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Sexual Orientation Differences in Gun Ownership and Beliefs About Gun Safety Policy, General Social Survey 2010–2016
Violence and Gender  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-03-01, DOI: 10.1089/vio.2019.0019
Kirsty A. Clark, John R. Blosnich, Robert W.S. Coulter, Patricia Bamwine, Robert M. Bossarte, Susan D. Cochran

The aim of this study was to investigate sexual orientation differences in gun ownership and gun safety beliefs among U.S. adults. We used information from the General Social Survey (2010-2016) to assess presence of guns in the household, personal gun ownership, and endorsement of a gun safety law among sexual minority (n = 195) versus heterosexual (n = 4359) respondents. Methods employed multivariate logistic regression analyses adjusted for confounding including gender, age, race/ethnicity, education level, size of household, urbanicity, military veteran status, and political views. Gay/bisexual men were more likely to endorse a gun safety law (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.79-5.88) and less likely to report guns in the household (aOR = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.18-0.65) than heterosexual men. In contrast, lesbian/bisexual and heterosexual women similarly endorsed a gun safety law and reported household guns. However, among women reporting a household gun, lesbian/bisexual women were more likely to be the personal gun owner (aOR = 3.97, 95% CI = 1.43-11.03). Attitudes toward a gun safety law and gun ownership differ by sexual orientation, but patterns vary by gender. We recommend that clinicians inquire about gun ownership and gun storage practices with both heterosexual and sexual minority patients.