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Gallup: 60 Percent Of Americans Own Guns For ‘Personal Safety’

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File photo of a gun. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a gun. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent Gallup Poll found that 60 percent of Americans own guns in order to feel safe.

When the research group asked a random sampling of 309 gun-owning American adults as to the reasons for owning one, the vast majority cited a desire to protect themselves.

After that, 36 percent said they owned them for hunting, while 13 percent use them for recreation. Only 5 percent cited the Second Amendment as motivation, despite its frequent use as a talking point on the issue.

“Personal protection is the top reason Americans own a gun, as was true in 2000 and 2005. This, rather than views on the Second Amendment, may explain why moving toward greater gun control, as Obama and many Democrats have sought to do, is so difficult,” researchers noted on Gallup’s website about their findings. “Those who own firearms for protection may feel that their own personal safety is a vital need on which they do not wish to compromise.”

Gun control continues to be a contentious issue throughout the U.S. Trayvon Martin’s mother told a panel of senators Tuesday that state stand your ground self-defense laws do not work and must be amended, reviving the politically charged issue.

Democrats who hold majority power in the Senate and are trying to keep it supported Sybrina Fulton’s call. Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, said the matter should be left to the states that passed the laws.

“The states are doing quite well … without our interference,” Rep. Louie Gohmert testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Said Cruz: “This is not about politicking. This is not about inflaming racial tensions. This is about the right of everyone to protect themselves and protect their families.”

Cruz additionally made reference to statistics he said which show that blacks cite stand your ground laws at least as often as whites.

The poll was conducted earlier this month.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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