Private gun ownership in America is probably much higher than you think.
Back in December, the Fresno Bee reported on a survey from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland that revealed that the number of guns in America stands at a whopping 393 million. But this could actually underestimate the total number of guns in America.
According to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the number of firearms exceeds IHEID’s estimates. The NSSF drew from the ATF’s Firearms Commerce Report, which estimated that there are 423 million firearms in private circulation in the U.S.
Several points stood out in the NSSF report:
- About half of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles (MSRs)
- Of the 7,660,772 firearms produced in the U.S. during 2018, 4,277,971 were handguns, 2,846,757 were rifles, and 535,994 were shotguns
- From 1990 to 2017, approximately 17.7 million MSRs were manufactured in America or imported, surpassing previous estimates of 12 to 14 million semi-automatic rifles in private hands
- Ammunition manufacturers produced roughly 8.7 billion rounds of all calibers and gauges for the American market in 2018
With these numbers in mind, the Second Amendment is still thriving in America.
Yes, even in the face of gun control threats in numerous state legislatures, gun owners have remained undeterred in their gun ownership. Many gun owners choose to not disclose their ownership of firearms, which is well within their rights.
This makes it difficult to truly know how many firearms are in circulation. Nonetheless, this is a blessing in disguise given how public records of gun ownership could expose certain gun owners to harassment. In fact, a registry system could facilitate the ability of authorities to confiscate guns further down the line. The less information out there, the better.
2020 will be an interesting year for the Second Amendment. Gun owners in Virginia have taken the atypical route of using their counties and municipalities as a bulwark against potential encroachments coming from the capital city of Richmond. The Second Amendment is an integral part of American culture and always drives some form of heated debate on the political stage.
In these times of establishment Democrats calling for radical gun control measures, methods of political decentralization like nullification will need to be entertained.
One thing is for sure, taking guns from Americans will be a difficult endeavor.