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U.S. States with the Most Gun Ownership

Name the states that have the highest percentage of household gun ownership.
Quiz by joez
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Last updated: November 1, 2018
First submittedSeptember 29, 2016
Times taken13,599
Rating4.25
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%
State
61.7
Alaska
57.9
Arkansas
56.9
Idaho
54.2
West Virginia
53.8
Wyoming
%
State
52.3
Montana
49.9
New Mexico
48.9
Alabama
47.9
North Dakota
45.1
Hawaii
+12
level 42
Mar 14, 2017
Yes! 100%! Really surprised not to see Texas on the list.
+8
level 60
Mar 4, 2018
Even though Texas is a red state, it's a lot more liberal than most people think because it has a lot of urban areas. Generally speaking, more liberal = less guns
+9
level 73
Nov 2, 2018
Texas also has a very large population so that certainly dilutes the gun ownership.
+11
level 71
Nov 4, 2018
More urban areas also = fewer rural areas; fewer rural areas = less practical need for guns.
+2
level 28
Jan 9, 2019
That explains Hawaii
+4
level 53
Jan 9, 2019
More liberal doesn't mean less guns. That doesn't even make sense.
+29
level ∞
Nov 1, 2018
Hawaii surprised me.
+3
level 84
Nov 2, 2018
Seems like a big outlier, given every other state on the list is solidly red, while Hawaii is solidly blue.
+4
level 71
Nov 4, 2018
Hawaii has a lot of… snakes?
+3
level 71
Nov 4, 2018
Also, New Mexico's not red; it's damn near indigo!
+6
level 44
Jan 9, 2019
New Mexico is pretty solidly blue
+1
level 57
Jan 9, 2019
As a non-American, why does someone's political beliefs affect their likelihood of owning a gun?
+2
level 69
Jan 9, 2019
Probably because of the military population, vets are a lot more likely to have guns
+1
level 48
Jan 10, 2019
Clarkie96 - I believe it's more the other way around. If you like guns you tend to political parties on the right. It seems that way in the U.S. anyway.
+3
level 61
Nov 2, 2018
How is Texas not on here? You try to mug someone guarantee you they'll have a gun in their back pocket.
+28
level ∞
Nov 3, 2018
Speaking from experience?
+12
level 62
Nov 2, 2018
This is incredibly horrible. Ten percent of people owning guns is very bad, let alone MOST PEOPLE in a state. Guns are bad and I think Delaware, which has 5.2 percent of households having one, still has too many. Why would so many people need guns? I live in Chicago, and I would be shocked to learn that even one of my friends owned a gun. Only police and maybe very a very small amount of avid hunters should have a gun.
+27
level 84
Nov 2, 2018
Get into the mindset of someone living in rural Alaska. You might live 5 miles away from your nearest neighbor, and if you called the police, they might show up in about 45 minutes. You also know that over half of everyone else in the state has a gun. There are also bears, wolves, and other wild animals to worry about. Why wouldn't you have a gun?
+35
level 71
Nov 4, 2018
I think what people don't understand about living in rural Alaska is that 45 minutes for the police to show up is more what you can expect in, say, suburban Anchorage in winter. In many places, they'd be telling you they'll see you as soon as they are able to fly in – next spring. Now, I'm as bleeding heart liberal as they come, but not only do I not begrudge Alaskans having guns, I think they'd be crazy not to. And while Alaska is an extreme example, look at the rest of the states on this list: all (okay, well, not Hawaii) have great swaths of forbidding wilderness – and people live there. I am a huge animal lover and would never in a million years hunt, but if a coyote is threatening the safety of one of my sheep? Imma pop a cap in his ass, no regerts whatsoever. These aren't people "exercising their rights" like wacko sovereign citizens. They're quietly living their practical life. We've been fed a false narrative about the dichotomy of gun ownership in this country.
+3
level 62
Nov 8, 2018
First of all, you haven't even been to Alaska, so you don't really know what it's like there. Much less than 61 percent of people live in the wilderness. Most live in the Anchorage metro area. Police are good at coming quick. It would be okay if more people had a gun there than other states. But it's not about Alaska. It's about the world. You don't need a gun to protect against wildlife or much else. A knife works. I'm fine with everyone having a knife. In fact, everyone probably should have a knife. Protecting yourself is fine, but having a gun could cause chaos. It doesn't often, but a gun is simply not something you need.
+12
level 53
Dec 14, 2018
Guam, You cannot use a knife to protect yourself from viscous animals. Even if its something as small as a racoon, animals are very dangerous. They have diseases, they can kill children, they can kill livestock, they can kill pets, and they can sure as hell injure you pretty badly. A knife is super risky to use in dangerous wildlife situations. I don't even live in a very rural area, but we need to use guns sometimes.
+4
level 57
Jan 9, 2019
Actually @samiamco has, as you can see by his map. You are obviously a liberal, otherwise there would be no explanation. I can think of many professions that would require guns. For example, most farmers do, anyone with a hunting license does. How would we have crossed the Atlantic and colonized the country if not for armed weapons, sticks and spears won't do the trick, and before the Industrial Revolution, all we had was ranching, hunting, and fishing as a food source. By no means does this mean that people are walking around wielding handguns as well, this could very well be rifles and shotguns, both of which are used primarily for target practice and hunting. In a place like Alaska, in which infrastructure is particularly low, there is a need for guns, for example food sources could run low, and waterlines/electrical lines could freeze, resorting to melee weapons wouldn't do natives any good, humans' stalking/tracking skills are far too uneducated/unknowing for those skills.
+2
level 76
Jan 10, 2019
Tschutzer is correct. Those of us who live in rural areas need them for protection. My parents' home was burglarized and at the time they thought the burglar was still in the house, between them and the door. They called us and my husband headed over with a gun while I called the sheriff's office. There was only one deputy on duty at night and he was at the other end of the county, 30 miles away. It took him 40 minutes to arrive. Another time a pack of coyotes chased my dog onto the roof and was trying to kill her. A man in our area was breaking into people's homes, tying them up, and stealing their cars and valuables. At one home a woman shot him and wounded him, preventing him from hurting her and making it easier for the deputies to catch him. He came down our driveway but turned around when I turned on the light. I was glad I had a gun. I could go on at the number of times we needed our guns for protection, not to mention the need to thin the overpopulated deer and fill the freezer
+1
level 58
Jan 11, 2019
@ander, although it is true to some extent that when I and probably many other people comment about guns we mainly have cities in mind, I would dispute that people in rural areas necessarily need them. I know people in rural areas who get on fine without guns. To be fair, my idea of what qualifies as rural is probably different to what you mean by rural, as in the UK (except for some remote parts of Scotland) you are never very far from a fairly large town. Depending on their circumstances, it may be reasonable for some people to have guns. Perhaps that includes you. But I don't know that it includes anywhere near these numbers of people, even in Alaska given that about three-quarters of the population lives in cities (and given that there is almost nothing there outside of the cities, this isn't very surprising).
+13
level 69
Nov 2, 2018
You live in chicago...you should be terrified to walk down the street. Do you realize how many criminals are walking by you every day and are carrying concealed guns. You better get over the fear of guns. Do you now think your friend is an evil psycho killer just because he owns a gun ??? IT'S THE PERSON...NOT THE TOOL !!!!!!
+2
level 67
Nov 8, 2018
Not all parts of Chicago are bad.
+5
level 62
Nov 8, 2018
You Chicago hater. I'm not so mad about what you're saying expect that you're shaming my city. Anyway, I know no one who has ever been criminally injured or who owns a gun. I don't have any friends who are evil psycho killers or have guns. If someone has a good reason to have a gun, like you hunt for a living, fine. Have one gun. You wouldn't be a psycho killer. And it is the person who has it that matters. But if only hunters had guns, think how much better we would be? And if there was something, like an animal, you needed to defend against, you could use something else. Knives work. But guns can cause chaos. Often they don't, but it's not worth the risk, and they simply aren't needed.
+2
level 73
Nov 12, 2018
You are right...not all parts of Chicago are bad. But much like NYC in the 80s, Chicago is suffering from an image problem resulting from a handful of high crime areas dragging the rest of the city down. The city could benefit from a change in leadership. NYC did something crazy in the 80s and elected a "republican" mayor in Rudy Giuliani who did some things that were unpopular at the time, but ended up getting results. Now NYC is no longer on that list of most dangerous cities and a lot of that is thanks to Rudy. Chicago could benefit from a similar change at the top.
+15
level 71
Nov 2, 2018
I think the stats are great -- people exercising their rights. That's the great thing about having the freedom to own a gun. If you want one you can have one; if you don't, you don't. I don't own a gun but I support the right for anyone to have as many as they want.
+8
level 83
Nov 3, 2018
hear! hear!
+3
level 62
Nov 8, 2018
Exercising a right is fine. But it's not when you have no reason. If you want to have a gun, that's okay, provided that you have a good reason. But most people don't. Most people can protect themselves with a knife, or something else. Also, having multiple guns makes no sense. What's the point? If you're a hunter interested in shooting at different ranges, okay. If you're a show-off who wants multiple guns so you can show them to your friends, that's not good. Most people owning a gun have no intention of using badly. But someone who does could get ahold of it, and chaos would happen. Better to have a knife for protection, and not risk it.
+8
level 73
Nov 12, 2018
Inalienable rights Guam. Nobody said anything about needing a reason to exercise one of your constitutional rights. A small percentage of the population owns a majority of the guns. They are like tattoos...if you have one, you probably have half a dozen. And as much fun as it is to make fun of the "redneck militia" those aren't the guys committing the gun crimes.
+16
level 77
Jan 9, 2019
It would be nice if we all had the right to not be surrounded by other people with dangerous lethal weapons, or the right to not fear our children will be shot when they go to school. That would be a right that I would like to exercise.
+4
level 15
Jan 9, 2019
Guam. #1. Let's take a scenario here. Someone breaks into your house with an illegally bought firearm. You confront him with a knife. Who do you think is going to win? If you have a firearm yourself, and are well trained in how to use it, you have an extremely good chance of eliminating threats to you and your family. There are countless testimonies of people who have used firearms to defend themselves in their own home and have succeeded. However if they only had a knife, the situations could have been very different. Better to have a gun for protection, and not risk it. #2. "But someone who does could get ahold of it, and chaos would happen." No kidding. That's why Americans need to be responsible. If you keep your guns locked up safely, this will never happen. Also would like to point out that there are many other ways a criminal can obtain a gun illegally than to steal one from your house.
+5
level 77
Jan 9, 2019
There are many more testimonies of people who shot themselves with the firearms in their home than there are those of people who successfully murdered someone trying to steal their TV.
+5
level 15
Jan 9, 2019
Yes, kal, I would agree. 63.5% of all gun deaths in the USA are suicide. But if we banned guns, if people want to kill themselves, they're just gonna jump off a building, kill themselves with a knife, or any other way they want to do it. Also, it's not murder if you kill someone breaking into your house with intent to harm you. It's self-defense.
+2
level 71
Jan 9, 2019
Depends how you interpret these "rights". Too much faith is put in the intentions of the "founding fathers" who formulated the constitution (and the second amendment) in a different world. There is no reason why a normal citizen needs military grade assault weapons. I have no problem with land managers, hunters, target shooters and law enforcement officers having ordinary firearms providing they pass basic training and have secure storage...much like the situation here in Australia. There will always be a black market and in the US in particular there is a massive stockpile of firearms in private hands so the horse has probably bolted as far as controls are concerned
+5
level 15
Jan 9, 2019
Grantdon, thanks for bringing up the founding father's intentions. Their intentions are actually often misunderstood. Their main intent behind the Second Amendment was not for hunting or self-defense, although they are great advantages. The basis for the Second Amendment was resistance to government tyranny. Many former dictatorships made gun control laws very strict for their citizens just prior to taking over their country by force and in the case of the world wars, attempting to overthrow many other countries as well. It made their takeover much easier for them since their citizens couldn't resist. This is what the Founding Fathers were afraid of and made sure to protect against that.
+1
level 62
Nov 9, 2018
Some stats on Chicago. I've been there many times.
+4
level 65
Jan 9, 2019
"Guns are bad" is an incredibly silly argument. I grew up in a houseful of guns and I can't recall any of them misbehaving. If you think a knife is any match for a gun, you have been seriously sheltered.
+1
level 57
Jan 10, 2019
Aren't you hard, eh
+1
level 69
Jan 9, 2019
Is this satire?
+1
level 57
Jan 10, 2019
Even so in the suburban area that I reside in, a vast amount of people have land up in the northern portion of the state, and not only use their weapons for hunting, but for target practice and other things of that sort. Land up north is mostly either public land or hunting grounds, oftentimes for people who bought it and do not even live in the area. Even in high schools there are hunting clubs and TRAP shooting. It doesn't even specify if they are all handguns, are you going to be wary walking around the street for someone with a rifle up their pocket? Handguns make up a small minority of people with guns. Do I support teachers having guns in schools? No. Do I support people in public places with handguns? No. Do I support my rights to bear arms yes. Rather than feeling unprotected with a gun on me, I feel insanely protected, whereas if I have a knife in hand, I feel extremely vulnerable and proceed with extreme caution. Canada has banned HANDGUNS, while rifles and shotguns are used.
+1
level 58
Jan 10, 2019
If you go around a gun because you don't feel protected when you go around with a knife, maybe try not having either? In my experience that works pretty well. Although you did say you didn't support handguns in public places so I'm not quite sure I understand the rest of your argument.
+1
level 57
Jan 11, 2019
Im only 14, so I can'tgo around with guns and knives, but I feel much more protected when going in areas with a gun. I don't support persay, guns being concealed in a library or Wal-Mart, but in other places I would surely approve.
+1
level 58
Jan 11, 2019
I'm 15. I have never been anywhere with a gun or a knife intended as a means of self-defence, or knowingly been with anyone who has. I would not feel any more protected if I or anyone I was with had a gun, and in fact I would almost certainly feel less protected than with no weapon at all. This fits with where the evidence generally points - people who have guns are no safer than people who don't. The same applies to many other weapons. I don't support the right to bear arms because guns are dangerous weapons that need to be controlled, and do nothing to make anybody safer. They are therefore pointless as a form of self-defence. In the UK no one goes around with a gun, and very few people own them. The country has one of the lowest rates of gun-related crime in the world. I would therefore support no changes to the UK's gun law and think that the USA (where firearms are more of a problem) should probably move towards a more restrictive system.
+1
level 58
Jan 10, 2019
In the UK even most police don't have guns. If there is a risk of a criminal having a gun then armed police will be sent to deal with them but if they're just patrolling the streets or dealing with a less serious incident they generally won't have a gun. This works quite well as one of the worst situations to get into is one where a previously unarmed criminal gets a gun off a police officer, and the risk of this is minimised.
+2
level 75
Nov 11, 2018
One stereotypical category that Mississippi actually missed. Must be all the felons pretending they don't own a gun or two or seven. Texas, we're looking at all your felons prohibited from owning a gun because they owned a gun to commit a felony in the first place. Keeping you off the list, the nerve.
+6
level 50
Jan 9, 2019
There is a difference between what is good for society and what is good for the individual. An individual can use a gun to defend themselves - and if you are surrounded by other people with guns, I can see why you would want to do that, however since there is a clear relationship between gun ownership and gun violence, higher gun ownership makes society as a whole more dangerous
+5
level 55
Jan 9, 2019
Here in France gun ownership is restricted to authorized people. But even with it, it's quite easy to get a hunting permit to buy a rifle, and when you see the crazy amount of people accidentally shot by hunters just in 2018 in France, you can easily understand why guns are bad for society as a whole. I don't even speak about using a gun to shoot someone on purpose, I just speak about accidents...
+1
level 57
Jan 9, 2019
True, but in areas such as France, there are limited areas to use non-melee guns (rifles and shotguns). I agree, there are forests in France, albeit a small amount compared to that of the US and Canada. However, some people just enjoy the prospect of sharpening their shooting precision and wielding indirectly a tool that has made history in most every country.
+3
level 53
Jan 10, 2019
If you go to Jetpunk's own stat page, your claim can be refuted. Interesting fact #138 shows that the amount of guns in a state and the state's murder rate are not correlated. While it does increase suicide rate, that is besides the point, and can be debated whether that is causation. Also, in my opinion, and probably the opinions of many you would debate about guns are that the individual is more important than the society.
+1
level 47
Jan 9, 2019
It should say "own guns legally".
+2
level 53
Jan 9, 2019
I'm sure these comments will be full of reasonable discussion.
+1
level 53
Jan 10, 2019
Surprisingly, this has came fairly true.... I have seen no ad hominem attacks... yet.
+1
level 58
May 25, 2019
That's only because you're a liberal ;)
+1
level 57
Jan 11, 2019
I really had no idea and just guessed. Managed to get 6. As a Frank Zappa fan I am very disappointed to have missed Montana(and I listened to that album 2 nights ago!).
+1
level 36
Mar 12, 2019
What is Hawai'i doing, on this list: surprise, surprise!
+1
level 66
Apr 28, 2019
A lot harder than the states with least amount of guns.