PRINCETON, NJ — Fifty-four percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the National Rifle Association, while 38% have an unfavorable opinion. The public’s ratings of the NRA have fluctuated since first measured by Gallup in 1993 — from a low of 42% favorable in 1995 to a high of 60% in 2005.
The NRA’s positions on guns and gun control legislation have received significant attention from media and politicians during the last week after the association’s top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, held a press conference in the wake of the Newtown school shooting. LaPierre denounced the idea of additional gun control legislation and instead called for armed guards in the nation’s schools. The press conference came midway through the field period of this Dec. 19-22 USA Today/Gallup poll.
On a more granular basis, 21% of Americans have a very favorable opinion of the NRA, and 18% have a very unfavorable opinion. These strong opinions have held roughly the same over the years, with the notable exception of 1995, when 26% reported a very unfavorable opinion of the NRA.