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Old November 18, 2012, 12:49 PM   #1
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Decision point. Which state to live in? CO, UT, WA, NH

Need some help from fellow TFL'ers.

I've got about 12-18 months before I decide to move states, again. I have no significant strings (at the moment) so my choices are vast. This is about gun laws and gun sports and outdoorsmanship, so please keep this gun related. But like any life choices, those are not the ONLY factors. So please chime in about any other relevant things to consider, such as crime (which goes to S&T), taxes (which goes to disposbile income for gun sports), political trends (which goes to availability of things like large capacity magazines, suppressors, etc.), etc.
My plan is to set up my own criminal defense firm, ideally near an Army base because I have significant Army criminal law experience.

Colorado: My law license is from Colorado, so that would be the easiest. I can get reciprocity with varying ease/difficulty from other states. My most significant friends and contacts live in metro Denver, and I loved living in Colorado for the outdoors sports - particularly snowboarding. I left in 2006 and believe the 'gunshow loophole' has closed. How does that effect FTF transactions, which used to be very simple. Also, parts of Colorado, I think Denver and possibly Aurora, have bans in high-cap magazines and possibly other things that survived the AWB. Please advise. Denver also has "pitt bull" laws, which I disagree with. My dog is not a Pitt, but frequently gets confused as a Pitt, and that causes problems. Getting a concealed carry permit in Colorado required a class, background check, a fee and a 3 month wait. Weather/geography is dry and landlocked. Excellent mountains for recreation. Lastly, a consideration about critters - rattle snakes and poisonous spiders are a minus (a consideration for pets and future kids). Colorado has Army/Airforce bases in Colorado Springs and Airforce in Aurora.

Washington State: I have a nice house in Washington state where I currently live. However, I will likely not want to remain in this house/location for business reasons. I need to move closer to Tacoma. So I will likely be moving, even if just locally. I have some contacts now in Washington state in the legal profession. WA does allow suppressors, which is a good sign. While I don't have any, it's a good trend. There are no hi-cap restrictions here. WA is a mix between environmentally friendly folks (which I agree with) and pro-gun folks. The only gun law here that I don't like is the 5 day wait on handguns, which is waived if you have a carry permit. Getting the carry permit is cheap and easy. Background check and a fee and it's available quickly by mail. Recreation here is also plentiful - it's a much more water-friendly part of the world. So more boating/kayaking and more rain. Don't think there's really many bad critters here such as rattlers or serious spiders (a consideration for pets and future kids). WA has a large Army base near where I currently live, Ft. Lewis.

Utah: I've visited UT twice and it's breathtaking. Many national parks and the mountains are hard to beat for recreation. People seemed friendly enough. Gun laws are reportedly one of the best states in the nation. Other than that I don't know much about UT.

New Hampshire: My only consideration for moving there would be to pursue a woman in Boston. She is stuck in that region permanently. Obviously Boston and MA is about as anti-gun as anywhere. I would be spending a lot of time in Boston with her, which I cringe at the thought of. Anyone here that is Pro-gun and forced to live in an anti-gun region, and how does it effect you? Frankly, I'm just not willing to give up my gun rights for anyone. I could maybe tolerate brief periods of being disarmed, but long term - no way. I look at visiting there as an international trip to Europe, where you just have to accept 'no guns' and have fun. But I could not live there. NH would be the ultimate compromise. How are the gun laws, recreation, taxation in NH, Vermont, Maine, etc.?
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Old November 18, 2012, 03:20 PM   #2
Glenn E. Meyer
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When folks reply - please stick to relative firearms issues. We don't care about romance.

Thank you.
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Old November 18, 2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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I live in NY, don't consider NY.

I grew up in Mass when gun laws were reasonable. A permit let you carry any gun, no registration needed. Those days are gone forever. I refuse to go back. Even NY is better.

Vermont is excellent. No gun laws. I think the only gun law says something like 'it is illegal to carry a gun with the intent to commit a crime." Vermont has no other restrictions. It's not so far to Boston
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Old November 18, 2012, 03:36 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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I've never lived anywhere but NY State but I have friends and family all over. If I were moving today, my first intention based on what I know of the laws and hunting would be the Western Slope of Colorado. A winter home in Florida for November through March would be nice too.
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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Only place to move is the great state of ARIZONA! I live in glorious Cochise County. For your own good research ARIZONA and move here!
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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I moved up to Washington from the Southwest in 1965 and won't ever leave here, good people, mountains, ocean, islands, desert, rain forest, whatever you like it's here. Rain is better than dust.
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Old November 18, 2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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Vermont is excellent. No gun laws. I think the only gun law says something like 'it is illegal to carry a gun with the intent to commit a crime."
Yeah, well, Vermont is OK as far as gun laws are concerned. Plenty of other problems with it however.
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Old November 18, 2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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I found the CO gun scene to be very good, with the exception of Denver. Even in Denver, the definition of high capacity mag is 21 or more. I lived in Aurora, not aware of any local laws on the subject. Over-all, relatively few gun laws; not required to inform LEO, open carry allowed, restaurant/bar carry allowed. The class is only about 3 hours, no shooting required. I got my permit from a Sheriff who was reputed to be anti, but everyone I spoke with at the Sheriff's office was quite friendly and helpful. Permit came in about 3 weeks.
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Old November 18, 2012, 07:22 PM   #9
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In general, New England is not nearly as bad (gun-wise)as many people believe ... or promulgate. That said, of the New England states Massachusetts is without doubt the worst (gun-wise).

New Hampshire has no sales tax and is gun friendly, but they do require a permit. Easy to get. Check for reciprocity information. Sadly, to be convenient to Boston you would probably settle in the southern part of NH, and that has become basically a Boston suburb ... complete with Boston attitudes. My sister and her husband used to live in Hudson, NH (southern). About four or five years ago they got tired of all the expatriate Bostonians and moved way farther north.

Vermont has a climate similar to NH. Easy gun laws -- no carry permits required, but zero reciprocity if you travel elsewhere.

Connecticut actually has decent gun laws. Permit required to carry, but it is shall issue. Aside from that, VERY expensive. I contractor I know who lives in CT told me just last week that in three separate surveys of the worst states to live in, CT rated #50, 49 and 48. There is no reciprocity -- a handful of (mostly) western states unilaterally recognize CT permits, but CT doesn't recognize anyone else's.

Maine has decent gun laws, and excellent recreation. can be lonely in the winter, and in the summer U.S. Route 1 becomes a 200-mile-long parking lot. Dunno about reciprocity but I suspect it is very limited.

Massachusetts will give (okay, "sell") you a non-resident carry permit if you live in any of the surrounding states. It's easier to get a non-resident permit than it is for MA residents, and it (probably) won't be limited to "range only." The downside is that it's only good for one year at a time, and they whack you $150 a year to renew.

Rhode Island isn't as bad as MA but not as good as CT, NH, ME and VT as far as gun laws. Economy stinks in RI, as it does in CT and MA. RI is may-issue, AFAIK, and like MA it may be easier to get a non-resident permit for RI than a resident permit.

There isn't much industry left in New England, due to the high cost of living and the corrosive effects of labor unions driving up the costs of production. Most of New England's factories moved to the south and southwest decades ago .. and then subsequently moved from those places to "offshore" locations. I grew up in New England and I have family in CT, VT and NH, but I can't afford the cost of living.

I hope some of that helps.
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Old November 18, 2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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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.

Feel free to ask any further questions.
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Old November 18, 2012, 08:25 PM   #11
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i could go on and on about all the romance Glenn asked us to leave out, so i won't. and besides you already know it's beautiful here.

so gun related law stuff, just ask the Brady Bunch themselves.
YAY, Utah.
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Old November 18, 2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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After a lifetime of suffering, in so many ways, in Massachusetts due to job and family obligations, we've recently moved to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I'm sure there are other areas in the country where gun-owning outdoor enthusiasts can be happy, but for my wife and me this is as close to Heaven as we're going to get.

The gun laws are fine - no permit necessary for open carry and concealed carry is a "shall issue" permit from the local police department. Mine took about 3 days to get and was free - towns are permitted, as I recall, to charge $10 but my town doesn't. Wonderful low taxes and great recreational opportunities, not just gun-related, but hiking, skiing, fishing, etc. If you need to get to Boston regularly for work you'll be restricted to the lower-tier of the state which has the issues an earlier poster noted, but if it's just an amorous relationship then you've got a bit more latitude.

I love this place.
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Old November 18, 2012, 11:22 PM   #13
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Wow, that Brady map is lookin' red these days

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Old November 19, 2012, 03:09 AM   #14
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Personally, I like Colorado, but Denver and Boulder are places I'd rather visit than live.

If I were a lawyer, or otherwise had a job where I could create my own business, I'd personally look at Pagosa Springs, or possibly somewhere between Durango and Montrose.

Of course, skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater, and an abundance of mule deer and elk aren't for everybody...
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Old November 19, 2012, 04:17 AM   #15
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CO is nice. UT has a lot of perks and might slide under the radar in this regard due to other stereotypes.... It's a big state.
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Old November 19, 2012, 05:08 AM   #16
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I haven't spent much time in UT, but it is a pretty state. I have friends who live there who highly recommend it.

My wife and I gave serious thought to moving to Pagosa Springs two years ago, but since I don't own my own company or practice, and the job market isn't huge, we felt it would be financially risky. The area is very outdoors oriented, with a large mix of native Coloradans and transplanted Texas hunters and outdoors folk. Needless to say, it is gun-friendly.

I've lived in Washington, and it is another beautiful state. It is also pretty gun-friendly. This is more true north of Bellingham, south of Olympia, and east of the Cascades in the latitudes from Olympia to Bellingham. The Puget Sound region between those cities is not as gun-friendly, though it isn't oppressive. The topography and climate change greatly to either side of the Cascades; west is wet, with a lot of mountains, while east is high plains (with more mountains at the eastern edge of the state).

NH is a nice state. Bill Bryson, the author, lives there near Dartmouth. To paraphrase Bryson, when describing the differences between VT and NH, "Vermont is bed and breakfasts and volvos; New Hampshire is flannel shirts, CATerpillar caps and pickup trucks." Not sure how the bugs compare to Maine, where I used to live, but I suspect the black flies and horseflies could be very nasty between late May and late July. Highest recorded winds in the US (at ground level) were at the peak of Mt Washington. Oh, yeah, snows a lot, especially as one travels inland from the Atlantic.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:45 AM   #17
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i second the Arizona move, we have few restrictions on our guns.., we can even own full autos, machine guns, e.g. "Ma Deuce".., etc.
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Old November 19, 2012, 08:58 AM   #18
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I love Arizona, but need to live someplace with a real winter and snowboarding nearby.
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Old November 19, 2012, 09:03 AM   #19
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we have Mount Lemon near Tucson where there is all kinds of winter activities, maybe not as extreme as Colorado, but still lots of fun.
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Old November 20, 2012, 11:12 AM   #20
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CCW does not require a 3 month wait. It does require a background check and a minimal class. Classes are readily available. Some counties accept a Hunter Safety course as training. Permits are SHALL issue. (My recently retired county Sheriff made that happen :-)

Denver keeps trying to mimic other big city gun control schemes but hasn't succeeded in a big way. Don't go there. Denver itself is a very small part of the Denver metro area.

The State Legislature rolled over to Democrat this election so with both houses belonging to Dems with a Dem governor, it's possible that gun rights may be rolled back a bit in the future.

Aurora seems to be a high-crime area. At least it's on the TV news a lot. And the bad dudes in that area seem to think that vicious dogs are cool so there's controversy over the topic.

C. Springs has some bad areas but doesn't make the Denver news for it as often as Aurora. Conservative city with lots of retired military and lots of gun stores and ranges.

And marijuana for recreational use was legalized this election. How THAT will play out is very unclear. One would hope it has no bearing on gun rights but only time will tell.
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Old November 20, 2012, 11:55 AM   #21
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I've been single since 1975 and moved around a lot. For me, Texas is the best place I've ever lived. I know what restrictive gun laws are like since I was born in Chicago and lived in Illinois for years. Texas is home!

Utah............ Been there, traveled there and loved the land! I absolutely HATE winter so it would never work for me. They have some brutal winters.

I loved Montana and Wyoming, too but left in a hurry when I found out about their winters!

Utah....a real concern and I'll get some flack for this. If you aren't in the LDS (Morman) church, then you aren't. Aren't what? answer......ANYTHING! LDS members take care of other LDS members. I've encountered that on several jobs here in Texas and the favoritism is blatant. Since you are in a profession that deals with the public, you ought to consider that. Just get ready to be at the back of the line for everything if you aren't LDS material. If you are in the church, then you have it made.

When Donnie Osmond did a sexy dance in Dancing With The Stars, he joked that they may not let him back into Utah. It was funny but was pretty truthful, too. Just a point to ponder.............

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Old November 20, 2012, 12:10 PM   #22
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Keeping it strictly gun related, as has been said - UT gets the coveted Zero rating from the Brady Bunch.

We aspire to such an accolade here, and are working towards it.
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Old November 20, 2012, 05:37 PM   #23
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Arizona is not all desert. we have two excellent ski resort within 4 hours of Phoenix. Three outstanding shooting ranges in the Phoenix Valley I prefer Usrey which is just north of Mesa.

Gun Laws are excellent with most Law Enforcement Agency's gun friendly. Avoid Tucson The Sheriff is definitely anti gun and works very hard to circumvent the laws.

Hunting opportunities range from varmints and Javilinia to Antelope, Elk, Big horn, some buffalo Cougars and bear.

Unfortunately, we are over run with attorneys.
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Old November 20, 2012, 08:22 PM   #24
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Getting the carry permit is cheap and easy. Background check and a fee and it's available quickly by mail.
Regarding Washington State, the above is simply not true. I just got mine renewed and even the renewal required in-person form signing. The original application requires the taking of fingerprints and the wait for a background clearance, after you have filled out the forms in person.

But all else mentioned about WA in this thread is accurate. I've lived in WA all my adult life, not that I really know when that actually started. 21? First child is born? First gray hair? Or maybe it hasn't started yet.

I cannot say anything about the legal business but the Joint Base Lewis McChord near Tacoma is where the bulk of military-oriented legal practice will happen. And you already know that area so I'll shut up.

Now that WA is legalizing pot there must be a truly bad joke using the term "joint base"....

Bart Noir
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Old November 20, 2012, 08:36 PM   #25
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I don't know why you would go East Coast when you can go West. I'd be narrowing my search to the West (Minus Commiefornia.)
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