US Civilians Own Nearly 100 Times More Guns Than The US Military

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According to a Small Arms Survey, United States citizens own close to 400 million firearms compared to the US Military’s 4.5 million. The gap widens even more when compared to state and local police firearm numbers hitting just over 1 million. US citizens purchased 2 million firearms in May 2018 alone, and more than 25.2 million gun-related civilian background checks were processed by the FBI in all of 2017. That means private citizens match the military’s total firearm number every two months, and gun sales are skyrocketing in the US and around the world. 

Of the known 1.1 billion firearms in global circulation, 393.3 million (over a third) are privately owned by United States citizens. Compare that to the second most privately well-armed nation on the planet, India, with 70 million guns owned. India is the second most populous nation on the planet with over 1.3 billion people yet only has a fraction of the guns the US does, and still comes in second. 

Russia beats out the US in police and military numbers with 2.4 million guns reported by Moscow Law Enforcement and 30.15 million military firearms compared to the US Military’s 4.5. Public ownership of guns in Russia is practically non-existent.

“At the end of 2017 there were approximately 1.13 billion firearms in the 230 countries and autonomous territories of the world, 84.6 percent of which were held by civilians, 13.1 percent by state militaries, and 2.2 percent by law enforcement agencies. The 2017 combined global total of 1.13 billion firearms is higher than the previously published Small Arms Survey global total of 875 million firearms in 2006, an increase of 15.7 percent for all identified firearms. Much of this change is due to an increase of 32 percent in the estimated civilian-held firearms total. Reported global totals for the law enforcement and military categories show net decreases, mostly due to changes in estimating Procedures.”

If the math on just how many firearms in circulation doesn’t floor you yet, consider that every figure presented is a “lowest possible amount” stat. Illegal and unregistered firearms could still account for a significant number of guns that are not included in the data.




“Most of the world’s firearms are privately owned, which makes documenting their precise number particularly challenging. Official registration totals provide the most reliable data, although they do not capture the full spectrum of firearms in civilian hands,” the report said.

A common default among the anti-gun left when told the true reason for the Second Amendment’s implementation in 1791 was to guarantee the citizens the ability to defend themselves from a tyrannical government is “Uh, what? Sorry but if the government really wanted to take your guns, there’s nothing you could do about it. They have the army with tanks and missiles and you have your little semi-automatics. So we should just repeal all these gun rights protections because having them against the military is futile anyway.”

If the Vietnam War taught us anything, it’s that nothing is futile when dealing with an armed public.