The AR-15 is one of the most common rifles in the world and has a large, diverse user base. Its success is due to many things, such as its adaptability, modular design, and reliability. They have subjected the AR platform to a great deal of abuse in a variety of environments, and it continues to perform exceedingly well.
How Many AR-15s Are in The United States
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimated that there are over 24 million Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR) in the United States, which include AR and AK-style rifles. Some estimates have the overall number of firearms in the US, including handguns, at over 400 million.
Why is an AR-15 a Popular Gun?
The AR-15 is a popular choice among everyday gun owners for various purposes, including sporting events, home defense, and recreational shooting.
The AR-15 is a modular design, and because of that, you can customize and upgrade parts easily. The flexibility to personalize the rifle to suit the needs of each shooter is a big reason for its widespread popularity. You can use the same base gun for sports shooting, competitions, and personal protection.
How Common is an AR-15?
The Washington Post did a survey at the end of 2022 and estimated that 31% of adults own a firearm; out of that, 20% owned an AR-15-style rifle. That’s 6% of the adult population.
“The data suggests that, with a US population of 260.8 million adults, about 16 million Americans own an AR-15.”
The AR-15 accounted for only 1.2% of all sales in 1990 but jumped to 23.4% in 2020.
— President Non_Fudd (@Non_Fudd) November 14, 2023
In Common Use
Recently, the term “in common use has come up.” The Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment protects firearms “in common use” by “law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes” in its historic DC v. Heller ruling. The court ruled that if the gun is “in common use,” it is covered under the Second Amendment.
1 in 4 guns sold in America is an AR-15.
1 in 20 Americans owns an AR-15.
10 of the 17 deadliest American mass shootings since 2012 involved AR-15s.
— John Feinblatt (@JohnFeinblatt) March 27, 2023
In March, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, John Feinblatt, tweeted, “1 in 4 guns sold in America is an AR-15. 1 in 20 Americans owns an AR-15.” His organization is anti-gun, and you would think his numbers would support the claim that AR’s are not in common use, but they appear to do just the opposite.
If one out of every four guns made is an AR and one in twenty people owns one, it seems common. Its widespread popularity makes it one of the most recognizable and commonly owned rifles worldwide. The AR-15 is arguably the most popular rifle in America.