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A State-by-State Ranking of Gun Shows, Gun Retailers, Machine Guns, and Gun Manufacturers


This report offers a snapshot of the firearms industry at the state level using the most recent data available. States are ranked according to five categories: number of gun shows, number of gun retailers, number of machine gun dealers, number of registered machine guns, and number of gun manufacturers.

The report consists of five sections:

  • Section One: Gun Shows. This chart lists the 10 states with the highest number of gun shows. Gun shows are a key outlet for criminals to obtain firearms. Unlicensed dealers (anyone not "engaged in the business" of selling guns) may sell without the purchaser undergoing a background check.

  • Section Two: Licensed Firearm Retailers. This chart lists gun dealers, pawnbrokers licensed to sell firearms, the total number of gun retailers in the state, and the number of gun retailers per 100,000 population. States are ranked according to the total number of gun retailers.

  • Section Three: Machine Guns. This section consists of two charts. The first ranks states according to the number of machine gun dealers in each state. The second ranks states according to the number of registered machine guns in each state. Machine guns are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) which requires a background check and $200 transfer tax in order to purchase a machine gun. Production and sale of new machine guns for civilian use was banned in 1986.

  • Section Four: Firearm Manufacturers and Production. This chart lists the number of gun manufacturers in each state, with production broken out by firearm type (pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun). States are ranked by number of manufacturers.

  • Section Five: Summary of State Rankings. This chart lists states alphabetically with their rankings in each of the five categories.

The data reveal that Texas ranks number one in all five categories. In addition to Texas, four states rank in the top 10 in each of the five categories�California, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Three states�Arizona, Georgia, and Illinois�appear in the top 10 in three categories, and six states appear in the top 10 in two categories (Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia).

Go to Section One: Gun Shows

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The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.

All contents � 2000 Violence Policy Center