Poll: Almost two-thirds of Americans either own a gun or would buy one
Why it matters: An increase in gun violence as a public health concern hasn't made firearms less desirable in the U.S.
- Almost half of non-gun owners in the survey said they could see themselves purchasing a firearm.
- Nearly three-quarters of the nearly 5,000 people polled said protection was the primary reason they owned a firearm.
- Just 32% and 30% said their ownership was mainly for hunting and sport shooting, respectively.
Zoom in: Gun ownership was most common among adults of 50 years or older, and it was lowest for adults between the ages of 18 and 29.
- White adults had the highest ownership percentage (38%), while Asian adults had the lowest (10%).
- Gun ownership is far more common in rural areas (47%) than in suburban (30%) or urban areas (20%).
- People who identified themselves as conservative Republicans (51%) were far more likely to own a gun than those who identified as moderate Republicans (38%) or moderate (24%) or liberal (16%) Democrats.
Yes, but: While a majority of adults owned or could see themselves owning a gun, a majority (61%) also said they believe it's too easy to legally obtain a gun in the U.S.
- That figure is similar to several other polls in recent years that have shown that a majority of American voters favor a wide variety of gun control measures.
- 30% said they believe the process to obtain a gun is "about right" and only 9% said it is too difficult.
The big picture: The exact number of civilian-owned firearms in the U.S. is difficult to calculate, but a 2018 report by the Small Arms Survey estimated that there were 393.3 million guns in civilian possession around that time.
Methodology: This survey interviewed 5,115 people between June 5-11 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.