Humanities › Issues What Is Gun Ownership Like State by State Share Flipboard Email Print Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images Issues U.S. Liberal Politics Liberal Voices and Events The U. S. Government U.S. Foreign Policy U.S. Conservative Politics Women's Issues Civil Liberties The Middle East Terrorism Race Relations Immigration Crime & Punishment Animal Rights Canadian Government View More By Deborah White Political Journalist M.B.A., California State University, Long Beach B.A., Journalism and Nonfiction Writing, University of California, Los Angeles Deborah White is a political journalist specializing in progressive political issues and perspectives. She is a three-time delegate to the California Democratic Party and a former federal elections official. our editorial process Deborah White Updated February 27, 2020 There's no way to get a precise count of gun ownership in the United States on a state-by-state basis. That's due in large part to lack of national standards for licensing and registering firearms, which is left to the states and their varying degrees of regulation. But there are several reputable organizations that track firearms-related statistics, such as the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, which can provide a fairly accurate look at gun ownership by state, as well as annual federal licensing data. Guns in the U.S. According to the Small Arms Survey, there are more than 393 million guns in the U.S. That's more than one-third of all civilian-owned guns in the world, making America the No. 1 country in terms of gun ownership. A 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center reveals some more interesting stats about guns in the U.S. Handguns are the most common choice of firearm among gun owners, especially those who only own one weapon. The South is the region with the most guns (about 36%), followed by the Midwest and West (32% and 31%, respectively) and the Northeast (16%). Men are more likely than women to own a gun, according to Pew. Thirty-nine percent of men say they own a firearm, while 22% of women do. A closer analysis of this demographic data reveals that about 46% of rural households own guns, while just 19% of urban households do. Thirty-three percent of Americans aged 50 and older own at least one gun. For people between the ages of 30 and 49, 28% own a firearm. In the lowest age group—18- to 29-year-olds—own 27% own a gun. Politically, Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to own a gun. Number of Guns Ranked by State The following table shows the number of registered firearms in the U.S. by state. While reading, it's important to remember that only six states and the District of Columbia require the registration of firearms. The sum of registered firearms equals only 6,058,390, a far cry from the 393 million total in America. Still, this can give us an idea of how gun ownership breaks down by state. For a different perspective, CBS conducted a telephone survey and ranked the states by guns per capita. You can find those results here. Rank State # of guns registered 1 Texas 725,368 2 Florida 432,581 3 California 376,666 4 Virginia 356,963 5 Pennsylvania 271,427 6 Georgia 225,993 7 Arizona 204,817 8 North Carolina 181,209 9 Ohio 175,819 10 Alabama 168,265 11 Illinois 147,698 12 Wyoming 134,050 13 Indiana 133,594 14 Maryland 128,289 15 Tennessee 121,140 16 Washington 119,829 17 Louisiana 116,398 18 Colorado 112,691 19 Arkansas 108,801 20 New Mexico 105,836 21 South Carolina 99,283 22 Minnesota 98,585 23 Nevada 96,822 24 Kentucky 93,719 25 Utah 93,440 26 New Jersey 90,217 27 Missouri 88,270 28 Michigan 83,355 29 Oklahoma 83,112 30 New York 82,917 31 Wisconsin 79,639 32 Connecticut 74,877 33 Oregon 74,722 34 District of Columbia 59,832 35 New Hampshire 59,341 36 Idaho 58,797 37 Kansas 54,409 38 Mississippi 52,346 39 West Virginia 41,651 40 Massachusetts 39,886 41 Iowa 36,540 42 South Dakota 31,134 43 Nebraska 29,753 44 Montana 23,476 45 Alaska 20,520 46 North Dakota 19,720 47 Maine 17,410 48 Hawaii 8,665 49 Vermont 7,716 50 Delaware 5,281 51 Rhode Island 4,655 Additional References CBS News staff. "Gun Ownership and Gun Violence in America, by the Numbers." CBSNews.com, 15 February 2018. McCarthy, Tom; Beckett, Lois; and Glenza, Jessica. "America's Passion for Guns: Ownership and Violence by the Numbers." TheGuardian.com, 3 October 2017. View Article Sources Karp, Aaron. Estimating Global Civilian-Held Firearms Numbers. Small Arms Survey, 2018. Parker, Kim, et al. America's Complex Relationship With Guns. Pew Research Center, 2017. Number of registered weapons in the U.S. in 2019, by state. Statista, 2019. “Registration.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 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