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This Is How Many Guns Were Sold in Each State So Far This Year

DOMINICK REUTER / AFP via Getty Images

The trend in gun sales changed last year compared to most other years in the past decade. Gun sales, using the NICS Firearms Background Check as a proxy, reached 38,876,673 in 2021. This was down slightly from the record set in 2020 of 39,695,315.

There are several theories about the sharp rise in gun sales over the past two years. Among them is the violence in American cities during protests. Another is the fear that people might have to protect their property during the pandemic, even if this is absurd. The 2022 numbers show that some of these trends may have started to taper off.

Despite the drop, gun violence continues to be a regular part of the news headlines this year. Murders in American cities spiked last year, particularly in large cities. So far this year, the trend has continued. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a surge in gun violence in Seattle, which is generally considered a relatively safe city.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there already have been 7,617 gun deaths in America so far in 2022. Even with more strict gun ownership and purchasing laws, the difficult fact is that about 400 million guns are currently owned by private citizens, the police and the military. The chance that civilians who own guns will turn them into the government, no matter what the incentive, is small.

One fact about recent gun purchases stands out. According to The Economist, “Of the 7.5m Americans who bought firearms for the first time between January 2019 and April 2021—as gun-buying surged nationwide—half were female, a fifth black and a fifth Hispanic, according to a recent study by Matthew Miller of Northeastern University and his co-authors.”

Inexplicably, gun sales collapsed in the first two months of this year, compared to the same period in 2021. The 2022 figure is at 5,146,500, compared to last year’s 7,760,581. That means the 2022 number was only 66% of the number for 2021.

The total remained high in some states. They were particularly large in Illinois at 782,222 during January and February. Here are the gun sales figures for the first two months of 2022 for all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico:

  • Alabama (131,862)
  • Alaska (10,902)
  • Arizona (73,004)
  • Arkansas (36,489)
  • California (210,577)
  • Colorado (83,591)
  • Connecticut (39,127)
  • Delaware (9,684)
  • District of Columbia (2,526)
  • Florida (234,405)
  • Georgia (102,272)
  • Hawaii (2,690)
  • Idaho (35,993)
  • Illinois (782,222)
  • Indiana (218,109)
  • Iowa (45,842)
  • Kansas (31,367)
  • Kentucky (712,367)
  • Louisiana (58,604)
  • Maine (15,668)
  • Maryland (36,211)
  • Massachusetts (35,433)
  • Michigan (125,187)
  • Minnesota (135,238)
  • Mississippi (45,915)
  • Missouri (82,865)
  • Montana (19,976)
  • Nebraska (12,601)
  • Nevada (25,001)
  • New Hampshire (19,682)
  • New Jersey (25,758)
  • New Mexico (26,845)
  • New York (62,162)
  • North Carolina (107,866)
  • North Dakota (10,622)
  • Ohio (105,585)
  • Oklahoma (56,928)
  • Oregon (62,150)
  • Pennsylvania (198,355)
  • Puerto Rico (12,127)
  • Rhode Island (4,572)
  • South Carolina (67,657)
  • South Dakota (13,858)
  • Tennessee (138,446)
  • Texas (267,878)
  • Utah (158,066)
  • Vermont (6,900)
  • Virginia (90,239)
  • Washington (108,721)
  • West Virginia (29,768)
  • Wisconsin (106,469)
  • Wyoming (10,592)

Click here to see which city has the highest murder rate in America.

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