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Gun ownership hits record high with American voters, poll finds

A record high number of American voters say they or someone in their household owns a gun, according to a new survey.

An NBC News national poll finds that a majority — 52% — of respondents say that they or someone in their home owns a firearm. It is the highest number since NBC started asking in 1999. 

Just four years ago, 46% of Americans said they or someone in their household owned a gun in a 2019 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. And a decade ago, in 2013, that number was 42%.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve grown [10 points] in gun ownership. That’s a very stunning number,” Micah Roberts of Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted the poll with Democratic pollster Hart Research, told NBC News. 

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“By and large, things don’t change that dramatically that quickly when it comes to something as fundamental as whether you own a gun,” he said.

The poll finds gun ownership remains highly partisan, as it has for years.

In November, 66% of Republican voters surveyed said that they or someone in their home owns a gun. Just 45% of independents and 41% of Democrats said the same. 

Although Republicans have always owned guns at higher rates than Democrats, this year the highest number of Democrats since at least 2004 said they or someone in their home had a firearm.

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Shotgun

Gun sales nationwide spiked last month, which was the third-highest October on record for federal background checks for gun transfers, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), an industry trade group. 

An NSSF report released Nov. 2 found that more than 1.3 million gun checks were completed in October, which was an 8.4% increase over the same month in 2022. 

Mark Oliva, an NSSF spokesperson, told The Reload earlier this month that increased sales “demonstrate the value Americans place on their Second Amendment rights.” He observed that the Oct. 7 massacre of innocents by Palestinian terrorists in Israel, followed by the recent mass shooting in Maine, may have influenced some people to buy their first gun.

“This is telling, given the stark reminders of the importance of the Second Amendment protecting the right for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and protect themselves and their loved ones,” Oliva told the outlet. “The horrific attacks on Israel followed by the escalating hate speech toward Jewish Americans, coupled with the tragic murders in Maine, are reminders that every American has the right to legally purchase a firearm to provide for their own defense.”

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Eric Fletcher, a gun store owner in Burbank, California, previously told Fox News he’s seen a surge in Jews and Israelis buying firearms for the first time. 

“No one wants to be feeling like they’re helpless, especially not in their own home, especially not in their offices or where they go every day. People want to feel safe,” Fletcher said on “The Faulkner Focus” Nov. 3.

His store, Burbank Ammo and Guns, processed 203 firearms safety certificate tests in October 2023 compared to 45 last year, marking a more than 450% increase.

“We see many, many individuals from the Jewish community who are first-time buyers. And not just the men, but women as well, mothers especially. They want to know what they can do and what they are allowed to do to defend themselves,” he said.

The same trend has been observed in Georgia, where a gun store owner reported a 30% increase in business fueled mostly by Jewish Americans buying their first guns. 

Fox News Digital’s Madeline Coggins contributed to this report.

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