Gun Ownership Declining Across The U.S., Survey Shows
Surprisingly, the drop-off in gun ownership was noticeable in the South and the Western mountain states, long considered bastions of the second amendment.
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The rate has dropped in cities large and small, in suburbs and rural areas and in all regions of the country. It has fallen among households with children, and among those without. It has declined for households that say they are very happy, and for those that say they are not. It is down among churchgoers and those who never sit in pews.
The share of U.S. households with guns was 34 percent in 2012, down from 35 percent in the 2000s. Although not a huge decline, the findings contradict the notion that people are rushing out to buy guns and stock up on assault rifles after last year's massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
“There are all these claims that gun ownership is going through the roof,” said Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “But I suspect the increase in gun sales has been limited mostly to current gun owners. The most reputable surveys show a decline over time in the share of households with guns.”
About 50 percent of U.S. households owned guns in the 1970s. That figure declined to 49 percent in the 1980s and 43 percent in the 1990s, according to the survey data.
Read the full story at the New York Times.