I can't say that I'm surprised by the answers we got about having a loaded weapon in the home, but the percentage certainly isn't lower than when we asked a few years ago.

NOTE: This was a completely INFORMAL poll that we did on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021. We literally stood on a street corner in downtown Bozeman (with a radio station t-shirt on) and asked folks who passed us by.

To be clear: We asked if the person "lived in the Bozeman area". No further specifics were asked. Since this was a completely informal poll, there is no way to know a margin of error with the responses.

We DID NOT ask how many weapons were owned, loaded or not.

We DID NOT ask if the weapons were kept in a safe, a drawer, etc...

We DID NOT ask where in "the Bozeman area" they lived. (But the non-residents we encountered, we did not continue the conversation and did not included them in the 100 total responses we got.)

We DID NOT ask if the residents were home owners or renters.

We DID NOT ask if the person had proper training in weapon handling.

We DID NOT ask if the loaded weapon was for protection or hunting.

We DID NOT ask if the person had Conceal Carry certification or if they carried at all.

Surprisingly, only THREE people out of 100 total people we asked didn't want to talk to us or refused to answer the question. It was almost odd that so many people were more than happy to casually answer the question.  (It's not like we asked for names, numbers or addresses but I DID expect way more "it's none of your damned business" answers.

According to World Population Review, Montana has the highest gun ownership in America with 66.3%. Who else round out the top 10?

  • Montana (66.30%)
  • Wyoming (66.20%)
  • Alaska (64.50%)
  • Idaho (60.10%)
  • West Virginia (58.50%)
  • Arkansas (57.20%)
  • Mississippi (55.80%)
  • Alabama (55.50%)
  • South Dakota (55.30%)
  • North Dakota (55.10%)

I'm not altogether sure what this says about the population of Bozeman, to be honest. Since these percentages are from 2021 (the official ones, not just our INFORMAL poll), it includes all the newbies who have moved to Bozeman in the last couple of years.

Our question was this, EXACTLY: Does your household keep a LOADED firearm in the house? If 83 out of 100 respondents said "yes", that's a lot of loaded weapons. In my upbringing, none of the weapons that were for hunting purposes were ever kept loaded. Yes, my household growing up was a gun owning home. Still is. BUT 83%????

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