Press Release

AS NRA Convention Gets Underway, New Poll Reveals Gun Owners Increasingly Oppose Organization’s Agenda and Back Stronger Gun Safety Laws

May 4, 2018— As the National Rifle Association (NRA) kicks off its annual convention in Dallas later this week, a new national survey of gun owners finds overwhelming opposition to the dangerous policies and positions supported by the Washington gun lobby. The poll, released today by Giffords PAC, also finds that a many gun owners believe that the NRA has become increasingly out of touch with them on important gun safety issues and shows that a majority of gun owners believe the NRA has strayed too far from its original mission.

“Like millions of other American gun owners, I know that the gun lobby’s extreme agenda hides a simple fact: our country can do more to save American lives,” said Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords. “We face a gun violence crisis that has devastated too many of our communities. Americans are tired of seeing politicians in Congress give in to NRA demands and fail to protect us. It’s clear that we need leaders who have the courage to listen to the American people and act to prevent gun violence.”

The poll illustrates a clear disconnect between the views of gun owners and the priorities being pushed by the gun lobby. The top legislative policies aggressively being pushed by the NRA, including federally mandated concealed carry, deregulating the sale of gun silencers, and eliminating gun-free school zones, receive very low support from gun owners themselves.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • The NRA is out of touch with gun owners on gun safety issues. 59 percent of the gun owners feel that the NRA used to be an organization dedicated to gun safety, but it’s been overtaken by lobbyists and the interests of gun manufacturers and lost its original purpose and mission.
  • Gun owners overwhelmingly support background checks and want to see elected officials do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands. 83 percent of gun owners support requiring a background check on all gun sales, including those sold online or at gun shows, while just 12 percent oppose them. 81 percent of gun owners support prohibiting anyone convicted of stalking or domestic abuse from buying a gun.
  • Gun owners overwhelmingly support requiring a permit to carry concealed. More than 8 in 10 gun owners, 81 percent, believe the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in a public place should remain in place.
  • 70 percent of gun owners support banning the sale of bump stocks and other devices that increase a firearm’s rate of fire.
  • More than half of gun owners, 54 percent support banning the sale of assault weapons. Even more gun owners, 61 percent, support a registration requirement to own an assault weapon.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling, on behalf of Giffords PAC. The survey was comprised of 510 gun owners between May 1-2.