New Industry Statistics Underscore Popularity of “America’s Rifle” – 16,069,000!?


AR-15 Rifle America’s Rifle Gun Shop Counter
New Industry Statistics Underscore Popularity of “America’s Rifle”

Fairfax, VA – -( Senator Dianne Feinstein has spent the last 26 years pushing gun control at the federal level and earlier this month demonstrated her willingness to distort facts and Supreme Court precedent in her ongoing effort to restrict your Second Amendment rights.

During a confirmation hearing for President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Feinstein ludicrously claimed that semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 – long heralded as “America’s Rifle” – are not “in common use.”

We now have more than 16 million reasons to disagree with her.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, has calculated the number of semi-automatic rifles – including AR and AK pattern rifle –  produced (minus those exported) and imported in the U.S. on an annual basis between 1990 and 2016. During that time, there have been approximately 16,069,000 AR and AK semi-automatic rifles available for sale in the United States.

NSSF estimated that there were 2.3 million semi-automatic rifles manufactured or imported into the United States in 2016.

Their figures trace the growth of the market through the late 1990s and early 2000s, with 2009 ushering in a modern boom. There were more ARs and AKs produced in the U.S. in 2009 than there were produced and imported in 2008. The same is true of 2012, of 2013, and of 2014. Domestic production ebbed in 2014, but then rebounded strongly in 2015 and peaked in 2016.

Plotting these production numbers with recent control of Congress and the White House reveals an obvious pattern; one can see the impact of anti-gun politicians on spiking production numbers.

However, the market will only accommodate what consumers want, and we have seen strong background check numbers even as pro-gun allies won control of Congress and the White House. In 2017, there were more than five million NICS checks related to the sale of long guns and more than 2.9 million through the end of August this year.

The FBI doesn’t split semi-automatic rifles out from other rifles or shotguns in the “long gun” category, but NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence G. Keane told that, “Modern sporting rifles are the most commonly purchased rifle by Americans today.”

Needless to say, there is nothing “reasonable” or moderate about banning what is literally the most popular class of rifles in America. And the relative infrequency with which any sort of rifle (semiautomatic or not) is used in violent crime underscores the fact that the Americans who are buying these guns by the millions do so for lawful purposes.

In any case, the Supreme Court could not have been clearer in Heller that the arms protected by the Second Amendment depend on the choices of law-abiding Americans, not criminals.

And Americans have made their choice by elevating modern semi-automatic rifles to the top of the list.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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Outlawing AR’s is about as stupid as the Kavanue fight. There are way to many of them in existence and a lot of them are personally built guns, but the main thing is that people like the guns and they are functional and practical. The democrats would even consider busting everyone’s door down and searching for one if they thought that would be possible. We are knee deep in a war against we citizens by the power hungry nut cases we hired to do our country’s business. November’s vote will be even more crucial than we thought prior to now.… Read more »

Jim Macklin

I recall that around 1956-60 the Winchester Company ran ads when they had made Serial Number 1 million Winchester 94s.
Maybe somebody would look up the production number for the Winchester line: Model 94, Model 70, and some of the other companies such as Marlin and Remington.
The AR I’m guess has more guns in circulation than ALL the lever and bolt action centerfire rifle built since 1900.
NSSF or ATF probably has the numbers.


That’s approximately four for every member of the NRA. It’s a shame these owners are too cheap to join the
NRA, and would rather risk our losing the right to own them, as government poltroons legislate them out of existence.


Please don’t dismiss those that Support 2A, and use OT (Other Than) NRA to accomplish that same goal. Not every Constitution, 2A, Lover and Supporter, belongs to the NRA, for their own reasons.
This old Vietnam Combat Veteran is one of them, and I did “belong to” NRA for many years.

John W Bletsch

My long guns were purchased solely for home & personal defense. Not normally a target shooter & not a hunter. I view myself as a member of the citizen militia. Strong 2A supporter.

Buck Cassidy

Me, my sons and daughters in law are all equipped with them. We have mostly customized them to our tastes, preferences and intended uses. We continue to add to our various ammo lockers.

Kevin Prospal

These numbers do not take into account unfinished, so-called “80%” lowers… nor, I suppose just lowers as they can either be a pistol or rifle so couldn’t be claimed by either.