It’s a common question: How many firearms are in the United States? While no country can claim a monopoly on this topic, the United States is the civilian gun capital of the world. Gun laws vary from state to state, but the total number of firearms in the country remains relatively high. In addition to firearms owned by the government, firearms are also purchased legally by individuals, through private dealers, or through online sources.
In January and March 2021, Americans purchased 2.2 million guns legally. In December 2021, 1.9 million guns were sold. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that gun sales will reach nearly twenty million in 2021. FBI records show that background checks accounted for 38.9 million and 39.7 million firearm purchases in the United States, though these numbers do not correspond to individual sales. It is important to note that a gun is considered a firearm when sold by a licensed dealer.
In 2017, the United States had more than three hundred million people, making it the country with the highest firearm ownership rates. That means that we have more firearms per capita than any other country in the world. And, despite the high number of firearms, many people own multiple guns, including handguns. The United States has twice the rate of firearm ownership per person than the next-highest gun-owning nation, Yemen.
According to the Small Arms Survey, roughly three percent of adult Americans own a gun. The survey also includes household members of gun owners, so there are 265 million firearms in circulation across the US. The number of gun owners is estimated to be higher than any other nation, but the United States has more than one third of the world’s civilian firearms. This figure represents a significant proportion of the total gun population, and the vast majority of gun owners have more than one firearm.
The ATF is responsible for enforcing federal firearm laws. The ATF enforces these laws and regulations by issuing licenses to new businesses. It also investigates suspected illegal gun trafficking. If a gun is stolen, the license holder must notify local law enforcement within 48 hours. This is a great way to prevent the spread of weapons. While the ATF may have many other duties, the ATF has the responsibility to protect its citizens.
The total number of firearms per capita varies from state to state. For example, the lowest number of guns per capita is found in Rhode Island and New York. Meanwhile, the highest number of firearms is found in Wyoming, with 132,806 guns registered per thousand people. New Hampshire, New Mexico, Virginia, and Alabama all have lower gun ownership rates than other states. In fact, they are even lower than Wyoming’s population!
While gun ownership rates vary by region, it is important to note that a higher percentage of Republicans own a gun than those of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. This partisan gap persists even after accounting for demographic differences. Furthermore, gun ownership rates vary between urban and rural areas. Roughly half of the American population lives in rural areas while 28% live in urban areas. A higher percentage of Republicans own a gun than those in the south and Midwest.