According to a report by the Violence Policy Institute, gun ownership is on the decline in the US. Why? The report gives a number of reasons:
- Gun owners tend to be older, white males;
- Youth, who are less interested in guns, are not taking up ownership as the gun-owning population ages;
- Hunting is on the decline due to a lack of popularity and the difficulty of finding places to hunt;
- Environmental and zoning issues that have prevented shooting range construction;
- And an increase in single-parent homes headed by women, who are less likely to own guns.
Interestingly, gun manufacturing in the US does not appear to be hurting from this drop. Reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms show about 5.5 million guns were made and sold in the US in 2009 (the most recent data available). A decade before, in 1999, that number was about 4.4 million. Exports of these firearms has apparently declined about 100,000 to 194,744 in 2009. What accounts for this apparent discrepancy?