New Study: More Guns in Fewer Hands?

New Study: More Guns in Fewer Hands?

I’m generally skeptical of the accuracy of gun-related polling. A significant portion of the gun owning population believe firmly in the concept of “operational security” — the less is known about their defensive posture the better. They will refuse to confirm or deny firearms ownership.

Nevertheless, despite other nationally recognized polls showing an increase in gun ownership, The Guardian and The Trace are touting a new survey claiming that gun ownership is shrinking.

The anti-gun rights oriented publications conclude that only a small percentage of gun owners are responsible for the recent increase in gun sales; they finger so-called “super owners.” They say that these mega buyers account for just three percent of all gun owners. From the analysis over at The Guardian:

The new survey’s results do line up with the broader trends of some previous surveys: even as gun sales hit records highs under Barack Obama’s administration, the total proportion of Americans who say they own guns has fallen slightly, leaving more guns in fewer hands.

While there are an estimated 55 million American gun owners, most own an average of just three firearms, and nearly half own just one or two, according to the survey results.

Then there are America’s gun super-owners – an estimated 7.7 million Americans who own between eight and 140 guns…. 

So, with Pew Research saying that more people in the United States are buying guns (something supported every month by the continual year-over-year increases in NICS checks), what exactly makes these people think that the opposite is actually happening?

It’s hard to tell. The full survey won’t be available until next year. [Ed. Note: In other words, this “study” hasn’t even been published yet!]  The Trace and The Guardian, though, managed to secure an advance copy of a summary of the study’s results. Neither publication released any of the details. You may not be surprised to learn that the survey was commissioned, funded and “supervised” by the usual suspects . . .

“It’s very rare for other surveys to try to estimate the gun stock,” David Hemenway, the director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, and one of the lead authors of the survey, tells The Trace. “Other surveys ask ‘Is there a gun in the house,’ and not ‘How many guns?’”

[Ed. Note:  Gun Owners of America has blasted previous work by David Hemenway, and readers can see GOA’s critique of Hemenway’s anti-gun analysis here.]

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