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Guns in the Home Statistics: The Effects of Firearms in the Home in 2024

According to recent surveys, 81% of gun owners and 57% of non-gun owners feel safer with a firearm in the home. However, there is much debate about whether this is rooted in evidence.

The two greatest concerns about whether a firearm in the home keeps people safe are unintentional shootings and domestic violence. Let’s look at some stats.

Report Highlights:

  • There are at least 49 million households with firearms in the United States.

  • 21 states have safe storage laws where a homeowner can be punished for having unsecured firearms in the home or if a prohibited person accesses one in the home.

  • 55% of homicides where the victim dies at home are firearm-related.

  • 0.002% of children who were in a home with a loaded and unsecured firearm were killed in an accidental shooting incident in 2022.

  • While femicide is a common concern for the gun control lobby, 40% of females aged 15+ were murdered by something other than a bullet in 2022.

  • Of the 49 million homes in the U.S. with a firearm, only 7,492 homicide incidents were recorded in a home during 2022 (all methods).

Note: Simply possessing a firearm isn’t enough to keep one safe. The ability to use it effectively and the willingness to protect innocent lives are the determining factors.

Our sources are listed here.

Guns in the Home Statistics - Report Highlights

Unintentional Shootings

One of the main concerns of having a firearm in the home is that it may increase the chances of an accidental shooting incident.

  • Four in ten U.S. households have at least one firearm (123 million households > 49 million with firearms)
  • 4.6 million children are living in homes with unsecured firearms, and surveys indicate that only 44% of gun owners keep firearms secured in the home. However, unintentional shootings are quite rare.
  • There are an average of 623 accidental shootings per year, resulting in 461 deaths (all ages).
  • On average, 100 adolescents (<1-17) are killed in accidental shooting accidents nationally.
Unintentional Shootings

Domestic Violence

You’ve likely heard having a gun in the home means you’re more likely to be shot during a violent altercation. However, after looking at the stats, that's not the case.

Of 17,215 homicides recorded by the FBI in 2022, only 15% were committed by a family member or domestic partner. Abusers often use other means to kill their victims, and women are less likely to personally own a firearm for defensive use than men.

Between 2003 and 2012, a firearm was used in only 3.7% of domestic violence incidents compared to 10.7% of incidents where a stranger was the aggressor.

Studies indicate that 77% of domestic violence incidents occur at or near the home, and 1.1% were classified as Serious Violent Crimes. Intimate partner violence increases after leaving the home: 44.7% of intimate partner violence occurred during a separation, and 11.4% occurred after a divorce.

Guns Put More Women at Risk

Women accounted for less than ¾ of murder victims in 2022. Furthermore, they were more likely to be murdered with means other than a firearm than men.

Violence Against Women

Women are less likely than men to be murdered with a firearm.

While many say that it’s more dangerous for a woman to arm herself, the reality is that women are less likely to defend themselves in the first place. A 2007 study shows that 53% of women who were victims of violent crimes were still unwilling to carry a firearm.

Furthermore, only 18% of violent crimes in 2022 were perpetrated by women, and women were the victim in 50% of incidents.

Note: 68% of femicides in the 15< age group are committed with firearms, whereas 82% of male homicides involved a firearm.

Myths of Domestic Violence

Homicide at Home

In 2022, 4,273 individuals were murdered in their homes. Of these, 1,361 involved strangulations, stabbing, being stuck against, and means other than firearms.

In Illinois, a state with very strict firearm laws, there were 151 in-homicides, and 57% involved a firearm.

On the contrary, Ohio, with much more relaxed firearm restrictions, saw 153 in-home homicides, 69% of which involved firearms.

Let’s review the states with the most in-home homicides and the correlating laws:

States with the most in-home homicides and the correlating laws

States with relaxed firearm laws have similar amounts of in-home homicide incidents, only the weapon used changes.

Guns in the Home Pros & Cons Statistics

Contrary to popular belief, both pro-gun and anti-gun activists make valid points about keeping a gun in the home. While most American citizens benefit from having a firearm in the home, there are some reasons to avoid it.

Pros & Cons of guns possession at home

Safe Storage of Guns in the House Laws by State

State laws vary wildly regarding safe storage statutes. These controversial laws serve to restrict gun owners' access to their firearms in the home.

While some states require all firearms to be locked and unloaded when not in the owner’s immediate possession, others have laws on the books to prosecute homeowners after an incident occurs.

Finally, some states have no laws at all. Let’s explore which states impose penalties for unsecured firearms.

Safe storage laws by state

Graphics Caption: State laws vary by preventative and retroactive legislation.

Does Owning a Gun Make You Safer?

There’s much debate about whether a firearm keeps you safer. While the gun control lobby promotes information regarding gun-related deaths, defensive use is rarely covered in mainstream media outlets.

Let’s take a look at why the vast majority of gun owners keep at least one for personal protection:

  • Between 2003 and 2007, there were 3.3 million home burglaries.1 million of those incidents occurred when a family member was home and resulted in 266,560 individuals becoming victims of a violent crime.
  • The FBI identified 7,492 homicides (45%) in a residence in 2022.
  • The most common weapon in used assaults is classified as personal weapons (hands, fists, and feet).
  • While the number of verifiable self-defense use cases is relatively low, each one is a life saved because those individuals had a firearm, knew how to use it, and did.
  • Gun safety is important. 95% of gun owners talk to their children about gun safety, and 59% enroll their children in professional gun safety courses.
  • In 2022, nearly half of all violent crime victimizations occurred inside a home (477,053 of 999,204).

Reasons to Not Have a Gun in the Home

A firearm isn’t a determining factor of whether a household will experience tragedy; a volatile family unit is. As shown above, when a firearm isn’t available, tragedies still occur.

However, some individuals may Here are some reasons keeping a firearm in the home may not be right for your family:

  • A history of domestic violence where the abuser has access to a firearm, and the victim is unwilling to use one in self-defense.
  • A home with individuals who are consistently careless or irresponsible.
  • Homes where individuals with substance abuse and mental illness issues can easily access a firearm.

How to Keep Guns Safe at Home

Gun safety is of utmost importance for every American, despite ownership. The pro-2A lobby in America stresses the importance of gun safety for the individual owner (as opposed to government oversight which isn’t necessary).

Here are some general tips to ensure your family is safe:

  • Every family member should know and practice the 4 rules of gun safety.
  • You should always know where your firearm is at and who can access it/them.
  • Collectibles and firearms that aren’t used for defense should be stored separately from ammunition.
  • Balancing keeping guns away from those who would misuse them and still having quick access in the event you need it is important. Get creative in your storage practices.
  • Do not leave your firearms in a vehicle.

Wrapping Up: Guns in the Home

Having a firearm in the home is a personal choice. Similar to any other home defense and protection options, a firearm is only as effective as its owner.

Contrary to popular belief, there are millions of homes in the U.S. with guns and no incidents of violence and unintentional shootings.


Cassandra McBride
Written by
Cassandra McBride