Validity of a household gun question in a telephone survey

Public Health Rep. May-Jun 1995;110(3):282-8.


The validity of self-reported data on the presence of guns in the home obtained in a telephone survey was assessed in samples of households where a hunting license had been purchased or a handgun registered. The survey was conducted among a random sample of Ingham County, MI, residents who had purchased a hunting license between April 1990 and March 1991 and among those registering a handgun during 1990. A third study sample was selected from the county's general adult population using a random digit dialing method. The interviews were conducted between November 1991 and January 1992. The proportion of respondents who reported that at least one gun was kept in their household was 87.3 percent among handgun registration households and 89.7 percent among hunting license households. In the survey of the general population of the county, approximately one-third of the respondents reported keeping a gun in the household, 67 percent of them for hunting and 23 percent for safety. Despite some limitations, the data indicate that a question on gun presence in a household can be used in a in a telephone survey.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Michigan
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Telephone*