Gun ownership drops in U.S. while gun support grows

Gun ownership has steadily declined in the U.S. despite pro-gun beliefs gaining support, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Citing studies by Pew, Gallup and the General Social Survey, the news service identified patterns showing gun ownership has decreased among all age, race and gender groups since 1973.

At its peak, in 1977, 50.4 percent of households had guns and by 2014, just 31 percent of households said they had guns, the AP reported.

However, since 2000, a growing number of people told pollsters they find protecting gun rights more important than gun control. Those favoring gun rights — 29 percent of the population in 2000 — grew to 47 percent by last year. Those supporting increased gun control declined from 57 percent to 50 percent in the same period.

Gun control has been a hot topic on the Senate floor this week as legislators voted on four measures aimed at curbing gun violence. The measures failed to pass the Senate by a narrow margin.

A lack of votes hasn’t stopped a band of bipartisan lawmakers from introducing yet another gun control measure on Tuesday. The new measure, aimed at preventing those on government watch lists from purchasing guns, could be voted on as early as this week.   

Daniel Terrill contributed to the reporting of this piece.