Special Report

Here Is How Many Guns People Bought in 2020 in Minnesota

Gun sales skyrocketed in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic last year. As of the end of December, 39.3 million firearm background checks had been completed since the start of the year, more than in any other full year since state by state tracking began in 1998. Fewer than 28 million background checks were performed in all of 2019.

Across the nation, 45 states reported more background checks were done for gun purchases in 2020 than in any other year on record. Background checks rose in 2020 compared to 2019 in every state except for Kentucky, which in 2019 had 4.2 million firearm background checks — by far the most at nearly 1 check per resident.

Because of varying state laws, loopholes in gun sales online and at gun shows, as well as untraced illegal weapon purchases, total gun sales or the total number of guns owned in the United States is not known. However, it is possible to approximate the numbers of gun purchases using background checks tracked by The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). While widely considered the best proxy, because of varying state laws and purchase scenarios, background checks do not represent the true number of firearms sold.

There were 958,391 firearm background checks reported in Minnesota in 2020. Measured on a per capita basis, there were 16,993.9 background checks for every 100,000 Minnesota residents, the 6th most nationwide. For comparison, there were 682,356 firearm background checks reported in Minnesota in 2019, or 12,099.3 firearm background checks for every 100,000 Minnesota residents. The per capita measure was the 6th most nationwide.

While gun sales did not increase in every state last year, the surge in U.S. gun purchases in 2020 is likely tied to impacts associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Jan 5, approximately 425,261 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in New York. The 7,540.6 COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people in the state is the 21st most in the nation. As of Jan 5, a total of 5,461 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Minnesota.

There are 5,639,632 people residing in Minnesota.

To determine how many guns are purchased in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed firearm registrations in every state between Jan. 1 and Dec. 30, 2020 from The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

We compiled data from state and local health departments and calculated cumulative and per 100,000 COVID-19 cases for every state as of January 5.

State 2020 Firearms Backgrounds Checks 2020 Firearms Background Checks per 100,000 Rank Cumulative COVID-19 Casesas of 1/5 Cumulative COVID-19 Casesper 100k Rank Population
Alabama 1,085,475 22,138.16 5 379,593 7,742 18 4,903,185
Alaska 98,952 13,526.44 12 48,560 6,638 24 731,545
Arizona 665,458 9,142.52 32 567,474 7,796 16 7,278,717
Arkansas 324,741 10,760.84 23 238,888 7,916 12 3,017,804
California 1,601,054 4,052.05 46 2,452,334 6,207 33 39,512,223
Colorado 680,507 11,816.95 19 343,435 5,964 34 5,758,736
Connecticut 219,227 6,148.93 42 196,968 5,525 37 3,565,287
Delaware 77,057 7,913.31 40 61,100 6,275 31 973,764
Florida 1,912,204 8,903.19 33 1,392,123 6,482 26 21,477,737
Georgia 904,035 8,514.64 36 597,208 5,625 36 10,617,423
Hawaii 20,102 1,419.76 50 22,168 1,566 49 1,415,872
Idaho 281,284 15,740.00 9 144,843 8,105 9 1,787,065
Illinois 7,455,065 58,831.84 2 991,719 7,826 14 12,671,821
Indiana 1,935,587 28,751.10 4 533,083 7,918 11 6,732,219
Iowa 270,614 8,577.12 34 286,679 9,086 3 3,155,070
Kansas 249,589 8,567.18 35 231,317 7,940 10 2,913,314
Kentucky 3,330,462 74,545.79 1 280,836 6,286 30 4,467,673
Louisiana 430,537 9,261.26 31 326,648 7,027 23 4,648,794
Maine 137,149 10,202.93 27 26,565 1,976 48 1,344,212
Maryland 302,563 5,004.61 44 289,758 4,793 43 6,045,680
Massachusetts 262,583 3,809.69 47 397,202 5,763 35 6,892,503
Michigan 1,068,511 10,699.17 24 546,642 5,474 39 9,986,857
Minnesota 958,391 16,993.86 6 425,261 7,541 21 5,639,632
Mississippi 366,829 12,325.63 16 225,444 7,575 20 2,976,149
Missouri 708,184 11,538.77 20 405,589 6,608 25 6,137,428
Montana 172,695 16,158.17 7 83,378 7,801 15 1,068,778
Nebraska 104,511 5,402.74 43 169,585 8,767 7 1,934,408
Nevada 219,349 7,121.36 41 235,455 7,644 19 3,080,156
New Hampshire 174,662 12,845.52 14 47,992 3,530 45 1,359,711
New Jersey 177,901 2,002.90 49 551,419 6,208 32 8,882,190
New Mexico 206,252 9,836.38 28 148,499 7,082 22 2,096,829
New York 507,940 2,611.04 48 1,041,028 5,351 40 19,453,561
North Carolina 890,284 8,488.53 37 575,396 5,486 38 10,488,084
North Dakota 85,465 11,214.97 22 93,494 12,269 1 762,062
Ohio 976,751 8,356.08 38 735,003 6,288 29 11,689,100
Oklahoma 470,286 11,885.00 18 308,268 7,791 17 3,956,971
Oregon 516,096 12,236.32 17 118,453 2,808 47 4,217,737
Pennsylvania 1,452,921 11,349.18 21 673,915 5,264 41 12,801,989
Rhode Island 51,369 4,849.06 45 93,852 8,859 6 1,059,361
South Carolina 530,930 10,311.90 25 328,073 6,372 27 5,148,714
South Dakota 115,448 13,050.00 13 91,455 10,338 2 884,659
Tennessee 984,760 14,419.90 11 617,649 9,044 4 6,829,174
Texas 2,325,281 8,019.35 39 1,843,153 6,357 28 28,995,881
Utah 1,216,773 37,953.49 3 288,951 9,013 5 3,205,958
Vermont 57,965 9,289.43 30 8,038 1,288 50 623,989
Virginia 823,513 9,648.07 29 371,913 4,357 44 8,535,519
Washington 781,471 10,262.40 26 258,767 3,398 46 7,614,893
West Virginia 265,705 14,826.07 10 93,162 5,198 42 1,792,147
Wisconsin 731,618 12,565.50 15 491,341 8,439 8 5,822,434
Wyoming 91,384 15,789.65 8 45,569 7,874 13 578,759