Midwest Leads Nation in New Background Checks in America in 2018
Statistics, Facts and Figures for the Media, Released on May 9, 2018
Talking points based on research from the National Carry Academy:
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the midwest is by far the region in America where there has been new background checks per capita for firearm purchases – and likely, new gun owners. Kentucky led the way with a whopping 421,247 background checks in the month of March alone, which is nearly 10% of the total population.
Following Kentucky are West Virginia, Illinois and Indiana. Idaho rounds out the top 5. These numbers are based on the percentage of a state’s residents who are attempting to purchase a new gun, not a total number of a state’s residents.
The number of background checks for firearms and new gun owners has gone up dramatically since the beginning of the year as well. Recent mass shootings have encouraged more Americans to take action and arm themselves; overall the number of background checks across the board is up by 51% since the beginning of 2018.
In order to determine the rankings, we looked at the number of background checks by state in the last available month (March, 2018), and divided the number of background checks by each state’s population, to get a better picture of the percentage of the state’s population that is attempting to acquire a firearm.
Other Stats of Note
*The states with the least number of background checks per capita are Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island. In Hawaii, there were 1,420 background checks for firearms in March, which is .1% of the population – 10 times less than in Kentucky.
*Kentucky had by far the most total FBI queries, followed by Illinois (271,000), Texas (161,000), Florida (137,000) and California (136,000).
*The regions with the least number of new gun owners per capita is the south, including Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Quotes/Insights from National Carry Academy Co-Founder Chris Schutrop
“Why Kentucky? That huge jump in new gun owners is mainly due to the political leanings of Kentucky, as well as it being a state that’s had a large number of gun owners, historically.”
“There are also a large number of new gun owners in Illinois as well. The state of Illinois recently changed its gun laws, allowing people to carry concealed weapons. People in Illinois are starting to say, ‘I’ve never owned a gun before. It’s time to get a gun.’ ”
“America is seeing such a huge spike in background checks, new gun owners and people carrying concealed weapons mainly because of all of the mass shootings we’ve seen. No doubt there’s a connection there.”
The FBI uses the National Instant Criminal Background Check System NICS to determine if prospective firearms buyers’ names and birthdate match those who are not eligible to buy a firearm. It was mandated by the Brady Law in 1993, and launched by the FBI in 1998.
These statistics were compiled by the National Carry Academy, which offers online training classes to obtain concealed carry permits. The National Carry Academy has certified more than 100,000 Americans since 2012 – more than any other organization.
Due to varying state regulations, getting a concealed carry training certification online is only available in 27 states. Some states don’t recognize the ability to get certified to carry a concealed gun online.