This type of behavior raises all kinds of troubling questions about the underlying data, as well as the motives of the researchers who put it together. If peer review is incomplete, why on earth are the study’s conclusions already being released? And if these reviewers are widely respected experts in the field, why must they remain anonymous, even as the study’s conclusions are being broadcast to the world? And finally, on what planet does it take more than a year to review the results of a simple poll?Ask any gun shop owner or firearms instructor and you will hear about all of the first time gun owners coming in to their stores or seeking firearms training. This study is just one more piece of propaganda intended to add to the narrative that the number of gun owners in American continue to decrease and that a relative few are holding the rest of the country hostage when it comes to passing "commonsense" gun laws.
None of the likely answers reflects well on the people who put this study together, because this is not how scientists conduct themselves. This is how political actors conduct themselves. This is how people with political motives and political objectives conduct themselves.
Update: Dr. John Lott has more:
— But there is a general problem with survey data. Hard data, such a the number of permits that are required before someone can own a gun in some states such as Illinois, show a dramatic increase in gun ownership at the same time that these surveys for those states are showing a drop in gun ownership. The likely reason that all these surveys on gun ownership are biased against showing an increase is because gun owners have been relatively less willing over time to tell pollsters that they own guns.
This hard data indicates such a large increase in gun owners relative to the polls that it makes it mathematically impossible for the claim to be true that gun sales are being driven by a small group of gun owners.