by WorldTribune Staff, December 4, 2019
There are 422.9 million firearms in circulation in the United States according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
And, despite the Left’s attempts to ban them (or dreams of confiscating them), there are 17.7 million “assault-style” rifles such as AR-15s in circulation.
Last year, the arms industry produced about 8 billion rounds of ammunition.
“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes,” said Joe Bartozzi, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry trade group.
“The modern sporting rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal private ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes and to participate in the recreational shooting sports,” Bartozzi said.
When Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard contacted gun shops he found that “they are seeing more and more purchases of semiautomatic weapons such as handguns and AR-15s due to the criticism of those guns by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.”
Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the country’s biggest retailers, told Bedard: “Sales have definitely been brisk, especially of small, concealable handguns. We also saw a spike in sales of tactical rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s, for which I think we can confidently thank Beto O’Rourke,”
During his short presidential campaign, O’Rourke called for a ban on the rifles and even said that, as president, he would dispatch government agents to confiscate them.
The NSSF also repoted:
• Of all rifles produced in 2017, 54% were modern sporting rifles.
• In 2017, 7,901,218 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles, and 667,350 were shotguns.
• An interim 2018 estimate showed 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles, and 535,994 were shotguns.
• Firearms-ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing more than $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017.
• An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.