Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason

… A national survey finds that nearly half of gun owners (48%) volunteer that the main reason they own a gun is for protection; just 32% say they have a gun primarily for hunting and even fewer cite other reasons, such as target shooting. In 1999, 49% said they owned a gun mostly for hunting, while just 26% cited protection as the biggest factor.

The survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 13-18 among 1,504 adults, finds that safety also is a major concern among the majority of Americans who do not have guns. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) of those in households without guns say they would be uncomfortable having a gun in their homes. When asked why they would be uncomfortable, more cite concerns over gun accidents and safety than any other factor. [cont.]


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