Gun control is an intense, polarizing issue in the United States. Facts about gun control are often skewed, misinterpreted, or ignored in favor of political agendas. Many Americans argue that the Second Amendment of the Constitution protects their rights to own firearms and that cannot be undone. Those in favor of stricter gun control policies state that the amendment should be interpreted as supporting firearms for trained militias, not civilians. No matter where you stand on the issue, it is important to know the facts. Here are 7 gun control facts to help you be better informed:
7 Gun Control Facts
- 44% of U.S. adults say they live in a household with a gun. (source) In addition, 32% of U.S. adults state they personally own a gun.
- 63% of gun-owning U.S. adults state it is for personal protection. (source) In an open-ended Gallup survey, 63% stated their guns were for personal protection, 40% said they were for hunting, and 11% said it was for recreation/sport.
- Louisiana has the highest rate of firearm homicides per capita. (source) The firearm homicide rate in Louisiana is 11 per 100,000 people.
- The United States has the highest gun ownership rate in the world. (source) The United States has 120.5 firearms per every 100 residents.
- The United States hit a record high for mass shootings in 2020. (source) There were 611 reported mass shooting events that resulted in 513 deaths and 2,543 injuries. This was a massive increase from previous years.
- Gun purchases increased by around 30%. (source) In 2020, 17 million Americans bought guns. Nearly 8.5 million of those were first timers. It is believed this sharp increase was spurred by worries over the pandemic and protests against police brutality.
- The United States has the 32nd highest rate of gun violence deaths in the world. (source) The gun violence death rate is 3.96 per 100,000 people. In comparison, the UK’s rate is .04, Japan’s rate is .02, and Norway’s rate is .07. El Salvador has the highest rate of gun violence deaths in the world at 36.78 per 100,000 people.