The number of firearms in the United States is among the highest in the world. In fact, it is difficult to find a gun owner anywhere in the world who does not own a firearm. The number of firearms owned by Americans is at an all-time high. If we had to guess, we would probably say that there are way too many firearms in this country. The problem with this, however, is that we do not know how many of these firearms are in fact “in the hands” of people.
One would suppose that if the U.S. has so many firearms, then we should be able to access them with ease. In other words, if we could just find a way to scan through the U.S. citizens’ firearms, we would be able to find the firearm of our choice. Well, there are good news and bad news with this question. Let’s explore this a bit.
The good news is that it is relatively easy for a law-abiding citizen to get a firearms license and keep his or her firearms in the United States. Unfortunately, the bad news is that many persons convicted of firearm violations are prohibited from obtaining handguns. While we may think of rifles as the easiest weapons to get, they are far from easy to keep track of. The problem is particularly acute with criminals.
The United States has a number of statistical measures designed to ensure that we only have firearms when we need them. For example, all licensed firearms must be registered. If you do not have a firearm registration certificate, and attempt to obtain one, the penalties are quite stiff. In short, if we want to find out how many firearms in us, we will have to do some detective work.
One way to try to discover how many firearms are in us is by visiting your local police department. They will have you fill out an Firearms Transaction Report, or ATF Form 4. The report shows you which firearms you possess, where you purchased them, how much money you spent on them, and whom you sold them to. If the police suspect that you have more than one firearm, they will also ask for permission to take the firearms from you. If you are caught with two or more firearms, you will face steep fines and possible jail time.
Another method of how many firearms in us that can be easily tracked is by going online. There are numerous websites that allow firearm purchases and sales. Many will have links to the ATF website or will provide links to the local police department’s website. Armed Forces Recruiting also has a great website that will provide you with important information on obtaining firearms.