Gallup: Married Men in the South Most Likely to Own Guns

By Michael W. Chapman | September 20, 2019 | 11:38am EDT
(Screenshot, reddit)

( -- In its Guide to U.S. Public Opinion on Guns, published after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Gallup includes a section on six different polls, which show that Southern, married men are the most likely to own a gun and non-Southern, unmarried women are the least likely to own a gun. 

"Men are three times more likely than women to personally own guns," reported Gallup based on an analysis of polls taken between 2007 and 2012. "Gun ownership also varies significantly by region, with Southerners more likely to own guns than those living in other regions of the United States."

"Marriage is also a strong predictor of gun ownership," said the polling firm.


In the polls, Gallup interviewed 6,103 adults, 18 and older, by telephone, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error was +/- 1 percentage point.

The data show that an average of 30% of U.S. adults personally own a gun, nearly one-third of the adult population. In additon, another 14% of adults said they live in a home with someone who owns a gun. 

The polls further showed that the highest percentage  of gun ownership, 64%, is among Southern, married men. For married men in general, across the nation, the percentage that own a gun is 55%. For conservative Republicans, 42% own a gun; conservatives in general, 39%; earn $75,000+ household income, 33% own guns; conservative Democrats, 30%; Blacks, 21%; Hispanics, 18%; and liberals, 17%.

Only 13% of unmarried women own guns and only 10% of "non-Southern unmarried women" own guns, according to the polling data. 

(Getty Images)

"The strong relationship between gender and personal gun ownership may be due to men's being more likely than women to participate in activities that require guns, such as hunting or sport shooting," said Gallup.  "And gun ownership in general may appeal more to men than to women for those who do not actively use guns for recreational activities. Last, men are more likely to have served in the military and thus to have had experience with firearms."

"That doesn't mean women have hardly any exposure to guns, though, given that many women live in a household that has a gun, even if they are not that gun's owner," said the polling firm. 

21% of Black U.S. adults own guns. (Getty Images)

"Overall, 55% of those who are married live in gun households, compared with 31% who are not married," reported Gallup.  "The statistical model shows married Americans are 2.5 times more likely to own guns than those who are not married, taking into account the effects of other factors. After marital status, the strongest predictors of having a gun in the household are gender and living outside the East -- Eastern residents are 1.7 times less likely to have a gun in the household than those living elsewhere."

"Two of the groups most likely to have a gun in the household are married Southern males (70%) and married Southern females (62%)," said Gallup. "Southern white males, at 66%, are also among the most likely to have a gun in the household."

In conclusion, Gallup stated, "The high level of gun ownership in the United States -- nearly one in three Americans personally own a gun and nearly half of households do -- means efforts in Washington to restrict gun ownership will potentially affect tens of millions of Americans."

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