The United States is the largest civilian firearm market in the world. And though the $70.5 billion domestic gun and ammunition industry churns out millions of new firearms every year, a significant portion of guns sold in the United States are imported from abroad.
Depending on the year, anywhere from 23% to 43% of all new guns sold in the U.S. are from other countries. Though handguns are by far the most popular type of imported firearms among American shooters, rifles produced abroad are also in high demand. In the 11-year period from 2010 to 2020, the United States imported nearly 9.4 million rifles. (Here is a look at the most versatile hunting rifle cartridges.)
While many countries around the world manufacture guns and ammunition, only a few of them are among the regular suppliers to the United States. Using data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ National Firearms Commerce and Tracking Assessment report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the countries Americans are buying the most rifles from. The 10 countries on this list accounted for about 87% of all foreign made rifles shipped to the U.S. between 2010 and 2020.
These countries are concentrated in Europe, though other continents, including Asia and South America, are also represented on this list. The types of rifles these countries are selling to the U.S. market vary, from traditional hunting rifles to so-called “modern sporting rifles,” which are civilian versions of assault-style weapons commonly used in the military.
Sales of modern sporting rifles have surged in recent years, and these semi-automatic AR-15 style firearms are now the most popular rifle in the country. Because these weapons are often the kind used in mass shootings, some states, including California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, have effectively banned the sale of these assault-style weapons. (Here is a look at the states with the loosest gun laws.)
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