April 1, 2019 Staff

U.S. Majority Continues to Support Stricter Gun Laws

A majority of
U.S. adults (67 percent) support stricter gun laws, according to survey results
published March 23 by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs
Research (AP-NORC).

This is down
slightly from a March 2018 survey, which found that 69 percent of respondents
desired stricter gun laws.

The 2019
results are still much higher than in 2013 when 55 percent wanted to see the
enactment of stricter laws.

By comparison,
22 percent wanted laws to remain the same (unchanged from 2018) and 10 percent
desired less strict gun laws (up 1 percent from 2018).

A strong
majority of respondents strongly or somewhat strongly favor all five possible
restrictions included in the survey:

  • A
    federal law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns: 84 percent
  • A
    federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers, including
    private sales and gun shows: 83 percent
  • Allowing
    courts to prevent people who are considered a danger to themselves or others,
    but have not been convicted of a crime, from owning a gun: 76 percent
  • Making
    21 the minimum legal age to buy any gun nationwide: 71 percent
  • A
    nationwide ban on the sale of AR-15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons:
    60 percent

U.S. adults
were divided on whether stricter gun laws would reduce mass shootings.

Fifty-eight percent
said there would be either many fewer or somewhat fewer mass shootings as a
result, while 34 percent felt it would not make a difference and 7 percent
there would be either more or somewhat more.

Out of nine
venues polled – including schools, houses of faith and workplaces – airports
were the only location where respondents said they felt safer now than 20 years

Only 6 percent
of U.S. adults felt safer today in houses of faith than they did 20 years ago,
compared to 61 percent who felt less safe and 32 percent who felt “about as

This was the
largest difference between safe and unsafe responses, followed closely by
schools at a 13-percent (more safe) to 67-percent (less safe) margin.

respondents (62 percent) didn’t have a gun in their homes, compared to 35
percent who did while 3 percent declined to answer. The margin of error for the
survey was plus-or-minus 4.1 percent.

The full report
is available here.