American demand for handguns has fueled a 28 percent jump this decade in world exports of small arms, said the 2009 Small Arms Survey issued today, the Associated Press reports. The survey said that the U.S. alone was responsible for about half of the worldwide increase in legal international gun sales between 2000 and 2006. The U.S. accounts for over half of the world’s imports of pistols and revolvers and 45 percent of shotguns.
U.S. purchases of hand guns have averaged $173 million annually. Austria remained the world’s largest seller of pistols and revolvers with a 25 percent jump since 2000. Seventy-five percent of its exports go to the United States. Gunmakers in Brazil and Italy also have been helped by booming American demand for small arms. “A country can become a major global player just by developing an export market in the United States,” the report said. The report, published by Geneva’s Graduate Institute, uses customs data and other information supplied by 53 nations.