U.S. ranks number one in gun ownership - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

U.S. ranks number one in gun ownership

October 8, 2007

Albany--A new report shows that when it comes to gun ownership, the United States is the most heavily armed society in the world.  The Small Arms Survey found that there are nine guns for every ten people living in the country, with about 270 million firearms in circulation.

As crime continues to rises, gun sales are doing the same.  "I've always owned handguns since I was old enough to shoot,"  says Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis. However, he never dreamed he'd become an actual target.

"Another second later, there was a person with a gun in my face demanding my wallet," says Davis. The attempted armed robbery happened around midnight outside his Lake Park community home about a year and a half ago.

"He had a gun. I didn't have a gun," says Davis. But he certainly wish he had. "Oh, absolutely," he says.

"The firearm we're seeing people purchase most commonly would be the glock semi-automatic pistol or the springfield extreme duty semi-automatic pistol and mostly the .40 caliber," says Philip Colson at Solo Archery.

He says business stays busy.  "We have a lot of traffic that comes through," says Colson.  Employees say they sell about 100 handguns a month.

"Women are coming in frequently to purchase firearms and younger people are coming in to purchase firearms," says Colson.

He says protection is one of the top reasons customers are buying firearms. "Obviously, the Virginia Tech incident has gotten people concerned," says Colson.

Unarmed that night, Davis reacted on impulse.  "I just took off and ran," says Davis.  But whenever he's out late, Davis says he now takes precaution.  "Just incase this person shows back up," he says.

According to the report, about half of the eight million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States.  The report also found that India had the world's second-largest civilian gun arsenal with China coming in third.

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