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The number of U.S. gun owners is at an all-time high, but what people don’t know about owning a gun is not the same thing as what the gun controls in this country require. A new survey by Pew Center finds that the number of gun owners — a key measure of gun ownership — has increased from a low last year, to a record high in one year, and is only on average one-third lower than it was in 1990.
However, as many noted, the recent increase in gun ownership is the product of increased usage, not more stringent regulations.
If gun ownership truly were the same as it’s ever been — more likely with fewer restrictions — then a ban of assault weapons would be the next step. That would mean a ban on the sale of so-called assault rifles, a classification that is virtually impossible to define with accuracy, because it includes most rifles with high capacity magazines, including ones that are capable of rapid fire capability.
But even if you limit the analysis to high capacity magazines, or AR-style rifles, the number of Americans who own one has been steadily rising. Among those who own one, 43.7 percent of those who have one and 21.4 percent of those who have no guns have one. This is just shy of the 42.9 percent of gun owners who own one and 29.5 percent who own no guns.
The increase in gun ownership does not mean that many Americans are simply replacing long-gun magazines with pistols, although a recent survey found that nearly a third did this .
As of 2012, Americans owned an average of about four assault rifles, with average magazine capacity of 25 or 30 rounds per magazine, about equivalent to the capacity of a Ruger Mini-14 in a 10-round .40 S&W magazine. According to
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