One-third of U.S. households own guns

April 26, 2011 at 4:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- Almost one-third of U.S. households report having any guns in the home -- the lowest level ever since the survey began in the 1970s, a survey indicates.

The report by the Violence Policy Center is an analysis of data from the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The report says household gun ownership peaked in 1977, with 54 percent of households reported having any guns.

However, by 2010 household gun ownership dropped to 32.3 percent of U.S. households reporting having any guns in the home -- the lowest level ever recorded by the General Social Survey.

Male gun ownership peaked in 1990, with 52.4 percent of U.S. men reported personally owning a gun, but this dropped to 33.2 percent in 2010. Female gun ownership peaked in 1982 at 14.3 percent and dropped to 9.9 percent in 2010.

"This new data is the latest confirmation of the ongoing, long-term trend of decreasing gun ownership in America," Josh Sugarmann, executive director of Violence Policy Center, says in a statement.

Key factors cited by the report contributing to gun ownership decline include: the aging of the current-gun owning population, a lack of interest in guns by youth, the end of military conscription, the decreasing popularity of hunting; land-use issues that limit hunting and shooting and the increase in single-parent homes headed by women.

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