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A recent CBS News poll found that 36% of adults either personally own a firearm or live with someone who does–the lowest level since 1978. That’s 10% lower than gun ownership rates in 2012 and 17 points lower than 1994’s high of 53%.
Meanwhile, gun purchases are at historic highs, measured by FBI firearm background checks, and gun manufacturers are producing record numbers of firearms — about 4.4 million a year in the U.S. according to the latest countfrom the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
So how can gun ownership be at a record low if sales are up? Because most of the rise in gun purchases comes from existing gun owners stocking up over concerns about tighter gun laws following recent mass shootings, rather than by people buying their first gun, according to the Washington Post. An analysis by the paper last year found that the average American gun owner owns about eight firearms, double that in the 1990s. Similarly, a CBS News poll from March found that about 20% of gun owners owned 10 or more guns.