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How easy is it to buy a gun in the US?

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier
/
AFP/Getty Images
Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.

On this edition of Your Call, we'll find out how easy it is to buy a gun in the US. Americans own 393 million firearms. That's half of the world’s civilian firearms. The US leads the world in firearms per capita.

In 2020 alone, more than 45,000 Americans died by gunfire, more than any other year on record. That figure represents a 25 percent increase from 2015, and a 43 percent increase from 2010. According to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 321 Americans are shot every day in the US (210 survive; 111 die).

It only took five clicks for Quartz staffers to purchase one of the two rifles the Uvalde, Texas gunman bought a few days after turning 18. Daniel Defense sells the DDM4V7 AR-15-style weapon online for $1,870, plus tax. Shipping to a local gun shop is free.

Guests:

Jennifer Mascia, news writer at The Trace

Champe Barton, reporter covering community violence and the gun industry at The Trace

Web Resources:

Quartz: We ordered the same gun used in Uvalde. Here’s how easy it was.

The Washington Post: Maker of rifle in Texas massacre is deep-pocketed GOP donor

In These Times: The Pentagon Is Funding the Same Gun Makers Democrats Want to Regulate

ProPublica: Why 18-Year-Olds in Texas Can Buy AR-15s but Not Handguns

The Trace: The Buffalo and Uvalde Gunmen Bought Their Rifles Legally at 18

Independent: Texas school shooting: Who are Daniel Defense, the makers of Salvador Ramos’ AR-15?

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio. Follow @bee_soll for Bay Area news!