A new report shows that household gun ownership in America has gone down over the last 40 years, and nearly every state in the union has followed that trend. There are currently only 11 states where at least 50% of households have firearms.

The Rand Corporation updated its Gun Policy in America initiative this week with a new report on gun ownership rates in the U.S. since 1980. The new report, “State-Level Estimates of Household Firearm Ownership,” shows the rate of household gun ownership for every state compared to the national average.

According to Rand’s research, 45% of American households had firearms in 1980. By 2016 (the most recent data available), that rate had dropped 13 points to 32%.

The decline happened in almost every state — from the most pro-gun to the most anti-gun.

For example, the five “best gun-friendly states” as ranked by Guns & Ammo magazine — Arizona, Idaho, Alaska, Kansas, and Oklahoma — all saw their rates of household gun ownership fall.

  • Arizona dropped 22 points (58% to 36%)
  • Idaho dropped 13 points (67% to 54%)
  • Alaska dropped 19 points (75% to 56%)
  • Kansas dropped 17 points (57% to 40%)
  • Oklahoma dropped 8 points (60% to 52%)

The magazine’s five “worst gun-friendly states” — California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York — saw similar drops:

  • California dropped 23 points (39% to 16%)
  • Hawaii dropped 16 points (25% to 9%)
  • New Jersey dropped 12 points (21% to 9%)
  • Massachusetts dropped 10 points (19% to 9%)
  • New York dropped 9 points (22% to 13%)

So, which states have the highest and lowest rates of household gun ownership? We rank them below, based on Rand’s most recent data available. You’ll also see where the states stood in 1980 (the furthest back the report goes), as well as each state’s most recent record highs and lows within the data set.

TOP 10 STATES

No. 1: Montana

● 2016 Rate: 63%
● 1980 Rate: 74%
● Record high: 75% (1984)
● Record low: 62% (2010)

No. 2: Wyoming

● 2016 Rate: 58%
● 1980 Rate: 79%
● Record high: 79% (1980)
● Record low: 57% (2011)

No. 3: West Virginia

● 2016 Rate: 57%
● 1980 Rate: 62%
● Record high: 63% (1985)
● Record low: 55% (1998)

No. 4: Alaska

● 2016 Rate: 56%
● 1980 Rate: 75%
● Record high: 75% (1980)
● Record low: 56% (2016)

No. 5: Idaho

● 2016 Rate: 54%
● 1980 Rate: 67%
● Record high: 68% (1982)
● Record low: 51% (2010)

No. 6: South Dakota

● 2016 Rate: 52%
● 1980 Rate: 59%
● Record high: 62% (1994)
● Record low: 51% (2014)

No. 7: North Dakota

● 2016 Rate: 52%
● 1980 Rate: 55%
● Record high: 59% (1988)
● Record low: 51% (2002)

No. 8: Oklahoma

● 2016 Rate: 52%
● 1980 Rate: 60%
● Record high: 65% (1989)
● Record low: 47% (2006)

No. 9: Alabama

● 2016 Rate: 51%
● 1980 Rate: 60%
● Record high: 63% (1990)
● Record low: 48% (2010)

No. 10: Missouri

● 2016 Rate: 51%
● 1980 Rate: 54%
● Record high: 56% (1990)
● Record low: 43% (2004)

BOTTOM 10 STATES

No. 50: New Jersey

● 2016 Rate: 9%
● 1980 Rate: 21%
● Record high: 25% (1982)
● Record low: 7% (2013)

No. 49: Massachusetts

● 2016 Rate: 9%
● 1980 Rate: 19%
● Record high: 21% (1992)
● Record low: 9% (2016)

No. 48: Hawaii

● 2016 Rate: 9%
● 1980 Rate: 25%
● Record high: 25% (1980)
● Record low: 7% (2015)

No 47: New York

● 2016 Rate: 13%
● 1980 Rate: 22%
● Record high: 28% (1990)
● Record low: 12% (2014)

No 46: Rhode Island

● 2016 Rate: 14%
● 1980 Rate: 13%
● Record high: 22% (1993)
● Record low: 10% (2013)

No. 45: California

● 2016 Rate: 16%
● 1980 Rate: 39%
● Record high: 41% (1982)
● Record low: 16% (2016)

No 44: Maryland

● 2016 Rate: 18%
● 1980 Rate: 41%
● Record high: 41% (1982)
● Record low: 18% (2016)

No. 43: Connecticut

● 2016 Rate: 19%
● 1980 Rate: 28%
● Record high: 34% (1992)
● Record low: 16% (2012)

No. 42: Illinois

● 2016 Rate: 23%
● 1980 Rate: 31%
● Record high: 36% (1990)
● Record low: 22% (2008)

No. 41: Florida

● 2016 Rate: 28%
● 1980 Rate: 45%
● Record high: 45% (1983)
● Record low: 26% (2003)

4 thoughts on “New report reveals the 10 states with the highest — and lowest — levels of household gun ownership”
  1. If people have firearms that are unregistered in this day and age you really think they are going to let the government know? These governments in this country cannot be trusted.. the republic is just a shell of its former self..

  2. Upcoming kids are not being taught to shoot, hunt, fish, or even how to plant a garden. They have NO idea of how to field dress an animal (deer, hog, rabbit, etc.) This is the main reason for the reductions in ownership. Also, the prior generation had just ended WW2, Korea, and Viet Nam and we had a healthy respect for self protection. Not now. Seems we have lost that will to look out for ourselves and be ready for any and all who would do us harm.

  3. There is a major fallacy in this article. Since 2008 gun purchases have increased almost every year. The main reason is the increased anti-gun movement in Democrat controlled states. This also causes gun owners to deny ownership when answering surveys.

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