Poll Shows NRA Members Are More Moderate Than Their Leaders, Support Some Restrictions On Firearms

Since the 2008 presidential campaign season, gun associations have been fear-mongering about President Obama to boost their membership, increase their relevancy, and fuel gun sales. The National Rifle Association (NRA) claimed that Obama has a “a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms” and spent tens of millions of dollars during the campaign lobbying against Obama trying to portray him as a threat to the Second Amendment. Even during the transition, the NRA claimed that Obama was discriminating against gun owners in his hiring for government positions.

The NRA’s campaign has been based almost entirely on falsehoods. As noted, the NRA largely dismissed “Obama’s stated position [on gun rights] as ‘rhetoric’ and substitute[d] its own interpretation of his record as a secret ‘plan.’” More recently, the Gun Owners of America has been mobilizing against health care by claiming that “wellness and prevention” provisions would lead the Obama administration to issue a “no guns” decree.

Part of the NRA’s strategy of instilling fear is a “never-pass-any-new-gun-laws imperative,” which lawmakers often abide by out of concern that they will be punished at the polls by gun owners. But in his Washington Post column today, E.J. Dionne highlights a new survey of 832 gun owners (including 401 NRA members) by conservative pollster Frank Luntz. The poll finds that NRA members are “more reasonable than the organization’s leaders and supporters in Congress in understanding the urgency of keeping guns out of the wrong hands:

86 percent of all gun owners believe the country can “do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.”


78 percent of NRA members support “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.”

82 percent of NRA members support “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.”

69 percent of NRA members support “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns.”

Interestingly, NRA members seem to be overwhelmingly against Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s (R-KS) amendment that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from accessing gun trace data and require the FBI to “destroy certain background check records within 24 hours,” which the NRA supports. Sixty-nine percent of NRA members said that they support the statement that the federal government “should not restrict the police’s ability to access, use, and share data that helps them enforce federal, state and local gun laws.”[featuredcomment]Zimzone says:

As a gun owner, but not an NRA member, I agree.

Law enforcement’s job should never be hampered by some group that is so politically involved.

I would equate this with the US Chamber of Commerce, in that the ones making the big money are the ones speaking for everyone else while ignoring actual paying member’s views.

Or, like Rush speaking for a Republics, but never holding office.