Poll: Majority of Americans Generally Favor Gun Ownership

Lauretta  Brown
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Posted: Oct 13, 2017 5:45 PM
Poll: Majority of Americans Generally Favor Gun Ownership

A recent poll, conducted by Ipsos for NPR, found that a majority of Americans, 73 percent, say they have “no problem” with people owning guns generally. The majority of those surveyed also struggled with gun-related knowledge questions.

Only eight percent of those surveyed were able to answer seven or more gun-related knowledge questions correctly, out of 10.

According to the poll, “Americans’ misperceptions lie in the estimated number of guns per capita (21% correct), the decline in gun deaths (20% correct), and whether or not the U.S. regularly conducts research on gun deaths (29% correct).”

Roughly half (51 percent) of those surveyed would not allow their children play at a friend’s house if there were guns in the household. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed said owning a gun made them feel safer and 53 percent said the benefits of gun ownership outweigh the risks.

The majority of those surveyed, 82 percent, favored a ban on bump stocks, devices used by the Las Vegas shooter which use recoil to increase the rate of fire for a semiautomatic weapon. Americans also support a ban on assault-style weapons (79 percent) and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (78 percent).

Ipsos Public Affairs President Cliff Young told NPR that the interest in specific gun control restrictions may not last.

"What we know actually is that gun violence like this typically has a short-term effect on public opinion where there's a crystallizing event" that temporarily bumps support for gun control upward, he told NPR. "We expect there should be some sort of half-life to it."

In general, 45 percent of Americans believe gun laws should be stricter than they are today and 23 percent think they should be somewhat more strict.

The results were based on the Ipsos survey “conducted October 10-11, 2017 on behalf of NPR. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,006 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 340 Democrats, 370 Republicans, and 186 Independents.”