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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

US is world's most armed society

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 02:29:20
Source: Reuters

US citizens own 270 million guns.
/ Press TV

There are some 270 million guns in the US, nearly 90 for every 100 citizens, this has turned the country into the world's most heavily armed society.

US citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said. "There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people."

India had the world's second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million firearms outside law enforcement and the military, though this represented just four guns per 100 people there. China, ranked third with 40 million privately held guns, had 3 firearms per 100 people.

Germany, France, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia were next in the ranking of country's overall civilian gun arsenals.

On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry behind the United States, with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38.

The report, which relied on government data, surveys and media reports to estimate the size of world arsenals, estimated there were 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, and 225 million - nearly three times fewer- held by law enforcement and military forces.

Only about 12 percent of civilian weapons in the world are thought to be registered with authorities.

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