Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Krouse, William J. 2012 ‘How Many Guns Are in the United States? - Number.’ Gun Control Legislation, pp. 8-9. Washington, DC: United States Congressional Research Service. 14 November
How Many Guns Are in the United States?
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) reported in a national survey that in 1994, 44 million people, approximately 35% of households, owned 192 million firearms, 65 million of which were handguns(25). Seventy-four percent of those individuals were reported to own more than one firearm(26).
According to the ATF,* by the end of 1996 approximately 242 million firearms were available for sale to or were possessed by civilians in the United States(27). That total includes roughly 72 million handguns (mostly pistols, revolvers, and derringers), 76 million rifles, and 64 million shotguns(28). By 2000, the number of firearms had increased to approximately 259 million: 92 million handguns, 92 million rifles, and 75 million shotguns(29). By 2007, the number of firearms had increased to approximately 294 million: 106 million handguns, 105 million rifles, and 83 million shotguns(30)….
By … 2009, the estimated total number of firearms available to civilians in the United States had increased to approximately 310 million: 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles, and 86 million shotguns(36). Per capita, the civilian gun stock has roughly doubled since 1968, from one gun per every two persons to one gun per person…
*ATF = U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
25) Jens Ludwig and Phillip J. Cook, Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms, NCJ 165476, May 1999, http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles/165476.pdf.
27) U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Commerce in Firearms in the United States, February 2000, pp. A3-A5.
28) Ibid., pp. A3-A5.
29) U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Firearms Commerce in the United States 2001/2002, ATF P 9000.4, April 2002, pp. E1-E3.
30) U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Annual Firearm Manufacturing and Export Reports for 2002 through 2007, along with firearms import data provided by the ATF Firearms and Explosives Import Branch.
36) U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Firearms Commerce in the United States 2011, August 2011, pp. 11, 13, and 15.