Press Image of Gun Owner Not Far Off, Except for All Those Women

Editor and Publisher, Jan. 4

NEW YORK—A Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that the average American owns 1.7 guns, with the average gun owner possessing 4.4 of them. The press is quick to promote stereotypes of the average gun owner as a white male, most likely Republican, living in a rural area or the South. But how well does reality match the image? The new Gallup Poll shows that the stereotype is not that far off, but with several twists.

For one thing, one out of three American women say they own a gun. That’s not much below the overall mark of 40% for all American adults.

As for other elements of the stereotype: More than half (53%) of Republicans own guns, compared with 36% of political independents and 31% of Democrats. Whites are more likely than nonwhites to own (44% and 24%, respectively), according to Gallup.

Residents of the South are significantly more likely than those living in other regions to report owning a gun. More than half of those living in rural areas (56%) own a gun, compared with 40% of suburbanites and 29% of those living in urban areas.

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