NSSF Releases Firearms Production Figures: Almost 18 Million ARs in Circulation, Half a Billion Guns

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the firearms industry trade association, released the 2017 Firearms Production Report to members. The report compiles the most up to date information based on data sourced from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Reports (AFMER). Key findings for public release showed:

  • The estimated total number of firearms in civilian possession from 1986-2018 is 422.9 million, according to data reported in the ATF’s Firearms Commerce Report in the United States 2019 report and including the preliminary 2018 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) figures.
  • 17,740,000 Modern Sporting Rifles are in private ownership today.
  • More than half (54%) of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles.
  • In 2017, 7,901,218 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles and 667,350 were shotguns.
  • An interim 2018 estimate showed a total 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles and 535,994 were shotguns. Those are interim reports and will be updated as complete information becomes available.
  • Firearms-ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017. An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.

“These figures show the industry that America has a strong desire to continue to purchase firearms for lawful purposes,” said Joe Bartozzi, President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “The Modern Sporting Rifle continues to be the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today and is clearly a commonly-owned firearm with more than 17 million in legal private ownership today. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes, and to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

The report also shows that as lawful firearms ownership in America continues to grow, criminal and unintentional misuse of firearms is falling. During the 25-year period covered in this report (1993–2017) the violent crime rate has decreased by 48.6 percent and unintentional firearm-related fatalities have declined by 68 percent.

About NSSF

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Mark Alsburg December 8, 2019, 9:12 pm

    Just don’t buy one weapon buy two if you cat afford them go for the cheapest on the market.

  • Bill December 7, 2019, 8:51 am

    The #’s above, adjusted for the population and time period reflect exactly the reason Japan never intended to invade the west coast after Dec. 7th. 1941. Today is the 78th. year date of that horrendous attack. Never, never, never forget! Since we have no warriors in Congress keep yourself “locked and loaded”!

  • hippybiker December 7, 2019, 8:13 am

    “The American should always posses sufficient arms and ammunition to prevent anyone from abusing them. Up to, and including their own government!l
    General George Washington first President of The United States under our current Constitution.

  • Martin, Canadian citizen December 6, 2019, 10:04 pm

    It won’t be needed until they try to take it…

    -Thomas Jefferson

  • RJ December 6, 2019, 11:05 am

    I would love to see the graph with 6 lines on it: Popupation, Guns owned, Rounds consumed, and Firearms related deaths (all types) and firearms related deaths,(subtract police involved), and Voilent Crime.
    Then one could really see the gaps widen related to lawful gun ownership.
    Also, deaths involving just MSR’s, which would be nearly a flat line, of course.

  • Dav December 6, 2019, 9:55 am

    Don’t bother liberals with facts, they want to feel their laws into existence.

  • Dexter Winslett December 6, 2019, 9:42 am

    Stay armed. Your illegal government may be about.

  • Christopher Kline December 6, 2019, 9:22 am

    This is great information, data and statistics.
    But will and/or do any of the elected officials in the states and in DC ever read this? So many liberals that are supposed to be the voice of Americans want no one to have ownership of any firearm.

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