The Washington post cites a study that claims Americans overstate the number of gun owners. I want to take a look at the numbers, because that is what I do here on this blog.
According to the US census, Florida has a population of 20.6 million. 20 percent of that population is under the age of 18, meaning that there are 16.45 million adults living in Florida. There are 7.4 million households in the state of Florida, equaling an average of 2.1 adults in each household.
According to the Department of Agriculture (the state agency that issues CWPs), there are 2 million non-law enforcement citizens in Florida who can legally carry a firearm. (pdf warning) That means that, on average, 27 percent of Florida households contain at least one permitted firearm owner.
Looking at the NFA, there are 343,288 NFA firearms in state, including over 36,000 machine guns. There have been 12.4 million NICS checks carried out in Florida since 1999. Since it is possible to buy more than owe firearm per NICS check, and since there are many firearms that have been brought in from out of state, as well as firearms that were in the state prior to 1999, 20 million firearms in the state is likely a low number.
I will admit that there is no way to know for sure hoe many firearms each gun owner has, all of the above evidence points to 30 percent being a low estimate of the number of adults in the state who own firearms:
- 2 million concealed weapons permits, 27 percent of all households having a permit holder
- 343,288 NFA weapons, including 36,000 machine guns
- More firearms in the state than there are adults