The libertarian Cato Institute came out with a list of the most free and least free U.S. states. Called “Freedom in the Fifty States”, the annual rankings entail everything from personal freedoms and business regulations to labor rules, drug arrests and charter schools.
The gun control category measures the direct costs of gun laws to gun owners and dealers, and weights the importance of various freedoms related to firearms as follows:
Local gun ban: 1.0%
Concealed-carry index: 0.4%
Initial permit cost: 0.4%
Firearms licensing index: 0.3%
Waiting period for purchases: 0.3%
Initial permit term: 0.2%
Stricter minimum age: 0.2%
Assault weapons ban: 0.1%
Open carry index: 0.05%
No duty to retreat: 0.05%
Any other weapon: 0.04%
Dealer licensing: 0.03%
Built-in locking devices: 0.03%
Nonpowder guns: 0.03%
Restrictions on multiple purchases: 0.03%
Background checks for private sales: 0.02%
Registration of firearms: 0.02%
Design safety standards: 0.01%
Machine guns: 0.01%
Ammo microstamping: 0.01%
Large-capacity magazine bans: 0.01%
Sound suppressor: <0.01%
Short-barreled shotguns: <0.01%
Short-barreled rifles: <0.01%
.50 caliber ban: <0.01%
The most free state in the United States in the gun category is Vermont, followed by Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska, and New Hampshire.
The least free state for firearms is Hawaii, followed by California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
Check out how your state ranks regarding gun rights by scrolling over the map below.
Here is the list of states in order of gun freedom ranking.