What's happened to gun ownership in the US since Barack Obama was elected

Louis Dor
Sunday 09 August 2015 16:50

In a wide-ranging interview with BBC News last month, Barack Obama lamented a failure to achieve meaningful gun control reform as one of the biggest regrets of his presidency.

Since he was first elected president, the share prices of America’s two largest publicly traded gun manufacturers have increased dramatically in comparison to share indices.


However it doesn’t appear to be a case of more people buying guns – just people who already own guns buying more of them.

Fewer US households than ever before have guns in the home, according to the General Social Survey.


Gun control remains a highly politicised issue despite mass shootings, which are also thought to have increased during Obama's presidential terms.


Mass shootings are also committed far more by men, than by women. According to an investigation by Mother Jones, in 72 mass shootings that have taken place in the US since 1982, 70 were committed by men.

Such shootings are sometimes heavily reported, see Sandy Hook and Charleston, but there is no comprehensive US government database.

Stanford University does collate its own database, which also concludes that mass shootings are on the rise.


Despite this, polls by Pew Research Centre show that US citizens increasingly support the right to own a gun over the importance of controlling guns.

This is all despite America's gun-related murder rate being far, far ahead of other developed countries. So, we are minded to agree with President Obama about the "greatest frustration" of his time in the White House.

Graphic via Statista

HT The Economist

More: The gun homicide rate in the US put into quite stunning perspective