Julie Jacobson, Associated Press

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has developed a point system that measures the relative strength of all 50 states' gun laws with states gaining points for laws that are strict and states losing points for laws that are more lenient.

This list focused on the 10 U.S. states with the least restrictive gun laws.

States gain points for laws that require universal background checks, limit bulk firearms purchases and other similar gun laws. States lose points for laws that allow hidden, loaded guns in schools and in bars, allow concealed weapons in public without a permit and other similar laws.

The Gun Death Rank indicates the number of gun related deaths the state has had in comparison with the other 50 states.

The state constitutional provisions and other state laws are quoted from NRA-ILA.

This list focuses on gun laws enacted after the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings.

The 10 states with the most restrictive gun laws

#9 (tied) - Kansas
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 41
Gun death rank: 17

Kansas gun laws do not:
- Require background checks prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals.
- Require permits for adults 21 and older to carry a concealed handgun in public.

Kansas gun laws:
- Limit how counties and municipalities can regulate firearms.

Kansas gun laws were loosened in 2013 and 2014:
- Employees are allowed to carry guns in schools.
- Concealed weapons permits are confidential.
- State money can’t be used to publicize “gun control” issues.

State constitutional provision: “The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.” Kansas Bill of Rights, Section 4.

#9 (tied) - Vermont
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 41
Gun death rank: 39

Vermont gun laws do not:
- Require background checks on private gun sales.
- Require reporting of mental health information.
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms.
- Require concealed-carry permits.
- Require a permit to purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

Vermont gun laws:
- Limit how municipalities can regulate firearms

State constitutional provision: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.” Chapter 1, Article 16.

#8 - South Dakota
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 43
Gun death rank: 34

South Dakota gun laws do not:
- Require background checks prior to the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals.
- Allow counties, municipalities and to wnships to regulate firearms.

In 2014, South Dakota strengthened gun laws by requiring that mental health records be submitted for background checks.

State constitutional provision: “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.” Article VI, Section 24.

#5 (tied) - Alaska
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 44
Gun death rank: 4

Alaska gun laws do not:
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between private parties.
- Prohibit assault weapons.
- Regulate ammunition sales.
- Limit bulk gun purchases.

Alaska gun laws:
- Limit how municipalities can regulate firearms.

In 2014, Alaska strengthened gun laws by requiring individuals to submit mental health commitment records for background checks.

State constitutional provision: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or political subdivision of the State.” Article 1, Section 19.

#5 (tied) - Missouri
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 44
Gun death rank: 14

Missouri gun laws do not:
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between private parties.
- Prohibit assault weapons.
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases.

Missouri gun laws:
- Limit how county, cities, towns, villages or municipalities regulate firearms

In 2014, Missouri approved Amendment 5, which states that Missouri citizens have an unalienable right to keep and bear arms and any “restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

State constitutional provision: “That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those adjudicated by a court to be a danger to self or others as result of a mental disorder or mental infirmity." Article 1, Section 23.

#5 (tied) - Wyoming
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 44
Gun death rank: 1

Wyoming gun laws do not:
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals.
- Regulate assault weapons.

Wyoming gun laws:
- Limit how cities, towns, counties or political subdivisions can regulate firearms.

State constitutional provision: “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.” Article 1, Section 24.

#4 - Kentucky
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 47
Gun death rank: 13

Kentucky gun laws do not:
- Conduct background checks, instead relying on the FBI.
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between private parties.
- License firearms owners.
- Regulate assault weapons.

No new gun laws were enacted in 2013 or 2014.

State constitutional provision: “All men are by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned: ... 7) the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state, subject to the power of the general assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.” Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph 7.

#2 (tied) - Arizona
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 48
Gun death rank: 15

Arizona gun laws do not:
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed individuals.
- Regulate assault weapons.
- Require a license to carry a concealed firearm in public.

Arizona gun laws:
- Restrict how cities, towns, counties and political subdivisions regulate firearms.

In 2014, Arizona strengthened gun laws by requiring health records to be sent to the FBI for background checks.

State constitutional provisions: “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.” Article 2, Section 26.

#2 (tied) - Mississippi
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 48
Gun death rank: 3

Mississippi gun laws do not:
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between private parties.
- Regulate assault weapons.
- Require gun owners to have a license.

No new gun laws were enacted in 2013 or 2014.

State constitutional provision: “The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.” Article 3, Section 12.

#1 - Louisiana
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Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Grade: F
Gun law rank: 50
Gun death rank: 2

Louisiana gun laws do not:
- Require background checks for the transfer of a firearm between unlicensed parties.
- Regulate assault weapons.
- Require gun owners to have a license or register their firearms.
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms.

In 2014, Louisiana strengthened gun laws by restricting access to firearms by domestic abusers and loosened gun laws by prohibiting schools from gathering information about student gun ownership.

State constitutional provision: “The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person.” Article 1, Section 11.