February 4th, 2019

Top Gun States — Trends in Gun Ownership Around the USA

state background checks gun ownership

Where in the USA are guns most popular, on a per-capita basis? Look at this chart. The states with darker purple have the most background checks per capita. The Top 10, in order, are:

1. Kentucky – 1012
2. Illinois – 198
3. Indiana – 123
4. West Virginia – 119
5. Idaho – 109
6. Montana – 101
7. Minnesota – 98
8. South Dakota – 94
9. Tennesse – 92 (Tie)
10. Wyoming – 92 (Tie)

Kentucky has a far higher number than any other state — 1012 per 1000 residents, and 4,508,298 overall per year. That’s not because the Bluegrass State has more avid gun owners (per capita) than elsewhere in the country. Rather, Kentucky has more background checks per capita because it is the only state that requires all concealed carry permit holders to undergo automatic monthly rechecks. That means 12 checks per year. Other states might have a single background check when the firearm is acquired.

state background checks gun ownership

Trends in Background Checks and Gun Ownership
The total number of background checks has risen steadily for nearly the past 20 years (though there was a slight decrease in 2017). In 2018, Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers initiated more than 23 million background checks, with significant variations in how many requests came in from each state.

state background checks gun ownership

Gun Control Legislation on the Rise Nationwide
In 2018, the 50 U.S. states passed 69 new gun control measures. Those 69 new laws are more than three times the number passed in 2017.

The struggle between gun rights and gun control continues on both a state and a national level. Seeing this wave of new legislation makes one wonder, “how many of these new laws will really reduce crime or enhance personal safety?” Or, rather, are the vast majority of these laws merely intended to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens, banning new classes of arms or creating new costs (and hassles) for gun owners. The anti-gunners’ strategy is to work incrementally, banning one type of firearm after another. The goal, ultimately, is to ban handguns altogether, and to ban all semi-automatic rifles.

Information in this report provided by YourLocalSecurity.com.

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October 13th, 2018

Machine Gun Shoot This Weekend at Knob Creek in Kentucky

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Twice a year, select-fire fans head to the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, for the nation’s largest Machine Gun Shoot. A bi-annual event, the Machine Gun Shoot is typically held on the second weekend of both April and October. The latest Machine Gun Shoot is happening RIGHT NOW. It started on Friday, October 12th and runs all weekend through Sunday the 14th. The highlight of every Machine Gun Shoot is the Saturday Night Shoot, where scores of guns send regular and tracer bullets down-range. An estimated 1.25 million rounds will be expended during the October Night Shoot.

Participants are machine gun dealers, collectors and enthusiasts from all over the country. The Machine Gun Shoot itself consists of three days of machine gun shooting, dealer displays, shooting competitions and the spectacular Saturday Night Shoot. Participants shoot at a wide variety of used appliances, abandoned vehicles, and barrels of fuel with pyrotechnic charges attached. The pyrotechnic charges are set off by bullet impacts, creating large mushroom clouds and fireballs. With the tracers and explosive fireballs, this is an amazing experience. Check out the video:

Click Triangle to Watch Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Video (Warning: Very Loud Audio)

A few seasons back, Top Shot Season 4 Champ Chris Cheng was on hand to record the firepower. Chris writes: “About an hour before dark, folks are out on the range setting up all sorts of explosives while a crowd builds, anxiously awaiting what we all know is coming. The lights go out, and the next thing you know machine guns are going off for almost 20 straight minutes. This year’s October 2013 edition did not disappoint. Check out the video below — other than the beginning, my favorite part is at the 5:50 mark [when a Mini-Gun opens fire from the right].”

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Photos of Knob Creek Gun Range, West Point
This photo of Knob Creek Gun Range is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

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September 10th, 2016

Mark Your Calendars for Machine Gun Shoot in Kentucky

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Twice a year, select-fire fans head to the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, for the nation’s largest Machine Gun Shoot. A bi-annual event, the Machine Gun Shoot is typically held on the second weekend of April and October. The next Machine Gun Shoot is coming up in one month. This year, the popular fall Shoot will be held October 14th through 16th. The highlight of every Machine Gun Shoot is the Saturday Night event, where scores of guns send regular and tracer bullets down-range. An estimated 1.25 million rounds will be expended during this year’s October 15th Night Shoot.

Click Triangle to Watch Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Video (Warning: Very Loud Audio)

Back in 2013, Top Shot Season 4 Champ Chris Cheng was on hand to record the firepower. Chris wrote: “About an hour before dark, folks are out on the range setting up all sorts of explosives while a crowd builds, anxiously awaiting what we all know is coming. The lights go out, and the next thing you know machine guns are going off for almost 20 straight minutes. This year’s October 2013 edition did not disappoint. Check out the video below — other than the beginning, my favorite part is at the 5:50 mark [when a Mini-Gun opens fire from the right].”

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Photos of Knob Creek Gun Range, West Point
This photo of Knob Creek Gun Range is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

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May 14th, 2016

NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits Kick Off Soon in Louisville, KY

NRA Annual meeting exhibits louisville kentucky

There are just five more days until the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits kicks off in Louisville, Kentucky. If you can make it to the big event, you should go. After SHOT Show, this is the biggest event of the year for firearms fans — thousands of products will be showcased by 750+ exhibitors in a 500,000 square-foot facility. You can meet celebrities, and have fun at an on-site airgun range. The Exhibit Hall opens at 9:00 am on May 20th (Friday Morning). The Meeting kicks off with the Nat’l NRA Foundation Banquet on Thursday evening, the 19th.

NRA Annual MeetingThis year’s NRA convention will feature a variety of special events. The ever-popular NRA Country Jam kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 20th at Louisville’s Belvedere at Waterfront Park.

The official NRA Members Meeting will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 in Freedom Hall at the Exposition Center. NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre, Chris W. Cox, and Allan Cors with address the membership. Many other seminars will be hosted over the weekend. Purchase Event Tickets.

CLICK HERE for Full List of Meeting Events and Seminars

NRA Annual Meeting Louisville Kentucky Exhibitor List floor plan

NRA Annual Meeting Louisville Kentucky Exhibitor List

NRA Annual Meeting

Admission Free for NRA Members
Entry to the exhibit hall is free for NRA members and their immediate family. Members of nationally recognized youth organizations (Scouts, 4-H, etc.) in uniform or otherwise properly identified will also be admitted free as well. Non-members may register by joining NRA on-site.

NOTE: Pre-registration has closed. You may register on-site by visiting the registration counters located in the Kentucky Exposition Center Lobby.

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April 15th, 2016

NRA Annual Meetings Event May 19-22 in Louisville, Kentucky

NRA Annual meeting exhibits louisville kentucky exposition

The NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits extravaganza is just over one month away. This year, the NRA will hold its annual gathering May 19-22 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. This is a huge event with over 750 exhibitors in a 500,000 square-foot facility. The Exhibit Hall opens at 9:00 am on May 20th (Friday Morning).

You can Pre-Register now so your entry badge will be ready when you arrive.

NRA Annual meeting exhibits louisville kentucky exposition

This year’s NRA convention will feature a variety of special events, starting with the NRA Foundation Banquet on Thursday night, May 19th. The ever-popular NRA Country Jam kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 20th at Louisville’s Belvedere at Waterfront Park. The official NRA Members Meeting will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 in Freedom Hall at the Exposition Center. NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre, Chris W. Cox, and Allan Cors with address the membership. Many other seminars will be hosted over the course of the weekend. Purchase Event Tickets.

CLICK HERE for Full List of Meeting Events and Seminars

NRA Annual meeting exhibits louisville kentucky exposition

NRA Annual Meeting Louisville Kentucky Exhibitor List floor plan

NRA Annual Meeting Louisville Kentucky Exhibitor List

NRA Annual meeting exhibits louisville kentucky exposition

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September 10th, 2015

Firepower on Display at October Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

Twice a year, select-fire fans head to the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky, for the nation’s largest Machine Gun Shoot. A bi-annual event, the Machine Gun Shoot is held in April and October. This year’s fall Machine Gun Shoot will take place October 9-11, 2015. The highlight of every Machine Gun Shoot is the Saturday Night event, where scores of guns send regular and tracer bullets down-range. An estimated 1.25 million rounds are fired each year during the October Night Shoot.

Click Triangle to Watch Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot Video (Warning: Very Loud Audio)

This video was created by Top Shot Season 4 Champ Chris Cheng.

knob creek KY Kentucky Machine gun shoot

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August 29th, 2012

Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship Draws Record Numbers

Rockcastle Pro-amMore than 500 competitors from 43 states and three foreign countries made their way to Rockcastle Shooting Center (Park City, KY) this past weekend to participate in the AR15.com/Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship. These attendance numbers are huge for a shooting match. The 2012 Rockcastle Pro-Am set a new record as the single largest gathering of competitors and sponsors ever for the emerging sport of 3-Gun. At this year’s Rockcastle event, the nation’s top 3-Gun pros competed on eight tough stages designed by past/present 3-Gun champions. Amateurs shot seven similar stages on a separate course, tailored especially for the amateur/celebrity competitors. CLICK HERE for complete match results.

Rockcastle 3-gun Pro-Am
16-year-old Noveske Shooting Team member Katie Harris at Pro Stage 7, Day 1 of the Rockcastle Pro-Am 3-Gun Championship. Photo by Magpul Industries.

Here’s the official Rockcastle Pro-Am promo video produced at the 2011 Championship:

Here’s a POV (Helmet Cam) Video Taken by Competitor Rick Birdsall in the 2012 Rockcastle Pro-Am:

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March 11th, 2012

TCU Wins 2012 NCAA Rifle Championship (Smallbore + Air Rifle)

TCU Wins NRA National Rifle ChampionshipThe TCU rifle team used a dominating effort in air rifle to erase a five-point deficit to claim its second national championship in the last three seasons. TCU’s top-scoring Air Rifle shooter, Sarah Scherer, finished third in the air rifle individual finals, which was won by another lady shooter, West Virginia Mountaineer Petra Zublasing. Congrats to Petra!

In addition to the Team National Championship, the Frogs took home the air rifle title after firing a 2,353, topping West Virginia’s team score of 2,350. Kentucky finished the smallbore competition on day one in first place, but the KY Wildcats couldn’t hold off the TCU squad. TCU’s “Horned Frogs” fired a 2,353 in air rifle to record an impressive 4,676-4,661 overall victory over the defending champion Wildcats. Alaska-Fairbanks took third place overall in the team competition behind TCU and Kentucky.

Final NCAA Rifle Championship Team Rankings:

1. Texas Christian University (TCU)
2. Univ. of Kentucky
3. Univ. of Alaska – Fairbanks
4. U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
5. Univ. of Texas El Paso (UTEP)
6. West Virginia Univ.
7. Jacksonville State Univ.
8. Univ. of Nevada – Reno
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March 10th, 2012

Kentucky Wildcats Win NCAA Smallbore Rifle Championship

Story by By Kyle Jillson for The NRA Blog
The Kentucky Wildcats won the 2012 NCAA team smallbore championship yesterday, shooting a 2328 to win the Smallbore Title and secure a 3-point lead over 2nd place Army in the overall (combined smallbore and Air Rifle) 2012 NCAA Rifle Championships. Last year the Wildcats came into the second day’s Air Rifle competition with a 7-point lead and held on by three to claim the school’s first National Championship. Today at the French Field House Kentucky hopes to maintain the lead in the Air Rifle championship and take home a National Championship for the second consecutive year.

NCAA Championships

Heading into Saturday’s Air Rifle competition, here are current Team Scores and rankings::

1. University of Kentucky: 2328
2. U.S. Military Academy (West Point): 2325
3. Texas Christian University: 2323
4. Alaska-Fairbanks: 2312
5. University of Nevada Reno: 2306
6. Jacksonville State University: 2304
7. UTEP: 2303
8. West Virginia University: 2297

TCU’s Sarah Scherer Wins Individual Smallbore Championship
Friday afternoon the top eight shooters from the smallbore relays stepped up to the firing line for the 2012 individual smallbore finals. When the final scores were totaled, TCU’s Sarah Scherer was the victor, edging West Point’s Michael Matthews by just one point. Scherer, who recently qualified for the US Olympic Team, took the individual smallbore title with a 99.6 in the finals and a total aggregate of 688.6. This was her second win in smallbore; the first coming in TCU’s national championship run in 2010.

Sarah Scherer TCU

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March 8th, 2012

NCAA Rifle Championships March 9-10 at Ohio State

Dardas Andrea Jacksonville State NCAA rifle team

NCAA Rifle ChampionshipsThe nation’s top collegiate men and women shooters have converged on Ohio State University to compete in the 2012 NCAA Rifle Championships. The Championships run March 9-10 (Friday and Saturday) at the Converse Hall and French Field House in Columbus, Ohio. The undefeated Horned Frogs from Texas Christian University (TCU) look to upset the reigning champion Wildcats from the University of Kentucky (UK). You can follow the NCAA Rifle Championships on the NCAA.com website (rifle page). Event coverage will include live streaming video of some relays. The 8-minute video below includes profiles of top male and female shooters.

NCAA Rifle Championships

The following eight teams qualified (based on regular season aggregate scores) to compete in both air rifle and smallbore events: University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF), West Point Army, Jacksonville State, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, University of Nevada, University of Texas El Paso (UTEP), and TCU. On Friday, March 9, the three-position smallbore shooters (both team and individual competition) will shoot 60 shots. The next day, air rifle competitors will take the line for 60 shots as well. According to NCAA rules: “the overall team champion will be determined by combining smallbore and air rifle team scores into one aggregate score for each institution.” The NCAA Rifle program has been in existence since 1980 and currently has 29 schools participating.

Individual and team competitions in smallbore three-position (60 shots) will be held Friday, March 9. Individual and team competitions in air rifle (60 shots) will be held Saturday, March 10. The overall team champion will be determined by combining the smallbore and air rifle team total scores into one aggregate score for each institution.

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April 27th, 2010

$250,000 in Prizes for Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Competitors

three-gun nationOne of the nation’s major multi-gun competitions took place this weekend at the new Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, Kentucky. The Sabre Defense Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun Championship attracted scores of top shooters, drawn by over $250,000 worth of gear and certificates on the prize table. The “Blue Ridge” is a hugely popular match — probably the biggest 3-gun event in the country.

This is the second year for the event at the Rockcastle Shooting Center, an impressive addition to the Park Mammoth Resort. With roughly 250 shooters this year, attendance was up over 42% since last year. One reason the Blue Ridge 3-Gun match is so popular is its unique terrain. Match Director Andy Horner explains: “The BRM3G has several characteristics for which it is known. First of all, being one of two major matches held over natural terrain, the match uses features of the land to create interesting and challenging courses of fire. Stage design also sets the BRM3G apart. The stages are physically demanding and have a higher-than-average round count. This is not a stand-and-shoot match. We strive to create stages that require competitors to get out of their comfort zone and have their abilities tested. This is accomplished through requiring significant movement, unusual shooting positions, unusual presentation of targets, and occasional longer shots.”

Despite rainy weather, the competitors fought through 10 stages over three days. On Sunday, among the top stage performers, 32 shooters were selected for the shoot-off. These 32 dueled in elimination matches until just two competitors were left: Taran Butler and Erik Lund. Erik and Taran then battled against the clock in a final stage run. When the dust settled, Taran Butler took the championship by a few seconds, earning a $5000.00 check from Leupold. As the Blue Ridge 3-Gun Champion, Butler earned a spot at the 3-Gun Nation Finals in September, which will be held in conjunction with the USPSA 3-Gun Nationals. Below are images from the 2009 Blue Ridge Mountain 3-Gun event.

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