Guns & Ammo released its annual ranking of the best states for gun owners last month, awarding the top spot to Arizona and the bottom spot (51st) to Washington, DC. Kentucky finished in fifth place.
The states were scored in a number of different categories including right to carry laws, regulations for semi-automatic rifles, and self-defense laws. Non-legal factors such as shooting range availability and the popularity of shooting sports were also incorporated into the rankings.
The rankings illustrate the dramatic variations in gun laws from state to state. While some states grant residents almost unlimited freedom to exercise their gun rights, others make it nearly impossible to own a gun at all.
Arizona took the top spot due to “strong laws [combined with] an unmatched shooting culture and strong industry presence,” followed by Vermont (2nd), Alaska (3rd) and Utah (4th). Kentucky rounded out the top five with a strong performance across all of the judging categories, earning full points for its Castle Doctrine law and for its unrestrictive approach to tactical firearms.
Not surprisingly, the worst performing states included gun control strongholds like New York (50th), New Jersey (49th) and Massachusetts (48th). Each of those states lost points thanks to restrictive licensing schemes, magazine capacity limits and local bans on NFA items.
You can read the rest of the rankings here.