The Small Arms Survey reports that Americans own 45 percent of the privately held firearms in the world. Interestingly enough, a recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults, including the shooter. As of 2018, there were an estimated 390 million firearms in the United States, according to the survey. Despite these statistics, the right to bear arms remains a controversial issue.
The ATF tracks gun ownership in the United States. In 2007, the agency reported that about 72 million firearms were sold to civilians. By the end of 2007, that number grew to 294 million. This number does not include military-issued guns. Nevertheless, the ATF reports that the number of guns owned by civilians rose sharply among Black Americans and women. The number of women gun owners increased by 40% from January to September.
The survey showed that the number of firearms in the United States increased from 190 million in 1992 to 220 million in 2016. A recent Harvard study found that nearly three-quarters of new guns acquired over the last 20 years were handguns. According to this study, handguns now account for nearly half of all civilian firearms in the country. That means that Americans own approximately 1/3 of the world’s firearms.
The most recent National Firearms Survey revealed that the proportion of gun owners among civilians increased from 88 million in 2011 to 120.5 in 2015. In the past several years, this ratio has been increasing steadily, with more people owning guns than ever before. In January 2019, 7.5 million US adults became first-time gun owners. That means that 5 million children were exposed to a gun. Of the new gun owners, more than half are women and 40% are black or Hispanic.
The number of firearms per capita varies widely by state. Rhode Island and New York have the lowest rate with only 5.8 guns per 100 people, while Wyoming has the highest rate with 132,806 firearms per 1,000 people. However, the number of guns per capita is considerably higher in Wyoming, which is also the gun capital. However, the numbers don’t include firearms owned by law enforcement agencies and militaries.
While President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden have taken some steps to limit gun violence, they’re largely incremental and will be difficult to enact. In 2016, one out of every three households in the United States owned a firearm, according to the Small Arms Survey. But that figure is likely to change as more people buy guns. So, the next time you see a mass shooting, make sure to check on gun ownership statistics before buying one. You’ll be glad you did!
According to a Pew Research Center study, 27% of rural households in the United States own a firearm, compared to 22% among urban dwellers. The same gap persists even when the survey controls for differences in race and gender. Only 11% of Americans say they don’t personally own a gun. However, 19% of non-gun-owners report owning a firearm in their households. And it’s no surprise that gun ownership is higher in rural areas than in urban ones.