Tags: Gun Rights | background checks | firearm ownership

Reports: More Guns Owned By Fewer People

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 10:00 AM

The number of American households with at least one gun has continued to decline as the percentage of Americans who own a firearm or know someone who does has tied a record low, according to the latest General Social Survey.

The General Social Survey (GSS), which is conducted by NORC, an independent research organization based at the University of Chicago, finds that "31 percent of households reported having a firearm in 2014, essentially tying with 2010 for the lowest level of gun ownership in the last 40-some years. This is a decline of about 17 percentage points from the peak ownership years in 1977-1980."

In the 1980s, approximately half of Americans owned a gun.

While the number of households with a gun has declined, other studies indicate that the actual number of Americans who have purchased a firearm is increasing, which may mean that more guns are owned by fewer people, NBC News reports.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Instant Criminal Background Check system, there has been an increase in the number of background checks conducted, which also supports the notion that more firearms are being purchased, reports The Dallas Morning News.

And who is buying those weapons? According to a Washington Post analysis of GSS data, Republicans are now twice as likely as Democrats to own a gun.

Actual ownership rates for Republicans has gone up, while the trend has moved in the opposite direction among both Democrats and independents.

While fewer people may own a weapon, the percentage of Americans who believe having a gun makes a home a safer place has nearly doubled since 2000, according to a 2014 Gallup poll.

Researchers found that between 2000 and 2006, fewer than half of Americans surveyed said they thought a gun made a home safer, but since then, the percentage has gradually increased to 63 percent, according to the November 2014 Gallup survey.

Conversely, three in 10 Americans say having a gun in the house makes it a more dangerous place.

The positive trend in American attitudes toward gun rights and gun ownership also was reflected in a Pew survey released in December.

The Pew survey reported for the first time in more than 20 years, a majority (52 percent) of Americans support the right to own a gun, while 46 percent said they believe gun control is more important.

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The number of American households with at least one gun has continued to decline as the percentage of Americans who own a firearm or know someone who does has tied a record low, according to the latest General Social Survey.
background checks, firearm ownership
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2015-00-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 10:00 AM
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