Gallup poll on gun ownership
The most recent Gallup Poll shows some interesting results:
As might be expected, Republicans are more likely to own guns than Democrats. 55 vs. 32% (for ownership by anyone in the household). As to reasons for owning, GOP were more likely to name hunting and target shooting than Demos (I'd guess the Demos are disproportionately urban, where self-protection is a more likely purpose than hunting or plinking).
Percent of households owning guns is up over the last decade. It's about 40% vs. 33% in 1999. (On the other hand, 1999 showed a low figure compared to previous polls, so it's possible that gun ownership then dipped, or that the poll data that year was atypical).
Here's John Lott on a 2005 poll. Amusing results: asked if arming pilots would make aircraft safer, the response was 2:1 yes. Asked if arming judges would make courthouses safer, the response was majority, no. I suppose that says something about the popular perception of judges!