More Guns in Private Hands Than Previously Estimated

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New data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) should give heartburn to the gun prohibition lobby as it appears the number of privately-owned firearms in the United States may have been vastly underestimated.

Earlier this month, the Fresno Bee, reporting about a small arms survey on gun ownership by the Graduate Institute of International Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, estimated the number of guns in this country at 393 million.

Approximately half of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles, like this Ruger, according to the NSSF.

Not so fast, says the NSSF data, which alluded to the Firearms Commerce Report provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which estimates there are 423 million firearms in private hands. But hey, what’s 30 million guns more or less, right?

The NSSF report continued raining on the gun control parade with such revelations as these:

• Approximately half of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles (MSRs), otherwise known as “semiautomatic assault rifles.”

• Of the 7,660,772 firearms manufactured in the U.S. during 2018, a stunning 4,277,971 were handguns, 2,846,757 were rifles and a comparatively paltry 535,994 were shotguns.

• In 2018, ammunition manufacturers produced an estimated 8.7 billion rounds of all calibers and gauges for the U.S. market.

• Between 1990 and 2017, roughly 17.7 million MSRs were produced in the U.S. or imported, which suggests another popular estimate was woefully short. Previously, various sources had suggested there are 12-14 million semi-auto rifles in private hands.

More than 4.2 million handguns, such as this Kahr S9, were produced in 2017.

What does all of this actually mean? For openers, it suggests estimates by gun control proponents of declining private gun ownership may be more wishful thinking than fact. It also supports the well-known notion of gun owners not wanting to acknowledge their possession of firearms. Many don’t want their trendy friends to know they’ve got a gun (or more) in the closet, while others say it’s nobody’s business — especially the government’s — if they own guns.

Do they vote? If Virginia is any indicator, many relax in lethargy until they see their rights threatened — typically after an election. At this writing, 78 counties in the Old Dominion had declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” in the aftermath of the November election that turned the State Assembly power entirely over to Democrats. They immediately declared war on gun owners, who belatedly regained consciousness, not in time to vote, but in plenty of time to complain.

They’ll have an opportunity next November to turn things around, but for the next 11 months, they are at war with Richmond.

Who are California Gun Owners?

Insider Online doesn’t have any names, and wouldn’t give them up if we did, but the Fresno Bee story offered a pretty good idea of who the typical Golden State gun owner is.

About one-fourth of all Californians live in a house where a firearm is present. Most California gun owners are men (73 percent), and 64 percent of them are white. Forty-three percent are age 60 or older, meaning a 57 percent majority are younger than 60 years old.

Almost 70 percent of California gun owners purchased their most recent firearm themselves, while the rest said they either received the gun as a gift or an inheritance.

Fifty-seven percent of handgun owners told researchers their gun is for personal protection. People who own long guns say hunting and sport shooting are their main reasons for owning those guns.

One out of every seven California residents is a gun owner, which equates to roughly 4.2 million people. On average, California gun owners own five guns. About half of all guns are owned by 10 percent of the gun owners who have 10 or more firearms.

Increasing numbers of Americans are getting licenses and permits to carry quality sidearms,
like this new Colt King Cobra in .357 Mag.

Fewer Crimes, Fewer Accidents

A piece in American Military News revealed something else interesting that hardly follows the gun control narrative about gun ownership.

Between the 25-year period of 1993 and 2017, the violent crime rate declined 48.6 percent, with firearm-related accidents decreasing a whopping 68 percent!

During that same period, American gun ownership skyrocketed. Licensed concealed carry has exploded, with more people carrying more guns for personal protection.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of concealed carry licenses and permits soared from 4.6 million in 2007 to more than 12.8 million in 2015, to a phenomenal 18.66 million this year — and that doesn’t count the number of armed citizens living in the 16 states with Constitutional Carry, where no permit or license is required.

Coming Soon to PBS

A group called Free To Choose Media has produced a television mini-series for public television on the U.S. Constitution, titled A More or Less Perfect Union.

According to an announcement from Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, PBS will “transmit the series to its member stations on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.

The series includes “a powerful segment on the use of guns for self-defense featuring Pink Pistols gun clubs.”

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, and running through the end of March, Gottlieb is hoping tens of thousands of gun owners “create a massive nationwide ‘Town Hall’ meeting” with gatherings at schools, community centers, churches, gun clubs and even private homes.

Ruger’s new Mark IV 22/45 Lite is loaded with features for a lightweight rimfire semi-auto.

Ruger’s new Mark IV 22/45 Lite

Turning heads from the moment it was announced, and sure to get more stares at the annual SHOT Show in January, the new Ruger Mark IV 22/45 Lite is a space age-looking pistol designed to dazzle as well as deliver.

With a 10+1 capacity, this .22 LR pistol has a polymer grip frame, 4.4-inch tensioned steel threaded barrel, lightweight and ventilated aerospace-grade aluminum receiver, checkered 1911-type grips, fixed front sight with adjustable rear sight, one-button takedown and top rail for mounting an optical sight.

It also sports a contoured ejection port, easy-to-grasp bolt ears at the rear and comes with two 10-round magazines for endless plinking!