American gun owners are increasingly keeping firearms for protection instead of for hunting and sporting purposes, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.
Among gun owners surveyed, 48% said they own them for protection, while 32% said they own a firearm mainly for hunting purposes. That’s a large shift from 1999 when 26% of those surveyed said they owned a gun for protection, while 49% said they used it mainly for hunting, according to an August 1999 poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post.
Non-gun owners also cited safety as a main reason for not owning a firearm – 39% said accidents were among their greatest concerns about having a gun.
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