Why Gun Ownership Is Underpolled

Law Shield has seen plenty of polls that don’t ring true about what we believe is actually happening in the political and cultural marketplaces regarding gun ownership. It doesn’t really matter what the exact topic is — political and news polling seems to underrepresent the breadth and intensity of people’s opinions who are comfortable around guns and who live with firearms — such as our members.

Zogby Analytics was commissioned to conduct an online survey of 890 likely voters in the United States. It was a wide-ranging poll and included questions about Hillary Clinton’s electability as a possible president because of her age, whether the Keystone Pipeline should be completed, and even one about gun ownership.

Bradley S. O’Leary, author of The United States Citizens’ Handbook, said he commissioned a gun question in particular because Gallup recently released a poll showing that gun ownership had declined from polls they had taken in an earlier time period.

He said that number is inconsistent with the number of firearms that have been sold since President Obama took residency, with the Zogby Analytic question below perhaps showing why:

QUESTION: “If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?”

More than half (55%) say they would tell the truth about gun ownership if they were asked by a national pollster. About one in three (36%) would think it is none of the pollster’s business, and 9% are not sure. Current members of the NRA (65%), current gun owners (62%), and Democrats (68%) are the most likely to say they would tell the truth, while former NRA members (48%), former gun owners (38%), and Republicans (47%) are the most likely to believe that it is none of the pollster’s business.

O’Leary said the poll indicates that maintaining anonymity is a contributing factor in how gun-ownership stats are underreported.

Do you agree? Would you disclose your firearms status to a pollster if asked?