The United States has nearly 121 guns per 100 people, according to the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based research project. That figure may be higher today since it was reported in the organization's report published in 2018 and was already an increase from 88 guns per 100 people in 2011. (These are states with the most gun purchases per person.)

With so many firearms legally or illegally moving around the country, law enforcement agencies often seek to identify the origin and history of firearms they discover at crime scenes. This job falls to the National Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The ATF traced the origin of 8,994 firearms in Arizona in 2020, and of those, 15.8%, or 1,423 guns, originated from out of state, the fifth smallest share among states.

Of the 1,423 firearms traced in Arizona in 2020 that came from a different state, the largest share - 171 - were originally sold in California.

It is important to note that not all firearms are traced. Tracing occurs when the ATF or any other U.S. law enforcement agency discovers a firearm at a crime scene and wants to learn where it came from. A trace uses the gun's serial number to identify the wholesale and retail history of the gun back to its original manufacturer or importer. Firearms with illegally removed serial numbers can be traced using forensic expertise and technology, according to the ATF.

 

RankStateShare of traced firearms from out of state; 2020 (%)Traced firearms from out of state; 2020Total firearms recovered and traced; 2020Top supplier state; 2020Firearms from top supplier state; 2020
1New Jersey88.53,7384,225Pennsylvania431
2New York87.56,3447,254Georgia632
3Massachusetts78.81,0431,324New Hampshire172
4Connecticut58.3458786Georgia72
5Maryland55.23,5096,357Virginia1,070
6Hawaii54.33870California6
7Wyoming50.5100198Colorado14
8Illinois50.25,88111,708Indiana1,954
9Rhode Island46.0150326Massachusetts17
10California44.912,35227,536Arizona3,352
11Nebraska34.86031,735Iowa154
12Idaho34.2336983Washington51
13North Dakota33.4219656Minnesota41
14Pennsylvania32.92,9108,850Massachusetts270
15Delaware31.43751,195Pennsylvania111
16South Dakota31.2178570North Dakota17
17Nevada29.51,4945,060California315
18Colorado29.41,5285,197Texas238
19Minnesota29.39503,247Wisconsin178
20Iowa28.25822,062Illinois71
21Tennessee28.02,92310,427Mississippi784
22Kansas27.88373,006Missouri351
23Vermont27.262228New Hampshire26
24Washington26.21,0674,071Oregon224
25Montana24.6234953Washington24
26North Carolina24.33,72615,352South Carolina927
27Oregon23.89524,001Washington224
28West Virginia23.63931,668Ohio95
29Arkansas21.86082,788Texas122
30Kentucky21.81,0174,673Indiana240
31South Carolina21.21,6907,969North Carolina290
32Utah20.94682,236Nevada47
33New Hampshire20.9108517Maine26
34New Mexico20.15772,869Texas173
35Florida20.04,51522,530Georgia818
36Missouri19.91,5757,918Kansas512
37Mississippi19.77603,856Louisiana133
38Oklahoma19.75672,877Texas153
39Georgia19.53,19316,409Alabama497
40Michigan19.11,8189,504Ohio292
41Louisiana18.61,7159,201Texas525
42Alabama17.61,1556,574Georgia256
43Maine17.381469New Hampshire19
44Ohio16.22,27714,072Kentucky501
45Indiana15.81,1367,174Kentucky203
46Arizona15.81,4238,994California171
47Wisconsin15.67734,963Illinois98
48Virginia15.31,5179,910North Carolina259
49Texas14.14,47331,827Louisiana747
50Alaska13.184643Florida9