The Weekly Reload Podcast

NBC Pollster Unpacks Gun Ownership Spike, Political Implications

December 11th, 2023

NBC News recently released one of the most impactful polls on gun ownership in America. So, it's time to take a deep dive into what it tells us.

Who better to do that with than one of the analysts who actually conducted the poll? That's why we have Micah Roberts of Public Opinion Strategies on the show this week. He and his company run surveys for NBC, CNBC, and a number of political operations.

He said the biggest takeaway from the latest NBC poll on guns was the substantial spike in ownership, especially among Democrats and suburban voters. He noted gun ownership has increased ten points in just ten years, which he argued is highly unusual because gun ownership is a trait that tends not to swing much over time. He also pointed out the remarkable 17-point increase in gun ownership among Black Americans.

Roberts explained how the poll found, like many others before it, that gun ownership has a significant effect on how people view gun control. Gun owners, as you might expect, are less likely to support new gun restrictions. So, the influx of new gun owners could shape the nation's gun politics.

However, he also identified a surprising trend. Democrats have seen the greatest increase in gun ownership since the poll started. But they've also seen the greatest increase in concern the government won't do enough to restrict access to guns. He said there is still an identifiable difference in how Democrats view guns based on whether they own one, but partisanship appears to have a greater effect on those views.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I talk about the failed Senate "assault weapons" ban vote.