Press Release

Recent Polling Makes Clear that Americans Want Action to Strengthen Gun Safety Laws


To   Interested Parties
From   Giffords
Date   February 13, 2018
Re   Recent Polling Makes Clear that Americans Want Action to Strengthen Gun Safety Laws


Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on January 8, 2013, Americans have been calling for elected officials at every level of government to take action to make our communities safer from gun violence. This opinion has become stronger as gun death rates have climbed to levels not seen in decades. Currently, the country is averaging nearly 34,000 deaths from guns every year, and national polling has consistently proven that Americans want to protect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping them out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

Last Friday, the findings of a Gallup Poll were released showing that for the sixth consecutive year, a majority of Americans said they were dissatisfied with the country’s gun laws and policies. 59% of adults surveyed expressed their dissatisfaction, while just 39% were satisfied with the current system of gun laws. In fact, Gallup reported that dissatisfaction has risen five points from last year, close to the 18-year high of 62% recorded in 2016. Dissatisfaction with gun laws surges among Democrat voters: 79% are dissatisfied, and18% are satisfied.

 These findings are consistent with recent polls that show a solid majority of Americans favor reasonable policy proposals that limit the ability of dangerous people to access guns and oppose the weakening of gun laws, including various proposals championed by the gun lobby.

CBS News Poll (December 11, 2017)

  • 69 % of Americans believe the amount of gun violence in the U.S. is at least very serious, including a third who call it a crisis. More women see gun violence as a crisis than men do, and Democrats are three times as likely as Republicans to see it that way.

  • More than half of Americans – 57% – want laws covering the sale of guns to be made more strict than they are now.

  • Nearly half of Americans – 48% – are at least somewhat concerned about the threat of a mass shooting in the area where they live, but just 21% are very concerned.

  • Nearly a third of Americans – 32% – say that in the wake of recent mass shootings, they are less likely to attend large public events.

Quinnipiac Research (November 17, 2017)

  • 95% of American voters – and 94% among voters in households where there is a gun – support universal background checks for gun purchases. This is the highest level of support for universal background checks since the independent Quinnipiac first asked this question in February 2013, in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.

  • 60% of voters support stricter gun laws, the highest level of support ever, according to Quinnipiac University. The previous high support was 54% on June 28th.

  • 91% of voters support a ban on the sale of guns to people convicted of a violent crime.

  • 62% of voters support stricter regulation of ammunition sales.

  • 74% of voters support a ban on gun modifications such as bump stocks, which can make a semiautomatic gun fire more like a fully automatic weapon.

NPR/Ipsos (October 13, 2017)

  • Roughly 80% of Americans favor bans on assault weapons, including 70% of Republicans.

  • Roughly 80% of  Americans favor bans on “bump stocks,” including 77% of Republicans.

  • 80% of Americans favor a federal database to track all gun sales.

POLITICO/Morning Consult (October 11, 2017)

  • 88% of voters support background checks on all gun sales.

  • 64% of voters support stronger gun laws, including 41% who strongly support them.

  • 79% of voters support banning bump stocks.

  • 69% of voters support prohibiting guns at K-12 schools and on college campuses.

Huffington Post/YouGov (October 3-4, 2017)

  • Just 18% of Americans favor changing the law to let people buy gun silencers more quickly and without paying a fee, while 68% are opposed. 49% of Americans with a favorable view of the National Rifle Association say such restrictions should not be loosened, and only 38% say they should. Just 34% of those who voted for President Donald Trump are in favor of the change, while 52% of them oppose it.

  • 45% of Americans say deregulating silencers would increase crime, while 33% say it wouldn’t have much of an impact.

Quinnipiac (June 28, 2017)

  • Very few Americans believe the U.S. would be more safe if more people carried guns. Just 35% of voters believe the U.S. would be a safer place to live if more people carried guns.

PPP (April 25, 2017)

  • 80% of gun owners support requiring a background check on all gun sales, including those sold online or at gun shows, while just 16% oppose them. 86% of gun owners support prohibiting anyone convicted of stalking or domestic abuse from buying a gun, and 85% of gun owners support prohibiting those on the federal terror watch list or no-fly lists from buying a gun.

  • 88% of gun owners believe the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in a public place should remain in place.

  • Only 24% of gun owners believe silencers should be deregulated.

  • 67% of the gun owners feel that the NRA used to be an organization dedicated to gun safety, but it’s been overtaken by lobbyists and the interests of gun manufacturers and lost its original purpose and mission.