Gun ownership

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A gun store in Prague, Czech Republic.
A gun store in Wenatchee, Washington, in the United States

Gun ownership is the act of owning a gun. In 2018, Small Arms Survey reported that there are over one billion small arms distributed globally, of which 857 million (about 85 percent) are in civilian hands.[1][2] U.S. civilians alone account for 393 million (about 46 percent) of the worldwide total of civilian held firearms.[2] This amounts to "120.5 firearms for every 100 residents."[2]

The worlds armed forces control about 133 million (about 13 percent) of the global total of small arms, of which over 43 percent belonging to two countries the Russian Federation (30.3 million) and China (27.5 million).[1] Law enforcement agencies control about 23 million (about 2 percent) of the global total of small arms.[1]

Global distribution of civilian-held firearms[edit]

World Wide Civilian Firearms Holdings, 2017[3][4]
Countries & Territories Estimate of firearms in civilian possession Population 2017 Estimate of civilian firearms per 100 persons
Afghanistan 4,270,000 34,169,000 12.5
Albania 350,000 2,911,000 12.0
Algeria 877,000 41,064,000 2.1
American Samoa 400 56,000 0.7
Andorra 10,000 69,000 14.1
Angola 2,982,000 26,656,000 11.2
Antigua and Barbuda 5,000 94,000 5.4
Argentina 3,256,000 44,272,000 7.4
Armenia 186,000 3,032,000 6.1
Aruba 3,000 105,000 2.6
Australia 3,573,000 24,642,000 14.5
Austria 2,577,000 8,592,000 30.0
Azerbaijan 362,000 9,974,000 3.6
Bahamas 74,000 397,000 18.8
Bahrain 181,000 1,419,000 12.8
Bangladesh 659,000 164,828,000 0.4
Barbados 10,000 286,000 3.5
Belarus 581,000 9,459,000 6.1
Belgium 1,451,000 11,444,000 12.7
Belize 37,000 375,000 10.0
Benin 33,000 11,459,000 0.3
Bermuda 3,000 61,000 4.6
Bhutan 6,000 793,000 0.8
Bolivia 218,000 11,053,000 2.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1,185,000 3,793,000 31.2
Botswana 97,000 2,344,000 4.1
Brazil 17,510,000 211,243,000 8.3
Brunei Darussalam 6,000 434,000 1.4
Bulgaria 590,000 7,045,000 8.4
Burkina Faso 175,000 19,173,000 0.9
Burundi 238,000 11,936,000 2.0
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) 31,000 533,000 5.7
Cambodia 717,000 16,076,000 4.5
Cameroon 510,000 24,514,000 2.1
Canada 12,708,000 36,626,000 34.7
Cayman Islands 6,000 62,000 9.2
Central African Republic 94,000 5,099,000 1.8
Chad 151,000 14,965,000 1.0
Channel Islands 23,000 165,000 14.0
Chile 2,220,000 18,313,000 12.1
China 49,735,000 1,388,233,000 3.6
China, Macao SAR 22,000 606,000 3.6
Christmas Island 0 2,000 0.0
Colombia 4,971,000 49,068,000 10.1
Comoros 12,000 826,000 1.5
Congo, Republic of 119,000 4,866,000 2.4
Costa Rica 493,000 4,906,000 10.0
Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 1,049,000 23,816,000 4.4
Croatia 576,000 4,210,000 13.7
Cuba 234,000 11,390,000 2.1
Curaçao 4,000 160,000 2.6
Cyprus, North 61,000 349,000 17.4
Cyprus, Rep. of 285,000 839,000 34.0
Czech Republic 1,323,000 10,555,000 12.5
Democratic Republic of Congo 946,000 82,243,000 1.2
Denmark 567,000 5,712,000 9.9
Djibouti 28,000 911,000 3.1
Dominica 5,000 73,000 6.2
Dominican Republic 795,000 10,767,000 7.4
Ecuador 402,000 16,626,000 2.4
Egypt 3,931,000 95,215,000 4.1
El Salvador 737,000 6,167,000 12.0
England and Wales 2,731,000 58,877,000 4.6
Equatorial Guinea 112,000 894,000 12.5
Eritrea 23,000 5,482,000 0.4
Estonia 65,000 1,306,000 5.0
Ethiopia 377,000 104,345,000 0.4
Falkland Islands 2,000 3,000 62.1
Faroe Islands 5,000 49,000 9.9
Fiji 5,000 903,000 0.5
Finland 1,793,000 5,541,000 32.4
France 12,732,000 64,939,000 19.6
French Guiana 55,000 283,000 19.6
French Polynesia 7,000 289,000 2.5
Gabon 61,000 1,801,000 3.4
Gambia 137,000 2,120,000 6.5
Georgia 402,000 3,973,000 10.1
Germany 15,822,000 80,636,000 19.6
Ghana 2,280,000 28,657,000 8.0
Gibraltar 1,000 32,000 4.1
Greece 1,920,000 10,893,000 17.6
Greenland 13,000 56,000 22.3
Grenada 5,000 108,000 4.6
Guadeloupe 40,000 472,000 8.5
Guam 20,000 174,000 11.5
Guatemala 2,062,000 17,005,000 12.1
Guinea 130,000 13,291,000 1.0
Guinea-Bissau 29,000 1,933,000 1.5
Guyana 122,000 774,000 15.8
Haiti 291,000 10,983,000 2.6
Holy See 0 1,000 0.0
Honduras 1,171,000 8,305,000 14.1
Hong Kong SAR, China 265,000 7,402,000 3.6
Hungary 1,023,000 9,788,000 10.5
Iceland 106,000 334,000 31.7
India 71,101,000 1,342,513,000 5.3
Indonesia 82,000 263,510,000 0.0
Iran, Islamic Republic of 5,890,000 80,946,000 7.3
Iraq 7,588,000 38,654,000 19.6
Ireland 342,000 4,749,000 7.2
Israel 557,000 8,323,000 6.7
Italy 8,609,000 59,798,000 14.4
Jamaica 246,000 2,813,000 8.8
Japan 377,000 126,045,000 0.3
Jordan 1,473,000 7,877,000 18.7
Kazakhstan 504,000 18,064,000 2.8
Kenya 750,000 48,467,000 1.5
Kiribati 900 116,000 0.8
Korea, DPR (North) 76,000 25,405,000 0.3
Korea, Republic of (South) 79,000 50,705,000 0.2
Kosovo 436,000 1,831,000 23.8
Kuwait 685,000 4,100,000 16.7
Kyrgyzstan 171,000 6,125,000 2.8
Lao, People's Democratic Republic 215,000 7,038,000 3.0
Latvia 205,000 1,945,000 10.5
Lebanon 1,927,000 6,039,000 31.9
Lesotho 105,000 2,185,000 4.8
Liberia 97,000 4,730,000 2.1
Libya 851,000 6,409,000 13.3
Liechtenstein 11,000 38,000 28.8
Lithuania 385,000 2,831,000 13.6
Luxembourg 110,000 584,000 18.9
Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of 621,000 2,083,000 29.8
Madagascar 168,000 25,613,000 0.7
Malawi 47,000 18,299,000 0.3
Malaysia 217,000 31,164,000 0.7
Maldives 23,000 376,000 6.2
Mali 206,000 18,690,000 1.1
Malta 119,000 421,000 28.3
Marshall Islands 300 53,000 0.5
Martinique 34,000 396,000 8.5
Mauritania 120,000 4,266,000 2.8
Mauritius 106,000 1,281,000 8.3
Mexico 16,809,000 130,223,000 12.9
Micronesia, Fed. Sts. 700 106,000 0.7
Moldova, Republic of 121,000 4,055,000 3.0
Monaco 7,000 38,000 19.6
Mongolia 242,000 3,052,000 7.9
Montenegro 245,000 626,000 39.1
Montserrat 300 5,000 5.4
Morocco 1,690,000 35,241,000 4.8
Mozambique 1,337,000 29,538,000 4.5
Myanmar 877,000 54,836,000 1.6
Namibia 396,000 2,569,000 15.4
Nauru 0 10,000 0.0
Nepal 444,000 29,187,000 1.5
Netherlands 442,000 17,033,000 2.6
New Caledonia 115,000 270,000 42.5
New Zealand 1,212,000 4,605,000 26.3
Nicaragua 323,000 6,218,000 5.2
Niger 117,000 21,564,000 0.5
Nigeria 6,154,000 191,836,000 3.2
Northern Ireland 206,000 1,873,000 11.0
Northern Mariana Islands 1,000 56,000 2.6
Norway 1,537,000 5,331,000 28.8
Oman 792,000 4,741,000 16.7
Pakistan 43,917,000 196,744,000 22.3
Palau 100 22,000 0.5
Palestinian Territories 56,000 4,952,000 1.1
Panama 436,000 4,051,000 10.8
Papua New Guinea 79,000 7,934,000 1.0
Paraguay 1,140,000 6,812,000 16.7
Peru 633,000 32,166,000 2.0
Philippines 3,776,000 103,797,000 3.6
Poland 968,000 38,564,000 2.5
Portugal 2,186,000 10,265,000 21.3
Puerto Rico 422,000 3,679,000 11.5
Puntland 246,000 1,995,000 12.3
Qatar 390,000 2,338,000 16.7
Réunion 171,000 873,000 19.6
Romania 506,000 19,238,000 2.6
Russian Federation 17,620,000 143,375,000 12.3
Rwanda 66,000 12,160,000 0.5
Saint Kitts and Nevis 2,000 57,000 3.4
Saint Lucia 6,000 188,000 3.4
Saint Martin (France) 3,000 32,000 8.5
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4,000 110,000 3.4
Samoa 20,000 196,000 10.1
San Marino 5,000 32,000 14.4
São Tomé and Principe 7,000 198,000 3.4
Saudi Arabia 5,468,000 32,743,000 16.7
Scotland 305,000 5,436,000 5.6
Senegal 323,000 16,054,000 2.0
Serbia 2,719,000 6,946,000 39.1
Seychelles 4,000 98,000 4.1
Sierra Leone 35,000 6,733,000 0.5
Singapore 20,000 5,785,000 0.3
Sint Maarten (Netherlands) 2,000 40,000 4.2
Slovakia 355,000 5,432,000 6.5
Slovenia 324,000 2,071,000 15.6
Solomon Islands 1,000 606,000 0.2
Somalia 1,145,000 9,225,000 12.4
Somaliland 456,000 3,823,000 11.9
South Africa 5,351,000 55,436,000 9.7
South Sudan 1,255,000 13,096,000 9.6
Spain 3,464,000 46,070,000 7.5
Sri Lanka 494,000 20,905,000 2.4
Sudan 2,768,000 42,166,000 6.6
Suriname 88,000 552,000 15.9
Swaziland 64,000 1,320,000 4.8
Sweden 2,296,000 9,921,000 23.1
Switzerland 2,332,000 8,454,000 27.6
Syrian Arab Republic 1,547,000 18,907,000 8.2
Taiwan (Rep. of China) 10,000 23,405,000 0.0
Tajikistan 37,000 8,858,000 0.4
Tanzania, United Republic of Africa 427,000 56,878,000 0.8
Thailand 10,342,000 68,298,000 15.1
Timor-Leste (East Timor) 3,000 1,237,000 0.3
Togo 58,000 7,692,000 0.8
Tonga 9,000 108,000 8.0
Trinidad and Tobago 43,000 1,369,000 3.2
Tunisia 123,000 11,495,000 1.1
Turkey 13,249,000 80,418,000 16.5
Turkmenistan 23,000 5,503,000 0.4
Turks and Caicos Islands 1,000 35,000 3.3
Tuvalu 100 10,000 1.2
Uganda 331,000 41,653,000 0.8
Ukraine 4,396,000 44,405,000 9.9
United Arab Emirates 1,569,000 9,398,000 16.7
United Kingdom
Combined numbers for (England and Wales), (Northern Ireland) & (Scotland).
3,242,000 66,186,000 4.9
United States of America 393,347,000 326,474,000 120.5
Uruguay 1,198,000 3,457,000 34.7
Uzbekistan 127,000 30,691,000 0.4
Vanuatu 11,000 276,000 3.9
Venezuela 5,895,000 31,926,000 18.5
Vietnam 1,562,000 95,415,000 1.6
Virgin Islands (U.K.) 300 31,000 0.8
Virgin Islands (U.S.) 18,000 107,000 16.6
Yemen 14,859,000 28,120,000 52.8
Zambia 158,000 17,238,000 0.9
Zimbabwe 455,000 16,338,000 2.8

American gun ownership[edit]

American gun show, Houston, Texas.

"Americans made up 4 percent of the world's population but owned about 46 percent of the entire global stock of 857 million civilian firearms."[5] U.S civilians own 393 million guns. That is 3 times as many guns as the armed forces of the Russian Federation (30.3 million), China (27.5 million), North Korea (8.4 million), Ukraine (6.6 million), United States (4.5 million), India (3.9 million), Vietnam (3.8 million), Iran (3.3 million), South Korea (2.7 million), Pakistan (2.3 million), and all the other countries (39.7 million) combined.[6] American civilians own more guns "than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined."[7]

"American civilians own nearly 100 times as many firearms as the U.S. military and nearly 400 times as many as law enforcement."[8] Americans bought more than 2 million guns in May, 2018, alone.[8] That is more than twice as many guns, as possessed by every law enforcement agency in the United States put together.[8] In April and May of 2018, U.S. civilians bought 4.7 million guns, that's more than all the firearms stockpiled by the United States military.[8] In 2017, Americans bought 25.2 million guns, that's 2.5 million more guns than possessed by every law enforcement agency in the world put together.[8] Between 2012 and 2017, U.S. civilians bought 135 million guns, that's 2 million more guns than the combined stockpile of all the world's armed forces.[8]

Association with rates of violence[edit]

Violent crime in the United States per the Uniform Crime Report (UCR).[9]

Some studies suggest that higher rates of gun ownership are associated with higher homicide rates,[10][11][12] although Gary Kleck argues that the highest-quality studies show that gun ownership does not increase homicide rates.[13] Higher rates of gun ownership are also associated with higher suicide rates[14][15] and higher accidental gun death rates.[16][17][18] The availability of illegal guns, but not that of legal guns, is associated with higher rates of violent crime.[19] Studies have shown that 36.3% of people had access to a gun and 5% carried the gun with them. However 7.3% stored their guns in an unsafe place. Certain people have blamed individuals with mental disorders for being dangerous and violent with the use of guns. Nonetheless, other studies have been conducted and show that 34.1% have access to guns. 4.8% carry a gun with them and 6.2% store the gun in an unsafe manner. The statistics show that gun ownership is significantly high in both sets of individuals, however, none of the figures show people with a mental illness are as dangerous with guns than people with perfect mental health.[20] An international study by UNICRI researchers from 2001 examined the link between household gun ownership and overall homicide, overall suicide, as well as gun homicide and gun suicide rates amongst 21 countries. Significant correlations between household gun ownership and rates of gun suicides for both genders, and gun homicide rates involving female victims were found. There were no significant correlations detected for total homicide and suicide rates, as well as gun homicide rates involving male victims.[21] This study has been criticized for combining high-income countries (like the United States) with middle-income countries (like Estonia); if middle-income countries are excluded from the analysis, a strong relationship emerges between gun ownership and homicide.[22] However the Hemenway study has been criticized in response as well. When removing the United States as an outlier and using the superior proxy of gun ownership in the study (percentage of firearm suicides over all suicides), the relationship ceases to be significant. The association between gun ownership and homicide rates across nations is dependent on the inclusion of the U.S.[23] A study by the Flemish Peace Institute looking at firearms ownership amongst European nations and associated homicide, suicide, gun homicide, and gun suicide found no significant correlation with gun ownership by European nations and total homicide, total suicide rates, gun homicide rates involving both genders, and male gun homicide rates. An association was found for gun suicide rates and female gun homicide rates replicating the Killias' study done in 2001.[24] Studies in Canada that examined the levels of gun ownership by province have found no correlations with provincial overall suicide rates.[25] A 2011 study conducted looking at the effects of gun control legislation passed in Canada and the associated effects in homicide rates found no significant association.[26] A case-control study conducted in New Zealand looking at household gun ownership and the risk of suicides found no significant associations.[27]

Further reading[edit]

  • Krouse, William J. (14 November 2012). Gun Control Legislation (PDF). Congressional Research Service.
  • The Washington Post article (June 2018) [1]
  • Time article (June 2018) [2]
  • The Washington Free Beacon article (June 2018) [3]
  • The New York Times (June 2018) [4]
  • The Guardian article (June 2018) [5]
  • Newsweek article (June 2018) [6]
  • The Star Tribune article (June 2018) [7]
  • The Associated Press article (June 2018) [8]
  • Reuters article (June 2018) [9]
  • New York Daily News article (June 2018) [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/de/about-us/highlights/2018/highlight-bp-firearms-holdings.html Small Arms Survey reveals: More than one billion firearms in the world
  2. ^ a b c http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/T-Briefing-Papers/SAS-BP-Civilian-Firearms-Numbers.pdf Estimating Global CivilianHELD Firearms Numbers. Aaron Karp. June 2018
  3. ^ http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/T-Briefing-Papers/SAS-BP-Civilian-Firearms-Numbers.pdf June 2018, Estimating Global Civilian Held Firearms Numbers by Aaron Karp
  4. ^ http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/Weapons_and_Markets/Tools/Firearms_holdings/SAS-BP-Civilian-held-firearms-annexe.pdf
  5. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/there-are-more-guns-than-people-in-the-united-states-according-to-a-new-study-of-global-firearm-ownership/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.95af173bb5f2 The Washington Post. There are more guns than people in the United States, according to a new study of global firearm ownership. By Christopher Ingraham. June 19 2018
  6. ^ http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/T-Briefing-Papers/SAS-BP-Military-Firearms-Numbers.pdf Estimating Global Military owned Firearms Numbers. By Aaron Karp June, 2018
  7. ^ http://time.com/5315400/gun-ownership-america/ Americans Own 46% of the World's 1 Billion Guns, Says U.N. Report
  8. ^ a b c d e f http://freebeacon.com/culture/report-nearly-400-million-civilian-owned-guns-america/ Report: Nearly 400 Million Civilian-Owned Guns in America. Civilians own 100 times as many guns as the military, 400 times as many as police. BY: Stephen Gutowski. June 21, 2018
  9. ^ "Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics". Ucrdatatool.gov. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  10. ^ Miller, Matthew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David (December 2002). "Rates of Household Firearm Ownership and Homicide Across US Regions and States, 1988–1997". American Journal of Public Health. 92 (12): 1988–1993. doi:10.2105/AJPH.92.12.1988. PMC 1447364. PMID 12453821.
  11. ^ Hoskin, Anthony W. (September 2001). "Armed Americans: The impact of firearm availability on national homicide rates". Justice Quarterly. 18 (3): 569–592. doi:10.1080/07418820100095021.
  12. ^ Miller, Matthew; Hemenway, David; Azrael, Deborah (February 2007). "State-level homicide victimization rates in the US in relation to survey measures of household firearm ownership, 2001–2003". Social Science & Medicine. 64 (3): 656–664. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.09.024. PMID 17070975.
  13. ^ Kleck, Gary (January 2015). "The Impact of Gun Ownership Rates on Crime Rates: A Methodological Review of the Evidence". Journal of Criminal Justice. 43 (1): 40–48. doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2014.12.002.
  14. ^ Anestis, MD; Houtsma, C (13 March 2017). "The Association Between Gun Ownership and Statewide Overall Suicide Rates". Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. 48 (2): 204–217. doi:10.1111/sltb.12346. PMID 28294383.
  15. ^ Westefeld, John S.; Gann, Lianne C.; Lustgarten, Samuel D.; Yeates, Kevin J. (2016). "Relationships between firearm availability and suicide: The role of psychology". Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 47 (4): 271–277. doi:10.1037/pro0000089.
  16. ^ Miller, M; Azrael, D; Hemenway, D (February 2002). "Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths, suicide, and homicide among 5-14 year olds". The Journal of Trauma. 52 (2): 267–74, discussion 274–5. doi:10.1097/00005373-200202000-00011. PMID 11834986.
  17. ^ Miller, M. (1 March 2002). "Firearm Availability and Suicide, Homicide, and Unintentional Firearm Deaths Among Women". Journal of Urban Health. 79 (1): 26–38. doi:10.1093/jurban/79.1.26. PMC 3456383. PMID 11937613.
  18. ^ Miller, Mathew; Azrael, Deborah; Hemenway, David (July 2001). "Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths". Accident Analysis & Prevention. 33 (4): 477–484. doi:10.1016/S0001-4575(00)00061-0.
  19. ^ Stolzenberg, L.; D'Alessio, S. J. (1 June 2000). "Gun Availability and Violent Crime: New Evidence from the National Incident-Based Reporting System". Social Forces. 78 (4): 1461–1482. doi:10.1093/sf/78.4.1461.
  20. ^ Swanson, Jeffrey W.; McGinty, E. Elizabeth; Fazel, Seena; Mays, Vickie M. (2015-05-01). "Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy". Annals of Epidemiology. 25 (5): 366–376. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2014.03.004. PMC 4211925. PMID 24861430.
  21. ^ https://pure.uvt.nl/portal/files/5263789/GunsKilliasvKesteren.pdf
  22. ^ Hemenway, David (June 2009). "Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser. "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence" Harvard Journal of Law and Policy" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  23. ^ "NCJRS Abstract - National Criminal Justice Reference Service".
  24. ^ https://www.flemishpeaceinstitute.eu/sites/vlaamsvredesinstituut.eu/files/wysiwyg/firearms_and_violent_deaths_in_europe_web.pdf
  25. ^ "Firearms, Accidental Deaths, Suicides and Violent Crime: An Updated Review of the Literature with Special Reference to the Canadian Situation". 1999-03-10.
  26. ^ Langmann, Caillin (2012). "Canadian Firearms Legislation and Effects on Homicide 1974 to 2008". Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 27 (12): 2303–2321. doi:10.1177/0886260511433515. PMID 22328660.
  27. ^ Beautrais, Annette L.; Joyce, Peter R.; Mulder, Roger T. (1996). "Access to Firearms and the Risk of Suicide: A Case Control Study". Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 30 (6): 741–748. doi:10.3109/00048679609065040. PMID 9034462.