25 Statistics That Reveal Everything You Need To Know About The U.S. Firearms Industry

12/14/2012 06:30 pm ET | Updated Dec 17, 2012
  • Harry Bradford Associate Editor, HuffPost Business and HuffPost Small Business

On Friday, December 14, a gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and shot and killed 26 people including 20 children. Earlier that same week, an Oregon man shot three people at a shopping mall before taking his own life. A few months before that, a gunman entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and left having taken 12 lives.

Tragedies such as these have raised serious questions about a firearms industry growing larger and more powerful everyday. Today, it's easier for most Americans to access guns than it is to find mental health treatment. Such realities have set in motion a conversation about the nation's gun control laws, and the powerful industry such rules would regulate. So how big is the gun economy really?

Here is everything you need to know about the U.S. firearms industry:

31 billion - Economic impact of the firearms industry in 2011 in dollars.

19 billion - Economic impact of the firearms industry in 2008 in dollars.

4 billion - The number of dollars spent in annual commercial gun and ammunitions sales -- a 20-year high.

270 to 300 million - Estimated number of guns owned by Americans. That's about one for every American citizen.

45 million - Number of Americans estimated to own handguns.

16.8 million - Number of background checks for gun sales in 2012.

154,873 - The record number of background check calls the FBI reported receiving on Black Friday this year.

700 to 2000 - Cost of a .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle, which some reports indicate was the type of firearm used in the attack in Newtown, CT.

200 - Percent profit boost for gunmakers since Obama was elected in 2008.

96 - Percent of the $3 million that gun lobbyists donated during the 2012 election that went to Republicans.

80 - Percent of gun deaths from the 23 wealthiest countries that are American deaths.

62.8 - Percent of people who own guns in Wyoming, the state with the highest rate of gun ownership in the U.S.

62 - Percent of 125 online sellers who said they "probably couldn't pass a background check."

40 - 45 - Percent of U.S. households that own a gun.

4.44 - Percent that gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company’s stock fell on the day of the Newtown school shooting.

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