When was the last time you asked yourself how many Americans own guns? Chances are that you are not alone; most people are just not very aware of how much they own firearms in their home or in their community. The firearm ownership rate in America is declining, and the reasons are many. With all the problems in the economy and with the increasingly restrictive gun control laws that are being passed, Americans are going to have to look for other options.
One of the major problems with firearm ownership in America is the problem with gun violence. Most of the mass shooting incidents that occur each year are occurring in schools and colleges. Schools are now more dangerous than they have ever been. There are very few public schools left that allow students the right to bear arms on campus. This has lead to a whole new set of students joining the ranks of the dangerously armed.
Another reason why so many people have guns is for self defense. As the media keeps telling us that it is easier to buy an assault weapon than a handgun, we tend to buy more guns, especially for self-defense. It is better to be prepared for an attack than to find yourself in the situation without a gun to protect yourself. It is better to stop a bad person than to allow them to hurt you.
It’s not only American citizens who are buying guns illegally. Recently in Tennessee a judge ordered the closure of an illegal gun dealer because he was selling weapons to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms licensee. The judge called the licensee “reckless” for thinking that he could run the gun store like any other shop. He was not licensed to sell firearms and did not have an active FFL license. He was selling firearms to people who were not law-abiding citizens. He was selling guns to people who would never use them for their intended purposes.
So how many Americans own guns legally? The answer is probably not as high as you think. You have guns legally when you purchase them from a licensed dealer. You do not own a gun if you obtain one or fire it without an FFL license. If you own a firearm, you must follow all local and state laws regarding owning, carrying, and using firearms.
There is no easy answer to this question. It depends on the intent of the person owning the gun and where he or she stores it. Many people simply want the weapon for its accuracy, while others may use it for hunting. People also use their guns for self defense, but this too is a controversial issue. It is estimated that as many as 25% of those arrested for gun crimes have a legal right to own a gun.