LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A new study on gun ownership and attitudes conducted by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law reports that LGB adults are about half as likely to have guns at home compared to those who are straight.

An estimated 18.8 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults in the U.S. have guns in their home, compared to 35.1 percent of heterosexuals, the study showed. Researchers also found that LGB adults are more likely than heterosexuals to support gun control measures, such as background checks.

Key findings were: Controlling for age, race and regional distribution, straight men were more likely to have guns in the home than gay and bisexual men; among LGB adults, women and men had comparable rates of guns in the home (19.9 percent and 17.3 percent respectively); among both LGB and straight adults, non-Hispanic whites were more likely to have a gun in their home than other races/ethnicities; LGB adults were somewhat more likely to favor laws that would require people to obtain a police permit before they could buy a gun compared to straight individuals (81.4 percent and 73.9 percent respectively); and among LGB adults, there is strong support for background checks (93.3 percent) and opposition to making it easier to obtain concealed weapon permits (72.3 percent).

“Gun violence is a major public health concern, and violence against LGBT people is all too common. But we know little from a research perspective about how guns are used against and by LGBT people,” said study co-author Adam P. Romero, director of Legal Scholarship and Federal Policy at the Williams Institute. “Given high rates of suicide attempts among LGBT people, comparable rates of intimate partner violence, and elevated risk of other interpersonal violence, it is critical to gather more data about the extent to which guns are present at these moments.” “The report finds that LGB people have fewer guns in the home, and from a harm-reduction standpoint, when there is less access to guns, the risk of death by suicide and homicide decrease,” said Brian Malte, executive director of the Hope and Heal Fund, which funded the study. “Yet, there is a dearth of information on how gun violence affects LGBT people. We are excited to learn more about how to fill these gaps in knowledge through this important project.”

More information about the study is available online.

info: williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu.

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.