Handgun Ownership and the Religion Factor


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Robert E. Little, Department of Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223.


This article addresses the relationship between religious affiliation and a very specific form of firearms ownership, that is, handgun ownership. Literature is reviewed relative to explanations of gun ownership. A test of the hypothesized relationship between religious affiliation and handgun ownership demonstrated a statistically significant (p < 0.03) association. Protestants were found to have a disproportionately high level of handgun ownership compared to other religious groups. Speculation for this finding is reviewed relative to other recent research on this topic.