A new NPR/Ipsos poll released Friday found that while most gun owners, no matter which political party, support gun control reforms like universal background checks and raising the age to buy a firearm, they overwhelmingly do not trust either their state or federal government to protect their constitutional right to have a weapon.
According to the poll, 56% feel protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun violence, and 53% believe that passing gun control legislation is "a slippery slope" leading to the government confiscating their firearms.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs' Knowledge Panel from June 15-21 with 1,022 gun owners who identified as Republicans, Democrats and independents, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.
While many of the questions broke down along party lines, with Republicans concerned that gun control laws would lead to having weapons confiscated [73%] and Democrats disagreeing with the "slippery slope" concept [66%], the plurality of independents [47%-34%] said that passing new gun control laws would eventually lead to losing their weapons.
Independents also believe that a "good guy with a gun" is a good way to stop a criminal with a gun, 44%-28%, while 69% of Republicans agree and 62% of Democrats disagree with the statement, according to the poll.
Regardless of political affiliation, almost 80% of those surveyed said one reason they owned a gun is to protect either themselves [79%] or their families [78%].
Most Republicans [62%] and independents [52%] said they enjoyed shooting the weapons for sport, with just 34% of Democrats giving that as a reason to own a gun, according to the poll.
In the same line, 59% of Republicans and 43% of independents said they own a gun to exercise their constitutional rights, compared to just 17% of Democrats.
While recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas, and Monday’s shooting during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, propelled the gun debate back into the national spotlight, the majority surveyed said they were more concerned with inflation and the economy [60%], political extremism and polarization [33%], and government debt [27%], before crime and gun violence [26%].
Founded in 1975, Ipsos is the world’s third-largest market research company, serving an estimated 5,000 clients in 90 markets around the globe with more than 18,000 employees, according to the company.
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