3 million Americans carry handgun every day, study finds

BOSTON — Nine million Americans carry a loaded handgun on themselves at least once a month, while three million take their firearm out with them daily, a new study finds.

Researchers at Northeastern University in Boston interviewed 1,444 sidearm owners, finding that nearly a quarter had carried their weapon fully loaded in the past 30 days.

Person holding a handgun
A new study finds that about three million Americans carry a loaded handgun every day, while nine million have done so at least once in the past month.

Those who decided to holster their weapon were more likely to be conservative males, aged 18 to 29, geographically located in the South.

Interestingly, one’s race, income, level of education, or veteran status weren’t significant indicators of whether they were likely to carry a handgun.

Unsurprisingly, states that had more lenient concealed carry laws saw more owners who brought their weapons with them in public.

“It was especially important to study handgun carrying because about 90 percent of all firearm homicides and nonfatal firearm crimes for which the type of firearm is known are committed with a handgun,” says Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, the study’s co-author, in a university news release.

The researchers note that concealed carry permits used to be regularly reviewed and approved by local law enforcement, which has become less and less the case.

In addition, a full fifth of gun purchases in the U.S. are now made without a background check, according to lead researcher Matthew Miller.

Miller also notes how the number of guns owned has skyrocketed by more than 70 million over the last two decades to about 265 million. About half of this stock is held by only three percent of the population.

While the researchers implore the federal government to commission more research on the consequences of open and concealed carry in public, they aren’t going to hold their breath.

“With pressure from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun lobbyists, government agencies grant very little money to study guns and their impact on society,” Miller explains.

Further examining the potential dangers of firearms won’t be popular among certain gun owners and lobbying groups, but it might be necessary in the wake of some recent national tragedies.

“There is no credible evidence to suggest that allowing people to carry has any beneficial effect on crime and violence,” adds Miller. “And although some recent studies suggest there may be harmful effects, there is a lot more we need to know before we can reliably place in perspective what those harmful effects are.”

The study’s findings were published online Oct. 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Comments

  1. I don’t worry about someone coming into a movie theater and shooting at the audience. I live in FL where half of the moviegoers would be firing back. I don’t worry about going to a public place with lots of people like the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore and have a contingent of “youths” beating and mugging people left and right. It isn’t going to happen. This is why the left hates conceal-carry. Regular law-abiding citizens are empowered. All gun control is aimed at law-abiding citizens. Those who routinely don’t obey laws are not affected (and most of them aren’t voting Republican).

  2. The 70 million firearms in the last 20 years is nonsense . Just under Obama the number of guns made , imported and sold exceeded 110 million . Google the NICS data yourself.

  3. Sad…this could have been a great article. Instead it was manipulative and dishonest. Conservative southern males (those who the study says carry the most) aren’t the ones who commit crimes. Career criminals make up the majority of perpetrators of gun violence and the majority of that violence is focused on other criminals.

    Next thing…numerous studies have shown that concealed carry permit holders are WAY less likely than the general public to commit crimes.

    In the modern era, most concealed carry permits are reviewed at the federal and sometimes state level, but usually not at the local level. Additional local review would mean less time on the streets attempting to stop/solve crimes.

    Matthew Miller is 100% manipulative in his statement that 1/5 of gun purchases are made without a background check. Purchases from a dealer require a background check, regardless of whether it happens at a store, the dealer’s garage, or a gun show (there is no gun show loophole). Intra-state private party sales don’t require a background check, although MOST sellers require the buyer to have a concealed carry permit. In addition, this number is often inflated because military, government, and law enforcement purchases don’t require a background check. Besides,

  4. Three million? That’s unbelievable!!
    Just here in Texas, we have over 1 million carry permits (no telling how many Texans, like myself, have a carry permit from a reciprocal state). Not saying that we all carry every day, but everyone I know who carries, does so as a matter of course, not just for “special occasions”.
    Now I realize that Texas may not be the typical state to compare to the rest of the country (we’re better, of course, that’s just a given) but outside of the loony states like California and the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, we’re pretty much like everyone else (only better of course, we already covered that). Not nearly as gun-crazy as our cousins in Arizona. But not reality-deniers like those whack-a-doodles in New York.
    I gotta think, if the article said 10 million, or 15 million, I’d say that sounds right. But only 3? I think someone is trying to spin this as “You’re weird if you carry”, when the truth is, we’re just paying attention.

  5. Only 1% are carrying?
    I am an engineer. 20% of the engineers and technicians I know carry a loaded handgun at all times.
    Probably dance choreographers don’t carry, but machinists do.

  6. Most crime may be done with a handgun, but certainly not by legal concealed carry holders. The article is utter leftist rubbish.

  7. Miller also notes how the number of guns owned has skyrocketed by more than 70 million over the last two decades to about 265 million. About half of this stock is held by only three percent of the population.

    This is based solely on self disclosure in direct questions, direct answer of gun ownership — to a complete stranger. The peer reviewed science on self disclosure on privacy related issues has proved over and over this results in 40 to 60% undercounts. Moreover, modern gun training very specifically and emphatically telling an owner of a fireare to NEVER tell a stranger means the severe undercount would be increasing for dedaces now.

    ALL indirect questions show a RISING number of people owning firearms. NRA approvals nationally: 58%: Number of people who know owning a firearm makes them and their families about 25% less likely to be violent crime victims:
    Pew: 58% (up from 44 % 15 years ago)
    Gallup: 63% (up from 39% 25 years ago)

    “With pressure from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun lobbyists, government agencies grant very little money to study guns and their impact on society,” Miller explains.
    Further examining the potential dangers of firearms won’t be popular among certain gun owners and lobbying groups, but it might be necessary in the wake of some recent national tragedies.

    1: NRA is not a lobby. It is outspent 17:1 on poltical donations by Mike Bloombergs gun control lobbies alone — all of which combined have less than 600 paid members. NRA has 5.8 million members and is the largest civil rights organization in the US
    2: “National tragedies” Miller and other members of the gun control lobby never mentions that US gun murder rate has fallen 65% in the past 25 years despite MILLIONS spent by the CDC in universally erroneous studies that predicted increases in gun murder.
    3: “Potential dangers” owning a firearm makes a person with no prior crimes, and their family members more than 30% SAFER from criminal victimization.

  8. Concealed carry holders conceal their weapons – legally! They – I – would not volunteer to anyone that I carry. Survey’s such as this may be skewed to create wrong data, bad conclusions and more erroneous hype. Author, Daniel? Do you carry? Doubt that you will post in the affirmative.

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