Gun Laws By State


In some states, permits are required to purchase firearms. Depending on the state, these permits can cover handguns, long guns, or even simple ammunition. For example, Illinois requires buyers to have FOID cards to buy any firearm. While buyers can use a concealed carry permit for purchases, they must still have a valid FOID card. By federal law, background checks are required on all persons buying a firearm from a licensed dealer. These checks are processed through the NICS, or National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Now, the Disclaimer:

The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.

 

Alabama Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is shall issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Gun must be in holster
Background checks on private gun sales No No  

     

 

Alaska Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  

     

 

Arizona Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No  
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Arkansas Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted “when on a journey” (outside your county of residence)
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No license required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

California Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is May Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes Yes  
Registration of firearm Yes Yes  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes *Long guns and handguns can be openly carried in some rural counties.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sale must be through licensed dealer
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Magazine limited to 10 rounds. But Federal Court blocked ban in June 2017 so still unresolved.

     

 

Colorado Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes *No permit required. Cannot open carry in posted areas such as Denver
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sale must be through licensed dealer and Colorado Bureau of Investigation must approve tansfer.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Magazine limited to 15 rounds.

     

 

Connecticut Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is Shall Issue due to Court rulings.
Purchase permit required Yes Yes There is a 14 day waiting period to purchase long guns.
Registration of firearm Yes Yes Sales and serial numbers are recorded. Does not apply to out of state sales.
Open carry allowed Yes Partial Requires permit for handgun. There is no law regarding long guns and open carry.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sale must be through licensed dealer.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Magazine limited to 10 rounds.

     

 

Delaware Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is May Issue. But operates like Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sale must be through licensed dealer.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

District of Columbia Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes N/A Polict is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required Yes Yes  
Registration of firearm Yes Yes Must be registered with Metropolitan Police.
Open carry allowed No No  
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sale must be through licensed dealer.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Magazine limited to 10 rounds.

     

 

Florida Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Polict is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No Florida law bans any registration of firearms
Open carry allowed No No There are some exceptions such as when hunting or fishing.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Georgia Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Polict is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes License required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Hawaii Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is May Issue but operates as No Issue state
Purchase permit required Yes Yes  
Registration of firearm Yes Yes  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Open carry of long guns allowed and no law against handguns but permits are never issued for handguns
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Permit required to purchase handgun. Will require background check to obtain permit.
Magazine size restriction Yes No Can not hold more than 10 rounds in handgun.

     

 

Idaho Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No *Non-residents require a permit to carry concealed within cities. Policy is Unrestricted.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Illinois Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes Yes Purchases need a FOID card.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed No No  
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Seller is required to verify purchasers FOID card.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Indiana Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Permit is required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Iowa Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes No Carry premit can be used to purchase
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Permit is required
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No Will need a permit to purchase or cary
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Kansas Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Kentucky Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Louisiana Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required but can be restricted by some local authorities.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Maine Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Maryland Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes N/A Policy is May Issue. Permits are difficult to obtain.
Purchase permit required Yes No Requires a handgun qualification license.
Registration of firearm Yes No Handguns and automatic weapons require registration with police.
Open carry allowed Yes No Requires carry permit for handgun but usually only police or security guards open carry.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Partial Sales must go through a licensed dealer or police.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Limited to 10 rounds. Possession of higher capacity magazine is legal if purchased out of state.
State preemption Yes Yes Most local laws are preempted by state laws but there are a few laws that are not.
Assault weapons banned Yes Yes There is a ban on certain models of firearms.

     

 

Massachusetts Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is May Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes Yes Carry permit or FID (firearm identification) required.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes No Permit required to open carry handguns. Open carry of long guns is illegal except when hunting
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Seller is required to verify the purchasers FID card.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Must not exceed 10 rounds.
Red flag law Yes Yes Firearms can be temporarily confiscated.
Owner license required Yes Yes FID license required.

     

 

Michigan Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No *If purchaser does not have a carry license and sale is not through a licensed dealer then they will need a permit.
Registration of firearm Yes No Must be registered with law enforcement.
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Permit required to open carry in vehicle.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No You must have a carry permit or handgun purchase license which both require a background check.
Magazine size restriction No No

     

 

Minnesota Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes No Residents of Minnesota can use a carry permit to purchase.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Permit required to openly carry handgun or long gun.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No

     

 

Mississippi Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted. No license required if firearm is carried in a purse, handbag, satchel, holsters and sheaths.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No

     

 

Missouri Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted. No permit is required however you can still obtain one. A permit will exempt the holder from laws passed by local authorities
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No

     

 

Montana Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No *You will need a permit if you want to carry a concealed firearm in a city or town. Policy is Unrestricted and Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Nebraska Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes No Carry permit or handgun certificate required.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Firearm must be visible in a vehicle. Can be restricted by local authorities.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No Need a carry permit to purchase which requires a background check.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Nevada Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes If in a vehicle cannot be concealed on your person without a permit.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes *Voluntary, up to seller if they want to do a background check
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

New Hampshire Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required. Long guns in vehicles cannot be loaded.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

New Jersey Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is May Issue. Permits rarely issued to ordinary citizens.
Purchase permit required Yes Yes Handgun ammunition, rifles and shotguns require a purchaser ID card.
Registration of firearm Yes No Registration of firearms is voluntary.
Open carry allowed No Yes Carry permit is required for handguns.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No Purchasers of handguns require a permit to purchase. Purchasers of long guns need a firearms purchaser ID card.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Limit of 10 rounds for a semi-automatic rifle or handgun and 6 rounds for a semi-automatic shotgun.

     

 

New Mexico Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No *You only need a permit to conceal carry, open carry is legal with no permit. Policy is Shall Issue but operates as a limited Unrestricted state.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No Registration of firearms is voluntary.
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

New York Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is May Issue. Generally it is harder to obtain a permit closer to big NY cities.
Purchase permit required Yes No Outside New York city, Suffolk and Nassau counties permits to purchase a handgun are issued by County or State Supreme Court Judges.
Registration of firearm Yes No It is illegal to possess an unregistered handgun.
Open carry allowed No Yes Carry permit holders must carry their handgun concealed.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Must be through a licensed dealer.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Limited to 10 rounds.

     

 

North Carolina Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes No Carry permit or Pistol Purchase permit required.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No Will need a carry permit or purchase permit to buy a handgun which require a background check to acquire.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

North Dakota Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes No Carry permit or Pistol Purchase permit required.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No Will need a carry permit or purchase permit to buy a handgun which require a background check to acquire.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Ohio Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required but some restrictions in vehicles and liquor establishments.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Oklahoma Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes No Requires a carry permit for handguns.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Oregon Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sales must be through a licensed dealer.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes All places except Philadelphia or in a vehicle.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes No All sales must be made through a licensed dealer or county sheriffs office.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Rhode Island Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue and May Issue.
Purchase permit required Yes No Must pass a safety exam and then will be issued a “Blue Card” to purchase.
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes For handguns only if you have a permit issued by the Attorney General. No permit is required for long guns.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

South Carolina Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed No Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

South Dakota Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Firearm must be clearly visible in vehicle.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Tennessee Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes Requires a permit for handguns. Long guns must be unloaded if openly carried.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Texas Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Utah Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes Yes Policy is Shall Issue. A loaded handgun can be carried in a vehicle without a permit but a permit is required outside the vehicle.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required if gun is two actions from being fired. A permit is required if there is ammunition in the chamber.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Vermont Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Vermont has never issued or required gun permits.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sales must be done through licensed dealer, unless sale is to family member.
Magazine size restriction Yes Yes Longuns no more that 10 rounds, handguns no more than 15 rounds

     

 

Virginia Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Washington Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm Yes No Firearms dealers must report all handgun sales to the police.
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required unless it is a loaded handgun in a vehicle. Long guns must be unloaded to openly carry in a vehicle.
Background checks on private gun sales Yes Yes Sales must go through a licensed dealer.
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

West Virginia Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Unrestricted
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes  
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  

     

 

Wisconsin Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required Yes No Policy is Shall Issue
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit required to openly carry a handgun or long gun.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  


 

Wyoming Gun Laws

SUBJECT HANDGUNS LONG GUNS NOTES
Permit Required No No Policy is Shall IssueResidents do not need a permit to open or conceal carry. Non-residents will require a permit to conceal carry. Policy is Unrestricted.
Purchase permit required No No  
Registration of firearm No No  
Open carry allowed Yes Yes No permit is required for residents or non-residents.
Background checks on private gun sales No No  
Magazine size restriction No No  


Last updates: 11/11/2020

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