Firearm enthusiasts probably won’t find much support from the Latino community as the gun control debate barrels forward.
Only 18 percent of Latinos own guns, making them less likely than both blacks and non-Hispanic whites to own a firearm, according to an analysis of six years’ worth of Gallup surveys released last week.
Latinos were the ethnic group least likely to own guns, though the survey did not include figures for groups other than whites, blacks and Hispanics.
A whopping 64 percent of Southern married men own guns, according to the Gallup analysis. The figure for Southern white men was nearly as high, at 61 percent.
While they may be in the minority, there are some in the Latino community who favor maintaining loose controls over gun ownership.
“Many of us come from countries where only the police, the military, and the criminal element have access to firearms,” Cuban-American commentator Raul Más Canosa writes in an op-ed published by Fox News Latino. “In most of Latin America it is difficult, if not impossible, for the average person to legally obtain a firearm for self-protection or sporting use.”
But the Gallup analysis dovetails with other research indicating that Latinos are more likely than both non-Hispanic whites and blacks to favor gun control.
Only 29 percent of Latinos said it was more important to protect gun rights than control gun ownership, according to an April 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center. By contrast, 57 percent of white respondents thought gun rights were more important and 35 percent of black respondents.
A 2011 poll commissioned by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition found that 76 percent of Latinos favored stricter gun laws.