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Old November 21, 2012, 04:14 AM   #26
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I can't speak about WA because I have never lived there and it would only be the stereotypes that probably annoy some...always raining, high suicide rate due to always being cloudy/rainy, bigfoot, high domestic abuse rate andor that being considered ok, etc, etc(again, I am not saying this...these are common stereotypes I learned/heard growing up on the eastcoast - I do enjoy some of the reality TV for the tree cutters but some seem to need anger mngmnt LOL but I guess there is no human resources near). I did have some buddies from WA that were very good friends and people. I also have a 'girlfriend' from my highschool days who moved to OR with her sister(separately), and they both love it. Maybe phasing in OR with WA is a stereotype of its own? not sure... I thought it was interesting that an officer from king county on COPS many times during the nineties is now on AK police shows...I guess some gravitate to and from WA to AK andor to and from the 'lower 48'. If one is stationed at ft lewis(at least for the army), he/she is almost definitely going to be deployed(same goes for Ft Hood TX)

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Old November 21, 2012, 05:13 AM   #27
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I'm real big on AZ, NV, & NM but border issues amongst other things are at least things to consider these days. I know with CO, one does need to realize that if you are in Navajo Nation as one example, you are dealing with different firearm laws/restrictions + are on federal property. These 'Nations' are complicated and zigzag off and on among the map...
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Old November 21, 2012, 09:57 AM   #28
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I know with CO, one does need to realize that if you are in Navajo Nation as one example, you are dealing with different firearm laws/restrictions + are on federal property.

That is an excellent point! Having traveled extensively, I learned about the Native American nations. When you're on their turf, you do things their way and you DON'T want to get caught speeding on the reservations! There are many wide open highway areas with 35 mph speed limits. Only a damned fool would violate those regulations because the consequences are extreme!

If you are going to live in one of the places mentioned in the OP, you need to deal with the way things are. This thread has been a real eye opener!

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Old November 21, 2012, 02:34 PM   #29
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WA is a mix between environmentally friendly folks (which I agree with) and pro-gun folks
If you're going to be a lawyer, I suggest you consider the implications of that statement. There are a lot of us who are pro-gun AND environmentally friendly. We just aren't fanatically wedded to the hands off (no use) concept as the best / only way to "preserve" our environment the way many anti-gun "environmentally friendly" folks are.

WA is essentially two states, divided by the mountains and attitudes. The wet side has as high a concentration of "environmentally friendly" gun hating socialist leaning liberal wackjobs as any of the worst places in the country.

The "dry" side is much more conservative in general, and quite gun friendly.

Getting your concealed carry license is easy, but does require you to show up in person to get the application and be fingerprinted (a one time thing). Renewels also require you to show up at a sherrif's office to get the paperwork,(and pay the fee) every 5 years. Turn in the paperwork and you get your permit in the mail in about two weeks or so.

Yes, WA does have a waiting period for handguns, and had one before the Brady law. Having a CPL waives the waiting period requirement. Have a WA permit, go to the shop (or the gun show) pay the man, (pass the Fed phone call check) and go home with your pistol. That's the main reason I have a permit.

WA does allow silencers (and thanks to a recent bill, you can now even legally put them on guns), but does NOT allow machineguns. There are no mag capacity laws (other than for hunting), nor any of the other "Assault weapon" (note the specific term) crap.

WA does have a sales tax, but no income tax. OR doesn't have a sales tax, but they do have an income tax.

The I-5 corridor (Seattle/Tacoma, etc) is a heavily populated metro area, where liberal politics dominate. Even so, there are a lot of nice people over there. The rest of the state is not as "progressive", politically speaking.

I've lived on the dry side since 1979. It's a good place, with many good people. To me, the worst thing is the number of people who don't/can't/won't speak English or get a driver's license and auto insurance.

There is a bit of a gang problem (again, mostly in the meto areas, and centered around the drug trade), but that is true in a lot of the country.
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Old November 21, 2012, 04:46 PM   #30
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I don't know how you feel about the Northern areas. But western ND may very well be a great place right now for your aspirations. A good friend of mine used to be a LEO in the area, but has now turned to selling firearms and self defense training. The oil boom expansion out there has created a plethora of issues that has caused several things to be re-evaluated.

The oil industry attracts hard working heavy duty individuals in addition to those that are willing to go wherever the work is, to those who have no other choice. Unfortunatley, there is a criminal aspect that has been exploding along with the population.

ND in general is very firearm friendly, and generally most of the state (with the exception of Fargo) is mostly conservative politically.

With regards to the Boom-Bust typical of oil and natural resource industries, I can shed some light on this as well. Several family members and friends also work in the industry. The oil formation there has a number of years of life in it. A family member works in the resource development and test well research division. According to him, there's 20 years of work out there just with the technology we have now, and typically there's a breakthrough in recovery tech every 20 years. The recoverable assets as of current surveys will outlast my lifetime, and they're still drilling. Recent information suggests that with the current technology - there's more oil in the ground out there than the middle east started with.
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Old November 22, 2012, 12:43 AM   #31
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It is important to note I've lived in MI, PA, CO, VA, GA, TN/KY, and WA. I've also lived overseas in Scotland and Iraq, and traveled many places in the world. I have a pretty good idea what I like. I like summer and winter. I like the outdoors.

Ms. Boston is tied to the Boston area and cannot move further than say NH or Vermont.

Please no more recommendations that don't have mountains/snowboarding available. In addition to guns, that is an important hobby...

I appreciate all of the input so far. Keep it coming!
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Old November 22, 2012, 02:50 AM   #32
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Washington is probably going to have the most opportunities for work in the law.

If you like shooting ducks and geese or other birds then it's probably the best of the places you mention. Good for larger game but not as good as Utah and maybe Colorado. It's the only state on the list for deep sea fishing and it's pretty darn good for fresh water.

There are some parts of Washington with some particularly nasty red necks. For them the Centralia Massacre is something to celebrate. But mostly the folks are ok.
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Old November 26, 2012, 07:51 PM   #33
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A Postcard From Southern NH


I was wandering by and saw this discussion. As a resident of southern NH, and almost within commuting distance from Boston, I thought that I would offer some info on the local landscape and gun attitudes.

As background, my town borders the Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts. And I am myself a Massachusetts refugee. As most folks who post here might guess, the attitudes about life and firearms are very different across the border. Day and night.

The only "license" issued for firearms in NH is the $10 Pistol/Revolver License. Allows the concealed carry of a loaded firearm. NH is shall issue by statute. Many PD's encourage the residents to get the license and some will waive the $10 for older residents. The fee is set by state statute and appears to be optional.

NH allows open carry, and some of the more aggressive advocates made a fuss at the Manchester PD a couple of years ago that I understand got that department up to speed on what they must respect as legal. There are some video's on the internet of that group visiting Manchester PD and the desk staff being very professional.

The Gun Owners of NH and Pro Gun NH organizations don't always agree, but they are very active. The legislature hears from them a lot.

Mass is entirely different and depends on what town we are talking about. The Chief of Police gets to decide who gets a permit and what type. If you want to move to a Mass town, check out this aspect. But if you are a NH resident looking for a Mass non-resident permit you deal with the Col of the State Police and the permit will be a Class A (highest) and shall issue. The down side is that a non-resident permit is $100 per year and you must interview at the Criminal Records facility in Chelsea, next to Boston, every year. My wife goes through this drill every spring.

The state of NH encourages land owners to be open to hunting, hiking, snowmobiles, and ATV's. I have a neighbor who encourages all of his friends to shoot on his 200 acre parcel. Not uncommon. But part of his motivation is to make sure that the recent immigrants from the People's Republic get acclimated to the full "New Hampshire experience." Some of the new folks don't embrace the sound of the full range of woods activities, but the locals who have been in town for 3 generations or so view that as the new folks problem, not theirs.

That said, there are some good fish and game clubs across southern NH. Nashua Fish & Game has the NH 600yd range as well as smaller ranges for rifle, shotgun, action pistol, BB gun, and archery. Pelham F&G has ranges for all of the shotgun games. I hear that there might be a 1000yd range over in Vermont.

My town is a couple of towns west of the Merrimack River. I have neighbors that commute to the I95/RT128 circumferential highway just outside Boston. Not an easy commute, but some of them have done it for years. If the young lady in questions actually works in the suburbs of Boston then a commute from southern NH is very do-able.

The main commuter routes from NH to the jobs around Boston are Rt3 and I93. Both get slow if there is bad weather or an accident. If you are in high tech though you can telecommute some or most of the time. Mass has an income tax of 6+% while NH has no income or sales tax. Since folks who live in NH and work in MA have to pay MA tax for the days that they sit in MA, many ask their employer to work from home a couple of days a week to avoid the tax.

The further east along the MA-NH border you go the closer you are to Boston, but the more populated and expensive it is.

Back to firearms, there are a number of gun shows during the year in Manchester, Concord, and West Lebanon. The exhibitors are evenly split between actual firearms and other stuff like militaria. The MA gun shops even get tables and work out a deal with a NH FFL at the shows to do the transfers. Oh, in NH, the State Police does the "instant" check.

If it is relevant for the Boston woman, the NH Fish & Game dept is an active sponsor of the Becoming an Outdoor Woman program. My wife participated and the Sig Academy folks donate their time to teach shooting fundamentals. She also did a game tracking class and maybe kayaking. She came home with a bunch of flash cards for the scat of various critters that live in the woods.

From my place I can be at the beach surfing in a hour, skiing or snowboarding in maybe 1 1/2 hours. Or walk 5 minutes out into the woods to the spot where we all do our weekly handgun exercises.

Considering the movement of population into southern NH, the wildlife has adapted very well. We have flocks of wild turkeys that wander across the property, deer that trim the flower beds, and the occasional near sighted moose that wanders through. And if you put out sun flower seed in your bird feeders, you may get to have a nose-to-nose conversation with a local bear about their place in the grand scheme of things. We have eastern Black Bears, so as long as you respect that they are wild animals, you can explain that you are higher on the food chain and point them (literally) back into the woods.

All of the above may be hunted at different times of the year. And the cluster of houses are far enough apart that lots of hunting goes on. But then there is the bear that decided to visit the porch of the guy who had a permit and it was bear season. Opened the window, drew his bow, and his hunt was done. Not to far from what passes from downtown.

Anyway, if you really really are interested in Ms Boston, southern NH might have enough of everything you want. Even if Ms Boston doesn't work out.

Best of luck,


Last edited by NH_Pilot; November 26, 2012 at 08:18 PM.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:53 AM   #34
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44 AMP, it must be a county decision:

Renewals also require you to show up at a sheriff's office to get the paperwork, (and pay the fee) every 5 years. Turn in the paperwork and you get your permit in the mail in about two weeks or so.
I just renewed mine at the King Co. courthouse in Seattle, and walked out with the new permit. Cool!

Not sure about what it would be for Pierce Co which is where the OP would likely move, if he is to work in the Fort Lewis area.

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Old November 29, 2012, 02:37 PM   #35
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I live in Washington State and it is an excellent State to live.

Regarding gun laws; open carry is allowed (nevertheless not recommended in Seattle), Class 3 items are prohibited for civilians except suppressors. We don't have a waiting time to purchase a gun if we have a CCL. No assault rifle nor hi cap mags restriction. Washington is a shall-issue state regarding CCL. We have Castle Doctrine however you can't use lethal force against someone only because he trespassed. An imminent risk of deadly attack or severe bodily damage is required. I think it differs from other Castle Doctrine states with this perspective.

In terms of outdoor sports, IMHO Washington one of the most beautiful states in USA, with forests, mountains, and ocean. You can hike, bike, ski, snowboard, sail, mountain climb (Mt Rainier one of the highest summits in country). I think only a few states would have this combination.

In terms of rain, I can agree with some comments disagree with other. In Seattle, it doesn't rain too much. Maybe as much as Miami or New York. But the problem here, it is frequently cloudy if even there is no rain, except summer. In summer we have a good number of sunny days. This summer we had almost 3 months of sunny days. But yes, sometimes, specially during autumn and winter we miss the sunlight.

Other big pro for Washington is, we have no state tax which is an excellent thing. Also Washington is second well educated state in USA following Massachusetts, also with not so elevated crime rate.

After last election, gay marriage and recreational use of marijuana have been legalized as well, but I can't comment on these as I am not gay nor I smoke pot

Housing prices in Tacoma are relatively cheaper than Seattle. Tacoma is a quiet and beautiful neighborhood. If I wouldn't work in downtown, I would consider to live there.

Last edited by GlockieWa; November 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:55 PM   #36
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Louisiana is very gun and outdoorsman friendly. We also have great music, food and festivals.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:35 PM   #37
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While GlockieWA makes many good points, there are a couple "howevers" that should be attached.

1) Washington does not have an income tax, which is good. OTOH Washington has an almost 10% sales tax, plus expensive vehicle registration fees, high real estate costs, and pricey utilities (at least in the Seattle and Tacoma areas).

Note also that a lack of an income tax is only one factor. For example, a friend moved from the Dallas area to Pagosa Springs, CO a couple years ago. Texas had no income tax, but had higher property taxes. My friend's net tax picture, due to Colorado having an income tax, but lower property taxes, remained the same.

States have to generate revenue in some fashion or another; the more services voters demand, the more revenue has to be generated.

2) Real estate in Washington, particularly in the Puget Sound area, isn't cheap. In 2001, the lowest starter homes in the area were $250K, in Kent and Issaquah (IE, the outer suburbs). New condos on the sound itself were going for $750k - $1M in Seattle. The old (1890) house I rented on Queen Anne Hill was appraised at $750K, and it was nothing special.

Prices will have fallen, due to the real estate bubble, but in 2001 Puget Sound prices were almost double Atlanta prices.

All that said, Washington is gorgeous, and one of my favorite parts of the US.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:59 PM   #38
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I totally agree with pricey housing. It's common in almost all west cost states. But I think we need to take into consideration average income per individual as well.

For example I work in IT business which is widespread in region. If a Seattle company pay me better than a Chicago company (where I was living previously) honestly I don't care about pricey housing. And in general the companies count on costs of living in a specific state.

But adversely if you make same money in relative to a state with a lower cost of living and housing, obviously it wouldn't be a good deal. So all depends to the terms of your employment (income).

Hope you make a best choice for yourself.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:08 PM   #39
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GlockieWA, the OP is active military, so his pay is (mostly) fixed. He'll get a higher variable housing allowance for Washington, but it will only partially offset actual costs.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:10 PM   #40
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I've lived in NY, NC, MD, ME, NJ and am currently in WA. Yeah, it was an out of character move.

If you love the outdoors and can tolerate the damp eight months and the liberals on the west side of the Cascades, with 4-6 months of skiing for the best in the world four months of summer with some of the best hiking on the planet right in youir backyard, stay here.

I still remember moving here from NJ and having a local appologize for the amost invisible smog haze you could see between us and Mt. Rainier, citing the weather inversion. <Ha!>
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:36 PM   #41
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Appreciate all of the replies and insight into my options, and some others.

I had forgotten about the no state income tax thing in WA, thanks for reminding me. That is huge. Sales tax being roughly 10% here and in Colorado, that's a wash.

Keeping this gun related, I don't see needing to do anything class 3 in the future, but it's a sign of a pro-gun state.

And I found the CCW permit simple and affordable to get, much easier than Colorado when I lived there.
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Old November 29, 2012, 06:43 PM   #42
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Of the states you mentioned, if I had your background and desires, I'd pick Colorado.

Colorado is reasonably gun friendly and has great outdoors opportunities.

Colorado Springs is in a beautiful area and you would have Fort Carson to practice near. Fort Carson was one of my favorite places to be stationed - albeit it wasn't because of the post itself.

I wouldn't choose NH if it's because of a woman. You are going to resent her being tied there and, sooner or later, resent her. Find another one. There ain't no shortage.
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:15 PM   #43
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The WA sales tax is approx 8% (8.3, I think), not 10%. Property prices in the metro west side are high, just like any large metro area. Live out in the country and its much more reasonable.

There is (currently) no income tax.

With the exception of aligators and other tropical type animals, if its huntable in the US (outside of Alaska), you can probably find it in WA. Got mountains, and deserts, deep sea fishing and snowboarding. Whitewater and hiking. Other than bayou warmth, if you can do it in the outdoors, you can do it somewhere in WA.
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:56 PM   #44
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The one wrinkle with VT gun laws, if it is important to you, is that suppressors are not legal there.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:58 AM   #45
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In the northeast only PA and VT are gun friendly. Stay away from the rest.

WA trumps the western states mentioned, except AZ is fine if you are willing to sacrifice anything like a temperate climate and don't mind a state overrun with illegals.
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Old December 2, 2012, 01:48 AM   #46
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44AMP, when I lived in Seattle, between the State sales tax and the county and city (or just county, not sure) taxes, the net sales tax was around 9%, if not over. This was in the 2000-2001 timeframe.

I just looked it up, and as of Feb 2012, Seattle sales tax was 9.5%.


Another link, for the rest of the state's area sales and other taxes:
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:02 AM   #47
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Massachusetts isn't as bad as some people think. . .IF. . .you happen to live in a town where the chief of police is pro gun. Some towns give them out left and right, others not a chance. I don't believe Massachusetts has reciprocity with NH, Maine, or VT so if you visit Boston plan on leaving your firearm at home.

That being said, just because MA isn't as bad as some people think don't get the idea that we are firearm friendly. If gun laws are a major factor for moving into the region then you probably don't want to come here.
I agree with Shafter's comments here. I've had a Massachusetts class A concealed carry license for some years - no problem getting or renewing it. I also have a non-resident NH license. As others have noted, Vermont requires no permit for concealed carry, so I can carry over much of northern New England without any legal hassles. Although I believe Massachusetts is a "shall issue" state, my sense is that there may be a fairly dramatic difference between the ways in which the permitting process is handled in western Mass. (where I live) as opposed to eastern Mass. and especially the Boston area which has a reputation as being particularly gun-hostile.
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:26 AM   #48
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Having grown up in MA and still have relatives there, the last description I got was that you needed to get the local sheriff to authorize you to own a gun. It gad to be done in writing. Basically you are telling the sheriff why you should be able to own a gun and they are agreeing with your premise. Once they signed off in the paperwork you then had to take the safety class which then would allow you to purchase a firearm. This was right outside of Boston so it might be different in western mass. I think you can buy a rifle without a letter from your mother though.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:37 PM   #49
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Both those descriptions of gun licensing in Massachusetts are not quite right. I lived there most of my life and had a Class A LTC for most of that time before retiring to gun friendly New Hampshire. Mass is most definitely not a "shall issue" state - the licensing authority, which is the local Chief of Police, has near-total discretion over whether you will be granted an LTC, and which type. (FWIW, "sheriffs" in Massachusetts are county officials who, I believe, only have authority for running prisons and/or transporting prisoners or some such, and of course sucking up tax revenues. They have nothing to do with gun licensing). Some municipalities (not many, thankfully) simply refuse to issue anything at all, others will issue only Class B (restricted to less than 10-round mags, and no CC), and some will issue the coveted Class A but often only after you jump through some hoops. Yes, there is a state-level appellate procedure if your Chief chooses not to issue you a permit, but good luck with that. The only "shall issue" license in Massachusetts is for long guns.

One standard procedure is for a Chief to issue only Class B for your first permit, upgrading to Class A when it's up for renewal in 6 years (licensing fee is $100 each time, BTW). Either way, it's now a state requirement for first-time applicants to take a certified training course and some Chiefs will also require live-fire proficiency testing - not anything that anyone who tunes in here regularly will have a problem with, but it's one more hassle and it takes time. The Chief also has discretionary authority to place additional restrictions on your Class A LTC, such as restricting the hours between which you may carry - most don't do that, thankfully, but they do have that authority. The best thing you can do is to research the situation in the town(s) you're looking to move into and be sure which side of the fence the Chief is on (and then hope the next Chief doesn't have some different policy).

Assuming your Chief is gun-friendly, or at least gun-tolerant, I think a larger issue is the so-called "consumer protection" laws in Mass that essentially prohibit the sale of many handguns. If a manufacturer wants to sell a particular model in Mass, they have to submit 5 of them for destructive testing by the state, and the guns have to pass certain requirements including very heavy trigger pulls, loaded-chamber indicators, etc. Some manufacturers actually make special Massachusetts versions of their guns that will pass the tests, others - Colt, for example - just refuse to knuckle under and that's why you won't find any new Colt handguns for sale in the state. To make matters worse, there's an official "list" but a gun simply being on the list doesn't mean it can be legally sold - there's an additional vague list of requirements that the Attorney General refuses to indicate which guns satisfy, and many retailers live in fear of being prosecuted because of it, so refuse to sell particular models. And, of course, it goes without saying that guns that are no longer manufactured will never be on the list.

And of course, Mass still has the AWB, so for example the only new M4s for sale have pinned stocks, no bayonet lug, etc. (so called "M4gerys"), and only pre-AWB mags larger than 10 rounds can be sold, usually at a premium, or even legally possessed. So forget about that nice new double-stack 13-round 9mm pistol - it'll come with a 10 round "cripple" mag. You might find a used one that's been in the state since 1994, and those mags can legally exceed the 10-round limit, but not new mags. And forget about mail-ordering ammo or even reloading components - even though it's not illegal in Mass, the Attorney General has made it clear to the big mail-order houses that he (it was originally a "he", now a "she") will prosecute anyway and it's not worth their while to defend a lawsuit for the profit they make selling into Mass, so they don't. You can't even have the stuff sent to a friend in NH or VT - they won't sell to you if your credit card billing address is in Mass. And, don't forget, it's illegal to possess ammunition in Mass without a permit, and reloading components are defined as ammunition, so if your kid happens to have a spent piece of brass in his pocket, or you happen to drop a piece or two of brass under the seat of your car and your (unlicensed) wife then goes for a drive, they've both committed felonies.

Yes, there are ways around all this. Most of the serious gun hobbyists in the state cultivate a few FFLs who'll bring in and sell guns that aren't on the "list." And most of us were able to identify a few mail-order houses who either didn't know or didn't care about the AG's threats. But why go through all that hassle if you don't have to? If you already live there, or absolutely need to live there for whatever reason, that's one thing - but I can't imagine any serious gun enthusiast who would choose to move into Mass if they didn't have to.
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:42 AM   #50
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WA State sales tax varies by county King county is 9.5 or 9.8 but in other counties its lower probably due to the amount of people living in each. The elitist snob anti gun people mostly live in Seattle and its suburbs. I live out near Issaquah and its a very pro gun loving area. Right up the road is the finest gun range in the state West Coast Armory in Bellevue. So basically anything east of the 405 is less tree hugger. From my apartment its about a 30 minute drive to the hood known as Tacoma, some will disagree about that but more gang activity and shooting happen down there then most of the state.

Pluses for WA, it rains. Our climate is changing every year and our rainfall is only supposed to be about 6 months this year instead of 9 months. With all that rain we have less chances of forest fires.
No massive snowstorms
No hurricanes
No major earthquakes
We are no longer the suicide capital, were just worked to death.

Minuses to me at least, an Indian smokeshop on every spare piece of land or a casino.
High divorce rate [just had it happen to me]
Traffic is Seattle becoming like Los Angeles
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