Another Misleading Poll on Gun Control From NORC

By Larry Keane

Canik iStock 1182677191
Media headlines heralded “Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws!” based on a recently released poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago. IMG iStock-1182677191

U.S.A. -( Media headlines heralded “Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws!” based on a recently released poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago. But a close reading of the data, including quotes from respondents within, demonstrates that’s not actually the case.

Swallowed Whole

The new survey by AP-NORC suggests U.S. adults want to see stronger gun laws. According to the poll, 71 percent of respondents prefer “stricter gun laws,” but it doesn’t go on to say what “stricter” entails. Demonstrating the severe flaws in the survey’s headline and the media’s obvious inability to critically analyze the report instead of just reporting it as gospel truth is that the survey says, “Three-fourths of Americans view gun violence as a major problem, and 8 in 10 say gun violence is on the rise in the United States…Many Americans…want to both prevent gun violence and protect gun rights. In particular, 52% say it is both very important to prevent mass shootings and very important to ensure people are able to own guns for personal protection.”

A case in point is the several largest cities across the country, which are all run by Democratic mayors who already implement strict gun control policies, where crime is rampant, and city residents are fleeing in droves. The above-the-fold headlines proclaiming “Americans Want Criminals Held Accountable!” are nowhere to be found.

Responders On Record

Despite the topline suggestion, on-the-record respondents included in the AP-NORC report actually stated why they don’t support various policies or more restrictions on guns. One specific policy NORC asked respondents about was a nationwide ban on the sale of semiautomatic rifles, or AR-15-style firearms. Less than 60 percent support that policy, according to NORC.

A recent report showed that support for a ban on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRS) reached a new low, below 50 percent, right as the U.S. House of Representatives passed a partisan bill to ban them. It will not receive a vote in the U.S. Senate. NSSF industry data shows since 1990, there are now more than 24.4 million MSRs in circulation as of 2020. That figure includes more than 4.5 million since 2018.

From the NORC report, respondent Nicole Whitelaw, a 29-year-old Democrat and gun owner, said proposals like banning AR-15s “goes too far and may not solve the problem.”

Also quoted was Chris Boylan, a 47-year-old teacher from Indianapolis. He said, “gun violence is a major problem…and believes the issue is more about mental health and a too-lenient criminal justice system.”

Boylan added, “Blaming the gun is an oversimplification of what the issues really are. It’s not the gun.”

Reality vs. Fantasy

As much as gun control advocacy groups, and sympathetic media, would prefer, Americans aren’t buying more gun control. They’re buying more firearms and doing so in record numbers.

Poll after poll has shown Americans rejecting pushes for more gun control, and more than 1 million National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verifications for the purchase of a gun have been processed for 34 months and counting. That includes more than 14 million first-time gun owners since 2020 and included the most diverse population of gun buyers ever.

A NORC survey from April declared surprise that minority Americans, including African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, would be concerned about crime and their safety. “We found that their [People of Color] views align really well with other gun owners even though demographically they’re so different,” said NORC senior fellow John Roman. Firearm industry retailer data has shown minorities are legally buying firearms in record numbers, with African American women leading the way. Even the media has taken notice and reported on the new face of the American gun owner.

Over the past two and a half years, background checks for the sale of a firearm have been higher even in Blue states with strict gun control like California and New York. Despite what misleading headlines appear to suggest, law-abiding Americans have acted the opposite.

Most importantly, the Second Amendment doesn’t disappear no matter what polling says.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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The experiment is over. Bring back the wild west. It’s obvious that refinement of our people didn’t work and that law enforcement cannot control what is about to happen if they are not there at the time. Add in that law enforcement stands by and watches 19 children get killed and doesn’t protect them and that courts release professional criminals back into society when they have proven a propensity for violence shows that their actions are the exact opposite of what it is supposed to have been when created. The fact that they defund the police while our top government… Read more »


My understanding is that the children were already dead by the time law enforcement arrived and the shooter was involved in building a makeshift barricade inside a classroom. However, no one has ever clarified this chain of events which absolves law enforcement of negligence in preventing the child deaths.


parkland cops saw shooter arrive and ran and hid, in texas there was calls coming from inside for almost 49 minutes so they bled out most likely would have lived the police that were present when he entered that did not shoot …….calling on radio asking permission to shoot an armed person entering school that had already discharged weapon outside…..bad cop bad cop?


Assuming we’re still talking about Uvalde, TX, I certainly can’t speak to your understanding or how you surmised the situation. The video I saw clearly showed several armed law enforcement officers – wearing body armor – just standing/talking in the hallway at what appeared to be about 30-40 feet from the classroom door. One officer was even seen using the hand-sanitizer dispenser in the hallway. Then when shots are fired, they all scramble further away from the classroom, like scared rabbits. To me, it makes no difference whether they felt the shooting was “over”. There were still innocents in that… Read more »


Strange that if they were absolved that the chief of police would have been fired. The little girl that called on the phone 3 times before she was killed would probably argue the swiftness in which they didn’t respond. Additionally, the border patrol arriving later than the cops went in and did their job for them. I think in this instance the cops were cowards and they should all have been fired.


close…lined up on a wall and “fired” boxed up sent to dump


That’s copsucker disinformatsiya.


Propaganda must be substantially true in order to be credible. In this case carefully crafted leading questions dance around the real issues of concern for real Americans. No questions concerning the criminal cartels who are flooding our Southern border with illegals, fentanyl and gang bangers. No questions refining the term ‘Gun violence’ which is really a synonym for gang violence. No questions about Soros funded DA’s who allow criminals to run free thus increasing the risk of crime. Propaganda.


nr – agreed for the most part except the “substantially true” part – it only needs a tiny bit of ‘truth’ to lead the sheeple (willingly) down the antis preferred path of further infringements.
I wonder if the respondents to the poll know – or were informed – that there are already some 20,000 (at least) existing ‘gun control’ laws on the books.


It Doesn’t Matter How Many People Want More Gun Control! Even if it was a Vast Majority of the People, because Our System was Created to Defend the Rights of the Minority Against the Majority Mob!

Last edited 3 months ago by jfrich

Jfrich, Only a small minority want more gun control. The gun-grabbers just rant and rave, scream and holler the loudest.