Number of Gun Owners Down; Number of Guns Owned Up

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
(photo: Gilles Mingasson, Getty Images)

Although fewer Americans own guns, that doesn’t mean the number of guns in circulation has dropped. Instead, gun owners are stocking up.


In 1994, gun owners had an average of 4.2 guns, which given that each owner has only two hands, would appear to be more than enough. But now, according to 2013 data provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and analyzed by The Washington Post, that number has risen to 8.1 guns per owner.


There are a couple factors that could account for this, according to the Post’s Christopher Ingraham. Organizations such as the National Rifle Association stoke fear that the government will take away guns, particularly in the wake of mass shootings, which could cause people to stock up on firearms. In addition, “prepper” groups build arsenals to prepare for a perceived coming crisis.


Ingraham also pointed out that there are a very few gun owners, the top 3%, who have more than 25 firearms each, which skews the average a bit.


Meanwhile, the guns keep on coming. As do mass shootings.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

The Average Gun Owner Now Owns 8 Guns — Double What It Used to Be (by Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post)

There are Now More Guns than People in the United States (by Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post)

As Hunting and Gun Ownership Decline, Remaining Gun Owners Stock Up (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

One Third of Americans Own Guns, but Only 4% Go Hunting (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


Joe Potosky 8 years ago
The numbers may be misleading... Women hunting is on the increase. I see new shooters almost every week at the range. More and more of them women shooters. I've actually ran into women bringing their boyfriends to the range, not the other way around. Thousands of high schools kids taking part in regulated league shooting in the past few years, in some regions a Lettered high school sport. More and more collages offering scholarships for the shooting sports and have official teams. I just don't think the numbers add up!

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