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LGB adults half as likely to have guns at home compared to heterosexuals
2018-11-20

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LGB adults are more likely than heterosexuals to support gun control policies.

An estimated 18.8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual ( LGB ) adults in the United States have guns in their home, compared to 35.1% of heterosexuals, according to a new study on gun ownership and attitudes by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Researchers also found that LGB adults are more likely than heterosexuals to support gun control measures, such as background checks.

Key findings

Controlling for age, race, and regional distribution, heterosexual men were more likely to have guns in the home than gay and bisexual men.

Among LGB adults, women and men had comparable rates of guns in the home ( 19.9% and 17.3% respectively ).

Among both LGB and heterosexual adults, non-Hispanic Whites were more likely to have a gun in their home than other races/ethnicities.

LGB adults were somewhat more likely to favor laws that would require people to obtain a police permit before they could buy a gun compared to heterosexuals ( 81.4% and 73.9% respectively ).

Among LGB adults, there is strong support for background checks ( 93.3% ) and opposition to making it easier to obtain concealed weapon permits ( 72.3% ).

"Gun violence is a major public health concern, and violence against LGBT people is all too common. But we know little from a research perspective about how guns are used against and by LGBT people," said study co-author Adam P. Romero, Director of Legal Scholarship and Federal Policy at the Williams Institute. "Given high rates of suicide attempts among LGBT people, comparable rates of intimate partner violence, and elevated risk of other interpersonal violence, it is critical to gather more data about the extent to which guns are present at these moments."

"The report finds that LGB people have fewer guns in the home; and from a harm-reduction standpoint, when there is less access to guns, the risk of death by suicide and homicide decrease," said Brian Malte, Executive Director of Hope and Heal Fund, which funded the study. "Yet, there is a dearth of information on how gun violence affects LGBT people. We are excited to learn more about how to fill these gaps in knowledge through this important project."

Read the complete study here williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/violence-crime/gun-violence-and-lgbt-adults/ .

From a Williams Institute press release

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.


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