Roughly one-third of gun owners who live with children have a gun loaded and easily accessible in their home, according to a new national survey from the Pew Research Center.
A majority of gun owners also said that they feel safety measures, such as keeping guns unloaded and in a separate spot from the ammunition, are not essential or not important, even in households with children.
The survey, released Thursday, was taken before the recent shootings in Alexandria, Virginia, and San Francisco. It comes just following a CDC report that guns are now the third leading cause of death for children 1 to 17 years old.
The study, which interviewed nearly 4,000 adults, also found that about 42 percent of Americans live in a home with guns while 57 percent do not. Two-thirds of the gun owners said that protection is the primary reason they own a gun.
In addition, it found that Americans continue to be divided on a core debate around guns: Whether it is more important to control gun ownership or to protect the Constitutional right to own guns.
But there are some areas where the two sides overlap. For instance, 89 percent of Americans, according to the survey, want to restrict people with mental illnesses from buying guns.
California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. And a new law restricting large capacity magazines is about to go into effect. Starting July 1, it will become illegal for Californians to possess a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
Sam Paredes of the Gun Owners of California predicts there could be as many as 1 million of these weapons currently in California.
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