Data Reveals More Than 28.1 Million MSRs In Circulation

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posted on January 30, 2024
Modern Sporting Rifle MSR AR-15 semi-automatic gun dynamic angle brown color rifle carbine blue backgrond
Image courtesy of author.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation released the 2023 edition of its “Firearm Production in the United States and Firearm Import and Export Data” report this month, and it found there are more than 28.1 million modern sporting rifles (MSRs) in circulation. The study includes data from 2021, the most recent available.

The organization utilized the latest information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE’s) Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Reports (AFMER) to compile the analysis.

The study also reflects the total number of firearms in civilian possession from 1990 to 2021 comes in at 473.2 million. That figure is based on reports that include BATFE’s Firearms Commerce in the U.S., BATFE’s Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Reports and Congressional Research Service and the collective AFMER reports up to the 2021 edition.

Firearms produced in the United States increased by 28.6 percent in 2021 when compared to 2020 figures. The total domestic gun production in came in at 12,521,614.

Data indicates 28,144,000 MSRs (which includes ARs) are in circulation since 1990. MSR production increased 32 percent from 2020 to 2021.

In 2021, 21,037,810 total firearms were available for the U.S. market, which includes firearms that were domestically produced plus those imported—minus exported firearms. Of those, 12,799,067 were handguns, 4,832,198 were rifles and 3,406,545 were shotguns.

“This report demonstrates the strength and durability of the U.S. firearm manufacturing sector and the U.S. firearm sales markets,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF president and CEO. “The data continues to show that the Modern Sporting Rifle is the most popular centerfire rifle sold in America today with over 28.1 million in circulation and being used for lawful purposes every day. The continued popularity of handguns demonstrates a strong interest by Americans to protect themselves and their homes, and to participate in the recreational shooting sports.”

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