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Gun nation (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

“At the rate of 1.0 (1:1), the United States has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world. That’s one gun for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Figuring in the 24% of the US population that is under the age of 18, that leaves about 240 million adults. Using more accurate numbers, the U.S. could easily have a 1.5 rate of gun ownership among those of legal age to own a firearm. That is an incredible statistic.” – Gun Ownership By The Numbers [via]

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    • If every man, woman, and child in the U.S. possessed a gun for every man woman and child in the U.S., then we would be getting close.

      Still, with a war with China. . .

      • You have to figure there are many more experienced shooters in the US populace than in the Chinese populace. I think Russia and China teamed could pose a valid threat. It raises a very interesting question. Will there ever be foreign boots on the ground on USA soil?

        • Well, figure the first boatload better be a big one, because all the other boats will be on fire and sinking 15 minutes later, I would guess, no. Easiest way it could happen would be wearing the blue helmets of the UN, which would be a bad mistake unless they stay within NYC, in which case they can have it.

        • @Larry

          You can tell them to come over and remove San Francisco from the union as well, even LA if they want to deal with them.

        • Neither Russia or China have a blue water navy that could support an invasion of that scale. Right now. China is working up an aircraft carrier and Russian has couple of those lightweight VTOL carriers. It’ll be some years before either or both could mount a real invasion of the mainland US.

          And, we still have nuke subs that make such an event very unlikely.

          Likeliest scenario to weaken the US is a civl war or balkinazation. Neither of those is at all very likely.

          UN? Without US UN is clown shoes.

        • The NRA ran a good report in Nov.14 issue of it’s magazine , Chaos at our door? covers some reporting about EMP, and how it would send America back to 1840’s , The real Dangers is that we are doing NOTHING about it, and also keep in mind we have no CIVIL DEFENSE too. Star wars ? and even 100 bad guys in each state could create a lot of HELL. my other point we only have about 2 weeks food in the supply line at any one given time… Yes America could be HURT bad….Was a big box store and noted a guy getting ready for hunting season , He only got 2 box rifle, 3 box shot gun , a 1 box pistol , my last point most Americans will not have enough ammo for more that a week …THINK ON THAT…. In a fire fight that ammo will go in ONE HOUR… stock up now , prices are best we may EVER SEE AGAIN………

        • Re: Last Marine. From my reading, the PLA are damn near the only organization on earth to use the 5.8×42mm, so picking up something here with mag compatibility is kinda out of the question. Womp womp.

    • But what level of precision (number of decimal places) do you need to make the point?

      If you said 1.2342:1 or 1:1, it’s still pretty compelling….

      • Heck, I don’t know what the point is. How many of those guns are single-shot .22 rifles, safe queens, wall hangers, black powder shotguns and sundry other antiques? We may have more guns per capita than most other nations, so what?

        I’m mostly just thankful that our government doesn’t really know how many guns we have or where we have them.

        • The point is: “That is an incredible statistic.”

          My point was when you are talking in the hundreds of millions of people, getting a rough idea is good enough. I’m glad we don’t have a national registry too, but it’s fairly straight forward to tabulate sales records with population numbers to come up with the fact that gun ownership per capita is roughly 1:1.

          If your suggestion about the condition/caliber of the firearms tabulated is taken into account, does it significantly change the magnitude of the point? If 20% of the firearms fall into the categories you describe, is a .8:1 ratio any less staggering than1:1?


    • unless you bought all of your guns with cash… like it or not your guns are in fact registered. Just a little harder for the .gov to connect the dots.

      • I disagree…at least with your definition of “registered”. Registered means that the government knows exactly what you have at any moment. Knowing that you purchased a certain firearm 5 years ago, and may or may not still have it, is not the same thing as a registry. And it’s dangerous to think that it is.

        • They may not know whether you still own that AR you bought five years ago from an FFL. They may never have known about the AR you bought last year from your buddy. They will know, however, that you’ve been buying .223 from Lucky Gunner, that you’re an NRA member, that you attend gun shows, visit gun ranges, and that you post on TTAG.

          Don’t kid yourself. Not only do they know far more than you realize, but all they really need to know anyway is which door to knock on or knock down. The details of the arsenal, they can always find out thereafter.

        • J-H. Agreed. Guns mean bumpkus. They know who the gun owners are. Remove the gun owners and the guns mean dick.

          Fortunately, we’re no where near that moment.

  1. “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?”
    -Lord of War- (2005)

  2. So what happens if you compare the number of gun crimes to number of guns? Our crime rate compared to other country plummets. What this proves is the age-old adage that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

  3. I’m working on getting my family up to 1:1 🙂
    Gonna be a couple S&W M&P rifles under the tree. A 15 Sport for my wife. A 15-22 for me and the kids. That will achieve 1:1 with the two 9mm pistols my wife and I carry.
    Doing our part to reduce the work load on the local PD 🙂 Hopefully we never have to. But just like wearing a bicycle helmet. Better to have it and never need it than not have it and find yourself wishing you did.

  4. The best way to preserve and expand gun rights will to be to get more people who don’t already own guns to buy one or get one by gift. Owning a gun transforms an abstract right that someone else has into a concrete right you have. Are there any groups that give away guns to people who don’t already own them? I wonder if there are any gun stores that give discounts to first time gun buyers. As the numbers show, once you buy one, you’re damn near certain to buy more.

  5. I take as many people as I can to the gun range, but my friends at my age(early to mid twenties) are still on the fence about dropping 5-600 dollars on a gun. Many are unemployed or underemployed.

    I’m doing my part, in raising that number, but it would be better if it didn’t just show up as being a cluster of a few people who actually owned a lot of guns.

    • Lot’s of good, reliable firearms out there for less than that, but it’s all about priorities. I’ve seen this more than once, $1000 worth of XBox crap, but they say they can’t afford an LC9. What’s more important, the latest Iphone or your security?

    • Ruger 10/22, Mossberg 500, Savage Axis, Ruger American, Henry lever action .22 … Know what I just did there?

      Named several great, reliable and commonly available guns for $350 and under…

      Tell your buddies, don’t buy stuff they can’t afford to impress people they don’t know.

  6. There’s well over a 2:1 ratio of firearms to people in my household…

    The only reason that number isn’t much larger is because I usually sell a gun before I buy another one.

    I will only allow as many firearms as the safe can handle, mainly because I don’t want to buy another safe. If I buy another safe it will open the door for my wife to need another closet for her shoes… And I’m not dealing with that.

    • My wife has enough shoes that I built a couple of rolling shoe racks for additional storage in another closet. I’ve managed to move past this by getting her interested in Sigs. Now *her* collection of firearms keeps mine company in the safe, and I’m getting far less flack about additions to my collection. 🙂

      • Two of the guns in the safe are my wife’s, but she only seems to have a taste for Glocks and 1911s… Go figure.

        • I live in Connecticut; and I bought a Glock right after Newtown because I wanted a high^W Standard capacity nine while I could still legally purchase one. Hated them for years, they’re ugly as bricks. The more I shoot it, the more I like it — it just *works*. Works so well that I picked up two more since and have my eye on a fourth for a Xmas gift to myself.

          As for 1911’s; I’ve got at least half-a-dozen 1911 style handguns, ranging from .380 to .45. If you’ve got the discretionary income, I’d recommend taking a look at a Kimber Target-II in 9mm, (I prefer the stainless). It’s incredibly pleasant to shoot, accurate and feels like a light-loaded .38. The only mod I made to mine was to swap out the target sights for a set of “Straight-8” sights for much faster target acquisition.

          I’m also pretty partial to the Colt Defender, nice carry gun. And you do know that Colt has re-released the Mustang, right?

        • I carry Glocks everyday.

          I look at them like base model, gasoline engine, 3/4 ton truck- all work, no nonsense. Cheap, reliable, low maintenance and they get it done.

  7. “At the rate of 1.0 (1:1), the United States has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world.”

    For you ~17 guys looking for your guns, apparently they’re at my house.

  8. Two adults in my household.

    Excluding conversion kit(s) and stripped lower(s):
    Four handguns in main living area(s), (house/carry guns); that’s 4:2, aka 2:1
    Fifteen handguns and eight rifles in a bolted down gunsafe in a secured room; that’s 23:2; aka 11.5:1

    Total in household is 27:2, aka 13.5:1.
    Obviously I need to go purchase more firearms!

  9. That guns to people is at or near 1:1 is not news.
    What is getting interesting is the ratio of people with carry permits. In my rural county almost 10% of the adult population have permits; if I did the math on persons disqualified from having a permit I suspect the ratio would be 15% of the qualified population OR HIGHER.

  10. Horse manure. Who is it that claims to know how many firearms are in he US? And where does he think he gets that information? As an example, exactly how many firearms came back from WWII as war trophies? Nobody counted, much less kept records. Up through the ’80, purchases weren’t reported to anybody, there is just no way to even estimate other than by production and importation, and I read 30 years ago that the number was “probably” over 800 million at that time.

  11. The numbers are wrong. Most of the guns in my neck of the woods were lost in boating accidents. Maybe with guns being made without the regimes knowledge balances it out though… Build build build.

  12. No surprise that we’re still the land of the free. Maybe not as free as we once were, but still more free than any other nation on earth. Have to say the ratio in my house is 15:1 between the wife and me…

  13. That count could be much higher, do to that our G.I.’s could bring home battle field pick ups, and the records for guns made and sold before 1960 have little or NO RECORD paper trail, same for private sales, got one rifle at open market was a bolt action from WW1.

    • It’s cheaper to increase firearm production capacity than ammo production capacity. Millions more 22s have been sold in the past few years and millions more people are shooting them. However, rimfire ammo production has not expanded enough to meet this new demand.

  14. I read those numbers and am saddened that the number isn’t higher. Think of all the fun some people are missing out on.

    The other thing, so so many guns and so so few negligent events and misuses per gun.

    6:1 for me, or more accurately 12:2.

    Shooting 3 Gun helps keep the numbers up.

    for 1 division you generally end up with:
    AR 223
    AR 9mm (practice and short course)
    AR 22LR (practice)
    9mm Handgun
    22lr handgun (practice)

    • As an OFWG firearms accumulator, I would give that a passing grade as a good start. Now that you have such a foundation, think about ARs in other calibers – .308, .300BLK, etc. And don’t neglect a variety of bolt actions and other types. And where is your .45acp/1911?

  15. Given the numbers of “firearms accumulators” (not necessarily collectors) in America (cough, cough), it is clear that there are a lot of slackers out there who are relying on us to bring up their averages. Seriously, for those of us who feel that you are legally entitled to a MINIMUM of one gun of every type (you get to define “type”) for every year of your life, anyone who is under that # is not putting forth a real effort. 1:1? That’s pathetic. It should be at least 25 guns/person. Buy more guns!

    • Well, when you take out minors that leaves 1.5:1. Take out felons who can’t own guns and liberals who think guns are icky you’re probably approaching 3:1. That’s not all that far away from the 3.5+:1 among actual gun owners based on 100 million gun owners. But I agree: buy more guns!

      And remember, 350+ million is a conservative estimate.

  16. You know, the Democrat Party has not seen a government subsidy or handout that they didn’t like. Perhaps we should push for government subsidized firearms. Holder helped do it for the Mexican cartels. This time, we can do it for the less fortunate in the US. We have to get those numbers up.

    • I know that you’re joking, but I’d actually like to see gov’t subsidies for CCW classes in states like Illinois where it is just too damned expensive to get a carry permit for people living in low-income areas. It’d never fly on the right, though. Too many would view it as legitimizing onerous restrictions on the second amendment.

  17. “…the U.S. could easily have a 1.5 rate of gun ownership among those of legal age to own a firearm.”

    What is this “legal age” of which you speak? I owned a Ruger 10/22 at age 13. Dad bought it for me as a gift but I owned it, stored it, took it into the woods, and still own it today. Sure, people must be of certain ages to purchase them in stores but if it’s mine, I own it.


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