The United States since its founding has always had a connect to firearms be it for protection or sport, Americans value gun ownership. However, many gun related incidents over the last few years have lead to tragedy and call for stricter regulations. Pew Research Center recently surveyed both gun owners and non-gun owners to better understand Americans’ current feelings towards gun ownership and policy. The survey found that 30% of Americans own guns, and 66% of those owners own multiple guns. A 67% majority of owners cite protection as the main reason for owning a gun, while 38% percent cite hunting.
Many findings report that gun owners disagree on numerous political policies such as assault weapons bans. Only 48% of gun owners are in favor of this policy while 77% of non-gun owners are in favor of this policy. However, both owners and non-owners agree on policies such as barring the mentally ill as well as terrorists from purchasing firearms. 89% of both groups favor barring mentally ill individuals from purchasing guns and 82% and 84% of each group, respectively, are in favor of barring gun purchasing for watch-list individuals.

Still, even among gun owners there are political divides.41% of Republicans surveyed stated they owned a gun but only 16% of Democrats stated the same claim. These two groups exhibit vastly different ideals on gun policies. While both majorities agree on barring sales to mentally ill and those on watchlist, they differ on policies allowing more concealed carry with 82% of republican gun owners agree with this policy while only 42% of democratic gun owners agree with this policy. The opposite trend is seen in anti-gun policies such as assault weapons bans. These findings, though not unsurprising, showcase the divide in policy preferred to curb gun violence by gun owners and non-gun owners.


Tyler Aman

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