The Arming of America

The Arming of America

America has always been a nation of riflemen.  This has been so since our founding when buckskin and hunting shirt clad patriots taught the British a lesson in long-range marksmanship.  It is abundantly true today. But the traditional view of the rifle’s place in American liberty has ebbed and flowed over our history.

To the historically astute, there can be no doubt that the founding fathers fully intended an armed citizenry to be a counter-balance to potential tyranny. This is made abundantly clear in their own writings and the Federalist Papers

And while there have been times of ebbing and flowing pertaining to the valuing of Liberty, the consensus is that the arming of what is considered Conservative America started in the 1980s.  The fear that our rights were being infringed by an out of control government was just starting to be realized. 

Few could have known at the time just how crazy the Left in America would become. But for some, the writing was already on the wall.  The emergence of the Far-Left in the 1960s and 70s had awoken many patriotic Americans to the fact that there may be enemies of the Constitution both foreign and domestic.

Federal sieges at Ruby Ridge and Waco led to the deaths of several American civilians and caused many Americans to be shaken.  It was during the last years of the Bush Sr. Presidency and the Beginning of the Clinton Presidency that Americans began arming in earnest.

Arming Begins

Norinco 56S Rifle

Norinco 56S Rifle

In the 1980s and early 1990s, AR-15s were priced relatively high, often costing over $1000.  And while several hundred thousand were purchased by Americans at the time, they were by far not the most common rifles in the hands of private citizens.  Affordable, and well-made Chinese SKS rifles and Type 56 AKM and AK-47 rifles flowed into the US from the early 1980s until 1994.  These were supplemented by early Hungarian and Yugoslavian AK imports.

Nobody knows for certain just how many rifles were imported and sold, but the estimated guesses range from 3-10 million SKS and AK type rifles.  At the same time, millions of magazines, and an untold amount of 7.62x39mm ammunition also were imported.

It is easy to see this really scared the Progressives and many Moderates in power. They tried to move quickly to stop this. George H. W Bush implemented a ban on imported AK rifles. This was the “Assault Weapons Import Ban” in 1989 which banned many features on semi-auto AK rifles and tried to curtail civilian sales.  Importers simple deleted a few features and the imports continued.  Next came the Chinese import ban of ammunition and most firearms.  All this accomplished was to cause other nations to gladly fill the demand.  And they did. Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and eventually Russia all gladly exported a massive number of AK style rifles to the United States.

The Clinton Administration and the reigning Democrats tried a Hail Mary in 1994 with the passage of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.  Finally, they thought, a 10-year ban will stomp out these guns for good.

But alas, it was not to be. It only enraged Americans and it cost the Democrats control of both the House and the Senate. And the expected extension never came to fruition in 2004.

9/11 further shook Americans to the fact that the world is not a “Safe Space”, and suddenly AR-15s, though featureless started flying off the shelves.  They were joined by several different imported AK models. AKs made by Cugir Romania (SAR-1, SAR-2, WASR-10), Arsenal Bulgaria, Russia’s Izmash (Kalishnikov) factories, and Serbian Zastava M70 rifles started pouring into the United States.  Not in small numbers, but hundreds of thousands per year.  At the time a couple hundred thousand AR-15s were produced annually.

After the demise of the Assault Weapons Ban, things began to change in earnest in the minds of many Americans.  For one a Left-Wing, Anti-War and Anti-Gun movement was growing in power.  And after Republican losses in 2006 and Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency in 2008, AR-15 production started to accelerate.

Modern AR-15 Rifle

Modern AR-15 Rifle

The immense number of AR-15s that have been produced and purchased, is utterly amazing to behold.  That is if you behold the scale of production and purchase honestly.  And what I mean by that, is that you must ignore absolutely everything you hear from the Mainstream Media.  They would love to tell you that 3-5 million AR-15s are in civilian hands and maybe 10 million terrifying, “ASSAULT WEAPONS”, exist in America.

If the Leftist Media reported honestly, they would do so white-faced and in need of a change of underwear.

The mind-blowing truth of the matter is that 3-5 Million AR-15s have entered Patriot hands every single year for at least the last 3-4 years, and before that, at least 1-2 million a year were sold every year Obama sat in office.  We aren’t even touching the numbers sold under George W Bush.

Patriots in America most likely own somewhere between 20-30 Million AR-15s bought from gunshops and sporting goods stores.  If you count rifles built on 80% lower receivers or pieced together from parts kits the number jumps substantially, the numbers of AR-15s alone could be above 40 million. 

And the numbers of AR-15s in existence doesn’t even touch the number of AKs, FALs, M14/M1As, SKS rifles, and the dozens of other military type semi-automatic rifles.

Want to add your Grandaddy’s M1 Garand and M1 carbines to the mix?

Let’s not forget the “build it yourself” AK craze that swept the nation from 2000-2014ish.

We could be looking at numbers of between 40-80 million magazine-fed semi-automatic rifles.

To the above, we can certainly add hunting rifles, handguns, shotguns, etc.

Oh, and the Media numbers on total firearms numbers and ownership are way off as well.  They keep saying 300 million arms.  They’ve been saying that since the 1990s. The numbers, run by the late great Weapons Man, put us in the 600-800 million firearms range.  The idea that gun ownership is in decline is false too, a huge percentage of gun owners refuse to tell doctors, pollsters, census takers and other is they are a gun owner or if there is a gun in the house. They simply do not trust the Government or the Media. 

In a 2016 article from Bearing Arms, numbers then were estimated at over 600 million by many firearms experts:

The numbers are all over the place, and many of them seem to recursively refer to one another, not exactly building confidence in the rigor of their development. But they seem to cluster around a Narrative-friendly 300 million. But what if that number is wrong?

We believe that the correct number is much higher — somewhere between 412 and 660 million.   You may wonder how we came to that number, so buckle up (and cringe, if you’re a math-phobe, although it never gets too theoretical): unlike most of the academics and reporters we linked above, we’re going to use publicly available data, and show our work.

What if we told you that one ATF computer system logged, by serial number, 252,000,000 unique firearms, and represented only those firearms manufactured, imported or sold by a relatively small number of the nation’s tens of thousands of Federal Firearms Licensees? –Bearing Arms

The American Patriot is well armed, and if we remain so, no force on earth can drive us into slavery unless we ourselves surrender.  

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About The Author

Zach Dunn

Zach Dunn is one of the owners of 1776TV and serves as Senior Editor. He is a passionate Constitutionalist. He enjoys the Outdoors, Firearms, and History. He is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Zach is married to Amy and they have a son and three daughters. He currently resides in the Mountains of North Carolina.

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