Pew research found 72% of gun owners said they owned a gun for their own protection, far outpacing other reasons for owning a gun like the 32% who owned firearms for hunting, the 30% who said they owned firearms for sport shooting or the 15% who owned them as part of a gun collection. Seven percent said they owned a firearm as part of their job.
Pew found the demographics of gun owners has not changed significantly from previous years, with rural Americans more likely to be armed than suburban or urban ones, and Republican and right-leaning independents more likely to own guns than Democrats or left-leaning independents.
Men are more likely to own guns than women, and white Americans more likely than those of other races. Level of education and age were less significant, with gun owners spread across various age groups and education levels.
The majority of gun owners, 81%, said they felt safer owning a gun, and just 12% said they worried about having a gun in the home. Research studies have shown homes with guns are more likely to experience domestic gun violence, accidental death or suicide.
Non-gun-owning Americans were nearly evenly split on whether or not they could see themselves owning a gun in the future, with 52% saying no and 47% saying yes.