Handgun Owners Carrying Daily in US Doubles in 4 Years

The number of handgun owners carrying daily has doubled in the United States over four years as more people are citing personal protection concerns as the reason for carrying a firearm, according to a new study.

In 2015, about 3 million U.S. adults reported carrying a handgun daily and by 2019, that number soared to roughly 6 million, according to a study published in December’s edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

The number of Americans who said they carried handguns within the last month nearly doubled from 9 million in 2015 to 16 million in 2019, the study states.

The study does not include post-pandemic data. However, 7.5 million American adults became new gun owners from January 2019 to April 2021, according to a study published in February by the Annals of Internal Medicine. While the new firearm owners were mostly purchasing handguns, the study did not state whether they carried the weapons.

The study published this month said that more people are citing protection as a reason for carrying a firearm than sports and hunting. In 1994, the study’s authors found 46% of firearm owners said they owned guns for protection, and by 2015 that number rose to 65%. By 2019, nearly three-out-of-four firearms owners (73%) said they owned guns for protection.