How Many Privately Owned Firearms in the US
One of the questions I get asked a lot is how many privately owned firearms in the USA is there? The statistic given is somewhere between 100 and a couple hundred thousand firearms per every 100 residents. This would put America at number eight in the world volume of privately owned firearms. Now while this is not a huge number by any means, it still provides a great deal of unanswered question as to just how many firearms are in private hands. Here I will attempt to shed some light on this question.
The ATF (Firearms Registration Branch) states, “In order to register a firearm in the United States, an individual must visit an approved gun dealer’s office or fill out an application for registration.” So how many licensed gun dealers’ offices are there in the USA? Well the answer is not very simple. Unfortunately there is no single office or dealer that the entire country can call home. Every single state is unique and has its own requirements when it comes to firearm registration and ownership. If there are any large counties with many licensed dealers then there may be more than a few states that require firearm registration.
In terms of how many privately owned firearms per capita there are in the USA, it seems that there are not many. There is some discrepancy as to how many registered private firearms there are in California (between five and six million registered owners). At the same time there is not much difference when it comes to how many licensed collectors there are in California (between two and three hundred thousand). This information comes from the California Department of Justice. Obviously there is much doubt surrounding the validity of this data, but it does give us an idea of the overall size of the private gun ownership in the USA.
Now the question becomes how many privately owned firearms in the US are there? There is not one simple answer to this question because there are so many different kinds of firearms. For example you have the pistol type of firearm, which can be either a fully automatic or semi-automatic pistol. Then there are rifles (which are also divided into single shot and double shot varieties), and shotgun types of firearms. And then you have other categories such as antique firearms, and those that are regulated by special laws or special permits.
There are a couple of other questions that we should answer before learning how many privately owned firearms in the US there are. First we need to ask ourselves how many handguns there are in the US. This is determined by the FBI’s own statistics, and if you visit their website, you can find this data for yourself. Other than pistols and rifles, the number one most common firearm in America is the handgun (which makes up about 45% of the total number of firearms). There are other smaller types of firearms such as machine guns, and shotguns as well.
One way to look at the question of how many privately owned firearms in the US is to look at how many privately owned firearms in a typical week. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police has done this using their own information on an annual basis for years. If you take this number each year, it comes out to about six thousand firearms per year used in crime in that city. This is just one example, and the details vary depending on the size of the city. But the big picture is that there are a lot of these guns in private ownership in the US.