Maine has a proud heritage of spending time in the great outdoors. Whether it's hiking our beautiful mountains and trails, to sight seeing on the coast, or hunting in our great woods, Mainers generally would rather be outside than in. Even in our history as a logging state, hunters have been on the scene providing a necessary service.

So, one would think guns are a huge part of our state's culture. Between all the photos I see on Facebook of hunters during the fall, and living out in the country where you see a deer hanging in just about every driveway, I would have assumed Maine is armed to the teeth. But if you take a moment to compare us to other states, we fall pretty short.

According to a list at, Maine is actually one of the lesser armed states in the U.S. Out of 50 states and Washington DC, Maine comes in at Number 36. The list even breaks the numbers down by the number of guns per thousand residents. Mainers own 8.7 guns per 1000 residents.

If you compare us to other states, the numbers look quite extreme. New York is least armed state with 3.3/1000 residents. Texas, a state where you just assume folks are born with a rifle, only comes in at Number 18. Our next door neighbors in New Hampshire are at Number 13, the highest in New England.

Washington DC came in at Number 2, which is interesting because that concentrates the guns in a much tighter area. But the Number 1, most heavily armed state in the U.S. is Wyoming. They have an average of 195.7 guns per 1000 residents. By the way Wyoming has half the population of Maine, but 22 times the amount of guns.

None of this means there is anything irresponsible going on. Sure, there are always bad people that do bad things, but generally, I support a person's right to own firearms. Shooting things in a safe, controlled manner is wicked fun! And though I don't think I could shoot a an animal, I love that my friends keep me stocked in venison and moose.

I honestly thought we might have been a bit higher up on the list, but it's not really a competition. It's just our way of life. Maybe Mainers are more practical, and figure more guns = more cleaning and maintenance. But at least on paper, it looks like as usual, Mainers have struck a healthy balance between needs, and wants.

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