The National Rifle Association, one of the most politically powerful advocacy groups in the U.S., begins its annual convention today in Indianapolis, featuring a lineup of Republican governors and senators as speakers and also a planned rally. NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre said the organization, with its focus on protecting rights of gun owners, had more than 5 million members last May, although such claims in the past by the group had been questioned by the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog.
Here are five facts related to the NRA and the issue of gun rights and gun control:
3Gun supporters are more politically engaged than gun opponents. Our May 2013 survey found that there was a substantial gap when it came to political involvement between gun control supporters and gun rights advocates, whether NRA members or others. A quarter of those who prioritized gun rights said they had, at some point, contributed money to an organization that took a position on the issue, compared with 6% of gun control supporters. There was less of a gap on other activities, such as contacting public officials or expressing opinions on social media. But when all those activities were combined, gun rights proponents outnumbered gun control supporters by 45% to 26% when it came to those who said they were involved in one or more instances of activism.
5How widespread is gun ownership? Our February 2013 survey found that 37% of adults reported having a gun in their household, with 24% saying they personally owned the gun and 13% saying it was owned by someone else in their home. The survey also found that 58% of people who did not have a gun in their household said that having a gun would make them feel uncomfortable.