Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Good and Bad News in Latest Gallup Poll

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gallup's most recent poll on public attitudes toward gun laws shows that anti-gun activists and their friends in elected office and in the media have lost considerable ground over the years, and in the months since the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut in December last year.  However, it also shows that both sides in the gun control debate have their work cut out for them in the days ahead.

The poll found that 74% of respondents--an all-time high--oppose banning handguns, up from only 36% in 1959.  Compounded with the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. Chicago (2010), that the Second Amendment protects the individual right to have handguns and that it does so nationwide, that's bad news for the Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Violence Policy Center, all formed by handgun prohibition activists in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, Gallup's poll found less opposition to gun control when less extreme laws are also considered. Asked "in general, do you feel that the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?," 13% percent said "less strict" and 37% preferred that the laws be "kept as now."  Forty-nine percent answered "more strict," down from 62% in 2000, up from 44% in 2011, and down from the 58% figure reported immediately after the Newtown crime.

One particularly bright spot in the poll is its finding that support for "more strict" gun control laws is highest among persons age 55 and older, and lowest among the youngest group polled, persons age 18-34 years.  On the other hand, 27% of that age group favored a handgun ban, compared to only 18% among persons ages 35-54 years.

Of particular concern, however, is the vast difference in the gun control attitudes of self-described "Democrats" and "liberals," in comparison to those of "Republicans" and "conservatives."

The poll found that 77% of Democrats and 72% of liberals favor more restrictive gun control laws, as compared to only 33% of conservatives and 23% of Republicans.  Similarly, 37% of Democrats and 33% of liberals support banning handguns, as compared to 17% of conservatives and 16% of Republicans.

Of course, in asking its questions, Gallup does not take the time to first remind people of the restrictive laws that are in place in some parts of the country.  It's difficult to imagine that many Americans could think that the gun laws should be more strict in places such as California and the District of Columbia.

The "take-away" from the poll is that those of us who support the Second Amendment have, slowly but surely, been making our case with the American people, but by no means is the debate over the gun control issues that President Obama has brought to the national spotlight this year--moving one step closer to national registration of firearms by requiring private sales of firearms to be run through the instant background check system, or banning semi-automatic firearms and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds--anywhere close to having been resolved. 

TRENDING NOW
H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

H.R. 8 Markup: Liberal Democrats Markup Gun Control Legislation

The Nancy Pelosi Speaker Era 2.0 continued on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with a markup of H.R 8, the “universal” background checks bill, in the House Judiciary Committee. Following on the heels of last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, the same committee held a markup on ...

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Turning a Right into a Privilege: HR 1112 Gives Feds Unfettered Power to Block Gun Sales

H.R. 8, which would criminalize the private transfer of firearms, has received significant attention from the gun rights community. However, H.R. 1112, which purportedly targets the inappropriately-named “Charleston loophole,” is just as insidious an attack ...

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

Friday, February 1, 2019

Washington: Magazine Ban & Firearm Seizure Bills Pass Committee

During the executive session on February 1st, the Washington state House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary voted to pass House Bill 1068 to ban many standard capacity ammunition magazines and House Bill 1225 for firearm ...

Washington: Senate Committee Hearing Rescheduled for Legislation to Expand Gun-Free Zones

Monday, February 11, 2019

Washington: Senate Committee Hearing Rescheduled for Legislation to Expand Gun-Free Zones

On February 14th, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice will be hearing Senate Bill 5434 that would expand arbitrary zones where law-abiding citizens are left defenseless while nothing is done to hinder ...

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Polls: No Lasting Support for Gun Control One Year After Parkland

Thursday marked the one year anniversary of the terrible crimes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. It was a somber occasion, but some media outlets couldn’t contain their glee this week that ...

Indiana: Self-Defense Bill Passes House, On To Senate

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Indiana: Self-Defense Bill Passes House, On To Senate

On February 11th, the Indiana state House of Representatives voted 80-13 to pass House Bill 1284 to enhance protections afforded to law-abiding citizens acting in defense of themselves and others.  HB 1284 will now go to the ...

House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals

News  

Friday, February 8, 2019

House to Move Forward with Ineffective Gun Control Proposals

On Wednesday, gun owners got to see what a Nancy Pelosi controlled Congress looks like as the House Judiciary Committee held its first gun control hearing in nearly a decade. Things went as one would ...

Illinois: Gun Tax Legislation Introduced

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Illinois: Gun Tax Legislation Introduced

On February 11th, legislation was introduced (HB 2331) in the Illinois House that would impose a new gun tax on all firearms and firearm components sold in Illinois. 

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

News  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Another Study Blames Guns, Excludes Reality

A study published in Preventative Medicine by Yu Lu and Jeff R. Temple concludes that “the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit.”

Congress to Take Up Gun Control Next Week

News  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Congress to Take Up Gun Control Next Week

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called "universal" background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.