Three million Americans may carry loaded handgun daily

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An estimated three million Americans carry a loaded firearm daily, and an estimated nine million do so on a monthly basis, according to new study from the University of Washington School of Public Health, the University of Colorado, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Northeastern University.

The study was published Oct. 19, 2017, in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers reviewed handgun-carrying behavior of 1,444 gun owners, using data from a 2015 nationally representative survey designed by co-authors Matthew Miller a professor at Northeastern University and adjunct professor at Harvard Chan School, and Harvard Chan researcher Deborah Azrael. Both are with the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

According to the study, handgun owners who carry their firearms tend to be younger, male, live in the southern United States, have grown up in firearm-owning households, self-identify as politically conservative, and own more than one type of firearm, compared to handgun owners who don’t carry their weapons on their person. Most cited protection as their primary reason for carrying a firearm.

The researchers also found that 80 percent of survey respondents who carried their handgun had a concealed-carry permit, 66 percent said they always carried their handguns concealed, and 10 percent said they always carry their weapons openly.

Read Boston Globe coverage: America is packing: Research estimates 3 million adult gun owners carry their guns every day