Americans are Prioritizing Strengthening Gun Laws

Memorandum

To: Interested Parties
From: Katie Peters, Communications Director
Date: April 6, 2018
Re: Americans are Prioritizing Strengthening Gun Laws

In the weeks since the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the energy and passion of young people have taken the nation by storm. Americans have walked out of schools, taken to the streets in communities large and small, and marched nationwide in a call for action on policies to prevent gun violence. Americans have made clear that the post-Parkland world is not moment, but a movement: they are organizing, they are hosting holding legislators accountable, and most importantly, they are ready to vote.

Recent polling is clear: the momentum behind March For Our Lives continues, and voters from across the political spectrum want to see their elected officials act to strengthen our gun laws. Gun violence prevention is shaping up to be one of the defining issues of the 2018 elections– one that politicians won’t be able to hide from.

Here’s a recent sampling of how Americans are continuing to demand action.

  • Gallup poll: U.S. Preference for Stronger Gun Laws Highest Since 1993.
    • 67% of Americans want stronger gun safety laws.
    • 90% of Democrats and 65% of Independents want stricter gun laws. Republican support for gun laws increased from 33% in October 2017 to 41% in March 2018
    • Guns rank as the second most important problem in the country at 13%.

  • Fox News poll: 53% of voters prioritize protecting citizens from gun violence over protecting the rights of gun owners.
    • 91% support requiring criminal background checks on all gun buyers.
    • 84% support requiring mental health checks on all gun buyers.
    • 72% support raising the age to buy all guns to 21.
    • 57% oppose allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds.
  • Politico/Morning Consult poll: Support for stronger gun laws among Republicans has increased since Las Vegas.
    • 51% of Republicans now support stronger gun laws, compared to 45% following the October shooting in Las Vegas.
    • 90% support requiring background checks on all gun sales.
    • 89% support preventing sales of firearms to people reported as dangerous to law enforcement by a mental health provider.
    • 86% support preventing the sale of all firearms to people convicted of violent misdemeanors.
    • 70% oppose the deregulation of silencers.
    • 79% support the banning of bump stocks.
    • 77% support requiring gun purchasers to be 21 years of age.
    • 67% support banning assault-style weapons.
    • 67% of registered voters said they back stricter gun control measures, up 3 percent from polling conducted September 20.
  • Quinnipiac Poll: Voters want the federal government to act to reduce gun violence.
    • 68% percent of voters say Congress must do more to reduce gun violence.
    • 61% of voters say President Donald Trump must do more to reduce gun violence.
    • 63% of Americans approved of the nationwide March For Our Lives.
  • Gallup poll: 73% of teachers oppose the idea of teachers and staff carrying guns in schools. 58% say carrying guns in schools would make schools less safe.
  • HuffPost/YouGov poll: 7 in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws.
    • 70% support a ban on bump stocks.
    • More than 80% support a federal law to prevent mentally ill individuals from purchasing guns.
  • Gallup poll: American teachers want stronger gun laws to prevent school shootings.
    • 33% of teachers, in an open-ended format, mention stricter gun laws.
    • 22% support a ban on assault weapons.
    • 10% support stricter background checks on gun purchases.

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Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.