250 million guns and 90 million gun owners


January 14, 2003, 10:54 PM
In a country of 290 million people. The math doesn't seem to add up. It would mean each gun owner has on average less than three guns. But that seems awfully low. If 10% of gunowners owned a dozen guns each that would account for 108 million guns right there. It means there are an awfull lot of people that only own one gun. I can't think of one gunowner that only owns one gun.

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January 14, 2003, 11:01 PM
It means there are an awfull lot of people that only own one gun. I can't think of one gunowner that only owns one gun.

You, sir, are in the minority.

Gun owners are already in the minority.
Multiple-gun owners are even more so.

I wonder where Tamara fits in, in this scheme? :scrutiny:

January 14, 2003, 11:01 PM
Based on that math, and looking at my own collection, I probably account for a small town right here... :D :neener: :evil:

January 14, 2003, 11:08 PM
I know a number of people that only own one or two firearms. Some of them have firearms solely as protection, without really being involved in the “Gun Culture”.
I also think that the reported number of firearms is below the actual number. Many people consider their ownership of firearms to be a private matter and will not discuss it with strangers.

January 14, 2003, 11:19 PM
Why don't you post a poll to see how these numbers stack up?

I know I have more than 1, 2, 3... :)

January 14, 2003, 11:36 PM
There are a lot of Americans that own only one gun. I work with a guy who has an '97 Winchester Pump shotgun in 12 g. That is his home defense gun. More power to him, as it is a J. M. Browning design, and it will do the job. Watch that hammer though!

I am afraid I am a statistical standard deviation, as I own so many more. But let us face it, I am a minority, as is anyone that owns a gun safe.

January 15, 2003, 12:08 AM
Not an exact quote, but didn't someone here once say:

"There are lies; damn lies; and then there are statistics.":eek:

January 15, 2003, 02:28 AM
250 million guns. Last year I read that nearly 5 million SKS's had been imported to the US. So 2 of every hundred guns in the US is an SKS. Right. I have no idea where the 250 million figure came from but looking at my 4 overloaded safes makes it seem a little short.

January 15, 2003, 02:47 AM
I've seen several studies and 90 million gun owners is the highest estimate I've seen.Some of the studies say as little as 65 million and some close to 90,but 80 million is the most common one I've seen.
Even here in Georgia,I know plenty of families that don't own any firearms.The highest firearms ownership rates here are probably in the rural areas,but most of the rural homes in Georgia that I know of only have about three firearms in them.

All in all,I think 80 to 90 million firearm owners is about right.

4v50 Gary
January 15, 2003, 11:48 AM
Can't be right. Only 250 million guns for 90 million owners? That's almost 3:1. Naahhh...

David Roberson
January 15, 2003, 12:42 PM
I think Maddock has this one right: There are many people who have guns that don't admit it (including one anti-gunner in my own extended family, who has a shotgun). The 250 million number is, I believe, way low.

Like the SKS mentioned by TexasVet, there are several other models of guns that have passed the one-million mark. Hard to believe that any single model could constitute a significant percentage of all the guns in America.

January 15, 2003, 12:48 PM
250 million guns? ? ? ? It is probably more than that, simply because some people won't say that they own ANY.
I wonder where Tamara fits in, in this scheme? Tamara, "Runt" & Oleg own 60% of those...........:D :D :D :D :D

January 15, 2003, 12:54 PM
I only have 15 guns right now. Some people may think that's alot, but on THR, I'm almost ashamed to say, "I only have 15 guns". :p

January 15, 2003, 12:59 PM
Jeez Runt...since you're ashamed by 15, I'm not even going to mention how many I have...but you can count them one one hand and still have fingers left over.

Still, it's enough to "get my message accross", so to speak.


January 15, 2003, 01:03 PM
Firearms Commerce in the United States - 2001/2002 (http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/firearmscommerce/)

January 15, 2003, 02:06 PM
Well I am at 21 currently and looking to make that a round number shortly.

Does that make me a "gun-nut"? Am I part of the "evil gun culture"? Am I a gun owning, conservative, pro choice, monogamous, heterosexual, rural, caucasion male?

Damn right!:evil:

January 15, 2003, 02:42 PM
Even if it was only 65 million, that is one hell of an Army.


January 15, 2003, 02:45 PM
Well I am at 21 currently and looking to make that a round number shortly.

By make it a round number do you mean 100? Certainly a worthy goal.

January 15, 2003, 02:50 PM
I believe that Tamara can, by herself, account for more guns than are left in all of NJ...

January 15, 2003, 03:16 PM
I have read that Evan Marshal, who does a lot of statistical work involving firearms, estimates the number of firearms in private hands nationwide is 300,000,000.

Who knows. But, firearms have a long shelf life if taken care of. And if millions of new firearms are being manufactured and imported annually, I can see that 300 million number is not out of the question.

January 15, 2003, 05:06 PM
If indeed there are 80 mil gunowners, then I agree that the 250 mil figure is low. Either that, or me and my gun-owning freinds are driving up the averages for all of those one gun owners. There must be a lot of them.

January 15, 2003, 05:12 PM
Personally I think the that there is way over 250 million guns floating around. While I was growing up my family wasn't out of the norm at all with about a dozen guns around the house. That was just a typical rural family. A couple of shotguns, a couple of deer rifles, some .22s, a couple of pistols. Next thing you know you are at a dozen. Plus we had a pile of old guns left over from my grandpa that were held together by duct tape and rust. They still count.

According the the statistical numbers we are looking a 3 guns per owner. I don't buy it. Sure there are plenty of folks with just 1 gun, but almost anybody I know who has one gun ends up with a couple of others.

How many hunters do you know who own 1 gun? Seems like most of them have on average 2 or 3. And I'm not talking about enthusiasts, just your basic couple shots a year hunter.

Most of the guys I know who would qualify as gun-nuts own between 10-20. And that is if they are on a budget. Gun-nuts with greater disposable income come in between 20-100. I've known a handfull with over 100. I've met a few with 200+.

January 15, 2003, 05:21 PM
My guess is that the best estimate of how many guns are in private hands would come from studying manufacturers' data and estimates. The paltry few that are destroyed could almost be ignored, because guns are pretty much "forever" devices.

Getting data on them by asking people would be pretty much like asking those in a church group how many affairs they've had.

If a pollster asked me, I wouldn't lie. I'd just hang up, close the door, or walk away....

January 15, 2003, 05:33 PM
This relationship (3 to 1) doesn't seem right, at first.

But then I think, in families guns are normally counted together. When I was growing up we had about 4 guns in the family, but there were 6 of us, less than one per person.

And now, I only have one gun. Well, actually three, but the .22 rifle and the .25 pistol don't count because I haven't used them in 30 years. But I do still have them. Hmmmm

So you could say I have 3 guns, or that my current "family" has 1.5 guns per person. Or that my wife has NO guns! Even though she shoots regularly and has full access to my three.

Statistics. Mostly just for fun. :rolleyes:

January 15, 2003, 05:42 PM
I have 22. Sister has 15. Niece has three. One Brother has two whilst another has 3. Now that is 45 firearms right there!

I think the 250 million and the 90 million are best guesstimates. They have no way of really knowing!

January 15, 2003, 06:29 PM
Posted by Runt:

I only have 15 guns right now. Some people may think that's alot, but on THR, I'm almost ashamed to say, "I only have 15 guns".

OK as long as I'm not the only one under 20 guns.

Currently @ 16 if the .22lr's count

I'm working on that number though.

Hope to be over 20 by summer.

January 15, 2003, 06:48 PM
Thanks to Hkmp5sd excellent link I see that there are around seventy million made just between 86 and 99 that stayed in this country so the total number of guns just does not seem right.

I estimated that number by going to the appendix and adding all the guns that were produced, subtracted all the ones exported and added all the ones imported. This does though include gun that are bought and used by law enforecement but not the millitary.

January 15, 2003, 07:19 PM
I know several people with only one gun. Some of them own it because I talked them into it. For many, one is enough for personal protection.

One is better than none.

January 15, 2003, 07:52 PM
I know a dumb, redneck, liberal in San Francisco who has 2 guns! (He thinks other people shouldn't have them, and his handgun is not registered in California)

I have more than one and less than 20. In other words, a bona-fide PRK arsenal.

I think the people that do those studies are not gun owners themselves, so they may have no idea how low the figures could be. I think guns are like potato chips- "Bet'cha can't have just one!"


Art Eatman
January 15, 2003, 08:28 PM
Per that BATF link, over 55 million guns were manufactured from 1986-1999. All types, including machine guns. About 4 million exported. So, 51 million net into the U.S. from U.S. manufacture.

Imports over the last ten years have averaged about one million guns per year.


Brian D.
January 15, 2003, 08:37 PM
Not that the NRA is perfect or anything, but supposing half of those 65-80 million gun owners were members. How could the media possibly overlook/undermine/twist and distort the wishes of that many Americans? As one of the 3-4 million who have signed up and accepted the fight to keep our Constitution strong, I get tired of carrying the deadweight of the other 70+ million gun owners on my back. :banghead: There, i feel better now.

Art Eatman
January 15, 2003, 09:31 PM
Brian, roughly half of all who voted in the last Presidential election were Republican, right? And how many million wuzzat? And you're gonna try and make me believe the Mediahhh didn't twist and spin as to who those voters were, and what they wanted? Duh? :D

If every gun owner in the U.S. joined the NRA, there's a whole bunch of mediahcrities who would figure some sort of negative spin.

:), Art

Mediahcrity: n. mee-dee-ock'-rih-tee. An average, run-of-the-mill incompetent media person.

January 15, 2003, 09:41 PM
That's great, Art!
May I use that as a term in Australia? It might catch on:D

Art Eatman
January 15, 2003, 09:44 PM
Note I edited it to mediahcrity.

Certainly you may use it. Any little "bit" that I come up with which suits is available to any and all of y'all.

:), Art

Brian D.
January 15, 2003, 10:02 PM
How many people voted in the last Pres. election nationwide, for ALL candidates total? Was it 80 million? Less than half that voted for the winner, right? That number would be a little easier to ignore than 75-80 million. Just a pipe dream of mine, getting all the gunowners to join and support ONE pro-gun group. Better than whether the media cared or not, just once in life I'd love to know that an NRA president said to an anti- 2nd amendment US President: "Hey, you don't want us ALL to come to D.C. and protest do ya?" Might elicit a :what: from the White House eh? I really would like to see more gun owners become "joiners", instead of taking their rights for granted or letting others fight their battles for them at city hall, the statehouse, and in Washington. Sorry to go OT there, thought it related somewhat.

January 15, 2003, 10:14 PM
We certainly have the media to suit!:D

January 15, 2003, 10:44 PM
I only own one gun, a shotgun. The rest of that weight in the steel box is just spare parts.:evil:

January 16, 2003, 12:07 AM
it seems that most gun owners own one or two guns, that minority of us that own 20+ make up for the rest.

Matthew Courtney
January 16, 2003, 11:59 PM
80 million Americans are under 18, thier guns are counted as their parents property. Another 40 million Americans are 19-30 years old, and are just beginning to develop their gun collections. In our urban areas, millions of people retire at 65 without ever having seen a gun. The culture of firearms is usually lost within 2 or 3 generations of urbanization.

January 17, 2003, 12:23 AM
I own over 15 here and over 40 of so back home!

Wow that is a lot of people with only one gun.

Well thats all they really need.


January 17, 2003, 02:02 AM
More than one & less than 20, here.
I have a friend, that last I heard, had 2-300. Less than half were full auto, though!:p

January 18, 2003, 01:14 AM
Well, I just did a quick count and came up with 43 various firearms, not counting 4 that belong to my wife, but including 2 really poor quality junk guns someone gave me years ago. I suppose that leaves a little slack for some of the 1 gun types.

I guess 80-90 million gunowners and 300 million guns isn't too far fetched.

Don in Ohio

January 18, 2003, 02:47 PM
According to various surveys about 40% of American households admit to having one or more firearms. That's most likely where the "75 million" gunowners figure comes from. Nobody has a clue how many there really are. If some survey company called you and asked how many guns you owned, what would you say?

I think the gun count is the accumulation of production and imports over a long period of time. Few people actually wear out a gun. Most rust from lack of use. But with basic maintenance, a gun can remain functional for a hundred years or more. Most of the guns made in the last century are still in circulation. A lot of them are just sitting in the hall closet or bedroom dresser.

A lot of people own a gun simply for home protection. They don't shoot and they're not part of the gun culture, so they only need one. No one will ever know they have it, until they have to use it - assuming it still works.

However, within the gun culture, a single person with a half dozen gun is typical and a dozen or more isn't uncommon. Two or three pistols, a couple of rifles, and a shotgun sounds pretty routine to me.

Personally, I think both counts are low.

January 18, 2003, 03:06 PM
Quite Contraire, I know many, many people/families that own 1 maybe 2 firearms. In fact I would say the people that own 5+ guns are the minority.

January 18, 2003, 03:15 PM
Don't know about you and the rest of the country but I just want to stay up with Runt.......:)

January 18, 2003, 05:29 PM
I wonder how many Tamaras it would take to make 250,000,000 guns.

January 18, 2003, 05:52 PM
There are more guns in the hands of private citizen in the U.S. than in any other country in the world. Even the "hot spots" around the world, i.e. Afganistan, Columbia, the West Bank, etc., don't have the number that we do! And we are not even at war.

How is it that we have soooo many gun owners and sooo many guns but so few gun killings as compared to the above nations per capita? It makes national news when someone goes on a shooting spree in the U.S. but it is a daily even in some of the wilder parts of the world.

The U.S. is a good example of a government trusting the people to own guns and it makes some nations angry because it works for us. The antis really don't have much of a argument and I have debated some of them and they either get angry or see it my way to some degree.

America is a special case. We can't ban guns because there are way too many and it would take a change in the Bill of Rights anyway.

January 19, 2003, 02:45 AM
I know one friend that doesnt even know how many he owns. He says about 85 to 100 right now. Has a new one every week as far as I can tell.

I own more than enough right now.

Other friends and family have at least 20 each. Now lets not forget ammo. I have one friend that currently has probably 40k in pistol ammo and god only knows for rifle. Since hes retried thats his passion. Reloading.

So when I hear on the news some guy with 3k of ammo in a some bust saying its an arsenal. I just laugh.

So with that said with the four to five people. They could literally arm over 250 other people.

Interesting :uhoh:

January 19, 2003, 08:12 AM
I wonder what our crime rate per gun owned is in the USA compared to other countries?

January 19, 2003, 11:26 AM
If some survey company called you and asked how many guns you owned, what would you say?

Can't answer that ... this is a "family" forum :D

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