – if independently financially secure, then go with any state in the Mountain West. Avoid the large cities like the plague (Denver and Seattle mainly), but if you can get, say about 30-50 miles out of town then that’s almost as good as off the grid altogether.

    I live in northwestern Georgia. Moved here from southwestern Missouri about a year and a half back, mainly to go to school and be closer to family. Even though I still don’t know a soul other than the neighbor at the bottom of the hill, I’m glad I came. Surprisingly, Atlanta isn’t all that bad either. Just so you have an escape plan handy.

    I think at last count about 80 percent of our country’s population lives on 3 percent of the land. Maybe even more. That, probably more than anything, has changed American demographics, whether for better or worse. The good news is that if you’re one of those 20 percent left, you have a LOT of good options. 🙂


  37. I moved from California to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Open carry is legal though not common. Concealed is $15 and shall issue (card in the mail in under two weeks), and we recognize everyone else’s CCWs. The huge national forest and grasslands are open to shooting everywhere, though most of us congregate in a few places.

    Very low unemployment, very low cost of living, mild winters and cool summers (with a few intense exceptions) and a solid American West culture. We also have a solid system of full aquifers west of the Missouri River, so water will never be the problem it is in the southwest.

  38. Employment, family, friends and weather all keep me in California for the next 15-20 years or so. I’ll work with and around the stupid laws until then.

  39. How about the great state of North Carolina? Long riding season plus the dragon, 2A friendly, lots of off roading available. A few hours from the coast or the mountains depending on what tickles your fancy. Also home to Front Line Defense, one of the few 1000 yard ranges available with reasonable membership fees. Great BBQ, and sushi available as well!

    • As a SoCal transplant I have to disagree with Jedi on the sushi, otherwise agreed across the board (I not only took my CCW with Frontline Defense prior to the range/facility being built, but now hit their range on occasion. Great facility and people.)

      Land is cheap and plentiful (outside Raleigh and Charlotte,) taxes are pretty reasonable, gun laws are good (better than TX and getting better,) vehicle registration fees are reasonable.

      My family has often considered a move to TX, but more and more we are leaning toward a move to a more rural section of Central NC.

      Good on Sara for getting the fux of CA though. We simple people should leave the martyrdom thing to guys like Jesus. There’s no winning the liberty fight in certain places and there’s no sense in going down with the ship when you have a family to consider.

  40. I loved Arizona, wish I could go back currently. Hope to in the future.

    My fear is that the places that adhere to the criteria you describe are quickly vanishing, rotted away by the parasitic disease of bloated government and leftist ideology. Seems like the goal now is to find a place like that and love it as much as possible before it inevitably vanishes. Hope I’m wrong.

  41. Not entirely sure how Arkansas ranks in regards to registration taxes etc, but NW Arkansas is very pretty. However immediately outside the populated areas in any direction you are in rural areas in the mountains. Much of Arkansas is very pretty actually along the western border to central Arkansas. Anything in the Boston Mountains or Ouachita Mountains are places I love, and rival many of our country’s scenic locations.

  42. Not sure what Sara does for a living, but that probably will play a consideration.

    I’d recommend Florida except for:

    – There’s really no public land where you can just go and shoot, that I know of.

    – No OC, period. CWFL approval takes awhile just because of sheer volume.

    – The weather gets disgusting in the summer.

    But it’s still a huge step up from California.

  43. Alaska sounds perfect for what she is describing she wants. Once her jeep hits 7 years old she can lifetime register it there are very little taxes here. Alaska is one of the most gun friendly states and lots of small towns. Only downside is shipping costs of things but amazon prime is my best friend up here.

    • I love Alaska and Palin , clean water and lots of bars and taverns , long straight roads and little friggin trees . I would agree that it would be a great place to live but falls short on some of her criteria , mainly , property cost and cost of living and as far as the jeep thing . Any jeep Wrangler between 2007 and 2011 will probably need a new transmission before 50,000 miles , have electrical problems out the yeng yang and leak water around the doors . Good luck Sara . I still vote for WV.

  44. Western VA or Western NC. She and her Jeep and family would be a perfect fit. Lots of good stuff (and local wine) to cook with. Lots of Forest Service ranges (and Jeep trails) and essentially no firearms restrictions. Local area politics is very firearms friendly. Come visit the new Ruger factory. Open carry is legal although not routinely practiced. High capacity mags are legal. Lots of college sports and decent restaurants when she is not shooting or cooking.

  45. That’s Arizona. It is a Jeep owners and gun owners paradise. I live in a suburb of Phoenix, and I only have to drive a few miles to off-road. AZ has some of the best off-road trails in the US, but if you want to go to the off-road mecca – Moab – it is about a half-day’s drive from Phoenix. And, CCP…don’t need one, although it is good to have one if you want to run over to Nevada or up to Utah. Open carry…I see it all the time, and only the tourists squawk. If the heat of Phoenix is too much, try Prescott, Sedona, Payson, or many cooler areas of Arizona. If you like perfect temperatures all year long, live in Flagstaff in the summer and Phoenix for the remainder of the year. Try Jeeping in Sedona while open carrying, and you may never want to leave.

  46. PA fits perfectly.
    Wanna tote a gun, do it.
    Want to drive your jeep, do it.
    Want left alone, do it.

    Taxes are low, townships are run by local rednecks.

    State was founded on freedom.

    Carry permit takes 10 min (because you haven’t committed any crimes yet, why wait)

    • Carry permit depends very very much on where you live. In the more rural areas, it’s a doddle. Closer to Pittsburgh, Harrisburg or Philly, you are going to wait a good long time, as they scour your record for any possible excuse they can think of to deny you a permit.

  47. I’m planning to leave Connecticut to go to the United States, myself. Currently, Missouri and Arizona are right at the top of my list, being relatively inexpensive and 2A friendly.

    My big problem with AZ is that it’s where rich CA liberals go to retire, much like VT is where rich New York liberals go to retire (and similarly Florida), so I can see 2A rights in those places eroding rapidly.

    Stick to the middle of the country.

  48. If you can live with the heat, there is lots of land in central Florida, north south or west of Orlando there is plenty of open land that should be purchased before it gets turned into retirement homes.

  49. Guns + Jeeps = Colorado (excluding Denver and Boulder)

    We’ve got open carry and licensed concealed carry (shall issue), and lots of open space that allows shooting, The only real draw back on the shooting front is the 15rnd limit, but nearly no one tries to enforce that (they can’t really). You can hunt just about anything you want here… and even use your silencer to do it!

    About the only place that even comes close to CO for Jeep’n would be Moab Utah. But CO overall has more trails and better scenery (IMO). A good example is California Pass near Ouray Colorado:

    I’d be happy to supply more Jeep’n trail info if anyone likes.

    Based on 2010 census data, city populations range from 600K (Denver) to 8 (Lakeside town):

    Tax rates are not that great, ranking in at 15th highest with a combined rate of 7.44%, that is a full percent less than CA though:

    The real downside to CO based on Sara’s criteria would be the vehicle registration fees. They are pretty high, but we have a lot of roads to support with a smaller population than most states:

    I’ve traveled to over 20 countries and 40 States (driven to and stayed, not just a business trip from the airport) in my adult life, and I chose Colorado (Colorado Springs specifically) to settle down and start my family.

      • So you know how great it is for guns, Jeep’n, and just the great outdoors. Add in family nearby and things look even better. But from your list above, I think you would like it better on the west side of the state.

    • Based on 2010 census data, city populations range from 600K (Denver) to 8 (Lakeside town):

      Potentially misleading. Certainly the city and county of denver has that population, but it’s the festering oozing open wound at the center of the Denver Metropolitan Area which has a population more like 2+ million (the “statistical area” includes ten counties, even Park county, none of which is in “Denver Metro” by any reasonable definition, so I knocked it down from the given 2.7 million). Honestly, no one from outside the area makes any distinctions, the entire metromess is just “Denver” to us. However, there is one key fact about the City and County of Denver, and that is its blanket ban on open carry. Unfortunately, the boundary of it is not marked off by a big fat sewage-brown stripe so one must be cautious.

      • Yes, all greater metro areas are larger than the official population shows. i did not point that out because I know Sara was smart enough to know that. the greater Denver ares is a black hole 🙁

  50. For gun rights as well as good living I can recommend any part of Virginia, except for the north. Richmond, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, all great places and I’m not from here originally.

  51. leander. still land to buy in quantity, you get city services, and Austin isn’t too far away for good Sushi.

  52. You’ve described Montana. Sara, I moved to Montana from Florida several years ago. It was the best decision I ever made.

    “I want firearms freedom.” We have the Montana Firearms Freedom act. Over 60% of households in MT own 2 or more guns. CCW permits only required for incorporated areas. Open carry all you want, nobody cares.

    “It would be nice to have land available to shoot or drive my jeep on (trails) or take the dirt bike out.” Millions of acres of BLM and Forest Service land. Designated riding trails that go past historic gold mining camps. Tons of Jeep trails in the mountains, some are pretty scary. As many Jeeps as Subarus, and that’s really saying something. Guy down the street from my neighbor built his own motocross track on his acreage. Another put up berms and built a shooting range.

    “I also like small towns.” Largest city is Billings, with about 200,000. 99% of towns are under 20k residents, but still have amenities. You can choose between cowboy cosmopolitan like Bozeman or Missoula, or go way out and enjoy near total privacy in Ennis (fly fishing capital of the world!), or just go buy the town of Pony, it was for sale awhile ago.

    “Less people is ideal.” I spend my summers in the Rockies, and prefer to go alone. I’ve seen more bears and moose than people on most trips. And deer. And pronghorn. And snowshoe hares. And eagles. It’s one of the “best kept secrets” among celebs and rich folk when they want to get away from crowds. You could, for example, join John Mayer and Katy Perry at a local Livingston club and listen to Dennis Quaid’s band, or put on the fancys, head up to Yellowstone Club, and rub elbows with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett (if you so choose and have an invite). Avoid the ski resorts in winter, the college bars during school, and it’s like hardly anybody lives there. Rush hour in Montana means it might take ten minutes to get home instead of the usual six.

    “Less for them to judge me.” Firm believers in the Cowboy Code here. You won’t be judged for who you are. It’s the kind of place where ranchers and hippies stand together to watch the Main Street parade. You will be judged as a horrible person if you litter, or spray graffiti, or do stupid things like that. Cops ticket people for thumping cigarette butts out the window. I’ve seen graves in the wilderness, undisturbed for decades with the deceased’s favorite whiskey set atop the tombstone, with a note to join him in a drink.

    “I prefer to be around fewer laws.” Hell, there weren’t even speed limits until the 90’s, when outsiders ruined it by coming here and making it their personal race track. No state sales tax, true small government, lots of freedoms. Respect nature, treat others as you wish to be treated, and you’ll get along fine.

    “New York and Cali make me cringe.” Then you can join us and laugh at the tourists while we take their money every year.

    “I like hunting and where I can ride a motorcycle for at least a few months.” People here **love** hunting. Every Montana cowgirl knows how to take an animal humanely, and most are better archers/shooters than their men. If Heaven needed a template for the perfect US hunt in the Great Hereafter, they’d use Montana. Only caliber limit: can’t shoot bison with a rimfire, so if you want to take a pronghorn or mulie with your .223, go right ahead, make it a clean shot. As for motorcycles, depending on your flavor, you can cruise some of the most beautiful country anywhere, from Yellowstone to Glacier NPs then head east to Sturgis, or carve the canyons in many of our mountain ranges (look up the route between Bozeman and Big Sky for example). Plus, it’s not crowded, so the weekends aren’t a slow crawl parking lot.

    “I want small government fees. Low vehicle registration fees and low local taxes.” I pay less than $50/year to register my Jeep. If your Jeep is over 7 years old, you can get a permanent registration – same goes for street legal ATVs, motorcycles, trailers, etc. There’s no sales tax, and income tax is minimal.

    “Weather isn’t as important as freedom. Not to me anyway.” Depending on the area, snow’s on the ground from December to May, unless you’re up on the High Line / high plains desert where there’s less. When it gets really really cold, y’know what we do? Stay inside. Temperatures can get damn cold, like -20F or lower, but that only lasts a couple of weeks before the warming trend takes it back up to a balmy +10F. Summers are perfect, heat waves are rare (except next Monday, with a forecast high of 97, almost unheard of here). Typically it’s 75-85F, with nights in the 50’s during the summer.

    “Schools…I can take or leave. Hit or miss, depending on the city. If they are bad or unaffordable, I’d have no issue homeschooling.” Bozeman and Missoula have excellent systems, as do many other towns. MSU in Bozeman is home to Museum of the Rockies and Dr. Jack Horner. Primary schools are “old-school”. Kids walk to school in neighborhoods (or ride buses), folks respect school zones and most don’t speed, it’s typical to see traffic stop for crosswalks (something the South hasn’t figured out), whether it’s full of kids or full of baby ducks following Mama.

    “And I love cooking. So restaurants aren’t high on my list either, although I love sushi every now and then.” No worries there, I’d say this is a major “good ol’ home cooking” area. But if you’re in the mood for sushi, steak fingers, a bison burger, or BBQ, there are plenty of restaurants, both homestyle and fancy that fill the bill. Only catch is that seafood is relatively expensive, unless it’s trout.

    So there you have it. Everybody should move to Montana, but then it would ruin it, so get here before we close the borders.

    If you have any questions, just email my name at

    • I’ll second Montana. Billings counted at just over 100K in the last census, so we’re nowhere near 200K yet.

    • You want freedom, go 3 hours east of Billings to Glendive, MT.
      We may not be BFE, but you can see it from here!
      Only current downside is housing (pricey since we’re in the Bakken oil field area) and you are hours away from everything.

  53. Come to Georgia. Gun laws are great here. The best? No, I suppose not, but a million times better than Commiefornia.


    Finest Constitution on Planet Earth. Well organized pro-gun community [GOVT]

    I am in Bennington — but you should look at the Northeast Kingdom.

  55. Virginia.

    I say this after having lived in the High Desert of California for 9 years (Active Duty Military). The gun laws, taxes, and cost of living in California sucked. After leaving the military I moved back to Virginia and could not be happier. I now live and work in Front Royal in Warren County, and could not be happier. Guns? We love them. Constitutional carry is not a thing here (yet), but you can open carry without a CHL. A CHL will set you back $50, but is good for 5 years and is not the hassle like it is in CA.

    There a lot of small towns out where I live. Plenty of trails, lakes and rivers. Want a scenic motorcycle ride; we are at the North entrance to Skyline Drive.

    Any way, that’s my two cents. I definitely do not blame you for wanting to get out of California. I miss parts of sometime, but I never see myself moving back. Best of luck.

  56. I don’t blame her for leaving…but as more and more freedom loving people concentrate in the states that have some semblance of liberty, the stalinist states will become completely out of reach electorally.

  57. Well, since no one else is going to do it, here’s my plug for Iowa.

    The winter suck but not as bad as Minnesota. The summers are hot and humid but not as bad as Missouri. The taxes are average. There’s very little public land for hunting and jeeping. NFA firearms are verboten, but they’re working on legalizing suppressors.

    But, short of constitutional carry the carry laws are among the best. No duty to inform. No force of law behind ‘no firearms’ signs. Any (and I mean ANY) safety course by any law enforcement agency nationwide or the NRA qualifies for the permit requirement. (I did a free 20 minute online course from the Maryland State Police.) You can bar carry and you can drink till you’re .08% BAC. And no magazine capacity limits.

    Iowa – Take it or leave it. Either way. That should be our state motto.

  58. Low local taxes, low vehicle fees, small government fees. Your kidding? You find a place with all that, I’m moving there!

  59. Lawrence Kansas sounds like a close comparable to Austin. You have all the amenities of a college town but you have constitutional carry and lots of wide open spaces. You also have Kansas City just down the road with even more to offer.

    • The population of Austin passed the 900,000 mark last year and it won’t be long before it reaches one million. Austin is a radical progressive liberal island in the sea of conservative Texas which is why the Austin City Council sought and hired their liberal anti gun Police Chief from California named Art Acevedo.

      • Austin….I just wonder how big that cancer will get.
        The Left keeps making it more toxic by the day.

        Should be a state wide concerted effort to remedy it somehow.

  60. I can recommend western Kentucky around the Land Between the Lakes area. The “big” city is Paducah, population 28,000. 2 to 3 hours from St. Louis, Nashville, Memphis, Louisville if you need to get your fix of being in a crowd. Hunting and fishing abounds. My wife grew up here so we moved here from the Kentucky area south of Cincinnati when we retired 2 years ago. Kentucky carry laws are good. Signage does not have the force of law. I have done business with open-carrying proprietors. CCW holders are not subject to the instant background check. Kentucky taxes are not too bad, but if that is an issue, Tennessee is only 30 minutes away with no state income tax.

    • Because “move or stay” is a question facing millions of gun owners across the country, and where to go is a valid point of discussion.

      • How about another question: How many more articles will have Sarah Tipton in the name in a 24 hour period?

        Where should Sara Tipton live?

        Sarah Tipton is selling her bike?

        What will Sarah Tipton eat for breakfast tomorrow?

  61. Sounds like small town Texas fits the bill; Athens, Bastrop, Brownwood, Buffalo, Carthage, Corsicana, DeLeon, Dublin, Fort Davis, Granbury, Hico, Jacksboro, Linden, Mount Vernon, Palestine, San Augustine, Seguin, Sulphur Springs, Vernon, Winnsboro, there are dozens more small to medium size towns in Texas that would be great places to live.

    Real Estate and cost of living is more expensive in any of the white flight suburbs within commuting distance of the Austin, DFW, Houston, or San Antonio. Unfortunately our beloved and beautiful Hill Country has been overrun by Austinites and out of staters with more money than good sense, they’ve bought up a lot of property so now it’s much more expensive compared to most other areas of small town Texas, (the tourist trap towns of Bandera and Fredericksburg are prime examples).

    If you own a small piece of property in a rural area near Austin that’s been inundated by large concentrations of liberals, yankees and left coasters, expect a lot of complaining, whining, and moaning if you build a firing range and use it regularly, the liberals just can’t restrain themselves from trying to force their values on everyone else.

    The Lone Star State does not have a state income tax, but the local property taxes levied by school districts are ridiculously high yet probably seem low to anyone fleeing high taxes in California and New York. Most city and county property tax rates are more reasonable.

    Many people don’t realize that the overwhelming majority of land in Texas is privately owned and that public access land for hunting is only found in just a few places such as State Wildlife Management Areas and Federal Wildlife Preserves. Firing ranges on public land in Texas are rare if not nonexistent. You’ll have to drive to Arkansas, Oklahoma, or New Mexico to access large tracts of public land.

    If you plan on hunting in Texas it’s pay to play so plan on spending significant bucks for a decent hunting destination, and major bucks for a great place to hunt. Unfortunately it’s rare today for landowners in Texas to give permission for free access on private property for hunting, fishing, or shooting.

  62. I’d suggest SW Arkansas NE Texas area….right here in the “Four States” area there’s a good bit of choice. Texas has no state income tax but property taxes are a bugger. Arkansas has low registration fees and the state income tax isn’t bad. Both states: Cost of living is great, property prices aren’t bad at all, both VERY GUN FRIENDLY, family friendly, jobs are not hard to find. We’re mostly rural and small towns but big cities aren’t far away (Dallas/Ft Worth is only 2 1/2 hours away from me, Shreveport/Bossier City, LA is an hour away, Little Rock is an hour and a half…all interstate all the way). If the big SHTF trouble ever hits we’re far enough away from the big places to get messed with much. Both states are home school friendly and good Christian based private schools are pretty affordable ($500-$600 per child per month approximate).
    Life ain’t bad here at all.

  63. Goes without saying, research, research, research, then visit your choices. See if it “fits”. Pluses and minuses to each state. Some just have more of one or the other then the rest. Moved to Texas 34 years ago, from Michigan, to find a job, have never thought of leaving. Good luck and hope you’ll be happy whatever your choice. By the way, you could write articles on each state you visit. The Truth about ….

  64. You’d be welcome here in Montana and would probably feel right at home. Folks here love guns and hate taxes. Just about everyone is armed and nobody really thinks twice about it. It’s common for women to hunt; no one will judge you on that. We’ve got lots of refugees from California here, but the smart ones keep that on a need-to-know basis.

    • P.S. Want a concealed carry permit in Montana? Easy to get, but you hardly need one. The law says a permit is needed only to carry on your person, within the boundaries of a city or town. That means you don’t need a permit to carry concealed as long as you’re outside city limits, and you can carry in town as long as the gun is not on your person. Any form of off-body carry (purse, fanny pack, briefcase, laptop case etc.) is not considered on your person.

      The cops here tend to be pretty gun friendly as well. Had a marked police cruiser follow me down the road and into the local shooting range one time, and it turned out the deputies knew who I was and just wanted to see what I was shooting that day. We had a nice little talk about guns before they went back on patrol.

  65. Sara , think all the road kill you can eat . You can’t eat road kill in most states because it will taste way too liberal . Yuk , nothing worse than a progressive opossum on your menu . Our vermin are delicious and this really helps lower our cost of living around here and helped us become one of the highest protein consuming people East of the Atlantic ocean . I think . Somewhere at least .
    You can also burn your old couches when they get worn without paying disposal fees , if you can wait for a WVU football game night . I would seriously suggest you visit some time and check us out .

  66. Crossville / Cumberland County, TN – very reasonable vehicle fees, taxes low (sales not so low – 10%). Decent schools, As much as 10 months motorcycling. 2 hours to Smokies / Tail of the Dragon & midway between Nashville – Knoxville – Chattanooga. Lakes near, as is hunting, off-roading amid lots of outdoor activities. Very good climate – 3 to 3 1/2 seasons. Elevation approx 1800 / 2000. Property prices reasonable. Very good HCL (carry) laws with 37 states reciprocal agreements. Shopping is fairly good. Restaurant quantities are marginal – a few and their food is good. LEOs are firearms friendly. 7 gun dealers in town of 10,000, including a class 3 – and a bunch within 50 miles. Ranges (outdoor = 1 withing 5 miles / indoor = 3 within 30 miles or so with ladies free on Mondays at one). Beautiful scenery. Check out “city-data” website

  67. I think you’d like Utah. It’s run by the Mormons, yeah…but you get a strong hunting and gun culture, low taxes and cost of living, and friendly, safe communities. 4 seasons a year, tons of stuff to do outdoors, and we have motorcycle and 4wheeler trails galore…mountains, sand dunes, hilly areas, wooded areas, you name it. It’s all within 2 hours of Utah Valley.

    Utah is the only state to have full CC reciprocity with every other state and municipality in the US. OC is also legal as well. Utah is the home of JMB. SilencerCo and DesertTech are there as well. Hell, the local politicians give each other AR-15s every year at the close of their Congressional session.

    You want Utah.

  68. East Tennessee, The patron state of shooting stuff duh, not to mention all of the mountain roads between Tn and Nc. Tn is obviously gun friendly, and very motorcycle friendly too. No income tax either


    Cheap gas for that gas hog jeep.
    No helmet laws, so you can feel the wind in yur hair while you ride.
    Easy to live with gun laws.
    LOTS of federal land to hunt, fish and basically hide way in.
    Low Population numbers…

  70. Arizona. Every climate zone except jungles (and who wants those anyways?). Small towns, great gun laws (or lack of them), plenty of places to go shooting, off roading, hiking, rock climbing, boating, fishing, hunting, and Phoenix when you want to go to the big city. Good sushi, even. Stay out of Tucson, a little too liberal. Our taxes are lower than CA but a bit higher than some other places. I love it here and have convinced my wife that this is home.

  71. +1 TruthTellers-and I would add the state a mile from me-Indiana. Illinois sucks(possibly bankrupt)…

  72. Indiana…

    Plenty of small towns, land, forest, trails, a lifetime Licence to Carry, great schools, good jobs, these things called different seasons, and gun laws that make Texas look like California.

  73. Tulsa, Oklahoma.
    15 minutes to get to US Shooting Academy from just about anywhere in Tulsa area.
    It’s green, you can get land pretty cheap (especially compared to anywhere in California).
    Lot’s of people home school, but there are a few okay schools.
    Friends that live in the Tulsa area have ranges in their yard and yet are 30 minutes from a performing arts center, the BOK, and some good restaurants if you want.
    There are a few months a year where riding a motorcycle would be totally awesome climate-wise.
    There is a state income tax, but it’s pretty trivial.
    The airport is great, easy to get in and out of.
    Gun friendly. Hunting friendly. Close to Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas…other gun friendly and hunting friendly states.

    • Don’t forget the 2A Shooting Center indoor range and the fact that Tulsa is the home of Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show, the world’s largest.

  74. Alaska. It doesn’t get any free-er than that. 2 words: Constitutional Carry. Great hunting, low taxes, low regulatory climate, lots of open land and trails, summer, winter, and water sports, etc. Very few people. No pistol purchase permits or waiting periods.

    The only down side is that if you drive there, you’ve got to go through Canada. Canada is beautiful too, but it’s not firearms friendly.

  75. Crime rate and statistics… know before you go. Go to Google search and enter the following for your chosen city/town and state. Hint: Always find that web page from Google search rather than within the website itself.

    Neighborhoodscout crime CITY, STATE

  76. Colorado:

    Successfully ousted 2 Dems from state senate, no tax increases without majority vote by citizens (Thanks TABOR!), Sheriffs openly oppose registration/mag limit laws (and you can get around the mag limit with little to no trouble), 300+ days of sunshine, at 40 degrees F, you can still wear short sleeves, little to no humidity, outside of Denver/Boulder the state is red friendly, plenty of open space for hiking, 4-wheeling, shooting, etc.. Great restaurants, good people, and hundreds of small towns from the Rockies out to Kansas to move in to, depending on your tastes for mountains, or high plains…

    Cost of Living Differences in Denver vs. LA

    Consumer Prices in Denver, CO are 1.34% lower than in Los Angeles, CA
    Consumer Prices Including Rent in Denver, CO are 8.61% lower than in Los Angeles, CA
    Rent Prices in Denver, CO are 18.57% lower than in Los Angeles, CA
    Restaurant Prices in Denver, CO are 10.23% lower than in Los Angeles, CA
    Groceries Prices in Denver, CO are 4.64% higher than in Los Angeles, CA
    Local Purchasing Power in Denver, CO is 2.12% higher than in Los Angeles, CA

  77. Alaska ! I think they pay you to live there . I say Alaska . They really do have it all , from beaches to ice farms and little friggin trees . Alaska , West Virginia .

  78. Sara, coming from Trinity County (Weaverville) and Placer County (Auburn) I share your feelings on the small town feel. I urge you to check out New Braunfels, TX. I’ve been here for two years and am still amazed at the small town feel of it. It’s about the size of Redding or Chico, but has the feel of a town the size you’ll be leaving CA from. It’s in the hill country so the area is beautiful and full of things to do outdoors. Two rivers run through town, Canyon Lake is a short drive, and the gulf coast is less than three hours away. There are at least two outdoor ranges within a 30 minute drive of town-center as well as a brand new indoor range that just opened within 10 minutes. I’ll let you look up the rest but, if you’re considering Texas then New Braunfels is definitely worth a look.

  79. I’d say northern AZ could be the ticket. Great weather, trails, off roading, and shooting spots everywhere. Very low population density, but with plenty of the amenities of larger cities. Only a couple hours from Phoenix, the 5th largest metropolitan area in America, so you’re never far from literally anything you might need. A few hours drive from Cali or Vegas and AZ tops the NRA’s list of gun friendly states (to be fair, it tied with New Hampshire). You don’t even need a permit to carry concealed and loaded there.

  80. I’ve got family outside of Mountain View Arkansas and to me there’s no better place. The winding roads are incredible for motorcycles, land is (relatively) inexpensive, taxes as well. Hunting, fishing, people gathering to play music in the town square on weekends – It’s really something. I’m born and raised in Chicago and it’s a world of difference.

  81. there are a lot of comments on this post so you might not see this response but wallowa county oregon has a lot of what your looking for. email me with any questions

  82. If writing [or some other stay-at-home job] is her main source of income, and sushi is a negotiable need, western KS might suit her. I don’t know anything about the school situation, but it’s extremely rural and Kansas has pretty great gun laws [permitless OC and CC as of tomorrow!, shall-issue CCW permits]. Some places in eastern KS are also rural, but close enough to city that you have access to better schools and, if you really wanted, sushi. I have an uncle who lives in Tecumseh on 120 acres and it’s great shooting land; it’s about 20-30 minutes from Topeka and Lawrence in either direction, with the Kansas City Metro Area a little over an hour away [you pass the Legends on the way, which includes a Cabela’s among its stores and restaurants, though there’s an Academy in Topeka].

    And, bonus, Kansas is right in the middle of the 48 contiguous states, so at least you’re equidistant from everything. Nowhere in the 48 is more than a couple days’ drive away, a little longer if you’re by yourself and have to stop to sleep.

    Downside is the weather in the midwest is, frankly, ridiculous, 120F+ summers and -20F winters are not uncommon. We get it all. And not at normal times. It was a high of 70 last Tuesday. Today it never went below 90 degrees. We’ve had snowstorms in April that completely melted by the next day because it was in the 70s/80s. You get used to it, but it kind of makes it so that you can never really retire your summer or winter wardrobes. You gotta be ready for anything.

  83. It doesn’t matter as long as it is out of California. I was transferred here by the Fed Gov in 2012. It is scarey and truly depressing to live here. The social elite and illegal aliens are protected. The rest of us are to serve at their pleasure. I can’t wait to move back to the United States.

  84. Where tactus Nero Christ lives of course here on earth but seek God first not every man that thinks about living you because God can love better. Hawaii or where you find happiness and feel loved. Heaven


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