Gun control laws by state: Oregon, New York, Texas, California.

What Are the Gun Laws in Your State?

What Are the Gun Laws in Your State?

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The Slatest
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Oct. 7 2015 3:22 PM

Gun Control Laws by State

491036488-guns-are-on-display-at-roseburg-gun-shop-in-roseburg
Guns on display at Roseburg Gun Shop in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 2, 2015.

Photo by Cengiz Yar Jr./AFP/Getty Images

Since last week’s massacre in Oregon, the debate over the cause of the U.S.’s unparalleled gun violence has re-emerged, with some, such as GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, arguing that Americans don’t have enough guns, while a visibly frustrated President Obama blamed weak gun laws. “It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm to get his or her hands on a gun,” he said after the shooting. The Oregon shooter had six guns on him at Umpqua Community College, the site of the massacre, and owned eight others. All of them were purchased legally by the shooter himself or his family members in the past three years. Oregon this year started requiring background checks for private gun sales, though some sheriffs said they would refuse to enforce the law.

Gun laws vary widely from state to state, and states with stronger gun control laws have fewer gun deaths. Some states, such as Alaska, Kentucky, and Louisiana, do not require background checks for private sales, have lax open and concealed carry laws, and fail to restrict gun access from certain risky populations. Below, we’ve summarized the gun laws in each state, based on research from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence:

Handguns Long guns
State Gun Control Grade Violent/Gun-related Crime Restrictions Dangerous Mental Illness Restrictions Open Carry (Handguns) Concealed Carry (Handguns) Background Checks (Handguns) Open Carry (Long guns) Background Checks (Long guns)
Alabama F No No Other Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Alaska F No No Other Restrictions No CCW Permit Required No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Arizona F No Yes No Restrictions No CCW Permit Required No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Arkansas F No Yes Other Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
California A- Yes Yes Prohibited Wide Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer Prohibited Background Check at Point of Transfer
Colorado C- No No No Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
Connecticut A- Yes Yes Permit or License Required Wide Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
Delaware B- Yes Yes No Restrictions Wide Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
Florida F Yes Yes Prohibited No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales Prohibited No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Georgia F No No Permit or License Required Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Hawaii B+ Yes Yes Permit or License Required Wide Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase No Restrictions State Permit Required Before Private Purchase
Idaho F No No No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Illinois B+ Yes Yes Prohibited Limited Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase Prohibited State Permit Required Before Private Purchase
Indiana D- Yes No Permit or License Required Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Iowa C- Yes No Permit or License Required Limited Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase Other Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Kansas F No Yes No Restrictions No CCW Permit Required No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Kentucky F No No No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Louisiana F No No No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Maine F Yes Yes No Restrictions No CCW Permit Required No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Maryland A- Yes Yes Permit or License Required Wide Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Massachusetts A- Yes Yes Permit or License Required Wide Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase Prohibited State Permit Required Before Private Purchase
Michigan C No Yes (handguns only) Other Restrictions No Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase Other Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Minnesota C Yes Yes Permit or License Required Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales Prohibited No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Mississippi F No No No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Missouri F No Yes Permit or License Required Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Montana F No No No Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Nebraska D Yes No No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Nevada F No Yes No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny Voluntary Background Checks by Private Sellers No Restrictions Voluntary Background Checks by Private Sellers
New Hampshire D- No No No Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
New Jersey A- Yes Yes Permit or License Required Wide Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase Prohibited State Permit Required Before Private Purchase
New Mexico F No No No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
New York A- Yes Yes Prohibited Wide Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
North Carolina F No Yes (handguns only) No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny State Permit Required Before Private Purchase No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
North Dakota F Yes Yes Other Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Ohio D No Yes No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Oklahoma F No Yes Permit or License Required No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Oregon D+ Yes Yes No Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
Pennsylvania C Yes Yes Other Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer Other Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Rhode Island B+ No Yes Permit or License Required Wide Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
South Carolina F No Yes Prohibited No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
South Dakota F Yes No No Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Tennessee F Yes Yes Permit or License Required No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales Other Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Texas F Yes No Permit or License Required No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Utah F No Yes Permit or License Required Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales Other Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Vermont F No No No Restrictions No CCW Permit Required No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Virginia D No Yes Other Restrictions Limited Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales Other Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Washington B- Yes Yes Other Restrictions No Discretion to Deny Background Check at Point of Transfer No Restrictions Background Check at Point of Transfer
West Virginia F Yes Yes No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Wisconsin C- No Yes No Restrictions No Discretion to Deny No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Wyoming F No Yes No Restrictions No CCW Permit Required No Background Check Required for Private Sales No Restrictions No Background Check Required for Private Sales
Washington, D.C. no grade Yes Yes Prohibited Prohibited Background Check at Point of Transfer Prohibited Background Check at Point of Transfer

Handgun and rifle icons by Creative Stall, the Noun Project.

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Note: The LCPGV’s grade for each state is based on its 2014 scorecard and may not accurately reflect the more up-to-date information in the table about the state’s current laws. Each state’s grade is determined in part by variables not shown here, such as regulations on bulk purchases and gun dealers.

Chris Kirk is a web developer at New York magazine and Slate’s former interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.

Katie Rose Quandt is Slate’s interactives intern.