The AR-15 is the best-selling rifle in the United States, with almost every major gunmaker producing their own version. Critics argue that the military-style gun has no legitimate civilian use, yet about 1 in 20 Americans own one. The Washington Post and Ipsos conducted a detailed survey to understand the reasons for owning the weapon, its usage, and the demographics of the owners.
The survey revealed that AR-15 owners come from a diverse range of states and political backgrounds. They tend to be white, male, between the ages of 40 and 65, have higher incomes, have served in the military, and identify as Republican.
Reasons for Ownership
The AR-15 owners surveyed reported not firing their weapons frequently, with many citing protection and safety as their primary reasons for ownership. Other common answers included recreation, target shooting, hunting, and exercising their Second Amendment right.
Industry estimates suggest there are around 20 million AR-15s in circulation, with approximately 16 million Americans owning an AR-15.
The Washington Post-Ipsos poll offers a glimpse into the complex relationship that Americans have with the AR-15, highlighting diverse ownership, motivations, and usage patterns.
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