Every year a lot of people ask the question, how many privately owned firearms in the US. This is usually followed by a lot of debate about how much regulation there should be on these firearms since they are not regulated in the same way that guns that are regulated are. It’s interesting to note that there is a difference between the regulation of firearms and the regulation of guns in other countries.
In some states a person can own firearms even if they have not lived in that state for a certain length of time. Most countries, including the United States, have strict regulations on who can own guns and how they can be used. Some of these strict laws include a waiting period before an individual can legally own a firearm. Other countries do not have any waiting period. Regardless of which country you are in if you are in the legal age to purchase a firearm then you are legally permitted to own one.
There is some confusion with the term “possession” versus “effective ownership”. The definition of possession is the legal right that a person has to possess a firearm. This means that a person can have effective ownership, but they cannot have actual possession. If a firearm is used in the commission of a crime then it is considered to be the weapon used during commission of the crime and therefore the individual is guilty of possessing the weapon.
One misconception that people have is that the person who is arrested for a felony can be arrested for gun possession. This is not true. If an arrest is made on someone for a felony and the person is later found to have a firearm, then that person can be arrested again for possession. Many states make it illegal to possess a firearm if the person does not have a license to do so. This is usually referred to as “farming” or “shipping”.
How many times have we been at a party and had someone bring a gun or a rifle to the house and it turns out to be accidentally loaded? This is also an example of “straw buying”. People who are purchasing a firearm with the intent to commit a crime such as committing a felony, should research the requirements that must be met in order to purchase a firearm in the state of Texas. Most states require that the purchaser have a license or permit to do so. Some states require that the purchase be done through a licensed dealer.
In order to get the full picture of the number of privately owned firearms in the US, you would need to access the Gun Ownership Records database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. This database is searchable online. It is the only database that is searchable by the individual based on the type of firearm being requested. This is done via a fingerprint scan of an applicant. This database can give you a pretty good estimate on how many privately owned firearms are in the US.