Texas politicians love the Second Amendment, but Texas barely exceeds the national average for gun ownership, the Houston Chronicle reports. Rural states with low population density have the highest gun ownership rates, says a paper in the medical journal Injury Prevention. The study also linked a strong gun culture with ownership, but couldn't say which came first. A significant portion of gun owners were over the age of 55. Urban areas, which tend to have weaker gun cultures, perhaps helps explain Texas' ownership rate of 35.7 percent. The national average is 29.1 percent. Gun ownership rates are notoriously difficult to survey, but other studies in past years also put the national average in the same place: About one out of every three Americans owns a gun.
The lowest rates of gun ownership appeared in the northeast. Delaware and Rhode Island both have gun ownership rates below 6 percent. Only two states in the northeast (Pennsylvania and Vermont) even had gun ownership greater than 25 percent. Several sparsely populated states in the west had gun ownership rates around 50 percent. Alaska topped them all, with 61 percent of respondents reporting they owned a gun. The Deep South also had high gun ownership numbers. Arkansas had the second highest rate overall at 57.9 percent.