Saturday, July 21, 2018

14 Million Americans Identify as NRA Members

NRA Members at 2016 Exhibit

In June of 2017 Pew Research published a poll that showed over fourteen million adults in the United States self identified as National Rifle Association (NRA) members.

Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they currently own a gun, and of that group, 19% say they belong to the National Rifle Association. While the demographic profile of NRA members is similar to that of other gun owners, their political views, the way they use their firearms and their attitudes about gun policy differ significantly from gun owners who are not members of the organization.
Twenty-four percent of the population of the United States is under 18 years old. The adult population of the United States in 2017 would be 326 million x .76, or 248 million adults.

The number of adult Americans who admit they are gun owners and Identify as NRA members is .30 x .19 x 248 million. Roughly 14 million adults are willing to say they own guns, and identify as NRA members.

The actual number of people who identify as NRA members is likely higher. The poll excludes people who did not identify themselves as gun owners. Gun owners are often unwilling to tell people they have guns. Politically aware gun owners, such as NRA members, are likely to be more sensitive about admitting gun ownership. The poll shows some evidence of this.

Of current people who say they do not own a gun, 58% say they did not own a gun in the past, 10% say they have owned guns previously.  Fifty-two percent of non owners say they would be open to owning a gun in the future.

Of all adults, 30% admit to owning guns, and another .52x.68 are interesting in owning guns in the future, or 35% of the population. More people say they do not own guns, but are interested in owning them, than people who admit to owning them. A total of 65% of the population either own guns or are interested in owning guns in the future.

The poll does not say how many people polled refused to participate or refused to answer poll questions.

Roughly equal numbers of men and women say they are NRA members, 19% of men and 18% of women. When you consider that a spouse of an NRA member may consider themselves a member, but not be on the official roles as a member, it could explain a considerable amount of the gap.

In 2017, the NRA stated it had five million members. If spouses and adult children identified as NRA members, without formal membership, the number of self-identified NRA members doubles to 10 million.

Many people stop paying annual dues to the NRA, for a multitude of reasons. People join the NRA, stop, and rejoin. It is likely that most people who had an active NRA membership at one time, self identify as NRA members.

It is likely that spouses, adult children, and former NRA members account for most of the population that identify as NRA members without being formally enrolled in the organization.

The NRA may have already exceeded six million members. The NRA does not release its membership lists to the public.

It is the millions of NRA members, and supporters that provide the political clout the NRA wields in national politics.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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