Younger gun owners embrace concealed carry

Posted at 8:18 PM, Aug 28, 2018

Younger gun owners report carrying their firearms on them much more frequently than older gun owners, expressing a higher level of support for concealed carry, according to a poll conducted in July by Ipsos in partnership with Newsy for its new special report "Young Guns."

While younger Americans in the survey were just as likely to own guns (28 percent) as older generations (27 percent), they were almost twice as likely to report carrying their guns on them, with 43 percent of younger gun owners (ages 18-34) polled saying they carry a gun at least once a month compared to 23 percent of older American gun owners (ages 35 and up).

While popular belief may view younger generations as less tolerant of guns, the Newsy/Ipsos survey results show a far more nuanced view. The survey also reveals the emerging habits and attitudes for young gun owners after the last decade of rapid growth in gun sales and in the number of concealed carry permits.

The findings are explored in "Young Guns," a Newsy special report that flips the narrative about younger Americans and guns by examining changes in the gun industry and its consumers — from an increasing interest in self-defense to a growing online community of gun-focused video channels. The special report debuted on Monday night during Newsy's evening newscast, "The Why," and is now available on most streaming platforms.

The Newsy/Ipsos poll also finds:

  • While both younger and older gun owners see the National Rifle Association (NRA) as an important protector of the Second Amendment, 49 percent of gun-owning young Americans say the NRA is obstructing politicians from enacting meaningful gun control laws; just 38 percent of all gun owners agree.
  • Among all Americans (not just gun owners), younger Americans' support for stricter gun control laws overall is higher than support from older Americans (61 percent versus 53 percent). That same group of younger Americans' support for concealed carry in public spaces is about even with older Americans (43 percent versus 41 percent).

"This survey and our reporting shows this new generation of gun owners is carrying for self-defense at much higher rates than previous generations," said Zach Toombs, executive producer for Newsy Documentaries and lead reporter on "Young Guns." "With 'Young Guns,' we offer a more nuanced view of how young people are buying, using and thinking about guns."

"Millennial gun owners have somewhat complex views when it comes to guns and gun control laws," said Mallory Newall, director, public affairs, for Ipsos. "They don't want to take away guns, but they know owning one is a responsibility, which is where their views on stricter gun laws come into play."

In "Young Guns," Toombs talks to younger gun owners about why they carry; dives into the largest-ever gathering of the NRA; and explores a new kind of gun culture emerging on YouTube and Facebook.

"Young Guns" is available on the Newsy app on streaming platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. View the "Young Guns" trailer at newsy.com/youngguns and visit newsy.com/platforms for all the ways to watch.

The Newsy/Ipsos poll was conducted July 10-12, 2018, using a sample of 2,010 adults over 18 from the continental U.S. The sample includes 589 gun owners and 1,421 non-gun owners.

Newsy is the leading cable and over-the-top news network for millennials. Its documentaries, original series and in-depth coverage of the day's U.S. news and stories from around the world are available everywhere viewers watch television. Newsy is a wholly owned subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company.