Montanans like their guns and a new study by CBS News confirms that fact.

Honestly, the news shouldn't come as a surprise. Many people, including myself, love to go hunting. Montana offers a lot of hunting opportunities, and hunting is an extremely popular pastime. Montanans love to go out and try to fill their freezers with wild game meat every year.

According to University of Arizona researcher Jennifer Carlson, the FBI conducted 39.7 million background checks for gun purchases in 2020. That's a 40% increase over 2019's totals. January 2021 set a new monthly record, with 4.3 million firearm background checks.

In February, Governor Greg Gianforte signed H.B. 102 into law. The new law allows Montana gun owners to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense throughout the state without written authorization from the government. Essentially, it allows Montanans to carry a concealed firearm without a permit or any formal training.

CBS News used data from a study published by RAND Corporation in 2020 to rank all 50 states based upon gun ownership. The long-term study tracked gun ownership in all 50 states from 1980 to 2016.

To determine the percentage of adults in each state who live in a household with at least one gun, RAND Corporation combined survey-based estimates with other data pertaining to gun ownership including shooting death records, gun-related magazine subscriptions, background check submissions, and other data.

According to the ranking, Montana is the #1 state in the county for gun ownership with 66.3% of adults living in homes with guns.

Click here to find more information about the study, and view the full ranking for each state.

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