Rises In The Percentage Of Americans Who Carry Loaded Firearms


A recent survey found 6 million American adults held a loaded pistol every day in 2019, twice the level from 2015. 

The latest figures reflect a decades-long change in American firearms ownership, with rising gun owners stating they possess weapons for self-defense, not sport or leisure, and opting to carry a firearm in public. 

Gun Rights Are Expanding

The Supreme Court ruled in a historic judgment this summer that Americans had an entitlement to carry a weapon for self-defense beyond the house. 

Latest studies reveal that well almost a third of American grownups own a gun, but the proportion who frequently maintain a firearm in public is relatively small. Around a third of pistol owners, or 16 million individuals, say they keep a loaded sidearm in public at least once a month, and 6 million admit they do so daily. 

In recent times, public gun carrying has increased. Three million individuals stated they carried a loaded pistol every day in 2015, and 9 million did so once per month. 

Currently, the number of people carrying a pistol daily is higher than 2019’s prediction, Rowhani-Rahbar added. You expect this tendency will continue, he said. 

The 2019 survey is the most recent peer-reviewed assessment of how many Americans hold guns in public, he said. A post-pandemic survey has not been conducted. 

“The sum of data leans toward a relationship between [tolerant] regulations as well as a rise in violence,” Rowhani-Rahbar added. 

More study is needed, especially on how frequently “carrying ends in self-defense or security that saves lives,” as many American firearm owners think. 

The survey indicated that gun carriers in 2019 were more likely to dwell in the south. Rowhani-Rahbar claimed 4/5 of gun owners were male, and 3/4 were Caucasian. Literacy and household wealth didn’t affect whether gun owners carried in public, he added. About a quarter of gun carriers had family incomes of $125,000 or more, and nearly a third had college degrees. 

8% of firearm owners and carriers made less than $25,000 a year. 

Important Policy Shifts Protect 2A

More US states have approved legislation making it safer to carry firearms in public. Many have abolished the need for individuals to seek a “concealed carry permit” to possess a hidden gun. 

In the last two or three decades, the nation has moved clearly and significantly toward looser gun regulations, Rowhani-Rahbar added. 

Rowhani-Rahbar’s study indicated that fewer gun owners carried in states with rigorous carrying restrictions, but there was no variation between states with simple permit access and states with none. 

The few big states with tight carrying rules, like New Jersey and California, are now modifying them owing to a June supreme court ruling, said Adam Skaggs, director of policy at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 

“Bruen will expedite the amount of individuals carrying firearms in public,” Skaggs added, noting that gun-carrying licenses are already on the upswing in those states. 

The 2019 gun-carrying survey was based on the self-reported behavior of US people in gun-owning homes. Due to objections from gun rights supporters, there are no official state data on US gun owners or yearly consumer gun sales; hence survey-based figures are perhaps the best available.