Daryl Howard turns 65 in October. He has a Glock .45-caliber handgun stored in his desk at home, but hopes never to use it.
“It’s not something that’s taken lightly,” Howard says on a weekday afternoon, in his second-floor Dallas apartment. “For me, there was no second option. It was something I felt was really necessary for me to be safe.”
Howard, who says he owns his gun for protection, is in good health. Getting a handgun license 15 years ago did not raise much of a fuss for his children, or son-in-law, Justin Allen.
“You were very educated about it,” Allen says to Howard. “That’s one reason why I feel so comfortable with him owning a handgun.”
Millions of elderly Americans like Howard own guns, according to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center. An April 2019 University of Washington study found that about a third of older adults don’t store their firearms in the safest way — locked up and unloaded.