More Handguns, Yet Fewer Want Them Banned


Nearly 7 million new handguns were made or imported in 2019.
Interest in handgun bans has declined accordingly.

When the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently released its updated Firearm Production Report, it revealed firearms manufacturers produced a whopping 3.6 million handguns in 2019.

Of the 3.3 million firearms imported into the U.S. last year, 2.3 million of them were pistols and revolvers, bringing the total number of sidearms added to the marketplace at roughly 6.9 million. Odds are very good guns not sold last year were purchased sometime during this year’s rush on gun stores by legions of people across the country, including an estimated 5 million who bought a gun for the first time in their lives.

There’s an interesting sidebar to all of this gun buying and it comes from Gallup, the survey people who revealed their latest polling results. Long story short, support for gun control has slipped about 7 percentage points and support for banning handguns is only 25% — nearly the lowest it has been in years.

According to Gallup, 74% of U.S. adults say handguns should not be banned, and that includes 41% of identified Democrats who turned thumbs down on the idea.

More Democrats and Independents support stricter gun laws now than in 2016,
but the numbers have been declining since 2017. (Source: Gallup)

However, Democrats and Independents are calling for more gun control, while among Republicans, only 22% favor stricter gun laws. As noted by Gallup, “Majorities of women, Democrats, independents, those who do not own guns, residents of the Eastern and Western U.S., and city and suburban residents all support stricter gun laws. At the same time, these groups’ counterparts are more supportive of keeping gun laws as they are now or making them less strict.”

Now here’s the fun part, that is, for everyone except gun control proponents. According to the NSSF, the 27-year period covered in its updated production report (1991-2018), violent crime declined 51.3% and accidental firearms fatalities dropped a stunning 68.2%. It’s as if more guns equate to less crime. Now where have we heard that before?

The closest estimate NSSF could provide on the actual number of privately-owned firearms in this country was — are you sitting down? — 434 million. Several months ago, Insider did a little math and estimated there are presently more than 100 million gun owners in the U.S. That means, on average, each gun owner has at least four firearms — but we’re not average. We all know that one guy who has more than four shotguns alone, and another fellow with a handgun collection that would make the average seem ludicrous.

That’s A Lot Of Hardware!

We confined our remarks above to just handguns, so let’s take a look at shotguns and rifles for the sake of full disclosure.

According to the NSSF report, 2019 saw production of an estimated 2 million rifles of any kind, including semi-automatic modern sporting rifles. Add to that the 301,000 rifles that were imported last year and it amounts to a lot of hardware.

Then come shotguns; NSSF estimates 480,000 smoothbores were manufactured in the U.S. during 2019. In addition, 678,000 shotguns were imported last year, including semi-autos, pump guns, double-and single-barrel break actions and tactical shotguns.

This is where Insider Online gets to declare, “Stop Right There!” We turn your attention to the FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2019, which we discussed a couple of months ago, right after it was released.

Of the estimated 13,927 people murdered last year, the UCR says 10,258 suffered gunshot wounds. But of those victims, only 364 were confirmed to have been killed with rifles and only 200 were killed with shotguns. There were at least 3,326 people shot dead with “other guns or type not stated.” What can be said without fear of correction is that rifles and shotguns account for a fraction of all murders. This has been the pattern for as long as we can remember, and that’s a long time.

Now comes the question: If so few people are murdered with rifles in any given year, why is there a rush by the gun control crowd to ban modern sporting rifles completely? They’re the most popular long gun in the country today, with an estimated 19.8 million of them in private hands, according to the NSSF report. Indeed, in 2018, about half of all rifles produced in the U.S. were modern sporting rifles.

Anti-gunners don’t care for full-capacity magazines, but there are an estimated 71.2 million of them in the U.S.

Magazines You Can’t Read

Anti-gunners are constantly harping about “high capacity magazines,” a term it took them a while to learn, since most are used to calling the devices “clips.” Since they learned a new word and wrapped a gun control phrase around it, now they want to ban such magazines. Good luck with that.

The aforementioned NSSF report contains one jaw-dropping estimate sure to make gun prohibitionists cringe from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. According to the report, “There are approximately 71.2 million pistol magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, and 79.2 million rifle magazines capable of holding 30 or more rounds in circulation.”

Stack them and they might reach the moon. Anyone who seriously believes there is even the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hell of banning and confiscating all of those magazines is delusional, at best.

Money Talks

Folks looking forward to the day they can put firearms manufacturers out of business need a remedial refresher of Economics 101. The NSSF report contains one other gem, and this is where the rubber meets the road. Firearm and ammunition companies employ almost 12,000 people who would much rather bring home a paycheck instead of waiting at home for a welfare check.

In 2018, these companies and their employees produced more than $3.9 billion in products for just the U.S. market. Part of that massive production was an estimated 8.7 billion rounds of ammunition.

“The only guns [Trudeau’s administration] know how to seize are the ones owned by legal gun owners.” (Source: ABC News)

Shout Out For Toronto Columnist

Insider stumbled across a bit of brilliance in a column authored by Toronto Sun scribe Brian Lilley that should be required reading for gun control zealots on both sides of the border.

Zeroing in on a tragic shooting in the North York neighborhood earlier this month, Lilley noted that both suspects were “convicted criminals prohibited from owning firearms and the federal government banned all the dangerous guns last spring in their attempt to show they were tough on gun crime.” And what was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reaction to this crime, which took the life of a 12-year-old?

As Lilley explained it, the Trudeau administration’s strategy “is to seize guns, not deal with criminals, and the only guns they know how to seize are the ones owned by legal gun owners.”

Evidently, based on Lilley’s observations, gun control proponents in Canada are just as foolish as their counterparts here in the U.S. If you could stop the spread of stupidity by wearing masks, we’d promote it around the clock.

There are now three federal lawsuits challenging Draconian carry
laws in New York City, New Jersey and Maryland.

Right-to-Carry Lawsuits

There are now three separate federal lawsuits filed against three different jurisdictions — New York City and the states of New Jersey and Maryland — in three different federal courts challenging their respective Draconian concealed carry requirements.

The common denominators in these legal actions are the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), who filed all three in cooperation with local organizations and private citizens.

All of these restrictive laws require what is generically called a “good and substantial reason” to carry a concealed sidearm. In each of these jurisdictions, the requirement almost invariably puts carry permits just out of reach for average citizens. That, say plaintiffs in these cases, makes all three of these schemes unconstitutional.

You can read the legal documents at the links below:

New York City

New Jersey


For California Handgunners

A fourth lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, challenges the Golden State’s “handgun roster” laws, which essentially disqualify many modern handguns from being sold in the state.

SAF and FPC are spearheading this one along with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, San Diego County Gun Owners, two private businesses and a dozen individual citizens.

Striking down the California Roster would be a great victory for the state’s gun owners. Stay tuned, such civil court actions can take months, even years.

Since We Mentioned Stupidity

If anyone in law enforcement has a crazier tale, we want to hear about it.

Earlier this month, authorities arrested a Utah man following what Fox News described as a “high speed chase” in snowy conditions. By high speed, we mean 130 mph. Fox said the Associated Press and Deseret News jumped on this one.

According to the published report, the suspect in this misadventure told lawmen he was in a hurry to get to Missouri, where he allegedly planned to murder former Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill. That is, if she wasn’t already deceased.

Now this probably won’t surprise anybody: An affidavit stated the suspect “was belligerent and appeared heavily intoxicated…He smelled of an alcoholic beverage and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot.” That explains the empty 12-pack of brew recovered from his vehicle. On top of that, the suspect reportedly claimed he was on LSD.

Maybe the only mystery here is why this guy didn’t just try to fly across the Rockies.

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