Guns are becoming more uncommon in households across the United States. The most recent national survey found the ownership rate at below 35 percent.
Figures specific to Michigan are hard to come by. In 2002, a survey by the Department of Community Health found that 40.5 percent of respondents said they had a firearm – a term that covers everything from a handgun to a rifle to a shotgun – in the home. A year prior, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 38.4 percent of Michigan households had a firearm.
The best figures from the Michigan State Police don’t even apply to guns directly. The State Police track permit applications for carrying concealed handguns.
Bridge analyzed MSP data from March on the county level and compared it with census figures to rank all 83 counties by the number of approved permits per capita. (The MSP has subsequently posted raw numbers for April, found here.)
The top 10 counties in the per-capita ranking share two primary characteristics:
*They are in the northern half of the state.
*They have smaller populations.