Friday, October 25, 2013

North Carolina Is No. 27. Why Not No. 1?

The title to this post is reminiscent of the debates in North Carolina politics about teacher pay or student achievement. However, in this case it refers to where the state of North Carolina ranked in Guns and Ammo's ranking of the states for concealed carry. North Carolina came in at the 27th position virtually tied with Minnesota. This ranked North Carolina behind all of our neighboring states except for Virginia which was ranked 32nd. (correction: VA ranks 11th and it is West Virginia that ranks 32nd)

The rankings were based upon such criteria as cost, training hours, method of permit issuance, reciprocity, the existence of a castle doctrine, and how gun friendly the state was. This was used to create an aggregate score. The scoring criteria is below. The editors of G&A are quick to point out that no state is perfect but some states (and the District of Columbia) are pretty bad. DC, by the way, ranked as a zero which shouldn't surprise anyone who has ever read the work of Emily Miller.
To determine the best concealed carry states in 2013, we examined the following criteria and assigned numerical values to each category for a maximum of 100 points.

Permit Issuance: States were awarded up to 25 points based on their method of issuance.
Permitless/Unrestricted = 25 Points
Shall-Issue = 20 points
May-Issue = 5 points
No-Issue/Restricted = 0 points.

Reciprocity: The number of states honored in the issuing state were counted and assigned a maximum of 10 points. Next, the number of states where the issuing state’s permit is honored were counted and assigned a maximum of 10 points. The two totals were then added together for a maximum of 20 points.

Number of Permits Honored in the Issuing State
0 States = 0 Points
1-10 States = 2 Points
11-20 States = 4 Points
21-30 States = 6 Points
31-40 States = 8 Points
41-50 States = 10 Points

Number of States Where the Issuing State’s Permit is Honored
0 States = 0 Points
1-10 States = 2 Points
11-20 States = 4 Points
21-30 States = 6 Points
31-40 States = 8 Points
41-50 States = 10 Points

Training Time: Training time was scored based on the minimum number of statutory training hours required, for a maximum of 10 points. States with unrestricted carry automatically earned the maximum number of points.

0 Hours = 10 Points
1-3 Hours = 9 points
4-6 Hours = 8 points
7-9 Hours = 7 points
10-12 Hours = 6 points
13-15 Hours = 5 points
16+ Hours = 0 points

Application Fee: Application fees were scored with a maximum of 10 points based on the statutory cost paid by civilians to their state of residence in order to obtain the permit. Fees were not scored based on renewal or out-of-state permit costs, military/law enforcement/veteran rates or senior citizen discounts. Fees also do not include the cost of any necessary training course(s). States with unrestricted carry automatically earned the maximum number of points.
$0-$25 = 10 points
$26-50 = 8 points
$51-75 = 6 points
$76-100 = 4 points
$101-150 = 2 points
$150+ = 0 points

Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine: States’ scores were determined based on how strong their law is regarding self-defense in and out of the home, and whether you’re immune from civil prosecution in a self-defense situation. Maximum of 10 points.

Best States for Gun Owners in 2013: To Best determine how generally gun friendly the state is, each was awarded up to 10 points based on their overall rank in the Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.
Ranks 1-10 = 10 points
Ranks 11-20 = 8 points
Ranks 21-30 = 6 points
Ranks 31-40 = 4 points
Ranks 41-50 = 2 points

Duty to Inform: States were awarded points based on whether or not individuals who are legally carrying are required to immediately inform a law enforcement/peace officers they are carrying a gun upon initial contact
. 5 Points = Not required to immediately inform a law enforcement officer.
0 Points = Required to immediately inform a law enforcement officer.

Pre-Emption of Home-Rule: States were awarded points if state laws pre-empt local governing bodies from crafting their own legislation regarding concealed carry. In most states, pre-emption does not include local laws regarding the discharge of firearms within city limits.
5 Points = State laws pre-empt local governing bodies from crafting their own laws.
0 Points = Local governing bodies can make their own laws and are not subject to state pre-emption.

Permit Issued to Non-Residents: States earned points based on their method of issuance to non-residents.
5 Points = Permits are issued on a Shall-Issue basis to non-residents.
2 Points = Permits are issued on a May-Issue basis to non-residents.
0 Points = Permits are not issued to non-residents.
Where North Carolina fell down in the eyes of the G&A editors was on duty to inform and the issuance of non-resident permits. The Tar Heel State actually ranked behind Illinois (No. 42) on those criteria.

Read the whole story and find out where your state ranks on the list. If you ever have to relocate, lists such as this could be helpful in deciding where you want to live.


  1. According to the article, Virginia ranked 11th. West Virginia came in at 32nd.

    1. Damn, you're right. See what happens when I post before I've finished my first cup of coffee!

  2. Interesting, but speaking as a lawyer (I know which blog this is, yes ;) ) preemption should be worth considerably more than 5 points. I don't really care whether my permit costs $150 or $10, since I don't have to renew it very often, but knowing I can't be thrown in jail because I'm violating the city ordinance of some one-stoplight town I got pulled over in is worth a heck of a lot. Even for lawyers, keeping track of the details of each city and county's gun laws when there is no preemption is a huge pain in the rear. How is the average person supposed to do that?

    1. You make a very good point about the importance of preemption. One need only look to the problems you could run into in New York State versus New York City.

  3. I think they need to re-calculate Oregon's score. They gave her 64 points, ranking her 37th.

    Reading through the criteria, I wouldn't have awarded more than 60, tops. The Stand-Your-Ground/Castle-Doctrine laws protect against criminal prosecutions but offer absolutely no protections against civil suits (I'd dock more than two points for that, personally), and while we have a "state preemption" statute, it's immediately followed by several other statutes granting firearms regulatory authority to counties, cities, and municipalities, and many of them (*cough* Portland and Multnomah County *cough*) do. I'd grant two or three points for partial preemption, but not the full five.

    Still, nice sum-up of how friendly (or not) states are to CCW'ers.

  4. They misstated AK's non-res requirements in their text (none). If you're Federally legal to possess, resident or non-resident, citizen or non-citizen, you can OC at 18 and CC at 21.

    Further, their points for offering non-res permits are bass-ackward. I left a long comment there but they need to give big points for not requiring non-res to have any permit at all (Con Carry states), slightly less for allowing non-res carry on a permit and rate that on a sliding scale based on how many out-of-state permits qualify (wide reciprocity), and the least points for requiring a state-issued non-res permit to carry in that state.

    That Con-Carry Alaska loses points for not offering a non-res permit when one isn't required is essentially penalizing it for not being FL or Utah and being a reciprocity mill. That isn't being non-gun friendly by any rational stretch, there's no moral state obligation to provide a means for reciprocity in third states for non-residents when you don't restrict their carry within your own state at all.

    Damn pinko thinking, if I do say so. ;)

  5. I can't take seriously any system which scores a de facto shall issue state like Connecticut behind almost no issue states like Delaware (well, don't know the details of that state) and no issue unless you really need it Maryland.

    As noted by AnonymousOctober 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM, preemption is damn near paramount; without it you're limited to traveling in localities who's laws you keep up on. I'd hardly rate them as concealed carry regimes to begin with.

  6. The rankings are not without their flaws, but the question to be answered here is probably "Compared to what?". That being the case I put the rankings in XL and got a graph that suggests that while 70 is indeed better than 68, the big drop happens at 60. If your state is doing better than that, you're on the happy side of the list.