5 Worst States for Concealed-Carry and Gun Ownership Rights

Previously, we provided an article on the Top 5 States for Concealed-Carry Rights, which highlighted the best states for laws related to concealed carry and personal protection.

Now, we’d like to look at the opposite end. These are the five worst states when it comes to concealed-carry rights.


To make this list, we looked at multiple articles that ranked states on their gun laws. The first two came from Guns & Ammo, one based specifically on concealed-carry rights, and the other based on general gun ownership. The third article is on concealed-carry rights from the Washington Times. The worst ranking state from each article received five points, the second-worst received four, and so on. We also gave three points each to the three worst states that appeared in an article from CaveArmor, a home-protection blog site.

Because it is not technically a state, we excluded the District of Columbia from this list. If it were included, it would likely be at the top.

5 Worst States for Concealed-Carry and Gun Ownership Rights

STATE Guns & Ammo: Concealed Guns & Ammo: Owners Washington Times Cave Armor Total
California 5 1 5 11
Hawaii 4 2 4 3 13
New Jersey 3 3 3 9
Maryland 2 2 3 7
New York 1 5 1 7
Illinois 3 3
Massachusetts 4 4

T-4th: Maryland – 7 Points

Maryland is on this list primarily because of the nearly-impossible nature of concealed-carry-permit issuing and restricted firearms purchase. The applicant essentially has to prove a specific danger, and simply purchasing a weapon for in-home defense requires a permit and registration.

T-4th: New York – 7 Points

Tied with Maryland is New York, which is considered the worst state for gun owners by Guns & Ammo. It has a permit-issuing system that is extremely restrictive and potentially corrupt, and the cost of getting a permit in New York City can be exceedingly expensive. Because of laws dominated by the metro area, the entire state is extremely restrictive.

3rd: New Jersey – 9 Points

New Jersey was a consistent third-worst on all three ranking articles, making it the third-worst on our list. All permits in must be approved by a superior judge, and there is no right to bear arms stated in New Jersey’s constitution.

2nd: California – 11 Points

When it comes to concealed-carry specifically, California is often considered the worst. In fact, it ranks as the worst for both concealed-carry lists. One of the worst aspects of California, from a concealed-carry perspective, is the restrictive county-by-county nature of issuance.

1st: Hawaii – 13 Points

Hawaii is often near the top, but it’s appearance in all four articles made it the worst-ranked state in our admittedly unscientific poll. It was the second worst for exclusive concealed-carry laws, and uses a permit-issue system that is considered very restrictive.

Gun-control advocates will likely feel that the states on this list should be proud, but if you feel that owning and carrying a firearm is an important part of home and personal protection, these states are not ideal.

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