Survey: 39% of American households own guns, up from previous year

The joke has been that President Barack Obama has brought economic stimulus for at least gun manufacturers and fire arms dealers, thanks to his push for more onerous gun control laws. Though meant to be a slight, there may be a little truth to it. The Washington Examiner points this morning to a new Economist/YouGov survey which found a jump in gun ownership in American households last year:

The slow drop-off of households owning guns has ended, rebounding in a new poll to 39 percent, up five points from the latest survey.

A new Economist/YouGov poll said that nearly 4 in 10 American households have guns, with 56 percent claiming not to have one.

That is a sizable uptick from the four-decade drop in household ownership charted by the authoritative General Social Survey. It pegged household gun ownership at 50 percent in the 1970s, 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s, and down to 35 percent in the 2000s. The latest 2012 statistics put the share of households with guns at 34 percent.

It just so happens that 2013 was the year in which gun control was a hotly debated topic in Congress and state legislatures. The push for new restrictions in Congress was unsuccessful, though President Obama did take some executive action on the issue. The state-level push was more successful. But, as The New York Times noted last month, more laws were passed by legislatures to loosen gun restrictions than to tighten them.

Despite the campaign for new gun control laws at the state and federal level, the gun homicide and non-fatal gun violate rates have dropped by 49% and 75% since 1993.

A White House-commissioned study by the Centers for Disease Control study found that “[s]elf-defense can be an important crime deterrent” and pointed to other research that has found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims.” More recently, a study found that states with concealed carry laws have a lower murder rate than states that eschew the policy.

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