Firearms are widely popular in America, mainly for self-defense, hunting, and sports target shooting, and, ultimately, made the formation of our country possible. Today, guns are sold at gun shows, retail stores, privately, and even online.
Here are seven interesting facts about the gun industry in America today.
1. Almost Half of American Households Own Guns
A staggering 45% of households in America own at least one gun, while many firearm enthusiasts own multiple guns. In 2022, 16.4 million guns were purchased in the United States. The second amendment of The Constitution ensures our right to own and bear arms. This has led America to be the leader in the number of guns that its citizens own. When we break down who owns the guns in America, we see that about 1 million firearms are owned by the police, 4.5 million are owned by the U.S. military, and a surmountable 460 million guns are owned by U.S. citizens.
2. Brands That Make the Most Pistols
There are just three major gun manufacturers that are responsible for producing 58% of the pistols manufactured each year. These three popular brands are SIG SAUER, Inc., Smith & Wesson Corp., and Sturm, Ruger, and Co. Over the years, these brands have proven they manufacture firearms that are high quality and accurate, leading to the domination over the competition. In 2019, the number of pistols that were manufactured was just over 3 million, while the number of shotguns, rifles, and revolvers combined was just over 4 million.
3. Air Guns Are Gaining Popularity
While air guns have been manufactured for over a century, they are just now starting to gain popularity as functional weapons, not just toys. The sale of air guns is steadily climbing in America, due to certain features that make them great for hunting, pest control, and target practice. Air guns can produce a loud boom or be almost completely silent when shot. The air guns with low shooting volume are popular for hunting when you don’t want to disturb the game or any nearby people. The action of cocking a rifle can also be quite noisy with a standard firearm, while air rifles are much quieter when cocking and loading ammo.
4. Guns Are Used in Self-Defense 57-93 Times Every Hour
It is estimated that guns are used 500,000 to 3 million times yearly in self-defense situations. When you do the math, that equates to 57-93 times every hour! In reality, these numbers may be even higher because many self-defense situations involving firearms are not reported. About 31% of gun owners have used a gun in a self-defense situation; however, in 81.9% of self-defense occurrences, the firearm was never discharged. According to a recent survey, about 80% of self-defense situations occur in a gun owner’s home or on their property.
5. The Pandemic Fueled Gun Sales
While many people across the country were adopting new pets during the pandemic, there was also a spike in the number of gun sales. With people stuck at home and supplies in stores dwindling, it’s easy to see why gun sales for self-defense purposes were rising. Not only were current gun owners buying more firearms, but people who had never owned a gun were making their first firearm purchases.
6. Assault Rifle Incidents Are Low
When we think of mass shootings, a common firearm that comes to mind is the AR-15 and similar assault rifles, due to their use in 12 tragic American mass shootings.
There are, in fact, about 20 million rifles owned in the United States today. However, in 2019 the number of murders committed using rifles was only 364. You are twice as likely to be kicked or punched to death than you are to be killed with a rifle.
7. The Gun Industry Contributes About $51.3 Billion to the Economy
Like it or not, the manufacturing and sale of guns contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. Firearms companies employ just under 170,000 people across the U.S. Today, the firearms industry is worth about $28 billion.
While the split between people who support more restrictive gun laws and those who don’t is fairly even, it’s clear that guns in America aren’t going anywhere. America dominates as the country that owns the most guns, and this will likely continue far into the future.