The gun control debates rage on as mass shootings continue, including one last month in Virginia, but handgun owners are making their stance clear: The number of Americans carrying guns on a daily basis has doubled, according to a recent study led by ??Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington.
Researchers surveyed 2,389 handgun owners about their gun-carrying habits over the past month. They found an estimated 6 million people carry a handgun daily, up from 3 million in 2015. Overall, the number of people carrying a handgun once a month has also increased, from 9 million in 2015 to 16 million today.
This increase is not an overnight sea change but rather a shift that’s been occurring for decades, as an increasing number of Americans move toward carrying handguns for protection, Rowhani-Rahbar told The Guardian.
In all probability, gun ownership rates are even higher. The study was conducted in 2019, but gun sales also increased during the COVID-19 era: According to research by the University of Chicago: 18% of households bought a gun and 5% of Americans bought a gun for the first time during the pandemic.
Deaths from guns have increased 43% since 2010.