Recently, there has been an increase in the ownership of firearms in the United States. As of 2023, the total number of owned guns has exceeded 500 million. This rise can be attributed to the number of firearm sales that occurred in October 2023, making it the highest month for gun sales in our country’s history.
It is worth noting that the data from 2023 indicates that over 12 million firearms were sold, with approximately 10.4 million being purchased. This is considering that by the end of 2022, there were already an estimated 490 million privately owned guns in circulation. It clearly shows a trend in gun ownership.
The National Instant Background Check System operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported around 2.26 million background checks for firearm purchases in October 2023. It is important to understand that these background checks do not directly align with the number of guns sold since multiple firearms can be purchased with a background check.
The surge in gun sales can be partially attributed to events both at home and abroad, such as the attack on Israel by Hamas and a tragic mass shooting incident in Maine. These incidents have resulted in increased demand for concealed carry handguns, tactical shotguns, and AR-15 rifles.
Retailers expect this trend to continue, with projected sales growth, during the holiday season. For the four years, there has been a monthly increase in firearm sales, surpassing one million units.
The number of owned firearms in the United States has nearly doubled since 1996. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, the main motivations for Americans owning guns are security (60%), hunting (36%), and engaging in activities or sports (13%).
Another way to compare the US gun ownership rate to other countries is by looking at the number of firearms per capita. In the United States, there are approximately 1.2 guns for every resident. This is significantly higher than other countries with relatively high gun ownership rates.
For instance, in Yemen, there are about 0.5 guns per capita. This means that on average, each person in the United States owns more than double the number of firearms compared to someone in Yemen. These figures highlight the significant disparity in gun ownership between the United States and other nations.
In conclusion, private firearm ownership, now surpassing the 500 million mark, highlights the multifaceted relationship between Americans and their firearms, a relationship founded on the pillars of security, sport or recreational hunting, and personal freedom.