What is the Average Cost of Owning a Gun in the USA?

The USA has been hit so many time with gun violence, which makes the government amend laws on the right to self-defend. Today, owning a gun in the USA is expensive, even more so being a responsible gun owner. Moreover, there are various state permits for the use of a particular type of gun. You would also need a special permit for a concealed carry handgun. After doing some research I’ve written this article.

What is the Average Cost of Owning a Gun in the USA? The average cost of owning a basic handgun, some ammunition, accessories and other permit fees is nearly $1600. However, the price will vary significantly depending on your need and the permit fees set out by your state.

Average Cost of Owning a Gun in the USA

Here’s a rough estimate of what it would cost to a novice to become a law-abiding gun owner.

01. A Gun ($700)

The price of a gun would vary depending on your choice of firearms, but for the first-time buyers, they should go for entry-level ground such as a 9-millimeter handgun, which is lighter to hold and easier to fire. An entry-level handgun would typically cost between $500 to $700 excluding tax. For a cheaper alternative, you could opt to purchase a used gun which will cost you just within $300.

02. Ammunition ($200)

You would typically need two kinds of ammunition; one set for practice rounds and another set of hollow-points which you will use for self-defense. The hollow points are popular options as they expand upon contact. A set of 100 hollow-points will cost you between $40 and $60 and a set of 100 practice rounds will cost you around $30. To round up, you should expect to spend around $100 for your first buy. Handguns can come with both one or two magazines. If you got only one, a gun owner would recommend you to buy a couple more, costing your $30 to $40 a piece, so that you cut down on reloading time.  It is also recommended to spend another $30 on speed loader so that you don’t have to do it manually. By now, your ammunition cost would be around $200.

03. Gun Accessories ($300)

When you have a gun, you need a holster which should cost you between $30 to $40; leather holster would be a little expensive around $60 to $70. Plus, a basic gun cleaning supplies or a cleaning kit will cost you nearly $30. Next, an entry-level portable gun safe would cost yours under $50. Stationary safes for a home that can store multiple firearms cost thousands. Gun owners would also recommend you to purchase a high-lumen light which is mounted on the handgun’s rail system. As most burglaries happen at night, you could use its added advantage to spot trespassers at night as well as blind them temporarily. However, it does cost bit, nearly $160.

04. Lessons fees ($300)

Many shooting ranges offer an introductory class to newbies for $100, where they cover gun’s operation, vocabulary, storage, safety, and marksmanship. A pair of the ear and eye protection comes at $40 in a bundle. As you will practicing frequently, you will have to pay for an annual range membership, which will cost between $250 to $350. The typical recommendation is to practice at least once a month which will cost your one or two practice rounds ammunition.

The most expensive side of owning a gun is the administrative fees which cost hundreds of dollars. To get a concealed handgun license, you have to pay hundreds of dollars.

Here’s a chart for concealed handgun license and permit fee in different states of USA

State Permit Type Fee
Alabama Concealed handgun license $10-$30 depending on the county
Alaska Concealed handgun permit $40 as set by regulation
Arizona Concealed handgun permit $60
Arkansas Concealed handgun license $141.50
California Handgun safety certificate $25
California Concealed handgun license $44 state fee + local authority fee of $100 + fingerprinting + background check fees. Total fee: $200+)
Colorado Concealed handgun permit $52.50 + local authority fee of $100
Connecticut Handgun eligibility certificate $35
Connecticut Pistols or revolvers permit $140
Delaware Concealed handgun license $65
District of Columbia Firearms registration (No permit for a concealed handgun) $48
Florida Concealed handgun license $112
Georgia Concealed handgun license $75 avg. depending on the county
Hawaii Permit to acquire (handguns and long guns) $16.50
Hawaii Concealed handgun license $10
Idaho Concealed handgun permit $20
Illinois Firearm owners’ identification card $10
Indiana Concealed handgun permit (4-year personal protection) $40
Indiana Concealed handgun permit (lifetime personal protection) $100 – $125
Iowa Permit to acquire handguns $5-$11 avg. depending on the county
Iowa Permit to carry handguns $50
Kansas Concealed handgun permit $132.50
Kentucky Concealed handgun permit $60
Louisiana Concealed handgun permit $125
Maine Concealed handgun permit $35
Maryland Permit to carry firearms $75
Massachusetts Class A license to carry large capacity guns $100
Massachusetts Class B license to carry non-large capacity guns $100
Massachusetts Firearms identification card of non-large capacity rifles and shotguns only $100 (age 18+), $25 (minors)
Michigan License to purchase handguns
Michigan Concealed pistol license $105
Minnesota Permit to purchase or transfer handguns No fee
Minnesota Permit to carry a handgun Under $100, depends on the county
Mississippi Concealed handgun license $100
Missouri Concealed firearms permit Under $100, depends on the county
Montana Concealed weapons permit $50
Nebraska Handgun certificate $5
Nebraska Concealed handgun permit $100
Nevada Concealed firearms permit $60
New Hampshire Concealed handgun permit $10 (NH residents); $100 (non-residents)
New Jersey Firearms purchaser identification card $5
New Jersey Permit to purchase a handgun $2
New Jersey Permit to possess and carry a handgun $20
New Mexico Concealed handgun license $100
New York License to purchase, possess, and carry $10 for application processing
New York City License to purchase, possess, and carry $340 (handguns), $140 (rifles and shotguns)
North Carolina Handgun purchase permit $5
North Carolina Concealed handgun permit $80
North Dakota Concealed handguns license $45
Ohio Concealed handguns license $67
Oklahoma Self Defense Act license $100 (5 years) or $200 (10 years)
Oregon Concealed handguns license $65
Pennsylvania Concealed handguns license $20
Rhode Island Concealed handguns license $40
South Carolina Concealed handguns permit $50
South Dakota Concealed pistol permit $10
Tennessee Handgun carry permit $115
Texas Concealed handgun license $140
Utah Concealed handgun permit $46 (Utah residents); $51 (non-residents)
Vermont No Permits
Virginia Concealed handgun permit Under $50 ($100 for non-residents)
Washington Concealed pistol license $52.50
West Virginia Concealed handgun license $100
Wisconsin Concealed weapon license $50
Wyoming Concealed handgun permit $74

Related Questions

Are Assault Weapons Legal? Semi-automatic rifles (AR-15) are illegal in New Jersey and California. Carrying other guns require separate licensing processes.

Can I Buy Automatic Rifles? Yes, you can buy both semi-automatic and automatic rifles but owning these rifles is strictly regulated and is highly expensive.

Can You Carry a Gun Across State Lines? Yes, a person with a concealed-carry permit and a photo identification can carry a concealed gun across any state.


The average cost of owning a gun could be at least $1,600. Moreover, there are renewal fees, fingerprint fees and other expenses that may crop up in the future. More important than the cost is to adhere to the stringent laws of eating state. For example, to get a concealed carry permit of a handgun in Florida, you have to complete a firearms education course. First-time application in Illinois should undergo at least 16 hours of classroom training. Many states require new firearm owners to have at least 70% accuracy in hitting the target in the practice rounds. There are many such prerequisites, state laws and other requirements that make owning a gun in the USA a tough job.

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