Who Are Gun Owners in the United States? A Latent Class Analysis of the 2019 National Lawful Use of Guns Survey

Visual abstract of the academic journal article

Guns accrue different meanings to different gun owners and understanding these differences is crucial. Using six indicators, as well as gender, race, U.S. region, and political affiliation from the 2019 National Lawful Use of Guns Survey, the authors segmented the gun-owning population into six subcultural categories:

  • Family Protectors (28%)
  • Incidental Gun Owners (19%)
  • 2nd Amendment Activities (18%)
  • Target Shooters (13%)
  • Hunters (12%)
  • Self-Protectors (11%)

There are stark cultural differences between gun owners and researchers must expand their focus beyond those that are Second Amendment activists, as they only represent about 18 percent of all gun owners.

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