The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) issued a report detailing sporting rifle ownership in America. The staggering numbers showed more than 24 million modern sporting rifles entered circulation since 1990. The figure represents an increase of more than 4.5 million rifles since 2020. The AR-15 continues to dominate semi-automatic rifle sales.
Modern Sporting Rifles Top 24 Million
The estimate comes from data derived from NSSF research, the ATF Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) and U.S. International Trade Commission (U.S. ITC) data, reported NSSF. Manufacturers, importers and exporters of MSRs, and AR-15s, cooperated in the data collection. The category includes AK-style rifles and other magazine-fed, semi-auto rifles. The industry estimate suggests nearly 2.8 million rifles produced or imported since 2020.
“This is a truly significant figure that demonstrates – again – the popularity of this commonly-owned style of rifle,” said NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi. “The firearm industry responds to market demand and this shows that during the elevated period of firearm sales that began in 2020, this particular style of rifle is the top choice for law-abiding citizens for hunting, recreational shooting and self-defense.”
Of course, people love shooting MSRs of all types, especially the AR-15. The modularity, combined with high accuracy and low recoil, make it truly “America’s Rifle.” In fact, NSSF noted it far surpasses another American institution in popularity, the ubiquitous Ford F-Series pickup truck. Ford reports more than 16 million F-Series pickups on the road today. That’s well shy of the 24 million MSRs owned by law-abiding citizens.
Let’s take this number, remove our own biases, and think in terms of gun control application. Simply stated: You’re never gonna take away 24 million rifles from Americans. To undertake such a thing, you’re likely creating the most dangerous black market in the history of the world. From America’s prohibition on alcohol to the war on drugs, failed policies create more problems. They introduce a litany of unintended consequences. From Al Capone to Mexican drug cartels, can you imagine what an all-out ban on guns would do to this world?
Gun control takes guns away from the law-abiding. Meanwhile, the criminals take advantage and ignore the law. Gun control makes us less safe, in every way imaginable. America’s Rifle, and all MSRs, are here to stay.