The Washington Times - December 27, 2012, 04:06PM

The National Rifle Association, which has become entangled in the national debate over gun control in the wake of the recent shootings in Newtown, Conn., has a 54 percent favorability rating among Americans, according to Gallup.

Thirty-eight percent disapprove of the powerful gun lobbying group. Its favorability rating, tracked since 1993, has fluctuated from a low of 42 percent in 1995 to a high of 60 percent in 2005, the polling organization said.

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“The National Rifle Association continues to have a majority favorable image in the eyes of the American public, as it has in all but one of the seven surveys in which Gallup has measured it since 1993,” wrote Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport. “The NRA’s image is highly politicized, with Republicans largely saying they have a favorable opinion, while a majority of Democrats view the association unfavorably. Most Americans with a gun in their household have a favorable opinion of the NRA, but one-fourth do not — and 49% of those with a gun in the household say the NRA represents their views on guns only sometimes, or never.”

Eighty-three percent of Republicans polled have a favorable opinion of the group, compared to 36 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents.

The USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,038 adults was conducted Dec. 19-22. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.