Illinois Reports Higher Gun Sales per Capita Than Most States This Year

Americans have more guns than anywhere else in the world, and gun sales in the U.S. continue to eclipse those in any other country. This is true both in terms of gun ownership by person and absolute sales. America, without question, is the gun sales and gun ownership capital of the world.

The FBI has tracked gun background checks since the 1990s, and it reports the results in its Firearms Background Check Database. Background check figures, often used as a proxy for gun sales, have risen in most years — and they have risen much faster than the American population has.

Compared to the rest of the world, there are almost 400 million guns in the U.S — 1.2 per person — by far the most among all nations. By contrast, in Canada there are 0.34 guns per person. Gun violence levels in the U.S. are equally staggering. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 45,041 gun deaths last year. Slightly more than half of those were suicides.

In Illinois, an estimated 2,391,500 guns were sold from January through July 2022 based on FBI background check data. Adjusted for population, this is equal to about 188.1 firearm sales for every 1,000 people, the second highest gun sale rate among states.

Compared to the same seven-month period in 2021, gun sales have slowed in Illinois. An estimated 6,707,500 guns were sold in the state from January through July last year, 64.3% more than there have been this year.

RankStateEst. gun sales per 1,000 people; Jan-July 2022Firearm background checks; Jan-July 2022Est. gun sales per 1,000 people; Jan-July 2021Firearm background checks; Jan-July 202150Hawaii7.710,9506.99,76149New Jersey10.895,69717.0151,14148New York13.3259,32214.3278,25847Rhode Island16.217,09723.925,26146Massachusetts19.3132,52623.8163,38745California20.7812,65022.5886,29244Nebraska22.443,15829.055,73143Maryland22.5135,99728.2170,04742Nevada30.692,84039.1118,54341Georgia32.7343,96649.4519,14240Ohio33.1386,04745.4530,39539Texas34.6991,75941.81,197,96738North Carolina34.8361,51047.9497,29937Kansas37.5109,26947.2137,41136Virginia38.0322,93746.7397,51835Delaware39.538,24144.342,90534Connecticut40.3143,72350.6180,51433Vermont40.925,53050.231,34032Florida41.0868,98749.91,059,12231Louisiana41.6194,20851.8241,51730Arkansas43.1129,70957.8173,97829Arizona44.1316,01850.3360,92428Iowa44.7140,66755.4174,51827Michigan46.2461,27061.2610,02926Maine46.662,50655.374,10425South Carolina47.1239,70958.9299,79424New Mexico47.499,34957.1119,75623Missouri49.1300,84163.4387,99922Mississippi51.4153,30963.1188,05821Oklahoma52.7208,19163.2249,50820Colorado54.1307,62467.9386,03819North Dakota54.441,34962.947,85618South Dakota54.648,00872.563,71717Oregon55.5231,63665.9275,18916Pennsylvania55.8713,49167.5863,91415New Hampshire56.476,43169.994,72714West Virginia58.8106,28474.3134,23113Washington60.7455,97958.3438,34312Wisconsin62.4362,29278.4455,43711Alaska62.946,39174.855,11310Wyoming69.540,39287.650,9079Tennessee71.4483,65287.2590,4978Montana76.481,12089.895,3477Idaho78.6137,86495.5167,4726Alabama87.6428,403118.8581,2905Minnesota93.7524,882101.6568,8524Indiana105.8708,359185.81,244,0663Utah188.0592,276232.9733,7902Illinois188.12,391,483527.56,707,4821Kentucky542.32,419,871444.71,984,388

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