While concentration of firearms increases, according to a new Harvard/Northeastern study. This may help to explain the increasing stridency and paranoia of gun ownership groups as they seek to replace declining numbers with increased volume.
Politically, this suggests that support for gun safety legislation should be increasingly popular with the general public.
Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 130m of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3% of American adults – a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each.
The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey result summary, obtained exclusively by the Guardian and the Trace, estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70m guns since 1994. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who own guns decreased slightly from 25% to 22%.