Skip to main content

NSSF: Modern Sporting Rifles and Today's Voter

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

NSSF: Modern Sporting Rifles and Today's Voter

NSSF image

America’s rifle – the Modern Sporting Rifle – is growing in popularity.

That fact only follows logic, as lawful firearm ownership in America is on the rise through the COVID-19 pandemic and further propelled by heightened social unrest, uncertainty and acts of criminal violence. There are an estimated 2.5 million new gun owners in recent months, and that’s why the National Shooting Sports Foundation, as the firearm industry’s trade association, has been working to ensure all gun owners are aware of the fundamental rules for safe and responsible firearm use and storage.

We also wanted to understand America’s feeling about Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR), the semiautomatic rifles that are popular with recreational shooting, hunting and increasingly used for self-defense. There are nearly 18 million of these rifles in circulation and they’re proving to be the most popular selling centerfire rifle on the market.

A recent NSSF® survey of registered voters in 18 key states showed that most voters, 56 percent, see self-defense and home-defense as the most common reason for someone to own a gun. Considering about one-third of the respondents reported feeling less safe in their homes and communities, the current firearm purchasing increase is not surprising. In fact, over a third of voters have become more supportive of the rights to keep and bear arms because of the current environment.


NSSF

What does this mean for the perennial debate over banning semiautomatic rifles like MSRs? According to the survey results, a majority of voters in these states oppose a so-called “Assault Weapon” ban, which would outlaw the popular MSRs based solely on the cosmetic features of the firearm. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents acknowledge that a ban on MSRs would not be effective for reducing crime in their communities.


NSSF

Voters were also asked about their opinion on the proposals to limit the capacity of ammunition magazines. Most respondents believe that a magazine capacity limit would have “no impact at all” on reducing criminal violence or that it may increase crime. About 54 percent agree that citizens with a lawfully owned firearm should be able to choose the type and amount of ammunition they use.

With an eye on the upcoming elections, candidates should know that nearly three-quarters of voters would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports gun safety and education programs. This holds true across partisan divides and without regard to gun ownership.

NSSF

The collective impression that can be made with voters’ voices in this study is clear: American citizens want to be able to choose the manner by which they protect themselves and their families. These results run counter to the soundbites from gun control groups which downplay the value Americans place on semiautomatic firearms, including MSRs. Americans want the ability to effectively protect themselves and their families in these uncertain times with the firearm of their choice.

Note: The sample size for the survey is 800 likely voters in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, and the margin of error is +/-3.5% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that if this survey were repeated, results would not vary from the population by more than 3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20. Responses were gathered via landline and cell phone interviews conducted with live operators at a professional call center. Demographics were adjusted to reflect the population from which the sample was drawn. The survey was conducted June 23 – 28, 2020 by Harper Polling. The total percentages of responses may not equal 100% due to rounding.


GunVote2020
NSSF graphic

#GUNVOTE 2020: Help Drive Voter Registration

NSSF is urging all industry businesses to download and display NSSF’s #GUNVOTE® icon on their company websites and incorporate #GUNVOTE messages in their social media campaigns.

National Shooting Sports Foundation aims to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

SPRO Madeye Diver 85 & Minnow 120

SPRO Madeye Diver 85 & Minnow 120

The Madeye Diver 85 & 120 feature sound chambers that imitate various batfish.

Daiwa Dark Water Rods

Daiwa Dark Water Rods

From barracuda to wahoo to kingfish to sailfish and beyond, these new Daiwa saltwater rods rely on HVG technology (that makes them 50% lighter), soft tips to protect leaders as big fish make strong runs, and strong backbones to help anglers crank up hard-fighting species from below.

Lew

Lew's Kevin VanDam Fishing Tools

The bass-fishing legend talks about Lew's new tools with In-Fisherman's Todd Ceisner as part of the 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

Kevin VanDam Fishing Reels from Lew

Kevin VanDam Fishing Reels from Lew's

The Kevin VanDam LFS Baitcast reel ($139.99) comes in three models (6.2:1, 7.5:1, 8.3:1), with right- and left-hand retrieve, 10-bearing system with Zero Reverse one-way clutch, aluminum frame and spool, carbon fiber drag system, up to 20 pounds drag power.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river.How to Catch Catfish Day and Night Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day Whitetail

10 Expert Deer Hunting Preparation Tips for Opening Day

M.D. Johnson - August 26, 2020

Now's the time to finalize plans for the perfect deer season opener.

Field Skills: Want to be a better shooter? The first step is perfecting your release.6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow Hunting How-To

6 Steps to the Perfect Trigger Pull on Your Compound Bow

Jace Bauserman - August 27, 2020

Field Skills: Want to be a better shooter? The first step is perfecting your release.

Anglers can find catfish in practically any freshwater system in the South, but some waters really stand out for monsters.The South's Best Waters for Trophy Catfish Catfish

The South's Best Waters for Trophy Catfish

John N. Felsher - August 21, 2020

Anglers can find catfish in practically any freshwater system in the South, but some waters...

See More Trending Articles

More Conservation & Politics

Political profile from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF Q&A: Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) Conservation & Politics

NSSF Q&A: Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)

National Shooting Sports Foundation - August 20, 2020

Political profile from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.NSSF: Recovery of Bald Eagle a Win for Michigan Hunters Conservation & Politics

NSSF: Recovery of Bald Eagle a Win for Michigan Hunters

Larry Keane - August 18, 2020

Perspective from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

See More Conservation & Politics

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now