How Many Guns Are There in the US? A Lot More Than You Think

how many guns in america?

Dan Z for TTAG

It’s been said, “Law-abiding gun owners have over 300 million guns…and 12 trillion rounds of ammo. If we were a problem, you’d know it!”

But what if that “300 million” estimate is wrong?

According to these calculations, it is.

We believe that the correct number is much higher — somewhere between 412 and 660 million.  You may wonder how we came to that number, so buckle up (and cringe, if you’re a math-phobe, although it never gets too theoretical): unlike most of the academics and reporters we linked above, we’re going to use publicly available data, and show our work.

What if we told you that one ATF computer system logged, by serial number, 252,000,000 unique firearms, and represented only those firearms manufactured, imported or sold by a relatively small number of the nation’s tens of thousands of Federal Firearms Licensees?

Absent a better idea, we can say that the US inventory of firearms is almost certainly between 412 and 660 million, not the lower numbers recently trumpeted in the media.

Weapons Man goes into great detail to explain the logic behind the calculation and after reviewing his work (particularly the numbers from the FFL on NICS checks), I’m convinced we own upwards of 600 million guns in America – which is more than double than what is being reported by the media.

So, I guess the saying really is true.

“Law-abiding gun owners have over 600 million guns… and 25 trillion rounds of ammo. If we were a problem, you’d know it!”

 

This post originally appeared at jennjacques.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    If close friends and co-workers ask me my answer is always the same, more than 1 and still not enough.

    1. avatar Jeff in CO says:

      I think I dropped the number just slightly under 600 million a few years ago after a terrible boating accident. Lost all my guns…

      1. avatar Forward Assist says:

        The math fails to consider that most gun owners only have one or two guns, and are fairly regularly replacing those guns lost in boating accidents. Guns are consumables. Use them. Lose them. Replace them. So in reality there might be 600 million guns sold, but only a few million still in existence. Sad really.

        Regarding ammo, at the range the average shooter fires between 10,000-20,000 shots per range trip so while trillions of cartridges were made, very few are still unfired.

        So please stop blowing this all out of proportion. You know, until most cities ramped up their recycling programs, there was serious concern that the cities would be buried under National Geographic magazines since nobody would throw them away. The same is true with guns. If your numbers were correct, and there were no boating accidents, we would be knee-deep in guns, tripping over them while going to the grocery store, slipping on bullets while walking down the sidewalk, and after a few generations of father to son handmedowns, our homes would be stuffed to the gills with guns.

        So have fun playing with math, but reality is much different. Like if you just ate and never took a dump.

        1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

          They play with the marriage/divorce numbers, too. Some people do it 3+ times. It is recorded as a separate person’s marriage/divorce each time. Same thing with the news that “NRA membership is down” I renewed for 3 years, last year. I didn’t “join” this year, so their numbers are down because of me.

        2. avatar Tom T says:

          Forward Assist, in 55 years I have known only one person who lost a gun. And one who damaged one beyond repair, and they replaced it. I know those things occur but I believe the number would be so low as to be statistically insignificant. Certainly not a hundred million or more.

          I think a more common factor would be older firearms passed down which would not be included in this estimate’s methodology. That would increase the total far more than “lost” guns would decrease it.

        3. avatar Ragnar says:

          Forward Assist, I can almost agree with you. However, I have a friend that never throws away an old weapon. In fact, his guest bedroom and one bathroom are now inaccessible from all of his firearms and ammo. Last year, the neighbors filed a complaint with his HOA for the weapons piling up in his backyard.

          Being a hoarder is a serious affliction and the struggle is real.

        4. avatar mac says:

          Good to clear that up because otherwise if they come for them they’d be digging up our back yards. And we don’t want that to happen now do we

        5. avatar Randy says:

          Like most gun owners who practice, I shot well enough with my gun that I only go through 100 to 150 cartridges at the range per visit. I don’t take all my guns when I go, because my truck can’t hold them all. Plus I’m constantly looking for cartridges on sale and replace and sometimes double my stock

        6. avatar Work in Reality says:

          Forward Assist might want to try some real math. Or more likely revisit spacial recognition and how much space things really occupy.

          F.A. says that over 600 million guns may have been purchased, but only a few million remain. So, doing that math means about 600 million guns have been destroyed, lost, or broken? That is an INCREDIBLY high rate of waste/incompetency. Guns are NOT that disposable. I’ve owned guns for nearly 40 years, and my rate of disposal isn’t anywhere near that. Nor is the rate of disposal of any of my MANY friends who also own many guns.

          I love to shoot and often take several guns to the range and I am there for several hours at a time. But, on my longest, most trigger happy day at the range I never got anywhere near 10,000 – 20,000. A person would need to shoot 1 round every second for 5.5 hours with no breaks to reload or change guns or change targets to approach 20,000 rounds art the range. 1 round every 2 seconds would be 10,00 rounds.

          Now here’s some real math for you.

          The ATF estimates there are over 120 million gun owners in the US. So, if there are also 600 million guns, that is an average of 5 per owner. That would hardly have us “knee deep in guns tripping over them . . .”
          As for the stated 12 billions rounds of ammo, that would be an average of 100 rounds per owner. Depending on the type ammo, that could fit in your pocket, or maybe you’d need a shoe box. Hardly a volume to cause us “slipping on bullets while walking down the side walk”

          I think you need to actually try math and get a better grip on spacial perception instead of using conjecture and throwing out made up numbers and images to (try to) sound intelligent.

        7. avatar Draven says:

          yeah, i have a rifle made in 1925 that is perfectly functional… you kinda have to neglect them to have them break

        8. avatar Work in Reality says:

          My bad. Not 12 billion rounds of ammo, 12 trillion. That is 100,000 rounds per average gun owner (120 million of those). While I think that is a bit high, it is still not a volume that wopuu;ld cause us to slip on them on the sidewalk. Volume wise, even if it were all rifle ammo, that would easily fit in the bed of a pick-up truck. Pistol ammo would take even less space. Possibly in teh trunk of a large car. We’d still hardly be “slipping on bullets”

      2. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

        Jeff, the best response I’ve seen in a while. Mine were lost in a storm surge or was it a tornado?

        1. avatar MyName says:

          Go with tornado surge, they’ll never see that coming.

  2. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I always say more then I need but still not enough.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      Optimal number of guns is X+1. Where: X = number of guns currently owned.

      (There is a special case in which there is an alternative optima of X+2 when you are really interested in a matched pair of something. After acquiring said pair, however, the standard form of the expression becomes optimal again.)

  3. avatar Mr. Savage says:

    I always say “Wouldn’t you like to know”

  4. avatar RA-15 says:

    One can never have too many , after all they come in so many flavors.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Gotta have one for each season. Summer, winter, spring, fall, Deer, Bear, Rabbit, Duck, Turkey, monsoon season, drought season, hurricane season, tornado season, wildfire season, prevernal, vernal, estival, serotinal, autumnal, hibernal, planting season, harvest season, etc..

      1. avatar Random Internet Nut says:

        I like where your head’s at!

        You forgot CCW guns for under heavy coats, light jackets, t-shirts, and pocket/deep-cover carry… oh, and truck guns, night stand guns, bathroom guns, CQB, intermediate, and long range tactical guns, with back-ups and integrally-suppressed variants for each.

        Gun rich, cash poor. Such is life, and life is good!

        1. avatar Chadwick says:

          Good point. Different cc guns for different types of events and the clothing that accompanies them. I mean I wouldn’t want to be the sorry sap that wears his oil changing and yard work gun to a barbeque or wedding. That’s like a brown belt with black shoes!

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Guys have guns like women have shoes..

        3. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

          Remember the guns have to match the shoes or belt. No white after Labor Day. Therefore I need to find a white gun one for the summer.

  5. avatar Draven says:

    I always knew the 300 million number was low… i mean, at least two million Mosins have been imported… five and a half million garands were made and most of those have been sold to civilians… etc..

    1. avatar Chadwick says:

      I figured it was low also. I also think the number of people that carry in their car or on their person is higher than commonly touted. A couple years back I heard Smith sold over 1 million shields. Yeah it’s a great gun but there’s got to be 10 Glock 19s for every shield and who knows maybe even more than that. 1 million of one model of gun that has a primary purpose of being worn on your person with minimal discomfort leads me to believe there are a lot of people carrying.

    2. avatar YuGo HuGo says:

      Geoff PR said, “Guys have guns like women have shoes..”
      I’m way behind and have a lot of catching up to do. I am glad he did not say shoes and clothes!

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I thought firearm manufacturers had to report how many firearms they manufacture every year to ATF (although their reporting is somehow two years behind to protect their strategic something-or-other). And some government agency (probably ATF as well) knows how many firearms we import every year. So, it seems to me that ATF should know almost exactly how many firearms have entered circulation in the U.S. for at least several decades.

      The only significant unknown is how many firearms we remove from circulation over the years. And I would think that someone can generate a fairly reasonable estimate of that number. For one, I imagine law enforcement agencies report how many firearms they destroy. The rest would be firearms that finally break, wear out, or rust to the point of no repair. And that has to be fairly well understood. Oh, and I suppose a few lost firearms obviously remove some firearms from circulation, although that has to be pretty tiny. (I have never heard of anyone losing a firearm, although I have heard of criminals who dispose of a firearm as evidence.)

      As for unknown war trophies or home-made firearms, I suspect that number is pretty small, at most a few million and not a significant percentage of firearms in circulation.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        I’m not aware of any requirement for gun manufacturers to report numbers made, even though if made by licensed makers they must be serialized. (If there is such a requirement, let us know, please)
        Guns are indeed lost. Just look at how many guns are caught at TSA checks because the person “forgot” the gun was in his carry-on bag. (Am I the only one who knows what’s in his bags?)
        How many guns are imported? Well, do you mean legally, or the actual total? Because there’s no way to know the actual total.
        Are guns taken off the “active list” because of wear, rust and breakage? Obviously. However, IMO, not as many as are included in the “official” lists.
        Then, there are the millions upon millions of guns that were introduced before any official attempt to count them. Add the war trophies to that number.
        Then, home made guns; with 80% lowers becoming so popular, that number is significant. There are even a good number of “zip” guns; I’ve made a few, just to prove it can be done.
        Just as a WAG, I put the number of guns in the wild in the US at north of 500 million, not counting the military and department-owned firearms (which I suppose could be considered “government owned”).

  6. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    and what about all the 80% guns…and purely home-made…no serial numbers needed unless you plan to sell them…legally, at least
    and surely there are at least some illegally imported ones…
    not sure about the ammo numbers
    I know some gun owners that only have a couple hundred rounds
    I have no idea what I have…but if I include .22 it is the tens of thousands

    1. avatar AM says:

      I used to think that i only had a couple hundred rounds, until i actually looked in my basement. Somehow i had acquired some ten ammo cans, that were full and numerous boxes just laying around. I thing these things have been breeding down there.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        Dude! If you’ve figured out how to get ammo to reproduce on it’s own, share your secret.

        1. avatar Longhaired Redneck says:

          A million thumbs up! If you’re breeding ammo, please share your process and techniques. It can’t just be “stack and forget”, because that hasn’t been working for me. Is it possible I’ve been buying only sterile ammunition that can’t reproduce?

    2. avatar MyName says:

      What!? I don’t own any un-serialized ghost guns. (well, maybe one, or two or, well, I’m not gonna say)

  7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I’m pretty sure that 300 million number was the pre-O’Bama number.

    1. avatar Gadsden says:

      Bingo.

    2. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Careful with that apostrophe, that’s cultural appropriation…

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        The Irish are too drunk to care.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          The Black Irish were proud as hell.

        2. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

          With all due respect Guv…an Irishman is not drunk so long as he can hold onto a shamrock and not fall off the face of the earth.

  8. avatar GunnyGene says:

    He didn’t subtract the number of firearms that were lost due to boating accidents. Gotta be at least 200 million of those. 🙂

  9. avatar cgray says:

    25 trillion rounds. Let’s do some basic math here. 12 BILLION rounds sold per year, with perhaps another 1-2 billion rounds reloaded. 25 trillion divided by 14 billion equals…1785 fucking years. Without anyone popping off a single round. Saving up EVERY LAST ROUND OF AMMUNITION. Every bit as stupid as the gun grabbing leftists.

    1. avatar Gadsden says:

      I don’t think that’s as “stupid as the gun grabbing leftists”, it’s simply exaggerating. But yes, *trillions* are absurdly high numbers. Maybe that many in total ever.

      1. avatar cgray says:

        WILDLY exaggerating. Beyond belief exaggerating.

        1. avatar The Dude Abides says:

          What, 41k to 60k rounds PER gun seems excessive?

        2. avatar Gadsden says:

          I suppose but I think a more fun use of our time would be to theorize how many rounds have been produced by humanity in total.

    2. avatar cgray says:

      A tad.

    3. avatar Mad Max says:

      Should be an adequate supply for the coming civil war/revolution (which may actually require zero rounds to win – a huge show of force should be enough to scare the bejesus out of the cowardly rats and send them scurrying into obscurity).

      1. avatar Rocketman says:

        In any war you normally go through more rounds than you think you would need. Better to be on the safe side.

    4. avatar Big Bill says:

      I’d purely love to know where you came up with that “12 BILLION rounds sold per year” figure, since there is no accounting at all as to how many rounds are made or sold each year.
      Of that 12 BILLION number, I’ve seen estimates as high as 6 billion just of .22lr. (I just checked; I have just shy of 7k rounds of .22lr, and I’m neither a hoarder nor a prolific shooter. I’m mostly just a plinker, but I easily go through about 1k a month. (I used to think shooting .22 was inexpensive, but…) I just bought a Ruger PCC, so my use of 9mm has gone up, too.
      And I have a gun I don’t even have ammo for yet.
      We do indeed go through a lot of ammo per year.

      1. avatar cgray says:

        And I’d like to know why you think every man, woman, and child in the United States has a stockpile of over 76 thousand rounds of ammunition.

        I suspect it’s because you’re just stupid.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          Well, you can call me stupid, but please do it for the right reasons; I never said the 12 billion number was right. I just said we go through a lot of ammo per year.
          I’m not saying you’re stupid, but I am saying your reading comprehension is lacking.

  10. avatar Kenneth says:

    So you expect people to believe that, on average, each gun in the entire US has 40,000 rounds of ammo stored for it? After all: 24 trillion(24,000,000,000,000) rounds divided by 600 million(600,000,000) firearms equals 40,000 rounds per gun. Or 12T/300M is still 40K.
    I think you had best recheck your math…. Maybe someone there knows how to do long division? Or are you hiring antis now? The inability to do the most basic math seems awfully familiar somehow….

    1. Gee I thought everyone had that many rounds per fire arm. I guess I was off by a few thousand rounds, be heading to the gun store Monday to pick up a few thousand rounds of various calibers.

  11. avatar Mastro says:

    A lot of guns were never counted- like a war trophy I have. Probably almost everything pre-1968.

  12. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

    25 trillion…Hmm, looked in my ammo locker…pretty close.

    I’m fortunate in that I have a number of nationally distributed ammunition manufacturers within 200 miles…Armscor, Buffalo Bore, HSM, ProGrade, etc. I particularly like the ProGrade .45 Colt offerings…reasonably priced and they shoot cleanly and accurately.

  13. avatar Texican says:

    It’s only about 38,000 per gun if there are 660M guns. Might be a skosh high for some but there’s probably some that have more. Bet it would be difficult to game plan confiscating all of that by any govt. authority. Something about a rifle behind every blade of grass.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      Yes but I’d say it is quite a bit more than average. A quick check shows that I currently have about 1000/gun on average. I do keep a good deal more than that in some calibers but in those I also tend to have multiple firearms. On the other hand, I don’t keep very much ammo on hand for several antique or oddball firearms I own.

      1. avatar Texican says:

        Did you count 22lr?

        1. avatar MyName says:

          Yup, I have about 8000 rounds of .22lr at present but I also own several .22lr firearms so it doesn’t push the average per gun all that much. On the other end of the spectrum, pulling down the average, I only have about 50 rounds of 30-40 Krag.

  14. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    When asked by non-gun owners “how many guns do you own anyway”, I always reply “not enough”.

    1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      👆 What he said.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      My answer is, “More than two, less than fifty.”

  15. avatar MyName says:

    I used to cite the 300 million estimate but, these days, I usually state 400. The 300 million number was being used by people a decade ago and, since then, based on NCIS checks and NSSF estimates, about 10 million guns have entered the population each year – so, 400 million seems like a reasonably conservative estimate. I can see how it could certainly be a good bit higher. 30 years ago people often said 200 million – pretty sure it is at least double that now.

    1. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

      Agreed. 400 million is the figure I see most often based on the last decade’s gun sales under Obama.

      660 million sounds high to me, but not impossible.

      The other figure I see quoted is “80 million firearm owners”, although the gun control people like to say that represents a much lower figure in that some gun owners have enormous quantities of guns – so they think that targeting the “collectors” would remove a lot of guns from circulation and reduce the number of owners to maybe 20 million. I don’t see the point as 20 million gun owners is still 20 times the entire US military and police.

      What gun control people don’t understand is that even if you go door to door seizing guns, you’re going to miss at least a quarter of all guns and perhaps a third. Back when they declared an amnesty for a year to register full-auto weapons, there were 100,000 registered full auto firearms. During the amnesty, another 100,000 owners came forward to register them. I guarantee that left at least another 100,000 that will never be registered. Applying that third to the 400 million minimum figure leaves 120 million firearms in private hands even after a full-scale seizure program. I’d call that a “fail” for “gun control.”

      1. ATF estimates that there are 120,000,000 known gun owners in the US (post 1968) unknown quantity prior to that time as records were not kept, and you did not need a background check to buy a firearm.

  16. avatar Darkman says:

    Being a gunaholic. 1 is to many and 100 is not enough. I put most of my value in ammo. You can NEVER have to much ammo. Been caching since the early 80’s and yes it still goes bang.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      If you only have a couple of guns and too much ammo then you can indeed have too much ammo, especially if you live in a state where they are cracking down on the ability to buy guns. Ammo is easy to get for now so focus on completing your guns first.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        Too much ammo is a problem that can be easily solved by a day out at the range.

      2. avatar Darkman says:

        Keep in mind that many states are already working toward restricting ammo purchases. It also has excellent trade value when times are lean. Much of what I cached in the 80’s was military surplus. Some as old as Korean war era. Properly cached it will last for many more years. Keep Your Powder Dry…

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          “It also has excellent trade value when times are lean.”
          While it certainly has that value, I am personally opposed to trading something that can come back to bite me. Selling/trading ammo in a SHTF scenario is, IMO, just dumb.
          If you really want something that will have value in such a situation, it’s hard to go wrong with booze.

  17. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    and you stand 00000000000001% chance of getting them back without getting them wore-out on you…

  18. Gun regs: succumbing to the temptation to create a few 100-millions of new crimes, and a few 10-millions of new criminals.

    Because there aren’t enough bad people doing bad things to go after already

  19. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    How Many Guns Are There in the US?

    Answer: Not enough.

    Next question?

  20. avatar DJ says:

    Registration and Confiscation………then you will know we are a problem!

    NEVER COMPLY!

    We’ll explain the 2nd Amendment one round at a time if you start stuff like the nonsense after the Boston Marathon bombing. Go ahead Dummycrats ignite the Civil War.

  21. avatar enuf says:

    I know I am partly to blame for all of this.

    Please understand it’s an affliction, possibly a genetic defect. I see ammo on sale, I buy some. Seems like each year I have more than the last and less time for shooting. I like to use the oldest stuff fiirst but still some newer gets used too. Even so, I know I am not keeping up.

    I need to retire so I’ll have time to help end this crisis by getting out and shooting more. I know I can do it, burn thru some ammo and wear out some guns to reduce the excess. But I need time off from work to get it done

    So how about some help? Just send me $5 each, per week, and I promise to retire from working and go full tilt on the ammo and gun hoarding situation.

    Make it an initial $50 each plus $5 a week and I’ll volunteer to do extra shooting beyond just 40 hours a week.

    Because in spite of my affliction, I care. And because I’m a nice guy dammit.

    1. avatar Gadsden says:

      A guy I know who does the social media thing recently tried: “if I could have your attetion: if I can get one million people to donate one dolllar each, you’ll all receive a free copy of my book, How I made a million dollars on Facebook.”

      1. avatar Wheel Gun Guy says:

        Now there’s a math problem to solve…..one million copies to be published and a couple bucks to mail each one out and to hire a staff to handle the logistics……don’t think that feller on social media came out ahead on that one.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          It’s a short book, fits on one page.
          Printing, buying envelopes in bulk, and postage are far less than a dollar apiece.
          The problem of addressing each one remains, though.

    2. avatar GunnyGene says:

      Since we established a 2A tax holiday in MS, I tend to save up, and buy guns/ammo, etc. during that 2 day period each year and save a couple Benjamins. Some dealers here will often toss in the NICS check for free, and/or have coinciding sales on accessories, or rebates/discounts. It’s good business to make your customers happy. Brings ’em back. 🙂

  22. avatar tfunk says:

    I have been informed by several well-trusted media sources that all those guns are owned by 5 or 6 Super Owners

    1. avatar Jonathan Speegle says:

      That saves me from a lot of boating accidents.

  23. avatar Gladius et Scutum says:

    The WeaponsMan blog was a great blog. It was a very sad day when Kevin died.

    1. avatar COtt says:

      So, so true. Of all the bloggers, he was my favortie. Had a few chances to correspond with him before he died. Would have loved to have hung out with him. Glad that his brother is keeping the website up. So much valuable information on there.

  24. avatar Ralph says:

    I personally own one trillion rounds of ammo, which I store on my battleship.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      Out of curiosity, where do you park your battleship?

      1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        In his boat house, where else? Silly.

      2. Next to my personal Aircraft Carrier, and two Nuclear Cruisers.

  25. avatar Eli2016 says:

    I’m so embarrassed. I own less than a dozen guns and less than 1k rounds of ammo for each one. I guess that makes me a liberal. Time to move to Hawaii. Sigh…

    1. avatar MyName says:

      No need to do something so drastic. Buy a reloading press and resolve to improve yourself.

  26. avatar former water walker says:

    I’m doing my bit. The ammo # sounds a tad excessive😄

  27. avatar HP says:

    Liberals: “You can’t possibly deport 20 million illegal aliens, that’s too many. It’s ridiculous to even consider.”

    Also Liberals: “We are going to repeal the second amendment and confiscate guns. All of them. All 600 million. Under pain of arrest and by force if need be. We can totally do it.”

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      Liberals try that they better bring along a good supply of body bags.

      1. avatar Rocketman says:

        For them.

      2. avatar Longhaired Redneck says:

        Yeah, bring a lunch along with those body bags, you’ll be in for a loooong day!

    2. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      Succinctly put…kinda highlights the massive hypocrisy of the Liberals whole Agenda…desired end result: complete power over us from birth to death.

      1. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

        Why won’t you give it to them? They know what’s best for you

    3. avatar Dave in Fairfax says:

      Thanks. I’m totally stealing that for my new sig line.

  28. avatar Sean G./The Rookie says:

    *blinks innocently*

    What are these “gun” things you refer to……?

  29. avatar Mark says:

    We need to get to a billion. Seriously, I’m disappointed in only 600 million. I want the heads of every leftist antigunner to fucking explode.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      A billion is only three per person – that’s doable. I’ve got my three (and my wife’s three and …).

    2. avatar HP says:

      Ok, I’ll do my part, but I’m only one man!

  30. avatar M1Lou says:

    I wonder how many parts kits have been imported? My favorite thing is to build, rather than buy a lot of cool rifles. Often, a lot of the weird stuff isn’t even available for sale as a complete rifle due to import restrictions. I hang out on a forum with the sole purpose of learning how to build kits and scratch built guns.

    Needless to say, even if they pass a law banning every single firearm, they will only get a few turned in and the rest will be at the bottom of local lakes. Or you will see people watering their gardens with motor oil.

  31. avatar Higg says:

    I did the math on this just as President Obama left office. under his presidency, it is easy to get to around 100 million new guns. Given the run on buying guns and a starting point of 300 million guns, his eight years, plus the 2 since he has left office, i think it is reasonable to estimate at least 400 million guys in the US. Could there be 600 Million… very possibly but I would how many of those might now be collectables, unfired in several generations, or simply not proking.

    The number that I think is really hard to come up with is the number of gun users – and I use this term specifically. A gun user is someone who knows how to use a gun, has access to a gun, but has never purchased a gun. These are often family members, Husbands, wives, or partners who live with a gun owner. A common number the anti’s use to estimate the number of gun owners is 33% of Americans. I think this number is very low given the growing number of constitutional carry states and the increase of concealed carriers from 4 million to over 17.5 million in the past decade. I think is more likely that over half us population is a gun user because they live with a gun owner, and the number of gun owners is underestimated.

    1. avatar M1Lou says:

      In a marriage in most states I know of, property is communal. That is why I find it weird that if I buy an NFA item. It gets registered to me and me alone unless your spouse is on a trust. So, if the property is communal, that means my wife is a gun owner also. My wife additionally confiscated one of my guns and it became hers because she likes it.

    2. avatar rt66paul says:

      33% of Americans could be right. In many families, the Alfa male member(father/grandfathers) will handle the purchase of most things gun related, his name is on those purchases, but many in the family shoot these guns, either hunting, target practice or they are available for home protection.
      Grandpa is the go to guy for firearms questions, even when the family has moved into 4 or 5 extra homes to start their own families.
      While he controlled family gun/ammo purchases, he was one person and now 7-10 people actually have possession of those guns. If anti gunners wait, how can they figure out which children and grandchildren have the guns great grandpa bought?

      This is a great reason for grandpa to buy forearms.

      1. avatar rt66paul says:

        firearms – not forearms

  32. avatar Jonndoe says:

    I haven’t bought any gun’s….but, my hobby Is dragging the lake bottoms and I’ve “found thousands…Hhmmm must be a lot of clumsy fishermen.

  33. avatar Poggy says:

    And the numbers probably are for only since 1968 and do not account for those owned before this, or those made in machine shops and factory’s by individuals….. if there is a drive to confiscate, there is no way they all will be grabbed.

  34. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

    I always chuckle when there’s a news report that says “The guy had a gun and over 1,000 rounds in his basement”. Like, like, if you have a 10 rd magazine, you only need 10 rounds.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      And, of course, once you use those ten rounds, you need another magazine.

  35. avatar RevRay says:

    Wow. All those numbers…I was never good at math. March 2019 celebrates my and the wife’s first year of concealed carry (blessed to live in KY). Still SO much to learn. All things guns are now addictive. We ask for forgiveness – we have not done our part in helping the numbers. Wife and I each carry a Walther PPS M2 and have a Taurus G2c in the house for extra protection. Sadly, only 3 firearms. Even worse, only 5 holsters! Oh, my. We watch for sales on ammo to replace those used up at the range. We keep 1,000 target rounds and 200 defensive rounds on hand at any give time. We confess that we have failed our dear fire-arm community. So sorry. We will try to do better. FYI – I am a Pastor who tries to keep his word. Going to give it my very best effort. It is a joy to learn from those who love and respect fire-arms and our God-given rights. Tragic to know that those rights are under attack. So much fear and falsehood used to blame law abiding citizens of unlawful use of firearms. May we continue to rally together in truth and be alert to tricks used to deny us of our
    freedoms and rights. Lets enjoy our rights. Do our part to “add” to the numbers. Amen. Take care. Be safe. God Bless!

  36. avatar StLPro2A says:

    If you know how many guns you have, you don’t have nearly enough!!! Head to your local gun shop post haste!!!
    If your wife knows how many guns you have, be extremely good to her so she doesn’t divorce you and the guns become hers.
    I think one of those trillions of rounds of ammo, is mine……. 🙂 🙂 🙂
    I’m an professed Gunaholic.
    I’m in Guns Anonymous. I’m on the road to recovery.
    Truthfully, I’m in denial and on the road to my local gun shop to buy more guns.
    No adult supervision in my life. Oh, life is s-o-o-o-o-o good!!!!

  37. avatar Docduracoat says:

    I really miss Weapons Man.
    I checked his blog every day.
    Now I go to Thisainthell, especially for the daily “ feel good story” covering armed self defense.
    Kevin Obrien was a great American

  38. avatar Craig in IA says:

    412-660 million firearms???

    Now I’m really depressed.

    I thought I was just starting to get a corner on the market and now I have to work WAY harder. DAMN!

    (Ya know? Posting on TTAG and watching events like SOTU address are so much better while imbibing with friends… Just sayin’)

  39. avatar js says:

    “ATF estimates that there are 120,000,000 known gun owners in the US” If true, how on earth are we on the down side of all of this anti-2A legislation? Even here in Crappyfornia, various outlets report 1 in 5 own a firearm. If we voted together, all of this could change. But we are our own worst enemy. I know CC permit holders who think AR rifles should be banned. I know shotgun/duck hunters who dont understand why anyone needs to carry. Too many firearm owners say they are ok with background checks or magazine restrictions or anything else that is reasonable. Then along come the anti-2A and they whittle us down.
    Just hold the line and vote against ANY limits to our use of firearms.

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