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Almost half of Americans live in homes with guns: this proportion has grown during the pandemic

Eighteen percent of US households have purchased guns since the start of the pandemic (March 2020-March 2022), according to new data from a NORC study at the University of Chicago, increasing the percentage of American adults living in homes with guns to 46% (from 37% in 2019). During this period, one in 20 American adults (5%) purchased a gun for the first time. The edition told in more detail NORC.

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According to the FBI, between 2010 and 2019, an average of 13 million guns were sold legally in the United States annually, and in 2020-2021, annual sales of weapons increased to about 20 million.

“The increase in gun sales during the pandemic was almost equally driven by people buying them for the first time and those who already owned them purchasing additional gear,” said NORC’s John Roman. “The new gun owners during the pandemic were much younger and of non-white races compared to those who had them in pre-pandemic America.”

Pre-pandemic gun proficiency:

  • under 45 years old - 41%;
  • people of non-white races - 26%;
  • homeowners - 84%;
  • married - 58%.

Gun ownership during the pandemic:

  • under 45 years old - 86%;
  • people of non-white races - 69%;
  • homeowners - 49%;
  • married - 32%.

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This jump was the second largest gun ownership in the last 50 years. It was not until 1990 that the gun ownership rate reached 47%.

Despite the demographic differences between US gun owners, NORC experts found that the two groups have similar views on gun control policy.

Both new U.S. gun owners and those who purchased them before the pandemic support more liberal gun policies than non-owners.

This category includes: increasing the concealed carry of weapons, reducing waiting periods before buying weapons, allowing teachers and school officials to carry weapons in schools.

Concealed Carry extension support:

  • people who bought weapons for the first time during the pandemic - 68%;
  • gun owners - 68%;
  • people who do not own weapons - 36%.

Allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns in schools is supported by:

  • people who bought weapons for the first time during the pandemic - 69%;
  • gun owners - 60%;
  • people who do not own weapons - 32%.

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Reducing waiting periods before buying weapons is supported by:

  • people who bought weapons for the first time during the pandemic - 65%;
  • gun owners - 49%;
  • people who do not own weapons - 38%.

Concealed carry without permission is supported by:

  • people who bought weapons for the first time during the pandemic - 41%;
  • gun owners - 41%;
  • people who do not own weapons - 16%.

“The attitude of new buyers towards gun control is very similar to the attitude of gun owners in the US before the pandemic,” Roman said. “Whether they bought guns because of existing gun control beliefs or whether gun ownership changed their political outlook is unknown, but it is noteworthy that the political stances of new gun owners are very different from those who don’t.”

The survey was conducted on March 3-7, 2022, it included 1106 interviewers. The error can be 3,85%.

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