As if the Nov. 4 elections weren’t enough evidence that voters are skeptical of gun control, two new polls from Gallup show most Americans think gun laws should be eased or stay the same, and a large majority of citizens feel they’re safer with a gun in the home.
According to Gallup, 63 percent of those surveyed say having a gun in the home “makes it a safer place to be,” with only 30 percent arguing a home is more dangerous with a gun in it. And while 67 percent of men surveyed say a gun makes the home safer, a surprising 58 percent of women surveyed agree.
The poll surveyed over 1,000 adults in mid-October.
“The percentage of Americans who say that having a gun in the home makes that household safer has drastically climbed over the past eight years,” Gallup said in its poll released Nov. 7. “Americans own guns for a wide array of reasons, but the increase in the perceived safety value of owning them suggests that guns are taking on more of a protective role than they have in the past.”
The results demonstrate a striking contrast to anti-gun advocates who publish surveys that they say show having a gun in the home makes it less safe, and bolsters statistics from shooting industry trade groups who claim more women and new shooters are entering the market for self-defense.
The poll also showed an increase in the number of those surveyed who said they have a gun in the home, up 5 percent from last year at 42 percent of households.
In another recent study from Gallup, fewer than 50 percent of those surveyed argued gun control laws should be made more strict, with a solid majority of 52 percent saying laws should be less strict, or kept as they are.
Further, the Oct. 31 poll showed 73 percent of Americans argue handgun possession for citizens should not be banned, a record number since Gallup began asking the question in 1959.
“After seeing a spike in support for stricter laws following the Newtown school shooting in 2012, the call for more stringent laws has settled to near-record lows,” Gallup says. “This suggests that while shootings may still occur with disturbing regularity in the U.S., there is a disconnect between those events and support for making gun laws stricter.”