Special Report

How Many Guns Used To Commit Crimes Are Traced in Every State

GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP via Getty Images

The number of crimes committed with a firearm continues to rise in the United States, especially murders. Many of the guns used in these cases were reported by local law enforcement to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for tracing to aid in crime investigation and criminal prosecution. All told, the ATF traced nearly 390,000 firearms in 2020 alone. 

Gun violence is not uniform across the country, however, and some states report far more guns to trace to the federal government than others. 

Using data from the ATF, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where the most guns were traced in 2020. States are ranked by the number of guns traced by the ATF for every 100,000 people. 

Guns that are traced by the ATF are typically those found at a crime scene – and that either have been used, or are suspected to have been used, to commit a crime – though it is important to note that not all firearms used in a crime are traced.

The states ranking highest on this list are generally those with relatively few restrictions on gun ownership. Many of these states also have higher than average rates of violent crime. (Here is a look at America’s most dangerous states).

ATF firearm tracing data also reveals some clear trends in the types of guns most commonly used for crime. For example, in nearly every state, the firearms most commonly traced by the ATF are typically chambered for ammunition usually found in handguns. These calibers include .40, .380, and 9mm. (Here is a look at the 50 most popular guns in the world.)

Click here to see the states where the most guns are traced by the federal government.

50. Hawaii
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 10 per 100,000 people (145 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (23 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (22 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (12 total)

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49. Massachusetts
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 27 per 100,000 people (1,830 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (660 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (237 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (197 total)

48. Connecticut
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 32 per 100,000 people (1,133 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (373 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (139 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (129 total)

47. New York
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 37 per 100,000 people (7,187 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,271 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (852 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (812 total)

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46. Rhode Island
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 39 per 100,000 people (414 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (150 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (49 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (41 total)

45. Wyoming
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 44 per 100,000 people (254 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (86 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (31 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (28 total)

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44. Maine
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 45 per 100,000 people (608 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (148 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (81 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: 12GA (66 total)

43. New Jersey
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 47 per 100,000 people (4,161 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,370 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (436 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (422 total)

42. New Hampshire
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 47 per 100,000 people (640 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (223 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (60 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (49 total)

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41. Vermont
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 50 per 100,000 people (314 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (81 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (42 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: 12GA (27 total)

40. Idaho
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 70 per 100,000 people (1,229 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (373 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (177 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (105 total)

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39. Washington
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 71 per 100,000 people (5,310 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,608 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (678 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (461 total)

38. Minnesota
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 72 per 100,000 people (4,020 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,524 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (435 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (412 total)

37. Iowa
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 81 per 100,000 people (2,546 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (859 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (344 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (226 total)

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36. Oklahoma
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 86 per 100,000 people (3,397 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,244 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (401 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (334 total)

35. Utah
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 88 per 100,000 people (2,767 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (983 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (346 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (259 total)

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34. South Dakota
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 88 per 100,000 people (775 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (203 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (125 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (60 total)

33. Wisconsin
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 101 per 100,000 people (5,892 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,537 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (777 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (487 total)

32. North Dakota
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 105 per 100,000 people (797 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (211 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (140 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: 12GA (80 total)

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31. Pennsylvania
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 108 per 100,000 people (13,823 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (5,106 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (1,454 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,364 total)

30. Alaska
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 111 per 100,000 people (815 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (188 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (99 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (87 total)

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29. Nebraska
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 111 per 100,000 people (2,140 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (693 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (289 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (187 total)

28. Arkansas
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 111 per 100,000 people (3,355 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,268 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (411 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (352 total)

27. Michigan
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 113 per 100,000 people (11,301 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (4,944 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,547 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (818 total)

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26. California
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 114 per 100,000 people (44,709 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (13,633 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (4,874 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (4,738 total)

25. Colorado
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 115 per 100,000 people (6,516 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,268 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (669 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (643 total)

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24. Illinois
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 117 per 100,000 people (14,897 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (6,438 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (2,012 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (1,165 total)

23. Montana
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 119 per 100,000 people (1,259 total)
> Most common firearm type: .22 Cal (246 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: 9mm (217 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (114 total)

22. West Virginia
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 121 per 100,000 people (2,181 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (545 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (348 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (175 total)

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21. Oregon
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 123 per 100,000 people (5,138 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,422 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (819 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (396 total)

20. Kansas
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 126 per 100,000 people (3,661 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,440 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (391 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (357 total)

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19. Florida
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 127 per 100,000 people (26,966 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (10,621 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (3,130 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (2,729 total)

18. Texas
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 133 per 100,000 people (38,109 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (15,224 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (4,938 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (3,218 total)

17. Kentucky
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 133 per 100,000 people (5,941 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,314 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (665 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (558 total)

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16. Indiana
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 135 per 100,000 people (9,049 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (3,658 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,078 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (733 total)

15. Ohio
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 141 per 100,000 people (16,472 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (7,311 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (2,056 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (1,485 total)

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14. Virginia
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 141 per 100,000 people (12,033 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (5,052 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,555 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (914 total)

13. Maryland
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 147 per 100,000 people (8,872 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,653 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (1,031 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (926 total)

12. Arizona
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 153 per 100,000 people (10,952 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (4,342 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,210 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (963 total)

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11. Delaware
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 154 per 100,000 people (1,491 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (614 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (149 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (142 total)

10. Mississippi
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 154 per 100,000 people (4,596 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,778 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (631 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (438 total)

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9. Missouri
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 157 per 100,000 people (9,598 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (3,682 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,380 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .45 Cal (738 total)

8. Alabama
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 161 per 100,000 people (7,868 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,879 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (957 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (782 total)

7. New Mexico
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 170 per 100,000 people (3,557 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (1,258 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (377 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (377 total)

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6. Georgia
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 182 per 100,000 people (19,172 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (7,998 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (2,621 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (1,697 total)

5. South Carolina
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 183 per 100,000 people (9,295 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (3,682 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,126 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (885 total)

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4. North Carolina
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 183 per 100,000 people (18,973 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (6,716 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (2,007 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (1,905 total)

3. Tennessee
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 192 per 100,000 people (12,970 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (5,003 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,847 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .380 Cal (1,066 total)

2. Nevada
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 203 per 100,000 people (6,164 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (2,677 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (616 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (510 total)

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1. Louisiana
> Total guns traced by the ATF in 2020: 237 per 100,000 people (11,041 total)
> Most common firearm type: 9mm (4,120 total)
> 2nd most common firearm type: .40 Cal (1,655 total)
> 3rd most common firearm type: .22 Cal (906 total)

 

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