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By the numbers: Guns in America

There were 310 million nonmilitary firearms in the United States as of 2009, according to federal figures.

Story highlights

  • 60% -- Americans who supported a handgun ban in 1959
  • 25% -- Americans who supported a handgun ban in 2013
  • 20,947,258 - FBI firearm background checks in 2013

Following the mass shootings in a Colorado movie theater and an elementary school in Connecticut, the debate over gun control has been reignited: How should the country balance its constitutional right to bear arms with access to deadly firepower?

Here's a look by the numbers on guns in the United States and Americans' attitudes toward them.

25 - Percent of Americans who favor a handgun ban, a record low, according to a 2013 Gallup poll.

60 - Percent who supported a ban in 1960, the first year Gallup asked this question.

34 - Percent of Americans who own a gun, rifle, or pistol, according to a Pew Research survey.

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    27 - Percentage of households in the Northeast with a firearm, the lowest of any region.

    56 - Number of votes the Assault Weapons Ban received in the U.S. in 1994.

    19 - Types of military-style weapons affected by the ban.

    10 - Years the Assault Weapons Ban was in effect until it expired.

    Do guns make us safer?

    20,947,258 - FBI firearm background checks in 2013.

    5,539,538 - Firearms imported into the United States in 2013.

    18 - Minimum legal age to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition, with exceptions that relate to employment, farming, hunting, etc.

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    16,238 - Homicides in the U.S. in 2011.

    11,068 - Homicides with a firearm in the U.S. in 2011.

    153,000 - Brady Act background checks in 2010 that led to the rejection of a potential gun buyer's application.

    47.4 - Percent of applications denied by the FBI for 2010 because of a felony conviction or indictment.