HOW MANY FIREARMS DO AMERICANS OWN? THE BENEFIT OF FREEDOM…
According to the recent United States Census Bureau numbers, there are 331M (million) plus Americans here in the United States. One thing most Americans love and enjoy is their freedoms, including the freedom to own, shoot and enjoy firearms. This is a country born on freedom and historical fights to be free.
Those early fights for freedom often involved firearms and shots fired. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s “THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO FIREARMS & AMMUNITION”, there are roughly 300 million firearms in the United States of America and about 85 to 100 million firearm owners. The NSSF also notes that the firearms industry contributes more than $37 Billion to the US economy each year and creates more than 245,000 jobs. These are big numbers.
The number of firearms owned or purchased by Americans is sometimes reported through other channels. Per the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), there were more than 133,000 firearm licenses (these include numerous types, including Class 3 and retail stores) in the US in 2019, and there were more than 9 million firearms manufactured that year. This is the most recent year with numbers available that I could find.
Were all those firearms
produced that year, purchased that year? Probably not. But this high number
does help verify jobs and economic impact numbers the NSSF reports on the
Much of the slanted mass media in our country—and around the globe—often overlooks these numbers and they inaccurately insert numbers that are more convenient to their cause when reporting a story or incident. Especially if the story is about firearms.
While NICS background checks and other numbers are frequently used to gauge firearm ownership and purchases in the USA, the fact is “NO ONE KNOWS HOW MANY FIREARMS ARE IN AMERICAN HOMES”.
If someone calls on the phone, knocks on the front door, and begins asking about firearm ownership, such as the recent statewide telephone survey that was conducted in Oregon, folks simply hang up or slam the door shut. Yes, Americans enjoy privacy along with freedom. Also, the true numbers of firearm ownerships are difficult to discover because Americans have a high distrust of anyone who calls them and begins asking about firearms ownership, ammunition, gun laws, firearms purchases and the many related topics. This same thing goes for doctors who suddenly begin asking questions about firearms at home when you visit the clinic for a sore ankle. It is no one’s business.
In the mass media, numbers provided by the Pew Research Center are used regularly. These numbers come from surveyed Americans and are compiled in the often-quoted report: American’s Complex Relationship with Guns (Pew Research Center, June 2017). The full report is at http://www.pewresearch.com/
It’s interesting to note that per this survey, or oft-quoted research finding, approximately 3 of every 10 Americans own a gun. More noteworthy in this research, but rarely ever reported, is that 36% of the US population reports they “could see owning a gun in the future.” Two-thirds of firearm owners responding to this questionable survey indicate they own more than one firearm. This report also notes that among firearms owned in America, handguns are the biggest category, then rifles and finally shotguns. Buried deep in the Pew report is the profound statement that more Americans will probably be buying more firearms: “Many adults who don’t currently own a gun say they could see themselves owning one at some point. In fact, 52% of all non-gun owners – and 71% of those who have owned a gun in the past – say they could see themselves owning a gun in the future.”
Per the Pew Research Center report, the reasons for owning a firearm, in order from highest to lowest, are: protection, hunting, sport shooting, collecting or it is a requirement of his or her job. The job part could indicate law enforcement or military, there was no clarification. More than a third of the respondents in the survey report firearm ownership is an important part of their identity. This fact is proof that Americans love firearms.
Thus, firearms and firearm ownership are BIG numbers in America. It’s a fact. The details on the numbers owned are mostly guesses. Now, unfortunately, here are the facts or insight on what the Pew Research report does NOT report. These reported numbers were based on the responses of less than 4,000 people (out of a population of 325M), and many of the respondents in the Pew Research survey came from names listed in the 2014 Political Polarization and Typology Survey. In the January through March 2014 period, nearly 10,000 Americans were asked to participate in the Pew survey, but only around 5,000 agreed to respond. This trend continued again in Pew’s 2015 Survey of Government research effort—of the 6,000 adults contacted in this period, only 2,976 agreed to be interviewed. Another problem could be that those surveyed had a landline or cellphone. The survey was also conducted by a Princeton University research center. From these surveys, you can see, there are many avenues to inaccurate findings and numbers reported.
The often-quoted research and responding numbers does reveal one glaring fact, few American firearm owners are willing to talk about their ownership habits or purchase habits. In fact, half of those folks contacted either hung up or refused to answer questions. That left fewer than 8,000 Americans reporting on firearms for a population well beyond 300 million. Not good numbers by any survey standards. But the research does lead to one glaring research result. If someone calls or knocks on the front door and asks about firearms, or your doctor begins to ask about firearms in the home, simply refuse to answer: hang-up or close the door. The number of firearms owned in America may be in the 300 million-plus range, but who owns those is definitely undetermined.
That’s the benefits of Freedom.
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