A brand new Gallup poll released Oct. 19 has produced a curious read on what Americans are thinking about gun laws.
The survey says support for stricter gun laws has increased, while data from a firearms industry group shows that background checks for gun sales also hit a record for the month of September. More people seem to be buying more guns, while Gallup suggests they want the process to become more difficult.
According to the Gallup survey, 55 percent of Americans want stricter laws, up from 49 percent last year. The poll also said that support for keeping laws as they now exist has dropped from 37 percent last year to 33 percent today.
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However, the National Shooting Sports Foundation said background checks for September hit a record for that month, even after the normal NSSF adjustment of the figures from the National Instant Check System (NICS). Combine that with an accompanying report that FBI Uniform Crime Reports show “significant decreases” in the violent crime numbers and rates – during a period of rising gun sales – and one is left wondering if there is a disconnect.
The NSSF’s weekly on-line Bullet Points recently noted last month’s “adjusted” National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,071,945 “is the highest September on record for the 17-year-old system, with an increase of 4.7 percent compared to the September 2014 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 1,024,272. For comparison, the unadjusted September 2015 NICS figure of 1,786,743 reflects a 23.4 percent increase from the unadjusted NICS figure 1,447,485 in September 2014.”
Coincidentally, the NSSF reported that, “Historical data from FBI Uniform Crime Reports show significant decreases in both the number of annual violent crimes committed as well as the violent crime rate in the United States…The figures show a 35.2 percent decline in violent crimes over the past 20 years and a 16.2 percent decline over the past 10 years. The continuing decrease in violent crime comes at a time when firearms ownership have increased significantly across America, a fact that utterly contradicts the mantra of anti-gun groups that more guns equals more crime.”
The survey also revealed that support for stricter regulations is up among every group except for identified Republicans. Among GOP respondents, support for tougher gun laws actually slipped two percent from last year. It rose six percent among Democrats and even gun owners, seven percent among non-gun owners and a whopping 11 percent among independents.
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