A new poll published on Thursday found more Americans report having a gun in their home than ever before.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 1,200 adults found 48 percent of Americans said they or somebody else in their household owned a gun. That’s 3 percentage points higher than when the same question was asked last year. It’s 9 percentage points higher than when the question was asked in 2011, the low point of the poll’s findings for self-reported gun ownership.
The United States Census Bureau estimates there are 249,454,440 adults currently living in America. If the Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey is accurate, that equates to 119,738,131 Americans with a gun in their home.
The National Rifle Association said while the gun ownership rate is inherently difficult to measure, the poll undermined the idea that gun ownership is slowly fading in America.
“Throughout their many failures, gun control advocates have comforted themselves with their belief that gun ownership is falling and that they will be able to achieve their policy goals once the number of gun owners sufficiently dwindles,” the gun-rights group’s lobbying arm wrote on its website. “Polling data on gun ownership rates is inherently suspect. Gun ownership is a personal decision, and given the politically charged nature of the topic and government efforts to restrict gun rights, some gun owners are reluctant to share this personal information with strangers. This could result in polling that underreports gun ownership. Other research further suggests that female spouses living in gun-owning households tend to underreport firearm ownership.
“Despite the difficulty in obtaining an accurate measurement of gun ownership, gun control advocates have been quick to boast of any new poll that shows a decline in gun-owning households. It’s unlikely they’ll exhibit the same response to the WSJ/NBC poll’s findings.”
The gun-rights group was also critical of news coverage of the poll.
“Of course, you didn’t read any headlines of this fact in this week’s press, which would have been front page news if the number had gone down,” they said.