Nearly 12 percent of Democrats bought a gun in the past three months, and almost 19 percent of Republicans did so, the poll showed.
The trend was particularly strong in the 18–29 age group (more than 22 percent), black people (21 percent), union members (nearly 32 percent), urbanites (more than 19 percent), and those earning more than $200,000 (19 percent).
Gun sales have been breaking historical records, with nearly 1.8 million estimated gun sales in July, an increase of 133 percent over July 2019, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data.
The records coincided with national lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as protests turning into riots in cities across the country.
Violent crime, meanwhile, has been on the upswing in recent months in major cities. Murder is up 24 percent in the country’s 50 largest cities, The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 2.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden calls for some two dozen gun-control measures, including a ban on sales and manufacturing of military-style sporting rifles, such as the AR-15. He also wants universal background checks for nearly all gun transfers and the repeal of a law that shields gun-makers from liability for lawful gun sales. He would prohibit online gun sales and supports state “red flag” laws and gun-licensing regimes.
U.S. civilians have owned about 423 million firearms between 1986 and 2018, according to estimates by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The AR-15 and similar sporting rifles are the most popular firearms, with nearly 18 million in circulation, the firearm industry association said.
That translates to about five guns for every three American adults.
The poll, conducted between Aug. 26 and Aug. 30, also showed that Americans oppose defunding police by a wide margin (some 61 percent against, 24 percent for, and the rest undecided). Republicans opposed the move more sharply, with 77 percent against, while a plurality of liberals supported it, with about 43 percent pro versus less than 35 percent con.
The poll results were weighted based on gender, age, race, education, and region. The partisan affiliation breakdown was 36 percent Democrat, 32 percent Republican, and 32 percent independent/other, mirroring the Aristotle national voter file database.
The Epoch Times National Poll was conducted by Big Data Poll and interviewed 2,169 likely voters nationwide sourced via voter file-verified online survey panels from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30. The sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence interval projecting the electorate at 145 million.
Read: AAPOR Transparency Initiative Checklist (pdf)
Read: Full Survey Results (pdf)