Gun Ownership by State (2023) with Surprises


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Gun Ownership by State (2023 Statistics)

Where does your state rank in gun ownership? We analyzed all 50 states, gun ownership rates, and ownership percentages to bring you this article. Of course, we’ve also included the answers to some of your most burning questions about gun control, ownership, and crime.

Report Highlights:

  • The United States has the highest per capita rate of civilian firearm ownership at 120.48 firearms per 100 people.
  • American civilians own 46% (approximately 393.3 million) of the world’s 857 million civilian-use firearms. (Source)
  • Montana has the highest amount of gun owners (66.3%).
  • Wyoming has the most guns per capita, with 245.8 firearms for every 1,000 residents.
  • The top 5 states for gun ownership comprise only .8% of the nation’s firearm-related homicides (185 homicides between all 5 states).
  • The bottom 5 states for gun ownership comprise 4% of the nation’s firearm-related homicides (1,038 firearm-related homicides).
  • According to surveys, 36% of gun owners are white, 24% are black, and 15% are Hispanic. The remaining civilians do not personally own a firearm but do live in a home with someone who does.
  • Recent polls show that 32% of adults in the U.S. own at least one firearm.
  • 72% of gun owners say the main reason for owning a firearm is for protection.
  • According to this poll, 32% of US adults own at least one firearm.
  • New Jersey has the lowest rate of gun ownership at only 8.9% of the population and the least amount per capita (1.1 for every 1,000 people).

Global Civilian Firearm-Ownership

Globally, it is estimated that more than 857 million civilians own firearms for personal or defensive use. It’s likely that this number is much higher than the registered firearms that local governments can track.

Note: This information is based on a survey. The information given is only as accurate as the respective government provides.

Global Civilian Firearm Rates & Gun Deaths

One of the more pressing questions regarding civilian firearm ownership is, “Do firearms result in more deaths?” If we compare ownership to firearm-related gun deaths (including homicides and suicides), the correlation between ownership rates and deaths becomes unclear.

Gun Ownership Rates By State

While more states with strict firearm purchasing laws have fewer firearms, that isn’t always the case, despite State-mandated background checks and permits-to-purchase, many states still rank rather high.

What State Has the Most Guns

It is estimated that Texas has more guns than any other state, with 1,005,555 guns and just over 29 million residents. Florida trails behind in second place, with 518,725 guns and a population of just over 21 million residents.

Rhode Island has the lowest number of guns, with 4,887, and a population size of just over one million residents.

Gun Ownership Per Capita By State

While Wyoming doesn’t have the most guns of any state, it does have the most guns per person. Based on recent estimates, Wyoming has 245.8 guns per resident. In contrast, New Jersey has only 1.1 guns per resident, making it the lowest gun ownership state per capita.

Percentage of Gun Ownership by State

Montana has the highest percentage of residents who own guns, with 65.7% of the population. Furthermore, New Jersey has the lowest percentage of gun owners (only 8.9% of residents own a firearm).

State Firearm Ownership and Firearm-Related Deaths

Firearm Ownership & Firearm-Related Deaths

There is no direct correlation between gun ownership and firearm-related death. In fact, the five states with the highest firearm-related deaths have relatively low firearm ownership rates.

Firearm Ownership & Firearm-Related Suicides

In 2021, there were 26,328 firearm-related suicides in the U.S. Thirty percent of firearm-related suicides in 2021 occurred in five states that don’t fall in the top ten for gun ownership.

Firearm Ownership & Firearm-Related Homicides

The deadliest states in the U.S. in 2021 regarding firearms were Texas, California, Illinois, Florida, and Georgia. These states are not in the top fifteen for gun ownership.

ATF Seizures and State of Origin

The ATF now tracks firearms recovered and their state of origin. Tracking firearms is important as it indicates which states are contributing to gun crime in strict areas. However, the states with the most guns are rarely the origin place of seized firearms. (Source)

Note: These firearms were recovered by the ATF. They may or may not have been involved in a crime.


Cassandra McBrideCassandra McBride

Las Vegas News Magazine

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