These are the most popular guns made in the US, and how many Americans own them
- After mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the public and politicians are calling for stricter gun-control laws.
- The US has by far the highest civilian gun ownership of any country, according to the Small Arms Survey, and US firearms manufacturers made over 11 million guns in 2016.
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After the recent, devastating shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, new conversations about gun regulations have begun. But it's hard to paint a complete picture of gun ownership in the US, because gun laws are different from state to state.Information about gun manufacturing helps us understand what kinds of guns are being produced and sold in and exported from and imported to the US.Advertisement
In 2016, US manufacturers made 11,497,441 firearms, including 4,239,335 rifles, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. That's an increase of more than 2 million weapons from the previous year.
Check out the slides below for insight into American gun ownership and manufacturing.
In 2016, the most recent data available, US gun manufacturers made 11,497,441 firearms; that doesn't include firearms manufactured for the military, only for civilian and law-enforcement use.
Gun manufacturers made 4,720,075 pistols in 2017, the largest portion of US gun manufacturing. In 2016, 9 mm models were the most popular among manufacturers.Advertisement
US gun manufacturers made 4,239,335 rifles in 2017. Sixty-two percent of gun owners say they own a rifle, according to Pew.
According to Pew, 72% of all gun owners have handguns, and 62% of those who own just one gun have a handgun, which includes revolvers. But US manufacturers don't make nearly as many revolvers as they do pistols, with 856,291 revolvers to the 4,720,075 pistols made in 2016.Advertisement
US manufacturers made 848,617 shotguns in 2016. Shotguns are still fairly popular with people who own multiple guns — 54% of them told Pew they owned a shotgun. But of people who own only one gun, just 16% of those polled told Pew they owned a shotgun.
The ATF tracks other types of gun manufacturing, too, like starter guns, receivers, and pistol-grip firearms, like a shotgun with a pistol-style grip instead of a butt stock, which is not considered a shotgun even though it fires shotgun ammunition. US gun makers made 833,123 of these weapons in 2016, nearly double the amount made in 2015.Advertisement
People own more than just pistols and rifles; they also buy machine guns, silencers, and other kinds of weapons designated under the National Firearms Act. These weapons must be registered by their manufacturer or importer with the Treasury. There were 5,502,474 such weapons registered in the US as of February 2018.
In addition to manufacturing, the US also imports lots of firearms; 4,492,256 total in 2017, according to the ATF. Most come from Austria — 1,202,149 in 2017. Turkey also ranks in the top five, with 386,836 total firearms imported, 295,382 of them shotguns.Advertisement
But there's a lot the ATF doesn't tell us. It doesn't say to where US makers export weapons, and it doesn't say how many people in the US own different types of guns, because gun owners aren't required to register their firearms at the federal level or in every state.
But Americans own by far the largest share of firearms for civilian use compared to residents of other countries, with an estimated 120.5 firearms per 100 people in 2017, according to the Small Arms Survey.Advertisement
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