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September 21, 2016

NSSF Responds to Harvard, Northeastern University Survey Coverage


NSSF issued the following statement today.

It is unfortunate that news organizations are being misled into running accounts based on dubious findings due to a pre-release tease of truly questionable survey results by Northeastern University and Harvard University that was financed by the Joyce Foundation, which has long funded gun control causes. This pre-release was not accompanied by an explanation of survey methodology, which makes careful review impossible. It is worth noting that the report appears to compare online results with a phone survey conducted in 1994, comparing methodological apples to oranges.

Exclusive previews were provided only to the Guardian and the Trace, the latter being an anti-gun website funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Other news organizations are reporting based on those accounts, rather than working from the source material, accepting what is set out for them as narrative.

Our experience tells us that it is impossible that just 3 percent of gun owners would hold 50 percent of the guns in America.  We also refute the notion that only 22 percent of Americans households have firearms in them.  A recent Pew poll found 44 percent of households have guns in them.  Other polling, including that from Gallup, is in line with that finding.  In addition firearms sales have risen steadily over the last several years and FBI NICS background checks are at record highs. Firearms ownership is increasing, not decreasing in America.

Only those who seek to diminish the extent of gun ownership in order to make the passage of more gun control measures seem more politically achievable would and could believe these findings. When the full survey data and methodology are released next year, many journalists who decided to run with the tease material may find they have some explaining to do to their readers.