Gallup Poll: NRA Still Enjoys Majority Support in U.S.

58 percent view National Rifle Association favorably

Despite a year of blistering criticism from gun control advocates about the National Rifle Association‘s hardline stance against gun restrictions amid a spate of mass shootings nationwide, 58 percent of people in the United States have a favorable opinion of the NRA, according to a recent Gallup Poll.

According to an article on, there has been a national debate as to whether the NRA, with its ardent support for gun rights, is somehow complicit in these shootings. For example, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has blamed the NRA for stifling the movement toward gun control. More broadly, some commentators in the news media and on social media have criticized the NRA for its theory that “a good guy with a gun” may stop “a bad guy with a gun” in mass shootings.

Tom's News Item on New NRA President 4-15 nra-largeYet in a Gallup poll from Oct. 7-11, a solid majority of Americans (58 percent) say they have an overall favorable impression of the NRA. This includes the highest recording of “very favorable” opinions (26 percent) since Gallup began asking this question in 1989. In December 2012, soon after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, 54 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of the NRA. The highest percentage in Gallup’s 26-year trend was in 2005, when 60 percent of Americans viewed the organization favorably.

Conservative-Liberal Divide Stark in Favorable Impressions of NRA
While Americans overall view the NRA favorably, the favorable-unfavorable divide is pronounced among political ideologies. Among conservatives, 77 percent have an overall favorable impression of the NRA, contrasted with 30 percent of liberals. For conservatives this includes 41 percent who say they have a “very favorable” impression of the group. Ten percent of liberals share the same very favorable impression, with 45 percent saying that they have a “very unfavorable” opinion of the NRA.

Gun Owners Solidly Support the NRA, Non-Gun Owners Mixed
There is also a divide in support for the NRA among those who are gun owners and those who personally do not own a gun. Among gun owners, 78 percent have an overall favorable opinion of the NRA, while only 20 percent have an unfavorable opinion. The results are more mixed when examining non-gun owners. Forty-nine percent have a favorable opinion of the group, while 42 percent view it unfavorably. In the U.S., 28 percent say they personally own a gun.

Bottom Line
The NRA has been a political advocate for gun rights, lobbying on behalf of particular legislative bills and candidates who support the Second Amendment nationwide, while lobbying against most restrictions on gun ownership. says the NRA has also stoked controversy by suggesting that more Americans should be armed in public places, and that guns are not to blame for mass shootings. In short, the article states, they believe that gun rights generally should not be restricted. Gallup’s survey shows that, even after shootings nationwide, Americans overall still have a favorable opinion of the NRA, as they typically have, suggesting that the public may not be specifically blaming the organization for the crimes of those who commit mass shootings.


Survey Methods
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 7-11, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60 percent cellphone respondents and 40 percent landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how Gallup Poll Social Series works.


Guide Outdoors Readers: Has the NRA’s hardline stance against gun restrictions amid a spate of mass shootings changed your opinion of the organization?













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