What America's Thinking

Conservatives who don't own guns still support gun rights, says pollster

Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport said on Tuesday that conservatives who don't own guns are still likely to feel strongly about Second Amendment rights. 

"The issue has become politicized like so many other issues. It's become a symbolic issue for a lot of non-gun owning conservative Republicans," Newport told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"It's an extremely volatile and emotional issue that they connect with, even though they really don't want to have a gun themselves," he continued. 

A Pew Research Center study released last year found that roughly three-in-five non-gun owning Republicans said they were in favor of shortening waiting periods to purchase guns and allowing concealed carry weapons without a permit. 

Newport said that many Americans tend to defend the right to own and carry due to the meaning they've carried throughout U.S. history. 

"Guns are apart of the frontier mentality that we've always had in this country, and therefore Americans have a somewhat unique kind of perspective on guns," he said. 

Republican politicians have widely defended the second amendment, and have teamed up with groups, most notably the National Rifle Association (NRA), to defend against gun control measures they view are harmful to gun ownership. 

- Julia Manchester

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