A Federal Firearm License (FFL) is what you need if you want to do just about anything in the firearms industry. Want to receive firearms directly from manufacturers and distributors? You need an FFL. Want to sell or make guns on a commercial scale? You need an FFL. Want to collect rare, bizarre, or historical firearms? In most cases, you need an FFL.

There are several different types of FFL, from those issued to international companies to the one that your small neighborhood pawnbroker has. In a very general way, more FFLs in any given area can mean that there’s more demand for firearms in a region. However, most of the time it just means that the area has a larger overall population.

If you’ve ever wondered which states have the most active FFLs in America, we have complied the following list of all 50 states (plus some extras) using statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. We also included the state’s population rank, to help lend some perspective on which states have a high number of FFLs for their population.

StateTotal active FFLsPopulation rank
1. Texas108292
2. California85641
3. Florida76343
4. Pennsylvania63256
5. Missouri543718
6. Illinois52395
7. Ohio50877
8. North Carolina48289
9. Virginia450812
10. Michigan435010
11. New York41804
12. Massachusetts399314
13. Georgia38338
14. Tennessee350017
15. Maryland341119
16. Arizona318915
17. Wisconsin316120
18. Indiana298316
19. Washington289913
20. Colorado289322
21. Minnesota272021
22. Kentucky254726
23. Oregon254227
24. Oklahoma250928
25. Alabama239423
26. South Carolina224324
27. Iowa218830
28. Louisiana218425
29. Arkansas204232
31. Connecticut184329
32. Mississippi156231
33. Montana155144
34. West Virginia151838
35. Idaho142339
36. Nevada140635
37. Utah131633
38. New Hampshire119242
39. Nebraska117037
40. New Mexico116136
41. Maine97841
42. Alaska97548
43. Wyoming89650
44. South Dakota81746
45. North Dakota66347
46. Rhode Island61343
47. New Jersey56511
48. Vermont54449
49. Delaware35045
50. Hawaii30040
51. Other Territories117n/a
52. District of Columbia25n/a

Image from Michael Saechang on the flickr Creative Commons

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One thought on “All 50 States Ranked by Number of Federal Firearm Licensees

  1. Your chart is a good start, but needs at least one additional column showing FFL’s per capita. Perhaps even a separate chart ranking by per capita prevalence? When displayed this way, there are some real surprises in the data. For instance, California APPEARS to have a lot of FFL’s. But if you show it in relation to the actual population, FFL’s number one in every 4,530 people. Comparing that to number 3 in the list, Florida has one FFL for every 2,607 people… almost twice as prevalent.

    One of the most surprising states is Massachusetts, which is known for some of the most restrictive gun laws… yet they have one FFL in every 1,689 people. Compare that to Texas, which is shown in your chart as having the most FFL’s. Yet, when compared to actual population, Texas has one FFL for every 2,490 people… a lower rate of FFL’s per capita than Massachusetts.

    PS – New York (another “gun grabber” state) is also a surprise, where there is one FFL per 2009 people. This ranks them above Texas and Florida, which are supposed to be pro-2A states.

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