Yearly growth of new firearms in the United States
DATA VAN DE DAG - In the US it is not recorded how many firearms are sold. To get a good estimate we combined production-, export- and import data. In 2013 a record 16 million firearms were brought on the market in the United States.
The growth of new firearms in the USA since 1986 is over 185 million
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) records the production, export and import of all firearms since 1986. To see how many firearms became available we combined the figures. Production plus import minus export gives a net result per year.
It's not possible to see where all the firearms end up. The police and the military are also customers. And some firearms are not sold in the year they were produced.
But there was a significant growth since 2008. One way to verify if this proxy is valid is looking at the number of background checks per year. These background checks have to be done at each firearms transaction. Be aware that a check can also mean multiple guns bought in one transaction or the sale of a second hand gun. But still, the trend is similar.
The number of checks for the first 9 months of 2015 is at 15.6 million. This indicates that the full year might again be about 20 million.
These figures seem to contradict the surveys on gun ownership. There doesn't seem to be a rise. Possible explanation is that gun owners now own far more guns.
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