Gavel and gun rights
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These Are the Only 3 States Where Gun Sales Are Up This Year

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Gun Sales Plunge

Gun sales in America jumped from the point the COVID-19 pandemic began, setting all-time records according to numbers from the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which are often used as a proxy for sales. But recently they have collapsed compared with 2021 — they're down every month of 2022 so far. Sales rose in only three states in the first six months of this year compared with the first six months of 2021. We ranked all 50 states from the biggest increase in gun sales to the biggest decline during that period.


Related: The 20 Safest Big Cities in the U.S.

Rural Kentucky
alexeys/istockphoto

Kentucky

Rank: 1

Percent Change in Gun Sales: 26.8%


Kentucky has had by far the biggest increase in gun sales this year, with 443,345 more background checks in the first half of 2022 than in the first half of 2021.


Related: How Much Does Your State Spend on Law Enforcement?

Honolulu Hawaii from Above
Art Wager/istockphoto

Hawaii

Rank: 2

Percent Change in Gun Sales: 5.7%


Gun sales were up in Hawaii, as well, in the first half of the year — but still the lowest of any state in the country.

Sunset Seattle
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Washington

Rank: 3

Percent Change in Gun Sales: 3.0%


Washington tallied 11,802 more firearms background checks (used as a proxy for gun sales) in the first half of 2022 than in the first half of 2021.

Delaware Water Gap panorama in Autumn
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Delaware

Rank: 4

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -8.4%


Gun sales have decreased in Delaware this year, but it had the smallest percent decline in the nation. Read on to see where your state ranks.

Saint Paul, Minnesota skyline with a river and park
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Minnesota

Rank: 5

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -8.6%

new york
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New York

Rank: 6

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -9.6%

Walk of fame - Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles
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California

Rank: 7

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -10.1%

Phoenix, Arizona skyline at dusk
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Arizona

Rank: 8

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -15.2%

Welcome to North Dakota
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North Dakota

Rank: 9

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -15.8%

Beale Street Music District in Memphis Tennessee USA
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Tennessee

Rank: 10

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -16.2%

Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint, Montana
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Montana

Rank: 11

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -17.1%

Iowa
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Iowa

Rank: 12

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -17.1%

Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine, USA at sunrise
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Maine

Rank: 13

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -17.4%

Sunrise at Portland, Oregon
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Oregon

Rank: 14

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -17.7%

Coastal Alaska
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Alaska

Rank: 15

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -18.0%

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
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New Mexico

Rank: 16

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -18.4%

Welcome to Oklahoma Sign
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Oklahoma

Rank: 17

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -18.5%

pittsburgh,pennsylvania,usa : 8-21-17. pittsburgh skyline at sunset with reflection in the water.
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Pennsylvania

Rank: 18

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -18.9%

Boise, Idaho, USA
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Idaho

Rank: 19

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.3%

Dallas Texas evening skyline
4kodiak/istockphoto

Texas

Rank: 20

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.4%

Jackson, Mississippi Skyline
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

Mississippi

Rank: 21

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.6%

Mardi Gras in New Orleans
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Louisiana

Rank: 22

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.6%

Miami Beach
Miami Beach by James Willamor (CC BY-SA)

Florida

Rank: 23

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.8%

Church Street in Burlington, Vermont
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Vermont

Rank: 24

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.8%

Arches National Park in Utah
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Utah

Rank: 25

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -19.9%

Wisconsin Welcome sign at Marinette WI
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Wisconsin

Rank: 26

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -20.0%

Boston Common, Boston
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Massachusetts

Rank: 27

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -20.4%

Fredericksburg Virginia Sunrise Aerial
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Virginia

Rank: 28

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -20.7%

Charleston, South Carolina
Sean Pavone/shutterstock

South Carolina

Rank: 29

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -20.9%

Autumn in Manchester, New Hampshire
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New Hampshire

Rank: 30

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -21.7%

Misty sunrise over wheat field in Kansas
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Kansas

Rank: 31

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -21.9%

Denver Colorado skyscrapers snowy Longs Peak Rocky Mountains summer
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Colorado

Rank: 32

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -21.9%

Wyoming State Welcome Road sign on interstate
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Wyoming

Rank: 33

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -22.2%

View of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia at sunset from Maryland Heights
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West Virginia

Rank: 34

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -22.6%

Omaha Nebraska
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Nebraska

Rank: 35

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -22.6%

New Haven, Connecticut
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Connecticut

Rank: 36

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -22.9%

Reno , Nevada at dawn
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Nevada

Rank: 37

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -23.0%

Table Rock Lake in Branson at Southwest Missouri
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Missouri

Rank: 38

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -24.4%

Baltimore Maryland MD Inner Harbor Skyline Aerial
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Maryland

Rank: 39

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -24.5%

Aerial view of Detroit city with Woodward ave
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Michigan

Rank: 40

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -26.1%

Rapid City, South Dakota
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

South Dakota

Rank: 41

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -26.7%

Little Rock, Arkansas
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Arkansas

Rank: 42

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -27.1%

Birmingham, Alabama
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

Alabama

Rank: 43

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -27.4%

Raleigh North Carolina Skyline
Mark Howard/istockphoto

North Carolina

Rank: 44

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -28.1%

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA Skyline
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

Ohio

Rank: 45

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -28.7%

Providence, Rhode Island Cityscape
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

Rhode Island

Rank: 46

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -33.7%

Savannah, Georgia
Sean Pavone/shutterstock

Georgia

Rank: 47

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -34.6%

New Jersey coast line at the shore
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New Jersey

Rank: 48

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -40.1%

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA skyline on the White River
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Indiana

Rank: 49

Percent Change in Gun Sales: -45.0%

Chicago at dawn.
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