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Americans Cite Self-Defense for Buying More Guns

More Americans are exercising their Second Amendment rights these days, and most see self-defense as the best reason for firearms ownership.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 20% of American Adults say they or someone in their immediate family has bought a gun in the past year. Seventy percent (72%) have not, but eight percent (8%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Americans bought more than 15 million firearms last year, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Nearly half (49%) of American Adults believe it is too easy to buy a gun in the United States today – up from 44% who said the same in 2016. Fourteen percent (14%) now say it’s too hard to purchase a gun, while 28% think the level of difficulty is about right.

The survey of 1,243 American Adults was conducted April 11 and 14-15, 2024, 2024 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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