How US gun culture stacks up with the world

Updated 5:13 PM ET, Fri November 26, 2021

(CNN)Atlanta. Orlando. Las Vegas. Newtown. Parkland. San Bernardino.

Ubiquitous gun violence in the United States has left few places unscathed over the decades. Still, many Americans hold their right to bear arms, enshrined in the US Constitution, as sacrosanct. But critics of the Second Amendment say that right threatens another: The right to life.
America's relationship to gun ownership is unique, and its gun culture is a global outlier.
As the tally of gun-related deaths continue to grow daily, here's a look at how gun culture in the US compares to the rest of the world.

How firearm ownership compares globally

The United States is the only nation in the world where civilian guns outnumber people.

Select a country or territory to see how its gun ownership rate compares to the US

Rate of civilian firearms per 100 people

120.5US62.1Falkland Islands

: 33

Note: Gun ownership rates are estimates as of 2017. Some entries have been combined to calculate rates for Cyprus, United Kingdom and Somalia. Data not available for Christmas Island, Nauru and Vatican City.

There are 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey (SAS). No other nation has more civilian guns than people.
The Falkland Islands -- a British territory in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, claimed by Argentina and the subject of a 1982 war -- is home to the world's second-largest stash of civilian guns per capita. But with an estimated 62 guns per 100 people, its gun ownership rate is almost half that of the US. Yemen -- a country in the throes of a seven-year conflict -- has the third-highest gun ownership rate at 53 guns per 100 people.
While the exact number of civilian-owned firearms is difficult to calculate due to a variety of factors -- including unregistered weapons, the illegal trade and global conflict -- SAS researchers estimate that Americans own 393 million of the 857 million civilian guns available, which is around 46% of the world's civilian gun cache.
About 44% of US adults live in a household with a gun, and about one-third own one personally, according to an October 2020 Gallup survey.
Some nations have high gun ownership due to illegal stocks from past conflicts or lax restrictions on ownership, but the US is one of only three countries in the world where bearing (or keeping) arms is a constitutional right, according to Zachary Elkins, associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin and director of the Comparative Constitutions Project. Yet the ownership rate in the other two -- Guatemala and Mexico -- is almost a tenth of the United States.
The gun debate in those countries is less politicized, Elkins said. In contrast to the US, Guatemala and Mexico's constitutions facilitate regulation, with lawmakers more comfortable restricting guns, especially given concer