Violence Policy Center Releases Firearms Production In America, 1975-1997: A State-by-State Breakdown

For Release:  Wednesday, December 6, 2000

Connecticut Leads Nation in Gun Production

WASHINGTON The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today released Firearms Production In America, 1975-1997: A State-by-State Breakdown. The 155-page study examines 22 years of federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) firearms production data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The data is organized by state, broken out by firearm type (pistol, revolver, rifle, and shotgun), and categorized by caliber for pistols and revolvers.

Firearms Production In America, 1975-1997 A State-by-State Breakdown is available by .pdf file from the Violence Policy Center website (.pdf files require Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader available at

The study documents the increasing lethality of the U.S. arsenal, as revealed by the dramatic production increase in the number of higher-caliber handguns. It also details the rise in popularity of semiautomatic pistols over six-shot revolvers. Revolver production dropped from 784,324 in 1975 to 368,711 in 1997, while pistol production soared from 138,146 to 1,016,439 during the same period.

The data reveal that three states Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York accounted for more than three quarters of the firearms produced in the United States during the period studied.

Ironically, many states with strong gun control laws, such as Massachusetts, New York, and California, are among the leading producers of firearms.

“This study documents each state’s contribution to the ceaseless flow of firearms in the United States,” Marty Langley, policy analyst at the VPC, said today. “While these numbers may not surprise industry insiders, they may come as a shock to residents of such states as New York and California, who are unaware of their state’s role in the proliferation of firearms across the nation.”

Domestic Firearms Production, 1975-1997 

States Ranked by Total Production

Rank State Handguns Long Guns Total
1 Connecticut 5,700,439 13,772,125 25,472,564
2 Massachusetts 13,739,024 4,621,977 18,360,915
3 New York 341,133 6,778,636 7,119,769
4 California 6,273,661 63,883 6,337,544
5 Florida 2,306,456 27,750 2,334,206
6 Maryland 1,241,600 3,936 1,245,536
7 Texas 455,467 751,267 1,206,734
8 Utah 1,013,407 243 1,013,650
9 Illinois 221,379 160,058 381,437
10 Ohio 319,781 33,800 353,581
. U.S. Total 33,605,036 32,749,529 66,354,565




About the Violence Policy Center
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

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Georgia Seltzer
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