The New York Post may be the right-leaning paper in Gotham, but it’s still decidedly and assiduously anti-gun. Always has been. Hence they jumped at the opportunity of the latest Washington Post’s latest poll on gun ownership to put this little presentation together.

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallYet if you view the graph at the WaPo link above, you’ll note the conspicuous drops in reported gun ownership in 1994 (Clinton’s “assault weapon” ban) and 2012 (Obama’s post-Newtown anti-gun jihad). Our fanatic friends who make up the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex read reports like that and see visions of formerly deluded gun nuts, heads hung in shame, dropping off bundles of firearms at “buy backs” all across the fruited plain.

The People of the Gun, however, freshly back from unfortunate, fumble-fingered boating trips, look at the same reports and see ever fewer people willing to answer in the affirmative when asked about their gun ownership by a stranger on the phone.

We already know that NICS checks set new records virtually every month, with no let-up expected. So which is it? What’s your best guess? In an increasingly bifurcated, polarized country, how many people really do own guns?

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73 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: How Many Americans Own Guns?

      • I may know someone that knows someone that may have a gun.
        So, that’s 2
        Right, only 2 guns in the USA – that’s all.
        Wish i would have known that before doing the NRA instructor stuff – because I don’t think either of them live close to me.

        • I dunno Ralph, your someone who knows someone may know jwm. We may be back down to 1.

  1. It seems to me that whenever there’s a report of NICS checks hitting a new record, there’s usually something in the report about first time checks hitting records as well.

    Maybe trying to draw conclusions on the activities of over three hundred million individuals based on the voluntary responses of a thousand isn’t particularly accurate?

    • 1) The pollsters are legally limited to calling land lines
      2) Caller ID shows “Unknown Number.”
      Therefore, the only people who answer polls are people without cell phones who answer unknown numbers. Lonely senior citizens with nobody to talk to, in other words. OK, a little sarcasm there. But the polls for Brexit showed 52% Remain, and the actual vote was 52% Leave. Polling strategy needs to keep up with changes in population and technology.

  2. So a total stranger calls up on the phone wondering if you have guns?
    A lot of possibilities to this scenario other than just a poll.

  3. I cannot find the story but John Lott on his web blog at one time had a story with someone who did some better analysis then the stupid the NY Post did. There are people who own just one gun, then those who own many more. The analysis came out to be about 1/3 of the USA are gun owners.

    But following the logic of the NY Post, why do we care what the LGBT community? They only represent 3% of the population.

  4. Plus there is a certain odd psychology at play that I’ve run into many times where someone will deny being a gun owner, but later it comes up they do have one in a sock in a drawer, or tucked over a doorsill, or in a drawer by their bed.

    when you ask them about it they’ll still say “oh but I’m not like those NRA people, I’m not a gun OWNER, that’s just for the nightstand”.
    -roll eyes and sigh-

      • 315,000,000P – 189,000,000M = 126,000,000G ESTIMATED since nobody really knows

        P=US population
        M=non-gun owners + gang members + convicted criminals + other prohibited people + people who don’t admit to owning firearms + recipients of BATF supplied firearms + miscellaneous
        G=gun owners

    • A dyed-in-the-wool liberal progressive coworker of mine, who went into educational marketing after 15 years in journalism, confessed to me that she kept a scoped pellet gun in the trunk of her car. She went to great pains to explain that she had never fired it, and only kept in case her car broke down, so she could use it (a pellet gun, mind you) as a scary sniper rifle threat when the inevitable psycho kidnapper drove up.

      Then she begged me not to tell anyone, because she couldn’t have anyone knowing she had a gun. I told her I wouldn’t (and I haven’t). I also told her she’d be much better off getting an *actual* firearm, probably a .22 rifle, and learning how to use it, and that I’d be willing to help her get started on real self-defense anytime. In one ear and out the other…the subject never came up again.

      So there’s one who kind of, almost, sort of, but not really, has a gun, and if she did, would never admit it to anyone.

      Me, I don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize, so nobody’s getting me in a phone poll for anything. But if I have a chance and the organization is legit, I’ll answer yes.

      • I’m registered on the Gallup panel. They call me once a month and ask a standard set of questions plus a few others for the month.

        When they ask about guns I say no. Not because I don’t trust Gallup, but their database could be compromised and even without my address with my name and the other background information they have on me it wouldn’t be hard to track down my address if you know how to do it.

    • There are two kinds of people in this world: those who own guns (including those with ’round-the-clock police protection), and those who are owned by guns (including those who are nominally “pro-gun” because it’s on the Republican platform, but don’t actually possess a firearm for any reason). This is how it’s possible for “gun-owners” to be anti-gun.

  5. None of your F***ing business!

    (As if the NSA, DHS, FBI and BATFE don’t monitor this site and already have a complete inventory of my guns.)

  6. In Australia, Canada and the UK, despite increasingly onerous regulations, we are seeing increases in legal gun ownership. Canada just passed 2 million licenses, Australia has as many guns as before Port Arthur, and the UK has a record high level of gun ownership. Based on those numbers, I find it difficult to believe that fewer Americans own guns.

    An argument could be made that thanks to increased immigration, the per capita rate of gun ownership has declined. That is not particularly useful as a metric, because they can always go and buy firearms later on. They may not be as anti-gun as certain people would like them to be- all it could take is a bit of promotion and education to make them gun owners. A bit of saying “Yes, there is crime where you live, but thanks to our laws, you can arm yourself to protect your family. You don’t have to put up with it like in the old country.”

    The most important metric is the strength of the gun-owning community and how it defends and promotes its rights.

  7. And by the way, having just watched the stupid Propaganda piece, It doesn’t matter if gun ownership is 33% or 80%, gun owners do not control the conversation. I’m pretty sure, let me check…YES, I’m certain the Second Amendment controls the conversation.

    Don’t like that? Want to have a different conversation? Start working on a Constitutional process (check Article V, it’s explained in clear and reasonable language, just like the Second Amendment) to repeal the Second Amendment. Good luck, it would be the first time in the history of this country any of the Bill of Rights was either amended or repealed. And if by some miracle you are successful, good luck collecting the 300,000,000 guns already in private hands.

      • We should throw a party!

        However, in my case, since I knew the Post number to be bullshit, I simply added thirty million guns on top and went with that. But having your statistics off by thirty million or 120 million, what’s the big deal?

  8. the answer is… a hell of a lot more than any poll could ever capture.

    Who knows, maybe 1/4 Americans – somewhere around 75 million+ or so?

  9. I and a lot of other instructors teach a heck of a lot of Basic Pistol classes to first time gun owners, and there are more certified instructors than decades past. I have a lot of acquaintances who once feared guns who have approached me in private to request classes and knowledge about firearms. It is delusional for anyone to believe that the number of gun owners is diminishing. The number of people who come to my classes who want to keep their gun ownership a secret is pretty high, and frankly, I think it is wise with the way the world is changing.

  10. Their numbers simply can’t be true. 38% of American households and 26% of individuals asked self-report as gun owners so the number is at least 2.5 times higher than the video suggests. Then there’s the fact that this is very likely under-reported and that most Americans at this point don’t really favor gun control. Sure they favor “gun control” in general, but they oppose any specific policy the Left has ever put out and do so by wide margins.

    Further, the argument is spurious because it suggests that a majority of people can do whatever they like about the rights of a minority. NYC has a population of 8.402 million people in a country of 313 million and is therefore about 2.64% of the population. Does that mean the rest of us can simply strip the residents of NYC of their rights because we outnumber them 37.88 to one?

    What about blacks? They’re 12.6% of the population. Shall we bring back slavery? Gays are <4%. To the rooftops? Transgender people are 0.3% of the population, yet they get to dictate who uses what bathroom…

    Yeah, fuck off.

  11. The only numbers I ever see being trumpeted are percentages.

    According to the Violence Policy Center, who we all know to be rabidly anti-gun, here are the numbers:

    Highest: 53.7% of households owned guns in 1977.
    Current: 34.4% of households owned guns in 2012.

    These numbers mean very little until you look at the *actual* number of households.

    1977: 74.14 million households
    2012 (most current available): 121.08 million households

    Time for some math:

    53.7% of 74.14 million = 39.81 million gun owning households in 1977
    34.4% of 121.08 million = 41.65 million gun owning households in 2012

    Sure looks to me like the numbers are rising. And, as the article mentioned, how many people are willing to tell a stranger over the phone that there’s a gun in their home? I’m sure as hell not.

    • You also have to take into account the definition of a household has changed over time:

      • Sixty-six percent of households in 2012 were family households, down from 81 percent in 1970.

      • Between 1970 and 2012, the share of households that were married couples with children under 18 halved from 40 percent to 20 percent.

      • The proportion of one-person households increased by 10 percentage points between 1970 and 2012, from 17 percent to 27 percent.

      • Between 1970 and 2012, the average number of people per household declined from 3.1 to 2.6.

      https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-570.pdf

      By not taking into account these factors the percentage of households in which a firearm is present appears to be on the decline, but with record breaking gun sales year over year it’s obvious using the household metric as the sole indicator of gun ownership is a misrepresentation of fact.

  12. I’ve had “pollsters” call me twice in the past couple years; no guns here stranger calling me on the telephone while I’m eating dinner.

  13. Here is a poll question – “Would long do you need to know someone before you ask if/what firearms they own?”.

    To my observation, this would be a discussion not a direct inquiry and is only with someone you have gotten do know on a friendly basis/more than casual. Typically comes up casually as “what are you doing this weekend” – “going shooting”. NOT as a direct inquisition “do you own any guns” – (obvious answer would be less than polite).

    I would no more ask a casual acquaintance if he owns guns, or their opinions on guns, than I would ask about the size of his wife’s nipples. Not acceptable casual conversation. So who is going to honestly answer a pollster?

    Not many guys that I know well are unarmed. Though not necessarily properly armed for the future. Perhaps its a rural thing in free state.

  14. The civil disarmament crowd’s reasoning and understanding of human nature is so fundamentally wrong. I guess we should be happy they are so clueless because they continually fail and seem incapable of learning from their mistakes. But at the same time it’s very sad that many of these people are in the journalist and political class and are suppose to be thinking of ways to improve America. They are just so dumb. 🙁

  15. If you believe that WaPo poll you must believe that 20% of all gun owners in America have given up their guns since Sandy Hook, which is just an absurd assumption. But these ‘journalists’ are taught to never question anything that supports their narrative.

  16. I think of my two firearms as members of the family, to be loved and cared for. At tax time I can write them off as dependents. I named them Shanialynn and Leroy.

  17. How many people in Illinois have obtained a FOID for the first time? While not country wide it should dispel the myth of firearm ownership declining. Some how I doubt Illinois would be the only State where firearm ownership is on the rise.

    As for my ownership, all I will state is I have more than one but less than I want.

  18. 33 million people. With 8 guns a piece. First of all, on what planet would they not control the conversation? That’s more than the soldiers of all the armies of ww2 combined. Second, how much deviation from the 8 gun rule do you think they allow for? Just how many Heston like collections do they imagine must exist, in order to counter the single gun owners? It seems their characature of gun owners has gotten the better of them, with them imagining our great shadow as cast by a mouse.

    • Everyone I know who admits to owning firearms owns several. Eight each doesn’t seem out of line, after all, how many are passed down in the family as safe queens? Add in the huge collections, and I’m thinking half a billion guns in the US.

      “How many guns do you really need?”
      “Well, how many words do YOU need?”

  19. (D)emocrats are not people, hell, their not even American. So, out of the remaining Conservatives and the sliding scale weepy-b1tch re(p)ublicans out there, I’d say, get yours now, support your favorite arms&ammo dealer. That way there’s positive (non-governmental) pressure and competition that’ll keep us all in quality and innovative firearms until JESUS comes back (and asks why we didn’t wipe out that lib_prog_comm problem).

    IF YOU ARE FOR GUN CONTROL
    I AM FOR YOU CONTROL
    (Preferably by condom, but since you are likely also for abortion, I’d demand your mom get a post term one).

  20. The truth is there are only three people in the US that have guns. The same ,misogynistic, racist, wife beating, OFWG, haters are buying them all. Now one of those guys died and gave all his to one of the other two. So obviously the number of gun owners is going down.

  21. I thought their rant was that guns owned us? Turned us into crazed memes of destruction.

    If gun ownership is going down wouldn’t it be smarter to just wait until that last guy had all 300,000.000 guns

  22. Ok I’ll give you that 1/10 of the population has firearms for conversations sake. The people that do have guns are more than 10 times larger than all of the armed forces and police combined. So it’s your move what are you gonna do next? We got the guns you unarmed drone what are you gonna do throw dirt clods?

  23. The thing about this is that most people on the fence either do not know many gun owners, or unaware how many people are gun owners.

    If you had asked me when I was 10, my answer would have been 0 people that I know. By 12 I found out my dad had a gun. Then there was my cousin who was a cop. Then I became a gun owner, and found out so were several more cousins, and several uncles and aunts, even the handful of Democrats in my family owned guns. And when my grandfather passed, turned out he had a gun. And it turns out that among the neighbors on the street I grew up, one collected guns, two across the street owned to being gun owners, and so on, so that, in this Los Angeles suburb, I could say 50% of the households on my block owned guns that I know about.

    Same people, percentage change once I got into guns and talked about it and people shared what I otherwise would never have known.

    The New York Times, no friend, survey and got between 35% and 52%, though they favor the lower end, of households.

    The 35% would fit with 1 in a 8 Americans, but that shows another misleading aspect of the Post. 320 million Americans, 24-25% of them are under 18. So really 240 million adults, now the low end number becomes a higher proportion still. Further, surveys have been by household, not person. Some households would have multiple gun owners.

    So even at the lowest end it must be higher than 1 in 6, and at the higher end higher than 1 in 4 American adults using their numbers.

  24. I only own “funsticks”, I don’t know what these “gun” things are that you are talking about.

    So lets guess, 300e6-400e6 guns, and from 3-15 guns per person, so as low as 20e6 to as high as 133e6 owners.

    Whats the current US population?

  25. If you wish to talk to on the phone, I had better recognize the name that my antispam app reports, otherwise leave a voice mail and make your case for me to get back to you. Polls are frequently scams to try to sell you something and I have no interest in that. The above attitude is currently effecting all random phone polling to the point that it the results are useless or so heavily skewed to the point that a much larger error must be assumed

  26. In an increasingly bifurcated, polarized country, how many people really do own guns?

    Not nearly enough.

  27. Dont own one firearm dont know sure as hell not answering that question. Had idiot tell me one time what do you do to protect yourself. Have six loaded English Mastiffs. And dont own just one firearm

    • Correct answer to the random question “Do you have a gun in the house?” or “Do you own a gun”: Nope.

      Last count was more than one which means the singular “a gun?” does not result in an affirmative answer.

      Correct answer to the plural “Do you on any guns?” = Fuck you, good-bye.

      • Other correct answer:

        “Well, no I don’t any guns.”

        Left unsaid, I am very particular about the guns I own, I don’t just own any gun.

  28. In the same spirit, if we shouldn’t care about 1/3rd of the US population (if not more):

    Why should we care about Blacks? They only represent 13.2% of the US population;
    Why should we care about LGBT? They only represent 3.8% of the US population;
    Why should we care about Jews? They only represent 1.4% of the US population;
    And why should we care about Muslims? They only represent 1% of the US population…

  29. Based on availability at my local range these days, Japanese Imperial Navy Commander Yamamoto was correct:

    There is one of those damn guns behind every blade of grass. 😅

  30. I wonder where these surveys were taken? Middle America? Rural South? Central Pennsylvania? Or was it New York City, Chicago, North Jersey, Los Angeles, and Boston?

    Remind me why anyone trusts “data” from surveys and polls again? When did they start being treated as valuable in the first place?

  31. At least 36.4% of house holds are armed. I believe the actual number of households with guns may be 46% or higher.
    The longer answer

    This question bothered me a lot because I knew it was another manipulation of numbers to tell a lie. I knew the 270 Million guys was an old number, and my guess is the average number of guns per owner is from the same time frame and mostly likely wrong.

    The key flaw in there calculation is assuming only the purchaser has access to the guns. They do not. How many of you have purchased a firearm for your spouse, your children, or just trained the family to use the ones you already have.

    If you assign the guns the house hold rather than a person that sets the low side of 36.4% of household’s armed, or 48,750,000 households.

    For the high side I assumed that 10% of the NCIS checks for the past 7 years were for First time gun purchasers. This is a guess, and I hope a conservatively low guess. By looking as the NCIS filings for the past 7 years ( the current administration) we can estimate 12,969,448 new gun households during that period. That would mean its possible that there are nearly 62 Million armed households (46%) or roughly 149 million Legally armed citizens.
    Do my numbers take everything into account? No they don’t, but I think they get you into the right pall park. . I know my numbers are a lot better closer to reality than the New York Posts numbers were.

    Below are the numbers I used.

    US population –
    323,000,000
    Guns in US –
    390,000,000
    Guns per owner
    8
    housholds in US 134,000,000
    households with Guns 48,750,000
    % of household armed 36.4%
    average houshold size
    2.58
    Legally arms citizens 125,775,000

    From FBI
    Guns sold Current Administration
    NICS checks Assuming 10% are first time
    2009 14,033,824 1,403,382
    2010 14,409,616 1,440,962
    2011 16,454,951 1,645,495
    2012 19,592,303 1,959,230
    2013 21,093,273 2,109,327
    2014 20,968,547 2,096,855
    2015 23,141,970 2,314,197
    Total 129,694,484 12,969,448

    New houses with Guns 12,969,448
    Total house holds with guns 61,719,448
    % of households with guns 46%
    Legally armed Citizens 148,771,506

  32. If you believe the polling trends, since 1992, over 20 million households have given up their guns (while each year, retailers set records for number of units sold.) 53 million less people today are protected by a gun in the home than 30 years ago? Sure, I believe your statistics.

  33. There are more people with guns than elected officials for sure. I don’t have any though. Those things are dangerous.

  34. Now we know why these people are journalists… those math classes were just too difficult. Using an average to calculate a population is just nonsense. Next time they may want to hire smart people to help them with the math.

  35. “Gun? Well, no. I’m way too clumsy to own a gun. I mean, gee, I managed to have a boating accident in Colorado for Pete’s sake. Colorado, where we don’t just leave water lying around on the ground.”

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