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28% of Democrats Say It Should Be Illegal to Join the NRA

The National Rifle Association is America’s largest gun rights organization with more than five million members. But a sizable number of Democrats views it as a terrorist group and believes it should be against the law for Americans to belong to pro-gun rights organizations like the NRA.

Following several recent mass shootings, officials in San Francisco declared the NRA a domestic terrorist organization. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that nearly one-out-of-three Likely Democratic Voters (32%) favor declaring the gun rights group a terrorist organization in the community where they live. Fourteen percent (14%) of Republicans and 20% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Democrats say Americans should be prohibited by law from belonging to pro-gun rights organizations like the NRA, a view shared by 15% of Republicans and 10% of uanffiliateds.

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Among all likely voters, 23% favor declaring the NRA a terrorist organization in their home community, while 18% think it should be against the law to belong to pro-gun rights groups like the NRA.

Only 13% believe NRA members are more likely to commit a crime with a gun. A plurality (47%) says members of the group are less likely to commit such a crime, while 28% think the level of gun crime by NRA members is about the same as in the population at large. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 5 and 8, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of Democrats and 64% of unaffiliated voters want stricter gun control, compared to 45% of Republicans. But 57% of all Americans believe stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws is more important than putting new gun control laws on the books.

Fifty percent (50%) of voters share a favorable impression of the NRA; 44% do not. This includes 30% with a Very Favorable view of the group and 33% with a Very Unfavorable one. These views are virtually unchanged from March of last year.

Favorables for the NRA have ranged from 49% to 54% in surveys since 2011.

Republicans (78%) are far more likely to have a favorable opinion of the NRA than Democrats (32%) and unaffiliated voters (42%). But even among Democrats, only 17% think NRA members are more likely to commit a crime with a gun.

Voters under 40 are far more supportive than their elders of making it illegal to belong to gun rights groups like the NRA.

While Americans argue over the availability of guns, most of those with a gun in their house continue to say it makes them feel safer.

Seventy percent (70%) agree with President Trump when he said, “It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger; it’s the person that pulls the trigger.”

Attorney General William Barr hopes to make it easier and quicker to sentence mass shooters to death, and most Americans think that’s a good idea. Interestingly, however, these findings come at a time when support for the death penalty in general has fallen to a new low.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 5 and 8, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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