UM Poll: Montanans Weigh In on Walmart Gun Policy

October 09, 2019

MISSOULA – The University of Montana Big Sky Poll recently surveyed Montanans perceptions about Walmart’s decision to ban the sale of certain short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunitions and to discontinue handgun sales entirely.

When asked, “Walmart is discontinuing the sale of certain short-barrel rifle ammunition, as well as handgun ammunition and discontinuing handgun sales entirely. Are you more or less likely to shop at Walmart due to this announcement?” 40% of respondents said they are now less likely to shop at Walmart; 37% said they were more likely; and 23% preferred not to answer.

The responses differed by political affiliation. Eighty percent of Democrats said they were “more likely” to shop at Walmart, compared to 18% of Republicans and 29% of Independents.

Fifty-nine percent of Republicans and 45% of Independents said they were “less likely” to shop at Walmart, while only 5% of Democrats indicated they were “less likely” to shop at Walmart due to the announcement.

The UM Big Sky Poll online survey was conducted Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 with 303 registered Montana voters. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 5.63 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

The poll is directed by UM Associate Professor Sara Rinfret, chair of the Department of Public Administration and Policy, and UM marketing Associate Professor Justin Angle, in conjunction with four graduate students from UM’s public administration and business analytics programs. The survey was commissioned with support from UM’s Office of Research and Creative Scholarship, the Blewett School of Law’s Baucus Institute and the Social Science Research Laboratory.

The Big Sky Poll is conducted on an ongoing basis with its next iteration planned for spring 2020. Full results from the poll are available on the UM Big Sky Poll website at http://umt.edu/bigskypoll.

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Full Results:

Table 1: “Walmart is discontinuing the sale of certain short-barrel rifle ammunition as well as handgun ammunition and discontinuing handgun sales entirely. Are you more or less likely to shop at Walmart due to this announcement?”

Answer

Percentage

Less Likely

40%

More Likely

37%

Prefer not to answer

23%

 

Table 1 Cont’d., Demographic

 

Women

Men

Urban

Rural

Dem.

Rep.

Ind.

Less Likely

31.0%

52.7%

38.7%

41.9%

5.1%

59.3%

44.8%

More Likely

44.4%

27.5%

39.8%

33.3%

79.5%

17.7%

29.2%

Prefer not to answer

24.6%

19.8%

21.5%

24.8%

15.4%

23.0%

26.0%

 

Table 1 Cont’d., Education Level

 

High School/

GED

Some College

Assoc. Degree

Bach. Degree

Post-Bac. (Ph.D., J.D., etc.)

Other

Less Likely

46.7%

43.6%

47.4%

41.2%

28.4%

33.3%

More Likely

36.7%

32.1%

34.2%

35.3%

47.8%

33.3%

Prefer not to answer

16.7%

24.4%

18.4%

23.5%

23.9%

33.3%

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Contact: Sara Rinfret, associate professor and chair, UM Department of Public Administration and Policy, 406-243-4702, sara.rinfret@umontana.edu.