Owning Guns: One In Three Have A Gun In Their Household

February 21, 2013, 4:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 2/16/2013) One in three Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll say there is a gun in their household, one that they own personally (20%) or one that belongs to someone they live with (13%). But there are large differences by region, gender, age and even political affiliation.

For example, despite the December killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, far fewer people in the mostly urban Northeast than in other parts of the country. Less than one in five Northeasterners have a gun in their household; a third or more do in other regions.

Four in ten of those 65 and older say there is a gun in their home. That is the largest percentage of any age group. Women are much less likely than men to own a gun personally. Just 11% say they do, compared with nearly three times as many men. But even including all guns in a household still leaves a gender gap: 29% of women say there is a gun in their household; 38% of men do.

The urban-rural, young-old, and male-female gun ownership differences clearly make an impact on the partisan divide that can be found when the issue of gun control is discussed. In this poll, as in many others, Republicans are far less likely than Democrats to support new gun legislation (though 85% of Republicans would keep those with a history of mental illness from owning guns, 70% favor expansion of background checks to all gun purchases, and 58% would support a 5-day waiting period between handgun purchase and possession).

Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to own a gun. In this poll, 30% of Republicans say they own a gun, but only 13% of Democrats do. Another one in ten in each party say there is a gun owned by someone else in their household.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association