pew poll why americans own guns chart
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Gun owners in the United States continue to cite protection far more than other factors, including hunting and sport shooting, as a major reason they own a gun.

And while a sizable majority of gun owners (71%) say they enjoy having a gun, an even larger share (81%) say they feel safer owning a gun.

A Pew Research Center survey, conducted June 5-11 among 5,115 members of the Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel, finds:

72% of U.S. gun owners say protection is a major reason they own a gun. That far surpasses the shares of gun owners who cite other reasons.

This view has changed only modestly since the Center’s major survey of attitudes toward gun ownership and gun policies in 2017. At that time, 67% of gun owners cited protection as a major reason they owned a firearm.

The demographics of gun ownership have changed little in recent years. Gun ownership is far more common among residents of rural areas (47%) than among people living in suburbs (30%) or urban areas (20%). Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (45%) are far more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners (20%) to report owning a gun.

Few gun owners worry about having a gun in their home. Just 12% of gun owners say they worry about having guns in their home; 88% say they do not.

Sizable majorities say owning a gun makes them feel safer and gives them a feeling of enjoyment.

— Pew Research in For Most U.S. Gun Owners, Protection Is the Main Reason They Own a Gun

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  1. Implying there has to be a reason.
    They never include options like:
    -Guns-r-kewl, i like guns
    -Because fuck you

    If I happen to use a gun for any of those other reasons well that’s just great but I bought my first because they’re cool and I continue to buy both because they’re cool and fuck you.

  2. You mean that “to kill someone” and “to commit suicide” weren’t in the answers?

    From what the leftists tell us, those are the only two reasons why anyone buys a gun.

  3. When I say protection that means protection all around, no distinctions are necessary. It doesn’t have to be a home invasion.

    • Further –

      “Just 12% of gun owners say they worry about having guns in their home; 88% say they do not.”

      The guns in my home are a worry. That’s why I don’t have to worry about them. If I thought they were not dangerous, they would be.

  4. After my church’s priest’s wife was accosted by a very pushy beggar during her work travels a few month’s ago in Indiana (they split their time between Indy and Florida), he decided to become a gun owner. He’s showing all the right signs of being an enthusiastic gun owner, he decided his first long gun should be a tasty Henry lever-action.

    I and the parish’s secretary are planning to change some of the periodic after-service brunches at local restaurants to range sessions, since pretty much every church member is now a gun owner… 🙂

    • “…planning to change some of the periodic after-service brunches at local restaurants to range sessions…”

      Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!

      • RE: oldshthead “they split their time between Indy and Florida” “I and the parish’s secretary are planning to change”

        Then you are in Louisiana the only state that has parishes and a section referred to as “Flordia.” Yes or No?

        • “Then you are in Louisiana the only state that has parishes and a section referred to as “Flordia.” Yes or No?”


          The church in Florida is a parish, and the church in Indiana he also servers as priest is the other church parish. He and his lovely wife split their time between Florida and Indiana, and they own a home in both states. He’s quite the busy man.

          And JWM is right, you just have to pick a fight with EVERYBODY, don’t you?

        • Hopefully he’ll be the bigger man (heh) and refuse to acknowledge your goading. As I will.

        • Karen. Take a shit in your left hand and make demands in your right. Let us know which fills up faster.

          There are Parish’s in every state. It’s about church, not county.

        • “Get your protective lips off old sht’s behind and let him answer with a Yes or No.”

          One more time, I’m NOT married to you, You do not tell ME what to do, you stupid slag.

          If you do want to marry me, understand there WILL be rules that you will OBEY, is that clear? (But once we have been together, trust me, you will WANT to obey… 🙂 )

        • “Hopefully he’ll be the bigger man (heh) and refuse to acknowledge your goading.”

          I really shouldn’t, but it’s too much fun yanking that chain! 😉

    • “After my church’s priest’s wife was accosted by a very pushy beggar during her work travels …. HE decided to become a gun owner.”?

      Good for the priest but really, I mean really, his wife is the one who should be buying a firearm, hitting the range, getting a CCW permit, and carrying regularly.

  5. Not sure why that would surprise anyone with the Government law enforcement acting like a bunch of Nazis Gestapos, defunding police, open borders, releasing criminals, and not charging criminals with crimes. 48 million guns sold in the last 4 years ought to send a message to someone? Communities should start setting up Home Guard self-defense organizations to protect themselves from criminals and Federal and some local law enforcement agencies who don’t take their oath to the Constitution seriously.

  6. Millions and millions of guns sold and the main reason is self defense?

    What that tells me is we live in a failed state. .gov has completely failed and is no longer functioning in its citizens best interest.

    • “…no longer functioning in its citizens best interest.”

      More like: “And sees its citizens as enemies to be conquered, surpressed, plundered, and, then, killed.”

    • jwm…its citizens/subjects should be, “functioning in the best interest of the citizenry.” First you lower yourself to kiss the behind of a pervert and then the government. C’Mon Man.

        • She is right on this – this is America, the government is not SUPPOSED to defend us minute by minute. When you are disarmed and “safe” because Big Sister knows all and sees all is when the American government has failed.

  7. Originally, I purchased my first two guns for self-defense. That was six years ago. Since then, my attitude has changed. Defense is still a priority, but it’s meaning has evolved. Now, my firearms are my commitment to preserving my family’s freedom. They embody my belief in the US Constitution, in family, in faith. My firearms are for more than defense against robbers and home invaders, they are for defense of liberty.

  8. I have firearms for personal protection, like most people. We don’t have them to put up on the mantle.

  9. If you own firearms it is your right as a law abiding citizen and you do not need a reason. On the other hand if such a right irritates you to a point you beg for Gun Control then you need to explain why you are wallowing around in an agenda History Confirms is Rooted in Racism and Genocide.

  10. My #1reason for owning firearms is because I can. Bought three yesterday. Private sale. Cash. No need for credit cards or government intervention.

    • I’m 80 and had guns since junior high school. Never cared much for hunting.
      I just like them but never thought I’d need any for home defense; however, the
      times have changed.

  11. I assume “For protection” includes “…from our government”?
    If not, there needs to be a new pick list..

    • Considering that this is people who actually responded to such surveys it is very surprising in that they are normal people who do not inherently distrust anything seeking to gather information from them. I would peg the actual percentage at least 10 points higher but even the lower number should be worrying to anyone seeking restrictions.

  12. If you *need* a reason, this is a great one, but we all know a reason isn’t needed, but whatever you need to get you learning more about firearms.

  13. Reason to own guns? Reasons? We don’t need no reasons. With apologies to Mel Brooks.
    I own my firearms for a number of reasons. Many are antiques and collectables. Some are for practical uses such as hunting or varmint control. Some are simply fun range toys. Some are a bit more formidable weapons for either range, accuracy or down range energy/power. Some are for use in protective measures if needs be. Some of my firearms were purchased simply because I liked the weapon or the price was right. Any and all reasons stand about equal.
    Do I need a 70 cal. Hawkin rifle? No, but I have one. Do I need a 50-140 Sharps or 56 Spencer? No, but I have them. Do I need an S&W 500? No, but I have one.
    All for the same reason I own any firearm. I wanted it.

  14. Not that people need a reason to exercise a constitutional right…but, a ‘defense’ reason was one of the ideas behind the Second Amendment when it was adopted – defense of home and family and self and country, and there were no limits placed on the ‘arms’.

    In fact, the founders wanted the ‘latest and greatest’ in firearms for the people and even envisioned and desired, within the understanding of ‘technical’ and ‘engineering’ limits of their time, the concepts of firearms we have today.

    And yes, contrary to the anti-gun, there were ‘magazines’, in different forms, sometimes holding up to 100 ’rounds’ (or more) of that period ammunition. The founders understood that to stop a ‘threat’ sometimes a lot of ammunition would be needed, and indeed today we see that in hundreds of annual home/self/others defense situations for ordinary armed law abiding citizens where 15 or more rounds were needed, and then in some cases the need to reload multiple times using multiple 15 or 30 round magazines, to stop the threat. Heck, even for law enforcement there are many instances where an officer had to fire 15 or more rounds and then reload multiple times and use multiple magazines.

    In the founding period, when the Second Amendment was adopted, they had cannon that could fire grape shot to take down multiple targets with a single volley, and indeed the people did have these are could buy cannon as easily as buying anything else. The founders envisioned a rifle that could do the same basic thing in the concept of lots of targets in a rapid manner, and one actually existed. The founders tried to have a version of that with rifles that could fire multiple rounds quickly, a ‘repeater’ they called it, and there was a rifle like that, and wanted to equip the standing army and the civilian militias’ (which was basically every one not in the standing army) with it but it was so expensive the government at the time could not afford it. The founders dreamed of the day that ‘technology’ was to the point where such rifles existed mass produced for a reasonable price to arm the standing army and the citizens because the citizens not in the standing army were the militia.

    From the founders writings, a right to ‘arms’ for the people was deemed to be an ‘individual inherent’ right for the people to have ‘arms’, a right naturally occurring by the individuals very existence and the natural inherent need for ‘defense’ and given, at the time in the language of the time, by their ‘Creator’ and pre-existed the codification in writing in the Bill of Rights. It was considered such a right and so important that a specific constitutional order, the only one in the constitution that’s a specific order, had to be given and that is ‘shall not be infringed’ as ‘shall not be infringed’ at the time when spoken by an ‘authority’ was considered an order. The ultimate authority for our country was suppose to be the Constitution and in the Bill Of Rights the founders codified in writing 10 ‘inherent natural’ individual rights that existed before the constitution and were naturally existing and given by the ‘Creator’ upon which the government was forbidden to tread but in only one of them does it specifically order not to tread and that is the Second Amendment with ‘shall not be infringed’.

    The ‘militia’ back then was simply the ordinary citizens at large that were not in the standing army (the concept of which in today’s federal law is called the ‘unorganized’ militia), mostly males but females were not specifically excluded overall – the concept was that in time of need a standing force of ‘militia’ would be formed from citizen volunteers. Each ‘state’ would decide if they would participate or not in committing their formed ‘militia forces’. Citizens were expected to bring their own firearms and ‘ammunition’ when they reported, and when not ‘serving’ in a militia citizens were expected to provide for their own defense in every day life by use of ‘arms’, most notably firearms. In fact in some cases, depending on the ‘jurisdiction’, it was required that each home had a firearm or that firearms be carried. And sure, there were bad people back then too – criminals – and they were dealt with but there is not one case where all law abiding citizens right to ‘keep and bear arms’ was affected because a bad person did something bad/evil with a firearm or committed a crime – the government and the people clearly understood the order ‘shall not be infringed’.

    The founders were well aware that to stop or defend against a threat to life and liberty that resistive or proportional or overwhelming force had to be bought to bear and powerful close range or standoff weaponry was the best way to do that and that powerful firearms were the tool that fit the need.


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