How Many Firearms Are in the United States?
A recent study suggests that the number of firearms sold in the United States is up to 25 million. This figure is down from 22.8 million in 2020, but remains above the pre-pandemic high of 16.7 million in 2016. However, the increase is not surprising, as the number of guns sold has increased every year.
Despite the growing concern about gun violence, there is no federal registration requirement for firearms, which makes it impossible to accurately determine the number of firearms in the United States. That said, statistics show that nearly 40% of American households own a gun and that 22% of individuals report owning a gun. The number of gun-owning households has declined from 51% in 1978, though the number of gun purchases has surged in recent years.
The number of firearms per capita varies widely by state. New York and Rhode Island have the fewest, with only 14.8% and 19.9%, respectively. In comparison, New Hampshire and Wyoming are among the states with the highest gun ownership rates per capita. However, these states differ greatly in other ways, including gun ownership laws.
The prevalence of guns in the United States is a contributing factor in higher homicide and assault rates, which is higher than the rates in other countries. In 2018, firearms were involved in more than 38,400 U.S. deaths, and more than one in every ten of those deaths were suicides. This fact alone makes the issue of gun ownership among Americans one of the most divisive in American politics. While supporters of gun ownership view guns as an important tool for self-defense, critics claim that America’s permissive approach to gun ownership is responsible for the rising number of gun-related deaths.
According to recent studies, the ratio of firearms per 100 US residents is now 120.5 firearms per 100 people. This is up from 88 firearms per 100 residents in 2011, suggesting an increase in gun ownership over the past few years. From January 2019 to April 2021, 7.5 million US adults became new gun owners. Of those new gun owners, five million children were exposed to firearms in their homes. In addition, the percentage of women and Hispanics who own guns has increased.
Gun violence has reached epidemic proportions in recent years. In the last decade alone, the number of gun fatalities increased by over 45,000 people. This is the highest number in decades and the trend is expected to continue. The United States is behind other developed nations when it comes to gun control.
A 2014 review of research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed a link between access to firearms and the risk of suicide and homicide. Meanwhile, gun sales spiked in the summer of 2020 ahead of the 2020 presidential election, with a report from Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting firm predicting that the number of firearms sold in August 2020 will exceed the total sales in all of 2019.