Average Gun Owner Now Owns 8 Firearms

Nathan S
by Nathan S

Here’s a number to be proud of. The Washington Post is reporting that according to Wonkblog, the average number of firearms in a “typical gun-owning household” has increased to 8.1 firearms. This is a nearly two-fold increase from data in 1994 which reported the typical household had 4.2 guns.

Per survey research, the number of gun-owning households in the United States is decreasing, but the number of owned firearms continues to steadily climb. If the survey data from Gallup and the General Social Survey are to be believed, it indicates that the rise in firearms demand is coming from current ownership, not new customers.

Hit the link for the full article from Christopher Ingraham, which includes high-level analysis and a general analysis of the numbers.

Also important: these are averages, which are a very blunt instrument for understanding the distribution of guns in the population. In all likelihood, there’s a situation where a small percentage of gun owners own a huge number of guns, which brings the average up for everyone. For instance, that same 2006 study found that the top 20 percent of gun owners owned 65 percent of America’s firearms. The top 3 percent of gun owners averaged over 25 firearms each.

For many owners guns are like tools, and you need different tools for different jobs: a rifle for hunting deer. A shotgun for hunting duck. A pistol for self-defense. An AR-15 for fun. Etc.

But in recent years, it seems many gun owners have seen fit to expand their toolboxes. There are probably a number of factors driving this: fear-stoking by some gun rights groups in the wake of mass shootings can lead to surges in gun-buying from existing owners concerned the government could take their guns away. The rising popularity of “prepper” groups, who stock up on food and firearms in preparation for a variety of coming apocalypses, may also be playing a role.

Nathan S
Nathan S

One of TFB's resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR's, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.

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  • Winter Winter on Nov 15, 2015

    It's good to be above average in something good for a change. I've got 23 total and my sister, we live together, has 16 total. Definitely not a record but probably ranks pretty high in the women's demographic.

  • ND ND on Nov 16, 2015

    "gun-owning households in the United States is decreasing" This doesn't pass the smell test because the greatest growth in firearms owners is Women. And EVERY article you read says this is their first firearm.

    If this survey WERE true then why the push for more Gun Laws and Universal Background Checks. Sounds to me the ONLY thing this proves is citizens are more concerned about their 2nd amendment rights and gov intrusion into their life.