Source Information: "Gun Control Facts." By James D. Agresti and Reid K. Smith. Just Facts, September 13, 2010. Revised
This research is based upon the most recent available data in 2010. Facts from earlier years are cited based upon availability and relevance, not to slant results by singling out specific years that are different from others. Likewise, data associated with the effects of gun control laws in various geographical areas represent random, demographically diverse places in which such data is available. Many aspects of the gun control issue are best measured and sometimes can only be measured through surveys, but the accuracy of such surveys depends upon respondents providing truthful answers to questions that are sometimes controversial and potentially incriminating. Thus, Just Facts uses such data critically, citing the best-designed surveys we find, detailing their inner workings in our footnotes, and using the most cautious plausible interpretations of the results.
Particularly, when statistics are involved, the determination of what constitutes a credible fact (and what does not) can contain elements of personal subjectivity. It is our mission to minimize subjective information and to provide highly factual content. Therefore, we are taking the additional step of providing readers with four examples to illustrate the type of material that was excluded because it did not meet Just Facts' Standards of Credibility.
* Firearms are generally classified into three broad types: (1) handguns, (2) rifles, and (3) shotguns. Rifles and shotguns are both considered "long guns."
* A semi-automatic firearm fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled and automatically loads another bullet for the next pull of the trigger. A fully automatic firearm (sometimes called a "machine gun") continuously fires bullets as long as the trigger is pulled.
* As of 2009, the United States has a population of 307 million people.
* Based on production data from firearm manufacturers, there are roughly 300 million firearms owned by civilians in the United States as of 2010. Of these, about 100 million are handguns.
* Based upon surveys, the following are estimates of private firearm ownership in the U.S. as of 2010: