Gun laws, regulations vary greatly throughout U.S. - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Gun laws, regulations vary greatly throughout U.S.

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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:00 am

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a multi-part installment on gun control in Idaho.

COEUR d’ALENE — A recent study suggests U.S. states with the most firearm-related legislation are also the states with the lowest rates of firearm deaths.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, states with the most firearm safety regulations had a 42-percent lower gun death rate than states with the least number of laws.

The lower death rate applied to both homicides and suicides.

The study also scored the strength of each state’s firearm legislation in those years.

A state’s score was based on how many of its gun laws fell into five safety categories of intended effect: curbing firearm trafficking; strengthening background checks; ensuring child safety; banning military style assault weapons; and restricting guns in public places. The study tied Idaho with Arizona for the third weakest firearm laws in the nation.

But how does the Gem state compare  to the rest of the country?

Well, in some states it’s considerably harder, and in others it’s even easier, to obtain and use firearms.

Here are a few laws in several states that go above, or below, Idaho’s level of regulation:

• Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey: Require permits to purchase firearms:

• Hawaii and Massachusetts: Allow the purchase of only one handgun per permit. Safety exam or training required to obtain a permit.

• Hawaii: Registration required for all firearms. Background checks required for transfer of firearms.

• New Jersey: Police record of all handgun transfers required.

• Vermont: Only state with no law prohibiting certain categories of people (i.e. felons, illegal residents) from possessing firearms. No permit required for concealed or open carry.

• California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island: Trigger locking devices required on some or all firearms

• California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York: Assault weapons ban.

• Connecticut: Requires firearms to be stored in a locked box or safe, if the owner knows they would be accessible to anyone under 16.  

• Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas: Impose criminal liability for allowing a child to gain access to the firearm

• California, Hawaii, Massachusetts: Impose criminal liability for negligent storage of unloaded firearms

• Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, Virginia and Vermont: Only states that don’t have a Stand Your Ground or Castle Doctrine on their books (Virginia does have common law versions of both). The Castle Doctrine allows people to use deadly force in their homes against an intruder. Stand Your Ground allows deadly force to be used in self-defense in public places.

• Alaska: No permit required to carry firearms. No background check required for transfer of a firearm between private, unlicensed parties.

Several websites outline basic gun laws across the states:,, and

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  • captaindan posted at 3:38 pm on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    captaindan Posts: 838

    Thanks Bill, I knew we could have a reasoned debate on issues we differ. You may not concider it negitive, but you did say we should due nothing to change any gun laws because you don't think any bill that passes will make a difference. My point is, those that lost loved ones want anything that might help.You may not admit it but the rise in the economy will give those employers more than enough profit to compensate for the cost of Obamacare. Many on the right feel that if they admit that the resession is over and prosperity is coming that they'll loose the gloom and doom excuse for opposing this administration. Bill, I, a guy that agrees with ideas that make sense, Wynhausen just doesn't back down when the right tries to steamroll him. That just pisses off those folks that have one trick up their sleve and repeat it every time he posts. The people in those cities that voted for Obama, have been oppressed for generations by the white ruling class, when they got the chance to change the status quo they voted in numbers never before seen. Now you want to dinegrate them for winning. Bill,please don't try to convince me your a middle of the roader. You,ve been a right wing talker for so long, you,ve lost your objectivity. Thanks for the debate.

  • WML posted at 9:01 am on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    WML Posts: 671

    @captaindan- post of 10:11 p.m. - Dan, I didn't say anything negative on my program Friday about the children that were killed at Newtown. I don't know what guest you were referring to. If it was Marty, I just politely disagreed with him. What do you think we should do for the victims of Newtown and should all victims of crime be compensated in some fashion?? Before you start bragging about Obama Care let's give it a year or two to see how it works. If employers start laying off people to compensate for the cost, it may have some bad implications for the employment numbers.

    Even the D's admit that the R's will control the House for at least 6-8 years. By that time this country will have a whole new set of problems.

    You can make excuses about why libs and women are arming themselves but I have some doubts about your theory. You sound a lot like Wynhausen. The D's are perfect and all the blame is on the R's.

    If you look at the areas of this country that are governed by D's you see a higher than average unemployment rate, lower high school test scores, higher than the national average for crime ratse, higher foreclosure rates, higher local taxes and a higher % of single parent families.

    There are about 12-15 medium - large size cities in this country that are on the verge of Bankruptcy, guess who the residents of these cities voted for in the last two presidential election, YEP, Obama. These people love to be taken care of from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night.

    I'm sure you are very happy up here compared to other places where crime is higher, taxes are higher and there is more government control. Just like Wynhausen, you applaud the D's and liberals and live with the R's.

    Before I close, I want to make it clear that I'm not impressed with the R's either. They have just as little to offer as the D's.

    Bill Litsinger

  • captaindan posted at 10:11 pm on Fri, Mar 22, 2013.

    captaindan Posts: 838

    Bill, I'll go point by point, Going beck is about tone not subject. You can disagree without being disagreeable. I've never been happier in my life, Women are arming themselves for good reason, sexual assalt is out of control. Even some libs buy into the right wing hype that the government is coming after them, that 's why some are buying guns. If you knew anything about the way laws are passed in washington DC, you'd understand why the AWB would hold up the rest of the bill. I heard you say on your show today, that because you think nothing will past, we should do nothing to help those families that lost their babies at Newtown, How cold is that. Your guest was right, when he said we should try to do what we can. You can ignore my advice about your tone, to your own demise, good luck with that. Read my lips. In five years we will have another dem. president. Obamacare with be the law of the land,and rebs. will still not haved learned the lesson of 2008 and Idaho will still be out of touch with the rest of the nation.

  • WML posted at 5:48 pm on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    WML Posts: 671

    @captaindan - post of 12:49 pm - Dan, you broguht Beck and mentioned me in the same sentence. Why did you do that?? What did I say in my 10:18 p.m. post that prompted you to say that? I say there are more moderates buying guns today that conservatives. I also say there are more liberals buying guns this year then 3 years ago. Studies have shown that there is a higher % of women using pistol ranges this year then any time in the past.

    I don't know what you are upset about other than you are unhappy about all the guns in this country. I don't know how to help you what that fear.

    If you won't respond to my 10:18 post, what are you responding to?? Are you just upset with a lot of things?? If you are, join the club of life.

    Your post of 12:49 p.m. re: the D's trying to compromise is BULL. The D's didn't want to compromise 4 weeks ago, when Obama said, "There will be legislation on Assault Weapons." Apparently the D's didn't get that comment, beacuse they didn't include it in the legislation. There are a few D's in the house that are worried about 2014. Apparently they are putting votes in front of public safety, Maybe!!!

    I suspect anyone that challenges anything liberal is going Beck according to you. If you are unhappy about the state of the U.S. today, you are really going to be upset in about 5 years.

    Get real in your expectations about the horse power of the D's when it comes to the real world.

    Re: The less poarizing parts of the legislation. There is really nothing left that is worthwhile in the legislation. 75% of it was the AWB. The rest of it is just fluff that will never be enforced.

    Bill Litsinger

  • captaindan posted at 12:49 pm on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    captaindan Posts: 838

    Bill, I won't respond to your 10:18 post because it has nothing to do with the subject of the news piece this blog is supposed to be about. If you want to defend the folks on the right that want to deny the study's conclusions,we can debate that. On a personal note.Glen beck was taken off the air by FOX because his vitriol speech had become toxic,even for his viewers. The dems. pulled the AWB from the law because with that in the bill it would be voted down, so rather than getting nothing passed,their hoping the less polarizing parts will get through. The right wants to do nothing, the left is willing to compromise, but compromise is not in their language.They want to get back in power but each time they have a chance to show the electorate they are reasonable they shoot themselves in the foot with their concealed weapon. No one is coming for their guns, but few on the right believe that. It's that belief that is feeding the gun rush. Not the moderates.

  • WML posted at 10:21 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    WML Posts: 671

    @captaindan - post of 8:48 p.m. - Dan, my agenda is speaking my opinion and some simple facts. The facts are, most people buying guns today are not, nor have they ever been members of the NRA. Even the NRA admittted that. My personal experience since Obama was elected is that I know more moderate and liberal people that have purchased guns than those known to be more conservative.

    I don't know much about Beck because I don't watch or listen to him. The truth is firearms maufactures have seen a rise in gun sales since January of 09 and even more so since Dec. 2012.

    It's not my fault that there will be NO useful crime control measure passed in the near future by the elected leaders. You should ask the D's why they pulled the Assault rifle language from their legislation.

    My comments were not an attack on the left. My comments re: sales, legislation and comments by Moore are fact. If you don't like facts, just say so.

    Actions by the public speak much louder than actions by our elected (both parties) officials.

    When your schedule permits please tell me where I was wrong in my post of 10:18 p.m.
    Bill Litsinger

  • captaindan posted at 8:48 pm on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    captaindan Posts: 838

    Hey bill, I'm not sure what your personal agenda is, but your starting to go all Glen beck on us. Are you trying to become the next shock-jock. Rush has sewn up the right wing mouth piece trophy. Your entitled to your opinion but voice it in a way that all parties can hear you. If you keep up this line of attack on the left you'll end up just like beck. You'll have your mouth piece taken away and all you'll have left is to shout from the sidelines just to be heard. I say this because we have known each other quite a long time, and my respect for you is slipping away.

  • Here's What I Say posted at 8:15 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    The majority of people in this country do not own guns nor feel a need to own one because we are generally the safest country in the world. 1.4 million responsible gun owners had guns stolen from their homes in 2012. That's one quarter of the NRA membership, if you want to look at it that way.

  • OccamSRazor posted at 2:39 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    OccamSRazor Posts: 1

    I'm not really sure how Ms. Warren's editor saw fit to publish this two part article as "news", when it's a glorified anti-gun op-ed piece.

    This is such a tainted study that it's pretty cheeky that it got published in the AMA Journal, showing just how politically corrupt that organization has become.

    The study's criteria is "five safety categories of intended effect: curbing firearm trafficking; strengthening background checks; ensuring child safety; banning military style assault weapons; and restricting guns in public places." I'm mostly going to address the last two, although all the first three also have serious problems as written.

    Reasonable people on both sides of the political aisle should take exception when it's obvious that rigged criteria is used for a study that is presented to the public as "factual data". The very fact that they include "assault weapon" bans as criteria when evaluating "safety categories" shows me that this study is deeply flawed. The federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 did nothing to alter the gun murder rate in the USA, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting data.

    Let's not forget that Columbine happened with weapons that were LEGAL under the ban, by the way. And when that ban expired in 2004, the gun murder rate and violent crime rate did not spike or blip up, as the shrill voices warned, but continued on its downward trajectory toward its lowest point in the past several decades where it is currently.

    Yes, people...while we have had some very frightening recent incidents from crazy people at Sandy Hook and Aurora...and people in almost every state currently have the right to own semi-auto civilian versions of military-spec rifles and get concealed weapons permits, SOMEHOW we STILL live in an America where your chance of being the victim of a murder is as low as it's been since 1963, your chance of being the victim of a violent crime is as low as it's been since 1971. Robbery? Lowest since 1967. Aggravated Assault? Lowest since 1977. Rape? Lowest since 1976. Look it up yourself.

    Hysterical hand-wringers would like to have us believe that more guns and more armed citizens are making our country less safe (through the proliferation of doctored "studies" like this one). And that it's only a higher number of cops on the streets or "better patrol tactics" and more prisons that is making us safer in spite of this "wave" of guns flooding the streets of our country.

    As a retired Los Angeles cop, I always find it funny that even my most gun shy friends will be the first to admit that if the bullets started flying they hope I'd be nearby since I'm always armed. And I saw first-hand during the LA Riots how many people used firearms to protect themselves and their businesses from being looted and burned to the ground. Nothing abstract incontrovertible hard data.

    Lumping in suicide statistics? That has always been philosophically problematic, as people will always find ways to kill themselves...and in the USA where we have hundreds of millions of firearms our suicide rate is only 0.1% higher than Sweden or Norway. Just because roughly 50% of our suicides in the USA use firearms, removing firearms from the weapons available (via stricter gun regulations) WOULD NOT statistically stop people from killing themselves, or countries with near total gun bans should at least have it manifest in their suicide rates to some demonstrable degree.

    Personally I think Americans can just do the math and see what a bunch of shaky logic they just got asked to swallow...and Ms. Warren can stop wasting print space regurgitating op-ed pieces.

  • WML posted at 10:18 pm on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    WML Posts: 671

    I watched CNN Piers Morgan (I like his accent) this eve. His guest was the slim and trim Michael Moore. Michael is an unhappy camper re: the decision not to include assault rifles in current legislation proposals. He wants people to contact Harry Reid and voice their displeasure at his cowardice.

    As usual the two of them blamed to far right and the NRA. I got news for those two, most of the people buying guns today are NOT from the far right. The far right have their guns already, most of the purchases, in my opinion are from moderate people who don't trust the liberals. Re: blaming the NRA. No wonder the liberals are so impotent in this cause of theirs. They don't even know who their opponent is. The opponent is not the NRA, it's the liberal WH administration.

    People are buying guns and ammunition at record rates, not because of fear of losing the right to own them, but because of what they see for the future of this country.

    Never once did either of these two men speak the truth this eve about the assault rifles in this country.

    Between the WH and Michael Moore, it may be wise to buy stock in GLOCK, SMITH&WESSON, COLT, REMINGTON ARMS and HK.

    Personally all this so-called hype about weapons bans was just that, politicians whoring themselves out to their particular supporters in hopes of re-election. Obama should be made a lifetime charter member of the NRA. He did their work for them.

    Bill Litsinger