Total Number of Guns in the US


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meytind
April 23, 2010, 12:05 PM
A while ago there was a thread posting the latest FBI statistics on the total number of privately owned firearms in America. The issue came up in a conversation with a friend and when I searched for the thread, I was unable to find it. Does anyone have a link to the info or something? Thanks.

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kenno
April 23, 2010, 12:14 PM
I belive it was 160 million

Sam1911
April 23, 2010, 12:20 PM
http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?id=206&issue=007

3. BATFE estimated 215 million guns in 1999 (Crime Gun Trace Reports, 1999, National Report, Nov. 2000, p. ix , www.atf.gov/firearms/ycgii/1999/index.htm). The National Academy of Sciences estimated 258 million (National Research Council, Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review, National Academies Press, 2005). The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports 72 million approved new and used firearm transactions by firearm dealers through the National Instant Check System between 1999-2007 (“Background Checks for Firearm Transfers, 2007,” www.ojp.usdoj.gov./bjs/pub/html/bcft/2007/table/bcft07st01.htm).

Further:

More Guns: There are 250+ million privately-owned firearms in the United States.3 The number of guns typically rises by about 4.5 million every year,4 though between 2007-2008, firearm transactions cleared by the National Criminal Instant Background Check rose 14 percent.5

Even further:

The FBI says that 113,680,372 NICS checks were requested between Nov. 1998 and March 31, 2010. (http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics/Total%20NICS%20Background%20Checks.htm) A truly intformative chart -- worth a quick study.

The most interesting point to me is that, in Dec. of '98 there were 871,000 checks performed. 10 years later, in Dec. of 2008, there were over 1.5 MILLION checks performed. Almost a 300% increase.

Actually, if you add the estimate of 215 million in '99 to around 110 million more sold in the 10 years following, you get a reasonable approximation of 325,000,000 privately held firearms in the US today.

That should put a smile on your face. :)

Zack
April 23, 2010, 12:20 PM
300 milion living in the country. Not to many gun owners/not many people like guns or care for them, but the gun owners own more than one firearm so it kinda makes up for the people who do not own one :D

Oh look jan1,213,885 fed1,259,078,march1,345,096 1,225,980 1,023,102 968,145 966,162 1,074,757 1,093,230 1,233,982 1,223,252 1,407,155 14,033,824
2009
^from link above look at 2009 months

Etc on months. That is the BIG year of the gun scare

Jefferson Herb
April 23, 2010, 12:33 PM
I've done my part,I helped a co-worker quit procrastinating and buy first Rifle.Next step,Help them decide what handgun to buy;ie let His Wife try out a few. We will bring out the 22 rimfires and see type,then on to caliber.

CoRoMo
April 23, 2010, 12:36 PM
I thought it was just shy of 300,000,000 privately owned guns. I thought it was right around 290 or so, but it's been a while since I read something on it.

Still 2 Many Choices!?
April 23, 2010, 01:11 PM
If they are using the instant background check system, that number is extremely flawed. Don't CWL holders bybass that system:confused:? . Meaning all firearms bought by those individuals were not included in this estimate?

Atleast Concealed Weapons License holders in Texas don't get called in. If it's the same for all License holders Nation-wide, then they are missing A LOT of guns! To even be close to accurate, they would have to count the actual 4473's.

Still 2 Many Choices!?

Sam1911
April 23, 2010, 01:24 PM
If they are using he instant background check system, that number is extremely flawed.

It certainly is. For one thing, it doesn't count private transfers, but that's not that big a deal as the VAST majority of guns being sold aren't home-builds, so they're going to come from licensed manufacturers, and so will be sold on a 4473, with a NICS check.

Don't CWL holders bybass that system?In some states CCW/CWL/CHP/LCTF holders can purchase guns without going through the NICS check, so yes, that is one flaw in the system.

How much of an error does that introduce is anyone's guess. 5%? 1%? I can't imagine it's over 5%, but who knows?

Sam1911
April 23, 2010, 01:30 PM
Looked it up:

18 states have some kind of firearms permit that qualifies the holder as exempt from the NICS check.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/brady-law/permit-chart.html


Soooo.... "all" you have to do is to figure out what number of people in each state hold that specific kind of permit and then determine how many guns were purchased in those individual states in your selected sample time frame and then extrapolate based on the percentage of licensed/permitted citizens to non-permitted citizen gun buyers (as opposed to the general population, a large portion of whom wouldn't have bought a gun during that time) to make an educated estimate of how many sales this group might reasonably represent.

Like I said, 5%. ;)

Bubba613
April 23, 2010, 01:33 PM
I think "cr@p-load" might cover it. Keep in mind that a certain number of those guns (a high number actually) are Lorcins, Jennings, etc etc that have a short service life.

LeonCarr
April 23, 2010, 01:38 PM
Only 300 million? Sounds like we need to buy more of them.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

Texasgunlover
April 23, 2010, 01:49 PM
I've always seen the fact that we are armed as the biggest deterrent to invasion.It's beyond me why the washington gang would want to take that free security away.

Still 2 Many Choices!?
April 23, 2010, 01:58 PM
Thanx Sam...

That sounds very reasonable. But I would argue that Texas CWL holders alone, are good for a 5% increase over the total number Of firearms in country by going without the check, :D!! You are probaly right though, it may average out over all the states and license holders.
Thanks again.

Still 2 Many Choices!?

JWF III
April 23, 2010, 02:19 PM
Atleast Concealed Weapons License holders in Texas don't get called in. If it's the same for all License holders Nation-wide, then they are missing A LOT of guns! To even be close to accurate, they would have to count the actual 4473's.


It's the same here in GA.

But when counting "guns", you have to take into account for used guns traded or sold to dealers. They will have two + NCIS checks/4473 forms on the same gun. So I'd call it a wash between multi-NCIS guns, and those that aren't called in because of CCW holder.

Wyman

Still 2 Many Choices!?
April 23, 2010, 02:27 PM
Doh! Forgot about double-checked guns! So the only way to check semi-accurately would be to cross reference the serial#'s against the 4473, and NCIS system. Way more trouble than it would be worth.

Still 2 Many Choices!?

DoubleTapDrew
April 23, 2010, 02:33 PM
Quite a few. One behind every blade of grass.

Sam1911
April 23, 2010, 02:43 PM
Doh! Forgot about double-checked guns! So the only way to check semi-accurately would be to cross reference the serial#'s against the 4473, and NCIS system. Way more trouble than it would be worth.

And that information isn't stored anywhere but the gun dealers' filing cabinets (we are lead to hope) as NICS doesn't collect serial numbers and there isn't a federal "registry" of gun serial numbers that could be used to do that.

Drako
April 23, 2010, 02:55 PM
the FBI estimated that this year alone they could only estimate do the illegal imports that there is over 350,000,000. I personally think that we are all under estimating the figures, and on the other hand the U.S. Goverment destroys 90% of the guns used in crimes the ones they don't keep for reference. My last thought just goes to show if they don,t know how many guns there are how are they going to take them away????

Eyesac
April 23, 2010, 03:10 PM
350 million? One for each of ya! That acutally makes me really happy. What I always think about is if the Gov ever did succeed in confistating guns, even if they confiscated half(!) of all privately owned firearms, there'd still be 175 million.. A little safety in numbers!

meytind
April 23, 2010, 03:20 PM
Thanks a lot Sam1911.

DeepSouth
April 23, 2010, 07:54 PM
Actually, if you add the estimate of 215 million in '99 to around 110 million more sold in the 10 years following, you get a reasonable approximation of 325,000,000 privately held firearms in the US today.

You forgot to subtract the ones destroyed at buy backs. So it's probably only around 324,990,000........or so. They have such success with their numbers.

Oyeboten
April 23, 2010, 10:07 PM
If 325,000,000 Guns were lined up end-to-end, how long a line would it be?

Would it circle the Earth?

Bearhands
April 23, 2010, 10:11 PM
I think there are around 12.

LoneCoon
April 23, 2010, 10:13 PM
Possibly, but I think that'd mean that i could pick up a few an no one would notice.

Ateam-3
April 23, 2010, 10:25 PM
If 325,000,000 Guns were lined up end-to-end, how long a line would it be?

Would it circle the Earth?

Of the 325,000,000. If half are long guns (162,500,000) at an average length of 3 ft and considering the are are 5280 ft in a mile, we get a little more than 92,329 miles. I think that alone would circle the earth almost 4 times. Adding the rest as handguns with an average length of 6 inches we get another 15,388 miles.

Someone please double-check my math, but that is a lot of guns.

Hatterasguy
April 23, 2010, 10:48 PM
Their are a lot, and its impossible to put numbers on them because so many are under the radar.

I would guess that 300m-400m is probably a good range to start, maybe a lot higher.

wishin
April 23, 2010, 11:06 PM
Since nobody knows for sure, I guess we need a national firearms registration system, huh?:rolleyes:

Ohio Gun Guy
April 23, 2010, 11:09 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=501441&highlight=NICS

Here is the link you may have been refering to. Has the NICS stats in it. I'll have to update it with more recent info......

U-235
April 24, 2010, 06:02 PM
This is just a small part of the puzzle but interesting nonetheless. Sturm Ruger and Smith and Wesson are publically traded and have to make annual reports to the SEC. Below in bold is an excerpt from Ruger's annual report for 2009 including units ordered. Note that their volume almost doubled from 2007 to 2009 (485,000 units to 958,000 units). We all know what happened in late 2008 to cause the tremendous increase in demand.

The full 2009 annual report can be found at: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/100224/rgr10-k.html

Results of Operations - 2009

Product Demand
Incoming unit orders in 2009 increased 23% from 2008, and 98% from 2007. The extraordinary retail demand that began in the latter months of 2008 caused independent distributors to place very large orders for our products in 2009, particularly during the first half of the year when orders from distributors substantially exceeded their sales of our products to retailers. This resulted in the Company having an abnormally large backlog of unshipped distributor orders throughout 2009.

The Company has temporarily placed less emphasis on incoming orders as a proxy for market demand. Instead, the Company is using the following estimate of sell-through of our products from distributors to retailers as a proxy for actual market demand and as a metric for planning production. Note, however, that we believe a portion of the 2009 sell-through from distributors to retailers resulted in an inventory build at retail rather than sales from retailers to consumers.

MachIVshooter
April 24, 2010, 09:30 PM
Only 300 million? Sounds like we need to buy more of them.

You do your part, I'll do mine.

The current numbers suggest that, on average, each gun owner in the US has 4 firearms. If we can get each gun owner to the average number of guns that THR members have, we'll be doing alot better.

If every gun owner in the US had as many as some people on this board, we'd be in the double digit billions :D

Carl N. Brown
April 24, 2010, 09:58 PM
Tennessee does not allow THCP holders to bypass the TICS check for each background check for the gun sale approval (and it's the Tennessee ICS not the National ICS for approval on a 4473 transaction).

Most federal surveys (DOJ NIJ) show that over half of all firearms transactions are private sales/transfers of used guns. All new gun sales go through a dealer with a 4473. Used guns acquired by dealers as trade-ins for new guns, consignment to dealers for sale of antiques, estate inventory, etc, will go through a dealer with a 4473 on resale. But most legal used gun transactions are person-to-person and therefore uncountable.

War trophies brought back in duffel bags; military guns smuggled in with drug shipments; guns stolen, bribed or extorted from police or military; underground manufacture; all extralegal transactions cannot be counted, yet are substantial numbers.

22-rimfire
April 24, 2010, 10:05 PM
But most legal used gun transactions are person-to-person and therefore uncountable.

I don't see where it matters as from the gov't point of view, the guns were already in private hands if you are talking about numbers.

The US Population rose from about 226.4 million in July 1980 to 307.0 million in July 2009. I think we are just keeping up with population growth in terms of total guns in civilian hands. We all know that the guns are relatively concentrated in a lot fewer hands than the numbers hint at.

Sam1911
April 25, 2010, 01:09 AM
But most legal used gun transactions are person-to-person and therefore uncountable.As 22-rimfire says, those don't add to the total number in citizens' hands, so they don't really "count." Of course, that means that a fairly significant number (maybe 30%?) of the NICS checks will be for used guns transferred through a dealer for whatever reason as well, further lowering the "real" number.

War trophies brought back in duffel bags; military guns smuggled in with drug shipments; guns stolen, bribed or extorted from police or military; underground manufacture; all extralegal transactions cannot be counted, yet are substantial numbers.This can't possibly be over 1% of the total, and probably far, FAR lower. IMHO.

22-rimfire
April 25, 2010, 02:14 AM
If you think about what a typical number of owned guns are per adult, a typical number might be 1-handgun, 1-22 rifle, 1-shotgun, and 1 centerfire rifle for 4 total. We all know that many have far more than that. So with 300 million firearms in private hands, that would suggest that only 75 milion Americans own firearms or about 25% of the population. Seems low. If you estimate that children under 18 reflect 25% of the total population and their firearm ownership numbers are small, then 75 million Americans would reflect about 1/3 (33%) of the adult population own firearms. Does that percentage make sense or should there be more guns in circulation? Seems about right from my experience.....

Sam1911
April 25, 2010, 11:34 AM
Some numbers taken off of nra-ila.org:

General Information

Privately owned firearms in the U.S.: Approaching 300 million, including nearly 100 million handguns. The number of firearms rises over 4 million annually.

Gun owners in the U.S.: 70-80 million; 40-45 million own handguns

American households that have firearms: 40-45%

Hunting licenses sold annually: 14.5 million

NRA State Associations and Local Clubs: 12,900

NRA Target Shooting Tournaments annually: 10,000

NRA Certified Instructors: 63,000

Number of Individuals Attending an NRA Firearm Course Annually: Over 800,000

NRA Law Enforcement Firearm Instructors: 11,000

frogomatic
April 25, 2010, 11:38 AM
I hope there are far more than the government thinks.

Lastmohecken
April 25, 2010, 03:18 PM
Rural people will probably have more guns per capital then city dwellers. And if I was guesing, I would say that there are a lot more guns per capital in the southern states then the northern states.

DERGLOCKINMEISTER
April 25, 2010, 03:28 PM
How about all the guns lost forever in tragic boating accidents . That alone must account for a few million at least .

Wheeler44
June 10, 2010, 03:43 PM
I though that all of the guns in this country were smuggled to Mexico

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