It is a response to the blood price that our nation has paid for the explosive growth of the handgun population over the past generation.5 More than two out of three of the one million Americans who died in firearm-related homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings since 1962 were killed with handguns—i.e., 667,000.6 This weapon, which has inflicted pain and death in such a disproportionate degree, is owned by a distinct minority of Americans—only one out of six adults.7 Out of the current total firearms population of some 190 million, rifles and shotguns outnumber handguns two to one, yet handguns account for the majority of killings, woundings, and gun crimes.


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