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The Daily Beast: Kentucky tops list of most armed states

June 29, 2010

A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday reasserted the supremacy of the 2nd Amendment over many gun-control laws enacted by state and local governments. In light of that ruling, the news site The Daily Beast has compiled a list of “the most armed states” based upon the number of background checks performed by the FBI for gun sales.

Nine millimeter shell casings fly out of a 1950s era Swedish K machine gun as Brandon Ramburger of Owensboro pulls the trigger and Richard Myers of Tell City, left, steadies Ramburger in August 2007 at Benelli Day at Aces Guns near Hawesville.

Here’s how The Daily Beast came up with its list of the most armed states –

For our rankings, we considered state data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System data for the last 18 months. We divided the number of background checks by each state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 estimates.

Using that method, Kentucky came out on top as the most armed state in the country, followed by Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. You can view the entire list here.

There might be an explanation for Kentucky’s top ranking, apart from an affinity for firearms. Apparently Kentucky performs monthly NICS checks on concealed weapon owners, which has boosted the total number of checks, as noted in the article.

Just to put a political spin on it, The Daily Beast noted that the top ten most armed states by its calculation voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 election, while the 10 least armed states went for Barack Obama.

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One Comment
  1. Jason permalink
    June 29, 2010 9:26 am

    I would be interested to see those numbers compared to crime rates from the lowest states.

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