Top 25 Countries With the Highest Gun Ownership Rate

Residents of the United States own more guns than anywhere else in the world.

The right to possess firearms is an intriguing component of the legal system, and many governments consider that individuals should own firearms for defense. Over 175 nations currently allow their people to own weapons, yet only three constitutions in the world still mention the right to own a gun: the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. Aside from the United States, the other two constitutions impose particular restrictions on gun ownership. Guns are owned by private persons for protection, hunting, and target practice.

Gun Ownership Rate
Gun Ownership Rate ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Top 3 Countries by Gun Ownership Rates

United States

The United States has the greatest gun ownership rate, with around 101 firearms per hundred Americans, over double that of the second-ranked country. The possession, manufacture, transfer, and destruction of ammunition and weapons are all governed by federal gun regulations in the United States. Aside from federal gun restrictions, each state has its own gun control legislation. The freedom to possess a gun is protected by the constitution; yet, the country’s frequent mass shooting occurrences have led in a public uproar over the lack of limits in the country’s gun regulations. Each state has its own set of rules on who may own a firearm, with some requiring a background check before issuing a permit. There is also debate over who should be allowed to own a gun; convicted felons, those on the federal no-fly list, and people with violent or serious mental conditions are not permitted to carry weapons.


Serbia ranks second in terms of firearms per capita, with 58.21 guns per 100 inhabitants. Serbia has weapons regulations that manage the country’s strong gun culture, notably in rural areas where over a million legal firearms are in circulation. Serbians over the age of eighteen can own a gun, although licences are not provided to those with a mental disease, a history of illicit substance or alcohol misuse, or a criminal record. In Serbia, a rigorous background check is required, with the police having the ultimate word. The law requires that all firearms be kept in a secure location, and authorities can seize them if owners are negligent.


Yemen has the world’s third highest gun ownership rate, with 54.8 firearms per 100 inhabitants. Individuals in Yemen are permitted to acquire pistols, semiautomatic firearms, and automatic weapons under the legislation. In Yemen, the prime minister regulates weapons, and anybody above the age of eighteen who has a legitimate cause can get a licence to carry a weapon. Before purchasing a firearm, each individual must pass a background check that takes into account addictions, mental health, and criminal history. The legislation does not specify whether a person with a history of domestic violence should be granted or denied a firearms licence. Before obtaining a licence, applicants are not required to complete any theoretical or practical weapon safety instruction.

Controversies Surrounding Gun Ownership

Gun ownership is a contentious issue. Gun control activists refer to the numerous public and school shootings that have resulted in huge deaths in recent years. As much as firearms provide owners with protection, without control and laws, many people may wind up abusing their weapons. Many US states have strong gun restrictions but yet have high firearm mortality rates, and it is assumed that the majority of the weapons in these incidents were obtained from other states, implying the necessity for nationalized control. Owners of firearms claim that severe limits will only assist criminals who will assault defenseless people.

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Which Country Has the Highest Rate of Gun Ownership?

The United States has roughly double the rate of the second highest country, Serbia, with about 101 weapons per hundred Americans.

Countries With the Highest Rate of Gun Ownership

RankCountryGuns Owned Per 100 People
1United States101
5Saudi Arabia35.0
19Republic of Macedonia24.1
21New Zealand22.6
23United Arab Emirates22.1

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