(CBS Local) — A new study is looking into the habits of gun owners and has reportedly found a startling number of Americans who are armed in public.
Researchers at Boston’s Northeastern University claim that as many as three million handgun owners in the United States carry their weapon with them on a daily basis. The study interviewed 1,444 gun owners about their firearm habits and where they had brought their gun in the last 30 days. Researchers found that nearly a quarter of the respondents had carried their handgun in public within the last month. Using those findings, the study estimates that nine million people in the U.S. are carrying a gun with them each month.
The research team claims that the majority of gun carriers are men between 18 and 29 years old who live in the southern part of the country. Race, income, and education did not reportedly play a large factor in the results, however, the vast majority of gun owners agreed they carried their weapon for protection.
The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, added that more gun owners carried in states that had lenient policies on concealed carry. About half the number of people living in states with strict handgun carrying laws said they still brought their weapon with them.
“It was especially important to study handgun carrying because about 90 percent of all firearm homicides and nonfatal firearm crimes for which the type of firearm is known are committed with a handgun,” University of Washington’s Ali Rowhani-Rahbar said in Northeastern’s press release.