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Compare State Gun Laws

Pick any two states to see how they compare head-to-head on all 50 policies. You can also click on any state or policy for more detail.

Rank for gun law strength

#19

#1

Gun Law Strength

Composite score

Gun Law Strength: 33.5
Gun Law Strength: 84.5

Gun Violence Rate

Gun deaths per 100,000 residents

Gun Violence Rate: 13.7
Gun Violence Rate: 8.5
Foundational laws

Background Check and/or Purchase Permit

Requires Background checks for handgun purchases at point of sale and/or for permit to purchase

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the law cover only handgun purchases, or also rifle and shotgun purchases?
All firearms (handguns, rifles, and shotguns)
When is the background check performed?
Point-of-sale

Concealed Carry Permit Required

Requires any person who carries a concealed firearm in public to first obtain a permit

Florida: yes
California: yes
If so, does the state require training?
Yes
Yes
Does state training include firing an actual gun?
Yes
Yes

Extreme Risk Law

Allows law enforcement (and often family members) to petition for a court order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns.

Florida: yes
California: yes
Who may petition for an order?
Law enforcement only
Law enforcement, immediate family members, employers, coworkers, teachers, roommates, people with a child in common or who have a dating relationship

No Shoot First Law

Does not have a dangerous Shoot First law in place

Florida: no
California: yes

Secure Storage Required

Requires that firearms be stored locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition in certain circumstances

Florida: yes
California: yes
When does the law apply?
After child gains access
When child may or is likely to access
How does the state define child?
Under 16
Under 18
Does the state law require storage to prevent access by other prohibited people?
No
Yes
Gun industry and product safety

Assault Weapons Prohibited

Bars purchase of certain assault-style weapons originally designed for military use

Florida: no
California: yes

Consumer Safety

Requires new handgun models sold in the state to have childproofing features

Florida: no
California: yes

Ghost Guns Regulated

Regulates ghost gun parts, ensuring they cannot be sold without serial numbers and a background check

Florida: no
California: yes
What does the state law require?
Serial numbers and background checks for component parts, all ghost guns must be reported to officials.

High Capacity Magazines Prohibited

Bars purchase of gun magazines larger than a prescribed size

Florida: no
California: yes

Microstamping for New Handguns

Requires new handgun models sold in the state to include microstamping technology

Florida: no
California: yes

No Special Immunity for Gun Industry

Does not have a dangerous legal immunity law in place

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the law proactively give gun violence survivors access to justice?
Yes
Guns in public

Authority to Deny Public Carry for Public Safety

Allows officials to bar concealed carry by people who pose a danger

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the state law permit denial for "good cause"?
Yes

Crime Gun Tracing

Requires officials to trace all guns recovered at crime scenes, using the federal tracing system

Florida: no
California: yes

No Carry After Violent Offense

Bars concealed carry by people with assault or other violent misdemeanor convictions

Florida: yes
California: yes
How long is a person disqualified?
3 years
10 years

No Guns Mandate on College Campuses

Does not force colleges and universities to allow concealed carry

Florida: yes
California: yes

No Guns at State Capitols and/or Demonstrations

Blocks the public carry of guns on state capitol grounds and/or political protests

Florida: yes
California: yes

No Guns in Bars

Blocks the concealed carry of guns in bars

Florida: yes
California: no

No Guns in K-12 Schools

Does not have a law allowing carry in K–12 schools by staff or other permit holders

Florida: no
California: yes
If not, who is allowed to carry under state law?
School personnel

Open Carry Regulated

Regulates how guns may be carried visibly in public, either requiring a permit or else barring open carry altogether

Florida: yes
California: yes
How is open carry regulated?
Prohibited for all firearms
Prohibited for all firearms
Keeping guns out of the wrong hands

Emergency Restraining Order Prohibitor

Bars domestic abusers from having guns while subject to short-term emergency orders

Florida: no
California: yes

Felony Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by people with felony convictions

Florida: yes
California: yes
How long is a person prohibited by the state law?
Indefinitely
Indefinitely

Fugitive from Justice Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by fugitives

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the state prohibitor cover any people with outstanding warrants?
Yes

Gun Removal Program

Requires officials to identify and seek removal of illegal guns

Florida: no
California: yes

Hate Crime Prohibitor

Bars people from having guns after a hate crime conviction

Florida: yes
California: yes

Mental Health Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by people who have been involuntarily committed or found to be a danger to self or others

Florida: yes
California: yes
How long is a person prohibited by the state law?
Indefinitely
5 years

Minimum Age to Purchase

Requires handgun buyers to be 21+ and rifle and shotgun buyers to be 18+

Florida: yes
California: yes
What is the minimum age for gun buyers?
21 for all firearms
21 for all firearms

No Gun Purchases After Violent Offense

Bars gun purchases by people with assault or other violent misdemeanor convictions

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the prohibitor cover assault and battery crimes?
Yes
How long is a person prohibited?
10 years

Prohibition for Convicted Domestic Abusers

Bars domestic abusers from having guns after a misdemeanor conviction

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the law close the boyfriend loophole by covering abusive dating partners?
Yes

Prohibition for Domestic Abusers Under Restraining Orders

Bars domestic abusers from having guns while subject to restraining orders

Florida: yes
California: yes
Does the law close the boyfriend loophole by covering abusive dating partners?
No
Yes

Relinquishment for Convicted Domestic Abusers

Requires domestic abusers to turn in guns after a misdemeanor conviction

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the state bar the surrender of firearms to third parties?
Yes

Relinquishment for Domestic Abusers Under Restraining Orders

Requires domestic abusers to turn in guns when a restraining order is placed

Florida: no
California: yes
Does the state bar the surrender of firearms to third parties?
Yes

School Threat Assessment Teams

Requires threat assessment programs to identify students at risk of violence

Florida: yes
California: no

Stalker Prohibitor

Bars gun possession by convicted stalkers

Florida: no
California: yes
How long is a person prohibited by the state law?
10 years
Policing and civil rights

Funding for Services for Victims of Gun Violence

Issues targeted solicitations to use federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds to assist victims of gun violence or for gun violence intervention

Florida: no
California: yes

Local Gun Laws Allowed

Does not preempt towns and cities from making their own gun safety policy

Florida: no
California: yes
If not, does the state also threaten to punish localities that regulate firearms?
Yes

No Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights

Does not impede efforts to hold police accountable for excessive force and other misconduct

Florida: no
California: no

Office of Violence Intervention

Has a dedicated office for gun violence prevention

Florida: no
California: yes

Police Use of Deadly Force Standard

Bars deadly force unless necessary to prevent serious bodily injury, does not make exception for felony suspects fleeing arrest

Florida: no
California: yes

Police Use of Force Incident Data Collection and Reporting

Requires law enforcement agencies to collect and report data on use of force incidents

Florida: no
California: yes

Qualified Immunity Limited

Limits qualified immunity, a legal shield for police officers accused of civil and constitutional violations

Florida: no
California: no

Violence Intervention Program Funding

State budget includes funding for community violence intervention programming

Florida: yes
California: yes
Sales and permitting

Authority to Deny Gun Purchase for Public Safety

Allows officials to deny sales if buyer poses a danger

Florida: no
California: no

Charleston Loophole Closed or Limited

Ensures gun sales can’t proceed while a background check is still ongoing

Florida: yes
California: yes
What does the state law require?
Dealers may not transfer gun until 3 business days have elapsed from purchase, or until background check is complete, whichever occurs later.
10-day waiting period for all firearm sales

Dealer License Required

Requires all gun dealers to obtain a state license

Florida: no
California: yes

Lost and Stolen Reporting

Requires gun owners to notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen

Florida: no
California: yes

Mental Health Record Reporting

Requires or allows officials to report prohibiting records into the background check system

Florida: yes
California: yes
Are officials required to report, or merely allowed to do so?
Allowed
Required

Notification of Failed Background Checks

Requires notice to law enforcement when a prohibited person tries to buy a gun

Florida: no
California: yes

Sales Records Sent to Law Enforcement

Requires all handgun sale information be recorded by officials

Florida: no
California: yes

Training Required to Purchase Guns

Requires certain gun buyers to take a training course before their purchase

Florida: no
California: yes

Waiting Periods

Requires gun buyers to wait a prescribed time before completing a purchase

Florida: yes
California: yes