Gallup: 71% of Americans Say No to Banning Possession of Handguns

By Michael W. Chapman | August 6, 2019 | 1:27pm EDT

( -- In the wake of the terrible mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the Gallup polling firm has posted its "Guide to U.S. Public Opinion on Guns" on its website. The information posted shows that in Gallup's last survey on whether to ban handguns, from October 2018, 71% of American adults said, "no."

In addition, the surveys show that 43% of Americans have a gun in their home, and that 57% of Americans oppose making it illegal to manufacture, sell, or own semi-automatic guns "known as assault rifles," such as the AR-15.  (The AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, not for "assault rifle.")


In the survey from Oct. 1-10, 2018, Gallup asked, "Do you think there should or should not be a law that would ban the possession of handguns [pistols and revolvers], except by the police and other authorized persons?" Seventy-one percent said no, there "should not be" such a law and only 28% said yes, there "should be" such a law. In 2017, the numbers were the same. In 2016, 76% said no to banning such firearms.

In that same Oct. 1-10, 2018 survey, 43% of American adults said "yes," they "do" have a gun in their home; 55% said they do not have a gun in their home. 

Also, Gallup asked, "Are you for or against a law which would make it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles?" Fifty-seven percent of Americans no, they are "against" such a law; 40% said yes, they are "for" such a law.

In a June 1-13, 2018 survey, Gallup asked, "What is your overall opinion of the National Rifle Association, also known as the NRA -- is it very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable?" 


Twenty-eight percent said "very favorable" and 25% said "mostly favorable" -- a combined 53% favorable. On the other hand, 16% said "mostly unfavorable" and 26% said "very unfavorable," for a combined 42% unfavorable.

In an Oct. 7-1, 2015 survey, 56% of Americans said the country would be safer if more people carried concealed weapons. Also, an Oct. 12-15, 2014 poll found that 63% of Americans believe having a gun in the house makes it a "safer" place to be. 


In an Oct. 3-6, 2013 survey, Gallup reported that 60% of adults said they own a gun for "personal safety/protection," and 36% said they had a gun for "hunting."

In a Feb. 8-10, 2008 poll, Gallup asked, "Do you believe the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns, or do you believe it only guarantees members of state militias such as National Guard units the right to own guns?"


Seventy-three percent of adults said the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. Only 20% said it applied to "state militia members."

An April 2005 survey showed that 62% of Americans believe airplanes "would be safer places" if "pilots were armed with guns."

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