By: Teresa Mull
Polling shows support for gun control has dropped.
The latest data from Rasmussen Reports shows a twelve-point decrease in the proportion of likely voters who believe that the United States needs stricter gun control laws, falling from a record-high 64% last summer to 52% this year. This finding, of course, does not capture awareness of existing gun control laws. The last time Rasmussen asked about stricter enforcement of existing gun control was in November 2017 and two-thirds of respondents agreed that the United States needed stricter enforcement.
Rasmussen Reports also asked self-identified gun owners, “Have you or anyone in your household purchased a gun within the last six months?” The demographic groups saying yes support the evidence that the latest surge has brought a wealth of new gun owners into our community. Female gun owners were more likely than men to say yes (32% to 23%). Those aged 18 to 39 were more than twice as likely as the older cohorts to say yes (42% for age 18-39). Nearly half of black gun owners (47%) said yes, compared to 22% of white respondents. Democrat likely voters were the most likely political affiliation group to say they had bought a gun in the last six months (36% - 13 percentage points higher than Republicans) and liberals were the ideological group most likely to say that they or someone in their household purchased a gun in the last six months (30%, compared to 22% of conservatives).
Surveys alone do not tell the story of gun ownership in America. Biases and refusals routinely impact the data collection and, too often, the analysis. The latest Rasmussen data indicates that gun ownership is not limited to a single gender, party, or race; neither is the NRA.
As GPM has reported, gun sales continue to smash records. July was another month for the books, as The Hill reports:
The new figures show that more than 3.63 million firearm background checks were carried out by the agency last month, a number CNN reports is the third highest on record.
The FBI completed its highest number of firearm background checks the month before, according to CNN, 3.93 million, surpassing what was briefly a record from March at 3.74 million background checks.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.