This Map Shows Where America’s Gun Owners Are

One third of Americans own the country’s 300 million guns.


There are roughly 300 million guns in the United States—nearly enough for each citizen to own one. But those guns are concentrated in the hands of a minority of Americans. Nearly a third of adults owns a gun, according to a new study in the journal Injury Prevention. And gun ownership rates vary widely by state: Alaska tops the list with 62 percent of adults saying they own a firearm; Delaware is at the bottom with just 5 percent.

The study, led by Columbia University public health researcher Bindu Kalesan, analyzed a nationally representative online survey of 4,000 people in 2013. The survey covered a wide range of topics, from how gun owners came to possess their weapons to whether they had taken gun safety classes.

The most likely demographic group to own a gun, according to the study, are white males over 55 who have finished high school and are, or have been, married. Unsurprisingly, gun owners are more than twice as likely as non-owners to be part of a “social gun culture” in which family and friends often own guns and look down on non-gun owners.

Past studies have found higher gun ownership rates are correlated with higher gun death rates, and the findings of the Injury Prevention study appear to confirm that trend. Here’s what we found when we compared gun ownership rates from the study with gun death data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Gun deaths result not only in unquantifiable emotional trauma on families and communities, but they’re also associated with higher financial costs. As Mother Jones found in this recent investigation, gun violence cost Americans a whopping $229 billion in 2012. That comes out to more than $1,000 per resident in states with high rates of gun ownership and gun deaths, such as Louisiana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate