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Gun dealers vs. post offices (in one chart)

There are more gun dealers in the United States than post offices.

We picked up on this data point last night in a discussion with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who’s leading House Democrats in their push to enact new gun laws. Citing government statistics, Thompson noted that as of January, there were 31,857 post offices across the country, compared with 58,344 licensed gun dealers. You can see that comparison demonstrated in this chart:

(Review the data on post offices here, courtesy of USPS, and on gun shops here, via the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.)

Caveat: “Gun dealers” doesn’t imply a brick-and-mortar retail location, but the vast majority of licensed dealers do operate gun shops.

This also means there are more gun dealers in the U.S. than the total number of locations owned and operated by Wal-Mart, Starbucks and McDonald’s, because the U.S. Postal Service often brags that it operates more retail locations than those three large retailers combined.

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