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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
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 11:07

1 Answer 1

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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:

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  • 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
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 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
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 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. Commented Dec 22, 2015 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
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 7:25

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