The United States has more guns per capita than any other country in the world. There are approximately 88 firearms for every 100 individuals throughout America. But what about individual states? According to Freebeacon.com there were more guns sold throughout the United States in 2015 than any time since gun sales have been recorded. Because there aren’t consistent laws for permits and registrations in many states, tracking sales can be difficult. Gun sales are often calculated by the number of background checks that are conducted. The following discusses the states with the highest levels of gun ownership and some interesting facts about each.
It has often been said that guns are a way of life in Wyoming. Even though Wyoming has the lowest population of any state, they boast the highest levels of gun ownership. Wyoming is a state still steeped in Old West traditions, which is likely one of the reasons guns are so popular. It is interesting to note that not only do Wyoming residents own more guns per person but the number, almost 196 per 1000 people, is substantially higher than any other state.
Arkansas has slightly more than 123,000 registered guns. That averages out to 41.6 people per 1,000 with a gun. A lot of people in Arkansas may want to buy a gun because they can carry them just about anywhere. Individuals in the state can carry a concealed gun into a liquor store, a bar, and even a church.
3. New Mexico
The state of New Mexico is just right behind Arkansas with 40.5 firearms per 1,000 individuals. The Albuquerque Journal reported in January 2016 that close to 50 percent of those living in New Mexico own a gun. Owning and possessing guns is so popular that New Mexico is one of only three states that allow individuals to carry weapons into the state legislature.
The state of Virginia, which has the highest overall population of any state on the list, boasts nearly 249,000 registered firearms. In recent years Virginia’s gun sales have skyrocketed. Sales have been especially high on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year.
In the state of Idaho 24 people of every 1,000 have a firearm. During the last few years gun show sales have risen dramatically. The Idaho State Business Journal cited a study that said Idaho was dependent on the gun industry more than any other state. This was due in part to high gun ownership and the large amount of jobs in the firearms industry.
It’s interesting to note that even states that have overall low gun ownership have seen a rise in sales in recent years. While gun ownership is not particularly high in California, the recent shootings in San Bernardino have likely been a driving force behind the rising sales. Some gun owners in California have seen sales triple after the attacks.