Most Republicans find patriotism in gun ownership

Nearly seven in 10 Republicans believe owning a gun is an act of patriotism, according to a Fox News poll that highlights the striking partisan divide on gun ownership. 

The survey released Thursday found 69 percent of Republicans believe owning a gun is an act of patriotism, while only 40 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats believe the same. 

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When that question was asked of people who identify with the Tea Party, 79 percent said owning a gun is patriotic. 

An expanded gun control bill stalled in the Senate last year amid a deep partisan debate about the issue. However, a Quinnipiac poll also released Thursday found huge majorities of every party support universal background checks for those who buy guns. 

The Fox News poll also found more men that women — 60 percent to 40 percent — believe gun ownership is patriotic. Similarly, 54 percent of white voters believe owning a gun is patriotic, while only 34 percent of black voters said the same. 

The number of people who believe gun ownership is patriotic is higher among those without college degrees (56 percent) than those with college degrees (40 percent).

The poll surveyed 1,018 registered voters from June 21-23 but was held until Thursday to coincide with the Fourth of July. 

The poll also found about 60 percent of both Republicans and Democrats believe participating in a protest is an act of patriotism. That number shoots up to 74 percent with those who identify with the Tea Party.

Eighty percent of Republicans and Democrats believe paying taxes is patriotic. Another 73 percent of independents believe the same.