Black People, Women Likely New Gun Owners

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 9:00am

Gun purchases accelerated in the U.S. during 2020-2021 compared to 2019, with more than five million adults becoming first-time gun owners between January 2020 and April 2021 compared to 2.4 million adults in 2019, found a study on new gun ownership. The survey, conducted by Professor Matt Miller at Northeastern University and published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that between January 2019 and April this year, around 7.5 million people, or 2.9 percent of all adults who had not previously owned guns, purchased them, reports The Guardian. Most, about 5.4 million people, brought the weapons into homes that had not previously had them.

"The proportion of gun sales to new gun owners compared to existing gun owners is around the same at 20 percent," Miller said. "What changed is the volume of gun purchases." According to the study, the total number of gun purchases rose from 13.8 million to 16.6 million between 2019 and 2020. Of those, approximately half of all new gun owners were female and nearly half were people of color. According to the study, 55 percent of new gun owners were white, 20.9 percent were Black and 20 percent Hispanic. "New gun owners are more likely to be Black and they're more likely to be female," Miller says. What concerns researchers is not that gun sales increased during the pandemic, but that more households now have firearms, potentially exposing more families to the risk of having guns in the home.

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