If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

What America Thinks: Why Are Americans Buying Guns at a Record Pace?

Concealed carry permits for firearms are at an all-time high in the United States. But what’s driving the gun rush? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of American Adults say they or someone in their family have bought a gun in the past year. Sixty-six percent (66%) say most gun purchases are for self-defense. Only five percent (5%) think people buy a gun to commit a criminal act. Most Americans remain unconcerned about their safety around those who have legal permits to carry concealed weapons. Forty percent (40%) say the presence of more Americans with concealed weapons will decrease the number of people killed in violent incidents in America. Thirty-one percent (31%) think it will increase violent incidents instead, but one-in-five say more concealed carry permits will make no difference either way.

They’re not as on board with open-carry laws. Thirty-nine percent (39%) favor laws that allow gun owners to carry weapons openly rather than concealed behind clothing or in a bag, but 46% are opposed.

Interestingly, though, while Americans are buying guns at a record rate, support for additional gun control also has risen to its highest level ever, with 56% of voters who think the United States needs stricter gun control laws. But a big sticking point for gun control enthusiasts is that only 28% of Americans trust the federal government to fairly enforce gun control laws.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.