Small Arms Survey America Guns 1 Billion
courtesy vice.com

We did it! According to a decade-long survey of gun ownership around the world, the United States now has more firearms than people, about 1.2 guns for every man, woman and child. It’s always appalled civilian disarmament types and their media stenographers that Americans love their guns so much, so expect this news – that America accounts for almost half the one billion civilian-owned firearms globally — to induce plenty of spittle-spraying cries of horror and think pieces lamenting the depravity of a nation so in love with guns.

US Small Arms Survey America Guns 1 Billion
courtesy washingtonpost.com

The Small Arms Survey spent a decade guesstimating how many civilian-owned firearms there are in the world. And as the Washington Post details,

The report, which draws on official data, survey data and other measures for 230 countries, finds that global firearm ownership is heavily concentrated in the United States. In 2017, for instance, Americans made up 4 percent of the world’s population but owned about 46 percent of the entire global stock of 857 million civilian firearms.

With an estimated 120.5 guns for every 100 residents, the firearm ownership rate in the United States is twice that of the next-highest nation, Yemen, with just 52.8 guns per 100 residents. In raw number terms, the closest country to the United States is India, with 71.1 million firearms in circulation. These numbers do not include firearms owned by law enforcement agencies or militaries.

Of course our almost 400 million guns aren’t distributed evenly.

If global gun ownership is concentrated in American hands, American gun ownership is concentrated even more narrowly in the country’s gun-owning households. As of 2017, Gallup found that 42 percent of American households reported owning guns. With an estimated 118 million households in the United States, per the U.S. Census, that would mean that the country’s 393 million guns are distributed among 50 million households. The implication is that the average gun-owning household owns nearly eight guns.

The researchers ran into something of a problem in compiling their data. It seems only about 12% of the world’s non-military small arms are registered. Oh no!

The survey’s authors acknowledge the difficulty of accounting for every gun in the world: Patchy gun registration systems are in place in many countries (including the U.S., which only requires federal registration of certain kinds of weapons). Of all the guns owned by civilians, the survey estimates that only 12 percent were registered with governments.

Survey author Aaron Karp, senior consultant at the Small Arms Survey, told VICE News that because of the difficulty of counting all the guns in the world, they relied on a variety of data sources. “The basic method is eclectic,” he said. “We take data where we can find it.”

So even the Small Arms Survey’s best guess is just that. A guess.

When the authors couldn’t find registration data, they compiled their own and used estimates from law enforcement officials and academics only as a last resort.

In fact, we’d be willing to bet an entire Franklin Barbecue brisket that the actual number of firearms in the US is north of 400 million. And that well over half of the households here have at least one gun.

But for now, we’d like congratulate the People of the Gun out there who understand, appreciate and exercise their right to keep and bear arms. The people who buy and own firearms despite (because of?) the anti-gunners’ never-ending efforts to put up roadblocks to our Second Amendment rights.

If we keep it up and work really hard, we bet we can top the survey’s 50 percent mark, both in households with guns and percent of the global total. Let’s do this.

 

70 COMMENTS

    • Congrats! I hope you see that day soon. Get some nice ones (it’s not all a numbers game). Treat yourself.

    • I probably missed it in some past posting…
      What defines a Super-Owner?

      Hey, a guy’s gotta have something to shoot for. (See what I did there? Shoot… guns. Nevermind)

      • “Hunting”/long range rifle
        Home/self defense rifle
        Home/self defense shotgun (w/hunting barrel/barrels or a shotguns)
        Home/self defense handgun
        Carry handgun
        Practice/training gun of each type for each purpose listed above.

        And same for future issue to each of your minor children (stop blowing $ on an idiotic “college fund”)

        • You forgot one category of necessary firearm: 6.5 CM, just because. Although, 6.5 CM is so superior to all other cartridges, that an obscure NJ law is going in to effect requiring all guns in NJ fire 6.5 CM! In California a similar law is going in to effect, but a gun can self identify as 6.5 CM. However, checking to see if the bullet in the gun is correct one would be an EEO violation.

      • The prevailing theory is 5% of gun owners own 95% of all the guns. So all they have to really do is identify these individuals and SWAT them to get gun ownership down to OZ levels and then at that point it’s a matter of scaring people into turning them all in.

        • That is based on the claim that all gun owners will tell a complete stranger calling them that they have firearn/s and how many.

          That is ludicrous. Only gun control advocacy researchers who never owned a firearm wold even make such an assertion.

      • “What defines a Super-Owner?”

        There are ‘claims’ by the Leftists that the number of gun owners are far lower than reported, but there are a small number of gun owners that own massive numbers of guns.

        There’s only one small problem with that ‘theory’.

        In the 2016 election, nearly every ‘poll’ predicted Clinton would win the election in a landslide. Well, she didn’t. (Thank God!)

        What they believe happened was, when people responded to poll takers, they *lied* as to who they were going to vote for. They weren’t going to help the poll takers. They considered the poll takers to be a part of the Leftist enemy.

        The same thing is likely happening with gun ownership polls. ‘People of the Gun’ are *lying* when poll-takers call them to ask if they own guns. Therefore, the Leftists believe the number of gun owners as a whole are dwindling, and those that do own guns own more of them.

        *Bullshit*. Far more people own guns, and a healthy number of those gun owners are Leftists who consider themselves to be ‘Good little Leftists’, that can be ‘trusted’ to own ‘Bad Evil Guns’.

        But they will never tell their little Leftist buddies they own guns…

        • “The same thing is likely happening with gun ownership polls. ‘People of the Gun’ are *lying* when poll-takers call them…”

          There was an actual study done on this topic (admitting to gun ownership to a pollster). It showed that a certain percentage of gun owners would either not answer, hang up, or simply lie (false negative). That, in turn, means that these ‘poll’ numbers are under-reported by some percentage.

        • Found it:

          Zogby/O’leary Poll:

          www. prnewswire.com/news-releases/zogbyoleary-report-polls-reveals-americans-domestic-and-international-concerns-300041108. html

          The pertinent part:

          “QUESTION: “If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?”

          Gallup recently released a poll showing that gun ownership had declined from polls they had taken in an earlier time period. That number is inconsistent with the number of firearms that have been sold since President Obama took residency, but the difference can be answered by the Zogby Analytic question above. The poll indicates maintaining anonymity is a contributing factor:

          36% of Americans feel it is none of the pollster’s business and that includes 35% of current gun owners 47% of Republicans and 42% of Independents.”

          If that is even in the ball-park, then gun ownership is GROSSLY under-reported

        • The American People finally woke up to the fact that the POS (D) are not people. The resultant drop in the overall accounting of the U.S. population really has us sitting at around 3.7 guns per person.

          So, at least we’ve got that going for us.

        • I haven’t participated in many surveys, but I’ve never lied to one… until, that is, they get to the demographic questions and then my gender, race and income level suddenly changes.
          🤠

        • There is the Zogby and supporting Zogby’s finding, are a dozen peer received studies showing people –especially younger people — will not answer truthfully on any question they consider private or confidential.

          What is more is the Washington Post’s own wonkblog has written about how polls typically underground by 50% anything very private — yet the post when it comes to guns, forgets it this known science and claims polls on gun ownership are accurate.

          Washington Post::
          Surveys on who is gay are huge undercounts, especially GSS type face to face surveys, since the science shows people will hid high privacy matters from pollsters/surveyors
          Washington Post:
          GSS numbers on gun ownership are 100% accurate.

          Here is the science: the most accurate numbers on privacy related issues are from “veiled” or “indirect” questions, not direct questions. Here is a core veiled question that points to likely gun ownership and trends on gun ownership rates, it makes gun control advocates 5hit their diapers:
          http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2015/04/FT_15.04.01_guns_Safer-260×367.png

      • “Super-owner is myth created by taking total guns and then surveying people about gun ownership which is a known 50% or so under-count of gun owners. So you then take the 30% of Americans who will tell a surveyor because they don’t consider guns private (when in fact about 60% of Americans own guns) and use those respondents to postulate “super ownership” based on the false initial data set.

        Only a certain class of people will tell a surveyor they have a gun at home when all modern training says not to. The people who will tell a surveyor will be older males, more rural people who are typically hunters who trap shoot and skeet as well with of specialized hunting and sport shooting guns. For those people, who may well have a gun rack, an NRA sticker and for whom guns are a social activity they wont consider it confidential

        younger people as well as more urban people, 99% of whom don’t have a guns for hunting, and for whom gun ownership is highly confidential are going to already have told a surveyor there is not gun at home — most their share of the 425 million guns is going to get lumped into the other half of gun owners who will discuss it with a surveyor/pollster.

      • “How many guns do I need to own to be a super owner?”

        More.

        The answer is *always* MORE guns…

        *snicker* 😉

        • Agreed. Just recently picked up….or, maybe not… a new O/U 12ga, a plinking rifle and a crossbow the wife has wanted for a while.

          Then, tragically, there was this boating accident, and, well…..

          Had it not been for that, sob, tragic accident, my theoretical gun safe would be getting full. Damn boats.

  1. And we would have a lot fewer guns if it weren’t for the grabbers threatening to restrict our Second Amendment rights!

    • Shhhhh, ixnay on the 80 ercentpay.

      1.2 per is enough ‘accounting’ they don’t have to know the actual #’s.

  2. It’s interesting that civilians worldwide own 80% of the 1 billion small arms and governments are responsible for 95% of the violence.

  3. How many of these “people” present in the US are aliens (legal or illegal) and do they admit to illegally having firearms (see MS13 ownership rate). Would this drive the rate up or down?

    If you are at TTAG and are at 1.2 then you LOOSE. Get with the program and get your stats up.

    • These “people” that are legal resident aliens that you lump in with illegal aliens can lawfully purchase, own and use firearms. My wife is Canadian by birth and a legal resident alien. She owns more than a dozen firearms and has a CHL. Stop with the bad Intel.

  4. Well…Good! It’s not enough. Why aren’t we at 2.0 guns per person?

    Buy more!!! And stack the ammo to the ceiling.

    I recognized more than a decade ago that the greatest security to our access to firearms is the sheer volume of what’s in circulation. They can’t take them away, cuz there’s just too many of them.

    • They have modern firearms training which says never tell a stranger obviously also includes pollster and surveyers there is a gun. They answered “no” to the question of : “do you own a firearm?”

  5. Considering that guns have minds of their owns, and can randomly run around shooting people, etc. does that not imply that they are sentient?

    And if that’s the case, shouldn’t guns be able to vote? I’d be happy to vote the proxies of the guns I used to own, before setting them free in a marine setting.

  6. The Small Arms Survey making these statements say they’ve gathered data from 230 countries.
    The UN recognizes 195 countries, plus six more that are recognized by at least one of the UN countries.
    I suspect their numbers are as made up as those other 29 countries.

  7. This needs to be explained to the little sh&t in North Korea, all foreign terrorists…..and anyone else I can remember as soon as I post this, and the time for editing is over.

  8. If asked, I will admit to owning a gun. If pressed, I will not tell you how many or what kind.

    None of their business. (also, I don’t really know how many I have until I open the gun safe. Shrodinger’s gun I suppose)

  9. Super-owner is a myth created by talking total guns and then surveying people about gun ownership which is a known 50% or so under-count of gun owners. So you then take the 30% of Americans who will tell a surveyor because they don’t consider guns private (when in fact about 60% of Americans own guns) and use those respondents to postulate “super ownership” based on the false initial data set.

    Only a certain class of people will tell a surveyor they have a gun at home when all modern training says not to. The people who will tell a surveyor will be older males, more rural people who are typically hunters who trap shoot and skeet as well with of specialized hunting and sport shooting guns. For those people, who may well have a gun rack, an NRA sticker and for whom guns are a social activity they wont consider it confidential

    younger people as well as more urban people, 99% of whom don’t have a guns for hunting, and for whom gun ownership is highly confidential are going to already have told a surveyor there is not gun at home — most their share of the 425 million guns is going to get lumped into the other half of gun owners who will discuss it with a surveyor/pollster.

    The Washington Post its itself has run articles on how the peer reviewed GSS type direct question surveys will under-count who is gay by more than half. Over and over the science shows that on high confidentiality questions people, half of respondents, ESPECIALLY younger people, will not answer truthfully since they know the GSS and gallup databases are not secure from hacking.

  10. The Pareto distribution would argue in favor of super owners (such as 20% of the population owning 80% of the guns), but I think instead that those of us who argue that many owners lie to pollsters have the stronger point. Probably America does not have 20,000 or so people owning 200,000,000 guns. If the Pareto distribution does not hold, then, I think we have a case of freedom blossoming and encouraging ordinary people, not in the “top” 20%, to own multiple guns. Hooray for the 2nd Amendment! Buy! Train! Hunt! Defend! Buy more!

  11. I was asked recently, by a friend, how many firearms I owned. I honestly answered, “I don’t know. I was going through a closet recently and found a rifle I forgot I owned.” May we all have that problem!

  12. My Wife has no idea how many guns are in our vault, so why should I believe any Scientific poll about ownership? The MSM has absolutely no idea how many firearms are in the U.S.
    Let’s keep it that way, people!

  13. No hate here nothing but love. I would love to be in a financial situation to own as many firearms as you all here. One could take this as a sign of an improved economy 🙂

  14. I had to stop what I was doing and go count. To my surprise I have more than I thought I had but fewer than I want.
    As I started typing this I remembered the other guns not in the safe and the truck guns so wow, that number is starting to get up there. However there are several more I’ve thought about building and or buying.
    Super owner? What’s that? Is someone who owns a lot of stock in xyz company a super owner or just a dedicated investor? That’s what I consider my collection to be.

  15. Yuri Orlov: [first lines, to the camera] There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?

  16. If I was going to admit that I own any guns at all, I would admit that there is at least one firearm for every person, dog, cat, bird, hedgehog and sugar glider in the home. But, of course I would never admit anything of the sort. I did have that one gun, but it was lost in a tragic boating accident.

    Question: If I own 4 firearms and the government takes all but the single shot .410 how many firearms do I have left?

    Answer: 37. I lied about the 4.

  17. Behind every blade of grass, this is only reason a foreign country hasn’t attacked us with conventional means. Guess there is probably twice that.

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