The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently released a report highlighting state-by-state ownership of guns regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934.
Firearms and accessories covered under the NFA (hereafter: NFA-registered firearms) include machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, silencers/suppressors, certain explosive devices, etc.
Because the focus is on NFA-registered firearms, the ATF report excludes handguns — which are certainly the firearm of choice in America — and many semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. This may actually provide a better understanding of gun ownership because of these exclusions. After all, if Americans own millions upon millions of less popular guns, who knows how many of the most popular are in their possession?
CBS News provided a summary of the ATF report from which the top 10 states for NFA-related gun ownership emerge.
Number 10 — Louisiana. There are “15.1” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Louisiana. A total of “69,668 registered firearms among 4,625,470 people.”
Number 9 — Alaska. There are “15.2” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Alaska. A total of “11,167 registered firearms among 735,132 people.”
Number 8 — Nevada. There are “19.5” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Nevada. A total of “54,436 registered firearms among 2,790,136 people.”
Number 7 — Alabama. There are “20” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Alabama. A total of “96,744 registered firearms among 4,833,722 people.”
Number 6 — Idaho. There are “24.2” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Idaho. A total of “39,019 registered firearms among 1,612,136 people.”
Number 5 — Virginia. There are “30.1” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Virginia. A total of “248,939 registered firearms among 8,260,405 people.”
Number 4 — New Mexico. There are “40.5” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in New Mexico. A total of “84,471 registered firearms among 2,085,287 people.”
Number 3 — Arkansas. There are “41.6” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Arkansas. A total of “123,130 registered firearms among 2,959,373 people.”
Number 2 — Washington D.C.* There are “66.4” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 residents in Washington D.C. A total of “42,897 registered firearms dispersed among only 646,449 people.”
*Breitbart News contacted the ATF regarding Washington D.C. being listed as number two for NFA-registered firearms. How could this be when acquiring/possessing even the most basic of weapons — a revolver — is a major undertaking in the District? The response was that the number of NFA-registered firearms in D.C. is related to the massive representation of federal law enforcement, state law enforcement, military, etc.
Number 1 — Wyoming. There are “195.7” NFA-registered firearms for every 1,000 resident in Wyoming. A total of “114,052 registered firearms in a state with a population of only 582,658 people.”
Acquiring an NFA-registered firearm is a process. SilencerCo reports that “civilians can legally purchase and possess silencers in 42 states” — a slightly fewer number of states allow civilian ownership of machine guns. The sales of such items are overseen by the ATF and require registration, a background check — including fingerprints and photos — and the purchase of federal tax stamp. The tax stamp raises the price of the item by $200, and the process of acquiring the item from start to finish can take 5 to 6 months.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.