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These Charts Help Explain NRA Politics

Members of the National Rifle Association show different gun habits and policy views than other gun owners, including those of the same party affiliation.

The Pew Research Center released this week broad survey results unpacking attitudes toward gun ownership among members of the National Rifle Association, compared to other gun owners.

The survey—whose full results were shared last month—polled 3,930 adults in the United States, including 1,269 gun owners, 19 percent of whom belonged to the NRA. Pew found that NRA members both have more guns and use them more frequently than non-member owners—but are also more likely to have taken a gun safety course:



While most gun owners are Republican, the affiliation was stronger among NRA members. Even among Republican gun owners, however, those with an NRA membership have stronger gun-rights views. Though they reported more personal use of gun safety courses, NRA Republicans were more likely than non-member Republicans to oppose six commonly proposed gun control regulations—including background checks and bans on assault-style weapons—and to support four relaxations on gun laws, such as allowing guns in K-12 schools:


Perhaps unsurprisingly, across party affiliation, non-NRA gun owners were nearly four times as likely to say the group has too much influence on national gun laws:


But those non-members will have to become much more politically active if they want to compete with the NRA: Pew found that, while around 46 percent of the NRA's gun owners have contacted a public official to demand certain gun policies, only 15 percent of gun owners outside the group have done the same.