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The image below, circulating on Facebook and clearly edited, claims that

Over 1,000,000 Kansas residents own guns.

Kansas has just under 3 million residents in total, which would mean that more than 1/3 of Kansas residents own guns.

I've spent most of my adult life in Kansas, and while many of my friends do own guns (some multiple guns), I don't think 1/3 of my friends are gun-owners. But naturally, my friends do not make for a representative sample of the population as a whole, so I'm asking here.

I wouldn't be the least surprised to find that over 1,000,000 guns are privately owned in Kansas, but that doesn't translate to over 1,000,000 gun owners.

enter image description here

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    If it's ⅓ of the total population, it's going to be significantly higher fraction of the adult population (assuming that even in Kansas, kids don't own guns). – gerrit Dec 21 '15 at 11:07
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    @Flimzy - I think he was being sarcastic in a sense of, the image looks so fake, that it was likely done using incredibly crude tool, and not the more standard and advanced Photoshop which can at least make a fake look less fake. For example, look at the dark line to the right of the blue rectangle of the top sign. It's as if they drew the blue background with a rectangle tool instead of doing a proper fill - but the sign isn't a straight rectangle due to perspective and angle of the photo. So they aren't even aligned. – user5341 Dec 21 '15 at 14:09
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    Having said that, you can say that your question wasn't asking whether the photo is authentic but whether the fact is - but you may want to stress that in your question to be clear, to avoid the "photoshop" analysis – user5341 Dec 21 '15 at 14:12
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    @GeorgeChalhoub: That's pretty depressing. – Flimzy Dec 21 '15 at 21:36
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    "Againstt" in the photo is a typo. – Andrew Grimm Dec 21 '15 at 22:33
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Within the bounds of statistical uncertainty:

Yes about one third of residents of Kansas own guns.

And it's far from being the state with the highest gun ownership. There are plenty of surveys of gun ownership in the US, and figures for Kansas are generally in the low thirties. Some older surveys place it over 40%. Six states have gun ownership rates over 50%. If your friends are a representative sample of US residents overall, then yes, 1/3 of them own guns.

Technically the surveys are of adults owning guns, so if children own fewer then the figure may be less than a million. But if you consider 'people living in a household where a gun is owned' I would expect that to bring it back over the million.

Here are some references:

  • In some sense it is an "urban" vs. "rural" question. Probably Flimzy lived in a city in Kansas, where gun ownership was much lower than the state average. – GEdgar Dec 21 '15 at 21:39
  • @GEdgar: I grew up in a town of 500 people in Kansas. I also lived a while in the largest city in Kansas... with 300,000 people. So there's not really a concept of "urban" in Kansas :) – Flimzy Dec 22 '15 at 8:06
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    That survey says that 1/3 of adults in Kansas own guns. There are 2.9 million residents in Kansas and 74.5% of them are over 18. That amounts to 720,000 adult gun owners, plus however many people under 18 own guns. Somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of Kansas residents own guns, assuming that gun ownership isn't as common among children. – yellowantphil Dec 22 '15 at 15:42
  • @amarillo: Kansas does place restrictions for gun ownership on minors, but doesn't outright prohibit it. See here. So the distinction between adult ownership and general ownership rates is quite relevant. Although I'm still willing to give DJC his "within the bounds of statistical uncertainty." – Flimzy Dec 23 '15 at 7:25

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