2022 Gun Study: Gun Sales Soar due to War

Ever wondered how many gun owners prioritize safety? Or what people who buy guns are going to use them for?...

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2022 Gun Study: Gun Sales Soar due to War


Ever wondered how many gun owners prioritize safety? Or what people who buy guns are going to use them for?

At Gun Made, we try to provide fact-based information so you understand exactly what’s going on in this industry — minus the drama.

With the help of Pollfish, we surveyed four hundred randomly selected people: 44% male and 56% female. Of the four hundred respondents, 36% were Democrats, 37% were Independents, and 27% were Republicans. 43% of those surveyed also said they currently own a gun. We surveyed the entire group on key gun-related issues, and we discovered four main themes:

  1. People who are less educated about gun laws are more likely to assume guns are the cause of violence and are in favor of more gun restrictions.
  2. Gun owners prioritize safety and are willing to take action to ensure safe storage of their guns and they also support strict training/background checks.
  3. Regardless of political party or gun ownership status, people are unhappy with the current performance of President Biden.
  4. People are highly concerned about the Russia/Ukraine war and want the US Government to intervene.

In this article, we’ll dig into the research so you know exactly what people like you think and feel about gun industry issues. Let’s start with the top four themes above.

Gun Law Education

how familiar are you with current gun laws

We discovered that 36% of non-gun owners are only “somewhat familiar” with current gun laws (and 29% are “not at all familiar”). Now, on the surface, this makes sense, because if you don’t own a gun, why would you need to know about the laws surrounding it?

The potential issue is when non-gun owners then encounter media stories about gun violence. These stories are often inflammatory in the language they use because news outlets are monetized and only make money if you click their headline and read their article.

What does that mean?

It means non-gun owners don’t know exactly what the gun laws are in their state or county and then encounter media stories of gun violence and form potentially flawed opinions about what types of restrictions should be put into place to fix it.

Causes of Gun Violence

what do you think are the root causes of gun violence

For example, we also found that the majority of non-gun owners (60%) assume access to guns is the root cause of gun violence.

That means people who don’t own guns (and don’t know how they’re legally supposed to be purchased or stored) are assuming anyone can walk into a store and purchase a firearm with relative ease. Or that people who already own guns are leaving them in easy-to-access places. Or that illegally obtained guns (“ghost guns”) are a huge problem.

The majority of gun owners (64%), on the other hand, reported that they believe drugs or drug addiction is the root cause of gun violence.

So what’s the truth?

The truth is: it’s complicated. According to the American Psychological Association, “gun violence is associated with a confluence of individual, family, school, peer, community, and sociocultural risk factors that interact over time during childhood and adolescence.”

In common terms: there’s no way to predict who will or won’t turn to gun violence. Perhaps it’s drug-related, perhaps it’s fear or anger toward others, perhaps it’s economic inequality. In reality, it’s likely all of those play a part, as well as dozens of other causes.

The best way to form opinions about the causes of gun violence is to educate yourself on the gun laws and statistics in your area. That brings us to…

Gun Law Restrictions

We could write an entire article on the various gun laws and restrictions both federally and in each state. But for now, here’s the gist.

Basic Federal Gun Law

You might be aware that the Second Amendment to the Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

There’s a LOT of debate about exactly what that means, but right now, it boils down to:

People are legally allowed to own guns. The government can’t tell us that we can’t.

There are a few exceptions. Anyone who:

  • has been convicted in any court of a “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year”;
  • is a fugitive from justice;
  • is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
  • has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been involuntarily committed to any mental institution;
  • is an illegal alien (i.e. any person who is unlawfully in the United States);
  • has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • has renounced his or her United States nationality (i.e., became a foreign national);
  • is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
  • has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence

These exceptions are listed on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record.

But for most of us, we’re perfectly within our legal rights to purchase and own firearms.

Although, 40% of gun owners and 25% of non-gun owners in our survey speculated that there will be much more government gun control in the next 10 years. We’ll have to wait and see.

there is a major concern that the us government will impose stricter gun laws in the next 10 years

State-Specific Laws

After the federal level, gun laws can vary from state to state and even county to county. For example, some states allow concealed carry with a permit, and others don’t allow it at all.

Some states have bans on particular types of guns or ammunition. Others allow you to purchase almost any gun you like. (You can check out the NRA’s website for the text of each state’s gun law if you’d like.)

social and political issues most important to you

So, we’ve established that most folks don’t know their local gun laws, especially non-gun owners. Interestingly, in our study, we also found that even though people agree gun violence is a major issue, gun reform is not an area of top concern.

On a scale of 1–10, the general US population, gun owners, and non-gun owners alike all stated they felt inflation was the #1 issue of importance (non-gun owners rated it #2, behind affordable health care).

All 3 groups voted gun violence in the top 3 issues of importance, and yet — all 3 groups also voted for current gun laws in the bottom three issues of importance.

What does that mean?

Most people in the US agree guns are a problem but think other social/political issues need to be fixed more urgently.

So, if gun laws aren’t very important to most people, what is? Let’s talk about our second theme — safety.

Tax Incentives for Gun Safety

If non-gun owners think access to guns is a problem (yet don’t think laws surrounding it are important), what do gun owners think?

In our study, 8 out of 10 gun owners would willingly lock their guns in a safe if there were a tax incentive to do so.

tax incentive for safe storage (2)
tax incentive for safe storage

Now, it’s important to note that doesn’t mean gun owners aren’t already storing their guns in safe ways. Just that 8 out of 10 would be more willing to do so if they got to save on their taxes. (In fact, in a 2018 study done by the American Journal of Public Health, only 46% of gun owners reported safely storing all of their guns.)

Also, interestingly, it turns out members of Millennials and Gen Z are the most likely to store their guns in a safe in exchange for a tax break.

So, if most gun owners — and especially younger generations — are perfectly willing to store their guns in safes in exchange for a little money saved, what’s the problem? Why do people, especially non-gun owners, think access to guns is the biggest cause of gun violence?

I can’t definitively say that the media is to blame, but personally, I think that’s a big part of it. A study done by Pew Research found that non-gun owners also blame family instability and violence in the media.

So whether it’s the good old “video games cause school shootings” argument or the “I come from a broken home” argument, the point is, we can’t really pinpoint one single thing that’s “to blame” for gun violence.

Let’s try looking at gun owners and their beliefs from a different angle (and our third and fourth themes).

Gun Ownership and Views by Political Party

Our study found that Republicans are in fact more likely to own guns than not. 57% of those who identified as Republican currently own a gun, but it’s not just them — Democrats own guns, too.

its not just republicans who own guns democrats own guns too

Fully 36% of those who identified as Democrats currently own a gun.

This throws a bit of a wrench in the idea that liberals/Democrats are staunchly against guns and pro extreme forms of gun control. After all, if more than ⅓ of the Democrats we surveyed own a gun themselves, it’s a bit difficult to be anti-gun then, isn’t it?

Interestingly, the numbers of people who have bought a gun since Joe Biden was elected President are roughly the same between political parties: 38% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans have purchased a firearm within the past two years.

Further, 36% of Democrats say they haven’t purchased one yet, but will before he leaves office. That’s compared to the 27% of Republicans who said the same.

have you purchased a gun since biden was elected

This points to the next part of our data — regardless of whether they own a gun or not, most people think President Biden is performing poorly and that the US should take action against Russia.

Guns and Politics, Including the Russia/Ukraine War

41% of gun owners and 35% of non-gun owners we surveyed ranked President Biden’s overall performance as “Poor.” The results are basically the same when surveyed on Biden’s performance on gun control issues specifically.

biden administration survey

Going further, a full 46% of people surveyed report being “Extremely Concerned” about the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. In fact, 35% of Republicans and 30% of Democrats we surveyed are likely to purchase a gun purely due to the Russia/Ukraine war.

russia ukraine war

So people aren’t a fan of the President and are very worried about war in another country. Enough so that about ⅓ of Democrats we surveyed considered themselves likely to purchase a gun.

likeliness to purchase a gun during war

What does that mean?

It means people in the US value their ability to protect themselves from real or perceived threats. And should conflict come to US soil, they want the ability to defend themselves and their homes.

In fact, we asked Democrats and Republicans why they own the guns they do, and 57% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans cited personal safety as the #1 reason. (Hunting and then recreational shooting followed.)

reason for owning guns

And really, that’s what the Second Amendment boils down to — as US citizens, we should have the right to protect ourselves and our families with firearms.

How the US Should Handle the Russia/Ukraine War

how to handle russia ukraine war

It’s important to note that — while Americans want the ability to protect themselves — and the majority of people we surveyed felt we should be taking action against Russia, but very few people thought we should send troops.

Whether that’s because we’re still feeling fatigue over the war in Afghanistan that stretched on for a mind-numbing decade, because the conflict simply doesn’t involve us that directly, or for some other reason, Americans aren’t eager to put boots back on the ground overseas.

76% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans we surveyed said that the US should send military supplies and money to Ukraine. But only 40% and 34%, respectively, said we should send troops.

Americans want the ability to defend themselves on their own turf, but getting directly involved in another global conflict is not on many people’s preferred to-do list.


Let’s look at the 4 key themes from our study one final time:

  1. People who are less educated about gun laws are more likely to assume guns are the cause of violence and are in favor of more gun restrictions.
  2. Gun owners prioritize safety and are willing to take action to ensure safe storage of their guns and they also support strict training/background checks.
  3. Regardless of political party or gun ownership status, people are unhappy with the current performance of President Biden.
  4. People are highly concerned about the Russia/Ukraine war and want the US Government to intervene.

We’ve established that those who don’t have knowledge about gun laws tend to assume access to guns is the direct cause of gun violence and want further restrictions. However, we’ve also discovered that gun owners are willing to store their guns safely, especially if they get a little money back to do so.

The solution here is likely to educate gun owners and non-gun owners alike on their local laws, and take steps to pass legislation that provides gun owners with a tax break for safe storage.

We also looked at political parties and how unhappiness with the current administration spans across them. Plus, Americans agree that we should intervene in the Russia/Ukraine war, but are hesitant to do so with troops.

Looks like Americans, regardless of political party or stance on guns, want to defend ourselves — but from the comfort of our own homes.

Brady Kirkpatrick

Hi there, I'm Brady and I'm the owner of GunMade.com. I have been an avid gun enthusiast and hunter since I moved to the Midwest over 15 years ago. It's my passion to share my knowledge and expertise to help you find the best guns in your price range.

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