Talk:Gun laws in the United States by state/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

RfC: Should the Brady map be removed or retained?

Those in favor of removal say that the Brady Campaign is an anti-gun group and that including the map constitutes advocacy of the group's position and that it violates WP:NPOV. They argue that the Brady Scorecard shows the opinion of the Brady campaign, while the information from pro-gun sources is factual.

Those in favor of retention say that the map reasonably summarizes the state of gun laws in the states and provides a useful summary that is badly needed in the article. They also argue that the sources in the article are overwhelmingly from pro-gun groups, so inclusion of the Brady source provides balance. — JPMcGrath (talk) 14:36, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Clarification To correct the (unintentional) misrepresentation of those who disagree with the map - we are stating that all maps should be removed, not just the Brady map. Any summary map is based on opinion & analysis rather than the simple facts. The only reason there is more than one map is because Brady advocates have insisted on keeping theirs. Rapier (talk) 17:15, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I had forgotten that you had argued for the removal of all maps, but I believe you were the only one who took that position. Mudwater argued for removing just the Brady map, and indeed removed it, leaving the others in place. Others argued for removal of the Brady map before the others were added. — JPMcGrath (talk) 17:54, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Further Clarification. The crux of this issue, I think, is the question of whether anything sourced to the Brady Campaign should be excluded from this article on the grounds that everything published by Brady is their opinion and therefore violates WP:NPOV policy. And, on the other hand, that "information from pro-gun sources is factual", so pro-gun sources therefore don't violate WP:NPOV. SaltyBoatr get wet 17:44, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

That is not the crux of the issue, and you obviously either haven't been paying attention, or you are not assuming good faith. The crux of the issue and what I stated from the very beginning is that no summary maps at all should be used in an article meant to list the gun laws of the United States (by state). List the laws, and let them speak for themselves. You are trying to say that because a pro-gun source is being used to quote a gun law, then that is therefore automatically a pro-gun reference. It isn't. It is a secondary source that is backing up an (arguably) primary source of the State web site. Going to any third-party for an analytical summary that renders an opinion (even if it agrees with a source from the opposing side) is completely different then simply quoting the law itself. Rapier (talk) 19:14, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I take you at your word. The fact remains that this is the only citation to Brady in the entire article, and the RFC is whether to remove it. The fact also remains that Brady is the most well known group in the other POV, and they are a major player interested in gun laws too[1]. This article should include fair and equal treatment of both the POVs interested in "gun laws". One POV is oddly missing from the balance. (1 citation to Brady's view of gun laws versus 70 citations to "pro gun" views of gun laws). SaltyBoatr get wet 15:21, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Retain - After a cursory review, there seem to be two maps from opposing groups displayed prominently at the top ( the "Brady Campaign" map, and the NRA "Right-to-Carry 2011" map). Having both maps seem to be fair and balanced to me, and represents the view of two notable players in the gun control debate. NickCT (talk) 15:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
A couple notes - 1) Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be much descrepency between the NRA and Brady maps. 2) The formatting on this page needs to be fixed. NickCT (talk) 15:19, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Retain maps As long as they are sourced and factually correct, the maps are very useful for showing what laws apply in which states. The Brady map is purporting to show "restrictiveness", not "good" states and "bad" states, so it seem fair to include it. You should probably provide a link to their methodology for their ranking (if there's not one already). Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:51, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Rephrase of question

Should all of the maps be removed, some of them be removed, or all of the maps retained?


The Brady Campaign state scorecard map should definitely be removed. The map purports to rank states based on whether their gun laws are more or less restrictive, with more restrictive being considered good (a higher score) and less restrictive being considered bad (a lower score). So the map violates NPOV because it promotes a particular political agenda, and provides a soapbox for the Brady Campaign and its supporters. In addition to the NPOV violation, the Brady map definitely is not an accurate or factual assessment of the restrictiveness of the states' laws. This point has been discussed at some length on this talk page -- see for example my post here. As for the other maps, I could take them or leave them. They don't suffer from the two big problems with the Brady map, because they don't rate or rank, and they don't summarize or synthesize, they just show specific laws. Because of that I'm okay with them, but if other editors want them removed that's okay too. The point about these other maps being referenced from pro-gun-rights sources is a non-issue, just like it's a non-issue for the sources for the text of the article, because those citations are just to reference reliable secondary sources about pure facts. This point too has been belabored on this talk page -- see for example my post here. To illustrate this point, suppose the "Right-to-Carry 2011" map was referenced with a citation from the Brady Campaign instead of the NRA. That would be perfectly fine, because it would be using the Brady Campaign as a secondary reference for the factual question of how the different states license (or not) the concealed carry of firearms. Also, I would suggest that a better legend for this map would be "Concealed Carry", because that's a more neutral and less pro-gun-rights term than "Right-to-Carry". I'd like to make one other important point. Some articles are about controversial subjects -- for example, Right to keep and bear arms, or Political arguments of gun politics in the United States. In that type of article, there will be opposing viewpoints that should be balanced in an attempt to present both sides of the argument. This article is different. It just explains what the various gun laws are, and does not pass judgment on whether they are good or bad. Thus, in contrast to some other articles, there are no opposing views to balance. The best way to keep this article neutral is to avoid all opinions, and stick to the facts. To summarize, the other maps could be left in or taken out, but if left in can probably have more neutral wording than they currently do; where the references come from is irrelevant, as long as they're reliable. The Brady map by contrast has no place in this article. Mudwater (Talk) 01:10, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

There, that's better. The Concealed Carry map now has wording that is much more neutral, and less pro-gun-rights. Mudwater (Talk)

Outside View by Movementarian

This is the first time I have looked at this page and quite honestly, it's a mess. Without speaking to the POV, the maps make the article look untidy. And lets not even get started on the main body of the article. Examining each of the maps individually, I believe that:

  1. The Brady Map is definitely subjective and definitely pushes an agenda.
  2. The concealed carry map is okay for the most part, but the division of the "May Issue" states, seems subjective and quietly pushes an agenda.
  3. The travel gun laws map seems fine at first. The prominent link to opencarry.org and the quotation marks around travelling lead me to believe that it quietly pushes an agenda.
  4. The gun registration laws map also seems okay at first glance. Again the prominent link to opencarry.org and the term "so called" used in conjunction with assault weapons pushed an agenda. I understand that the term "assault weapons" is fiercely contested, so perhaps changing it to "modern military-style rifles" would be better.
  5. The private gun transfers law map has the same basic problem as the previous two, that being the prominent link to opencarry.org. I would also change the word "banned" to "unlawful". It seems more neutral to me.
  6. The open carry gun laws map definitely pushes a POV with the link to opencarry.org and the terms used to describe the levels. It has the same effect as the Brady map.

In the interest of full disclosure and fairness, I am a proponent of the Vermont carry laws and believe that every law-abiding citizen should have that level of unfettered access to firearms. That is me in real life. As a member of this project, I would say that all of the maps need to go and new ones created sourced directly from the law, not from an advocacy group. I would also recommend that if maps return to the page, that they be used sparringly. This article should be easy to make neutral. You are talking about the law, so the law (directly from the level of government quoted) should be your source. A lot of work? Yes. But if you want a factual article on the law - necessary. Movementarian (Talk) 15:43, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Agree 100%. I couldn't have phrased it better. Rapier (talk) 16:04, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Movementarian, thanks for the disclosure of your 'open carry' advocacy here. I am concerned that your proposal for editors here research the primary sources and then to create new maps directly from the source documents would violate no original research policy. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:30, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Quite right, that could be a valid concern. If properly sourced, would a graphic be comnsidered similar to article creation? It is certainly something that should be researched and/or discussed in a larger forum. Unfortunately, I don't think that there will be a third-party source that can provide that kind of visual representation that will not be skewed to the view of the organization. Whether intended or not, anything from the NRA (or any similar organisation) will be inherently pro-gun and anything from the Brady Campaign (or any similar organisation) will be anti-gun. Movementarian (Talk) 15:44, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Aside: (In fairness, framing an organization advocating laws to control gun violence as "anti-gun", is non-neutral issue framing. I think Brady self identifies as being advocates for sensible gun laws to control criminal trafficing and to control gun violence. They don't advocate anti-gun against hunting and other responsibly safe gun use.)
The trouble with editor generated content in this article is that most of the editors attracted here seem to share an interest the "carry" types of gun laws. If we look at the full spectrum of gun laws, "carry" is a subset. Other types of gun laws are missing, or under reported. It seems that systematically the article has become bloated with "carry" and has little coverage of topic of interest to the groups seeking reductions in gun violence, "reporting requirements for stolen guns" or "criminal gun trace data tracking" for instance. Your proposal that editors make the maps from primary research of the laws is unlikely to generate a map of the laws not of interest to the self-selected group of pro-gun editors attracted here. This "systemic bias" problems is supposed to be addressed by following WP:NPOV policy which says Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors. This article fails in this regard, heavily skewed towards the personal viewpoint perspective of the editors drawn here to edit. (And who RFC to get removed the last and only citation sourced to Brady Campaign while seventy citations exist to pro-gun advocacy sources.) SaltyBoatr get wet 17:28, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree. I don't want to get drawn into a debate about whether a organisation is anti-gun; not that I am accusing you of provoking anything, but I think you'll agree that things could easily head that way if our clearer heads don't prevail. "Sensible" depends on your point of view. For some it is not sensible to deprive anyone of firearms. Others see firearms in anyone's hands as a danger. Those are the extremes and most people and organisations lie somewhere in the middle.
On the issue that was presented, I think all of the maps violate WP:NPOV in their current use (not just the Brady map). There are ways they could be used and present a NPOV, but this isn't it. They have no context and I don't feel that they add to the article, as they are basically a restatement of the extensive lists below, skewed (however minor) toward the organisations they came from. Looking at it again, I really don't like this article. Wikipedia is not a complete exposition of all possible details. This article is basically a long list of every state's gun laws, and looking at them it seems that is what other US gun articles do as well. It needs to have a scope, be scaled down, brought to the centre, and be encyclopaedic.
Perhaps this page would be best used as a list page and the states spun off on their own. Then each state page could talk about the gun laws, interesting case law affecting State law, and how major advocacy groups operate in the respective States in a neutral, encyclopaedic way. Movementarian (Talk) 07:18, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Once again, I agree completely. Having this as a "List of" page and then branching off to each state makes much more sense, and would allow for a lot more objective detail in each state. It would be a lot of work, but it would be worth it. Rapier (talk) 17:10, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
This article is large and it would make sense to think of plans to break it into separate articles. In no way was I suggesting that Brady's definition of "sensisble gun laws" is not their 'point of view' opinion. My only beef is that their POV opinion is a "significant" opinion which is missing 70:1 from this article. We are supposed to include all significant opinions, even those with which we disagree. In the case of this article, a bunch of editors here are violating policy by excluding significant POV's they personally disagree with. SaltyBoatr get wet 18:02, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
You keep using that argument, yet you've never answered my question regarding what those "pro-gun" sources are quoting. Are they quoting the laws themselves (and thereby providing a secondary source for the primary information of the law itself) or are they quoting opinions of the law. If one is going to make the argument that "Primary sources" (i.e. the laws themselves as listed on the state website) should not be used, then one has to find those laws quoted in secondary sources, and these sources are naturally going to come from either pro- or anti-gun groups, because why else would someone be talking about the laws? Now, if the sources given were used for opinion on gun law and there was a 70:1 descrepency, then your point would be entirely valid. As it stands, I cannot agree with you. Rapier (talk) 19:25, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
One big source of bias is which laws are being examined. The article spend disproportionate attention on the laws of interest to 'pro-gun' POV especially "open carry". (Largely cited to a website owned by a company that sells the holsters needed for open carry.) The article spends much less attention to laws of interest to those advocating for gun laws which reduce criminal gun use, and reduction of gun violence. This is plainly a NPOV violation. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:15, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. Again, your logic is sound, but I have to dispute facts on which you base your premise. I think this may be a key issue of our disagreement: On what are you basing the statement that some of these laws are strictly in the interest of "pro-gun", while others would be focused more on laws that "reduce criminal gun use, and (the) reduction of gun violence" (thereby implying that the "pro-gun" laws you refer to do not reduce gun violence)? As an instructor of firearms laws for Minnesota and Utah, and a person that has been active in assisting of the writing of such laws for 15 years, I have to admit that I'm confused. I'm not aware of any statistics (other than the fact that in every state that permit-to-carry laws have been "loosened" -to quote the Brady Foundation- the violent crime rate has gone down) that show that any gun laws have reduced gun violence. In the State of Minnesota, for example, in the 7 years since the Minnesota Personal Protection Act made this a "Shall-issue" state, violent crime has dropped nearly 12%. Since no other laws have changed in the state, and the fact that other states have experienced similar drops after passing such laws, it is logical to conclude that this is a determining factor. If you know of other evidence I'd be very interested in seeing it, please bring it forward. Rapier (talk) 15:56, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
I am not even slightly interested in discussing personal opinion about efficacy of law here. The point is not what we think but rather what the sources say about gun law. And, even those sources don't have to be 'true' or right, they just have to be verifiable. So stepping back and checking our foundation here, is there disagreement about WP:V? SaltyBoatr get wet 16:48, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't ask for personal opinion, I specifically asked for evidence. You stated "The article spends much less attention to laws of interest to those advocating for gun laws which reduce criminal gun use, and reduction of gun violence. This is plainly a NPOV violation.", yet when I ask you for examples of these laws backed by sources, you are now saying that you don't want to discuss it. Forgive me, but the crux of your argument is that the wrong laws are being focused on, and focus should be on laws that "reduce criminal gun use". Please produce such data. Rapier (talk) 22:29, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Data: The article mentions the carry of a handgun, a topic of interest to the 'pro-gun' point of view about 400+ times. The article mentions two topics of interest to the Brady Campaign, "reporting requirements for stolen guns" or "criminal gun trace data tracking", once and zero respectively. These gun law topics of interest to the Brady Campaign are missing from the article. 400:1 is a quantified imbalance favoring 'pro-gun' point of view, evidence of systemic editor bias. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:58, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, false premise. The "Brady Campaign" used to be called "Handgun Control Inc.", and before that the "National Council to Control Handguns", and was started in 1974. Its concern has always been about the carrying of handguns, an issue that both sides care about, simply the opposite side of the argument from those "pro-gun" people you mention. If this is your argument that the topics of interest are unbalanced, then you are sadly mistaken and know very little of the history of the argument. Rapier (talk) 01:03, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think we are starting to get a little off topic. Let's dial things back a bit and talk about the maps specifically. Can we all agree that:

  1. without context, all of the maps push a POV?
  2. the inclusion of the maps as presented adds no value to the article?
  3. the article talks very little about legislation and is essentially a list of laws?
  4. the article needs to be broken up into individual state articles?
  5. the article should strive to achieve a neutral point of view - add per request by SaltyBoatr Movementarian (Talk) 02:34, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

This is not the place for a policy debate, which is where this is headed. This is a place for building an encyclopaedia and aspiring to obtain neutral point of view. Lets find something that everyone agrees to and move from there. Movementarian (Talk) 07:13, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Point 1 - Agreed. Point 2 - Agreed. Point 3 - Agreed (however, I would argue that being a "list of laws" is exactly what the article was intended to be). Point 4 - I'd like to see this occur, I don't know that I'd use the word "need". Rapier (talk) 15:08, 23 June 2010 (UTC) EDIT: As to point 5: Every article in Wikipedia, by rule, should strive for a neutral point of view. However, by definition, that point of view is agreed upon by consensus based on verifiable fact. Rapier (talk) 06:22, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Movementarian, could you add to your list number 5) this article needs to obtain neutral point of view? Sorry to keep coming back to this issue, but at the start of this dispute the elephant in the room was the premise that any citation to anything published by the Brady Campaign was disallowed because everything published by the Brady Campaign is disallowed POV pushing[2]. This amounts to POV forking, where this article is the 'pro-gun' fork of this encylopedia's coverage of issues related to gun laws. Witness the exclusion of coverage of laws of interest to the Brady Campaign such as stolen gun tracking, and criminal gun trace tracking data. Also the 10:1 ratio[3] of pro-gun advocacy sourcing versus 'con' is further proof of a large NPOV problem here. SaltyBoatr get wet 19:26, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
There was no "elephant in the room", it was stated outright by me that this was a list of laws, and that any summation/analysis of those laws by any advocacy group did not belong in an encyclopedic listing of gun laws. If you would like to add other criterion that you feel are important, then by all means, do so. However, the primary issue you gave earlier (the carrying of handguns) was a red herring as both sides of the argument in question are equally concerned with it (OpenCarry & The Brady Campaign (fka Handgun Control Inc. & National Council to Control Handguns). If you would like to add the criteria of "stolen gun tracking" and "criminal gun trace tracking data", go for it. Just follow the model already in place and create a column for that section and insert relevant reliably sourced information. Rapier (talk) 20:49, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Movementarian and with SeanNovack (a.k.a. Rapier), as well as other editors who have posted here, such as Niteshift36 -- the maps in general and the Brady state scorecard map in particular are POV advocacy and should be removed from the article. I also agree that laws such as concealed carry are of equal interest to pro-gun-rights and pro-gun-control organizations, and that it would be fine to add more or different laws to the article if that's desired. SaltyBoatr's statement that anyone said or implied anything like "any citation to anything published by the Brady Campaign was disallowed" is false. On the contrary, I and others have stated in multiple posts that the Brady Campaign is a reliable second party reference for individual laws. And I still think that this article should merely summarize the gun laws of each state in a factual manner, without adding third party opinions. The article will then be neutral and will cover its subject in an encyclopedic manner. Mudwater (Talk) 21:20, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I would have to agree that the overall tone is skewed and it is irresponsible not to talk about the Brady Campaign and their effect on legislation, etc. Your observation just reinforces my position that this article is too large and basically a list of selected laws. These types of articles should talk about the evolution of the law and how organisations like the Brady Campaign and the NRA have effected them. In the meantime, if you can find sources to balance things out, I would encourage you to start integrating that content. Movementarian (Talk) 19:57, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
SeanNovack: Regarding your recent edit to your earlier message on point 5: a neutral point of view is agreed upon by consensus based on "representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources"JPMcGrath (talk) 07:06, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thank you for quoting exact policy for me. Let's parse that shall we? "representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources". How are those words defined? On a case-by-case basis, based on the consensus of the community. How does that change my point? Rapier (talk) 16:07, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
It was not directed at your point about consensus, but rather at the added phrase, "based on verifiable fact". While it is true that Wikipedia articles should be based on verifiable facts, that includes facts about views published by reliable sources. It is a fact that Brady, the NRA, and USA Carry have made these assessments. — JPMcGrath (talk) 00:30, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. however, I have maintained all along that this is an article based on the law itself, not anybodys interpretation of that law. That information should be (and already is) included in other articles. Rapier (talk) 01:34, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Which articles? I have not seen any article that summarizes the state gun laws, and I have looked. — JPMcGrath (talk) 10:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
Whenever a person takes raw data and creates an analysis or summary of that data then that person's bias will be a part of that analysis or summary. This is unavoidable and it is why most intelligence officers, business and financial analysists, and diagnosing physicians want to see raw data rather than rely on reports written by others when they draw their opinions. Therefore having an article titled summary of gun laws would be an absolute mess. If you want a summary of laws, go to the group that is doing the summary (Brady Campaign seems to be the most debated), but understand that you are getting that group bias when looking at that summary. If you are looking for a discussion of the issues look at gun politics in the United States, and other such articles. My point is that this information is covered in other places, and isn't appropriate for a listing of gun laws. If someone feels it necessary to include other laws to be tracked, that is fine, but biased summary maps from any source don't belong in this particular article. They would be more than appropriate in the article on gun politics, but not in a listing of laws. Rapier (talk) 18:07, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Outside opinion by GregJackP

There are too many maps, there should be no more than two. If you include an opencarry.org map, you should include a brady map for balance. I would personally go with the brady and the concealed carry maps. Personal view is that more guns on the street in the hands of law abiding citizens, the better, but that would be pushing a POV. GregJackP (talk) 04:16, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Why are there too many maps? They may be from pro and anti-gun sources, but their information's validity isn't in doubt, is it? Faceless Enemy (talk) 05:01, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Texas -- convicted felons

A recent addition to the Texas section says, "Felons are allowed to own fire arms 5 years after their probation is up, but only in their homes for personal protection." Is that correct? I thought that federal law prohibited convicted felons from owning firearms, unless they had been pardoned or otherwise had their records cleared. — Mudwater 16:55, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Sounds very suspicious, since any convicted felon is federally prohibited from purchase or possession of any firearm. If the state did pass such a law, it would be null and void under the US Constitution (Federal Supremacy clause). izaakb ~talk ~contribs 14:35, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I've removed the sentence in question. — Mudwater 03:55, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
See the last paragraph of the Arizona section for the skinny on that. State and local police are under no obligation to enforce federal law, and they generally show little interest in enforcing federal gun laws, especially in vehemently pro-gun regions like the Deep South and Mountain West. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.226.29.49 (talk) 09:48, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

the law wouldn't be void, a felon who owns a gun 5 years after their probation is up would only be breaking a federal law, and not the state law, but a felon who broke both could be charged both under federal and state jurisdiction —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.176.160.47 (talk) 22:20, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm jumping in on this late. There should not be a Federal preemption of state law regarding firearms. So, a Federal Felon ban would likely apply to felons in areas where the Federal government has jurisdiction (e.g. Washington DC) or where Congress has authority (e.g. interstate commerce). Instead, it should be a state law preemption. BenWilson (talk) 17:06, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

If that were the case, then the NFA would only apply in those areas, and so anyone could freely purchase a machine gun within a given State without paying the tax to the BATFE. This is not the case; the Supremacy Clause and its interpretations in case law are quite clear that the Federal government and its agencies, where they have been given power by law to perform certain duties, have greater authority in doing so than the governments of the States. There's a famous case regarding medical marijuana, in which the state of California issued permits to certain farmers to grow marijuana. Those growers did so, were arrested by DEA agents, and brought to trial. The fact that the State had allowed it didn't mean squat in a Federal court; the judge would not even allow that fact into evidence.Liko81 (talk) 21:26, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Could you be thinking of the federal law that prohibits persons convicted of family violence from owning a firearm? I'm not an expert, but I believe the federal law prohibits those convicted of a federal felony or violent felony from owning a firearm. I'll check on this Monday. Tom Reedy (talk) 05:41, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Checking further, it appears that a person convicted of a felony may not purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer. The law says nothing about gun ownership or buying a gun from an individual or receiving one as a gift, and it appears to me that the Wikipedia federal gun law article is misleading on this point. Tom Reedy (talk) 05:51, 20 June 2010 (UTC)
I found it, and as with most federal laws, it's a bit complicated. It's 18USC§922(g)1: (g) It shall be unlawful for any person - (1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; […] (1) to receive, possess, or transport any firearm or ammunition in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce; or (2) to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
That pretty much rules out any felon who does not live in the same state as the gun and ammunition manufacturer. How that squares with the Texas law I have no idea, but I can tell you it is in the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 46, UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF FIREARM: § 46.04:
(a) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm:
(1) after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person's release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person's release from supervision under community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or
(2) after the period described by Subdivision (1), at any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
(b) A person who has been convicted of an offense under Section 22.01, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a member of the person's family or household, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the later of:
(1) the date of the person's release from confinement following conviction of the misdemeanor; or
(2) the date of the person's release from community supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:19, 21 June 2010 (UTC)


  • I think that these "State gun law" sections should clearly state what the State laws are, regardless of constitutionality, applicability, or Federal preemption. If there is a preemption of the State law by Federal law, you should still list that State law on in that State's section; then simply add a note that XYZ Federal law still applies at this time. After all, this page isn't about Federal gun laws, it's about State gun laws; Federal laws can change and then you'd have to go back through all these State sections and re-insert all those State laws that used to be preempted. Luftegrof (talk) 01:59, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

"However, state and local police departments are not legally obligated to enforce federal law"

The above statement found in the introduction is quite sweeping, and needs better sourcing than links to the case filing primary document of one court case and the website of the lawyer who argued that court case. SaltyBoatr (talk) 22:05, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

The case is binding precedent and a good source; however I disagree with the summary written here. The Court determined that "The Brady Act's interim provision commanding CLEOs to conduct background checks is unconstitutional." That does not translate to the obligation of State and local police departments to enforce Federal law. I am removing the statement from the article and encourage discussion before it is reinserted. Movementarian (talk) 20:10, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Article sourcing, red flag

GunLawArticleRefPieChart.gif

When I did a count of the 281 references of this article I see that the vast majority are links to primary sources and pro-gun sources. This is a red flag, indicating a high risk of violation of WP:NOR.

Reference type count  %
Advocacy con 7 2.5%
Advocacy pro-gun 68 24.2%
Primary source 176 62.6%
Third party source 30 10.7%
Total 281

Additionally, there are about ten times more pro-gun sources than the opposite POV, which indicates a red flag for a WP:NPOV violation.

Per policy at Wikipedia, article should be mostly drawn from third party reliable sources, but this article is drawn from primary sources. Primary sources outnumber third party sources by five times. This indicates a red flag for WP:SYN violation. SaltyBoatr (talk) 17:07, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

That looks rather extreme. On first sight it looks as if perhaps most of the primary sources are being used for excessive detail rather than original research or improper synthesis. Is that your impression also? Hans Adler 18:57, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I am still thinking, so my impression is not formed yet. It seems to me that this article mostly serves a purpose of being a sort of 'guide book', with the audience being mostly gun users. In the broad view it is a research paper collecting together links and summaries from primary sources, typically municipal ordinances and the like. It does seem to parallel similar works done by the NRA-ILA and the various Open Carry lobby groups. I also think that a systemic bias occurs when editors with an obvious personal bias towards 'pro-gun' sources, choose which primary sources to insert into an article. I.E. there would be a tendency to give greater attention to concealed carry permit laws, than to gun theft reporting laws for instance. That, I think is the crux of the warning of WP:SYN, where the editorial selection process bias causes the problem. SaltyBoatr (talk) 19:27, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Question: Which ones are you calling a primary source? For example, if the State of Connecticut's official website is used a a reference to quote the actual statute, are you calling that a primary source? Niteshift36 (talk) 20:47, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it a State website is not a "third party" source for information about that State's laws. SaltyBoatr (talk) 21:23, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so that's where this slavish reading of primary/secondary etc. is a problem. Nobody is a better source of the states law than the state itself. You get it in full, unvarnished form. Asking that some third party read it and interpret it for you really makes no sense. The third party can be right or wrong, but it is still just their take on it. Using the state as a source for their own law is the least biased, most accurate source available. This is one of those very rare situations where I think WP:IAR applies. It would be like saying that the Farmtown Gazette is a better source for what the State of the Union speech said than the White House would be because the White House is a primary source and the Farmtown Gazette is a third party source. There is no bias in linking directly to what the state law is. The potential for bias doesn't start until some reporter/scholar/expert starts interpreting them for you. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:46, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Pardon me, there is plenty of bias involved in the selection of the links and the omission of links to primary/secondary sources. For instance, editor bias here is plenty evident. I see dozens of links to open carry, permitted carry laws etc.. And few to none for other types of gun law such as gun theft reporting requirements, etc..
I think a link to the statutes should be considered a primary source, and the cautions in WP:PRIMARY should certainly apply there. A state-run website that synthesizes the laws for the general public should be considered a secondary source. The danger in primary sources is that an editor will synthesize the laws in an inaccurate or non-neutral way. I don't think that is a danger with the state website. -- JPMcGrath (talk) 21:57, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • What synthesizing? Many of these links go directly to the statute. PEriod. No interpretation. No commentary. Straight law. Niteshift36 (talk) 22:18, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
If the article summarizes what is in the statutes, citing the statutes as the source, that is synthesizing a primary source, which is what WP:PRIMARY warns about. If it cites a state web site or the NRA/ILA site as its source, and then adds a link to the statutes for further information, that is completely consistent with WP:PRIMARY. -- JPMcGrath (talk) 22:38, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Agreed there is not danger of reliability of the state website, I am simply discussing the obvious WP:OR/WP:SYN red flag when primary/secondary references outnumber third party references by a factor of 5X. And the obvious WP:NPOV red flag when advocacy sources are imbalanced by a factor of 10X. There are huge red flag concerns here with these source imbalances. SaltyBoatr (talk) 22:12, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Question: In your chart above, did you count state web sites such as the PA State police and PA Attorney General sites as primary or secondary? If you counted them as primary, do you think I have made a good argument that such sites should be considered secondary? And if the answer to that is "yes", would it be possible to update the numbers? I realize it must have taken some time to generate those numbers, and that updating the numbers would take even more time, but I think it would be very helpful. -- JPMcGrath (talk) 23:51, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
To elaborate on my previous comment, under Pennsylvania, there are links to the State Police and Attorney General web sites. Granted, they are both part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but they are definitely separate entities, and they synthesize the statutes in a way that makes sense for the general public. I think they clearly should be considered secondary sources.
The third source for Pennsylvania is a little odd. The title, "Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes — Uniform Firearms Act", suggests that it links to the statutes, but the link goes to http://members.aol.com/StatutesP2/18.Cp.61A.html, which is part of AOL's Hometown blog site, which was shut down 1½ years ago. Obviously, that was not a good choice for linking to the PA Statutes. But it seems completely consistent with WP:PRIMARY to add a link to the statutes in this manner, as long as the synthesis comes from the secondary sources.
-- JPMcGrath (talk) 22:31, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
Those are specific links. But your broad indictment is that there are too many primary sources. Looking at Florida for example, 2 of the "primary sources" go directly to the state legislatures site of the state statutes. No reporting. No summarizing. No opinion. Straight fact from the source. The 3rd "primary source" goes to the state agency that issue concealed carry licenses where it lists which states they have a reciprocal agreement with and then answers from questions based on the statutes. However, the source is being used to show states that have a reciprocal agreement, so there is no "synth" required there. Straight listing. It sounds like you'd find all 3 of those acceptable for their use, however, they fall into your graph, contributing to what you see as an imbalance. How many others are like that? Niteshift36 (talk) 22:46, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
I made no broad indictment, or an indictment of any kind. In fact, while I have not really taken a position on whether primary sources are a problem, my comments would best be characterized as defending your position against what SaltyBoatr has said. What I said was that sources that I think he has counted as primary sources are in fact, secondary sources. Please re-read my comments. -- JPMcGrath (talk) 23:07, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
My starting point is the bedrock core policy: WP:V which says: "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy." I concede a fuzzy line between primary and secondary with many of these sources, but no matter to that WP:V core policy sentence which says "third party". My chart could therefore just as easily be read as "third party" and "not third party". Of course, there are some exceptions to WP:V emphasis on "third party", but my concern here is that this article bends this core policy rule way too far. Indeed adding in the advocacy sourcing, the article is 11% third party sourced and 89% not third party sourced. I object, 1:10 ratio is just too far out. SaltyBoatr (talk) 01:31, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
(Also, I don't see any discussion of the 5:1 ratio of pro-gun vs. con advocacy sources, that too seems way too imbalanced to meet neutral point of view policy here.) SaltyBoatr (talk) 01:31, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
In context of this advocacy sourcing, it is also worth mentioning that the most frequent pro-gun advocacy source mentioned here is USACarry.com, which appears to owned by i156 Inc.. Looking at Whois you can see that this corporation also appears to be in the business of manufacturing handgun holsters, presumably with a financial interest in encouraging a movement to carry handguns, and selling handgun holsters. It seems odd and wrong that this article would be incidentally serving the purpose of promoting handgun holster sales. At the very least, this makes the encyclopedia look bad. SaltyBoatr (talk) 16:55, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I will try to find time to update this data, but since March a number of edits have actually worsened the ratio imbalance of 'pro-gun' versus 'con' sources, making the disproportion even more extreme. And, even more content about laws allowing the open carrying of handguns in holsters, sourced to a website owned by a company that sells holsters. What is going on? Does it meet WP:NPOV policy? SaltyBoatr get wet 13:14, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Updating this data: As of July 6, the article includes 45 mentions or links to "opencarry.org", which is a promotional website with implied commercial intent to promote the purchase of handgun holsters, a product sold by the owners of the website. There are 4 mentions or links of "bradycampaign.org". The Brady Campaign is certainly an anathema to some of the editors around here which hold a strong personal point of view seeking to advocate for the political advancement of the carry of handguns. That said, the Brady Campaign is the most prominent spokesman for one of the points of view about the public policy of state gun laws in the United States. The question that comes up is: Whether a 45:4 ratio indicates editor bias in this article? SaltyBoatr get wet 14:37, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Updating this again. With the deletion of the map, there are exactly zero citations to www.bradycampaign.org. There is also no mention what-so-ever of the Brady Campaign in the article even though the main purpose of the Brady Campaign pertains to gun laws. This is a big red flag that the most notable organization of the opposite POV from the gun-rights camp is totally missing from this article. Per WP:NPOV we are to maintain a balance by including all significant points of view on the topic. What is the reason there is no use of the resources on gun laws from the Brady Campaign? SaltyBoatr get wet 01:04, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
I just read the WP:PRIMARY policy. The use of primary sources is fine as long as the text in this article does not offer legal interpretation or opinions that do not exist in the cited source. Paraphrasing is not an interpretation or an opinion. A law that says "no person under the age of 18 shall possess a handgun except on their own property or under the supervision of a person 21 years or older" can be paraphrased as "persons under 18 are generally prohibited from possessing handguns" and a primary source, such as the state statute, can be cited without violating the WP:PRIMARY policy. The only valid sources for legal interpretation or opinions are from a judge's opinions in case law, a State's attorney general opinion, and occasionally State Police memorandums. I do not think the NRA, Brady Campaign, opencarry.org, or any other gun-control or gun-rights advocacy groups should be cited in this article because they are biased to their own agendas and cannot be trusted to provide accurate, complete, legal opinions and interpretations. However, as many have already said, it would be appropriate to cite groups such as those in the Gun Politics article. Luftegrof (talk) 18:50, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Here's some more information that I think supports the use of primary sources in this article: "In the legal field, source classification is important because the persuasiveness of a source usually depends upon its history. Primary sources may include cases, constitutions, statutes, administrative regulations, and other sources of binding legal authority, while secondary legal sources may include books, articles, and encyclopedias. Legal writers usually prefer to cite primary sources because only primary sources are authoritative and precedential, while secondary sources are only persuasive at best."[1] Luftegrof (talk) 04:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

MORE MAPS!!!1

"Actually, this article gives undue coverage to the laws of interested to the editors in charge here, which is mostly of laws related to the carry of handguns. Missing is weight of coverage of laws of interest to the opposite POV, such as illegal gun trafficking laws, child safety laws, tracing of criminal use of guns, reporting requirements for stolen guns, criminal gun trace data tracking and guns in the workplace/schools. This is evidence systemic editor bias which violates WP:NPOV policy." SaltyBoatr get wet 15:23, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I think the guy raises a good point, in that the maps should address more issues. However, I don't think that we should remove good visual representations of laws, which by their very nature are NPOV. To that end, I'm going to try to make more maps using the tools found at the NRA site and Brady site. The fact of the matter is that the way to make an article like this more NPOV is to add aditional information, rather than blanking and destroying whole sections of good info. Faceless Enemy (talk) 21:19, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Another useful source for gun law data to give POV balancing weight is the [4]. SaltyBoatr get wet 22:10, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Wow, I'm impressed; and slightly surprised at the detail and accuracy I've seen, so far, in the information on that site. I will definitely incorporate some of the resources from that site into the Virginia section. Luftegrof (talk) 16:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

New Intro suggestion

I've been reflecting on SB's comments above re systemic editor bias. In this area I believe he is correct. This article looks for the most part to be "concealed carry laws in the US by state" rather than a more general "gun laws" article. With that in mind I wonder if we can build consensus to alter the intro somewhat to include an explanation of what kinds of laws there are related to firearms, and what kinds of differences exist between the states. I'd like to hear if other editors agree. To that end, I'm starting a list - feel free to add/edit:

  • Concealed Carry
  • Waiting Period
  • Storage (locks, disassembly, etc.)
  • Child-safety (as exists other than storage above)
  • purchase limits
  • transfer / registration rules
  • education/testing requirements (many states require training and/or tests for handgun license, hunting license, etc)
  • tracing laws (SB suggested - perhaps he can elucidate)

If we do this, we probably will want to break-up the article as suggested. In that case having an infobox for quick assessment of the state of each state might be nice. Looking for feedback. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 23:05, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I think it is a great idea to expand the article to include some/all of the items in your list, but I think we should only add them to intro after we've fleshed them out in the body of the article. But we might want to condense or combine a couple of the items (e.g. Storage and Child-safety) since some of them will only apply to a few states (ballistic fingerprinting and microstamping would also fit into that category).
However, I think it is imperative that the article focuses on stating the laws and not go into discussing whether the laws are good/bad, strict/lax, etc. And I know that someone is going to come back with "...but we should present all significant POVs as found in reliable sources..." But as soon as we start adding that kind of stuff, we'll end up duplicating the back and forth arguments found in articles like Gun politics in the United States, Political arguments of gun politics in the United States, Gun violence in the United States, etc.
I also think it would be nice to have a single table listing all of the states and summarizing the status of at least some of the items in your list. But I'm not sure how feasible that would be, and incredibly large tables are pretty unwieldy to glean information from, as well. --Hamitr (talk) 23:50, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem adding to the variety of laws that are tracked. I'm not against any of the laws you mentioned, but for the record it might be difficult to track things like "Storage: Locks, disassembly, etc" when Heller v DC stated that it was unconstitutional to require that people use gun locks on their handguns because it violated the principle of self-defense. That is the kind of issue that comes up when going through a list of laws - people start thinking about what they believe should be there, rather than what is actually there. It's certainly worthwhile doing the research to put such a list together, but in the end it would probably be better of there were wikilinks to individual articles for the gun laws of each state. My 2 1/2 cents. Rapier (talk) 00:38, 9 July 2010 (UTC)


Most of the categories I've seen suggested here could be consolidated within more general categories. I'm partial to the way I organized the Virginia section last year. Every state will be slightly different, but the following categories cover just about every type of firearm law. Luftegrof (talk) 02:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Constitution
    • Is there a provision in the Constitution regarding firearms or arms in general?
  • Preemption/Local Regulation
    • May localities regulate firearms; and if so, what may they regulate?
  • Legality of Certain Firearms
    • What firearms (or accessories) are legal/illegal?
    • Who, if anyone, may manufacture firearms?
    • What condition do firearms have to be stored or used in? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Luftegrof (talkcontribs) 02:59, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Prohibited Places
    • Where may you not have a gun?
  • Prohibited Persons
    • Who may not have a gun?
  • Purchasing of Firearms
    • Who may purchase firearms?
    • Who may sell firearms?
    • Are there any dealer regulations?
    • Are there restrictions on the purchase of firearms or accessories?
    • Are there qualifications or requirements prior to the purchase of firearms or accessories?
  • Carry
    • Open Carry
      • How is it defined in the state?
      • Is it legal? Does it require a permit?
      • What supporting laws, legal opinions, or court rulings affirm that open carry is legal or illegal?
    • Concealed Carry
      • How is it defined in the state?
      • Is it legal? Does it require a permit?
      • What supporting laws, legal opinions, or court rulings affirm that concealed carry is legal or illegal?
    • Carry Permits (if they exist)
      • Who may get a permit?
      • How does one get a permit?
      • What are the qualifications?
      • Are there Permit Exemptions?
        • Do some laws not apply to people who have a permit?
      • Are there Permit Restrictions?
        • Are there extra requirements or rules of conduct specifically for those who are carrying with a permit?
  • Here's how your list would fit under my proposed organization:
    • Concealed carry fits better under general "carry," as there are two (or more) types of carry.
    • Waiting periods fit under "Purchasing of Firearms."
    • Storage might fit under "Legality of Certain Firearms" in that a firearm without a lock may be illegal, or an assembled firearm may be illegal.
    • Child-safety is something that falls under more than one category. In the categories I listed, it falls under "Prohibited Persons" as well as "Legality of Certain Firearms."
    • Purchase limits, transfer, and registration are all under "Purchasing of Firearms."
    • Registration is also under "Legality of Certain Firearms"
    • Testing/education requirements under either or both the "Purchasing of Firearms" and "Carry" sections, if applicable.
    • Tracing laws, such as ballistic fingerprinting, serial number registration would fall under either "Legality of Certain Firearms," "Purchasing of Firearms" or both.
    • Any of the above may also fall under "Local Regulation" Luftegrof (talk) 02:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Another peeve that I have, which someone had hinted earlier on this page and I hope we can address, are the sources/references not being straight from a State's on-line code library; or from some other .gov site. If this page is supposed to be State gun laws, then ALL of the sources should be from .gov sites; except in cases where there absolutely is not a .gov statute code source. I haven't found a state yet that doesn't have its statutory laws on-line. Most have their administrative laws on-line, too. Luftegrof (talk) 02:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
This sounds excellent. Does anyone here know how to make an infobox? Faceless Enemy (talk) 03:54, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
An infobox may be a good addition to each state sections, but it does not excuse the poor organization of the main content, nor does it replace the need for a more in-depth description of the laws. Here's a sample infobox I just created for Virginia, what do you think? When implemented, the code sections listed would be links as well... I didn't do that here in order to save time. Luftegrof (talk) 13:27, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
removed my state gun laws infobox from this page; I'm working on it elsewhere.Luftegrof (talk) 06:23, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

State sections -- tables and text

In the last several weeks, editor Luftegrof has changed the Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania sections of the article, adding fairly large tables and removing the text of each section. The new tables certainly have their good points, and Luftegrof has done a nice job of linking the table entries to the actual state statutes. However, I think each state section should still have a few paragraphs of text, summarizing the highlights of the particular state's laws, whatever those may be. This will make it much easier for the casual reader to pick up on the main points of each state's laws. As an example, the Maryland section used to include this paragraph:

New handguns sold in Maryland must include a sealed envelope, provided by the manufacturer, containing a shell casing from a cartridge fired by that gun. When the gun is sold, the dealer must send the envelope with the shell casing, along with information identifying the purchaser, to the state police, for inclusion in their ballistics database, known as the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS).[2][3]

Text paragraphs like this are great for summarizing the main points and bringing them to the attention of the average reader. It's more a matter of presentation, even if similar information can also be found in the table. In my opinion the article should keep some text for each state, whether the new tables are kept in their present form or not. What does everyone else think about this? Mudwater (Talk) 23:22, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I think a topic such as gun laws, by state, is rather difficult for both editors and readers alike.
  • There are tons of them.
  • Many states have very similar laws.
    • For example, the machine gun laws are nearly identical for Maryland, Virginia, and other states as well.
  • Many states have very different laws.
    • For example, in Virginia concealed means "hidden from common observation" but in Mississippi it means "[hidden] in whole or in part" and the implications of each definition are drastically different.
  • All states' laws can fit into a relatively small number of categories.
    • The categories I've used in my tables aren't written in stone, but almost every gun law can fit into one of those categories.
  • Most of us probably aren't lawyers; neither the readers nor the editors.
  • Many times, readers will just have one or two particular questions they want to answer. They're not usually here to read from top down, A to Z.
  • It is impossible to summarize most states' gun laws in a short paragraph.
    • Your example from Maryland is not a "main point." It's simply one of several dozen gun laws.
    • We have to be careful not to call one law a main point while not another one. In order to remain neutral, we must give all of the laws equal representation.
    • What could you say in a summary paragraph? "Maryland has gun laws regulating the purchase, sale, transfer, possession, minors, and blah..." I don't think that adds much, if any, value to the reader when the table says the same thing.
    • I do think, however, there ought to be a good summary at the very top of the article summarizing state gun laws in general, not really any particular state.
      • Something that explains the types of gun laws that will be included and why, the types laws that might not be included and why, and a notice to the reader that the article deals with State laws only and that some of these State laws may be moot, nullified, or illegal because of Federal statutory, administrative, or case law. I know some of that is already there, just stating here for completeness.
As such, this article requires an approach that may not be common or standard in other wikipedia articles.
Plain text paragraphs are more free-form and the order in which things are presented and the words used to present them are so different from state to state, and from editor to editor.
  • Going from one state section to another, sometimes you have to sort-of change gears in your head to read the work of a different editor.
  • People have a tendency to run on and on when a simple 10 word sentence would be easier to understand and more than sufficient, especially when the actual law text is linked-to for the reader.
  • Plain text paragraphs could be the number one reason that this article is full of unvalidated/unreferenced information and non-neutral points of view.
    • Tables can still be abused as such, however it will be easier to spot them than when they're buried in the middle of or one of several paragraphs.
Tables will encourage editors to be more compliant with the style and structure of the rest of the article; and to be more succinct.
  • Editing these state sections is so easy now.
    • Everything has a place.
    • There is perceived limited space, so I'm careful to stay clear, concise, and on-point.
    • The format of the table ensures that an editor includes all of the pertinent information as well. It's almost a sort of check-list for the editor (and the reader).
In summary: While the tables take up more space on the page for some states, the amount of text in them is considerably less than there would be in paragraphs that contain summaries of the same laws. Most of the short state sections are only short because they are missing a ton of information. In the long run, I think the use of tables, without plain text paragraphs for each state, will shorten the amount of text one must parse when they read this article, without decreasing the amount of knowledge they gain from it. In fact, it may increase. I am against having both paragraphs and tables because the duplication of data will only make it more difficult to keep up-to-date when laws change; and it's not only duplication of data, it's duplication of work. I think summary paragraph(s) should be at the top of the article in the introduction and be so generic that they do not need to be updated every time a state law is amended; the state sections should just be tables. Luftegrof (talk) 15:23, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, just for the record, I have been careful to keep all of the referenced, verifiable, accurate information from the pre-existing paragraphs in the new tables. That includes the Maryland IBIS example above. Luftegrof (talk) 15:23, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I really think the article will be much better with each section including several paragraphs of text. The text should summarize the most important points about each state's gun laws. This would include things like an overview of the state's concealed carry laws, whether or not they have preemption, and so on. It would also include things that are unusual or different about that state's laws, and the Maryland ballistics database is an example of that. Your idea that "We have to be careful not to call one law a main point while not another one. In order to remain neutral, we must give all of the laws equal representation," doesn't really hold up. In fact it's the editors' responsibility to emphasize the important points and omit the trivial, in this article as in any other Wikipedia article, and if there's disagreement about what's important and what isn't, that should be discussed on the talk page. I also disagree with your statement that "this article is full of unvalidated/unreferenced information and non-neutral points of view." In fact I think the opposite is true. I do agree however that the prose style of the different state section of the article is inconsistent. Also some of the sections are too long. The solution there is edit the text, not remove it. In summary, I'm not objecting to adding or expanding the tables in each section, but by removing the text paragraphs, you are making the article worse instead of better. When appropriate the text should be improved, made more consistent between sections, or edited down, but not removed. Mudwater (Talk) 23:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I've been thinking about this more and after reading your recent points, I think I can see the benefit of one or two paragraphs highlighting points of common interest and things that are unusual or rare for each state. Do you agree that such paragraphs should be concise? About the size of the Alabama or Arkansas sections, for instance? Regarding the unvalidated/unreferenced information and non-neutral points of view, perhaps "full" was too strong of a word. It's not that bad, but there's a lot of work to be done in many sections. Anyway, the next time I hit a state section with a table, I'll either keep what text is there; or in the case of a large section of text I'll edit it down to the key and novel points. FYI, WV is probably next; at this time I'm sticking with the states I'm the most familiar with. I'll start with VA to see if I can write a decent introduction paragraph. Luftegrof (talk) 02:04, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for keeping an open mind about this. In my opinion, the text sections for Alabama and Arkansas are fine, but so are somewhat longer sections, for example, Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico. Sections that are probably too long right now include Arizona, Michigan, and New York. If someone significantly shortens a really long section, they should consider creating a separate article with the original text, as was done in the past with California. Also, I would encourage other editors to post their opinions on this subject. The more people who join the discussion, the better. Mudwater (Talk) 03:10, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
More input would be nice, but this talk page has been quiet for a while... I threw a few paragraphs together for Virginia, as discussed. Does anyone have any feedback on that? Luftegrof (talk) 03:48, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I just found out about this collapsible feature. I applied it to the Maryland table. What do y'all think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Luftegrof (talkcontribs) 17:01, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd like it if each row of the table could be collapsed instead of the whole table. Maybe the only way to do that is to create a bunch of one-row tables? Luftegrof (talk) 18:06, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
My initial reaction is that a "regular" collapsible table is a good way to go. Mudwater (Talk) 23:37, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Check out my page. I organized a state section using navboxes. I think it's even better than the tables we're using here now. Luftegrof (talk) 21:37, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I went ahead and updated the Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia sections with navboxes at the risk of being berated here for doing something so drastic. If there are no objections, I'd like to continue with this format for the remaining states. I'd next do the longest sections that have been cited above by mudwater: Arizona, Michigan, and New York. The vast majority of the information currently contained in those sections would be retained in the new format, but other than the overview it will be in collapsed navboxes. Let me hear what y'all think. Luftegrof (talk) 01:33, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate the thought and effort that you've put into this, and it's good that you're willing to try something different. But, my initial reaction is that the navboxes are not the way to go. The expandable sections may seem like a fun feature, but they make it a lot more work to read through each section. And we don't want to make the formatting of the article too different from that of other Wikipedia articles. Generally on Wikipedia, information is contained in text, and in tables. Navboxes are for navigating between groups of articles, not for linking to external references. So, I liked the previous idea a lot better, where each section had some text, followed by one table for that state that was collapsed by default.
It seems that you've also completely rewritten the text for each state section that you've revamped. In my opinion that's also too extreme. One of the big strengths of Wikipedia is that it's a collaborative effort. In the case of this article, the text, and the references, have been created by many different editors, who have gradually built upon each other's work over a long period of time. The current state of the article, as previously discussed, is very uneven, and the style and content of some of the sections are not consistent with the rest of the article, but there's a lot of good material here. In my view, if we're going to try to make the article better, we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater, metaphorically speaking. It's better to make more moderate changes to the text, and only delete existing material on a careful and limited basis.
Again, thanks for your efforts, but, to summarize, (1) I think regular tables, that can be expanded with one click, are a lot better than navboxes, and (2) I think we should move cautiously when updating the text of each section, and not be too quick to discard the existing material.
Mudwater (Talk) 02:12, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
One table vs. several tables: I was going for a multi-table approach; one table for each category of laws. The navbox is the tool I used for that, but maybe the standard table could do it. I guess the question is, should there be one large table or several smaller tables that could be expanded independently? Something about that one collapsed table doesn't look right to me. I'm going to refrain from putting it into more words while I ponder it some more.
Rewriting: You're right, after reviewing the sections, I found that I had unintentionally missed some things that were in the previous revisions. In my haste, it does appear that I have missed one thing from Alabama regarding the state's reciprocity law and where reciprocity information is maintained by the state, such as the AG. I don't think it's of any significance or value to the article to do any more for reciprocity than cite the law along with who maintains the reciprocity agreements and recognition lists. But you're right, slowly changing the text is important. My intentions in other sections, such as Maryland, were only to simplify long, drawn out explanations; not to discard material.
Discarding: Things we ought to discard, however, are lists of which states honor which states' permits, such as in the Ohio section; information that will frequently come out of date and is of little or no use, such as "permits are honored in 22 states;" information about bills that never became law, such as in the Wisconsin section; information about why a law was enacted or why a law should be repealed, such as in the Washington section; or anything that has more to do with the legislature itself than it does the bills that it passed successfully into law, such as in the Kansas section.
Current state of the article: I think this is one of the ugliest articles I have read on wikipedia. How did it ever get a "B-class" rating under any of those wikiprojects? Can you recommend a well written article in the Law WikiProject that covers laws of a particular sort from numerous places? I've found a few, but nothing of this magnitude. Is there anything in Wikipedia that remotely resembles what this article should look like? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Luftegrof (talkcontribs) 05:52, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Gun laws infobox?

Does it make sense to try to create an infobox for gun laws? What sort of things should be included? I can think of: concealed carry, open carry, storage, registration, NFA regulations, ballistic fingerprinting/microstamping/whatever, and "assault weapon" bans (or maybe just bans on standard-capacity magazines). Any other ideas? Faceless Enemy (talk) 02:42, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

I like this idea a lot! Let's develop this a little so we can be sure to include the primary laws that people are concerned about (personally,, I like what is there now, and we don't want to make it too big, but others may have more/better ideas)Rapier (talk) 16:54, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
It's actually pretty awesome, but it might be better to have the legal code things as plain old references, rather than a long, drawn-out thing. Faceless Enemy (talk) 01:25, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
At this moment, I'd prefer to use the reference tags for the main body of text and use direct links for the infobox. I'll think about it for a bit... By the way, I went ahead and added an infobox to the Virginia section. I'll probably change it a lot over the next few days or weeks, but it's there for now. Luftegrof (talk) 02:38, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
There appeared to be a consensus on shortening the length of the article, but not a consensus on splitting the article up; Virginia was one of the longest and was getting unmanageable and difficult to read in its present format. The infobox was a good idea, but after using it and trying to adequately summarize the gun laws within it, it became clear that it was inadequate. There's just not enough room in an infobox. I ported everything into an embedded list, like what was done for some other states. I think it's much cleaner, easier to read, and will be much easier to keep up-to-date than the outline format previously used. Having the embedded table deprecates the use of an infobox. Luftegrof (talk) 18:45, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Are there any ideas or criticism for the Template:Infobox/State_Gun_Laws infobox on which I've been working? [Here] is a working implementation of that template.

Yes or No: In general, does it look like this framework would be a good start for organizing the State sections? I.e. does anyone want to help build on this?
Flag: Include the State flag in the infobox or not? I think it makes it rather easy to identify which State's laws are being shown. As it stands now, the flag is an optional field and, if not provided, nothing will be shown.
Hidden content: Do the hidden children work well? Does it hinder readers in any way? Mind you that there is still room for prose outside of the infobox.
Cramped: Is there too much information cramped into a little box?
Template: Does it make it easier for the editor to add content and to see what type of content is missing? E.g. default values such as "xxx unknown" so that if nobody has entered any content related to that (sub)category the reader is informed of that, rather than risking that a reader presumes a negative in the absence of information; and the editors can see that information may be missing.
Categories1: Are the categories sufficient to cover all of the relevant laws? One type of law comes to mind that has been sparse or absent from the article is "discharge."
Categories2: Should the content of each category be limited to the statute references and nothing more, while the prose contains all of the summary information? Or should the prose and infobox be more or less synchronized with the same set of data, presented in two different ways?
Beautification: There are obviously improvements to be made in the area of format, style, and placement within the article. For instance, apparently the infobox bleeds into the next section unless the next section contains a table/infobox/navbox of some sort. Maybe there's a way to fix this; or maybe it'll be moot if every state had an infobox. There are probably some wiki-fu masters out there that could work some magic on it in that and other ways. Luftegrof (talk) 02:42, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Minnesota section outdated/ incorrect information

The section on Minnesota laws is outdated and/ or incorrect in a few ways.

One example:

MN has no "Concealed Carry law", we have a "Carry Law" we can carry openly or concealed, and we can carry any type of firearm we want (If I wanted to strap a Barrett .50 on my back I could legally do so with a carry permit).

The MN Dept. of Public Safety site used as a citation/ resource is outdated and very incorrect by its self. They believe it is "good as it is" and refuse to change it.

I am leaving this to let y'all know that after getting my sources together, and talking with Prof. Olsen (the man who wrote our law) I am going to be changing the MN section to CORRECTLY reflect MN law.AVHarris (talk) 20:35, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Why not ask Joe to make the changes himself? If he isn't willing or able, I'll give you a hand. I'm an instructor here in Minnesota, and a contributing editor for the Gun Owner's Civil Rights Alliance, which Joe Olson is the President of. Piece of advice, you may want to be a little less strident in your tone when editing. Doing so sounds more like arrogance than correction Rapier (talk) 20:46, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


Yea, I write kind of straight forward, but I'm not intending to be condescending or arrogant. I will be more professional when editing the article. I am making a post on the Carry Forum to ask the assistance of Prof. Olson and the rest of the guys.-AVHarris (talk) 21:08, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, looks like I was beaten to it by one of the other guys.-AVHarris (talk) 02:01, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm on it. The back-and-forth for clarity continues.Digiphi (talk) 16:01, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Solutions

I think we have established some ground that everyone can agrees with. I would like everyone to refrain from lengthy discussions in this section, as I would like to keep it clean and focused on moving forward with editing. Let's take small steps and we will get there. Movementarian (Talk) 06:24, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
There is no consensus to remove the maps from the page. Movementarian (talk) 19:53, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Proposed removal of all maps

I propose that all maps be moved to the talk page under the RfC heading. Discussion on reinserting them in the article is encouraged, but I think this is a good first step forward. Please indicate your opinion by stating Support or Oppose and sign. A short explaintion of your opinion is appropriate, but please try to avoid lengthy discussions in this section.

  1. Support. Movementarian (Talk) 06:24, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. The article needs summary information. More is needed, but the maps are the only thing that provide it. — JPMcGrath (talk) 10:47, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  3. Support. The Brady state scorecard map violates NPOV by pushing a political agenda, and does not objectively summarize the restrictiveness of different states' laws. The other maps are also at least somewhat questionable. This straw poll is a good idea, but it's clear that a significant number of editors think that the Brady map should never have been added. Mudwater (Talk) 12:19, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  4. Support. I was one of the first to remove maps from this article. People are naturally drawn to graphics and when they promote a POV, that creates a NPOV issue. Niteshift36 (talk) 13:16, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  5. Support - There is no place for biased summary or analysis in this article. These maps are already posted on the various articles (Brady map in the Brady article, Open Carry map on the Open carry article, etc) which is exactly where they belong. Rapier (talk) 15:11, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
  6. Oppose Let's be honest here, the grief is that the first map is linked to the Brady Campaign, and there is opposition here to including even one citation to Brady in this article. The five other maps linked to pro-gun sourcing were added as "balance". (If 5:1 is considered not undue!) This entire article is heavily skewed to pro-gun sources, and is riddled with systemic bias from personal selection bias of the editors attracted here. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:00, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
  7. Strongly Oppose The maps provide a clear and concise quick overview for a casual user. They're a great visualization. As for the controversy over the Brady map - whatever. They're a...well...I hesitate to say "reputable" source, but they're at least well-known. They seem to have the only map that gives a comprehensive overview of all gun laws in the state, however biased. Faceless Enemy (talk) 04:57, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
  8. the Brady map needs to be removed unless an NRA map is put beside it. but removal is probaly best. I have no probalem with the CCW map its only stating laws Finch590 (talk) 13:59, 29 June 2010 (UTC)
  9. Oppose I just came to this article, and to be honest, I don't understand why this is such a big issue. I found them informative. I can understand the problem with the PoV of the Brady score map (why are background checks worth 7 points rather than 6 or 8?). However, if the issue is just balancing out the political alignment of the references I don't see why anyone cares. The Brady Campaign and opencarry.org probably agree on whether New Jersey has a 1 handgun per month limit. --Selket Talk 16:30, 1 July 2010 (UTC)----
The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.
  • Support. The maps simply push POVs. Let the facts speak for themselves, properly cited with references, but without maps drawing summary conclusions. -- Yaf (talk) 10:46, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I can see that there has been some controversy regarding maps. As it is I just came to this page because I was specifically looking for either a map or a summary table that could allow me to get a top-level state comparison of relative restrictions. As it is, while I accept the information is not necessarily so easy to summarise/measure, the article is not very user friendly in this regard and it would seem I have quite a bit of work ahead of me if I want to translate te information into any useful summary for comparative purposes. Personally, I think the map would have been very helpful, but as it is I will now need to look elsewhere on the web for it. As an Australian, top-level broad analysis was all I needed.Zenira (talk) 07:19, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A consensus has been reached that the maps should not be added to the article. See the #Maps talk section below, which has the most recent discussion, and also has links to the other discussion sections about this. To avoid further confusion, and consolidate any additional discussion in one place, I'm going to wait a few days, and then archive this talk page section (Solutions, and the sub-sections within it). I'll also update the links in the Maps section, so this section will still be easy to find. By the way, if you have some on your hands, I suggest that you peruse the previous discussions linked from there. It reads like a novel, and is as long as one. Mudwater (Talk) 13:57, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Split the article

The article is currently over 200kb long. WP:TOOLONG recommends no more than 50kb. I propose that the States be spun off into their own articles, beginning with the larger sections, such as New York and California (California would be a merger). At the end this article would consist of the lead paragraph and a list of links to individual State articles. The majority of the maps would remain (and be used in the State articles) with content providing context for each. As with the above proposal, please indicate your opinion by stating Support or Oppose and sign. A short explanation of your opinion is appropriate, but please try to avoid lengthy discussions in this section.

  1. Support. Movementarian (talk) 19:52, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  2. Remove original research The largest portion of the size of this article involves editors here doing original research (combing through primary documents) about state gun laws, and publishing their research here. The first step should be the removal of the original research, then we should evaluate the need for a split, or not. SaltyBoatr get wet 20:42, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  3. Weak Support I don't like the idea of keeping POV and agenda-driven summary maps from either side of the argument, and I dispute Salty's claim of WP:OR, obviously. Stating a law is not "original research". If he wants other laws tracked, that's fine, but simply stating that because the laws currently tracked are original research or biased because they are quoted in what he considers "pro-gun" sources is patantly false and his continued insistance on this track smacks of tendentious editing. However, I cannot argue that this article doesn't need to be split up Rapier (talk) 21:14, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
  4. On the fence - argh! It looks to me like almost every source in this article would fail WP:RS and/or WP:OR. I think I'd have to agree on cleanup before splitting and propagating the mess. Can someone find a serious disinterested source that has discussed this issues? More likely a series of sources because each state probably has their own set. AliveFreeHappy (talk) 00:00, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  5. Support. I disagree with SaltyBoatr's contention that stating the law is "original research". To quote the little article thing on OR, "The term "original research" refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources. It also refers to any analysis or synthesis by Wikipedians of published material, where the analysis or synthesis advances a position not advanced by the sources." The state is a reliable source for the state's laws. It's also hardly synthesis to state an area's laws. It's just brute repetition. As for the proposed split...yeesh. It would make sense to give each state its own article, but it'd be a pain in the ass to do. As long as someone else does it, it's a logical step, though I think this article should be left around as a quick summary article. Splitting each state into its own article would make them more manageable. Perhaps an infobox for gun laws would be in order? It would help to make the information clear and concise. Faceless Enemy (talk) 03:10, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  6. Support. I think that makes sense. This article would provide a summary of the state gun laws across the country, describing the types of gun laws that exist and how they vary from state to state. The state articles would provide the details that are included in the state sections here. However, I do not think the maps would make sense in the state articles; that belongs here. — JPMcGrath (talk) 08:02, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
  7. Oppose There needs to be a single article summarizing and detailing the laws. Forcing readers to search through multiple articles when planning a trip crossing state lines would not be appropriate. Without the maps, the article looks fine. Yaf (talk) 10:50, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
    Wikipedia is not a travel guide. SnottyWong speak 05:40, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  8. Oppose. For a Wikipedia article, this one is longer than average, but that's not a problem. It's very worthwhile to have one article, this one, that summarizes the gun laws of all the states, without requiring readers to look at 51 different articles. A few of the sections, such as Arizona and Virginia, should probably be shortened, by removing extensive direct quotes of the laws. Optionally, if a state section is made significantly shorter, a separate article could also be created for that state, as was done with California. Mudwater (Talk) 13:13, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
  9. Support - The only way to comfortably squeeze all of this information into one article would be to make a single table that encompasses all 50 states. This would almost certainly require getting rid of the "Notes" section of the existing tables. If this is not agreeable, then splitting the article into 50 articles is the next best solution. SnottyWong speak 05:40, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  10. Oppose - As a reader and an editor of this article, I think separate state articles will make both more difficult. If we can standardize on the types of laws included, the format of all state sections, and use collapsible sections where appropriate, then the article will become very easy to navigate, read, and edit. Luftegrof (talk) 21:49, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Brady scorecard and other maps, continued

In the Proposed removal of all maps subsection, Movementarian said that there is no consensus to remove the maps from the page, however it's equally true that there is no consensus for retaining the maps. In the straw poll in that subsection, 4 editors supported removal of the maps, 4 were opposed, and one said that removal is "probably best". The maps have been added and then removed several times in the last few months. They're there now because it happens that the last edit was to add them again, and also, for the last couple of weeks, to allow other editors to see and comment on them as part of the Request for Comment. It seems to me that we're unable to reach a general agreement on the maps. It is therefore best that the maps not be added, i.e. that they be removed, because a significant number of editors, about half, feel quite strongly that they violate NPOV, and that they are also factually misleading, while the reasons for adding the maps are much less compelling. Mudwater (Talk) 00:05, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Is all of this drama because of the Brady map? Hell, the Brady map makes sense. Unless we can come up with a better system for categorizing the overall level of firearm freedom in a state, let it stay up. For a quick glance, it's completely adequate. Faceless Enemy (talk) 03:12, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
——————
There was no consensus for removal, and the claim that they violate WP:NPOV is not supported by the language of that policy. I am restoring the maps. — JPMcGrath (talk) 07:52, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
There is no consensus for adding the maps, and about half of the editors who have commented agree, after very extensive discussion of the subject, that they do in fact violate NPOV. Therefore the maps should not be added to the article. Mudwater (Talk) 00:18, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
There's absolutely no way in hell the maps describing concealed carry, open carry, and firearms transport laws violate NPOV. They're simply stating the law as it stands. The only map with NPOV issues is the Brady Campaign map, and it would be best to balance that out with a map of overall restrictiveness from another source, rather than tossing the baby out with the bathwater. The maps are a concise, visual representation of the laws across the United States - which is what the article is about, right? Faceless Enemy (talk) 15:05, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, this article gives undue coverage to the laws of interested to the editors in charge here, which is mostly of laws related to the carry of handguns. Missing is weight of coverage of laws of interest to the opposite POV, such as illegal gun trafficking laws, child safety laws, tracing of criminal use of guns, reporting requirements for stolen guns, criminal gun trace data tracking and guns in the workplace/schools. This is evidence systemic editor bias which violates WP:NPOV policy. SaltyBoatr get wet 15:23, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Mudwater: The maps certainly do not violate WP:NPOV, but your removal of the maps does. The policy is absolutely clear: It "requires that all majority views and significant minority views published by reliable sources be presented fairly". It further says "material should not be removed solely on the grounds that it is 'POV'".
If you remove the maps based on a claim that it violates NPOV, you must show how it does. That should be based on what NPOV actually says, not what you imagine it says or what you want it to say.
JPMcGrath (talk) 07:46, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
After a very extensive discussion lasting several months, quite a few editors are in agreement that the Brady Campaign state scorecard map violates the NPOV policy. The reasons have been explained at length and repeatedly on this talk page. As most of these editors have also stated, the best way to keep this article neutral is to factually describe the actual gun laws of each state, without adding any biased opinions that promote a particular political agenda. Let the arguments about whether the laws are good or bad be included in other articles, not this one. Mudwater (Talk) 15:38, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Of course this isn't about good versus bad. Neither is it about bias. The issue is whether all significant points of view seen in reliable sourcing are represented proportionately in the article. Mudwater here is misusing WP:NPOV policy, misinterpreting it to mean that a POV that he doesn't agree with needs to be removed. The fact now is that Mudwater has removed all mention and all references to the major significant voice of the opposite POV. Yes, zero mention of Brady Campaign in an article about USA gun law! Wow, is that neutral balance? Meanwhile, the article contains WP:UNDUE attention to the pro-carry of handguns viewpoint. (And, the most used source is owned by a company that sells handgun holsters needed to carry these handguns raising WP:COI questions.) This is a NPOV mess which needs fixing if we are to follow policy. SaltyBoatr get wet 16:09, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
For the last time, this isn't about "Point of View" at all! This is an article that is supposed to be a listing of gun laws. Feel free to add any (as per the discussion below), that you feel ar not represented here - I'll agree that this focuses on carry laws and leaves others out - but if you want to include "point of view" in an article, bring it over to Gun politics, because it does not belong here. Rapier (talk) 16:52, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Mudwater, several people have asserted that it violates NPOV, but nobody has pointed to any part of NPOV that says it does. At the same time, I have pointed out language in NPOV that says it should not be removed, and again, nobody has offered any rationale for removing the maps in violation of NPOV. — JPMcGrath (talk) 16:53, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, several us us have pointed to WP:NPOV and WP:SOAP reasons for these not to be here. Please stop edit-warring. There is established precedent for not including article information that is not agreed upon by consensus, so I will ask you to undo your edit and remove this material. Rapier (talk) 19:01, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Would you please quote or point to the relevant parts from WP:NPOV and WP:SOAP that you think supports this? — JPMcGrath (talk) 22:22, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
  1. I don't see why we need the maps here, regardless of whether they comply with wikipedia policy. Every anti-gun and pro-gun web site has maps out the wazoo already.
  2. The first issue that I see with the Brady map is the use of the word "restrictive." The person who created that graphic, and it wasn't the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, added that word. WP:NOR
  3. The NRA-ILA map for Concealed Carry was also modified from its original version to read "may issue; license often granted" and "may issue; license often not granted" and "no issue" in place of the original "rights restricted" and "right infringed." WP:NOR
  4. The cited document "2009 Brady Campaign Scorecard" does not contain any references to what the law actually is. It is simply their statement, to be taken on faith, that a State has or does not have a law that complies with the policy and agenda of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
    1. It qualifies as a WP:POORSRC in that the BCPGV does not appear to have a reputation for accuracy, does not provide any means for verification of the data, and the Scorecard consists of views that might be extremist, data that is certainly promotional, and also relies heavily on personal opinion.
      1. The Brady Campaign Scorecard expresses an opinion of what the laws should be and assigns arbitrary point values to each type of law.
      2. The use of this data within this article attempts to describe whether the laws of a particular state are more or less restrictive of keeping and bearing firearms. That amounts to synthesis of published material WP:SYN because the cited source does not use those terms. In fact, the map on the bradycampaign.org site uses the words "strongest" and "weakest."
  5. The NRA-ILA and OpenCarry.org resources appear to be better at citing to actual and reputable legal sources, however their produced data are not different from the BCPGV in that they are also potentially extremist views, contain promotional data, and also rely heavily on personal opinion. They, too, are a WP:POORSRC.
    1. For example, the OpenCarry.org map assigns a value of "Gold Star" to states that comply with their policy and agenda regarding the open carrying of handguns.
  6. There may be other resources from these organizations usable in this article, but the only valid use of the following sources are for WP:SELFPUB in articles such as Gun politics in the United States.
    1. Brady Scorecard Map from bradycampaign.org (due to lack of cite to authority, accuracy, opinion-based, and promotion of an agenda)
    2. Gun Registration Laws from opencarry.org (due to describing registration of "so-called" assault weapons; promotion of an agenda)
    3. Concealed Carry Map from NRA-ILA (due to the actual source using the terms "Rights Restricted" and "Right Infringed"; promotion of an agenda; opinion-based)
    4. Open Carry Gun Laws from opencarry.org (due to assignment of "Gold Star" label; opinion-based; promotion of an agenda)
The best sources for this article will be .gov resources including published statutes and common law accompanied by supporting case law, Judges' opinions, Attorneys' General opinions, and Law-Enforcement Agency memorandums; those accompaniments being your only truly reputable secondary sources on law. If the bradycampaign.org or opencarry.org happen to host a copy of an official document from one of the aforementioned secondary sources, then I don't see a problem with using such a link for your reference. Luftegrof (talk) 04:57, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
"I don't see why we need the maps here". Because they're a clear and concise visual reference.
" The NRA-ILA map for Concealed Carry was also modified from its original version to read "may issue; license often granted" and "may issue; license often not granted" and "no issue" in place of the original "rights restricted" and "right infringed."" Well do you want a neutral map or not? "Right restricted" is a pretty POV way to put it. Faceless Enemy (talk) 08:41, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Alright, maps are a clear and concise visual reference. Fine, have maps. That doesn't mean one should use non-neutral maps that were generated by a non-neutral source and change the legends so that the maps appear to be neutral. What you put in the article must reflect what is in the reference material. Brady's scores and maps depict which states' laws are "strongest" and "weakest" based on their arbitrary scale. NRA-ILA's map is based on opinions that certain carry laws are reasonable or unreasonable, restrictive or less-restrictive. The NRA-ILA referenced article is "Right-to-Carry 2010" and the map title is "Right to Carry Laws;" not "Concealed Carry Laws." If you change the legend or title in any way, you are changing the meaning of the map. If the unabridged sources are irrelevant or do not meet the WP, they shouldn't be used. Luftegrof (talk) 16:18, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
BINGO! Maps produced by advocacy groups blatantly violate WP:SOAP, and could even be considered advertising for those organizations. Maps produced by users violate WP:OR, and the "benefit" of having a summary map (what's so horrible about going to the state you want to know about and reading the bloody information?) it can be argued is far outweighed by the potential POV pushing of whatever group produces the summary. As has been stated by me several times in this argument: raw data is neutral, and themoment someone takes that data and starts to analyze or summarize they are automatically going to put their own point-of-view on that information. This is not and article about the politics of gun laws (there is another article for that already, go there and post your NRA and Brady maps), this is an article about the laws themselves. Lazyness is not an excuse to insert information that is not appropriate to the article. Rapier (talk) 17:15, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
Luftegrof: I really have no idea why you replied to my message. It contained a single question, asking Sean to quote the relevant parts of WP:NPOV and WP:SOAP that suggested that the map should not be included. Your reply did not address this, so I wonder what you think you were answering. Nonetheless, I will address the points that you did make:
1: What the article needs is summary. It should provide the reader with information about the kinds of state gun laws that exist, and how they vary among the states. Right now, it just provides the details, requiring the reader to sift through 50 different sections and summarize the material himself. The maps provide some of that, although more is certainly needed.
2: This is a rather absurd claim. The map is based on information published material from a reliable, third party, secondary source. There is nothing in WP:NOR that says we must use the exact same wording that the source does. Althouh the Brady Campaign used the word "strong" rather than "restrictive", it accurately reflects the information they present, and is less likely to be interpreted as an endorsement of their position of whether restrictive is good or bad. Of course, if you believe that the word "strong" would be more accurate, then I would have no problem using that word.
3: This is the exact same issue as #2. As with the Brady map, the wording was chosen to accurately reflect the information about what the concealed carry laws are, but avoiding including their position on what the laws should be. The former is appropriate for this article, while the latter is not. It is appropriate to include only the relevant information in the article.
4: Do you think there is some Wikipedia policy that requires that a source provide every bit of information that went into their thinking? If there were, it would disqualify the majority of the sources cited on Wikipedia.
4.1: You claim that the Brady Campaign "does not appear to have a reputation for accuracy", but what do you base that on? Do you have some source, aside from opposing advocacy groups, that supports this, or is this just your personal opinion?
4.1.1: The Scorecard primarily expresses what the laws are, and also includes their opinion about what the laws should be. The former was included in the map, while the latter was omitted, which is appropriate for this article.
4.1.2: You seem to be claiming that including some of the information, the relevant part, without including irrelevant parts constitutes synthesis. WP:SYN talks about combining information from multiple sources in order to imply a conclusion, not about selecting information from one source. I cannot imagine how you think this applies, and you have not quoted the part of the policy that you think does apply. Would you please do so?
5. You claim that the NRA/ILA and OpenCarry.org are poor sources, yet they are both referenced multiple times in this article - the former 24 times and the latter 9 times. Isn't this a little ridiculous?
5.1: Same issue as #2 and #3.
6: I have no idea what you are talking about with regard to WP:SELFPUB. Obviously, the Brady Campaign, the NRA-ILA, and OpenCarry are published experts in the field of gun laws. This makes no sense at all. If you think it does, please explain.
If you really believe that WP:NOR, WP:POORSRC, WP:SYN, and WP:SELFPUB apply here, would you please quote the part of those policies that you believe do apply?
JPMcGrath (talk) 06:19, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


WP:NOR -- What's the source for "license often not granted" and "license often granted?" The cited NRA-ILA article does not provide any information as to the frequency of issue (number issued vs. number of applications made). The original map said "discretionary/reasonable issue" for what I think was called "license often granted" on the map previously displayed here. -- "The term 'original research' refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources."
WP:SYN, WP:NOR -- How do you paraphrase a one-word thought with another one-word thought when each word has a different meaning? Strong != Restrictive. They're not even close to being synonyms. The BCPGV did not say any particular state's laws are "restrictive." So what's the source? The NRA-ILA map does use the word "restricted." That's quite a coincidence. In referring to BCPGV's "strong" states as "restrictive", the meaning of the BCPGV map was changed to something that neither the NRA-ILA nor the BCPGV sources actually mentioned. The states to which the NRA-ILA attributed the word "restricted" are not all the same states that the BCPGV called "strong." Now, if it's true that "restrictive" wasn't, even if subconsciously, taken from the NRA-ILA publication, then I'll retract my WP:SYN argument and simply stick with WP:NOR. The short of it is that the BCPGV map previously displayed in this wikipedia article had a different meaning than the original source. -- "The best practice is to write articles by researching the most reliable sources on the topic and summarizing what they say in your own words, with each statement in the article attributable to a source that makes that statement explicitly" and "Source material should be carefully summarized or rephrased without changing its meaning or implication. Take care not to go beyond what is expressed in the sources or to use them in ways inconsistent with the intent of the source, such as using material out of context." and "[d]o not combine material from multiple sources to reach or imply a conclusion not explicitly stated by any of the sources."
WP:POORSRC First of all, I want to clarify that I'm not trying to say that everything published by the BCPGV, the NRA-ILA, and OCDO are poor sources; just that some of the information, particularly these maps, are poor sources. The OCDO maps, for instance, were created by either or both John Pierce and Mike Stollenwerk on their own. Neither even had a law degree when most of those maps were produced, though they have been attending law school. OCDO does not have a "professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments." They may have consulted with experts when compiling their research, but nothing to that effect is noted. In fact, if you click through the map into the state pages, they say right at the top of each one "any and all information you glean from this site should be independently verified!" The NRA-ILA and BCPGV are basically equal, but on extreme opposite sides of the issues. By equal, I mean they do have a "professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments." However, they both have reputations for slanting their representation of facts and evidence to promote their agenda. I claim that the NRA-ILA map in question has errors as well, mainly because they omitted that the map represents concealed carry; there are several states that have not required a permit to carry for a very long time, but are represented on the map as "shall-issue."
BCPGV was formerly HCI:

In 1999, HCI claimed that between 1992-1997 violent crime declined less in RTC states than in other states.17 (HCI previously claimed RTC caused crime to rise.) HCI erred in categorizing 31 states as having RTC during the period, since only 17 of the 31 had RTC in 1992. HCI calculated crime trends from 1992 to under-represent the impact of RTC laws; by 1992 many states had RTC for many years and had already experienced decreases in crime. HCI misclassified Alabama and Connecticut as “restrictive,” and credited restrictive laws for crime decreasing in some states, though states that had restrictive carry laws had had them for many years, and crime did not begin declining in those states until the 1990s, for reasons unrelated to guns.[4]

The BCPGV map, as I said earlier, is based on an arbitrary point system. The entire basis of the BCPGV map of scores is the compliance of a State's laws with the BCPGV agenda. Because of those reasons, it is a self-published source.
Quotes from WP:SOURCES, WP:POORSRC -- "Articles should be based on reliable, third-party (independent), published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy" and "[i]n general, the best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments" and "[s]elf-published expert sources are regarded as reliable in limited circumstances" and "[a]ll self-published sources, whether experts or not, are considered reliable as sources on themselves, especially in articles about themselves, subject to certain criteria, though no article should be based primarily on such sources" and "[questionable] sources include websites and publications expressing views that are widely acknowledged as extremist, or promotional, or which rely heavily on rumor and personal opinion. Questionable sources should be used only as sources of material on themselves, especially in articles about themselves;"
Luftegrof (talk) 04:18, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I presume that Mudwater made those changes based on the content of the web site. If he did so based on his own beliefs about the state laws, that would be original research and the original wording, or something equivalent, should be restored.
I am really quite stunned at your suggestion that the word "restrictive" in the Brady map is somehow derived from the NRA/ILA. The Brady map was added on March 3rd, and the NRA/ILA map was added over 3 months later, at the suggestion of Mudwater. Your conjecture that one came from the other does not make sense.
For future reference, you have misread WP:SYN. Even if I had taken the wording from an NRA/ILA map and applied it to the Brady map (which I did not), that would not apply. Synthesis is when one takes statements from separate sources and juxtaposes them, so as to imply a conclusion that neither source implied. That would not apply, even in your imagined scenario.
As you point out, WP:NOR suggests expressing the views of reliable sources "in your own words". But then you attempt to suggest that "own words" means the source's words with simple synonym substitution, which is not what it says. When the Brady Campaign talks about strong gun laws, they mean laws that restrict how guns are transported, exchanged, and used, so I chose the word "restrictive". If you believe that does not accurately reflect what they mean by "strong", you could make an argument for different wording, even the word "strong". But it would not justify removing the material entirely.
As for WP:POORSRC, you appear to have misunderstood what it says as well. When it talks about "questionable sources", it is indeed talking about sources, not material published by the sources. It does not make sense to argue that it is a poor source in one situation and the claim that it is not when you like what the source says. You can't have it both ways.
While I do not know much about OpenCarry.org, I wonder on what basis you say that it does not have a "professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments".
The source you cite as a basis for criticism of the Brady Campaign is a rival advocacy group, which is not at all surprising. These groups criticize each other - that is their nature. But what is really hard to understand is why you are citing a source that you say is a "poor source". If the NRA is a poor source, how can you use that as a basis for your criticism of the Brady Campaign? It does not make sense.
Of course, what is really confusing is that the sources you are impuning are heavily cited in this article. If they are not reliable, then all material sourced to them should be removed from this article. I think these make up a significant part of the secondary sources cited, which would leave the article almost entirely original research. That is a significant issue with this article now, and it would be made even worse. Is that what you are suggesting?
JPMcGrath (talk) 17:09, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I did not suggest adding the NRA/ILA map of concealed carry laws. As for my change to the legend of the map, here, that was an attempt to make the map less POV, by changing the wording to be more neutral and less pro-gun-rights. But it's a moot point now. Mudwater (Talk) 08:40, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
You did suggest adding a map of concealed carry laws - see here. The sourcing for your changes to the map legend is not moot. Did you base that on the NRA/ILA site, or was it based on your own knowlege/beliefs? — JPMcGrath (talk) 18:07, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Your statement is incorrect. I never suggested adding the concealed carry map, nor did I suggest adding any maps. In my comment that you've linked to, I was reacting to you having re-added the Brady map, this time along with the concealed carry map and several other maps. As that comment shows, initially I was thinking that the non-Brady maps "merely document specific laws of each state, so those are okay." However my position subsequently evolved, and I now think that the additional maps should also be left out of the article. As to my change of the wording of the legend of the map, as I said, that was an attempt to make the wording more neutral, and less biased in favor of the NRA's political position, while still expressing the same facts, i.e. whether a state is shall-issue, may-issue, etc. When I said that it's a moot point, I was referring to the fact that the concealed carry map is no longer included in the article. Mudwater (Talk) 20:05, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Incredible! You clearly suggested adding a concealed carry map. Here is what you said:

There should also be some discussion about which of these law-specific maps to add or not to add to the article. For example, there probably should be a map for concealed carry (shall issue, may issue, no issue, no license required).

How can you possibly claim now that you did not? — JPMcGrath (talk) 13:03, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
You said, "The Brady map was added on March 3rd, and the NRA/ILA map was added over 3 months later, at the suggestion of Mudwater." That is not true. A "suggestion" is when someone proposes or recommends doing something that has not happened yet. For someone to "suggest" adding the map, (1) the map would have to not already be there, and (2) they would have to say something along the lines of, "Hey, I've got a good idea for improving the article. Let's add a concealed carry map." I didn't do that. In the post you're referring to, I was reacting after the fact to your having added the map, along with several other maps. At that time, I was thinking that it might be okay to add the maps other than the Brady Campaign state scorecard map, and that the concealed carry map in particular might be acceptable. But I now think it would be better not to add any maps at all. In conclusion, I never suggested adding any maps to the article, and your statement that the NRA/ILA map was added at my suggestion is erroneous. Mudwater (Talk) 00:47, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
Gentlemen, the point of this debate is settled. If there is a need to argue who said what and when, please do so privately. Rapier (talk) 01:13, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
What gives you the idea that the point is settled? — JPMcGrath (talk) 08:36, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
OK, so what you are saying is that you said that the article should have a concealed carry map, but you did not say that it should be added. How did you expect that a map would get into the article without someone adding it? In any case, you suggested that the article should have a concealed carry map, and in response to your suggestion, I added it, which is what I said. My original statement was true. — JPMcGrath (talk) 08:41, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Upon further review, you're right, I did suggest adding the concealed carry map. Here is the sequence of events: (1) You added the Brady Campaign state scorecard map, here. (2) I removed it, here. (3) In a series of edits over the following three months, the state scorecard map was re-added and then removed from the article multiple times by several different editors. (4) You re-added the state scorecard map, and also added four maps referenced to OpenCarry.org, here. (5) I said that "there probably should be a map for concealed carry...", here. (6) You added the NRA/ILA concealed carry map, here. (7) After some additional discussion, I changed my mind, and I now think that it's better not to add any maps. I apologize for my confusion about the history of the article and the associated discussion. Mudwater (Talk) 12:05, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your forthright reply; it is much appreciated. In that spirit, I'd like you to answer another question: You have said that you believe the maps violate WP:NPOV, but you appear not to base that on the text of the policy. If that is the case, then how did you conclude that this is so? Was it based on the title of the policy? Or perhaps what you think is good for Wikipedia? Or was it something else? — JPMcGrath (talk) 19:33, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
You're asking me why I think the maps violate the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy. But that's exactly what I, and other editors, have been explaining on this talk page, for more than six months now. We've talked in particular about how the Brady Campaign State Scorecard map violates NPOV, and how it also does not accurately assess the restrictiveness of different states' gun laws. We've covered this subject in great length, and in great detail, and in multiple talk page sections. Roughly half of the editors who have participated in the discussion agree that the Brady map does violate NPOV. I understand that you think otherwise. Fine, that's your opinion. But multiple editors have really covered this subject very thoroughly, and I don't see the point in rehashing what's already been stated many times and in many different ways. For your convenience and that of other editors, here are current links to some but not all of the talk page sections where this subject has been discussed:
Mudwater (Talk) 16:43, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
No, I am not asking you why you believe that it violates WP:NPOV. I am asking you how you go about determining whether something in an article violates WP:NPOV. What I do is to examine the text of the policy and see if any of its strictures are violated. For example, when I see an article that has a lot of material about a fringe point of view, I look at WP:NPOV and see that it says an article "must not give undue weight to a minor point of view", so I know it violates that policy. I presume that you do not just make it up as you go along, so you must have a method by which you make that determination. Would you please explain that method? — JPMcGrath (talk) 16:44, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Your question has the effect of continuing the discussion about why the Brady Campaign state scorecard map violates the NPOV policy. I really think we've reached the point of diminishing returns on that. Please refer to my previous post for links to the relevant talk page sections. Thanks. Mudwater (Talk) 23:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
You say you have concluded that the maps violate WP:NPOV and are asking that I and others accept your conclusion. Given that, it seems obvious that you should explain how you reached your conclusion. I have assumed good faith and presume that you have a rational basis for your conclusion, but your reluctance to explain this suggests that you do not. — JPMcGrath (talk) 09:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
About half of the editors who have participated in this discussion over the last six months, including myself, have concluded that the Brady map violates the NPOV policy. We have explained how we reached our conclusion -- and have explained it over and over, in great detail and at great length, and while addressing various objections. You or any editor can see this in the talk page sections for which I've provided links. So, the discussion seems to have come to a logical stopping point. Thanks for your participation. Mudwater (Talk) 11:31, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I have not seen one message that explains how you reached that conclusion. Would you please point me to it? — JPMcGrath (talk) 16:07, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

It's clear that a significant number of editors agree, after much discussion, that the Brady Campaign state scorecard map violates the Neutral Point of View principal, and so should not be added to the article. Please refer to the following sections or subsections of this talk page:

Mudwater (Talk) 01:53, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Mudwater is correct. After literally months of debate, two requests for comment, and the beginnings of a formal mediation, it was agreed upon by consensus that summary maps from any source have no place in an article listing laws of various states as they represent too high a potential for point of view, original research, soapboxing, and advertising issues. Their potential benefit is negligable at best, and the cons far outweigh any gain. Rapier (talk) 19:38, 15 August 2010 (UTC)


Brady scorecard, maps: saga continues

JPMcGrath, Please stop and do as you have been very reasonably asked by SeanNovack here. Please actually address the concerns in talk with new arguments before doing this. Your revisions(here) are neither new, nor are they based on arguments of yours which have been "ignored", as you believe. SeanNovack advised in his summary that Your arguments were rebutted, not ignored. 3RR applies.
He is correct. Your arguments were exhaustively discussed and rebutted for six months, after which time there was not a consensus of the group to go ahead with your intended additions. You know this because you participated in the months-long discussion. Although you waited two months before returning to attempt the same revisions again, the history is not changed. It is inappropriate and gives one the impression that you are gambling that other editors will not notice, and that you intend to bypass the months of good faith debate on the subject because it did not conclude favoring your position. I hope that is not what is happening.Digiphi (talk) 23:11, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
No, it is hardly reasonable. Mudwater removed the maps after failing to reach consensus for removal, then repeatedly removed them when restored. I have been willing to let the removal stand while there was any chance of productive discussion. That does not appear to be happening.
There has been no rebuttal; rather obfuscation, obstruction, and dissembling. He has not supported his claims of an WP:NPOV and he has been unwilling to answer simple questions about how he came to that conclusion.
Would you like to take a stab at it? How can the maps violate WP:NPOV when there is no language in the text of the policy that it violates, and when that text explicitly says that material such as this should not be removed for being POV?
JPMcGrath (talk) 03:35, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Here is an updated list of links to the relevant talk page sections. I used the word count tool in MS Word on these nine talk page sections, and they contain more than 30,000 words of discussion!

Mudwater (Talk) 23:52, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I am well aware that there have been long discussions about the maps. However, nowhere in there have you answered my question about how you reached your conclusion that the maps violate WP:NPOV. You have simply stated your objections to the maps, then claimed that it violates WP:NPOV, without explaining how you reached that conclusion.
Your unwillingness to post a link to your purported answer to my question gives lie to your claim that you have answered it. Please do so, or post a link to a diff showing the answer. Re-posting links to all of the discussions is useless.
JPMcGrath (talk) 03:37, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
By following the links to all of the discussions, anyone can see that I, and other editors, have already explained many times, and at great length, exactly how we reached the conclusion that the maps violate NPOV, and also do not accurately assess different states' gun laws. You keep saying that we haven't explained it, when in fact we have, to the extent of more than 30,000 words of discussion over seven months. At this point you're just repeating the same thing over and over, so responding to you further seems pointless. Many editors, not just me, have agreed that the maps should not be added to the article. A consensus has been reached, and adding the maps back to the article is not constructive or appropriate. Mudwater (Talk) 11:33, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I have looked over those discussions, and nowhere do you explain how you concluded that the maps violate WP:NPOV. You give many reasons why you don't like the maps, but then you just jump to the conclusion that it violates WP:NPOV. I am asking how you made that leap. You have not answered this question, and I ask that you do.
As for a consensus being reached, as you pointed out, about half say that it violates WP:NPOV — I think it was slightly less than half, but that does not really matter. In any case, if you think that constitutes a consensus, I think you should familiarize yourself with the meaning of the word.
JPMcGrath (talk) 12:59, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

JPMcGrath's continued Tendentious editing (which I mistakenly warned of as vandalism in my edit summary and for which I apologize) has been reverted and the next time it occurs should be reported as disruptive editing on WP:ANI. Rapier (talk) 00:04, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I will gladly submit my conduct in these discussions to scrutiny by fair-minded editors. Are all of you willing to do the same? You have removed the maps as many times as I have added it, but I have been willing to let the removal stand while the matter was discussed. My removals were in response to your unwillingness to answer simple questions about your justification for the removal. I think it would be more appropriate to use the arbitration process to resolve this. Shall we try that instead? — JPMcGrath (talk) 00:45, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Reported to WP:ANI, I'm getting tired of this. Rapier (talk) 23:54, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
The Administrators' Noticeboard discussion has been archived and is now at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive645#Tendentious editing by JPMcGrath on Gun laws in the United States (by state). ANI threads are archived automatically after 24 hours of inactivity, but can be removed from the archive and restored to the main WP:ANI page, with a comment, if more discussion is needed. Mudwater (Talk) 18:58, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to un-archive the ANI thread, to allow for further discussion. Mudwater (Talk) 19:59, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The Administrators' Noticeboard discussion has been archived and is now at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive646#Tendentious editing by JPMcGrath on Gun laws in the United States (by state). Mudwater (Talk) 11:13, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Washington

This passage lacks context:

In December 2005, activists Gray Peterson and Jim March went to the state archives in Olympia to research the origins of the law. March, with his experience in researching gun control laws created out of racial discrimination and strife in California, surmised during a conversation with Peterson, that due to the year it was passed, it was likely due to "Panther paranoia."
The law, passed in 1969, was passed in response to incidents involving the Seattle Chapter of Black Panther Party at Rainier Beach High School and the Protest of the Mulford Act by the main organization in the California Assembly.

What law? —Tamfang (talk) 07:12, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

It wasn't particularly obvious, but that part of the article was talking about open carry laws. That whole passage has been removed, with these two recent edits: [5] and [6]. The edit summary for the first edit says, "rm passage about "the law" that lacks context: no sign of what law is meant". Like I said though, it was all about open carry. With that being said, I'm not sure what I think about the material that was removed. It's sort of interesting, but a bit lengthy. Should any of it be put back into the article? Mudwater (Talk) 19:13, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
While there was significant information contained in the passage, such as the constitutional provision for an individual RKBA, I don't think the paragraphs should be restored to their original form. I think the pertinent information should be restored. Portions that talk about the Black Panther Party and what the legislation could have been or would have been should not be restored; those topics belong in a gun-politics or state-specific article. Or do those topics belong here as they pertain to gun law history? I don't really think of this as a history article, rather I think this article should be an unbiased representation of current gun laws. If we opened this article up to the history behind all of these laws, we're looking at probably tripling its size. As soon as you get into any of the reasons or arguments behind the laws, you get into politics. Luftegrof (talk) 00:35, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
The section about police training and memorandums regarding open carry might fit, but it depends on how they are presented. Discussion of the training and memorandums, which aren't laws and actually have no real bearing on the laws, is irrelevant to this article. On the other hand, the police training manuals and memorandums themselves are quite valid references supporting statements such as "open carry is lawful in Washington." Luftegrof (talk) 00:35, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
That makes sense to me. Mudwater (Talk) 00:50, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I've restored the portions that were discussed here, slightly reorganized the section, added some content, and added an infobox. There's still a lot to be added to the infobox, but we'll add it as time permits. Did I miss anything that was in the prose before that should be restored? Is there now any question as to the neutrality of the Washington section? Can we remove that POV-check template? Luftegrof (talk) 03:37, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Looks pretty neutral to me. I'm okay with removing the {{POV-check}} template. Mudwater (Talk) 03:52, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

New Mexico section might be incorrect

"Carry is allowed in restaurants that serve beer and/or wine however." Looked at the link and couldn't find anything there to support this. The linked page also provides a PDF with the actual law, but it only refers to it being illegal to carry in any establishment that serves alcohol. I couldn't find any mention of "beer and/or wine" being an exception. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.35.47.203 (talk) 18:57, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I think the section is correct; as is the linked NM DPS FAQ. Here is the actual law, 30-7-3. Unlawful carrying of a firearm in licensed liquor establishments.
A. Unlawful carrying of a firearm in an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages consists of carrying a loaded or unloaded firearm on any premises licensed by the regulation and licensing department for the dispensing of alcoholic beverages except:
[snip]
(4) by a person carrying a concealed handgun who is in possession of a valid concealed handgun license for that gun pursuant to the Concealed Handgun Carry Act [29-19-1 NMSA 1978] on the premises of:
(a) a licensed establishment that does not sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises; or
(b) a restaurant licensed to sell only beer and wine that derives no less than sixty percent of its annual gross receipts from the sale of food for consumption on the premises, unless the restaurant has a sign posted, in a conspicuous location at each public entrance, prohibiting the carrying of firearms, or the person is verbally instructed by the owner or manager that the carrying of a firearm is not permitted in the restaurant;
[snip]

Luftegrof (talk) 15:03, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Just to add, however, the DPS FAQ may be technically correct, but does not mention the beer/wine clause. Perhaps the reference should just be changed to something else.Luftegrof (talk) 15:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Maps

Three months ago, immediately following an RfC to remove the maps from this article failed to show a consensus, Mudwater edit-warred to remove the maps. In the hope that the disagreement could be solved with reasoned discussion, I let the removal stand while I tried to discuss the issue. Clearly, my hopes have not neen fulfilled.

As a result, I am now restoring the status-quo from before the edit warring and re-adding the maps. Please do not remove them without first establishing a consensus for their removal.

JPMcGrath (talk) 23:53, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

The discussion of the Brady Campaign state scorecard map and the other maps has now lasted eight months, and includes multiple talk page sections, a posting on the Neutral Point of View Noticeboard, a Request For Comment, a Request For Mediation, and two postings on the Administrators' Noticeboard. We've now had more than 35,000 words of discussion. Many editors have agreed that the maps should not be added to the article, for two reasons. (1) The Brady scorecard map violates NPOV by advocating for a biased and one-sided position, and pushing a particular political agenda. The other maps also violate NPOV. (2) The Brady scorecard map does not accurately assess the restrictiveness of different states' gun laws. The Brady scorecard map might be appropriate for a different article -- for example, Brady Campaign, which currently does include the map, or possibly Political arguments of gun politics in the United States -- but not this article, which describes the gun laws of the 50 states in as neutral and unbiased a manner as possible, without adding any opinions, or providing a soapbox for either pro-gun control or pro-gun rights groups. Since many editors have agreed that the maps should not be added, putting them back into the article at this point is disruptive editing, and also tendentious editing. I am therefore removing the maps again. Mudwater (Talk) 01:18, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
It is clear that you do not want the maps in the article, however the last RfC showed no consensus for removing them. Please try to work constructively toward reaching a consensus. Edit warring is not the solution.
JPMcGrath (talk) 03:00, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
The best you got on the ani page was a suggestion to reopen a new RfC. If that is the route you want to go, that is your call, but unless the result of that new RfC states that there is a concensus to have these here, stop adding them. Rapier (talk) 07:21, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
No, you missed the point. The maps were in the article and Mudwater instigated an edit war to remove them. The suggestion was that a new RfC was needed to remove the maps. The status quo was not altered by the edit warring. Please do not remove the maps without a consensus to do so. If you persist, I will report this conduct to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring. — JPMcGrath (talk) 20:55, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I Looked at the page history to make sure I wasn't mistaken, and it appears that there was no initial consensus to keep the scorecard map when it was first added, but the editors agreed to leave it (as well as the other maps) in the article during the RFC. After the RFC closed with no apparent consensus to keep them, those editors removed the maps, but now you claim that they bear the burden of demonstrating why they should be excluded instead of you demonstrating why they should be included.
I don't have a "dog in the fight" here, but I don't think the proponents of the maps removal should be penalized for leaving the maps in the article during the RFC period. --Hamitr (talk) 22:18, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
When the Brady map was first added, two people opposed it and four supported it. After Hoplophile proposed adding the OpenCarry maps, those opposed made no further comments and SaltyBoatr re-added the maps. It is hard to argue this was not legitimate. Mudwater removed the maps throught edit warring immediately following an RfC for removing the maps that was evenly split. This was clearly not legitimate. — JPMcGrath (talk) 00:21, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I caught up to the ANI first; whoops.
Cross-posted from ANI page
I'm sorry that I have been far and away since this moved to ANI. I became involved in this dust-up only during the last stretch of its time on the talk page, but I'm still interested in addressing the issue here. I see that JPMcGrath is currently blocked, and I'm not sure that's a resolution. Now we (the several editors opposed to McGrath) are really screwed. It's inarguable that the issue has been discussed exhaustively and that JPMcGrath's complaints have been serviced, and his talking points advised, even if allowing, perhaps, that supposed consensus is uncertain. Despite this, we're stuck in a debate about whether the debate has ended or ought to have ended, which is hopelessly silly. JPMcGrath has demonstrated that he'll not lay down his flag, and we certainly cannot abide those maps. We cannot have an edit war forever ongoing in the article, nor can we ignore his posts (they are civil and apparently in good faith throughout). Something has to give because this is untenable.
Now
JP, I should like to be sure that my reading of history is correct. I believe I understand the sequence of events. You added a map to the article. People did not like it. Some more maps were added. Other small tweaks were made. People did not like the addition, some people did like it, and there was not consensus that it should remain. So that it is clear for everyone new to this ages-old discussion: the original controversy concerned the addition of the maps. Do not impugn the defending editors' motives, their displeasure that a long maintained good article was fouled by bad content.
- Digiphi (talk) 06:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have updated the links to the archived discussions, in the yellow talk page message box above. Mudwater (Talk) 22:34, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Alabama

There may be some confusion regarding Alabama's law Section 13A-11-52 Carrying pistol on premises not his own; who may carry pistol. Recently 24.161.233.231 changed the Alabama section to state that the law applied only to concealed handguns without providing a supporting source. I'm not trying to say that the change was incorrect, but it is unverified and contradicts the cited sources.

I have read in discussion forums that the law may not apply to open carry, but discussion forums do not usually make good sources. Both the NRA-ILA and LCAV sources which were cited state: LCAV - "Alabama prohibits the carrying of a handgun on premises that are not owned or under the control of the possessor unless the person carries the handgun pursuant to a valid concealed handgun license." NRA-ILA - "With some exceptions, the open carry of firearms is lawful. It is unlawful to carry a concealed pistol, firearm, or airgun without a permit. It is unlawful for a person to carry a pistol about his person on premises not his own or under his control."

If there is, in fact, a reputable source confirming that 13A-11-52 only applies to concealed carry, please provide that source when you change the content. Some examples of such reputable sources would be an Attorney General opinion, court ruling, or other active law. Luftegrof (talk) 17:33, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Missing references and presentation of references

Arkansas, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma have either no references or large parts of the section are unreferenced. I've tagged them as either "refimprove" or "unreferenced." Furthermore, some states have references provided, but are not given in the same manner as most of the other state sections: using the "ref" tag. For example, instead of using the "ref" tag the legal code section is written out in the prose. Minnesota and Missouri are some examples of this. I have tagged MN and MO with "refimprove" as well, for that reason. For all of the above state sections, there are also other references available in addition to the state's legal code. If I have erred in my placement of any of these tags, please correct me. Luftegrof (talk) 08:04, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. Mudwater (Talk) 23:50, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Liability

Liability question. All states. I post this question on January 15, 2011, in this Alabama entry because I could not figure out how to post in the Talk link and I could find no other way to bring up this question which applies to each state. I also did searches using term 'liability' with little or no results. The question or point it that the entries are devoid of referencing what, if any, the liability of the handgun carrier is is he/she injures or kills someone with a stray bullet? In other words, many states have authorized the carrying of concealed handguns. The Texas statute, found at Government Code 411.177 et seq is silent about liability of the permitee. Seems to me well-drafted statutes would have clauses making it very clear as to liability for injuries to people and prpoerty and death. If someone knows how to do it, maybe this entry could be moved to the introductory part of this long post. AustinTexasRRTX (talk) 20:29, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

I am moving the above post from the article to the talk page. Mudwater (Talk) 22:08, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
In the interest of keeping this from becoming a discussion about liability, I won't directly answer your question. Still, you may be able to glean an answer from this. Civil and criminal liability or culpability for murder, manslaughter, and assault are generally beyond the scope of "Gun laws in the United States" except to the extent that criminal law may provide for an enhanced punishment if certain crimes were committed with a firearm. In those exceptional cases, the article could cite that such an enhanced or modified penalty exists. Another exception could be made for some "castle doctrines," which have already appeared in this article, but one could argue that they do not specifically pertain to firearms and are therefore in the wrong article. Liability (and culpability) is, as I understand, typically the same when using a firearm as it is using a knife, your fists, your boots, a bat, a car, or anything that is used to injure or kill someone or something. Some states do statutorily define the conditions for justifiable or excusable murder (in degrees), manslaughter (in degrees), and assault (in degrees and aggravated, w/battery, etcetera); Pennsylvania, for one. In other states, many if not all of those conditions are ultimately determined by legal precedent rather than statutory law. Wikipedia already has articles for the aforementioned crimes. I refer you to those. Luftegrof (talk) 00:31, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Peaceable Journey laws

Every state listed has a box where it is listed whether or not the state has Peaceable Journey laws. But, no information on what a Peaceable Journey law is. No article on it in Wikipedia. --71.110.86.207 (talk) 22:00, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the Gregg Revell incident at Newark

Regarding this edit, the justification given was that Newark international is operated by the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Just because the airports are run by the same governing bi-state port authority, does not mean that the gun laws are identical. Gun laws are a state by state issue. One cannot simply say that this decision will apply to the airports in NY without a proper citation. I have left the text of the edit as is, but added a citation needed tag to the final line. If a proper legal citation cannot be established, this section should be striken from the NY section as it does not pertain to NY state.

-Deathsythe (talk) 12:38, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Ah, but the law in question, in the case, was the federal preemption law, not any specific state law. And the law enforcement organization that ignored that federal law at Newark is the same organization that has been ignoring the federal law at the other NYC airports.

I don't object to moving this discussion to New Jersey, if that is the consensus, but it's not as open-and-shut as the comment in the original discussionless delete made it appear. jdege (talk) 12:43, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Understood, which is why I did not revert it and went this route. Just because one set of LEO ignored federal law, in NJ none-the-less (look at what happened with Brian Aitken), doesn't mean it will be the case elsewhere. Until something like this happens in NY, or relevant caselaw is found to cite, I feel that it is proper to leave the NJ related comments in NJ.
I've been travelling between the two states for the better part of my life, and when it comes to gun laws, both are pretty awful and you need to cross every t and dot every i to make sure you are in lock-step compliance. -Deathsythe (talk) 12:59, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that this topic should even be in this article. Yes, he was charged under a State law, but there was never any question that he was in violation of State law. The main question raised by his appeal is whether he had an affirmative defense that he was travelling interstate as per Federal law. This should probably go under the Firearm Owners Protection Act article, more specifically, under the "Safe Passage" provision section. Luftegrof (talk) 04:14, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
This definitely deserves mention here, however it should be noted in the NJ section, NOT the NY section, as it doesn't pertain to NY nor reflect NY laws. I agree that It does definitely deserve mention in the FOPA article, which could use some beefing up, especially in the Safe Passage section. -Deathsythe (talk) 20:38, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I think I could agree with that; in the NJ section, simply state something to the effect that "New Jersey considers the FOPA to be an affirmative defense rather than a preemption of their State laws." There are probably several reputable sources to cite in addition to the State court case itself. Could someone find a copy of his State trial and verdict? That might be more appropriate here than the Federal appeal case and better demonstrate the stance of New Jersey on FOPA. Luftegrof (talk) 20:51, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

New York - Preemption and Home Rule

Does New York State preempt local firearm laws? I think one answer may be in Article IX of the Constitution of New York, however one probably has to be a lawyer versed in New York case law and "Home Rule" in order to answer the question. opencarry.org does state that there is "[c]omplete state preemption of carry laws for permit holders only." I think they are referring to section 400.00 of New York penal law which states:

A license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, not otherwise limited as to place or time of possession, shall be effective throughout the state, except that the same shall not be valid within the city of New York unless a special permit granting validity is issued by the police commissioner of that city.

Given the information we have available, I think the "State Preemption" line of the table should be removed, or changed to an "unknown" status, or changed to "carry laws only, except New York City"; until we can get to the bottom of it and find an accurate and reputable source. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this matter? Luftegrof (talk) 19:33, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Along these lines, I think we should have a completely separate table for NYC, as it greatly differs from the rest of the state when it comes to gun laws. Anyone disagree? -Deathsythe (talk)
I'm not totally sure, but it looks to me like New York does not have state preemption. There's a detailed treatment of this question on the LCAV web site. Here's a brief quote: "New York has not expressly preempted local firearms or ammunition ordinances, nor has the legislature been found to have impliedly preempted the broad field of firearms regulation." Mudwater (Talk) 00:12, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this basically is saying that state laws cannot/do not hold any weight and can be overridden by local law? -Deathsythe (talk) 12:01, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
It's saying that, in New York, local laws can be stricter than state laws. In some states, localities (cities, towns, counties) can not regulate firearms, that is, the state laws preempt the local laws. This is known as "state preemption". Mudwater (Talk) 23:18, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
This is most certainly true then. Look at the laws in NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, etc for example. -Deathsythe (talk) 20:45, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Shortening this entry with articles like "Gun Laws in Alabama"

I think that the easiest way to shorten this article is by creating articles such as Gun Laws in Alabama that can be wikified at a later time, and making this a short list of links. Comments anyone?--Jax 0677 (talk) 02:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Florida Statute 790.33 has been updated with HB 45 Effective 10-1-2011

I understand that the link to the statute will be updated in time, but I am providing the link to the new version that HB 45 has created. HB 45 was passed 6-1-2011 and will be effective 10-1-2011. Part of the wiki article that was written will become outdated. Notably this line,

"State preemption laws prohibit localities from regulating firearms, other than with regards to zoning laws (i.e., for restricting where gun sellers may locate their businesses.)"

This has been addressed differently now. Here is the link HB 45 modifications to Statute 790.33

Thank you for your time. Ravion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.129.82.83 (talk) 19:29, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Splitting up the article

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There has been some discussion, a while ago and also lately, about splitting up this article by creating a separate article for each state section. A few of the states already have their own articles, with their sections in this article being more of a summary, and that's fine. But I'd like to discuss the idea of "going all the way", by leaving the lead section of this article more or less the way it is now, but having each of the 51 state sections be just a link (probably using the {{Main}} template) to 51 different state gun law articles. That would be a really big change for this article, so let's be sure to leave this discussion open for a while -- two weeks or maybe longer would be my suggestion -- to make sure we get opinions from a lot of editors before we make a decision. I'll go first.

  • Weak support This article is really long now, having been expanded quite a lot over the last few years. It's more than 300,000 bytes, and per Wikipedia:Article size, an article longer than 100,000 bytes "Almost certainly should be divided". Dividing one article into 52 articles (50 states and DC, plus this article which would still be here) sounds pretty extreme, but in this case it might make sense. Each of the state articles would be a pretty reasonable length, and have enough references, right now, and of course they could each be expanded from here. With that being said, I'd still be okay with keeping this as one big article also. It does make it more convenient for scrolling around and comparing the gun laws of different states. So, I could go either way, but I think splitting it up would probably be somewhat preferable at this point. Mudwater (Talk) 01:40, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The Gun laws in the United States (by state) article is extremely long. Perhaps a table of different aspects of Gun Laws could be entered, similar to that at [[7]]. I think there should be enough in the Gun laws in the United States (by state) to summarize and compare the states against one another, but not so much that it makes the page huge.--Jax 0677 (talk) 01:54, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm open to the idea of having a summary table in this article, but extreme care would need to be taken to make sure that the table was totally neutral and non-controversial -- otherwise we shouldn't do it at all. See Talk:Gun laws in the United States (by state)/Archive 2#Maps for more on this subject. Mudwater (Talk) 02:03, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - But rather than a "summary table" I'd suggest leaving a list here that could redirect to each individual state. One could access all states (and territories) by coming to this one page, but if you wanted to focus on a single state you simply go to that state's article. It seems to be a good idea (and a lot of work, so if someone is willing to do it I'm not going to get in their way!), and with a centralized list that one could access all states from I'd support it. SeanNovack (talk) 16:48, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - We most certainly should have a list here to direct to each state's page. I know quite a few individual pages for state laws already exist. We should focus on improving those articles. I would not be against a general summary table left here in each heading regarding state laws. I think I'll try to draft something simple (similar to what the NRA-ILA uses in their pdf quick reference chart) this week. -Deathsythe (talk) 17:28, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Undecided - This article is a regular recipient of false, vague, and unrelated information; sometimes outright vandalism. It's probably due to the nature of the subject matter; its susceptibility to propaganda, requirement for attention to detail, and a misconception that public forums, any old .com site, the 11 o'clock news, or what pappy told you, are reputable sources. There are a few diligent editors who police this article for those erroneous updates. Would moving the meat to 50+ different articles make it harder to police? (this is by no means my only question [or concern]; I just have time to post one right now.) Luftegrof (talk) 02:46, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • No Support - This article is a good one-stop place to look at gun laws in geographically co-located states. Having this ability is important, especially for comparing differences in gun laws by state. The argument against the size is facetious, as the page loads fast, has little to no graphics, and having the text all in one place is more conducive to quickly reading about gun laws in various states. Let's leave it the way it is. Yaf (talk) 02:57, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. It does seem too long. There is no point wading through detail that you are not interested in. A summary table similar to Scientology status by country can be set up for some of the more salient points. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 04:05, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree wtih Alan Liefting. This article has the potential to grow more and more, and having a table is the easiest way to compare one state to another. Articles can be protected if they need to be watched, and by default, the articles that people care about the most will naturally be watched. Having the only the most important points and excluding the less important points in the main article will reduce clutter.--Jax 0677 (talk) 20:50, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yaf and Luftegrof have brought up some good points. Having all the states together makes it easy to scroll around -- or click to a different section -- to see the gun laws of different states, all on one page. I mentioned that in my earlier post. Also, it does make it way easier to watch the article, and this certainly is an article that bears watching. Yes, the article is longer than most on Wikipedia, and for me it is slower to work with when I'm editing it, but, so what. Let's keep the article the way it is, and not split it up. Mudwater (Talk) 11:00, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
With respect to that, I'm sure it would be very feasible to setup a navigation template that we could include on each page that had quick links to neighboring states and/or have it split up by region for simplicity, so I think that issue could be remedied with relative ease. As far as the monitoring the 50+ articles, I'm sure diligent members of WP:GUNS could provide a proper task force to make certain that vandalism/false information does not make its way into the articles. I know I would be willing to participate in that. -Deathsythe (talk) 14:44, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
There are currently eight articles for gun laws of individual states, so a navigation template might be useful, whether this article is split up or not. So, I've created a navbox for the state gun law articles, and added it to each of the eight articles, plus this one. Mudwater (Talk) 02:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
That's a good start mate, nice work. I started working out layout for a table we could put into a template regarding each state's laws. If not for nothing, it could just help us present the data in a clearer, and more standardized manner. Its very vanilla, but its in my sandbox if anyone cares to take a look. -Deathsythe (talk) 15:34, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Quite a few of the state sections already have a summary box. Maybe we should try to standardize on something similar to what's already in the article. In my view the existing ones are pretty good, except that it's not necessary to have separate columns for long guns and hand guns. They're usually the same as each other, and in cases where they're not, a note could be made. Here's the current table for Georgia, but with those two columns combined:
Subject/Law Applicability Relevant Statutes Notes
State Permit to Purchase? No None
Firearm registration? No None
"Assault weapon" law? No None
Owner license required? No None
Carry permits issued? Yes OCGA §16-11-129 Concealed or open carry allowed with permit. See also OCGA §43-38-10 which is a special permit for armed security guards.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes OCGA §16-11-173 Despite state preemption, several localities continue to have local gun restrictions. Recent court rulings have resulted in many of these ordinances being withdrawn.
NFA weapons restricted? No None
Peaceable Journey laws? No None Federal rules observed.
Unlicensed open carry? No OCGA 16-11-128 A Georgia Weapons License (GWL), or a recognized out-of-state permit, is required for open carry of any handgun outside of one's home, property, motor vehicle, or place of business.
Mudwater (Talk) 02:20, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Very similar, with a bit more information, which is always a good thing. I disagree about merging long guns and handguns. Several states have separate registration for handguns while nothing for long guns, or require some kind of training/permit to own handguns, while not long guns.
I made the table mirroring the one in the NRA-ILA pamphlets regarding state gun laws, which can be accessed on their site. I planned on writing a script/bot to quickly parse the info off of there and put it into here, but like I said before, I like the one you cited there better, with the exception of splitting long guns/handguns. -Deathsythe (talk) 17:26, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I've come up with 8 categories that I think can cover just about any type of gun law in existence: 1) Constitution; 2) Preemption and Local Regulation; 3) Registration; 4) Restricted or Prohibited Items; 5) Restricted or Prohibited Persons; 6) Manufacturing; 7) Sale, Purchase, and Transfer; 8) Transportation and Carry. I had created a template, Template:Infobox/State_Gun_Laws , to make it fairly easy to input the data. The template also serves to ensure that wiki editors are including all the relevant information, and that which is left out will default to an "unknown" status for the reader. I envision an article consisting of these infoboxes for the meat, containing collapsible lists and descriptions of each law, and smaller prose sections for the potatoes, either summarizing and highlighting certain points or expanding on a few laws that warrant the provision of additional information. Maryland, Virginia, and Washington have these infoboxes right now; refer to them for examples of usage. I've been waiting for feedback from the community ever since creating them last year.Luftegrof (talk) 22:42, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
This type of thing was discussed before, and I would still favor the use of prose over these types of infoboxes. In my opinion having most of the article be in prose format, as it is now, works best, because it's easy to read, and very flexible, and also more similar to most other Wikipedia articles. The state sections are very much not uniform, but I think that's a lot less of an issue if the article is in fact split up. So, I appreciate the work you've done on the infobox, but I would not favor its use. With that being said, I'd be interested in other editors' opinions. Mudwater (Talk) 23:37, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Guess this means that we are splitting up the article, eh?--Jax 0677 (talk) 04:49, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

While there is generalsupport in favor of this, I am not certain we have reached a consensus on exactly how to split it up if we do take that step. I propose the following:
  • Template created wrt the table Mudwater (talk · contribs) posted above with separate columns denoting long guns vs. handguns
  • Navigation template breaking the US up by region by rows, as well as an alphabetical previous/next link in the heading
  • Improvements made to Firearm Owner Protection Act article, especially the peacable journey section.
  • Creation of a task force under WP:GUNS to perform these edits as well as monitor the changes to the 50 summat new articles that will be created.
-Deathsythe (talk) 12:25, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I still have strongly mixed emotions about splitting up the article. But either way, for the {{Gun laws in the United States (by state)}} navigation template, I think it would be best to keep things simple, and just have an alphabetical list of states, the way it is now. That will make it quite easy to find any state quickly. There's not a consistent or standard way to break up the states by region, which is not an insurmountable problem, but I don't think dividing it by region would improve the navbox. On the contrary, it would make it slightly harder to find a state. And with just an alphabetical list, "next" and "previous" links would be unnecessary. Mudwater (Talk) 23:29, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment The article contains a lot of tangential information. The fact that South Carolina has a "castle doctrine" statute is not necessary here. The majority of states have a castle doctrine statute, but this does not have to do with firearms. It has to do with self-defense. You can invoke the castle doctrine with a samurai sword for instance. A reproduction of the individual laws is not necessary either. A link can be provided. A discussion of hypotheticals of how use of a firearm could constitute a violation of a statute such as disturbing the peace is not necessary here either. Obviously, shooting someone without justification is a crime in all 50 states, the territories and DC. If the focus was strictly on possession, sale/transfer/purchasing, carrying, licensing, registration, and manufacturing, the article could be shortened substantially. The fact that Pennsylvania requires destruction of a background check within 72 hours of an application could be found elsewhere. Is there any state that provides for the purchase of handguns by convicted felons and the mentally ill? It is superfluous to state the prohibition 51 times. If the state provides for the restoration of gun ownership rights, that is all that need be said.
Just picking one example, the Ohio section states, "Ohio is a traditional open-carry state. The open-carry of firearms by those who legally possess the firearm is a legal activity in Ohio with or without a permit. While legal, the practice is not common in urban areas and often results in police responding. Various cases of harassment by police on those open carrying have been documented." This can be shortened to "Ohio is an open-carry state." The uncited "harassment by police" has nothing to do with the law in Ohio. It is also biased in that it qualifies police activity as "harassment." Without a specific example, hypothetical police activity is merely police activity.
A lot can be cut from the article with no need to reproduce it elsewhere. I would suggest cleaning up what is here at the moment and then making a decision. If this task is too great, or if each section changes too frequently such that it is impossible to maintain a consistent article, then moving parts of it elsewhere would not be a bad idea. Perhaps individual articles on 50 states and open carry, or 50 states and licensing may help. Gx872op (talk) 14:52, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Gx872op, I disagree. Castle Doctrines have much to do with gun laws. Every pistol permit handbook and licensing authority I have read/spoken to has contained invaluable information regarding that respective states' "Stand your ground" or Castle doctrine related laws. These laws are required knowledge in some states of all those who own firearms (I know NY and NJ for one), not to mention are just good practice to know if you are a gun owner.
The bit about open carry and harassment is a valid point regarding gun laws because this is information gun owners also need to know. With everything that is currently going on in Philadelphia for example, where the police have openly said they will "inconveince" gun owners who are doing nothing wrong or violating no law. This information is something that needs to be known by gun owners in PA if they come to this page in search of gun law information. Similarly, the fact that some states or counties are de-facto non-issue permitted states, or other things that while no "set law" is technically on the books, the issue exists that local law enforcement and/or politicians have made it so certain things are basically law. This information also needs to be available to people searching for this type of thing and related gun laws. -Deathsythe (talk) 15:09, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose If this is still up for discussion.. I don't really see how having a page with a list made up of links that go to each state's separate wikipedia article is different from having a list of links that go to the states' individual sections on the one wikipedia page. It shouldn't be divided up simply because of its length. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chursaner (talkcontribs) 04:44, 4 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose As is, this is a very useful article for making state by state comparisons. Turning it into a list of links would just make it more cumbersome.Sam Paris (talk) 17:32, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support This page can have summaries of each state laws, while having a page for each individual state. This article is a mess, and needs a format makeover. I disagree with the above user, as this will not be an article with "just links". It will contain summaries of the individual state laws. Tinton5 (talk) 17:37, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm closing this talk page section. The article has been split. There is currently a discussion, below, about the state sections. Mudwater (Talk) 07:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Virginia gun/alcohol law

The Virginia section states "A person may not lawfully consume alcohol while carrying a concealed handgun onto the premises of a restaurant or club licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption. However, one may openly carry (in the past referred to the "Virginia Tuck") in restaurants or clubs licensed to sell alcohol for on-premise consumption, and may not consume alcoholic beverages."

My re-wording of the quoted passage comes out "you can't drink and carry concealed in a bar, however you can't drink and carry open in a bar". This makes no sense to me. Is it a typo or am I misunderstanding? Perhaps the author could elucidate. Cwelgo (talk) 21:30, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

My understanding of that particular law is that you can openly carry in a restaurant or club that is licensed to sell alcohol by the serving, though that is not their primary business (such as a bar). The last bit there "and may not consume alcoholic beverages" applies to the 2nd sentence there regarding open carrying. This verbiage is to not enable gun owners to carry in restaurants, even though they serve open containers of alcohol. -Deathsythe (talk) 19:51, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I'm dense, but I don't see that the wording says that. For simplicity's sake, let's substitute DRINK for "lawfully consume alcohol" and RESTAURANT for "the premises of a restaurant or club licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption". Let's also drop the superflouous reference to the Virginia Tuck. The code now reads:
"A person may not DRINK while carrying a concealed handgun in a RESTAURANT. However, one may openly carry in RESTAURANTS, and may not DRINK."
The word "however" is throwing me for a loop. First sentence says you can't DRINK while carrying concealed. Second sentence says you can't DRINK while carrying openly. "However" implies that the second sentence is somehow an exception to the first, when the two setences read together actually say "You can't DRINK with a gun in a RESTAURANT". Should I be reading sentence two as "However, one may openly carry in a RESTAURANT as long as one does not DRINK?"
I'm not trying to be a comma lawyer here; I live in Virginia and actually want to understand the law. Cwelgo (talk) 20:05, 13 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not any kind of lawyer, just a legal enthusiast. Someone along the way has changed the section to be not only confusing, but incorrect. All of the references that were provided in the article support this synopsis: One may not carry a concealed handgun, except for law enforcement officers, onto the premises of a restaurant or club and consume an alcoholic beverage; nor may any person carry a concealed handgun in a public place while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Those laws do not apply to openly carried handguns.
First of all, the code section (18.2-308) that deals with consumption of alcohol and being under the influence of alcohol *only* pertains to concealed handguns. 18.2-308(J1) makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a *concealed* handgun under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs in a *public place*. Restaurants would be considered public places. There is no law making it unlawful to openly carry a handgun while under the influence of alcohol in a public place; however, there are other laws that person would/could be breaking that are unrelated to the presence of an openly carried handgun. The law further qualifies which convictions could be used as evidence that a person was "under the influence." Secondly, subsection J3 of the same title and section, makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun onto the premises of any licensed restaurant or club (defined in § 4.1-100) and consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises; except for federal, state, or local law-enforcement officers. There is no law making it unlawful to openly carry a handgun in such a place and consume an alcoholic beverage. Most laws, at least in Virginia, don't say what you can do; they say what you can't do and any exceptions that may apply to that restriction. Luftegrof (talk) 18:06, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I went ahead and corrected the Virginia section regarding alcohol and firearms. Let us know whether that clears it up. Luftegrof (talk) 23:23, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! It is crystal clear now: Can't carry concealed while drinking, can't carry concealed while drunk. Cwelgo (talk) 21:33, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Connecticut section

I find that the section on gun laws for the state of Connecticut is not accurate, and gives an overall reading that speaks of a more lenient dynamic than the actual laws as written and enforcement policies in effect at this time. +Specifically, the assault weapon ban comes across as being minimal when in fact it is relatively restrictive compared to all 50 states. Contrary to the wiki article text, the Connecticut .gov website indicates that no individual permits to register or own assault weapons will be provided, contrary to the article. +In addition, I believe 3 of the 4 citations for the Connecticut specific information are "dead links". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Archerfox (talkcontribs) 16:00, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

State sections

All the individual state articles have been created now. But I thought the idea was to still have 51 sections in this article, with a short summary of gun laws for each state -- maybe just a table, maybe some text -- and with links to each of the state articles. Mudwater (Talk) 01:46, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I've put the state sections back in, but only with links to the individual state articles. Unlike us editors, the average reader is likely to overlook the navigation template at the bottom of the article. This makes it much more obvious that there are individual articles for each state. Mudwater (Talk) 11:04, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Agreed - We can add the tables back individually, so long as they don't add too much file size to the article.
- The Phoenix--Jax 0677 (talk) 00:30, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I compared each of the 12 state articles that were created more than a month ago with the main article as it was before the big split-up. For three of them, it looked like some of the material from the main article was being lost, so I incorporated it into the state articles. That was for Utah, New York, and California. For California I also rearranged the sections of the article, and took out a few outdated paragraphs that I had copied from the main article. So I think we're okay now as far as nothing being lost in the split-up. Mudwater (Talk) 12:24, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I have added back all of the summary tables (for articles that have them), and converted the TOC to a better format (IMO). some states are still missing tables, hopefully we can fill them in. There is some variation in the information/format of the tables, but I don't see that as a big problem, as states may have different law/features which cause it to make sense that way. I am considering converting the tables to templates, so they will automatically stay in sync between this article and the individual state articles, but that may be more than I want to bite off, and they probably don't change that often anyway. Gaijin42 (talk) 20:55, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting. I want to think about this some more, but my initial reaction is that I like it. To me it seems appropriate to have the summary table for each state included in this article. In my opinion it's fine that the tables are not all exactly alike, as you've said, and so I have mixed emotions about the idea of using a template for the tables. Also, I like the new table of contents, and I think it's cool that you can get to each state section by clicking either on the name of the state or on the state in the map. As a minor point I think the table of contents should be on the left, instead of centered, because that's where the table of contents for a Wikipedia article usually is, and readers may already be thrown off a bit by this unconventional TOC, so I'm going to move it to the left now. Anyway, thanks for doing all this, and as usual I would encourage other editors to give their opinions here. Mudwater (Talk) 00:42, 5 January 2012 (UTC)