One of the major policies of the Biden administration has been gun control. Between banning the production of so-called “ghost guns” as well as attempting to ban assault rifles like AR-15s, Biden and his team have made reigning in the Second Amendment a priority for his term.
However, new research suggests that the president may want to ease off gun control as more Democrats pick up a firearm. According to a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there is an increasing number of self-identified Democrats who are registering as “new shooters.”
This report, titled the “Firearm Ownership & Sports Shooting Participation Report,” says that Democrats who became “new shooters” had “nearly doubled” compared to similar data gathered in 2020.
The NSSF further broke down some of its other findings:
New shooters are more likely to be black, Democrats, Hispanic or Latino, younger, female, and from a large city or suburb.
There are large increases in the percentages of new shooters who are young, female, and from a large city or suburban area.
NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi says that this new data set represents an “encouraging” trend. According to the Washington Examiner, Bartozzi says:
These are encouraging figures that are consistent with the other trends we see in the monthly FBI background checks and industry production reports reflecting growth in firearm ownership. Safe and responsible firearm ownership goes hand in hand with regular participation in the shooting sports.
Coming into the 2024 election, gun control, though an important discussion among Democrats, does not surpass other issues as a priority for voters.
Recent reports and polls following the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary show immigration as a leading issue, especially among Republicans. Others include the state of the economy, abortion, and international relations – as wars continue to disrupt the Middle East and Ukraine.
That’s not to say gun control won’t be a factor for some voters – it still ranked as the seventh most important issue in the 2020 General Election according to Pew Research. But if this NSSF data is any indication, Democrats may want to recognize that a “gung-ho” approach to gun control isn’t the way to go.
As The Washington Examiner puts it, “they should be careful pushing too hard” on the issue.