Speed Reads

Las Vegas shooting

Police found 42 guns in the Las Vegas shooter's hotel room and house. That's not as rare as you might think.

On Monday night, Clark County Asst. Sheriff Todd Fasulo raised the number of guns found in suspected mass shooter Stephen Paddock's suite at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas to 23 firearms, and said police had recovered another 19 firearms at his home in Mesquite, Nevada. Police also raided a home Paddock owns in Reno, and a neighbor said the 64-year-old retired accountant was a professional gambler with a safe the size of a refrigerator in the garage.

Assuming Paddock owned all 42 of the weapons, including either fully automatic rifles or modifications that made them act virtually automatic, that size of an arsenal seems huge. But according to a 2015 survey by Harvard and Northeastern researchers, it's pretty average for the 7.7 million U.S. gun owners who collectively own 130 million firearms, or roughly half the U.S. civilian gun stock, The Guardian explained in 2016. In all, 22 percent of American adults own guns, with about half possessing just one or two firearms. Another third own three to seven guns, The Guardian said, and then there are the super-owners:

That top 14 percent of gun owners — a group of 7.7 million people, or 3 percent of American adults — own between about eight and 140 guns each. The average is 17. These super-owners include collectors with elaborately curated selections of historical firearms, serious hunters, firearms instructors, gunsmiths, people who love tinkering with and customizing their firearms, and Americans worried about feeding or defending their families in the wake of a disaster scenario. But you don’t have to be prepping for the breakdown of civilization to end up with 17 guns. In fact, gun enthusiasts say, it’s surprisingly easy to get to 17. [The Guardian, via The Trace]

You can read more about these super-owners at The Trace.