America’s Most Heavily Armed Counties – Surprise!

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Just when you might think that Texas would encompass all of the most heavily locked & loaded counties in America, you would be wrong. Turns out that Alaska has the most heavily-armed county in the country. Texas doesn’t even come close, with its first entry at no. 73 – Harris County with almost 60% (59.1, to be exact) of households that keep firearms around their homes.

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Note- The data was compiled by city-data.com with Reddit user Ramesses_Deux creating the graphic map. No source is given for the list compiled by city-data.com.Β 

Top 30:

  1. Fairbanks borough, AK – 59.1%
  2. Tooele County, UT – 59.1%
  3. Nez Perce County, ID – 59.0%
  4. Armstrong County, PA – 57.6%
  5. Rapides Parish, LA – 52.8%
  6. Teller County, CO – 52.3%
  7. Darlington County, SC – 52.1%
  8. Franklin County, VT – 51.7%
  9. Randolph County, NC – 51.1%
  10. Canyon County, ID – 50.9%
  11. Anchorage Municipality, AK – 50.0%
  12. Laramie County, WY – 49.6%
  13. Davis County, UT – 48.8%
  14. Yellowstone County, MT – 48.7%
  15. Franklin County, PA – 48.5%
  16. Pennington County, SD – 48.5%
  17. Terrebonne Parish, LA – 47.9%
  18. Ouachita Parish, LA – 47.6%
  19. Florence County, SC – 47.6%
  20. Orange County, VT – 47.0%
  21. Calcasieu Parish, LA – 46.4%
  22. Weber County, UT – 46.3%
  23. Kanawha County, WV – 45.2%
  24. Ada County, ID – 45.0%
  25. Pulaski County, AR – 44.7%
  26. Minnehaha County, SD – 44.7%
  27. Westmoreland County, PA – 44.0%
  28. Pinal County, AZ – 43.6%
  29. St. Tammany Parish, LA – 42.5%
  30. Caddo Parish, LA – 42.2%

Curious where your area may have ended up? City-Data extends the list to the top 101.Β For comparison, the 101st ranked county has 24.4% of the population owning a firearm. That’s a pretty big gap and it only goes down from there.

I’d be curious to know the stats for major metropolitans, especially Chicago and NYC.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • HSR47

    “Studies” like this will always be inaccurate: They rely on the honesty of someone answering a phone or a door.

    How many of you would answer honestly if some stranger going door to door asked you if you own firearms? I know I wouldn’t answer honestly, and that’s assuming I would even respond to unsolicited solicitation from unknown third parties.

    That also brings me to my second point: How big is their sample size?

    TLDR: This is absolutely unscientific, and is not at all trustworthy.

    • M.M.D.C.

      My thoughts exactly. My next door neighbor doesn’t know I have guns, let alone some random survey guy. “Guns? Guns are icky. I never touch the things!”

      • ihatelibs

        yah , I know . but dontcha just love the smell , of gun oil , and gun powder ?? Who makes the After Shave . I need some

    • avconsumer2

      Which, really, if you consider that they did get that many people to answer phone/door and ‘fess up… that there are that many MORE people that didn’t.
      But then again… I can probably attest that those in LA (not L.A.), are indeed more likely to be vocal, as it’s probably more socially acceptable – what with the wading through people in the woods when hunting season opens & what not.

    • wetcorps

      Maybe they counted the number of pollsters that were shot at on sight πŸ˜€

    • BattleshipGrey

      I can only hope that it was compiled by voluntary survey. If it was compiled by any state or subdivisions I’m appalled that this map exists at all.

    • Adam Fluegeman

      Very true. 30 years ago firearm ownership wasn’t something you would care about keeping from the powers that be. Now that’s a different story. Which is why the numbers of households with guns in surveys keeps declining. The fact that guns have been imported, manufactured and sold in this country for hundreds of years means that the 78:100 firearms-to-people ratio is fundamentally flawed. I would guess that the number is closer to 110:100 if everyone in the US was polled and answered honestly. According to the NICS check numbers from 2013 there were approx. 1.6 million guns sold last year. Not counting someone buying a 10 pack of AR lowers at one time. The numbers of firearms owned will only continue to increase as the numbers reported will decrease. Those counties are probably very conservative and the people have no problem stating that they own guns.

      • ihatelibs

        AWWW RATZ . You found me dintcha πŸ™

    • ihatelibs

      DITTO

    • JoelM

      True. I suspect Schyulkill Co, PA has a much higher percentage than the data says. I don’t know many people here who don’t own a gun (or twenty). They’d never tell you though unless you already knew.

  • Fred Johnson

    All those parishes in Louisiana have relatives of Duck Dynasty in them, says my Cajun wife.

    BTW, all us Texans spread our guns out across several counties. Believe it or not.

    πŸ˜€

    • Mystick

      That’s only because that’ how big you yard is πŸ˜‰

      • Zachary marrs

        We can see our dogs run away for 3 days

  • gunslinger

    westmoreland county PA? woudln’t have thought of that.

    • Jacqueshacques

      Lots of hunting in PA! Many from the more heavily populated areas south of 80 have hunting camps up north.

    • Bill

      Why? Deer and bear hunting is excellent. We’ve had strong pro-2A sheriffs for years that have made it progressively easier to obtain a CCW permit. Gun shops are everywhere, gun clubs not far behind. I live and work in Westmoreland County and can’t think of many people I know who aren’t gun owners. This includes the non-LE government folks I work with everyday.

  • big daddy

    I live in Texas and I can pretty much guarantee that almost every household outside of Austin has at least one gun. They may not go to the range or hunt or have even fired it but they have one gun at least. Some guns may have been handed down to them over time but they have one somewhere.

    • Mike Fire

      Let it go. Not everything can be bigger or better in Texas. πŸ˜‰

      • The hell it can’t.

        • SP mclaughlin

          Me and my brother inherited three guns each from my grandfather (yes, POTD Marine with the flamethrower) and they’re at our home in Harris County, so I’m not buying this survey either.

        • Duane

          I like Texas and I doubt this survey is even close, but:
          Alaska has more coastline than Texas
          Alaska has more land than Texas
          Alaska has more gold than Texas
          Alaska probably has more oil than Texas (they just can’t get it out)
          Alaska has more caribou than Texas has cattle
          Alaska has more mountains than Texas (heck, Alaska HAS mountains)

          • All of that is Alaskan propaganda.

          • Fred Johnson

            Isn’t Alaska still a territory?

          • big daddy

            That’s all for naught, Sarah Palin is from Alaska, that cancels anything good out.

          • Jon

            Is Alaska a state? They are not even connected to the United States, though it belonged to Putin. Next thing you know someone will start talking about making those islands out there in the Pacific a state also. Damn Dems!!!!

        • Duane

          I admit, Texas has mountains. But some of us live at 4,500 feet, so a 7,000 foot mountain is about like the hill that borders my back yard.

      • Zachary marrs

        Im with Alex, the hell it cant

  • SD3

    Whew! Glad to know there are so few firearms in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Maine, etc,. etc., etc.
    Now we can all sleep peacefully.

  • sianmink

    Now chart the violent crime rates in these counties against the least armed counties of comparable size and prepare to be amazed.

    • In most counties your right the crime rate will be lower. Pulaski county which encompasses Little Rock and North Little Rock Arkansas still has a high crime rate. This is especially true in central and the east end of Little Rock.
      When you get outside the city into the county itself things are safer and more people carry. I lived and worked in Pulaski County for a good number of years.

      • Adam

        As a resident of Pulaski County, I would not like to see a violent crime chart. Every morning I wake up and the news is cluttered with all of the homicides from the night before. People are more aggressive and angry here than anywhere I have ever lived. I am planning on getting out of here in the next year.

  • Hippo2

    This study is by percentage not by the amount of firearms in a county, so other counties could have more arms just with a smaller percentage of that counties population owns guns. This study tells us nothing.

    • sianmink

      Raw numbers are dependent on county populations and tell us nothing useful. Rates (percentages or per thousand, whatever) give you comparable results.

  • Will

    Then there are the people who will not admit to keeping a firearm in their home fearing the poll is some sort of scheme to build a gun registry data base.
    I agree with sianmink chart the violent crimes in those counties.
    The city of St. Louis has had over 95 murders this year and Missouri has a reputation of being one of the most gun friendly states in the country.

  • Nimrod

    What are the numbers bases on? No source, no methodology, nothing! How would they even know who owned guns on a county by county basis? This is total and complete made up BS.

  • LLC

    Put me in the “not even close to accurate” category – as an ND native, I laughed out loud at Cass County having more armed households by percentage than the rural counties in ND.

  • dan

    I just have to laugh, the amount of butt hurt Texan comments should be staggering.

  • john huscio

    No upper peninsula counties….strange……

    • mcducky

      That’s because there hardly anybody there. I left….

  • Rob in Katy

    Could someone read this and translate?
    Texas doesn’t even come close, with its first entry at no. 73 – Harris County with almost 60% (59.1, to be exact) of households that keep firearms around their homes.

    If Harris County has almost 60%, then wouldn’t that be at the top of the list?

    • Fred Johnson

      Per that link in the article, Harris County only had 3.4 million people. The 2010 census has Harris County at 4.1 million people.

      It looks like this article is pulling numbers from 2000. http://www.city-data.com/county/Harris_County-TX.html

      Let’s just guesstimate that there were 850,000 households* in Harris County in 2000. 30% of that is 255,000 households reporting their guns on a poll at that time.

      What was the gun environment back in 2000? The AWB still going on and Clinton was still in office. Probably not everyone was willing to give up
      their gun info and it definitely wasn’t all over the internet like now.

      * population /4 = theoretical household

  • JSmath

    TFB, your article mixed it up (looks like someone tried writing that sentence in parts, and forgot the connecting logic in the middle). Harris County is reported as 73rd with 30.4%, whereas Fairbanks is 1st with 59.1%.

  • Caddo Parish ranks because of all the guns I own.

  • Jb1827

    Was the self reported? If so I might doubt it’s accuracy

  • Tony

    Just in case someone cares, a comparison:

    Kainuu, Finland: 710 registered firearms per 1000 residents.
    Average size of a house-hold in Finland, 2010: 2.08 persons.

    That doesn’t directly give a number for firearms per house-hold, but you can do your own estimates. πŸ™‚

    • Fred Johnson

      “Registered”? This word is not in a Texan’s vocabulary. Please explain.

      • Jon

        Maybe they drive them things on the road IDK!!!!! You register cars not guns!

  • Somedude

    Even though only an idiot would tell anyone that their home contains a valuable commodity that criminals love to steal, I bet this poll actually bears some resemblance to the proportion of households with guns. If someone feels so comfortable that they’ll tell a pollster they have firearms in the home, odds are firearm ownership is pretty matter of fact where they live.

    Or they are idiots.

  • Ish

    Proud to be in Utah.

  • Tenacious221

    I wanna see this overlayed with violent crime data.

  • fillkr23 .

    Greetings from Franklin County, PA! Just ordered two more firearms. Trying to jump us up a spot before next year! But on a serious note: look up our violent crime rate. We had our first bank robbery in decades back in June. Also there is not a household in my township that does not have firearms there.

  • John

    I went to school at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks campus in 2003.

    It was the first time I saw a gun show held in a university gym. Student admission was free. Lot of Mac-10s, lot of Desert Eagles, a few AKs and other guns.

    Honestly, I fell in love with a Mauser 98. The bolt action, the wood, the length of pull, the sight, I should have bought it but I was a transfer student and I didn’t know how I’d ship it back to the states. My roommate bought a .410 single barrel shotgun. We had no idea what we’d do with it up there in Alaska for any practical use, but as my roommate walked on a third roommate once cleaning his awesome looking .45 pistol, and a time me walking in on the third roommate and his stunning girlfriend having sex on the living room couch, we both agreed to pool our cash and buy the shotgun in order to uphold what little manhood we had left. I think the guy took pity on us and offered it for $50 cash.

    I never should have left.

  • Jim_Macklin

    Alaska, even in the cities, all three of them, and the villages, encountering a brown or a white bear is expected, not a surprise. Hawaii doesn’t really count, spearguns ya know. The Lower 48 don’t have that many dangerous 4 legged animals. Two-legged predators are common in certain urban areas where it has been illegal for a common citizen to possess arms. Getting an accurate survey just does not happen. The honest citizen does not admit possession [note honest citizens are at risk from both criminals and government].
    Since the 1775 Revolution was triggered by attempted gun control [ in case your education did not cover the reasons behind “one if by land, two if by sea” the British Army left Boston where they had confiscated arms, to confiscate arms [ muskets, powder, flints] at Concord and Lexington, Americans are predisposed to lie or report only the Daisy BB gun in the closet.

  • Jon

    Texans just do not brag about their firearms. Funny thing about the two counties that made the list they are democrat controlled counties. Than again those percentages for Harris and Dallas may just be Republican trapped behind the lines.

  • smartacus

    Salt Lake City can declare war against MA, CT, and RI.

  • smartacus

    How did Georgia get so Balkanized with all those counties??
    It looks like former Yugoslavia!

  • Ethan

    Until the day that I am actually polled on a regular basis, I will assign exactly 0 trust to “polls”.
    Same with “Studies show..” I wasn’t a part of that study, nor was anyone I know.

    The way they rig these kind of things is by selectively “polling” an incredibly small number of people (like 30 for a “national” poll) and polling only in areas that are known to have certian values (polling in the middle of urban areas has always been a reliably standby for slanting numbers).

    And if that doesn’t work they can always just *MAKE $H#T UP* out of thin air.

  • Mmmtacos

    My county, Bexar (San Antonio, TX) isn’t even on the top 101, and I find that incredibly hard to believe that at least a quarter of our population doesn’t keep guns. As HSR47 said this has got to be skewed, and I would wager your average Texan, myself included, if asked over the phone if I have guns in the house I would say no.

    • TXgnnr

      Actually, I would say NOYFB and hang up.

  • ClintTorres

    Betcha Los Angeles County residents have all kinds of guns nobody knows about…many of which have yet to be used on our highways and byways!

  • Bp. David

    I am really surprised that Cobb County, GA is not on the list, having Kennesaw in it.
    Kennesaw requires all residents to keep a firearm in their homes. You can see, by the chart above, what that does to the violent crime rate. The reason the GA numbers are so high is because Atobama–I mean Atlanta–is a clone of Destroyit, MI in both politics and demographics. The rates for Atlanta alone are more than 3x the national average–about like Detroit.

  • Tucson_Jim

    HSR47… effective polls take that principle into account.

    At my favorite restaurant here in Tucson, I can assure you that about 20% of the men will be carrying. While most carry concealed, there are often two or three carrying open at a time.

    As far as the neighbors knowing weather I have guns, or not, it’s fairly hard to spend any time at the range without someone seeing those awkward, big cases getting loaded into the trunk.

    If you are afraid of your neighbors, buy more guns and ammo, or move someplace where you aren’t afraid to own guns.

    People aren’t that afraid of the Federal Government here in AZ… that’s why our Governor was on national news bitching-out the POSOTUS on the airport tarmac.

  • usmcmailman

    Florida has the highest number of CCW license holders in the Nation !

  • usmcmailman

    Sorry, I lost all my guns in a boating accident recently !

  • Brad Crain

    Harris county texas comes in at #73? Percentage wise 30.3% pales in comparison to others. With 3.4 million people in Harris 30% equals more than 1 milllion people. More than most of the counties listed have in total population!

  • Dragonheart

    Sorry this is total BS. Yes, everyone in Alaska may have a survival “moosegun”, but here in Texas we not only have a gun for every member of our family, (sometimes several) we can arm all the neighbors as well. Every adult member of the family on my street also has a concealed carry permit. We are not nuts, we just like going to the range for a target shooting afternoon and it’s a great hobby.

  • ihatelibs

    I wonder how many people don’t , or wont admit , they Have guns ?? Adding My House here . Then Im living in the wrong County , or State . I have 14 Shooters

  • sungunner

    Households with guns and guns-per-capita are very different, but I would not answer anyone’s survey for either case. I’d say that there are MANY Texans and others who are smart enough to answer “none of yo’ business” no matter the reason, and therefore the data is invalid.

  • LittleMrJ

    A list based on percentage of population doesn’t mean crap. What county has the most guns? Harris County (Houston) is the most heavily armed in Texas, with over 1 million gun owners. By that count, we surpass everyone on the list. What county would win a war? That’s the only statistic I give a shit about.

  • walter12

    This is downright silly. How could they possibly know these numbers?

  • talgus

    I don’t have any. none in my safe, none handy, none

  • Zebra Dun

    Figures I mean Alaska does have….POLAR BEARS.
    And Grizzlies, and food running around waiting to just leap into you frying pan.

  • Zebra Dun

    I don’t understand why my county isn’t rated high, rural, full of turkey, Deer, Squirrel, Quail, Rabbit and chock full of hunters.
    Hell, we ought to hit 150%!

  • 1inidaho

    Living in Canyon County, I can assure you that gun ownership is alive and well although I doubt that Ada county is that much different. We have our share of crime but incidents per 100K people is very low.

  • Kenneth Velen

    You do realize that 60% if 10 households us 6 households. HEAVILY armed indeed.

  • There are so many people that I know of that have guns hidden and carry guns on them. But if someone they don’t know were to ask them if they had one they would say no. In fact I know of thousands in my area alone.

  • In fact in my opinion there are more people ready to go to war then there are people in all the military in several countries put together. LOOK OUT OBUMMER.