The United States ranks number 1 in the world for guns owned per 100 people, setting the stage for a conversation about the future of gun sales. Here's a look at some key statistics from the U.S. firearms industry:
270 million – Estimated number of guns held by civilians (2007). The number now floats between 270 - 300 million when you compare statistics from BusinessWeek, the United Nations, and the NRA.
158 million – Number of background checks since the FBI was mandated by Congress in 1993 to do so (over 16.8 million in 2012 alone).
88 – Guns owned per 100 people (Yemen is second highest with 54.8 guns per 100 people)
10.19 – National firearm death rate per 100,000 people in United States (2009).
47 – Percent of Americans with self-reported gun ownership. This is the highest level since 1993. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they have a gun: 55% to 40% although Democrats’ self-reported gun ownership saw an 8-point spike in 2012.
There appears to be correlation between firearm ownership and gun death rates, although it is important to acknowledge that the gun death rate includes deaths from suicides, accidents and homicides:
62.8 – Percent of Wyoming residents with firearm ownership (ranked highest state for percent of firearm ownership in country).
17.64 – Wyoming’s gun death rate per 100,000 people (ranked second highest state for firearm death rate in country).
9.7 – Percent of Hawaii residents with firearm ownership (ranked 50th state).
3.63 – Hawaii’s gun death rate per 100,000 people (ranked 49th state).
Pro-gun advocates also argue the significant economic benefits of the firearms industry in the United States:
$31 billion – Total economic impact of firearms and ammunitions industry in the United States (2012).
$4 billion – Commercial gun and ammunition sales, now at a 20-year high.
48.3 – Percent rise in federal excise taxes collected on the sale of new firearms and ammunitions over past five years.
Online gun and ammunition retailer Ammo.net has labeled Obama as the "greatest gun salesman in America," because of his perceived hostility towards gun owners. However, not all industry stakeholders support Obama, with NRA’s Wayne LaPierre serving as a strong advocate against the Obama administration’s gun policies.