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Gun Ownership by State 2021

The United States is ranked number one globally when it comes to gun ownership. Estimates show that there are anywhere from over 200 million to more than 350 million guns in the U.S. Because of variances in regulations throughout the nation, it’s impossible to get exact numbers when it comes to the total number of guns in the nation and the number of guns in each state. However, the Pew Research Center has compiled data that is about as accurate as it gets.

Before diving into gun ownership stats by state, let’s look at some general gun statistics throughout the nation. According to the Pew Research Center, the southern United States has the highest amount of gun owners, with about 36% of residents living in this region owning a gun. The Midwest and West each have gun ownership levels that exceed 30%, while the Northeast has the lowest number of gun owners at about 16%. Most guns in the United States are owned by rural households, while more men own guns than women.

Now, let’s take a look at gun ownership by state. It’s important to note that we’re looking at the total percentage of gun ownership based on population. While one state may have more guns, the population may also be higher. For the purpose of this article, we’re focusing on the total percentage of gun ownership in relation to the state’s population.

Based on this, the state of Montana has the highest gun ownership rate, with 66.3% of adults owning a gun. Wyoming closely follows at 66.2%, with Alaska in third at 64.5%.

On the other side of the scale, we have the states with the lowest percentage of gun owners. Massachusetts and New Jersey have the lowest gun ownership rate of 14.7%, followed by Rhode Island, with 14.8%, and Hawaii, with 14.9%. New York is the only other state with gun ownership less than 20% at 19.9%. Both Massachusetts and New Jersey have some of the strictest gun ownership laws in the United States. Obtaining a permit or license required to even purchase a gun in these states can take weeks and is relatively rigorous. However, Massachusetts also consistently has one of the lowest gun fatality rates in the United States.

Here are the 10 states with the highest rates of gun ownership:

  1. Alaska (61.70%)
  2. Arkansas (57.90%)
  3. Idaho (56.90%)
  4. West Virginia (54.20%)
  5. Wyoming (53.80%)
  6. Montana (52.30%)
  7. New Mexico (49.90%)
  8. Alabama (48.90%)
  9. North Dakota (47.90%)
  10. Hawaii (45.10%)

Gun Ownership by State 2021

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Gun Ownership by State 2021

State Gun Ownership Registered Guns
Alaska61.70%15,824
Arkansas57.90%79,841
Idaho56.90%49,566
West Virginia54.20%35,264
Wyoming53.80%132,806
Montana52.30%22,133
New Mexico49.90%97,580
Alabama48.90%161,641
North Dakota47.90%13,272
Hawaii45.10%7,859
Louisiana44.50%116,831
South Carolina44.40%105,601
Mississippi42.80%35,494
Kentucky42.40%81,058
Tennessee39.40%99,159
Nevada37.50%76,888
Minnesota36.70%79,307
Texas35.70%588,696
South Dakota35.00%21,130
Wisconsin34.70%64,878
Colorado34.30%92,435
Iowa33.80%28,494
Indiana33.80%114,019
Florida32.50%343,288
Arizona32.30%179,738
Kansas32.20%52,634
Utah31.90%72,856
Georgia31.60%190,050
Oklahoma31.20%71,269
Virginia29.30%307,822
Vermont28.80%5,872
Michigan28.80%65,742
North Carolina28.70%152,238
Washington27.70%91,835
Pennsylvania27.10%236,377
Missouri27.10%72,995
Oregon26.60%61,383
Illinois26.20%146,487
Massachusetts22.60%37,152
Maine22.60%15,371
Maryland20.70%103,109
California20.10%344,622
Nebraska19.80%22,234
Ohio19.60%173,405
Connecticut16.60%82,400
New Hampshire14.40%64,135
New Jersey11.30%57,505
New York10.30%76,207
Rhode Island5.80%4,223
Delaware5.20%4,852

Gun Ownership by State 2021