Sept. 13 (UPI) -- For just the second time in 30 years, the share of Americans who view the National Rifle Association favorably has fallen below 50 percent, a new survey showed Friday.
Gallup said in the poll 49 percent of respondents expressed an unfavorable view, compared to just 48 percent who view the NRA favorably. It's the first time since 1998 there are more unfavorable opinions than favorable views.
The survey follows deadly shooting attacks in Texas, Ohio and California this summer.
"With Congress returning to session this week for the first time since the El Paso and Dayton shootings, gun control advocates are pushing for legislative action on the issue," Gallup wrote in its survey. "Though the NRA has typically been successful in scuttling gun control legislation, its attempts to do so at this time come when public support for the group is the lowest it has been in 20 years."
The most unfavorable opinions of the NRA were polled in 1995, when Gallup reported 51 percent of Americans had a negative view.
Friday's survey said 87 percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats shared a favorable view.
The majority of gun owners, 61 percent, said they own a firearm for protection and a third said theirs are for hunting. Twelve percent said their weapons are for "recreation" or "sport," and 5 percent solely to exercise their Second Amendment rights.