Poll: 70 Percent of Americans Say Gun Stores Should Be Closed

(Photo: NSSF)

The “reopening” of America amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a contentious issue.  Is it too soon?  Is it too late?  Should we have even shut down in the first place?  

In an attempt to find where exactly the public falls on this question, The Washington Post in conjunction with the University of Maryland conducted a telephone survey, April 28 -May 30, 2020.

What the pollsters found is that most Americans still believe businesses should remain closed in their state.  

From the article published by WashPo

The most significant opposition is to reopening movie theaters, with 82 percent of Americans saying they should not be allowed to open up in their state. There is also broad opposition to reopening gyms (78 percent opposed), dine-in restaurants and nail salons (both with 74 percent opposed).

Gun stores are next, with 70 percent saying they should not be reopened, followed by barbershops and hair salons (69 percent opposed) and retail shops such as clothing stores (66 percent opposed) and golf courses (59 percent opposed).

Unlike the other businesses on the list, gun stores were added to the list of “critical” infrastructure by the Trump administration back in March.  

SEE ALSO: Nevada Judge Allows Suit to Move Forward Alleging AR-15s Should be Considered Machine Guns

Though that move was “advisory in nature” and non-binding for the states, most governors and city leaders hewed to the recommendation thus ensuring gun shops would remain open. 

And those that didn’t quickly found themselves the target of lawsuits filed by pro-2A organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association.  Because unlike getting one’s haircut at Sport Clips or sitting down to dinner at Olive Garden, one’s right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution.

Based on the latest reporting, only four states have continued to shutter FFLs during the COVID-19 crisis: New York, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington.  

SEE ALSO: State Police Deliver Cease-And-Desist Order to New Mexico Gun Store

But this may soon change, either as a result of those aforementioned lawsuits or the growing national trend to ease shelter-in-place restrictions heading into the summer months. 

Even with the forced shutdowns, the past few months have been record-setting in terms of sales. 

Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting (SAAF), an industry research group, estimates that there have been over 7 million guns sold this year, 1.7 million of which were sold in April alone.  That’s a 71 percent jump from April of last year.  

So, maybe it’s true, as the poll indicated, that 70 percent of the public believes gun stores should not be open at this time. But that hasn’t stopped millions of other citizens from visiting their local gun dealer in recent weeks to make a purchase or two.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Anthony Romano October 19, 2020, 7:14 am

    So 5 million new gun owners and the polls say 70% think gun stores should’ve stayed closed? What a joke!! These polls mean nothing!

  • Cody kelley May 19, 2020, 12:47 am

    Is is full of sh!t i didnt see no every american paper saying yes to close the store or no amd keep them open you are full of sh!t fake @$$ news

  • The Observer May 13, 2020, 6:42 am

    Another phony “poll” by the left-wing communist Washington Compost and their lackeys at the U. of Maryland. Any “poll” can be rigged by the kind of questions asked.

    Ignore this garbage.

  • Diamondback1 May 12, 2020, 7:31 pm

    I live in Michigan, I have little use for our governor “That Woman from Michigan”. Several gun shops I am familiar with are doing record sales. The state is going after others, like a 77 year old barber who needed to reopen his shop and a man who tried to start a drive-in theater with people staying in their cars. Those I know involved with firearms sales advise that they have not been hindered, some chose to close down for a few days, but reopened.

  • Howard DeLaCruz-Bancroft May 12, 2020, 5:08 pm

    According to this survey, approximately 10% more people want “gun stores” opened than they do for “dine-in restaurants”.

    This shows how statistics can be misleading. Only 26 people said “dine-in restaurants” should be opened and 29 people said “gun stores” should be opened during the coronavirus.

    The survey also states that out of the eight options asked only half of those sampled were offered to respond to all the options. The other half were only asked four of the options. The question posed was a “leading question” that I would object to in a court of law because it starts with the statement that “states having restricted these types of businesses”.

    This is already “leading” the respondent to a negative response given the states have already “restricted” these types of businesses. A more open-ended question would have been “Do you think gun stores should be opened as other businesses that are open?”

    The survey says it used similar demographics in an attempt to match US Census data but in a random fashion. That is confusing random doesn’t imply a specific demographic type unless the demographic data was known in advance. The survey doesn’t seem to match my understanding of political party affiliation.

    Although, it seems to go up and down almost monthly the percentages for party affiliation to include independents being the swing voter block are about 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. This would have been more like 33 Republicans, 33 Democrats, and 34 independents. However, the survey shows on 5/3/20 amounts of 25 Republicans, 33 Democrats, and 41 independents and one with no opinion with a 3.5% margin of error.

    The organization sponsoring this survey is the University of Maryland and it can be argued that most secular universities are not exactly a bastion of the conservative viewpoint. In can be argued that such institutions are antagonistic and this influence cannot be underestimated with the results of any survey and especially the reporting or summarizing of such surveys.

    So all in all “not impressed” by this survey or the reporting of its findings. I did appreciate the survey being offered with all the questions I posed in my previous comment. This is not the usual and I applaud the Washington Post for allowing the entire survey and its context to be reviewed. This is rare in my stories of this nature.

    However, given my analysis, I think it can be understood this survey is a good starting point for getting a handle on the context of concerns about the coronavirus and its negative impact on businesses.

    • Pitchfork peasant May 18, 2020, 1:09 am

      “How to lie with statistics”, darrell huff, 1954. Boring book but the title speaks volumes. Started studying propaganda when i was ten. Thats forty years ago. Mostly studied bernays as far as the propaganda topic goes. Because of nazi germany. Buck vs bell, 1927.

  • Pat J May 12, 2020, 12:34 pm

    I have many weapons and plenty of reloading components, but I bought another Glock in April.
    It was my first online purchase through GunsAmerica. It went very smoothly, got exactly what I wanted at a fair price, shipped quickly, met a first-rate FFL from a nearby town, and then waited two days after NICS application for the phone check to be completed, and I have an “expedite”number. I like my local dealers, but their stock was depleted, and buying online during an unnecessary plague made a lot of sense. After consideration of all factors I believe I saved money, and I will buy this way again. Also, I am now comfortably part of the online gun sales people whine ignorantly about. It feels good. Live long, Comrades.

  • Ronald May 11, 2020, 5:48 pm

    Good thing there’s something called the U.S. Constitution. Don’t matter what these socialists thing.

  • James Barrier May 11, 2020, 1:56 pm

    Although Washington state declared gun stores “non-essential” almost all of them have been open and using social distancing techniques to keep customers and employees safe. The bigger problem has been that there hasn’t been anything to buy!

  • FirstStateMark May 11, 2020, 1:54 pm

    When are people going to stop paying attention to polls? Is Hillary Clinton our President? All the polls said was going to be. Now there is a non-essential job, poll takers.

    • bill June 8, 2020, 10:02 pm

      good one.

  • frank May 11, 2020, 1:36 pm

    Isn’t funny that when these so called polls are taken no body polls me or you…. we’re Americans.

  • JOhne May 11, 2020, 12:26 pm

    They listed the number of landline and cell phones. What they did not list was the number of FUs, hangups and non answers. How good is a poll where out of 10,000 or 100,000 calls they got 1000 answers.

    100% of the people I know don’t answer unknown numbers, hang up imediatly or cuss out the idiot on the other end when there lives are interuppted by these idiots.

  • Christopher Sullivan May 11, 2020, 11:04 am

    As we know by virtue of the 2016 Presidential Election, Poll’s are and should be questionable. It’s unfortunate that we the masses don’t disregard them immediately. Poll’s are propaganda.

    However, the issue of whether Gun Stores or any other store should be closed by government edict, is the real issue.

    Where is the scientific evidence that defines the use of social distancing and mask wearing works in “essential” stores like Walmart, Loew’s, Home Depot, Food stores, Liqueur stores, etc. and it doesn’t work in “non-essencial” stores like gun stores, or any other store? There is no SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE! It’s BULLSHIT! It’s government overreach. If you can use the distancing / mask wearing protocol in one store you can in all stores. It’s arbitrary logic and government is practicing political power control to establish what the people will do. Essentially asking the question, how far can we push the masses before they revolt?

    In the state of Texas, Shelly Luther case, was a good example of how much business owners will take. She closed her hair salon for two months following the governors edict. Then she decided enough is enough. Her employees were going down as was she. She opened her shop with all the protocol in place. But of course that doesn’t matter because the “so called” law directing “non-essential” shops to stay closed wasn’t lifted. A leftist judge put her in jail. After a few days the governor let her out.

    Store owners need to open in defiance of the “law” that isn’t a law. Challenge it in court. And then sue the city, state, and governor. Not because they closed stores to protect people, but because they did so arbitrarily. They established the working protocol and said it works. It flattened the curve. Well if it works, it should be applied evenly across the spectrum, to all stores regardless whether the governor happens to like them or not.

    Government will eventually come to this conclusion. We will be forced to use the existing protocol until testing and vaccines are fully involved. And they will act like our righteous saviors. But that doesn’t relieve the small business owner who is now financially ruined or out of business, especially because they didn’t have to be. And lets not forget who is going to pay for it all. Exactly.

  • Norm Fishler May 11, 2020, 10:25 am

    Another DNC bathroom exit poll.

  • George May 11, 2020, 10:19 am

    Fake News!!!

    Look at the dates that the poll run from. April 28-May 30 2020.

    I saw this “poll” a couple of days ago and noticed the date at that time. Call me sceptical, but that’s what I see by the date. Fake news to divide us. Scumbags ought to be beaten.

  • minute-man May 11, 2020, 8:58 am

    ‘Anyone younger than 60 should be made aware of what former Soviet Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev said in his speech to the United Nations in 1959… “Your children’s children will live under communism. So many Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept communism outright; but, we will keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you will finally wake up and find you already have Communism. We will not have to fight you. We will so weaken your economy, until you will fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”

    That was September 29, 1959, when Khrushchev delivered his prediction for America at the United Nations…. The U.N. Let that sink IN… The U.N. It’s still there.
    At the time, just the word “communism” was feared and repulsed throughout our nation. Remember this: Socialism leads to Communism ;
    “The goal of socialism is communism” -Vladimir Lenin . Here’s another quote from that same past: “Democracy is the road to socialism” -Karl Marx

    So, ‘how do you create a Socialist STATE’ ? There are nine levels of control :

    1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
    2) Poverty – Increase the poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them.
    3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
    4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the government . That way you are able to create a police state.
    5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect (food, housing, income) of their lives because that will make them fully dependent on the government.
    6) Education – Take control of what people read, listen to and take control of what children learn in school.
    7) Religion – Remove the belief in God from the government and schools because the people need to believe in ONLY the government knowing what is best for the people.
    8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. Eliminate the middle class. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to tax the rich with the support of the poor.

    -and a 9th:

    PUBLIC APATHY; so where do YOU stand?

    Here’s your scary future: Six of those levels are already being controlled by God damned Democrats.

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”

    -Thomas Jefferson signer of the Declaration of Independence, 2nd President of the United States, and one of the geniuses that almighty God gave us to create this –once great- country -before the ‘socialists’ took control of her circle of the drain of freedom.’

    • Willy May 11, 2020, 10:08 am

      If that is the case as is described in your comment, then a second American revolution will be required. It’s a sad thing that able-bodied patriots will have to fight to keep free the wimpy millennial puss-asses who have no clue, and who could not fight their way out of a paper bag anyway.

  • Owen May 11, 2020, 6:45 am

    I don’t believe that poll for a minute. Americans want all businesses to reopen and this country to get back to work. The longer business is closed the higher the likelihood of conflict between people. Citizens want and need to be able to defend themselves and that, folks, means gun stores need to be open.

    • Rich May 11, 2020, 7:53 am

      Just another back door gun control attempt

    • oldfuzz695 May 11, 2020, 10:38 am

      I am an 80 yr old conservative and I have never been polled for anything. An old-timer in my county told me that if I voted republican, I would never be called to jury duty. Yep, he was right. WHAT A COUNTRY!

  • Leighton Cavendish May 11, 2020, 5:54 am

    Those polled…should be flagged and not be allowed future gun or ammo purchases…just sayin…

  • Jim May 9, 2020, 12:29 pm

    Consider the source of the “poll”, Wa Post & University of Maryland. This poll was probably so skewered with leftist locations of polling, it can’t be trusted or even published in news articles.

  • Matt May 9, 2020, 12:06 pm

    You want to get a call for a “Washington Compost” survey? You likely have to subscribe to the Washington Compost. That’s why their surveys are always so left leaning. Any news organization survey is going to be slanted to their readership which in this case is typically urban Washington dc metro area.

  • Chris May 9, 2020, 8:47 am

    If folks don’t like gun stores to stay open, don’t go to them. Stay home. You have the right to peacefully assemble but you also have the right not to.
    I’d lots rather take my chances with C-19 and any other diseases that are floating around, like the regular flu, said by many experts to be much more deadly than the C-19 virus, than to live in the tyrannous situation we are in where our rights are being violated every day in so many ways.
    If I have a rifle and ammunition I can not only protect myself but grocery stores become optional. So gun stores are definitely needed in this sort of times.

    • Harper Jones May 11, 2020, 5:33 am

      EXactly !!!

  • Phil Whitehead May 8, 2020, 11:26 pm

    IF, and I say if, anyone is stupid enough to believe that a true 70 percent of people in this entire country want gun stores closed, then I’ll set up a booth at our County Fair for Bigfoot to sign autographs and the same people can get in line…
    I’m just holding my head, trying to keep it from exploding from the unadulterated BULLSHIT they spread…

    • Ti May 9, 2020, 7:40 pm

      MSM saying Hilary was the next POTUS. Washington rag poll knows best.

  • Bruce S May 8, 2020, 5:48 pm

    This Poll is COMPLETE HORSE SHIT! This Must be a Anti-American poll taken in China.

  • Michael J May 8, 2020, 5:36 pm

    Are these the same people whose polls elected Clinton?

  • Gees Mill May 8, 2020, 3:39 pm

    Have any of you ever gotten a call to take a survey? I’m only in my 40’s, but I have never gotten a call. Pretty easy to cook the books.

  • Jim May 8, 2020, 1:59 pm

    BS< I don not believe this supposed poll unless it was a poll taken in the cities proper of NYC, Boston, LA, etc. Just look at the REAL difference. Gun sales have gone UP again since this Convid-19

  • Dexter Winslett May 8, 2020, 1:55 pm

    Absolutely no one trust the Washington Post. They lie.

  • Dit May 8, 2020, 12:56 pm

    WHY do you publish poll summaries without the salient facts? We know Maryland conducted this poll. Where? How? Does just calling it a poll automatically make it valid? I participated in behavioral studies at a university and found most were flawed because their work never left the campus. NO PERSON OFF CAMPUS WAS A PART OF THE STUDY. As such all findings were severely flawed and heavily leaning toward frat boy values.

    So again, where was this study performed? Suburban Maryland? What was N? 10 people? 50,000? What questions were asked and how? Did they color the question to steer people to the answer they wanted for their agenda? Insist on ALL THE DATA.

    I have been to multiple gun stores and shooting ranges every week since this started. I wear a mask, but I am carrying concealed everywhere.

    • S.H. Blannelberry May 8, 2020, 1:16 pm

      The results of the study are embedded at the bottom of the article and should help answer some of your questions.

  • Peter Brown May 8, 2020, 12:26 pm

    More than ever before liberal ignorance threatens the U.S.A.

  • Mort May 8, 2020, 12:07 pm

    Where’d they take the poll?
    TAXachusettes or New D0rk City

    • Sloop May 8, 2020, 8:36 pm

      I can tell you where they can shove it.

  • Jake Johnson May 8, 2020, 12:02 pm

    Sure.. do polling at a liberal college in New Jersey. So accurate….

  • David May 8, 2020, 11:05 am

    I believe this poll as much as I do about this covid-19 crap their trying to feed us.

  • Kole May 8, 2020, 10:44 am

    Who cooked the books this time? Fake polls again boys and girls.

  • Nicholas May 8, 2020, 10:44 am

    Everyone parrots the saying that “You can’t go into a crowded theater and yell fire”. I guarantee that no one knows the full context of the decision, which was that your speech is not protected if you are causing a harm. In that case, the Petitioners were interfering with the delegated authority of the congress to raise an army in time of war. Most people who claim to be supporters of the 2nd amendment do not understand why the Virginia representatives, in particular, demanded a Bill of Rights. They knew that while the Constitution prohibited both the federal and State governments from destroying the contract, they also knew that, in history past, every similar compact was eventually violated by government.
    In the case of the 2nd amendment, the Framers had institutionalized Militia, as the statutes defined it, as the only recognized authority “to execute the Laws of the Union”. – See Article I, § 8, Cls. 15 & 16. So, the 2nd is a warning to public officials that “the Militia of the several States” must be maintained.
    The colonial Militia had been organized, armed, and disciplined for 150 years prior to the ratification. Militia was not voluntary. It operated in accordance with statutes that are still on the books. It REQUIRED ALL able-bodied men, age varied from colony to colony, to maintain a rifle in good working order, and have available a minimum of ammunition defined in the statutes, and to carry a firearm whenever they were about.
    When the Founders debated the Constitution, they wanted to make sure that sovereignty remained with the people, so they designated the already existing Militia to perform the roles laid out in the Constitution. By doing so, government could not create other agencies, such as FBI, DEA, DHS, police, or State police to perform what the Constitution institutionalized as the proper authority. They also hoped that a well organized people would not allow government to infringe on any of their rights.
    Since Militia, defined as “the whole people”, were the proper body to maintain security, our weapons would have to be properly maintained, and since we would be required to provide our own weapons, it would be necessary to, not only maintain but to also build them if necessary, and certainly have a means of purchasing them. Thus, gun stores are not only essential, they are commanded to be open with available weapons for all able-bodied men as defined by statute.
    No entity may violate the Constitution under any circumstance.
    Just a note here on the issue of Militia. The National Guard cannot be militia, and in fact is promulgated under Article I, § 10, Cl. 3. It is a different entity explained within that clause.

  • Kole May 8, 2020, 10:42 am

    I guess 70% of all liberals should just shut the fuck up.

  • Steve Gibbons May 8, 2020, 10:34 am

    Is that the same poll taker that has Hillary winning by a landslide in 2016? Go get my point………

    • Jon May 8, 2020, 4:56 pm

      She only won by 3 million votes in the wrong states.

  • rsmalt May 8, 2020, 10:26 am

    Ah! A poll by the Compost and the University of the People’s Republic of America managed to find a sample size of idiots to support their agenda. Imagine my surprise.

  • Big Al 45 May 8, 2020, 9:07 am

    Nonsense. I’ll wager 70% PLUS Americans are FAR MORE CONCERNED with their debt and their jobs for them to even be bothered by whether or not Gun stores are open or closed.
    In fact, the majority don’t even think about it, nor would they if the Left Wing press were quiet about it.
    No, this is a FABRICATED story, plain and simple.
    I’m in essential business, nearly all my clients are very concerned about their rent, mortgages, and especially food and daily needs for their families. Not a single one I’ve spoken too have mentioned much else, and many are very concerned about keeping their kids up to speed with school, how this has effected school activities (sports, band, and so on) and their elderly care.
    I believe it’s pure Lefty B.S., after all MANY of these Lefties make a living trying to take away guns, and so they are just keeping it out there for their own needs.

    • Martin Beijersbergen May 8, 2020, 10:29 am

      You are right

    • Bob A May 8, 2020, 10:46 am

      1,000 contacts DOES NOT represent “most Americans”. This is merely a “sampling of 1,005 random Americans”, and statistically irrelevant. The Census Bureau estimates there are (nearly) 248,000,000 adults living in the U.S. A meaningful poll that could be defined as “most Americans” would require far more contacts than what we see here.

      I would also be suspect of any poll conducted by the left-leaning Washington Post and/or University of Maryland.

  • Chimmy May 8, 2020, 8:48 am

    70% of what? France? No way. In Texas you’d be lucky to find 5% of the population that want gun shops closed.

  • MIKE OKELLY May 8, 2020, 8:39 am

    who took this poll ? i was not asked . all northeast id bet

  • John May 8, 2020, 8:33 am

    So the Washington Puke calls the right numbers and gets a
    74% poll for the answer they desired. Nothing new there. This whole thing has been a Stunt to force undue safety precautions on this President to try to kill the economy and stop his popularity. I like him even more now!

    • Luvjoypece2 May 8, 2020, 11:40 am

      Agreed libatards are just that libatards

  • Ron May 8, 2020, 8:29 am

    Strange results. I would like to know the demographics of this survey. No one I know was asked to participate. Perhaps only those on the West Coast, New York and Virginia?

  • David Welsh May 8, 2020, 8:25 am

    So? Over 70% of Americans are uneducated about history and especially our Republic’s founding.

  • Griffendad May 8, 2020, 8:22 am

    That poll is as real as the Russia hoax and the charges against General Flynn combined.

  • loveriding May 8, 2020, 8:09 am

    Can you just imagine how many people will be buying guns again just in case this ever happens again. (a shut down) I’m just glad most of us here were a head of the game and already were prepared and had our guns.

  • bjg May 8, 2020, 7:48 am

    Where did they take to polls? New York City or some other liberal coastal city?

  • Trevor Teague May 8, 2020, 7:44 am

    Who did they poll? The DNC?

  • Arizona Wolf May 8, 2020, 6:54 am

    Another skewed poll. There should NEVER have been a lock down…PERIOD!!!

  • Robert May 8, 2020, 6:35 am

    Ok. seventy percent of Americans think the gun stores are non essential and should be closed. Ok then, so then I’m guessing these are the people not buying guns during this shut down. Ok, so you’re trying to convince me, that the 30 remaining percent is responsible for completely wiping clean pretty much every single gun and box of ammunition from every single online gun store? RIGHT. So 30% bought 100 percent of the remaining brand name guns and ammo from every place online. No way I believe that lol. That was a completely made up survey…

    • Steve Cutler May 8, 2020, 7:44 am

      I totally agree with you bud, these polls are rigged from the start. No way are these numbers right unless you poll mostly people against firearms to begin with.

  • Dr Motown May 8, 2020, 6:21 am

    Apparently it’s easy to find compliant sheeple nowadays

    • Pitchfork peasant May 18, 2020, 1:28 am

      More like just fabricated results intended to justify political action. Wasnt it something like a liberal won 105% of the vote somewhere? Fabricated comes to mind

  • Will Drider May 6, 2020, 10:33 pm

    Their Notes state that when a “Landline” was called: they asked to speak to the “Youngest adult male or female at home”. Why specifically target “young adults” instead of the person paying the bills for the household?

    In my opinion, Landlines tend to be an older generation holdover (but main stream for businesses) whereas younger independent residential phone is commonly their carried cell phone. Survey Takers are therefore choosing who they query, getting younger (Millennials?) responses which fit a desired outcome. This is called stacking the deck!

    • Patriot Henry May 8, 2020, 3:15 am

      Wa Po is fake news and fake polls designed to fit the Deep States Agenda. The real numbers would be opposite or higher.

  • SuperG May 6, 2020, 9:44 am

    Seems to me that they polled liberals and accidentally called conservatives.

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