Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How many guns are in private hands in the U.S.?

As of June 14, 2013 gun ownership numbers from the Pew Research Center were published in an online article by Drew DeSilver. "Gun ownership is one of the hardest things for researchers to pin down", he wrote. But the estimates of the number of firearms in civilian hands in the United States is estimated at between 270 million and 310 million. THAT's a lot of guns! And those are the numbers that people admit to having. That doesn't include the unlawfully owned guns in the possession of gang members, drug dealers and convicted felons.
So where are all of these guns and who owns them? Answer: Nobody knows, not the researchers, not the police and not the Federal government. Gun owners are very hesitant to let anyone know they have guns in their homes or places of business. They fear that thugs will try to break in and steal them if they know where they are. And they fear that the police or other government agencies will "target" them for special treatment by anti-gun politicians or agencies.
Anti-gun entities want all guns removed from private hands. Pro-gun entities say that it is a 2nd Amendment right for citizens to own guns, for personal protection or for any other reason. Who is right? Or is the best answer somewhere in the middle?  We will continue to explore in future postings.