4 in 10 civilian firearms worldwide are owned by Americans

Most of the world’s firearms are privately owned. They include improvised craft guns as well as handguns, rifles, shotguns, and machine guns. The legal definition of a civilian firearm varies; some states allow civilian ownership of certain firearms that are restricted to military use in other states. The word civilian is used here to refer to actual possession, not legality. In 2007, the Small Arms Survey estimated the number of civilian firearm ownership worldwide at approximately 650 million weapons out of some 875 then in existence (see Figures 1 and 2). National ownership rates range from a high of 90 firearms per every 100 people in the United States, to one firearm or less for every 100 residents in countries like South Korea and Ghana (see Table 1). With the world’s factories delivering millions of newly manufactured firearms annually, and with far fewer being destroyed, civilian ownership is growing. NOTE: take a look at the pie charts and other statistics in the link http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/H-Research_Notes/SAS-Resea...

Source: "Estimating Civilian Owned Firearms," Small Arms Survey, Vol 9., September, 2011. http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/H-Research_Notes/SAS-Resea... [verified 4/17/14]