Militarization Overview

The gun industry has gone to war.

A gun market that once catered to hunters and target shooters has been supplanted by one dominated by pistols, rifles, and shotguns that were either originally designed for military use or utilize battle-born design features that increase their lethality. Heightened lethality, as characterized by firepower and capacity, is the lodestar of today’s firearms industry. As a result, the guns that define the civilian market today are: high-capacity semiautomatic pistols; assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols; and, anti-armor sniper rifles. Along with these militarized firearms, the gun industry markets a wide range of accessories—laser sights, silencers, scopes, and ultra-high-capacity ammunition magazines—to enhance the military character of the guns.

And while all guns can kill, some guns kill better than others. And, not surprisingly, with their purpose-built focus on lethality, these guns kill best.


The Militarization of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market (June 2011)

Press Releases

U.S. Civilian Gun Market Has Become a Militarized Bazaar, New Violence Policy Center Study Documents (06/14/2011)