Gun rights in the USA is without a doubt one of the biggest debates raging right now. In this debate, there is seemingly no one in the middle. There are those out there who believe having guns is an inalienable right, and those who feel we no longer need them and they cause more problems than not. But no matter what your views on guns and personal protection rights are, there is no doubt that America has more guns and gun owners than any other country in the world. While U.S. citizens in all 50 states have largely equal access to firearms, here are the 12 most heavily-armed states in the country.
We’re willing to bet that no one reading this can guess what #2 is. Did your state make the list?
#12 (tie) Pennsylvania
For most people this state’s spot on the list it is not too shocking. Pennsylvania was one of the 12 founding states of the USA and has an extremely long history with firearms. Pennsylvania has 15 guns for every 1000 residents of the state, which means the state has almost 89,000 guns.
#11 (tie) Maryland
While Maryland is among the smallest states, it has been important in the history of the USA and is believed to be the birthplace of religious freedom in the country. It was also among the oldest states in the country. In total, there are about 15 guns for every 1000 residents, tying it with Pennsylvania.
Out of all the states in the country, few have more heritage and culture than Louisiana. The state is a huge multicultural and multilingual melting pot, but one thing everyone seems to have in common is a love for guns. The state has 15.1 guns for every 100 residents, adding up to about 69,000 guns in total.
While Alaska is the largest state by land mass, it is actually the least densely populated state in the country. Originally, Alaska was actually purchased from Russia in 1867 and became a state in 1959. But very quickly, its residents took a liking to guns as they have 15.2 guns per 1000 residents, adding up to about 11,000 guns in total.
This state is largely a desert, and almost three-quarters of people in the state live in Clark County. Nevada also has a reputation for their libertarian laws. But despite them being lax about certain things, they definitely take guns quite seriously as the state has 19.5 guns per 1000 residents, which means the state has about 55,000 guns in total.
Alabama is in the heart of the south and has a very diverse economy that spans from finance, to automotive, to aerospace and more. One thing the state definitely likes is their guns. They have about 20 guns per 1000 residents which means there are almost 100,000 total in the state.
Idaho is a very mountainous state that was the 43rd state to join the USA. The state is also known as the “Gem State” as nearly all types of gemstones can be found in its various mountain ranges. In addition to gems, you can find a ton of guns in the state, almost 40,000 in total. That adds up to roughly 24.2 guns per 1000 residents.
Virginia is without a doubt one of the most historic states in the country. Not only was it the first colonial possession, it was also the birthplace of 8 different Presidents, which is more than any other state. There are 30.1 guns per 1000 residents, which equates to almost 250,000 guns.
#4 New Mexico
New Mexico was inhabited by indigenous people for thousands of years before Europeans began to explore. This state, similar to Nevada, is also home to a lot of desert area. And also like Nevada, this place is home to a lot of guns. There are 40.5 guns per 1000 residents, which equates to about 85,000 registered firearms.
When it comes to the landscape and geography of this state, it is among the most varied. The land ranges from high mountain ranges to dense forests. But one thing that is constant is a love of guns. There are 41.6 guns per 1000 residents which equals about 123,000 in the state.
#2 District of Columbia
This might be shocker to some, but Washington D.C. actually comes in with the second most guns per resident in the entire country. D.C. is the capital district that is located on land provided by both Maryland and Virginia. In total, there are 66.4 guns per 1000 residents, which equals about 42,000 guns or so in the district.
The state of Wyoming is amongst the most beautiful states in the country, but is also the least populated with only 600,000 people who call it home. Despite such a small population, they love their guns arguably more than anywhere else. There are a whopping 195 guns per 1000 residents, which means the small state is home to about 114,000 guns.
Did your home state make our list? While it’s probably not much of a surprise to see some of these entries on the list, I bet there were at least a few states here that you weren’t expecting. And while not everyone who has a gun is a bad guy, gun control advocates make the case that there are still way too many guns to gun owners in the country. But this debate has been raging on for decades and is sure to continue for many more years, with people on both sides that will defend their viewpoints forever.