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Arming up: 1 in 5 gun-owning households have added another firearm since start of Black Lives Matter protests, survey finds


Americans are buying guns at record levels

Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Gun-owning Americans are purchasing additional firearms in response to the violent Black Lives Matter protests that have taken place in many cities and communities across the country in recent months.

What are the details?

A Rasmussen survey published this week found that 22% of Americans who already have a gun in their household have added another since the start of protests and that a large majority feel safer having done so.

In all, 43% of those surveyed told the polling group that they or someone in their household owns a gun. Slightly over half (54%) of those adults who live in a gun-owning household said that they feel safer with a gun in the house, while only 7% said they feel less safe, and 38% said the gun's presence doesn't affect their feelings of personal safety.

But among the roughly 1 in 5 people whose households have added another firearm in recent months, a whopping 90% reported feeling safer.

The households who have added guns since late May have predominantly been minority households, Rasmussen noted.

The phone interview survey of 1,000 adults was conducted October 4-5.

Additionally, the polling group reported in September that 42% of likely U.S. voters have had anti-police protests in their communities, and nearly half of those respondents said that those protests became violent.

What else?

This year has been a record-breaking year for gun sales as uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic and violence at Black Lives Matter protests have left many Americans concerned for their safety.

Despite continued calls for gun control and warnings about the dangers of firearms from Democratic politicians, the numbers prove that Americans have en masse turned to firearms to protect themselves and their families.

More guns were purchased in March 2020 than any other month on record, and every month since then has experienced year-over-year increases.

By August, 2020 gun sales had already topped 2019 sales — and there are four months still to go. Of the nearly 15 million gun sales recorded by that time this year, an estimated 5 million had come from first-time gun buyers.

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