Montana’s 2022 Gun Sales Compared to the Rest of the Country | Condition

Gun sales estimated by background checks rose to 39,695,315 in 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began. They have declined every year since then, to 38,876,673 in 2021 and 31,596,646 in 2022. Yet these numbers remain higher than before the pandemic.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System publishes a monthly list of how many firearms background checks are conducted on potential gun buyers. Almost everyone who has gone through this system qualifies. Of the more than 400 million checks carried out since November 1998, there have only been 2.1 million denials. More than half of those who are turned down have criminal records.

On a population-adjusted basis, there were 94.8 background checks per 1,000 people nationwide in 2022. Background check data per capita varies significantly by state.

Montana conducted 141,803 background checks in 2022 based on FBI data. Adjusted for population, this equates to approximately 126.3 firearms background checks per 1,000 residents, the seventh highest rate among states.

Estimated per capita gun sales in the state in 2021, approximated by background checks, were 160,640, or about 143.1 per person, compared to the national rate of 116.6 per 1,000 people.


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The population data used to calculate per capita background checks is from the US Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Estimation program and is as of July 2022. It’s important to note that in some states, certain firearm license re-examinations require FBI background checks, which can have implications on the total number of background checks used to create this ranking.

rank Condition FBI background checks on firearms per 1,000 people, 2022 Total number of FBI firearms background checks, 2022 FBI Firearms Background Checks per 1,000 people, 2021 Total Number of FBI Firearms Background Checks, 2021
1 Kentucky 890.1 4,016,510 852.8 3,848,061
2 Illinois 355.7 4,476,055 673.5 8,474,505
3 Utah 300.0 1,014,277 349.5 1,181,564
4 Indiana 161.7 1.105.040 265.7 1,815,531
5 Minnesota 155.9 891,044 165.3 945,299
6 Alabama 145.7 739.113 186.5 946,271
7 Montana 126.3 141,803 143.1 160,640
8th Idaho 121.4 235,465 141.2 273,762
9 Wyoming 120.9 70,276 145.6 84,624
10 Tennessee 118.7 836,953 136.8 964,512
11 Oregon 116.9 495,842 107.1 454.133
12 Alaska 115.6 84,802 124.3 91.207
13 West Virginia 108.6 192,868 126.3 224,240
14 Wisconsin 107.9 635,528 133.4 785,856
fifteen Mississippi 96.9 284,864 110 323,319
16 South Dakota 96.3 87,589 117.5 106,881
17 New Hampshire 95.7 133,507 108.8 151,853
18 Pennsylvania 94.8 1,229,129 108.6 1.408.165
19 North Dakota 93.0 72,458 103.4 80,546
20 Oklahoma 92.1 370,275 103.6 416,514
21 Washington 90.7 706,260 94.6 736,846
22 Colorado 90.5 528,335 107.7 628,811
23 Missouri 85.9 530,932 102.7 634.191
24 Maine 82.4 114,090 93.3 129,193
25 New Mexico 82.2 173,793 92.3 194,989
26 South Carolina 80.1 423,098 91.9 485,487
27 Michigan 78.6 789,160 96.8 970,990
28 Arkansas 78.6 239,350 94.8 288,706
29 Louisiana 75.1 344,808 87.4 401,345
30 Arizona 72.5 533,699 76.6 563,763
31 Vermont 69.1 44,722 79.7 51,549
32 Iowa 68.3 218,703 83.3 266,678
33 Florida 66.3 1,474,730 76.9 1,711,685
34 Virginia 65.4 567,504 75.5 655,339
35 Kansas 65.3 191,895 78.4 230.168
36 Connecticut 63.6 230,702 76.5 277,250
37 Texas 57.7 1,732,651 66 1,980,753
38 Delaware 57.3 58,323 67.8 69,068
39 North Carolina 57.3 612,695 73.1 781,733
40 Ohio 55.9 656,936 72.5 851,887
41 Georgia 55.1 601,407 73.9 806,912
42 Maryland 52.9 326.114 43.4 267,753
43 Nevada 47.9 152,261 58.7 186,578
44 Nebraska 38.2 75,084 46.1 90,676
45 California 36.7 1,431,993 37.8 1,476,073
46 Massachusetts 32.6 227,928 37.1 259,248
47 Rhode Island 25.5 27,900 34.7 37,936
48 new York 22.7 447,567 23.6 464,575
49 New Jersey 18.1 167,740 24.1 223,437
50 Hawaii 13.1 18,842 12.3 17,707

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