View Full Version : The "gun-friendly" United States

January 2, 2012, 08:27 PM
First off, I haven't ever been to the US, nor to the American continent in general. I have done my bit of travelling, though. Quite a few countries in Europe, three in Africa, two in Asia, Australia, etc. I'd love to visit the US but it looks like it won't be possible in the short term.

ALL of my friends who have been to America, with just a couple of exceptions, headed straight for New York. The current Euro-US Dollar exchange rate makes the city attractive for both visiting and shopping. Not that I have anything against NYC. It's just that I don't like HUGE cities and prefer the countryside. I have found out that, wherever you are, people is usually friendlier in the countryside. And I am myself a countryside man by origin. Besides, from reading and participating here, I learnt that places like NYC, California, Illinois, New Jersey, etc, are quite gun-unfriendly... and I am a gun person. I carry guns at work, I like shooting, enjoy them as a hobby. It's just another part of me. BTW, this "two exceptions" are a couple of friends of mine who got married and went there on their honeymoon. They rented a Mustang and did the Route 66. I was quite jealous reading their Facebook updates and watching the pics. I happen to like cars too, and that Mustang was a piece of cake. That sounds like a good idea to me. Would love to do that.

A good friend mine with whom I served in the Balkans used to be a Chicago cop, retired and moved down to Kentucky. He says he's much happier there, explained why thoroughly. That, and the things I read about friendly, and not that gun-friendly States, made me think what States of the US I'd like to visit. I think that I might head south :D. It appears to me that I'd feel more comfortable there, and, perhaps, I'd get more chances of going to a range and rent firearms that, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to shoot over here :rolleyes:.

You guys have probably discussed this before, but, please, educate me. Which are those gun friendly/unfriendly states/cities?.

January 2, 2012, 08:36 PM
Generally, states in the South are more gun friendly. States in the West are more gun friendly. California is a notable exception. The Midwest is pretty good, too, but Illinois is another exception.

This book is a good resource on firearms laws in the US.


Don H
January 2, 2012, 08:59 PM
Here's a current thread that discusses this very thing: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=472576

January 2, 2012, 09:53 PM
If you are visiting the USA you might want to visit some of our National Parks. I highly recommend Glacier in Montana (you can carry a gun in the park if you want ) Yellowstone, especially the Lamar Valley and Yosemite in California. The Grand canyon is spectacular but only if you have the time to either hike down into the canyon or better yet take a boat ride down the Colorado river through the canyon ( Min. 8 days on a motor rig or 16 days by raft. You can do 1/2 trip either taking out or putting in at Phantom Ranch. IMHO driving to the rim and looking down is fun for about an hour.
I live in Northern Ca. It is not a gun friendly state but we do have the Sierra Nevada mountains and that's pretty hard to beat IMHO. It is legal to Loaded open carry on BLM or National Forest land. It is legal to Loaded concealed carry going to/coming from and while fishing.


January 2, 2012, 10:33 PM
Mostly you can either hunt or go to a range to rent and shoot a gun there. Many states have ranges where you can rent weapons. I would look at where I wanted to go and then rent there.

If you have a strong interest in firearms the NRA museum in Fairfax, VA (outside of Washington DC) is an excellent place to go. They have a large indoor range and a number of other facilities. DC itself is a popular tourist destination but guns are impossible there for most people, let alone a foreign visitor. Plenty to do there though. I would not stay in Maryland. They are almost as bad as New Jersey.

Austin and San Antonio in Texas have a number of ranges with weapons for rent and lots of touristy things to do. There are ranches in that area where you can rent full auto weapons.

January 2, 2012, 11:33 PM
If you like gambling and come to the Indian casinos in Connecticut, let me know in advance and we can go to the range at the gun club I'm a member of. If you like "Old School" guns I have several older Curio & Relic rifles and two "Antique non-firearm" rifles, the oldest of which is a 117 year old Mauser. Where are you living? With a name like Nordeste I would think Scandinavia somewhere. My grandfather came here from Denmark.

January 3, 2012, 01:08 AM
Florida is another very gun friendly state, not to mention a popular tourist destination. I've lived in the Central Florida area for over 15yrs; and after wanting to move out to California or NY and finding out their strict gun laws, I decide to stay here in FL .

We do not have snow, and there are plenty of beautiful beaches and lakes (you can open carry in some locations if its a public park).

January 3, 2012, 01:31 AM
Minnesota doesn't have too Looney gun laws, and lots of scenic beauty.

January 3, 2012, 08:12 AM
Come on over; everyone here speaks Spanish anymore. Of course, it's American Spanish, so it'd sound funny.

Seriously, though, there are all sorts of museums full of guns all over the place, even including Washington, DC. Can't speak for New York, though. But it's a big country, too. It would take five days to drive from New York to L.A. If you made it to Wyoming, go to Cody. Probably the best museum of Western frontier and Indian life in the world. Oh, yeah--wait until summer.

Mike Irwin
January 3, 2012, 08:18 AM
GENERAL rules of thumb (there are LOTS of exceptions).

1. Large cities are not as gun friendly as smaller cities.

2. The farther north you go in the country, the less gun friendly things tend to be.

3. Large southern cities are far more gun friendly than their large northern counterparts.

January 3, 2012, 09:02 AM
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina - very gun friendly. I'm sure other southern states are also just as or maybe more gun friendly, but those are the ones I am most familiar with.

There are lots of places to rent guns and shoot them in Florida. Most shooting ranges have guns for rent; many of them have some sub-machine guns and machine guns to rent as well.

Hiker 1
January 3, 2012, 10:19 AM
Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the US, with plenty of outdoor activities all times of the year.

Very gun-friendly as well, though keep in mind that as a tourist, you won't be able to carry. There are plenty of indoor ranges that rent guns to shoot on-premise if you get the shooting bug.

Hiker 1
January 3, 2012, 10:25 AM
The farther north you go in the country, the less gun friendly things tend to be.

"North" is pretty vague in a country the size of the US. If we're counting the Pacific northwest and New England, then yes (except Vermont which is very gun-friendly).
If we're looking at Montana, the Dakotas, Idaho, Alaska - all very gun-friendly.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 3, 2012, 10:42 AM
Oregon was gun friendly, NH, VT, Maine are. WA is pretty friendly.

NY, MA not so much.

January 3, 2012, 10:54 AM
Head out west. Las Vegas might be worth a stop. Then head up through UT and Wyoming and hit the National Parks along the way. (Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, etc.) Pretty scenery the whole way. All are pretty gun friendly.

January 3, 2012, 10:58 AM
Well, I assume that, as a tourist, I wouldn't be allowed to carry. It absolutely makes sense. I even would be surprised that I would be allowed to hunt.

When I visited Oz, I stayed there for a whole month, visited three states and an interesting bunch of places. My thought is that if you're paying something like 1500USD for a plane ticket, you gotta stay there as much as you can and see as much as you can. Tickets to the US are a bit cheaper, but my plan would be similar. I am more interested in nature and in the traditional way of living than in crowded cities or flashy places, so, yes, I'd feel more comfortable visiting places like the ones you have suggested. And as internet research is important, I'm already having a look at them :D. Thank you! ;).

Gary L. Griffiths
January 3, 2012, 11:05 AM
I assume that, as a tourist, I wouldn't be allowed to carry.

Come to Arizona -- most gun-friendly state in the US. You would be able to carry here -- no license required for either concealed or open carry! :D:D:D:cool:

Just bring your boots, as you'll undoubtedly have to wade through the rivers of blood flowing in all of our streets! :eek::rolleyes:

Brian Pfleuger
January 3, 2012, 12:10 PM
I learnt that places like NYC, California, Illinois, New Jersey, etc, are quite gun-unfriendly... and I am a gun person.

I'd just like to point out that you have listed there 3 states and one city. There is a state called "New York" that is very much a different place from the city that taints it's name.

I understand your confusion, 75% of America seems to make no distinction between New York City and New York State, I wouldn't expect a visitor to know any better.

"Gun Rights" are a much different thing in "Upstate New York" than in New York City. Room for improvement, to be sure, but much, much different than NYC. There's not much here gun related for foreign visitors (or in most other places either) but the area itself is beautiful.

Moving to New York permanently is one thing (I'd discourage for a variety of reasons) visiting is quite another.

January 3, 2012, 12:49 PM
You can carry in Vermont as a tourist...

January 3, 2012, 02:24 PM
There is a state called "New York" that is very much a different place from the city that taints it's name.

Sheesh, folks from New York sure are sensitive!:D

Brian Pfleuger
January 3, 2012, 02:37 PM
Maybe we're not totally different from NYC.;)

January 3, 2012, 02:44 PM
I live in Wyoming. With some room for debate (our permitless carry is citizen-only) we are one of the most gun-friendly states in the entire union, on the order of Alaska or Arizona. There are very, very few restrictions.

We border a bunch of very gun-friendly states as well, which makes travel very pleasant. I can go two states in most directions and have my Wyoming CHL (carry license) honored (I got mine before we went permitless).

January 3, 2012, 03:17 PM
Oregon was gun friendly, NH, VT, Maine are. WA is pretty friendly.

Thanks for the nod, Glenn. VT is a very gun friendly state. Some of the most relaxed laws in the country, in fact.

You can carry in Vermont as a tourist...

True indeed.

January 3, 2012, 03:18 PM
As a tourist you're limited.
Just about any state has ranges where you can rent guns. I don't know of one that doesn't. They are all open to foreigners.

Lots of folks in the US are willing to let people shoot their guns. That's true of any state. Start making friends.:)

You can bring your own guns over for hunting or sanctioned sporting events. Some states are better for the former than others. Any state could have a shooting competition.

No state, to my knowledge, is gun friendly enough to let you buy a gun and carry concealed.

So for the purposes of tourism, all the states are equally as gun friendly.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 3, 2012, 03:42 PM
I have soft spot for VT - driven through touristy, like their guns laws and have studied their fine artisanal cheeses.

Many gun friendly states produce award winning cheeses. Oregon, TX and VT have.

Is there a correlation? Probably not. :D

Mike Irwin
January 3, 2012, 03:53 PM
I said GENERAL rule of thumb.

""North" is pretty vague in a country the size of the US. If we're counting the Pacific northwest and New England, then yes (except Vermont which is very gun-friendly).
If we're looking at Montana, the Dakotas, Idaho, Alaska - all very gun-friendly."

Counter that with Wisconsin and Michigan. Central, and not particularly gun friend.

Parts of New England are gun friendly. Other parts are Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

If you really want a good look at how friendly/unfriendly a state is, I'm going to suggest the Brady Campaign's "state score card."


Some of the states that they consider to be "friendly," though, I would never consider to be friendly states.

Willie D
January 3, 2012, 04:44 PM
So for the purposes of tourism, all the states are equally as gun friendly.


See the country and don't worry too much about ownership laws because they won't concern you as far as your rental/range shooting goes. The only exception might be NY. I've recall reading something about having to take classes and only being able to shoot .22s (may be NYC only).

January 3, 2012, 05:29 PM
As said, I wouldn't expect to be allowed to carry a handgun as a tourist. You made the interesting point of saying that as a visitor, I would be allowed to go to a range and rent, that would make me happy enough.

When I say that I'm more interested in visiting the "gun friendly" America, is because I'd like to see those places where there is a gun culture, which is, IMO, quite rooted in your traditions. And I am a man interested in traditions. People come to Spain and are interested in flamenco and bullfighting, and that's just a SMALL part of our culture, which happens to be the one that was more publicized. If they stay for more than a week and head north, for example, they end up discovering things they wouldn't have expected. The Celt background in the north, for example, religious art, sanctuaries, fortresses and castles, palaces, etc... My friend from Chicago has a Scottish background and was quite surprised when I gifted him a CD of a well-known bagpiper that comes from the same region I do. Same thing here. People here head for NYC (yes, I understand the difference between the city and the State ;)), but don't seem too interested in visiting the part of the country that, as far I as know, you guys call "Dixie". And of course that I'd like to visit NYC, but I have a feeling that I'll feel more of the "real thing" in the south, or in other gun-friendly States you have mentioned.

Thanks for the inputs, I honestly appreciate.

January 3, 2012, 05:39 PM
I'd bet that even California is more "gun friendly" than most countries. For a state, New Jersey is probably about as bad as it gets....but then again, who the heck wants to go to New Jersey?

January 3, 2012, 06:01 PM
I even would be surprised that I would be allowed to hunt.

You would be suprised at the huning available to non-resident hunters. The western states all have hunting oportunities available. Hunting may be an excellent way to plan a trip. Book a hunt and then tour before and after your dates. Here is a link to the Wyoming outfiters and guides Association:


You can book a hunt and then see yellowstone!

Brian Pfleuger
January 3, 2012, 06:38 PM
AH! A man after history....

The East and North East states would be an excellent place for some firearms history tours. As mentioned, the NRA museum is not far from Washington, DC and there are several firearms factories in the NorthEast, including the Remington factory which is only about 40 miles from me.

However, for the person interested in exploring firearms history, I doubt there's a BAD place to go in the USA. Some one can probably come up with some part of America that doesn't have some important firearms related history but between the inventors themselves, the factories and the wars we fought with the British, the American Indians, the Mexicans, ourselves... the Spanish (sorry about that one by the way;))...

Anyway, lots of history, everywhere.

January 3, 2012, 09:34 PM
MA, NY as others have indicated arent gun friendly, Washington DC, and various areas of the state of Kalfornia are also very anti gun..... Even in the face of various court victories...

January 3, 2012, 11:37 PM
Hej Nodeste! From the Great State of Washington again...welcome. Please come visit, I am sure you will enjoy yourself, and, you might be surprised where you, as a tourist can carry. (including in WA)

Between www.handgunlaw.us and www.opencarry.org, they have summeries, and links to the laws. As has been said before, Spanish is not a problem, but the Spanish you hear here is NOT Castillian Spanish (unless you go to Miami)

Anyway, my suggestion is you rent a motorhome, start on the east coast, go south until you get to Arizona, go north until you get to Washington, then go back through Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

If you like hiking and mountains, OR, WA, ID and MT cannot be beat. Stop in and say hej! We got a place for a motorhome to park, and if no motorhome, we have a guest bedroom in our cabin up on our little mountain. Ghost towns, gold mines and mountains, can't beat that eh?

January 4, 2012, 10:17 AM
^ I call that hospitality and good manners :D

From what I've seen, renting a motorhome in the US is far cheaper than it is in Europe. It definitely looks like the way to go.

January 4, 2012, 01:13 PM
It's difficult to beat the J. M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum (http://thegunmuseum.com/) in Claremore, Oklahoma.

It's billed as the "...the largest private gun collection in the world..."

I've been there several times,,,
It's almost impossible to see all of the guns in one day.

Then there is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/),,,
Formerly the OKlahoma Cowboy Hall of Fame,,,
In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Not so much gun related,,,
But cowboy all the way.

These two places would be good stops on any gun-related tour.



January 4, 2012, 02:37 PM
I haven't seen it mentioned but I think PA has decent gun laws and some good hunting as well.

January 4, 2012, 10:50 PM
Come on down to Texas I live in a very small town great crowd to be around very gun friendly cause everyone you talk to is carrying. lol and we have a few ranges around and I would love to take Ya to a range and shoot all you want... anything from old cowboy guns to the moderen stuff... most of texas is gun friendly we just got the wrong people telling us where and how to carry. Instead of reading what our forefathers wrote 228 years ago. But on my own property I carry out in open and proud of it...

January 5, 2012, 12:13 AM
I've found that renting a car and staying in cheap hotels was less expensive than renting a motor home. Cheaper still are rail passes and camp sights.

There's lots to see here. Take your time and don't try to stuff too many things into one trip.

January 5, 2012, 12:43 AM
Motor homes are gas hogs, for one thing.

For another thing, they really work best if you tow a smaller vehicle for driving around when you get to a place you'd like to explore - but that requires a second rental and a trailer or tow-bar.

Next, motor homes require you to connect and disconnect sewer lines at each stop, which frankly is not my idea of fun. Let's see, hotel pool or bar, or hooking up sewage... hmmm.... which do I prefer?

Last, hotels have much better beds, generally speaking.

I'd rent a comfortable vehicle, and stay at decent hotels, and probably spend less in the aggregate than the motor home guy.

To each his own.

Bang Gunley
January 5, 2012, 10:45 AM
The three northern New England states are FAR more gun friendly than any of the three southern ones. Vermont, while pretty much gone over to the Barking Moonbat column politically, maintains its gun friendly status nonetheless. New Hampshire is extremely gun friendly -- with Open Carry, Extended Castle Doctrine and, soon, permit-less Concealed Carry (if you qualify to purchase a firearm you'll be deemed qualified to carry same in any manner, openly or concealed -- much like Vermont and Alaska on this score :) but licenses will still be available for those who have to travel to the (few) states that recognize the NH license).

Southern New England, especially the Peoples Republic of Mass., are pretty much a lost cause.

January 5, 2012, 07:12 PM
Vermont, while pretty much gone over to the Barking Moonbat column politically, maintains its gun friendly status nonetheless.

Hehehe, thanks. That made me laugh :D

January 5, 2012, 08:00 PM
I wouldn't call the cities you mentioned (e.g. NYC) America. Though they are in America, most of gun owning/hunting Americans don't live in such anti-gun cities. I too won't visit or travel through NY, Illinois or any other city/state that is hostile to guns and gunowners. There is a whole lot of the rest of America you can legally travel through/to with firearms, as long as you do it according to their firearms laws.