States Where The Most People Have Bought Guns So Far This Year

Last November, Oregon’s voters passed measure 114, which banned the use of firearm magazines of more than 10 bullets among other regulations that would add safeguards to who can buy and operate a gun in the state. The measure has since been challenged by gun rights activists, and a circuit court judge placed a stay on the measure. The measure will remain blocked until the resolution of a state court trial, which is slated to resume in September. 

In addition to cutting down the maximum size of gun clips, the measure has additional requirements on background checks. For example, it would close a loophole that allows people to buy a gun before a background check is completed if the check takes longer than three days to process. 

Halfway through 2023, just under 16 million firearm background checks were conducted in the United States, according to data compiled by the FBI. That figure is more or less in line with the same period in 2022. Firearm background checks are often used to approximate the level of gun sales in the United States. (These are America’s most popular .22 handgun companies.

There are, however, many reasons to initiate a background check, some of which clearly not tied to gun sales, including pawn shop transactions and rentals. After controlling for some of these non-purchase causes, the adjusted figure is more likely tied to the purchase of a firearm, and in the first half of the year, there were 9.9 million adjusted background checks, or 29.7 checks per 1,000 Americans. (These are America’s largest gun makers.)

To find the states where the most people bought guns so far this year, 24/7 Wall St. used data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. States are ranked based on the number of gun checks per 1,000 people in the first six months of 2023, adjusted by removing several categories of checks, including pawn shop transactions, returns, rentals, and rechecks (which are conducted periodically by some states on existing permit holders).  

It may be that the looming legislation inspired a rush to buy guns in the state before greater restrictions are actually set in place because no state bought more guns per capita so far this year than Oregon. From January through June, an estimated 351,000 background checks that are likely tied directly to the sale of a gun were conducted in Oregon, equal to 66.5 per 1,000 state residents. That figure is a 43% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

Click here to see the states where the most people have bought guns so far this year.

Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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