Where Did New Gun Owners Come
From and Where are They Going?

Mostly peaceful riots in Portland

By Rob Morse. Nov 25, 2023

Our society is changing. Those changes caused many of us to buy a firearm. We see that crime is rising around us. We notice that criminals are no longer routinely caught by police and prosecuted in the courts. We consider moving to a safer location. (examples from California and New York) We decided that we need a gun to be safe. That chain of events might sound like mere speculation but a number of recent surveys have confirmed it. Almost 14 million of us bought a gun for the first time in 2020 and 2021. The increase in gun ownership will not lead to a significant change in political affiliation.

Personal protection is the main reason we buy a gun today. By a two-to-one margin, more of us think crime is getting worse rather than getting better. The margin increases to three-to-one when we consider crime in our inner cities. Those opinions come from a Harvard-Harris poll conducted only a few weeks ago in mid-November of 2023. Democrats think the increase in crime is because of a worsening economy while republicans think it is because criminals are not prosecuted for their crimes. Most republicans think that the police are afraid to do their job while most democrats disagree. By a four-to-one margin, voters in both parties think that laws about minor crimes like shoplifting should be rigorously enforced. Except for democrats, a majority of us blame woke democrat politicians and district attorneys who won't prosecute crimes. Most of us think that the US justice department is focused on politics rather than stopping gangs and crime syndicates.

A majority of voters from both parties now think that it is necessary to own a gun for personal protection. Including independent voters, 63-percent of us now believe it is necessary to own a gun to prevent criminal attacks.

We acted on those personal motivations and gun ownership has grown over time. We've seen record gun sales for the last 50 months. .....


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