Poll of NRA Members Shows Strong Support for Common-Sense Gun Laws, Exposing Significant Divide Between Rank-and-File Members and NRA Leadership
Jul 24, 2012
Mayors Against Illegal Guns conducted a survey by GOP pollster Frank Luntz showing that NRA members and gun owners overwhelmingly support a variety of laws designed to keep firearms out of dangerous hands, even as the Washington gun lobby prepares to spend unprecedented millions supporting candidates who pledge to oppose any changes to U.S. gun laws.
The poll also dispels the myth among many Washington pundits that the public does not support stronger gun laws designed to keep illegal guns out of dangerous hands and keep Americans safe.
Among the survey’s key findings:
- 87 percent of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
- There is very strong support for criminal background checks among NRA members and gun owners.
- 74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.
- 79 percent of NRA members and 80 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees – a measure recently endorsed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry.
Luntz described his findings in an op-ed for the Washington Times:
“The truth is that gun owners, including significant majorities of NRA members, prize public safety and national security. They think gun rights should be balanced with measures to protect America’s citizens and communities. They think those who abuse gun laws should be punished to the maximum extent of the law.”
The NRA rank-and-file also supports barring people on terror watch lists from buying guns (71 percent) and believes gun owners should be required to alert police about lost and stolen guns (64 percent). The NRA’s Washington office strongly opposes both measures.
The Luntz findings are in line with previous research showing that Americans are nearly unanimous in their support for closing loopholes that enable dangerous people to buy firearms without a background check. A January 2011 poll conducted for Mayors Against Illegal Guns by the bipartisan polling team of Momentum Analysis and American Viewpoint found that 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy a gun or who they but it from.
“Gun owners and NRA members overwhelmingly support common sense steps to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, even as the NRA leadership continues to oppose them,” said Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “It’s time for those in Washington – and those running for President – to stand with gun owning citizens who are concerned about public safety, rather than influence peddling lobbyists who are obsessed with ideology. I join with NRA members in urging Washington to pass a law requiring universal background checks for all gun sales – and to take other common sense steps that will save lives.”
See the full findings of the poll here.